WorldWideScience

Sample records for human evolution degenerative

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 hominins......, and true population genomic studies of Bronze Age populations. Among the emerging areas of aDNA research, the analysis of past epigenomes is set to provide more new insights into human adaptation and disease susceptibility through time. Starting as a mere curiosity, ancient human genetics has become...

  4. 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.

  5. Oxytocin and Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, C Sue

    2017-08-16

    A small, but powerful neuropeptide, oxytocin coordinates processes that are central to both human reproduction and human evolution. Also embedded in the evolution of the human nervous system are unique pathways necessary for modern human sociality and cognition. Oxytocin is necessary for facilitating the birth process, especially in light of anatomical restrictions imposed by upright human locomotion, which depends on a fixed pelvis. Oxytocin, by facilitating birth, allowed the development of a large cortex and a protective bony cranium. The complex human brain in turn permitted the continuing emergence of social sensitivity, complex thinking, and language. After birth is complete, oxytocin continues to support human development by providing direct nutrition, in the form of human milk, and emotional and intellectual support through high levels of maternal behavior and selective attachment. Oxytocin also encourages social sensitivity and reciprocal attunement, on the part of both the mother and child, which are necessary for human social behavior and for rearing an emotionally healthy human child. Oxytocin supports growth during development, resilience, and healing across the lifespan. Oxytocin dynamically moderates the autonomic nervous system, and effects of oxytocin on vagal pathways allowing high levels of oxygenation and digestion necessary to support adaptation in a complex environment. Finally, oxytocin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping to explain the pervasive adaptive consequences of social behavior for emotional and physical health.

  6. Management of temporomandibular joint degenerative disorders with human amniotic membrane: Hypothesis of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarda-Nardini, Luca; Trojan, Diletta; Paolin, Adolfo; Manfredini, Daniele

    2017-07-01

    Approaches providing the positioning of human amniotic membrane (HAM) within the intra-articular space of arthritic TMJs have never been investigated. This contrasts with the increasing amount of evidence suggesting the potential positive effects of HAM on a number of surgical conditions, even included the interpositional arthroplasty for TMJ ankylosis. Thus, the possible usefulness of HAM to restore joint functions in severely damaged TMJs could be hypothesized. Based on these premises, the clinical research question "Is human amniotic membrane positioning effective to reduce symptoms and restore jaw function in patients with severe inflammatory-degenerative disorders of the temporomandibular joint?" has been addressed by performing a systematic review of the literature. Out of potential 11988 and 8883 citations in the PubMed and Scopus databases, respectively, only five were of possible interest for inclusion in the review, but none of them addressed specifically the clinical research question. Thus, the hypothetical background for usefulness was discussed. The benefits of HAM positioning in TMJs with severe inflammatory-degenerative disorders could be related with its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and analgesic properties as well as its low immunogenicity. Studies in which HAM is positioned within the joint space of patients with severe TMJ degeneration, either as a disc-replacing film during major surgeries for discectomy and arthroplasty or as an injectable solution that can be needle-inserted after an arthrocentesis procedure, should be designed to test the hypothesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolution and human sexuality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Peter B

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this review is to put core features of human sexuality in an evolutionary light. Toward that end, I address five topics concerning the evolution of human sexuality. First, I address theoretical foundations, including recent critiques and developments. While much traces back to Darwin and his view of sexual selection, more recent work helps refine the theoretical bases to sex differences and life history allocations to mating effort. Second, I consider central models attempting to specify the phylogenetic details regarding how hominin sexuality might have changed, with most of those models honing in on transitions from a possible chimpanzee-like ancestor to the slightly polygynous and long-term bonded sociosexual partnerships observed among most recently studied hunter-gatherers. Third, I address recent genetic and physiological data contributing to a refined understanding of human sexuality. As examples, the availability of rapidly increasing genomic information aids comparative approaches to discern signals of selection in sexuality-related phenotypes, and neuroendocrine studies of human responses to sexual stimuli provide insight into homologous and derived mechanisms. Fourth, I consider some of the most recent, large, and rigorous studies of human sexuality. These provide insights into sexual behavior across other national samples and on the Internet. Fifth, I discuss the relevance of a life course perspective to understanding the evolution of human sexuality. Most research on the evolution of human sexuality focuses on young adults. Yet humans are sexual beings from gestation to death, albeit in different ways across the life course, and in ways that can be theoretically couched within life history theory. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. IN VITRO EXAMINATION OF DEGENERATIVE EVOLUTION OF ADRENERGIC NERVE ENDINGS IN PULMONARY INFLAMATORY PROCESSES IN NEWBORNS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islami, Hilmi; Shabani, Ragip; Haliti, Naim; Bexheti, Sadi; Koliqi, Rozafa; Raka, Denis; Sukalo, Aziz; Izairi, Rusmi; Dauti, Hilmi; Qehaja, Nazim

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18816252

  9. Influences of Nutrition Supply and Pathways on the Degenerative Patterns in Human Intervertebral Disc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Qiaoqiao; Gao, Xin; Levene, Howard B; Brown, Mark D; Gu, Weiyong

    2016-04-01

    Investigation of the effects of the impairment of different nutritional pathways on the intervertebral disc degeneration patterns in terms of spatial distributions of cell density, glycosaminoglycan content, and water content. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that impairment of different nutritional pathways would result in different degenerative patterns in human discs. Impairment of nutritional pathways has been found to affect cell viability in the disc. However, details on how impairment of different nutritional pathways affects the disc degeneration patterns are unknown. A 3D finite element model was used for this study. This finite element method was based on the cell-activity coupled mechano-electrochemical theory for cartilaginous tissues. Impairment of the nutritional pathways was simulated by lowering the nutrition level at the disc boundaries. Effects of the impartment of cartilaginous endplate-nucleus pulposus (CEP-NP) pathway only (Case 1), annulus fibrosus (AF) pathway only (Case 2), and both pathways (Case 3) on disc degeneration patterns were studied. The predicted critical levels of nutrition for Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3 were around 30%, 20%, and 50% of the reference values, respectively. Below this critical level, the disc degeneration would occur. Disc degeneration appeared mainly in the NP for Case 1, in the outer AF for Case 2, and in both the NP and inner to middle AF for Case 3. For Cases 1 and 3, the loss of water content was primarily located in the mid-axial plane, which is consistent with the horizontal gray band seen in some T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For the disc geometry used in this study, it was predicted that there existed a high-intensity zone (for Case 3), as seen in some T2-weighted MRI images. Impairment of different nutrition pathways results in different degenerative patterns. N/A.

  10. 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...

  11. Fire Control and Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Claire

    1978-01-01

    Briefly outlines some aspects of the discovery of fire control by primitive people, such as the preadaptation for speech, the evolution of the human brain, and natural selection for human nakedness or loss of hair. (CS)

  12. Genetics and recent human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Alan R

    2007-07-01

    Starting with "mitochondrial Eve" in 1987, genetics has played an increasingly important role in studies of the last two million years of human evolution. It initially appeared that genetic data resolved the basic models of recent human evolution in favor of the "out-of-Africa replacement" hypothesis in which anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa about 150,000 years ago, started to spread throughout the world about 100,000 years ago, and subsequently drove to complete genetic extinction (replacement) all other human populations in Eurasia. Unfortunately, many of the genetic studies on recent human evolution have suffered from scientific flaws, including misrepresenting the models of recent human evolution, focusing upon hypothesis compatibility rather than hypothesis testing, committing the ecological fallacy, and failing to consider a broader array of alternative hypotheses. Once these flaws are corrected, there is actually little genetic support for the out-of-Africa replacement hypothesis. Indeed, when genetic data are used in a hypothesis-testing framework, the out-of-Africa replacement hypothesis is strongly rejected. The model of recent human evolution that emerges from a statistical hypothesis-testing framework does not correspond to any of the traditional models of human evolution, but it is compatible with fossil and archaeological data. These studies also reveal that any one gene or DNA region captures only a small part of human evolutionary history, so multilocus studies are essential. As more and more loci became available, genetics will undoubtedly offer additional insights and resolutions of human evolution.

  13. Major transitions in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Robert A; Martin, Lawrence; Mirazón Lahr, Marta; Stringer, Chris

    2016-07-05

    Evolutionary problems are often considered in terms of 'origins', and research in human evolution seen as a search for human origins. However, evolution, including human evolution, is a process of transitions from one state to another, and so questions are best put in terms of understanding the nature of those transitions. This paper discusses how the contributions to the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution' throw light on the pattern of change in hominin evolution. Four questions are addressed: (1) Is there a major divide between early (australopithecine) and later (Homo) evolution? (2) Does the pattern of change fit a model of short transformations, or gradual evolution? (3) Why is the role of Africa so prominent? (4) How are different aspects of adaptation-genes, phenotypes and behaviour-integrated across the transitions? The importance of developing technologies and approaches and the enduring role of fieldwork are emphasized.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Human development, heredity and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishinakamura, Ryuichi; Takasato, Minoru

    2017-06-15

    From March 27-29 2017, the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology held a symposium entitled 'Towards Understanding Human Development, Heredity, and Evolution' in Kobe, Japan. Recent advances in technologies including stem cell culture, live imaging, single-cell approaches, next-generation sequencing and genome editing have led to an expansion in our knowledge of human development. Organized by Yoshiya Kawaguchi, Mitinori Saitou, Mototsugu Eiraku, Tomoya Kitajima, Fumio Matsuzaki, Takashi Tsuji and Edith Heard, the symposium covered a broad range of topics including human germline development, epigenetics, organogenesis and evolution. This Meeting Review provides a summary of this timely and exciting symposium, which has convinced us that we are moving into the era of science targeted on humans. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caviness, V.S. Jr. (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (United States)); Phil, D.; Filipek, P.A.; Kennedy, D.N.

    1992-05-01

    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).

  16. Evolution of the Human Pelvis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Karen R; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2017-05-01

    No bone in the human postcranial skeleton differs more dramatically from its match in an ape skeleton than the pelvis. Humans have evolved a specialized pelvis, well-adapted for the rigors of bipedal locomotion. Precisely how this happened has been the subject of great interest and contention in the paleoanthropological literature. In part, this is because of the fragility of the pelvis and its resulting rarity in the human fossil record. However, new discoveries from Miocene hominoids and Plio-Pleistocene hominins have reenergized debates about human pelvic evolution and shed new light on the competing roles of bipedal locomotion and obstetrics in shaping pelvic anatomy. In this issue, 13 papers address the evolution of the human pelvis. Here, we summarize these new contributions to our understanding of pelvic evolution, and share our own thoughts on the progress the field has made, and the questions that still remain. Anat Rec, 300:789-797, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolution of Muscles Dysfunction From Myofascial Pain Syndrome Through Cervical Disc-Root Conflict to Degenerative Spine Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisiński, Przemysław; Huber, Juliusz

    2017-02-01

    Comparative clinical and neurophysiological study in three groups of patients with general diagnosis of neck pain. To determine symptoms of muscles dysfunction in patients with myofascial pain syndrome, disc-root conflict, and degenerative changes at cervical spine. The explanation for cervical pain origin should be based on results from chosen clinical and neurophysiological studies in correlation with neuroimaging findings. Three subgroups of patients (N = 60 each) with certain symptoms were examined. Clinical evaluation included examination of pain intensity in VAS scale, muscle strength in Lovett scale, evaluation of reflexes, Spurling test, assessment of active trigger points (TRPs), and superficial sensory perception. Neurophysiological testing included surface electromyography at rest (rEMG) and during maximal contraction (mcEMG) as well as electroneurography (ENG). The greatest pain intensity with its decentralization phenomenon occurred in patients with disc-root conflict. Significant decrease of muscle strength was detected in trapezius muscle in myofascial pain syndrome subgroup. Weakness of abductor pollicis brevis muscle in patients with disc-root conflict differed them from patients with myofascial pain syndrome (P = 0.05). Patients with disc-root conflict and degenerative spine disease showed differences (P = 0.03) in reflexes evoked from triceps brachii. Positive Spurling symptom was most common (56.7%) in disc-root conflict subgroup. TRPs in trapezius muscle were found in all patients with myofascial pain syndrome. Results of rEMG amplitude measurements differed patients at P = 0.05. Only mcEMG recording from abductor pollicis brevis muscle allows for their clear cut differentiation. ENG studies showed abnormalities in patients with disc-root conflict and degenerative spine disease (P from 0.05 to 0.02). Positive correlation of VAS, TRPs, and rEMG as well as Lovett scores, mcEMG, and ENG results was found. Only applying several

  19. Natural evolution and human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Jan

    2014-01-01

    A visual conscious experience is my empirical basis. All that we know comes to us through conscious experiences. Thanks to natural evolution, we have nearly direct perception, and can largely trust the information we attain. There is full integration, with no gaps, of organisms in the continuous world. Human conscious experiences, on the other hand, are discrete. Consciousness has certain limits for its resolution. This is illustrated by the so-called light-cone, with consequences for foundations in physics. Traditional universals are replaced by feels and distributions. Conscious experiences can be ordered within a framework of conceptual spaces. Triple Aspect Monism (TAM) can represent the dynamics of conscious systems. However, to fully represent the creative power of human consciousness, an all-inclusive view is suggested: Multi Aspect Monism (MAM).

  20. Characterization of miRNA Expression in Human Degenerative Lumbar Disks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ohrt-Nissen, Søren; Døssing, Kristina B V; Rossing, Maria

    2013-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are short ∼22 nucleotide RNA sequences that regulate messengerRNA translation. miRNAs have shown to play a role in synthesis of inflammatory mediators. Since inflammation play a role in intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration, the objective was to isolate miRNA from human lumbar...

  1. Investigating Human Evolution Using Digital Imaging & Craniometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, John C.

    2007-01-01

    Human evolution is an important and intriguing area of biology. The significance of evolution as a component of biology curricula, at all levels, can not be overstated; the need to make the most of opportunities to effectively educate students in evolution as a central and unifying realm of biology is paramount. Developing engaging laboratory or…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Degenerative knee joint disease in mice lacking 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate synthetase 2 (Papss2) activity: a putative model of human PAPSS2 deficiency-associated arthrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford-Hutchinson, Alice F; Ali, Zenobia; Seerattan, Ruth A; Cooper, David M L; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt; Salo, Paul T; Jirik, Frank R

    2005-05-01

    Murine brachymorphism (bm) results from an autosomal recessive mutation of the Papss2 gene that encodes 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate synthetase 2, one of the principal enzymes required for the sulfation of extracellular matrix molecules in cartilage and other tissues. A spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia has been identified in Pakistani kindred having a mutation of PAPSS2. In addition to skeletal malformations that include short stature evident at birth due to limb shortening, brachydactyly, and kyphoscoliosis, affected individuals demonstrate premature onset degenerative joint disease. We investigated whether loss of Papss2 activity would similarly lead to degenerative joint disease in mice. Mice carrying the bm mutation on a C57BL/6 background were obtained from the Jackson Laboratory. Limbs were analyzed by micro-computed tomography (microCT) and histology. At 12 months of age both male and female bm mice exhibited severe degenerative knee joint disease, with cartilage damage being primarily evident in the patello-femoral and medial compartments. Control 12-14-month-old C57BL/6 mice, in contrast, only occasionally demonstrated minimal cartilage damage. muCT imaging of bm limbs revealed shortened diaphyses associated with flared metaphyses in the proximal elements of both fore and hind limbs. Additionally, the bm hind limbs demonstrated extensive structural alterations, characterized by distortion of the patello-femoral groove, and prominent bowing of both tibia and fibula. The bm mutant, which develops severe articular cartilage lesions of the knee joint by approximately 12 months of age, represents a novel example of murine degenerative joint disease, possibly representing a model of human PAPSS2 deficiency-associated arthrosis.

  6. 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.

  7. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. PMID:22734052

  8. Anti-degenerative effect of Apigenin, Luteolin and Quercetin on human keratinocyte and chondrocyte cultures: SAR evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crascì, Lucia; Cardile, Venera; Longhitano, Giusy; Nanfitò, Francesco; Panico, Annamaria

    2017-11-06

    Background Inflammation is a dynamic process that occur on vascularized tissue in response to different stimuli causing cell injury and tissue degeneration. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have a key mediatory role in the development and progression of degenerative tissue process. The bioflavonoids possess a broad-spectrum of pharmacological activities. Their capability is related to their chemical structure. Methods In this study we evaluated and compare antioxidant, anti-glycative and anti-degenerative actions of two flavones apigenin and luteolin and a flavonol quercetin, in function of their hydroxyl groups arrangement. Moreover we assay, on NCTC 2544 and chondrocytes cultures, the flavonoids capacity to modulate NO and glycosamminoglycans levels, index of antidegenerative capacity. Results All tested flavonoids act as free radicals scavengers (ROO • and NO • ) and advanced glycation end products inhibitors, in agreement with their BDE, IP and molecular planarity. Quercetin showed a high ORAC value (2.70±0.12 ORAC Units), according to a low BDE (74.54 Kcal/mol) and IP (174.44 Kcal/mol) values. Luteolin is the most active compound in the NO (48.19±0.18%) and AGEs (60.06±0.52%) inhibition, in function of a low torsion angle (16.3°) between the 3-OH moiety and C'6 carbon atom. Conclusion All tested flavonoids posses a protective role on degenerative tissue events. They acts in different manner depending on the functional groups, the biological substrate and the concentration used. In any case, it can be considered a suitable product preventing a degenerative processes. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  9. Degenerative changes of the skeleton; Degenerative Skelettveraenderungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeffken, H. [Abt. fuer Klinische Nuklearmedizin, Klinikum der Philipps-Universitaet, Marburg (Germany)

    1994-12-01

    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.) [Deutsch] Durch primaere oder sekundaere Degeneration des Gelenkknorpels werden subchondrale Knochenumbauprozesse eingeleitet, die im Szintigramm an einer vermehrten Akkretion zu erkennen sind. Sie sind nicht von Mehranreicherungen aufgrund anderer Knochenaffektionen zu unterscheiden. Der szintigraphische Nachweis degenerativer Skelettveraenderungen beruht daher wesentlich auf der Beruecksichtigung ihrer Praedilektionsstellen. Mit der Drei-Phasen-Skelett-Szintigraphie lassen sich degenerative Veraenderungen von entzuendlichen Prozessen oder Osteonekrosen abgrenzen. Durch die SPECT koennen die dicht beieinanderliegenden Strukturen der Wirbelsaeule ueberlagerungsfrei dargestellt werden. Daher sollte zum Nachweis degenerativer Veraenderungen der Wirbelsaeule bevorzugt diese Methode eingesetzt werden. (orig.)

  10. Degenerative changes of the skeleton; Degenerative Skelettveraenderungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeffken, H. [Marburg Univ. (Germany). Abt. fuer Klinische Nuklearmedizin

    1997-10-01

    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.) [Deutsch] Degenerative Veraenderungen des Gelenkknorpels bewirken subchondrale Knochenumbauprozesse, die zu einer vermehrten Anreicherung knochenaffiner Radiopharmaka wie Tc-99m-MDP fuehren. Sie ist nicht von einer vermehrten Akkretion aufgrund anderer Knochenlaesionen zu unterscheiden. Der szintigraphische Nachweis degenerativer Skelettveraenderungen beruht daher auf der Beruecksichtigung ihrer Praedilektionsstellen und auf dem Ausschluss entzuendlicher Prozesse mit Hilfe der Drei-Phasen-Skelettszintigraphie. Wegen der im Vergleich zur planaren Szintigraphie besseren raeumlichen Aufloesung wird zum Nachweis degenerativer Prozesse im Bereich der Wirbelsaeule bevorzugt die SPECT-Technik eingesetzt. Da sich eine vermehrte Nuklidanreicherung bereits vor Entstehung morphologischer Veraenderungen bzw. nur in degenerativen Prozessen mit gesteigertem Knochenumbau, aber nicht in ausgeheilten Prozessen zeigt, kann mit Hilfe der Wirbelsaeulen-SPECT ein Beitrag zur Differentialdiagnose von Wirbelsaeulenbeschwerden geleistet werden. (orig.)

  11. 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…

  12. Molecular evolution of human species D adenoviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Christopher M; Seto, Donald; Jones, Morris S; Dyer, David W; Chodosh, James

    2011-08-01

    Adenoviruses are medium-sized double stranded DNA viruses that infect vertebrates. Human adenoviruses cause an array of diseases. Currently there are 56 human adenovirus types recognized and characterized within seven species (A-G). Of those types, a majority belongs to species D. In this review, the genomic conservation and diversity are examined among human adenoviruses within species D, particularly in contrast to other human adenovirus species. Specifically, homologous recombination is presented as a driving force for the molecular evolution of human adenoviruses and the emergence of new adenovirus pathogens. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. The Evolution of Human Uniqueness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Robert

    2017-01-09

    The human species is an outlier in the natural world. Two million years ago our ancestors were a slightly odd apes. Now we occupy the largest ecological and geographical range of any species, have larger biomass, and process more energy. Usually, this transformation is explained in terms of cognitive ability-people are just smarter than all the rest. In this paper I argue that culture, our ability to learn from each other, and cooperation, our ability to make common cause with large groups of unrelated individuals are the real roots of human uniqueness, and sketch an evolutionary account of how these crucial abilities co-evolved with each other and with other features of our life histories.

  15. Tree climbing and human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataraman, Vivek V.; Kraft, Thomas S.; Dominy, Nathaniel J.

    2013-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists have long argued—often contentiously—about the climbing abilities of early hominins and whether a foot adapted to terrestrial bipedalism constrained regular access to trees. However, some modern humans climb tall trees routinely in pursuit of honey, fruit, and game, often without the aid of tools or support systems. Mortality and morbidity associated with facultative arboreality is expected to favor behaviors and anatomies that facilitate safe and efficient climbing. Here we show that Twa hunter–gatherers use extraordinary ankle dorsiflexion (>45°) during climbing, similar to the degree observed in wild chimpanzees. Although we did not detect a skeletal signature of dorsiflexion in museum specimens of climbing hunter–gatherers from the Ituri forest, we did find that climbing by the Twa is associated with longer fibers in the gastrocnemius muscle relative to those of neighboring, nonclimbing agriculturalists. This result suggests that a more excursive calf muscle facilitates climbing with a bipedally adapted ankle and foot by positioning the climber closer to the tree, and it might be among the mechanisms that allow hunter–gatherers to access the canopy safely. Given that we did not find a skeletal correlate for this observed behavior, our results imply that derived aspects of the hominin ankle associated with bipedalism remain compatible with vertical climbing and arboreal resource acquisition. Our findings challenge the persistent arboreal–terrestrial dichotomy that has informed behavioral reconstructions of fossil hominins and highlight the value of using modern humans as models for inferring the limits of hominin arboreality. PMID:23277565

  16. Using Human Evolution to Teach Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besterman, Hugo; La Velle, Linda Baggott

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses some traditional approaches to the teaching of evolutionary theory at pre-university level, criticising in particular some of the more commonly used models and exemplars. Curricular demands are described and an alternative approach is suggested, using the emerging story of human evolution. Recent discoveries help to illustrate…

  17. The early evolution of cooperation in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Czárán, T.; Aanen, Duur K.

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of cooperation is difficult to understand, because cheaters-individuals who profit without cooperating themselves-have a benefit in interaction with cooperators. Cooperation among humans is even more difficult to understand, because cooperation occurs in large groups, making

  18. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

    Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time. Hence, as humans and chimpanzees cannot be crossed or genetically manipulated, no direct evidence for linking particular genetic and molecular changes to human brain evolution can be obtained. Here, I sketch a framework how indirect evidence can be obtained and review findings related to the molecular basis of human cognition, vocal learning and brain size. In particular, I discuss how a comprehensive comparative approach, leveraging cellular systems and genomic technologies, could inform the evolution of our brain in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Cooperation came first: evolution and human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Steven C; Sanford, Brandon T

    2014-01-01

    Contextual behavioral perspectives on learning and behavior reside under the umbrella of evolution science. In this paper we briefly review current developments in evolution science that bear on learning and behavior, concluding that behavior is now moving to the center of evolution studies. Learning is one of the main ladders of evolution by establishing functional benchmarks within which genetic adaptations can be advantaged. We apply that approach to the beginning feature of human cognition according to Relational Frame Theory: derived symmetry in coordination framing. When combined with the idea that cooperation came before major advances in human cognition or culture, existing abilities in social referencing, joint attention, perspective-taking skills, and relational learning ensure that the behavioral subcomponents of symmetrical equivalence relations would be reinforced. When coordination framing emerged and came under arbitrary contextual control as an operant class, a template was established for the development of multiple relational frames and the emergence and evolutionary impact of human cognition as we know it. Implications of these ideas for translational research are briefly discussed. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  20. Unraveling the evolution of uniquely human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Evan L

    2016-06-07

    A satisfactory account of human cognitive evolution will explain not only the psychological mechanisms that make our species unique, but also how, when, and why these traits evolved. To date, researchers have made substantial progress toward defining uniquely human aspects of cognition, but considerably less effort has been devoted to questions about the evolutionary processes through which these traits have arisen. In this article, I aim to link these complementary aims by synthesizing recent advances in our understanding of what makes human cognition unique, with theory and data regarding the processes of cognitive evolution. I review evidence that uniquely human cognition depends on synergism between both representational and motivational factors and is unlikely to be accounted for by changes to any singular cognitive system. I argue that, whereas no nonhuman animal possesses the full constellation of traits that define the human mind, homologies and analogies of critical aspects of human psychology can be found in diverse nonhuman taxa. I suggest that phylogenetic approaches to the study of animal cognition-which can address questions about the selective pressures and proximate mechanisms driving cognitive change-have the potential to yield important insights regarding the processes through which the human cognitive phenotype evolved.

  1. Dynamic landscapes in human evolution and dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devès, Maud; King, Geoffrey; Bailey, Geoffrey; Inglis, Robyn; Williams, Matthew; Winder, Isabelle

    2013-04-01

    Archaeological studies of human settlement in its wider landscape setting usually focus on climate change as the principal environmental driver of change in the physical features of the landscape, even on the long time scales of early human evolution. We emphasize that landscapes evolve dynamically due to an interplay of processes occurring over different timescales. Tectonic deformation, volcanism, sea level changes, by acting on the topography, the lithology and on the patterns of erosion-deposition in a given area, can moderate or amplify the influence of climate at the regional and local scale. These processes impose or alleviate physical barriers to movement, and modify the distribution and accessibility of plant and animal resources in ways critical to human ecological and evolutionary success (King and Bailey, JHE 2006; Bailey and King, Antiquity 2011, Winder et al. Antiquity in press). The DISPERSE project, an ERC-funded collaboration between the University of York and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, aims to develop systematic methods for reconstructing landscapes associated with active tectonics, volcanism and sea level change at a variety of scales in order to study their potential impact on patterns of human evolution and dispersal. Examples are shown to illustrate the ways in which changes of significance to human settlement can occur at a range of geographical scales and on time scales that range from lifetimes to tens of millennia, creating and sustaining attractive conditions for human settlement and exercising powerful selective pressures on human development.

  2. [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

  3. The Pathophysiology and Clinical Management of Degenerative ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Degenerative joint disease is a common and important disease that affects humans as well as domestic animals, especially dogs and cats. The etiological factors for the disease in humans and animals are similar. The disease is characterized by progressive deterioration of the joint, thinning of hyaline cartilage, joint ...

  4. 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

  5. Prolonged myelination in human neocortical evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Daniel J; Duka, Tetyana; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Schapiro, Steven J; Baze, Wallace B; McArthur, Mark J; Fobbs, Archibald J; Sousa, André M M; Sestan, Nenad; Wildman, Derek E; Lipovich, Leonard; Kuzawa, Christopher W; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C

    2012-10-09

    Nerve myelination facilitates saltatory action potential conduction and exhibits spatiotemporal variation during development associated with the acquisition of behavioral and cognitive maturity. Although human cognitive development is unique, it is not known whether the ontogenetic progression of myelination in the human neocortex is evolutionarily exceptional. In this study, we quantified myelinated axon fiber length density and the expression of myelin-related proteins throughout postnatal life in the somatosensory (areas 3b/3a/1/2), motor (area 4), frontopolar (prefrontal area 10), and visual (areas 17/18) neocortex of chimpanzees (N = 20) and humans (N = 33). Our examination revealed that neocortical myelination is developmentally protracted in humans compared with chimpanzees. In chimpanzees, the density of myelinated axons increased steadily until adult-like levels were achieved at approximately the time of sexual maturity. In contrast, humans displayed slower myelination during childhood, characterized by a delayed period of maturation that extended beyond late adolescence. This comparative research contributes evidence crucial to understanding the evolution of human cognition and behavior, which arises from the unfolding of nervous system development within the context of an enriched cultural environment. Perturbations of normal developmental processes and the decreased expression of myelin-related molecules have been related to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Thus, these species differences suggest that the human-specific shift in the timing of cortical maturation during adolescence may have implications for vulnerability to certain psychiatric disorders.

  6. 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.

  7. Rhinovirus genome evolution during experimental human infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Cordey

    Full Text Available Human rhinoviruses (HRVs evolve rapidly due in part to their error-prone RNA polymerase. Knowledge of the diversity of HRV populations emerging during the course of a natural infection is essential and represents a basis for the design of future potential vaccines and antiviral drugs. To evaluate HRV evolution in humans, nasal wash samples were collected daily for five days from 15 immunocompetent volunteers experimentally infected with a reference stock of HRV-39. In parallel, HeLa-OH cells were inoculated to compare HRV evolution in vitro. Nasal wash in vivo assessed by real-time PCR showed a viral load that peaked at 48-72 h. Ultra-deep sequencing was used to compare the low-frequency mutation populations present in the HRV-39 inoculum in two human subjects and one HeLa-OH supernatant collected 5 days post-infection. The analysis revealed hypervariable mutation locations in VP2, VP3, VP1, 2C and 3C genes and conserved regions in VP4, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and 3D genes. These results were confirmed by classical sequencing of additional samples, both from inoculated volunteers and independent cell infections, and suggest that HRV inter-host transmission is not associated with a strong bottleneck effect. A specific analysis of the VP1 capsid gene of 15 human cases confirmed the high mutation incidence in this capsid region, but not in the antiviral drug-binding pocket. We could also estimate a mutation frequency in vivo of 3.4x10(-4 mutations/nucleotides and 3.1x10(-4 over the entire ORF and VP1 gene, respectively. In vivo, HRV generate new variants rapidly during the course of an acute infection due to mutations that accumulate in hot spot regions located at the capsid level, as well as in 2C and 3C genes.

  8. Neuron-based heredity and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gash, Don M; Deane, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Initial phase I safety of retrovirally transduced human chondrocytes expressing transforming growth factor-beta-1 in degenerative arthritis patients

    OpenAIRE

    Ha, Chul-Won; Noh, Moon Jong; Choi, Kyoung Baek; Lee, Kwan Hee

    2012-01-01

    Background aims. TissueGene-C (TG-C) represents a cell-mediated gene therapy for localized delivery of allogeneic chondrocytes expressing transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1 directly to the damaged knee joint. Untransduced human chondrocytes (hChonJ cells) have also been incorporated into the TG-C product at a 3:1 ratio with TGF-?1-expressing chondrocytes (hChonJb#7) in order to help fill in the defect and as target cells for the actions of the expressed TGF-?1. Methods. A phase I dose-escala...

  11. The evolution of human and ape hand proportions

    OpenAIRE

    Alm?cija, Sergio; Smaers, Jeroen B; Jungers, William L.

    2015-01-01

    Human hands are distinguished from apes by possessing longer thumbs relative to fingers. However, this simple ape-human dichotomy fails to provide an adequate framework for testing competing hypotheses of human evolution and for reconstructing the morphology of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees. We inspect human and ape hand-length proportions using phylogenetically informed morphometric analyses and test alternative models of evolution along the anthropoid tree of life...

  12. Effect of the Degenerative State of the Intervertebral Disc on the Impact Characteristics of Human Spine Segments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eWilson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Models of the dynamic response of the lumbar spine have been used to examine vertebral fractures during falls and whole body vibration transmission in the occupational setting. Although understanding the viscoelastic stiffness or damping characteristics of the lumbar spine are necessary for modeling the dynamics of the spine, little is known about the effect of intervertebral disc degeneration on these characteristics at high loading rates. We hypothesize that disc degeneration significantly affects the viscoelastic response of spinal segments to high loading rate. We additionally hypothesize the lumbar spine stiffness and damping characteristics are a function of the degree of preload. A custom, pendulum impact tester was used to impact 19 L1-L3 human spine segments with an end mass of 20.9kg under increasing preloads with the resulting force response measured. A Kelvin–Voigt model, fitted to the frequency and decay response of the post-impact oscillations was used to compute stiffness and damping constants. The spine segments exhibited a second-order, underdamped response with stiffness and damping values of 17.9 - 754.5kN/m and 133.6 - 905.3Ns/m respectively. Regression models demonstrated that stiffness, but not damping, significantly correlated with preload (p

  13. The evolution of human and ape hand proportions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Almécija, Sergio; Smaers, Jeroen B; Jungers, William L

    2015-01-01

    ...) of humans and chimpanzees. We inspect human and ape hand-length proportions using phylogenetically informed morphometric analyses and test alternative models of evolution along the anthropoid tree of life, including fossils...

  14. The degenerative cervical spine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llopis, E; Belloch, E; León, J P; Higueras, V; Piquer, J

    2016-04-01

    Imaging techniques provide excellent anatomical images of the cervical spine. The choice to use one technique or another will depend on the clinical scenario and on the treatment options. Plain-film X-rays continue to be fundamental, because they make it possible to evaluate the alignment and bone changes; they are also useful for follow-up after treatment. The better contrast resolution provided by magnetic resonance imaging makes it possible to evaluate the soft tissues, including the intervertebral discs, ligaments, bone marrow, and spinal cord. The role of computed tomography in the study of degenerative disease has changed in recent years owing to its great spatial resolution and its capacity to depict osseous components. In this article, we will review the anatomy and biomechanical characteristics of the cervical spine, and then we provide a more detailed discussion of the degenerative diseases that can affect the cervical spine and their clinical management. Copyright © 2015 SERAM. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis in dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meij, B.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/164045805; Bergknut, N.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314418059

    2010-01-01

    Volume 40, Issue 5, Pages 983-1009 (September 2010) Degenerative Lumbosacral Stenosis in Dogs Björn P. Meij, DVM, PhDa, Niklas Bergknut, DVM, MSab Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) is the most common disorder of the caudal lumbar spine in dogs. This article reviews the management of this

  16. 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.

  17. Degenerative myelopathy in dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolovski Goran

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available One of the chronic progressive disorders of the spinal cord in dogs is the degenerative myelopathy (DM. The most predisposed age in dog is 5 to 14 years, while rarely noted in younger, there is no gender predisposition. This disorder most commonly appears in dogs of the German shepherd breed, but it can appear in other breeds too. The main changes about this disease are degeneration of the myelin, especially in the thoracic-lumbar segments of the spinal cord and the dorsal nerve roots. The progression of the disease is slow and can last months to years. Undoubtedly, diagnosis is made by examinations of the CSF and establishing elevated level of protein segments.

  18. 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.

  19. Co-evolution of human consciousness and language (revisited).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2014-06-01

    This article discusses the view that human consciousness may share aspects of "animal awareness" with other species, but has its unique form because humans possess language. Two ingredients of a theory of the evolution of human consciousness are offered: the view that a précis of intended activity is necessarily formed in the brain of a human that communicates in a human way; and the notion that such a précis underwrites the uniquely human aspect of consciousness.

  20. 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.

  1. Accepting, understanding, teaching, and learning (human) evolution: Obstacles and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pobiner, Briana

    2016-01-01

    Questions about our origin as a species are universal and compelling. Evolution-and in particular human evolution-is a subject that generates intense interest across the world, evidenced by the fact that fossil and DNA discoveries grace the covers of major science journals and magazines as well as other popular print and online media. However, virtually all national polls indicate that the majority of Americans strongly reject biological evolution as a fact-based, well-tested, and robust understanding of the history of life. In the popular mind, no topic in all of science is more contentious or polarizing than evolution and media sources often only serve to magnify this polarization by covering challenges to the teaching of evolution. In the realm of teaching, debates about evolution have shaped textbooks, curricula, standards, and policy. Challenges to accepting and understanding evolution include mistrust and denial of science, cognitive obstacles and misconceptions, language and terminology, and a religious worldview, among others. Teachers, who are on the front lines of these challenges, must be armed with the tools and techniques to teach evolution in formal education settings across grades K-16 in a straightforward, thorough, and sensitive way. Despite the potentially controversial topic of human evolution, growing research is demonstrating that a pedagogical focus on human examples is an effective and engaging way to teach core concepts of evolutionary biology. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwon, Misook

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. 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.

  4. The evolution of human and ape hand proportions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almécija, Sergio; Smaers, Jeroen B; Jungers, William L

    2015-07-14

    Human hands are distinguished from apes by possessing longer thumbs relative to fingers. However, this simple ape-human dichotomy fails to provide an adequate framework for testing competing hypotheses of human evolution and for reconstructing the morphology of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees. We inspect human and ape hand-length proportions using phylogenetically informed morphometric analyses and test alternative models of evolution along the anthropoid tree of life, including fossils like the plesiomorphic ape Proconsul heseloni and the hominins Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba. Our results reveal high levels of hand disparity among modern hominoids, which are explained by different evolutionary processes: autapomorphic evolution in hylobatids (extreme digital and thumb elongation), convergent adaptation between chimpanzees and orangutans (digital elongation) and comparatively little change in gorillas and hominins. The human (and australopith) high thumb-to-digits ratio required little change since the LCA, and was acquired convergently with other highly dexterous anthropoids.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    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 conte...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.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 pa...

  7. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P.; Svensson, Erik I.

    2017-01-01

    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’. PMID:27920373

  9. 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

  10. Rotary deformity in degenerative spondylolisthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Sung Gwon; Kim, Jeong; Kho, Hyen Sim; Yun, Sung Su; Oh, Jae Hee; Byen, Ju Nam; Kim, Young Chul [Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju (Korea, Republic of)

    1994-05-15

    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.

  11. Brain evolution and human neuropsychology: the inferential brain hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    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. (JINS, 2012, 18, 394-401).

  12. 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

  13. Reticulate evolution and the human past: an anthropological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Isabelle C; Winder, Nick P

    2014-01-01

    The evidence is mounting that reticulate (web-like) evolution has shaped the biological histories of many macroscopic plants and animals, including non-human primates closely related to Homo sapiens, but the implications of this non-hierarchical evolution for anthropological enquiry are not yet fully understood. When they are understood, the result may be a paradigm shift in evolutionary anthropology. This paper reviews the evidence for reticulated evolution in the non-human primates and human lineage. Then it makes the case for extrapolating this sort of patterning to Homo sapiens and other hominins and explores the implications this would have for research design, method and understandings of evolution in anthropology. Reticulation was significant in human evolutionary history and continues to influence societies today. Anthropologists and human scientists-whether working on ancient or modern populations-thus need to consider the implications of non-hierarchic evolution, particularly where molecular clocks, mathematical models and simplifying assumptions about evolutionary processes are used. This is not just a problem for palaeoanthropology. The simple fact of different mating systems among modern human groups, for example, may demand that more attention is paid to the potential for complexity in human genetic and cultural histories.

  14. Mycobacterium tuberculosis : ecology and evolution of a human bacterium

    OpenAIRE

    Banuls, Anne-Laure; Sanou, A; Anh, N. T. V.; Godreuil, S.

    2015-01-01

    Some species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), particularly Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes human tuberculosis (TB), are the first cause of death linked to a single pathogen worldwide. In the last decades, evolutionary studies have much improved our knowledge on MTBC history and have highlighted its long co-evolution with humans. Its ability to remain latent in humans, the extraordinary proportion of asymptomatic carriers (one-third of the entire human population), th...

  15. Transposable element insertions have strongly affected human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britten, Roy J.

    2010-01-01

    Comparison of a full collection of the transposable element (TE) sequences of vertebrates with genome sequences shows that the human genome makes 655 perfect full-length matches. The cause is that the human genome contains many active TEs that have caused TE inserts in relatively recent times. These TE inserts in the human genome are several types of young Alus (AluYa5, AluYb8, AluYc1, etc.). Work in many laboratories has shown that such inserts have many effects including changes in gene expression, increases in recombination, and unequal crossover. The time of these very effective changes in the human lineage genome extends back about 4 million years according to these data and very likely much earlier. Rapid human lineage-specific evolution, including brain size is known to have also occurred in the last few million years. Alu insertions likely underlie rapid human lineage evolution. They are known to have many effects. Examples are listed in which TE sequences have influenced human-specific genes. The proposed model is that the many TE insertions created many potentially effective changes and those selected were responsible for a part of the striking human lineage evolution. The combination of the results of these events that were selected during human lineage evolution was apparently effective in producing a successful and rapidly evolving species. PMID:21041622

  16. Co-evolution of human consciousness and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, M A

    2001-04-01

    This article recalls Cajal's brief mention of consciousness in the Textura as a function of the human brain quite distinct from reflex action, and discusses the view that human consciousness may share aspects of "animal awareness" with other species, but has its unique form because humans possess language. Three ingredients of a theory of the evolution of human consciousness are offered: the view that a précis of intended activity is necessarily formed in the brain of a human that communicates in a human way; the notion that such a précis constitutes consciousness; and a new theory of the evolution of human language based on the mirror system of monkeys and the role of communication by means of hand gestures as a stepping-stone to speech.

  17. Human Evolution in Science Textbooks from Twelve Different Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quessada, Marie-Pierre; Clement, Pierre; Oerke, Britta; Valente, Adriana

    2008-01-01

    What kinds of images of human beings illustrate human evolution in school textbooks? A comparison between the textbooks of eighteen different countries (twelve European countries and six non-European countries) was attempted. In six countries (Algeria, Malta, Morocco, Mozambique, Portugal, and Tunisia), we did not find any chapter on the topic of…

  18. 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…

  19. Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich

    2011-04-12

    Although many species display behavioural traditions, human culture is unique in the complexity of its technological, symbolic and social contents. Is this extraordinary complexity a product of cognitive evolution, cultural evolution or some interaction of the two? Answering this question will require a much better understanding of patterns of increasing cultural diversity, complexity and rates of change in human evolution. Palaeolithic stone tools provide a relatively abundant and continuous record of such change, but a systematic method for describing the complexity and diversity of these early technologies has yet to be developed. Here, an initial attempt at such a system is presented. Results suggest that rates of Palaeolithic culture change may have been underestimated and that there is a direct relationship between increasing technological complexity and diversity. Cognitive evolution and the greater latitude for cultural variation afforded by increasingly complex technologies may play complementary roles in explaining this pattern.

  20. Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich

    2011-01-01

    Although many species display behavioural traditions, human culture is unique in the complexity of its technological, symbolic and social contents. Is this extraordinary complexity a product of cognitive evolution, cultural evolution or some interaction of the two? Answering this question will require a much better understanding of patterns of increasing cultural diversity, complexity and rates of change in human evolution. Palaeolithic stone tools provide a relatively abundant and continuous record of such change, but a systematic method for describing the complexity and diversity of these early technologies has yet to be developed. Here, an initial attempt at such a system is presented. Results suggest that rates of Palaeolithic culture change may have been underestimated and that there is a direct relationship between increasing technological complexity and diversity. Cognitive evolution and the greater latitude for cultural variation afforded by increasingly complex technologies may play complementary roles in explaining this pattern. PMID:21357227

  1. 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)

  2. Cooperation came first: Evolution and human cognition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hayes, Steven C; Sanford, Brandon T

    2014-01-01

    ...: derived symmetry in coordination framing. When combined with the idea that cooperation came before major advances in human cognition or culture, existing abilities in social referencing, joint attention, perspective-taking skills...

  3. Pervasive genetic integration directs the evolution of human skull shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abadías, Neus; Esparza, Mireia; Sjøvold, Torstein; González-José, Rolando; Santos, Mauro; Hernández, Miquel; Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2012-04-01

    It has long been unclear whether the different derived cranial traits of modern humans evolved independently in response to separate selection pressures or whether they resulted from the inherent morphological integration throughout the skull. In a novel approach to this issue, we combine evolutionary quantitative genetics and geometric morphometrics to analyze genetic and phenotypic integration in human skull shape. We measured human skulls in the ossuary of Hallstatt (Austria), which offer a unique opportunity because they are associated with genealogical data. Our results indicate pronounced covariation of traits throughout the skull. Separate simulations of selection for localized shape changes corresponding to some of the principal derived characters of modern human skulls produced outcomes that were similar to each other and involved a joint response in all of these traits. The data for both genetic and phenotypic shape variation were not consistent with the hypothesis that the face, cranial base, and cranial vault are completely independent modules but relatively strongly integrated structures. These results indicate pervasive integration in the human skull and suggest a reinterpretation of the selective scenario for human evolution where the origin of any one of the derived characters may have facilitated the evolution of the others. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorlund, Jonas Bloch; 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...

  5. The evolution of altruism in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzban, Robert; Burton-Chellew, Maxwell N; West, Stuart A

    2015-01-03

    Humans are an intensely social species, frequently performing costly behaviors that benefit others. Efforts to solve the evolutionary puzzle of altruism have a lengthy history, and recent years have seen many important advances across a range of disciplines. Here we bring together this interdisciplinary body of research and review the main theories that have been proposed to explain human prosociality, with an emphasis on kinship, reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, punishment, and morality. We highlight recent methodological advances that are stimulating research and point to some areas that either remain controversial or merit more attention.

  6. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The presence of body fat in human babies appears to be the product of a long period of

  7. EVOLUTION OF KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT IN HUMAN RESUSCITATION

    OpenAIRE

    O. Zabolotina

    2010-01-01

    Study of human resuscitation development history is the first step in understanding modern approaches to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A significant increase in survival parameters is driven by accumulation of knowledge, expertise, improvement in resuscitation technologies. Development of cardiopulmonary resuscitation structure, development of recommendations approved for study and practical use, addressing these issues at the state level are accompanied with a significant reduction in morta...

  8. Neutrophil Evolution and Their Diseases in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer W. Leiding

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Granulocytes have been preserved and have evolved across species, developing into cells that provide one of the first lines of host defense against pathogens. In humans, neutrophils are involved in early recognition and killing of infectious pathogens. Disruption in neutrophil production, emigration, chemotaxis, and function cause a spectrum of primary immune defects characterized by host susceptibility to invasive infections.

  9. Human brain evolution: harnessing the genomics (r)evolution to link genes, cognition, and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2010-10-21

    The evolution of the human brain has resulted in numerous specialized features including higher cognitive processes such as language. Knowledge of whole-genome sequence and structural variation via high-throughput sequencing technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to view human evolution at high resolution. However, phenotype discovery is a critical component of these endeavors and the use of nontraditional model organisms will also be critical for piecing together a complete picture. Ultimately, the union of developmental studies of the brain with studies of unique phenotypes in a myriad of species will result in a more thorough model of the groundwork the human brain was built upon. Furthermore, these integrative approaches should provide important insights into human diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Darwinian perspectives on the evolution of human languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagel, Mark

    2017-02-01

    Human languages evolve by a process of descent with modification in which parent languages give rise to daughter languages over time and in a manner that mimics the evolution of biological species. Descent with modification is just one of many parallels between biological and linguistic evolution that, taken together, offer up a Darwinian perspective on how languages evolve. Combined with statistical methods borrowed from evolutionary biology, this Darwinian perspective has brought new opportunities to the study of the evolution of human languages. These include the statistical inference of phylogenetic trees of languages, the study of how linguistic traits evolve over thousands of years of language change, the reconstruction of ancestral or proto-languages, and using language change to date historical events.

  11. Science as a (TRANSITORY?) Phase in Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibowitz, Elia

    One of the key elements of human knowledge in the last 150 years is the recognition that the universe, as well as each of its components, are in a permanent stage of evolution. Mankind and human affairs are of course no exceptions. Human beings owe their biological supremacy to the possession of a form of inheritance quite unlike that of other animals: exogenetic heredity. They have a non genetic channel for transmitting information from one generation to another, namely, the entire apparatus of culture. As information is correlated with brain structure, culture is a non genetic means to create patterns in human brains. It therefore plays a major role in human evolution. This apparatus by itself is however also undergoing a process of evolution. Using examples of astronomical, cosmological and other cultural concepts and argumentations, I shall show that throughout recorded human history, 4 distinct phases can be recognized in the evolution of this non genetic apparatus. The latest phase, the beginning of which is symbolized by the life and work of Galileo, is the "scientific" era. At the turn of the millenium, humankind is possibly at a transition state, from the "scientific" towards a new phase that may be termed a "public relation" or "propaganda" era. Causes for this transition can be found among recent developments in mass media and communications. These, in turn, are correlated with modern, 20th century trends in economy, technology and sociology that are other dominants factors in this transition. The apparent decline of the "scientific" culture may have profound consequences on the future evolution of mankind.

  12. EVOLUTION OF KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT IN HUMAN RESUSCITATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Zabolotina

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Study of human resuscitation development history is the first step in understanding modern approaches to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A significant increase in survival parameters is driven by accumulation of knowledge, expertise, improvement in resuscitation technologies. Development of cardiopulmonary resuscitation structure, development of recommendations approved for study and practical use, addressing these issues at the state level are accompanied with a significant reduction in mortality both at the hospital and pre-hospital levels. Key words: children, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, development stages, training of pediatricians. (Pediatric Pharmacology. – 2010; 7(3:25-27

  13. Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parravicini, Andrea; Pievani, Telmo

    2016-06-20

    Evolution is a process that occurs at many different levels, from genes to ecosystems. Genetic variations and ecological pressures are hence two sides of the same coin; but due both to fragmentary evidence and to the influence of a gene-centered and gradualistic approach to evolutionary phenomena, the field of paleoanthropology has been slow to take the role of macro-evolutionary patterns (i.e. ecological and biogeographical at large scale) seriously. However, several very recent findings in paleoanthropology stress both climate instability and ecological disturbance as key factors affecting the highly branching hominin phylogeny, from the earliest hominins to the appearance of cognitively modern humans. Allopatric speciation due to geographic displacement, turnover-pulses of species, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution of traits in several coeval species, bursts of behavioral innovation, serial dispersals out of Africa, are just some of the macro-evolutionary patterns emerging from the field. The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems. Changes in global climate and Earth's surface most greatly affected human evolution. Precisely because it is cognitively hard for us to appreciate the long-term common destiny we share with the whole biosphere, it is particularly valuable to highlight the accumulating evidence that human evolution has been deeply affected by global ecological changes that transformed our African continent of origin.

  14. Human altruism, evolution and moral philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzPatrick, William J

    2017-08-01

    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.

  15. Top 10 Lines of Evidence for Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickels, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Provides 10 lines of evidence that support the theory of human evolution. The evidence relates to hierarchical taxonomic classification, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology and development, comparative biochemistry, adaptive compromises, vestigial structures, biogeography, the fossil sequence, ecological coherence of fossil assemblages,…

  16. Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Human Behavior and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam

    2006-01-01

    This article presents 7 simple models of the relationship between cognitive empathy (mental perspective taking) and emotional empathy (the vicarious sharing of emotion). I consider behavioral outcomes of the models, arguing that, during human evolution, natural selection may have acted on variation in the relationship between cognitive empathy and…

  17. 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:

  18. The Evolution of Human Cells in Terms of Protein Innovation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardar, Adam J.; Oates, Matt E.; Fang, Hai; Forrest, Alistair R.R.; Kawaji, Hideya; Gough, Julian; Rackham, Owen J.L.

    2014-01-01

    Humans are composed of hundreds of cell types. As the genomic DNA of each somatic cell is identical, cell type is determined by what is expressed and when. Until recently, little has been reported about the determinants of human cell identity, particularly from the joint perspective of gene evolution and expression. Here, we chart the evolutionary past of all documented human cell types via the collective histories of proteins, the principal product of gene expression. FANTOM5 data provide cell-type–specific digital expression of human protein-coding genes and the SUPERFAMILY resource is used to provide protein domain annotation. The evolutionary epoch in which each protein was created is inferred by comparison with domain annotation of all other completely sequenced genomes. Studying the distribution across epochs of genes expressed in each cell type reveals insights into human cellular evolution in terms of protein innovation. For each cell type, its history of protein innovation is charted based on the genes it expresses. Combining the histories of all cell types enables us to create a timeline of cell evolution. This timeline identifies the possibility that our common ancestor Coelomata (cavity-forming animals) provided the innovation required for the innate immune system, whereas cells which now form the brain of human have followed a trajectory of continually accumulating novel proteins since Opisthokonta (boundary of animals and fungi). We conclude that exaptation of existing domain architectures into new contexts is the dominant source of cell-type–specific domain architectures. PMID:24692656

  19. Human Evolution: The Real Cause for Birth Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreekanth, R; Thomas, BP

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective: Birth palsy, otherwise known as obstetric brachial plexus paralysis (OBPP), is a closed stretch injury to the brachial plexus of nerves during the birth process resulting in varying degree of paralysis and contractures of the upper limb. The study aimed to find out the susceptibility of humans and small-bodied primates to birth palsy. Method: A comparative study on parturition in modern humans, hominoids, hominids, small-bodied primates and great apes was done to determine if changes in the female pelvis and neonatal head and shoulder during human evolution is the real cause for OBPP. Results: During evolution, the morphology of the female pelvis and birth canal changed into a narrow and twisted one and also the size of the fetal head increased. Thus, the narrow and twisted pelvis of the mother, and the relatively large head and broad shoulders of the newborn has made the birthing process of modern human and small bodied primates a precarious fine-tuned act with a very narrow margin for error. This has necessitated proper obstetric care to reduce or even at times obviate the incidence of birth injuries like OBPP. Conclusion: Human evolution has made human babies susceptible to birth palsy and thus is the real cause of birth palsy. PMID:26624599

  20. 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?

  1. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26170314

  2. Rapid evolution of the human mutation spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Kelley; Pritchard, Jonathan K

    2017-04-25

    DNA is a remarkably precise medium for copying and storing biological information. This high fidelity results from the action of hundreds of genes involved in replication, proofreading, and damage repair. Evolutionary theory suggests that in such a system, selection has limited ability to remove genetic variants that change mutation rates by small amounts or in specific sequence contexts. Consistent with this, using SNV variation as a proxy for mutational input, we report here that mutational spectra differ substantially among species, human continental groups and even some closely related populations. Close examination of one signal, an increased TCC→TTC mutation rate in Europeans, indicates a burst of mutations from about 15,000 to 2000 years ago, perhaps due to the appearance, drift, and ultimate elimination of a genetic modifier of mutation rate. Our results suggest that mutation rates can evolve markedly over short evolutionary timescales and suggest the possibility of mapping mutational modifiers.

  3. 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.

  4. Neanderthal genomics and the evolution of modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noonan, James P.

    2010-01-01

    Humans possess unique physical and cognitive characteristics relative to other primates. Comparative analyses of the human and chimpanzee genomes are beginning to reveal sequence changes on the human lineage that may have contributed to the evolution of human traits. However, these studies cannot identify the genetic differences that distinguish modern humans from archaic human species. Here, I will discuss efforts to obtain genomic sequence from Neanderthal, the closest known relative of modern humans. Recent studies in this nascent field have focused on developing methods to recover nuclear DNA from Neanderthal remains. The success of these early studies has inspired a Neanderthal genome project, which promises to produce a reference Neanderthal genome sequence in the near future. Technical issues, such as the level of Neanderthal sequence coverage that can realistically be obtained from a single specimen and the presence of modern human contaminating sequences, reduce the detection of authentic human–Neanderthal sequence differences but may be remedied by methodological improvements. More critical for the utility of a Neanderthal genome sequence is the evolutionary relationship of humans and Neanderthals. Current evidence suggests that the modern human and Neanderthal lineages diverged before the emergence of contemporary humans. A fraction of biologically relevant human–chimpanzee sequence differences are thus likely to have arisen and become fixed exclusively on the modern human lineage. A reconstructed Neanderthal genome sequence could be integrated into human–primate genome comparisons to help reveal the evolutionary genetic events that produced modern humans. PMID:20439435

  5. Human Nature, Cosmic Evolution and Modernity in Hölderlin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Paul Cummins

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available The German Romantic Friedrich Houml;lderlin developed a unique perspective on the relationship between humankind and the rest of nature. He believed that humanity has a positive role to play in cosmic evolution, and that modernity is the crucial stage in fulfilling this role. In this paper I will be arguing for a reinterpretation of his ideas regarding the position of humankind in cosmic evolution, and for an application of these ideas to the lsquo;environmental crisisrsquo; of modernity. This reinterpretation is significant because it entails an inversion of the conventional notion of causality in the lsquo;environmental crisisrsquo;; instead of humans lsquo;harmingrsquo; nature, in the reinterpretation it is nature that causes human suffering.

  6. 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.

  7. Consanguinity, human evolution, and complex diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittles, A. H.; Black, M. L.

    2010-01-01

    There is little information on inbreeding during the critical early years of human existence. However, given the small founding group sizes and restricted mate choices it seems inevitable that intrafamilial reproduction occurred and the resultant levels of inbreeding would have been substantial. Currently, couples related as second cousins or closer (F ≥ 0.0156) and their progeny account for an estimated 10.4% of the global population. The highest rates of consanguineous marriage occur in north and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and west, central, and south Asia. In these regions even couples who regard themselves as unrelated may exhibit high levels of homozygosity, because marriage within clan, tribe, caste, or biraderi boundaries has been a long-established tradition. Mortality in first-cousin progeny is ≈3.5% higher than in nonconsanguineous offspring, although demographic, social, and economic factors can significantly influence the outcome. Improving socioeconomic conditions and better access to health care will impact the effects of consanguinity, with a shift from infant and childhood mortality to extended morbidity. At the same time, a range of primarily social factors, including urbanization, improved female education, and smaller family sizes indicate that the global prevalence of consanguineous unions will decline. This shift in marriage patterns will initially result in decreased homozygosity, accompanied by a reduction in the expression of recessive single-gene disorders. Although the roles of common and rare gene variants in the etiology of complex disease remain contentious, it would be expected that declining consanguinity would also be reflected in reduced prevalence of complex diseases, especially in population isolates. PMID:19805052

  8. 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.

  9. The evolution of human cells in terms of protein innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardar, Adam J; Oates, Matt E; Fang, Hai; Forrest, Alistair R R; Kawaji, Hideya; Gough, Julian; Rackham, Owen J L

    2014-06-01

    Humans are composed of hundreds of cell types. As the genomic DNA of each somatic cell is identical, cell type is determined by what is expressed and when. Until recently, little has been reported about the determinants of human cell identity, particularly from the joint perspective of gene evolution and expression. Here, we chart the evolutionary past of all documented human cell types via the collective histories of proteins, the principal product of gene expression. FANTOM5 data provide cell-type-specific digital expression of human protein-coding genes and the SUPERFAMILY resource is used to provide protein domain annotation. The evolutionary epoch in which each protein was created is inferred by comparison with domain annotation of all other completely sequenced genomes. Studying the distribution across epochs of genes expressed in each cell type reveals insights into human cellular evolution in terms of protein innovation. For each cell type, its history of protein innovation is charted based on the genes it expresses. Combining the histories of all cell types enables us to create a timeline of cell evolution. This timeline identifies the possibility that our common ancestor Coelomata (cavity-forming animals) provided the innovation required for the innate immune system, whereas cells which now form the brain of human have followed a trajectory of continually accumulating novel proteins since Opisthokonta (boundary of animals and fungi). We conclude that exaptation of existing domain architectures into new contexts is the dominant source of cell-type-specific domain architectures. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. A Spring Forward for Human Evolution in East Africa?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, M. O.; Ashley, G. M.

    2014-12-01

    The current consensus is that humans evolved in Africa and then migrated in waves to other parts of the world starting as early as 2 Ma. The climate was both cooling and drying. One of the major unknowns connected with human survival in this climatically turbulent environment is the availability of resources, particularly water. A growing body of geological evidence shows an association between springs, stone tools and hominin fossils at a number of sites in the East African Rift System (EARS) during a critical period for hominin evolution (from 1.8 Ma). The springs may have been vulnerable to climate variability, thus the role that groundwater availability may have played in human evolution and migration to other continents is not known. Using palaeogeological reconstruction and groundwater modelling of the paleo-catchment of one such EARS site, Olduvai Gorge (3°S), we show how spring discharge was likely linked to climate variability of annual to Milankovitch cycle timescales. Under decadal to centennial timescales, spring flow would have been relatively invariant providing good water resource resilience through long droughts. For multi-millennial periods, modelled spring flows lag groundwater recharge by 100s to 1000 years. Our results show how groundwater would have provided 'drought proof' water supply and habitats during arid phases as potable surface water from rivers or lakes became increasingly scarce. Localized groundwater systems are likely to have been widespread within the EARS providing refugia and intense competition during dry periods. Thus, springs and associated wetlands may have been important factors in natural selection and evolution, as well as a vital resource during dispersal within and out of Africa. While further exploration is needed to test the geographical extent of groundwater use by early humans, we propose that groundwater flow systems produced in the EARS played a significant role in the evolution and dispersal of early humans.

  11. Human evolution. Human-like hand use in Australopithecus africanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Matthew M; Stephens, Nicholas B; Tsegai, Zewdi J; Foote, Alexandra C; Nguyen, N Huynh; Gross, Thomas; Pahr, Dieter H; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kivell, Tracy L

    2015-01-23

    The distinctly human ability for forceful precision and power "squeeze" gripping is linked to two key evolutionary transitions in hand use: a reduction in arboreal climbing and the manufacture and use of tools. However, it is unclear when these locomotory and manipulative transitions occurred. Here we show that Australopithecus africanus (~3 to 2 million years ago) and several Pleistocene hominins, traditionally considered not to have engaged in habitual tool manufacture, have a human-like trabecular bone pattern in the metacarpals consistent with forceful opposition of the thumb and fingers typically adopted during tool use. These results support archaeological evidence for stone tool use in australopiths and provide morphological evidence that Pliocene hominins achieved human-like hand postures much earlier and more frequently than previously considered. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Red ochre and shells: clues to human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Carlos M

    2014-10-01

    The 200-kiloannus (ka) use of red ochre and shells by humans is interpreted as a simple clue of symbolic thinking. Integration of multiple lines of evidence supports the opinion that the use of red ochre and shells might have had direct significance for human evolution. Use of seafood and red ochre supplies docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), possibly iron, and other essential nutrients for brain development and reproductive health, improving human fitness and triggering brain growth. The fitness advantages to humans of using shells, and possibly red ochre, might have selected for artistic and symbolic expression, and, thereby, lead to social cohesion. Current global health syndromes show that an adequate supply of seafood and iron continues to play a fundamental role in human health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Surgical treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guigui, P; Ferrero, E

    2017-02-01

    Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a common pathology, often causing lumbar canal stenosis. There is, however, no strong consensus regarding the various medical and surgical treatments available. Surgery is indicated mainly for perceived functional impairment; when the indication is accepted, several questions determine the choice of surgical strategy. Improvement in neurological symptoms is one of the main treatment objectives. For this, it is useful to perform radicular decompression. Some authors recommend indirect decompression by interbody fusion (ALIF, TLIF, XLIF), others by means of an interspinous spacer but the most frequent technique is direct posterior decompression. In degenerative spondylolisthesis, functional results seem to be improved by associating stabilization to decompression, to prevent secondary destabilization. The following risk factors for destabilization are recognized: anteroposterior hypermobility, angular hypermobility and large disc height. Two stabilization techniques have been described: "dynamic" stabilization and (more frequently) fusion. Spinal instrumentation is frequently associated to fusion, in which case, it is essential for fusion position and length to take account of pelvic incidence and the patient's overall pattern of balance. Posterolateral fusion may be completed by interbody fusion (PLIF or TLIF). This has the theoretic advantage of increasing graft area and stability, restoring local lordosis and opening the foramina. Surgical treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis usually consists in posterior release associated to instrumented fusion, but some cases can be more complex. It is essential for treatment planning to take account of the patient's general health status as well as symptomatology and global and segmental alignment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Mycobacterium tuberculosis: ecology and evolution of a human bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bañuls, Anne-Laure; Sanou, Adama; Anh, Nguyen Thi Van; Godreuil, Sylvain

    2015-11-01

    Some species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), particularly Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes human tuberculosis (TB), are the first cause of death linked to a single pathogen worldwide. In the last decades, evolutionary studies have much improved our knowledge on MTBC history and have highlighted its long co-evolution with humans. Its ability to remain latent in humans, the extraordinary proportion of asymptomatic carriers (one-third of the entire human population), the deadly epidemics and the observed increasing level of resistance to antibiotics are proof of its evolutionary success. Many MTBC molecular signatures show not only that these bacteria are a model of adaptation to humans but also that they have influenced human evolution. Owing to the unbalance between the number of asymptomatic carriers and the number of patients with active TB, some authors suggest that infection by MTBC could have a protective role against active TB disease and also against other pathologies. However, it would be inappropriate to consider these infectious pathogens as commensals or symbionts, given the level of morbidity and mortality caused by TB.

  16. Exploring possible human influences on the evolution of Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De León, Luis Fernando; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Bermingham, Eldredge; Podos, Jeffrey; Herrel, Anthony; Hendry, Andrew P

    2011-08-01

    Humans are an increasingly common influence on the evolution of natural populations. Potential arenas of influence include altered evolutionary trajectories within populations and modifications of the process of divergence among populations. We consider this second arena in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador. Our study compared the G. fortis population at a relatively undisturbed site, El Garrapatero, to the population at a severely disturbed site, Academy Bay, which is immediately adjacent to the town of Puerto Ayora. The El Garrapatero population currently shows beak size bimodality that is tied to assortative mating and disruptive selection, whereas the Academy Bay population was historically bimodal but has lost this property in conjunction with a dramatic increase in local human population density. We here evaluate potential ecological-adaptive drivers of the differences in modality by quantifying relationships between morphology (beak and head dimensions), functional performance (bite force), and environmental characteristics (diet). Our main finding is that associations among these variables are generally weaker at Academy Bay than at El Garrapatero, possibly because novel foods are used at the former site irrespective of individual morphology and performance. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the rugged adaptive landscapes promoting and maintaining diversification in nature can be smoothed by human activities, thus hindering ongoing adaptive radiation. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. 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

  18. 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....

  19. Interpreting Evidence: An Approach to Teaching Human Evolution in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSilva, Jeremy

    2004-01-01

    Paleoanthropology, which is the study of human evolution through fossil records, can be used as a tool for teaching human evolution in the classrooms. An updated approach to teaching human evolution and a model for explaining what is science and how it is done, is presented.

  20. Abundant raw material for cis-regulatory evolution in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockman, Matthew V.; Wray, Gregory A.

    2002-01-01

    Changes in gene expression and regulation--due in particular to the evolution of cis-regulatory DNA sequences--may underlie many evolutionary changes in phenotypes, yet little is known about the distribution of such variation in populations. We present in this study the first survey of experimentally validated functional cis-regulatory polymorphism. These data are derived from more than 140 polymorphisms involved in the regulation of 107 genes in Homo sapiens, the eukaryote species with the most available data. We find that functional cis-regulatory variation is widespread in the human genome and that the consequent variation in gene expression is twofold or greater for 63% of the genes surveyed. Transcription factor-DNA interactions are highly polymorphic, and regulatory interactions have been gained and lost within human populations. On average, humans are heterozygous at more functional cis-regulatory sites (>16,000) than at amino acid positions (human phenotypic variation.

  1. Comparative primate neuroimaging: insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-01-01

    Comparative neuroimaging can identify unique features of the human brain and teach us about human brain evolution. Comparisons with chimpanzees, our closest living primate relative, are critical in this endeavor. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to compare brain size development, brain structure proportions and brain aging. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to compare resting brain glucose metabolism. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been used to compare auditory and visual system pathways, as well as resting-state networks of connectivity. Finally, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been used to compare structural connectivity. Collectively, these methods have revealed human brain specializations with respect to development, cortical organization, connectivity, and aging. These findings inform our knowledge of the evolutionary changes responsible for the special features of the modern human mind.

  2. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  3. Human evolution and osteoporosis-related spinal fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotter, Meghan M; Loomis, David A; Simpson, Scott W; Latimer, Bruce; Hernandez, Christopher J

    2011-01-01

    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 (pHuman 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, pbody mass, phuman 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.

  4. Genomic disorders: A window into human gene and genome evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Claudia M. B.; Zhang, Feng; Lupski, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Gene duplications alter the genetic constitution of organisms and can be a driving force of molecular evolution in humans and the great apes. In this context, the study of genomic disorders has uncovered the essential role played by the genomic architecture, especially low copy repeats (LCRs) or segmental duplications (SDs). In fact, regardless of the mechanism, LCRs can mediate or stimulate rearrangements, inciting genomic instability and generating dynamic and unstable regions prone to rapid molecular evolution. In humans, copy-number variation (CNV) has been implicated in common traits such as neuropathy, hypertension, color blindness, infertility, and behavioral traits including autism and schizophrenia, as well as disease susceptibility to HIV, lupus nephritis, and psoriasis among many other clinical phenotypes. The same mechanisms implicated in the origin of genomic disorders may also play a role in the emergence of segmental duplications and the evolution of new genes by means of genomic and gene duplication and triplication, exon shuffling, exon accretion, and fusion/fission events. PMID:20080665

  5. Genetic Markers of Human Evolution Are Enriched in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Saurabh; Bettella, Francesco; Mattingsdal, Morten; Wang, Yunpeng; Witoelar, Aree; Schork, Andrew J; Thompson, Wesley K; Zuber, Verena; Winsvold, Bendik S; Zwart, John-Anker; Collier, David A; Desikan, Rahul S; Melle, Ingrid; Werge, Thomas; Dale, Anders M; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A

    2016-08-15

    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 cognitive abilities. We analyzed recent large genome-wide association studies of schizophrenia and a range of other human phenotypes (anthropometric measures, cardiovascular disease risk factors, immune-mediated diseases) using a statistical framework that draws on polygenic architecture and ancillary information on genetic variants. We used information from the evolutionary proxy measure called the Neanderthal selective sweep (NSS) score. Gene loci associated with schizophrenia are significantly (p = 7.30 × 10(-9)) more prevalent in genomic regions that are likely to have undergone recent positive selection in humans (i.e., with a low NSS score). Variants in brain-related genes with a low NSS score confer significantly higher susceptibility than variants in other brain-related genes. The enrichment is strongest for schizophrenia, but we cannot rule out enrichment for other 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. Our results suggest that there is a polygenic overlap between schizophrenia and NSS score, a marker of human evolution, which is in line with the hypothesis that the persistence of schizophrenia is related to the evolutionary process of becoming human. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Pathobiology of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akter, Farhana; Kotter, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a common spinal cord disease caused by chronic mechanical compression of the spinal cord. The mechanism by which mechanical stress results in spinal cord injury is poorly understood. The most common mechanisms involved in the pathobiology of DCM include apoptosis, inflammation, and vascular changes leading to loss of neurons, axonal degeneration, and myelin changes. However, the exact pathophysiologic mechanisms of DCM are unclear. A better understanding of the pathogenesis of DCM is required for the development of treatments to improve outcomes. This review highlights the mechanisms of injury and pathology in DCM. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorlund, J B; 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...

  8. Localizing recent adaptive evolution in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Identifying genomic locations that have experienced selective sweeps is an important first step toward understanding the molecular basis of adaptive evolution. Using statistical methods that account for the confounding effects of population demography, recombination rate variation, and single......, 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...

  9. Sleep intensity and the evolution of human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, David R; Nunn, Charles L

    2015-01-01

    Over the past four decades, scientists have made substantial progress in understanding the evolution of sleep patterns across the Tree of Life. Remarkably, the specifics of sleep along the human lineage have been slow to emerge. This is surprising, given our unique mental and behavioral capacity and the importance of sleep for individual cognitive performance. One view is that our species' sleep architecture is in accord with patterns documented in other mammals. We promote an alternative view, that human sleep is highly derived relative to that of other primates. Based on new and existing evidence, we specifically propose that humans are more efficient in their sleep patterns than are other primates, and that human sleep is shorter, deeper, and exhibits a higher proportion of REM than expected. Thus, we propose the sleep intensity hypothesis: Early humans experienced selective pressure to fulfill sleep needs in the shortest time possible. Several factors likely served as selective pressures for more efficient sleep, including increased predation risk in terrestrial environments, threats from intergroup conflict, and benefits arising from increased social interaction. Less sleep would enable longer active periods in which to acquire and transmit new skills and knowledge, while deeper sleep may be critical for the consolidation of those skills, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities in early humans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Alfred Russell Wallace and the evolution of the human mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Charles

    2010-10-01

    Today the fame of Alfred Russell Wallace is as the independent codiscoverer with Charles Darwin of the origin of species by natural selection. Although they were on very amiable terms all their lives, 11 years after announcing their discovery, Wallace and Darwin had a major disagreement on the evolution of human cognition. The author considers how this divergence and other disagreements, particularly on the role of instinct, are related to the differences in their class backgrounds, education, experience with non-European cultures, and views on socialism, phrenology, mesmerism, and spiritualism.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Tracking the evolution of causal cognition in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombard, Marlize; Gärdenfors, Peter

    2017-12-30

    We suggest a seven-grade model for the evolution of causal cognition as a framework that can be used to gauge variation in the complexity of causal reasoning from the panin-hominin split until the appearance of cognitively modern hunter-gatherer communities. The intention is to put forward a cohesive model for the evolution of causal cognition in humans, which can be assessed against increasingly fine-grained empirical data from the palaeoanthropological and archaeological records. We propose that the tracking behaviour (i.e., the ability to interpret and follow external, inanimate, visual clues of hominins) provides a rich case study for tracing the evolution of causal cognition in our lineage. The grades of causal cognition are tentatively linked to aspects of the Stone Age/Palaeolithic archaeological record. Our model can also be applied to current work in evolutionary psychology and research on causal cognition, so that an inter-disciplinary understanding and correlation of processes becomes increasingly possible.

  14. 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.

  15. The evolution of altruistic social preferences in human groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silk, Joan B; House, Bailey R

    2016-02-05

    In this paper, we consider three hypotheses to account for the evolution of the extraordinary capacity for large-scale cooperation and altruistic social preferences within human societies. One hypothesis is that human cooperation is built on the same evolutionary foundations as cooperation in other animal societies, and that fundamental elements of the social preferences that shape our species' cooperative behaviour are also shared with other closely related primates. Another hypothesis is that selective pressures favouring cooperative breeding have shaped the capacity for cooperation and the development of social preferences, and produced a common set of behavioural dispositions and social preferences in cooperatively breeding primates and humans. The third hypothesis is that humans have evolved derived capacities for collaboration, group-level cooperation and altruistic social preferences that are linked to our capacity for culture. We draw on naturalistic data to assess differences in the form, scope and scale of cooperation between humans and other primates, experimental data to evaluate the nature of social preferences across primate species, and comparative analyses to evaluate the evolutionary origins of cooperative breeding and related forms of behaviour. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Oxytocin pathways and the evolution of human behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, C Sue

    2014-01-01

    This review examines the hypothesis that oxytocin pathways--which include the neuropeptide oxytocin, the related peptide vasopressin, and their receptors--are at the center of physiological and genetic systems that permitted the evolution of the human nervous system and allowed the expression of contemporary human sociality. Unique actions of oxytocin, including the facilitation of birth, lactation, maternal behavior, genetic regulation of the growth of the neocortex, and the maintenance of the blood supply to the cortex, may have been necessary for encephalization. Peptide-facilitated attachment also allows the extended periods of nurture necessary for the emergence of human intellectual development. In general, oxytocin acts to allow the high levels of social sensitivity and attunement necessary for human sociality and for rearing a human child. Under optimal conditions oxytocin may create an emotional sense of safety. Oxytocin dynamically moderates the autonomic nervous system, and effects of oxytocin on vagal pathways, as well as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of this peptide, help to explain the pervasive adaptive consequences of social behavior for emotional and physical health.

  17. 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.

  18. Apes, Wolves, Birds, and Humans: Toward a Comparative Foundation for a Functional Theory of Language Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jane H.

    1977-01-01

    This article reviews the possibilities that a comparative, functionally oriented view of communication evolution offers to a linguist interested in the evolution of human languages and suggests a wide variety of areas which might be further investigated with profit. (CFM)

  19. 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

  20. A Bird’s Eye View of Human Language Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berwick, Robert C.; Beckers, Gabriël J. L.; Okanoya, Kazuo; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2012-01-01

    Comparative studies of linguistic faculties in animals pose an evolutionary paradox: language involves certain perceptual and motor abilities, but it is not clear that this serves as more than an input–output channel for the externalization of language proper. Strikingly, the capability for auditory–vocal learning is not shared with our closest relatives, the apes, but is present in such remotely related groups as songbirds and marine mammals. There is increasing evidence for behavioral, neural, and genetic similarities between speech acquisition and birdsong learning. At the same time, researchers have applied formal linguistic analysis to the vocalizations of both primates and songbirds. What have all these studies taught us about the evolution of language? Is the comparative study of an apparently species-specific trait like language feasible? We argue that comparative analysis remains an important method for the evolutionary reconstruction and causal analysis of the mechanisms underlying language. On the one hand, common descent has been important in the evolution of the brain, such that avian and mammalian brains may be largely homologous, particularly in the case of brain regions involved in auditory perception, vocalization, and auditory memory. On the other hand, there has been convergent evolution of the capacity for auditory–vocal learning, and possibly for structuring of external vocalizations, such that apes lack the abilities that are shared between songbirds and humans. However, significant limitations to this comparative analysis remain. While all birdsong may be classified in terms of a particularly simple kind of concatenation system, the regular languages, there is no compelling evidence to date that birdsong matches the characteristic syntactic complexity of human language, arising from the composition of smaller forms like words and phrases into larger ones. PMID:22518103

  1. A Bird's Eye View of Human Language Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berwick, Robert C; Beckers, Gabriël J L; Okanoya, Kazuo; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-01-01

    COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF LINGUISTIC FACULTIES IN ANIMALS POSE AN EVOLUTIONARY PARADOX: language involves certain perceptual and motor abilities, but it is not clear that this serves as more than an input-output channel for the externalization of language proper. Strikingly, the capability for auditory-vocal learning is not shared with our closest relatives, the apes, but is present in such remotely related groups as songbirds and marine mammals. There is increasing evidence for behavioral, neural, and genetic similarities between speech acquisition and birdsong learning. At the same time, researchers have applied formal linguistic analysis to the vocalizations of both primates and songbirds. What have all these studies taught us about the evolution of language? Is the comparative study of an apparently species-specific trait like language feasible? We argue that comparative analysis remains an important method for the evolutionary reconstruction and causal analysis of the mechanisms underlying language. On the one hand, common descent has been important in the evolution of the brain, such that avian and mammalian brains may be largely homologous, particularly in the case of brain regions involved in auditory perception, vocalization, and auditory memory. On the other hand, there has been convergent evolution of the capacity for auditory-vocal learning, and possibly for structuring of external vocalizations, such that apes lack the abilities that are shared between songbirds and humans. However, significant limitations to this comparative analysis remain. While all birdsong may be classified in terms of a particularly simple kind of concatenation system, the regular languages, there is no compelling evidence to date that birdsong matches the characteristic syntactic complexity of human language, arising from the composition of smaller forms like words and phrases into larger ones.

  2. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Canid hybridization: contemporary evolution in human-modified landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stronen, Astrid V; Tessier, Nathalie; Jolicoeur, Hélène; Paquet, Paul C; Hénault, Michel; Villemure, Mario; Patterson, Brent R; Sallows, Tim; Goulet, Gloria; Lapointe, François-Joseph

    2012-09-01

    Contemporary evolution through human-induced hybridization occurs throughout the taxonomic range. Formerly allopatric species appear especially susceptible to hybridization. Consequently, hybridization is expected to be more common in regions with recent sympatry owing to human activity than in areas of historical range overlap. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and gray wolves (C. lupus) are historically sympatric in western North America. Following European settlement gray wolf range contracted, whereas coyote range expanded to include eastern North America. Furthermore, wolves with New World (NW) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes now extend from Manitoba to Québec in Canada and hybridize with gray wolves and coyotes. Using mtDNA and 12 microsatellite markers, we evaluated levels of wolf-coyote hybridization in regions where coyotes were present (the Canadian Prairies, n = 109 samples) and absent historically (Québec, n = 154). Wolves with NW mtDNA extended from central Saskatchewan (51°N, 69°W) to northeastern Québec (54°N, 108°W). On the Prairies, 6.3% of coyotes and 9.2% of wolves had genetic profiles suggesting wolf-coyote hybridization. In contrast, 12.6% of coyotes and 37.4% of wolves in Québec had profiles indicating hybrid origin. Wolves with NW and Old World (C. lupus) mtDNA appear to form integrated populations in both regions. Our results suggest that hybridization is more frequent in historically allopatric populations. Range shifts, now expected across taxa following climate change and other human influence on the environment, might therefore promote contemporary evolution by hybridization.

  6. Canid hybridization: contemporary evolution in human-modified landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stronen, Astrid V; Tessier, Nathalie; Jolicoeur, Hélène; Paquet, Paul C; Hénault, Michel; Villemure, Mario; Patterson, Brent R; Sallows, Tim; Goulet, Gloria; Lapointe, François-Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Contemporary evolution through human-induced hybridization occurs throughout the taxonomic range. Formerly allopatric species appear especially susceptible to hybridization. Consequently, hybridization is expected to be more common in regions with recent sympatry owing to human activity than in areas of historical range overlap. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and gray wolves (C. lupus) are historically sympatric in western North America. Following European settlement gray wolf range contracted, whereas coyote range expanded to include eastern North America. Furthermore, wolves with New World (NW) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes now extend from Manitoba to Québec in Canada and hybridize with gray wolves and coyotes. Using mtDNA and 12 microsatellite markers, we evaluated levels of wolf-coyote hybridization in regions where coyotes were present (the Canadian Prairies, n = 109 samples) and absent historically (Québec, n = 154). Wolves with NW mtDNA extended from central Saskatchewan (51°N, 69°W) to northeastern Québec (54°N, 108°W). On the Prairies, 6.3% of coyotes and 9.2% of wolves had genetic profiles suggesting wolf-coyote hybridization. In contrast, 12.6% of coyotes and 37.4% of wolves in Québec had profiles indicating hybrid origin. Wolves with NW and Old World (C. lupus) mtDNA appear to form integrated populations in both regions. Our results suggest that hybridization is more frequent in historically allopatric populations. Range shifts, now expected across taxa following climate change and other human influence on the environment, might therefore promote contemporary evolution by hybridization. PMID:23139873

  7. Evolution of lactase persistence: an example of human niche construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerbault, Pascale; Liebert, Anke; Itan, Yuval; Powell, Adam; Currat, Mathias; Burger, Joachim; Swallow, Dallas M.; Thomas, Mark G.

    2011-01-01

    Niche construction is the process by which organisms construct important components of their local environment in ways that introduce novel selection pressures. Lactase persistence is one of the clearest examples of niche construction in humans. Lactase is the enzyme responsible for the digestion of the milk sugar lactose and its production decreases after the weaning phase in most mammals, including most humans. Some humans, however, continue to produce lactase throughout adulthood, a trait known as lactase persistence. In European populations, a single mutation (−13910*T) explains the distribution of the phenotype, whereas several mutations are associated with it in Africa and the Middle East. Current estimates for the age of lactase persistence-associated alleles bracket those for the origins of animal domestication and the culturally transmitted practice of dairying. We report new data on the distribution of −13910*T and summarize genetic studies on the diversity of lactase persistence worldwide. We review relevant archaeological data and describe three simulation studies that have shed light on the evolution of this trait in Europe. These studies illustrate how genetic and archaeological information can be integrated to bring new insights to the origins and spread of lactase persistence. Finally, we discuss possible improvements to these models. PMID:21320900

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Evolutionary Response to Human Infectious Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armelagos, George J.; Dewey, John R.

    1970-01-01

    Gives an overview of human history, relating cultural changes with resulting changes in population density and in ecological balance to patterns of infectious diseases in man. Discusses mechanisms of evolution of resistance. Suggests that in populations where infectious diseases can be controlled, attention should shift to degenerative diseases…

  11. Genetic Differences Between Great Apes and Humans: Implications for Human Evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varki, Ajit (University of California, San Diego)

    2004-03-17

    When considering protein sequences, humans are 99-100% identical to chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest evolutionary relatives. The evolution of humans (and the unique features of our species) from a common ancestor with these great apes 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 the differences. We have discovered multiple genetic and biochemical differences between humans and great apes, particularly in relationship to a family of cell surface molecules called sialic acids. These differences have implications for the human condition, ranging from susceptibility or resistance to microbial pathogens; effects on endogenous receptors in the immune system; potential effects on placental signaling; the expression of oncofetal antigens in cancers; consequences of dietary intake of animal foods; and the development of the mammalian brain. This talk will provide an overview of these and other genetic differences between humans and great apes, with attention to differences potentially relevant to the evolution of humans.

  12. 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.

  13. Abundant raw material for cis-regulatory evolution in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockman, Matthew V.; Wray, Gregory A.

    2002-01-01

    Changes in gene expression and regulation--due in particular to the evolution of cis-regulatory DNA sequences--may underlie many evolutionary changes in phenotypes, yet little is known about the distribution of such variation in populations. We present in this study the first survey of experimentally validated functional cis-regulatory polymorphism. These data are derived from more than 140 polymorphisms involved in the regulation of 107 genes in Homo sapiens, the eukaryote species with the most available data. We find that functional cis-regulatory variation is widespread in the human genome and that the consequent variation in gene expression is twofold or greater for 63% of the genes surveyed. Transcription factor-DNA interactions are highly polymorphic, and regulatory interactions have been gained and lost within human populations. On average, humans are heterozygous at more functional cis-regulatory sites (>16,000) than at amino acid positions (<13,000), in part because of an overrepresentation among the former in multiallelic tandem repeat variation, especially (AC)(n) dinucleotide microsatellites. The role of microsatellites in gene expression variation may provide a larger store of heritable phenotypic variation, and a more rapid mutational input of such variation, than has been realized. Finally, we outline the distinctive consequences of cis-regulatory variation for the genotype-phenotype relationship, including ubiquitous epistasis and genotype-by-environment interactions, as well as underappreciated modes of pleiotropy and overdominance. Ordinary small-scale mutations contribute to pervasive variation in transcription rates and consequently to patterns of human phenotypic variation.

  14. 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.

  15. GUIDELINES FOR TREATMENT OF DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARMEN YOSSALETH BRICEÑO-GONZÁLEZ

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objectives: To determine the standard of treatment of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis in its different clinical presentations in UMAE Dr. Victorio de la Fuente Narváez. Methods: Six cases found in the literature were presented to 36 experts in spine surgery, along with treatment options, to thereby obtain a standard prescription for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. Analytical observational cross-sectional descriptive study. Results: It was found that the treatment of choice in cases of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with axial symptoms is conservative. The surgical treatment of choice for both stable and unstable patients with radiculopathy and/or claudication is decompression + posterolateral graft + transpedicular instrumentation + discectomy (graft. Conclusions: We managed to define the degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis treatment guidelines in our unit, which can serve as a basis for the development of a clinical practice guide.

  16. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  17. 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.

  18. Accelerated evolution of the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide precursor gene during human origin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Yin-Qiu; Qian, Ya-Ping; Yang, Su

    2005-01-01

    a strong functional constraint during the course of evolution. However, through comparative sequence analysis, we demonstrated that the PACAP precursor gene underwent an accelerated evolution in the human lineage since the divergence from chimpanzees, and the amino acid substitution rate in humans...

  19. Theories of Human Evolution. A Century of Debate, 1844-1944.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowler, Peter J.

    The question of human origin has always been disputed by evolution theorists. This book provides a comprehensive survey of the debates over human evolution from the time of Darwin to the 1940s. Part 1 discusses the early controversies, noting that they focused on philosophical issues rather than causes or details of the evolutionary process. A…

  20. Transmission between Archaic and Modern Human Ancestors during the Evolution of the Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus 16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimenoff, Ville N; de Oliveira, Cristina Mendes; Bravo, Ignacio G

    2017-01-01

    Every human suffers through life a number of papillomaviruses (PVs) infections, most of them asymptomatic. A notable exception are persistent infections by Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), the most oncogenic infectious agent for humans and responsible for most infection-driven anogenital cancers. Oncogenic potential is not homogeneous among HPV16 lineages, and genetic variation within HPV16 exhibits some geographic structure. However, an in-depth analysis of the HPV16 evolutionary history was still wanting. We have analyzed extant HPV16 diversity and compared the evolutionary and phylogeographical patterns of humans and of HPV16. We show that codivergence with modern humans explains at most 30% of the present viral geographical distribution. The most explanatory scenario suggests that ancestral HPV16 already infected ancestral human populations and that viral lineages co-diverged with the hosts in parallel with the split between archaic Neanderthal-Denisovans and ancestral modern human populations, generating the ancestral HPV16A and HPV16BCD viral lineages, respectively. We propose that after out-of-Africa migration of modern human ancestors, sexual transmission between human populations introduced HPV16A into modern human ancestor populations. We hypothesize that differential coevolution of HPV16 lineages with different but closely related ancestral human populations and subsequent host-switch events in parallel with introgression of archaic alleles into the genomes of modern human ancestors may be largely responsible for the present-day differential prevalence and association with cancers for HPV16 variants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. 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

  2. Technology, expertise and social cognition in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich; Passingham, Richard; Frith, Christopher; Apel, Jan; Chaminade, Thierry

    2011-04-01

    Paleolithic stone tools provide concrete evidence of major developments in human behavioural and cognitive evolution. Of particular interest are evolving cognitive mechanisms implied by the cultural transmission of increasingly complex prehistoric technologies, hypothetically including motor resonance, causal reasoning and mentalizing. To test the relevance of these mechanisms to specific Paleolithic technologies, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of Naïve, Trained and Expert subjects observing two toolmaking methods of differing complexity and antiquity: the simple 'Oldowan' method documented by the earliest tools 2.5 million years ago; and the more complex 'Acheulean' method used to produce refined tools 0.5 million years ago. Subjects observed 20-s video clips of an expert demonstrator, followed by behavioural tasks designed to maintain attention. Results show that observational understanding of Acheulean toolmaking involves increased demands for the recognition of abstract technological intentions. Across subject groups, Acheulean compared with Oldowan toolmaking was associated with activation of left anterior intraparietal and inferior frontal sulci, indicating the relevance of resonance mechanisms. Between groups, Naïve subjects relied on bottom-up kinematic simulation in the premotor cortex to reconstruct unfamiliar intentions, and Experts employed a combination of familiarity-based sensorimotor matching in the posterior parietal cortex and top-down mentalizing involving the medial prefrontal cortex. While no specific differences between toolmaking technologies were found for Trained subjects, both produced frontal activation relative to Control, suggesting focused engagement with toolmaking stimuli. These findings support motor resonance hypotheses for the evolutionary origins of human social cognition and cumulative culture, directly linking these hypotheses with archaeologically observable behaviours in prehistory. © 2011 The

  3. 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.

  4. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffman, Itai; Nevo, Eviatar

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:23908781

  5. 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.

  6. Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: Epidemiology, Genetics, and Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouri, Aria; Tetreault, Lindsay; Singh, Anoushka; Karadimas, Spyridon K; Fehlings, Michael G

    2015-06-15

    Review. To formally introduce "degenerative cervical myelopathy" (DCM) as the overarching term to describe the various degenerative conditions of the cervical spine that cause myelopathy. Herein, the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and genetics of conditions falling under this hypernym are carefully described. Nontraumatic, degenerative forms of cervical myelopathy represent the commonest cause of spinal cord impairment in adults and include cervical spondylotic myelopathy, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, ossification of the ligamentum flavum, and degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately, there is neither a specific term nor a specific diagnostic International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision code to describe this collection of clinical entities. This has resulted in the inconsistent use of diagnostic terms when referring to patients with myelopathy due to degenerative disease of the cervical spine. Narrative review. The incidence and prevalence of myelopathy due to degeneration of the spine are estimated at a minimum of 41 and 605 per million in North America, respectively. Incidence of cervical spondylotic myelopathy-related hospitalizations has been estimated at 4.04/100,000 person-years, and surgical rates seem to be rising. Pathophysiologically, myelopathy results from static compression, spinal malalignment leading to altered cord tension and vascular supply, and dynamic injury mechanisms. Occupational hazards, including transportation of goods by weight bearing on top of the head, and other risk factors may accelerate DCM development. Potential genetic factors include those related to MMP-2 and collagen IX for degenerative disc disease, and collagen VI and XI for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. In addition, congenital anomalies including spinal stenosis, Down syndrome, and Klippel-Feil syndrome may predispose to the development of DCM. Although DCMs can present as separate diagnostic entities, they are highly

  7. 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.

  8. Vegetarianism and veganism from the perspective of the evolution of human diet

    OpenAIRE

    Fleischmannová, Nikola

    2017-01-01

    The object of this bachelor thesis is to interpret the evolution of diet of the anatomically modern human and his ancestors from the perspective of paleoanthropology and isotope analysis of skeletal remains. The findings are consistent with the view that humans are omnivorous, whose diet consists of plant and animal sources. Their ratio, however, in the course of human evolution has changed significantly, which had an impact on some major evolutionary events. Currently, there are alternative ...

  9. India at the cross-roads of human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patnaik, R; Chauhan, P

    2009-11-01

    The Indian palaeoanthropological record, although patchy at the moment, is improving rapidly with every new find. This broad review attempts to provide an account of (a) the Late Miocene fossil apes and their gradual disappearance due to ecological shift from forest dominated to grassland dominated ecosystem around 9-8 Ma ago, (b) the Pliocene immigration/evolution of possible hominids and associated fauna, (c) the Pleistocene record of fossil hominins, associated fauna and artifacts, and (d) the Holocene time of permanent settlements and the genetic data from various human cultural groups within India. Around 13 Ma ago (late Middle Miocene) Siwalik forests saw the emergence of an orangutan-like primate Sivapithecus. By 8 Ma, this genus disappeared from the Siwalik region as its habitat started shrinking due to increased aridity influenced by global cooling and monsoon intensification. A contemporary and a close relative of Sivapithecus, Gigantopithecus (Indopithecus), the largest ape that ever-lived, made its first appearance at around 9 Ma. Other smaller primates that were pene-contemporaneous with these apes were Pliopithecus (Dendropithecus), Indraloris, Sivaladapis and Palaeotupia. The Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene witnessed northern hemisphere glaciations, followed by the spread of arid conditions on a global scale, setting the stage for hominids to explore "Savanahastan". With the prominent expansion of grassland environments from East Africa to China and Indonesia in the Pliocene, monkeys and baboons dispersed into the Indian subcontinent from Africa along with other mammals. Though debated, there are several claims of the presence of early hominins in this part of the world during the Late Pliocene, based primarily on the recovery of Palaeolithic tools. Fossils of our own ancestor and one of the first globe-trotters, early Homo erectus, has been documented from the Early Pleistocene of East Africa, Western Asia and Southeast Asia, thus indirectly

  10. Human Cytomegalovirus Intrahost Evolution – A New Avenue for Understanding and Controlling Herpesvirus Infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renzette, Nicholas; Gibson, Laura; Jensen, Jeffrey D.; Kowalik, Timothy F.

    2014-01-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is exquisitely adapted to the human host, and much research has focused on its evolution over long timescales spanning millennia. Here, we review recent data exploring the evolution of the virus on much shorter timescales, on the order of days or months. We describe the intrahost genetic diversity of the virus isolated from humans, and how this diversity contributes to HCMV spatiotemporal evolution. We propose mechanisms to explain the high levels of intrahost diversity and discuss how this new information may shed light on HCMV infection and pathogenesis. PMID:25154343

  11. Evolution of the human brain: changing brain size and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min S; Nguyen, Andrew D; Aryan, Henry E; U, Hoi Sang; Levy, Michael L; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2007-03-01

    Although the study of the human brain is a rapidly developing and expanding science, we must take pause to examine the historical and evolutionary events that helped shape the brain of Homo sapiens. From an examination of the human lineage to a discussion of evolutionary principles, we describe the basic principles and theories behind the evolution of the human brain. Specifically, we examine several theories concerning changes in overall brain size during hominid evolution and relate them to the fossil record. This overview is intended to provide a broad understanding of some of the controversial issues that are currently being debated in the multidisciplinary field of brain evolution research.

  12. Common surgical complications in degenerative spinal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadakis, Michael; Aggeliki, Lianou; Papadopoulos, Elias C; Girardi, Federico P

    2013-04-18

    The rapid growth of spine degenerative surgery has led to unrelenting efforts to define and prevent possible complications, the incidence of which is probably higher than that reported and varies according to the region of the spine involved (cervical and thoracolumbar) and the severity of the surgery. Several issues are becoming progressively clearer, such as complication rates in primary versus revision spinal surgery, complications in the elderly, the contribution of minimally invasive surgery to the reduction of complication rate. In this paper the most common surgical complications in degenerative spinal surgery are outlined and discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. Modern human brain growth and development. Contribution to brain evolution in hominids

    OpenAIRE

    Ventrice, F

    2011-01-01

    Human phylogenetic history is directly related to brain evolution. But many biologic processes related to the appearance of this complex organ are unknown, mainly due to the fact that it is an organ composed of soft tissue, which is not sensitive to the fossilization processes. Hence, to infer human brain evolution it is essential to study the indirect evidences it leaves in the cranial bones, such as the endocranial size (cranial capacity) and shape. In this sense, the hominid fossil record ...

  15. Degenerative intraspinal cyst of the cervical spine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetoshi Nojiri

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available We describe two cases of degenerative intraspinal cyst of the cervical spine that caused a gradually progressive myelopathy. One case had a cyst that arose from the facet joint and the other case had a cyst that formed in the ligamentum flavum. The symptoms improved immediately after posterior decompression by cystectomy with laminoplasty.

  16. 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.

  17. Rapid evolution of the cerebellum in humans and other great apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Robert A; Venditti, Chris

    2014-10-20

    Humans' unique cognitive abilities are usually attributed to a greatly expanded neocortex, which has been described as "the crowning achievement of evolution and the biological substrate of human mental prowess". The human cerebellum, however, contains four times more neurons than the neocortex and is attracting increasing attention for its wide range of cognitive functions. Using a method for detecting evolutionary rate changes along the branches of phylogenetic trees, we show that the cerebellum underwent rapid size increase throughout the evolution of apes, including humans, expanding significantly faster than predicted by the change in neocortex size. As a result, humans and other apes deviated significantly from the general evolutionary trend for neocortex and cerebellum to change in tandem, having significantly larger cerebella relative to neocortex size than other anthropoid primates. These results suggest that cerebellar specialization was a far more important component of human brain evolution than hitherto recognized and that technical intelligence was likely to have been at least as important as social intelligence in human cognitive evolution. Given the role of the cerebellum in sensory-motor control and in learning complex action sequences, cerebellar specialization is likely to have underpinned the evolution of humans' advanced technological capacities, which in turn may have been a preadaptation for language. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The evolution of music and human social capability

    OpenAIRE

    Jay eSchulkin; Greta Bielaczyc Raglan

    2014-01-01

    Music is a core human experience and generative processes reflect cognitive capabilities. Music is often functional because it is something that can promote human well-being by facilitating human contact, human meaning, and human imagination of possibilities, tying it to our social instincts. Cognitive systems also underlie musical performance and sensibilities. Music is one of those things that we do spontaneously, reflecting brain machinery linked to communicative functions, enlarged and di...

  19. Degenerative cervical radiculopathy: diagnosis and conservative treatment. A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijper, B.; Tans, J. Th J.; Schimsheimer, R. J.; van der Kallen, B. F. W.; Beelen, A.; Nollet, F.; de Visser, M.

    2009-01-01

    Degenerative cervical radiculopathy: clinical diagnosis and conservative treatment. A review. To provide a state-of-the-art assessment of diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of degenerative cervical radiculopathy a literature search for studies on epidemiology, diagnosis including

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Evidence for "Unertan Syndrome" and the evolution of the human mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Uner

    2006-07-01

    A new family exhibiting "Unertan Sydnrome" was discovered. The pedigree analysis showed marriages between relatives. This family was similar to the first one (see Tan, 2006a), providing a firm evidence for the new syndrome. The affected children showed habitual quadrupedal walking gait, that is, they walked on wrists and feet with straight legs and arms. Their heads and bodies were mildly flexed; they exhibited mild cerebellar signs, and severe mental retardation. The pedigree demonstrated a typical autosomal-recessive inheritance. The genetic nature of this syndrome suggests a backward stage in human evolution (devolution), which would be consistent with theories of punctuated evolution. The results reflected a new theory on the evolution of human beings. That is, the evolution of humans would in fact be the evolution of the extensor motor system, responsible for upright posture, against the gravitational forces. This would be coupled with the emergence of the human mind, which can be considered a reflexion of the human motor system, in accord with the psychomotor theory (see Tan, 2005a). The most important characteristic of the newly emerged human mind was the resistance against gravitational forces. This was the resistive mind, the origins of human creativity.

  5. The evolution of music and human social capability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulkin, Jay; Raglan, Greta B

    2014-01-01

    Music is a core human experience and generative processes reflect cognitive capabilities. Music is often functional because it is something that can promote human well-being by facilitating human contact, human meaning, and human imagination of possibilities, tying it to our social instincts. Cognitive systems also underlie musical performance and sensibilities. Music is one of those things that we do spontaneously, reflecting brain machinery linked to communicative functions, enlarged and diversified across a broad array of human activities. Music cuts across diverse cognitive capabilities and resources, including numeracy, language, and space perception. In the same way, music intersects with cultural boundaries, facilitating our "social self" by linking our shared experiences and intentions. This paper focuses on the intersection between the neuroscience of music, and human social functioning to illustrate the importance of music to human behaviors.

  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. The Evolution of Music and Human Social Capability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay eSchulkin

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Music is a core human experience and generative processes reflect cognitive capabilities. Music is often functional because it is something that can promote human well-being by facilitating human contact, human meaning, and human imagination of possibilities, tying it to our social instincts. Cognitive systems also underlie musical performance and sensibilities. Music is one of those things that we do spontaneously, reflecting brain machinery linked to communicative functions, enlarged and diversified across a broad array of human activities. Music cuts across diverse cognitive capabilities and resources, including numeracy, language and space perception. In the same way, music intersects with cultural boundaries, facilitating our social self by linking our shared experiences and intentions. This paper focuses on the intersection between the neuroscience of music, and human social functioning to illustrate the importance of music to human behaviors.

  8. An Evolution-Guided Analysis Reveals a Multi-Signaling Regulation of Fas by Tyrosine Phosphorylation and its Implication in Human Cancers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krittalak Chakrabandhu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Demonstrations of both pro-apoptotic and pro-survival abilities of Fas (TNFRSF6/CD95/APO-1 have led to a shift from the exclusive "Fas apoptosis" to "Fas multisignals" paradigm and the acceptance that Fas-related therapies face a major challenge, as it remains unclear what determines the mode of Fas signaling. Through protein evolution analysis, which reveals unconventional substitutions of Fas tyrosine during divergent evolution, evolution-guided tyrosine-phosphorylated Fas proxy, and site-specific phosphorylation detection, we show that the Fas signaling outcome is determined by the tyrosine phosphorylation status of its death domain. The phosphorylation dominantly turns off the Fas-mediated apoptotic signal, while turning on the pro-survival signal. We show that while phosphorylations at Y232 and Y291 share some common functions, their contributions to Fas signaling differ at several levels. The findings that Fas tyrosine phosphorylation is regulated by Src family kinases (SFKs and the phosphatase SHP-1 and that Y291 phosphorylation primes clathrin-dependent Fas endocytosis, which contributes to Fas pro-survival signaling, reveals for the first time the mechanistic link between SFK/SHP-1-dependent Fas tyrosine phosphorylation, internalization route, and signaling choice. We also demonstrate that levels of phosphorylated Y232 and Y291 differ among human cancer types and differentially respond to anticancer therapy, suggesting context-dependent involvement of Fas phosphorylation in cancer. This report provides a new insight into the control of TNF receptor multisignaling by receptor phosphorylation and its implication in cancer biology, which brings us a step closer to overcoming the challenge in handling Fas signaling in treatments of cancer as well as other pathologies such as autoimmune and degenerative diseases.

  9. 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.

  10. Genome-Wide Identification of Regulatory Sequences Undergoing Accelerated Evolution in the Human Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xinran; Wang, Xiao; Zhang, Feng; Tian, Weidong

    2016-10-01

    Accelerated evolution of regulatory sequence can alter the expression pattern of target genes, and cause phenotypic changes. In this study, we used DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) to annotate putative regulatory sequences in the human genome, and conducted a genome-wide analysis of the effects of accelerated evolution on regulatory sequences. Working under the assumption that local ancient repeat elements of DHSs are under neutral evolution, we discovered that ∼0.44% of DHSs are under accelerated evolution (ace-DHSs). We found that ace-DHSs tend to be more active than background DHSs, and are strongly associated with epigenetic marks of active transcription. The target genes of ace-DHSs are significantly enriched in neuron-related functions, and their expression levels are positively selected in the human brain. Thus, these lines of evidences strongly suggest that accelerated evolution on regulatory sequences plays important role in the evolution of human-specific phenotypes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærgaard, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    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...

  12. Recent advances in understanding the role of nutrition in human genome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Kaixiong; Gu, Zhenglong

    2011-11-01

    Dietary transitions in human history have been suggested to play important roles in the evolution of mankind. Genetic variations caused by adaptation to diet during human evolution could have important health consequences in current society. The advance of sequencing technologies and the rapid accumulation of genome information provide an unprecedented opportunity to comprehensively characterize genetic variations in human populations and unravel the genetic basis of human evolution. Series of selection detection methods, based on various theoretical models and exploiting different aspects of selection signatures, have been developed. Their applications at the species and population levels have respectively led to the identification of human specific selection events that distinguish human from nonhuman primates and local adaptation events that contribute to human diversity. Scrutiny of candidate genes has revealed paradigms of adaptations to specific nutritional components and genome-wide selection scans have verified the prevalence of diet-related selection events and provided many more candidates awaiting further investigation. Understanding the role of diet in human evolution is fundamental for the development of evidence-based, genome-informed nutritional practices in the era of personal genomics.

  13. Adaptive evolution of ASPM, a major determinant of cerebral cortical size in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Patrick D; Anderson, Jeffrey R; Vallender, Eric J; Gilbert, Sandra L; Malcom, Christine M; Dorus, Steve; Lahn, Bruce T

    2004-03-01

    A prominent trend in the evolution of humans is the progressive enlargement of the cerebral cortex. The ASPM (Abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) gene has the potential to play a role in this evolutionary process, because mutations in this gene cause severe reductions in the cerebral cortical size of affected humans. Here, we show that the evolution of ASPM is significantly accelerated in great apes, especially along the ape lineages leading to humans. Additionally, the lineage from the last human/chimpanzee ancestor to humans shows an excess of non-synonymous over synonymous substitutions, which is a signature of positive Darwinian selection. A comparison of polymorphism and divergence using the McDonald-Kreitman test confirms that ASPM has indeed experienced intense positive selection during recent human evolution. This test also reveals that, on average, ASPM fixed one advantageous amino acid change in every 300,000-400,000 years since the human lineage diverged from chimpanzees some 5-6 million years ago. We therefore conclude that ASPM underwent strong adaptive evolution in the descent of Homo sapiens, which is consistent with its putative role in the evolutionary enlargement of the human brain.

  14. From lifetime to evolution: timescales of human gut microbiota adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eQuercia

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Human beings harbor gut microbial communities that are essential to preserve human health. Molded by the human genome, the gut microbiota is an adaptive component of the human superorganisms that allows host adaptation at different timescales, optimizing host physiology from daily life to lifespan scales and human evolutionary history. The gut microbiota continuously changes from birth up to the most extreme limits of human life, reconfiguring its metagenomic layout in response to daily variations in diet or specific host physiological and immunological needs at different ages. On the other hand, the microbiota plasticity was strategic to face changes in lifestyle and dietary habits along the course of the recent evolutionary history, that has driven the passage from Paleolithic hunter-gathering societies to Neolithic agricultural farmers to modern Westernized societies.

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

    OpenAIRE

    PW Bateman; NC Bennett

    2006-01-01

    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...

  17. 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.

  18. Degenerative myelopathy in two Boxer dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, A D; Barber, R; Porter, B F; Peters, R M; Kent, M; Platt, S R; Schatzberg, S J

    2009-07-01

    Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a common, slowly progressive, debilitating disease reported in several dog breeds, including the German Shepherd Dog and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Boxer dogs present occasionally for a thoracolumbar myelopathy for which no cause is identified on MRI or cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Despite a lack of a histologic description of DM in the Boxer in the veterinary literature, such dogs are presumed to have DM. Here we report 2 histologically confirmed cases of DM in the Boxer breed in which histologic studies disclosed marked degenerative changes in the spinal cord that were most prominent in the thoracic and cranial lumbar segments. Lesions consisted of myelin vacuolation and degeneration, myelophagocytosis, reactive astrocytosis, and ellipsoid formation most prominent in the lateral and ventral funiculi. We present a detailed histologic description of DM in the Boxer dog and compare it to DM in other purebred dogs.

  19. Degenerative Pathways of Lumbar Motion Segments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to identify spinal pathoanatomy in people with persistent low back pain. However, the clinical relevance of spinal degenerative MRI findings remains uncertain. Although multiple MRI findings are almost always present at the same time, research...... into the association with clinical outcomes (such as pain) has predominantly focused on individual MRI findings. This study aimed to: (i) investigate how multiple MRI lumbar spine findings cluster together within two different samples of patients with low back pain, (ii) classify these clusters into hypothetical...... 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Shared ancestry: using embryology to discover human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Georgina

    2014-04-26

    This year's BSAVA lecture was given by Alice Roberts, a clinical anatomist and professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham. Her talk focused around human beings as 'just another animal', and how a shared ancestry between humans and other animals can be shown through embryological development. Georgina Mills reports.

  2. Consensus Paper: Management of Degenerative Cerebellar Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilg, W.; Bastian, A. J.; Boesch, S.; Burciu, R. G.; Celnik, P.; Claaßen, J.; Feil, K.; Kalla, R.; Miyai, I.; Nachbauer, W.; Schöls, L.; Strupp, M.; Synofzik, M.; Teufel, J.

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of motor symptoms of degenerative cerebellar ataxia remains difficult. Yet there are recent developments that are likely to lead to significant improvements in the future. Most desirable would be a causative treatment of the underlying cerebellar disease. This is currently available only for a very small subset of cerebellar ataxias with known metabolic dysfunction. However, increasing knowledge of the pathophysiology of hereditary ataxia should lead to an increasing number of medically sensible drug trials. In this paper, data from recent drug trials in patients with recessive and dominant cerebellar ataxias will be summarized. There is consensus that up to date, no medication has been proven effective. Aminopyridines and acetazolamide are the only exception, which are beneficial in patients with episodic ataxia type 2. Aminopyridines are also effective in a subset of patients presenting with downbeat nystagmus. As such, all authors agreed that the mainstays of treatment of degenerative cerebellar ataxia are currently physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. For many years, well-controlled rehabilitation studies in patients with cerebellar ataxia were lacking. Data of recently published studies show that coordinative training improves motor function in both adult and juvenile patients with cerebellar degeneration. Given the well-known contribution of the cerebellum to motor learning, possible mechanisms underlying improvement will be outlined. There is consensus that evidence-based guidelines for the physiotherapy of degenerative cerebellar ataxia need to be developed. Future developments in physiotherapeutical interventions will be discussed including application of non-invasive brain stimulation. PMID:24222635

  3. Operative treatment of degenerative lumbar spine spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaftandziev, I; Trpeski, S; Filipce, V; Arsovski, O; Hasani, I; Nikolov, L; Kaev, A

    2015-01-01

    Management of degenerative lumbosacral spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis is still controversial. Surgery is widely used, as well as non-surgical treatment. To evaluate the clinical results and functional outcome after operative treatment in Grade II and III lumbar spine spondylolisthesis. Twelve patients with symptoms and image-confirmed degenerative spondylolisthesis entered the study. Mean patient age was 57 years. Spondylolisthesis Grade II or III, segment L4-L5 or L5-S1 were evaluated. All patients underwent similar protocols. Operative treatment was decompressive laminectomy, posterior one segment fixation, and fusion with autologous bone grafting. Functional outcome measures were Visual Analog Scale (VAS, 10-point scale) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI, 100-percent scale) after 6 and 12 months. Patient follow-up was 12 months. Preoperatively, 7 patients had severe disability according to ODI, 4 had moderate disability. VAS measured 6 and 7 points in 6 patients, lowest score of 4 points and the highest score of 9. After 6 months, ODI showed 5 patients had minimal and 7 had moderate disability; 2 patients had 0 points on the VAS, 2 had a score of 1, 4 had a score of 2, highest score of 4 points. Treatment outcome effects after 1 year were 9 patients with minimal disability, 3 with moderate; VAS - 2 patients with O points, 3 with 1 point, 4 with 2 points. Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis treated surgically showed substantially greater improvement in pain and functional outcome during a period of 1 year.

  4. The place of Homo floresiensis in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baab, Karen

    2016-06-20

    Two main evolutionary scenarios have been proposed to explain the presence of the small-bodied and small-brained Homo floresiensis species on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in the Late Pleistocene. According to these two scenarios, H. floresiensis was a dwarfed descendent of H. erectus or a late-surviving remnant of a older lineage, perhaps descended from H. habilis. Each scenario has interesting and important implications for hominin biogeography, body size evolution, brain evolution and morphological convergences. Careful evaluation reveals that only a small number of characters support each of these scenarios uniquely. H. floresiensis exhibits a cranial shape and many cranial characters that appear to be shared derived traits with H. erectus, but postcranial traits are more primitive and resemble those of early Homo or even australopiths. Mandibular and dental traits show a mix of derived and primitive features. Unfortunately, many traits cannot be used to assess these two hypotheses because their distribution in H. erectus, early Homo (e.g., H. habilis), or both is unknown. H. erectus ancestry implies evolutionary convergence on a postcranial configuration similar to australopiths and early Homo, which could be explained by a return to more climbing behaviors. Body size reduction as well as brain size reduction on a scale only rarely documented in mammals would also accompany the origin of H. floresiensis from a H. erectus ancestor. H. habilis ancestry implies parallel evolution of numerous cranial characters, as well as a few dentognathic traits. A pre-H. erectus ancestry also suggests an early migration to Southeast Asia that is as yet undocumented in mainland Asia, but minimal body and brain size reduction.

  5. Comparative Methylome Analyses Identify Epigenetic Regulatory Loci of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendizabal, Isabel; Shi, Lei; Keller, Thomas E; Konopka, Genevieve; Preuss, Todd M; Hsieh, Tzung-Fu; Hu, Enzhi; Zhang, Zhe; Su, Bing; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-11-01

    How do epigenetic modifications change across species and how do these modifications affect evolution? These are fundamental questions at the forefront of our evolutionary epigenomic understanding. Our previous work investigated human and chimpanzee brain methylomes, but it was limited by the lack of outgroup data which is critical for comparative (epi)genomic studies. Here, we compared whole genome DNA methylation maps from brains of humans, chimpanzees and also rhesus macaques (outgroup) to elucidate DNA methylation changes during human brain evolution. Moreover, we validated that our approach is highly robust by further examining 38 human-specific DMRs using targeted deep genomic and bisulfite sequencing in an independent panel of 37 individuals from five primate species. Our unbiased genome-scan identified human brain differentially methylated regions (DMRs), irrespective of their associations with annotated genes. Remarkably, over half of the newly identified DMRs locate in intergenic regions or gene bodies. Nevertheless, their regulatory potential is on par with those of promoter DMRs. An intriguing observation is that DMRs are enriched in active chromatin loops, suggesting human-specific evolutionary remodeling at a higher-order chromatin structure. These findings indicate that there is substantial reprogramming of epigenomic landscapes during human brain evolution involving noncoding regions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis – A New Reality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslava Halper*, Ahrar Khan1 and P. O. Eric Mueller2

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD is a chronic, debilitating disease occurring primarily in Peruvian Pasos and Peruvian Paso crosses. However, many other breeds are afflicted as well. DSLD is characterized by a slowly progressing bilateral or quadrilateral lameness. Typically, the owner does not recall any trauma or performance related injury. Fetlock effusion, static and dynamic hyperextension and degenerative joint disease are hallmarks on physical examination. Ultrasonography of affected ligaments reveals diffuse loss of echogenicity, and an irregular fiber pattern. Though until recently DSLD was considered a collagen disorder strictly limited to suspensory ligaments (SLs, our data show that it is a systemic disease involving tissues with high content of collagen. We have identified abnormal accumulations of proteoglycans not only in the SLs, but also in the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, patellar and nuchal ligaments, aorta, coronary arteries and sclerae of DSLD-affected horses. Our most recent data point to the presence of an abnormal form of decorin in these proteoglycan deposits. This decorin also exhibited altered biological activity. Treatment for DSLD-affected horses is empirical and directed at minimizing musculoskeletal pain and providing support for the suspensory apparatus. Restricted exercise, supportive bandages and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs provide some, but usually only temporary relief. Unfortunately, unrelenting pain, severe lameness and suffering require all too often humane euthanasia.

  9. High-expanding cortical regions in human development and evolution are related to higher intellectual abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fjell, Anders M; Westlye, Lars T; Amlien, Inge; Tamnes, Christian K; Grydeland, Håkon; Engvig, Andreas; Espeseth, Thomas; Reinvang, Ivar; Lundervold, Astri J; Lundervold, Arvid; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2015-01-01

    Cortical surface area has tremendously expanded during human evolution, and similar patterns of cortical expansion have been observed during childhood development. An intriguing hypothesis is that the high-expanding cortical regions also show the strongest correlations with intellectual function in humans. However, we do not know how the regional distribution of correlations between intellectual function and cortical area maps onto expansion in development and evolution. Here, in a sample of 1048 participants, we show that regions in which cortical area correlates with visuospatial reasoning abilities are generally high expanding in both development and evolution. Several regions in the frontal cortex, especially the anterior cingulate, showed high expansion in both development and evolution. The area of these regions was related to intellectual functions in humans. Low-expanding areas were not related to cognitive scores. These findings suggest that cortical regions involved in higher intellectual functions have expanded the most during development and evolution. The radial unit hypothesis provides a common framework for interpretation of the findings in the context of evolution and prenatal development, while additional cellular mechanisms, such as synaptogenesis, gliogenesis, dendritic arborization, and intracortical myelination, likely impact area expansion in later childhood. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Twitter evolution: converging mechanisms in birdsong and human speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolhuis, Johan J; Okanoya, Kazuo; Scharff, Constance

    2010-11-01

    Vocal imitation in human infants and in some orders of birds relies on auditory-guided motor learning during a sensitive period of development. It proceeds from 'babbling' (in humans) and 'subsong' (in birds) through distinct phases towards the full-fledged communication system. Language development and birdsong learning have parallels at the behavioural, neural and genetic levels. Different orders of birds have evolved networks of brain regions for song learning and production that have a surprisingly similar gross anatomy, with analogies to human cortical regions and basal ganglia. Comparisons between different songbird species and humans point towards both general and species-specific principles of vocal learning and have identified common neural and molecular substrates, including the forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) gene.

  11. Study of Modern Human Evolution via Comparative Analysis with the Neanderthal Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Musaddeque; Liang, Ping

    2013-12-01

    Many other human species appeared in evolution in the last 6 million years that have not been able to survive to modern times and are broadly known as archaic humans, as opposed to the extant modern humans. It has always been considered fascinating to compare the modern human genome with that of archaic humans to identify modern human-specific sequence variants and figure out those that made modern humans different from their predecessors or cousin species. Neanderthals are the latest humans to become extinct, and many factors made them the best representatives of archaic humans. Even though a number of comparisons have been made sporadically between Neanderthals and modern humans, mostly following a candidate gene approach, the major breakthrough took place with the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. The initial genome-wide comparison, based on the first draft of the Neanderthal genome, has generated some interesting inferences regarding variations in functional elements that are not shared by the two species and the debated admixture question. However, there are certain other genetic elements that were not included or included at a smaller scale in those studies, and they should be compared comprehensively to better understand the molecular make-up of modern humans and their phenotypic characteristics. Besides briefly discussing the important outcomes of the comparative analyses made so far between modern humans and Neanderthals, we propose that future comparative studies may include retrotransposons, pseudogenes, and conserved non-coding regions, all of which might have played significant roles during the evolution of modern humans.

  12. Understanding the egalitarian revolution in human social evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik I

    2009-05-01

    Humans are unique among animals in cooperating in large groups of unrelated individuals, with a high degree of resource sharing. These features challenge traditional evolutionary theories built on kin selection or reciprocity. A recent theoretical model by Gavrilets and colleagues takes a fresh look at the 'egalitarian revolution' that separates humans from our closest relatives, the great apes. The model suggests that information from within-group conflicts leads to the emergence of cooperative alliances and social networks.

  13. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 diversificatio...

  14. Human and tuberculosis co-evolution: An integrative view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Pascale

    2015-06-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) ranks as the second cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide after HIV. Archaeogenetics and evolutionary scenario for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) are in favor of a long-term interaction between tuberculosis and humans, predating the Neolithic period, contrary to the traditional belief. If tuberculosis evolved as a human pathogen in Africa and has spread outside Africa about more than ten-thousand years ago, its life history traits have been shaped by the immune system. Numerous studies described a variety of human susceptibility factors to TB, suggesting that MTBC strains have evolved different ways to overcome this system. However, the results of these studies reveal some inconsistencies even within populations. The temporally varying history of epidemics and ever-varying genetic diversity of pathogens and strains could easily contribute to blur out signal of selection in our human genome. Palaeomicrobiology gives the opportunity to genotype ancient TB strains circulating in past populations. Accessing ancient human pathogens allows us to a better understanding of infectious agents over a longer time scale and confrontation with the dynamic of modern TB strains. Nevertheless, we have to consider tuberculosis as a multifactorial disorder in which environmental factors interact tightly with human and pathogen genetic. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravignani, Andrea; Madison, Guy

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    When we are looking for intelligent life outside the Earth, there is a fundamental question: Assuming that life has formed on an extraterrestrial planet, will it also develop toward intelligence? As this is hotly debated, we will now describe the development of life on Earth in more detail in order to show that there are good reasons why evolution should culminate in intelligent beings.

  18. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26034269

  19. 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.

  20. Human evolution in the age of the intelligent machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, W. I.

    A systems analysis of the future evolution of man can be conducted by analyzing the biological material of the galaxy into three subsystems: man, intelligent machines, and intelligent extraterrestrial organisms. A binomial interpretation is applied to this system wherein each of the subsystems is assigned a designation of success or failure. For man the two alternatives are, respectively, 'decline' or 'flourish', for machine they are 'become intelligent' or 'stay dumb', while for extraterrestrial intelligence the dichotomy is that of 'existence' or 'nonexistence'. The choices for each of three subsystems yield a total of eight possible states for the system. The relative lack of integration between brain components makes man a weak evolutionary contestant compared to machines. It is judged that machines should become dominant on earth within 100 years, probably by means of continuing development of existing man-machine systems. Advanced forms of extraterrestrial intelligence may exist but are too difficult to observe. The prospects for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence are reviewed.

  1. Human evolution in the age of the intelligent machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mclaughlin, W. I.

    1983-01-01

    A systems analysis of the future evolution of man can be conducted by analyzing the biological material of the galaxy into three subsystems: man, intelligent machines, and intelligent extraterrestrial organisms. A binomial interpretation is applied to this system wherein each of the subsystems is assigned a designation of success or failure. For man the two alternatives are, respectively, 'decline' or 'flourish', for machine they are 'become intelligent' or 'stay dumb', while for extraterrestrial intelligence the dichotomy is that of 'existence' or 'nonexistence'. The choices for each of three subsystems yield a total of eight possible states for the system. The relative lack of integration between brain components makes man a weak evolutionary contestant compared to machines. It is judged that machines should become dominant on earth within 100 years, probably by means of continuing development of existing man-machine systems. Advanced forms of extraterrestrial intelligence may exist but are too difficult to observe. The prospects for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence are reviewed.

  2. 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.

  3. The evolution of the human mind and logic--mathematics structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunes, Rosendo A

    2005-09-07

    The evolution of the human mind is discussed based on: (i) the fact that living beings interchange matter, energy and information with their environment, (ii) an ontological interpretation of the "reality" of the quantum world, of which logic-mathematics structures are considered constitutive parts, (iii) recent theories according to which living beings are considered as dynamic complex systems organized by information, and (iv) the fact that the evolution of living beings is guided by information about the environment and by intrinsic information on living systems (auto-organization). Assuming the evolution of vision as a model we observe that the driving forces that directed the evolution of the eyes, as dynamic complex systems, are the information about the environment supplied by sunlight and the intrinsic information-gaining mechanism of living organisms. Thus, there exists a convergence toward a visual system with the greatest ability to obtain light information, like the human eye, and also a divergence that leads to the development of specific qualities in some species. As in the case of vision the evolution of the human mind-brain cannot be a consequence of factors unrelated to the object of its own functioning. The human mind was structured for the acquisition from reality of the logic-mathematics structures that underlie the whole universe and consequently of an internal representation of the external world and of its own self. Thus, these structures are, together with the intrinsic capacity for auto-organization of the human brain, the predominant driving force of the human mind evolution. Both factors are complementary.

  4. The evolution of distributed association networks in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Randy L; Krienen, Fenna M

    2013-12-01

    The human cerebral cortex is vastly expanded relative to other primates and disproportionately occupied by distributed association regions. Here we offer a hypothesis about how association networks evolved their prominence and came to possess circuit properties vital to human cognition. The rapid expansion of the cortical mantle may have untethered large portions of the cortex from strong constraints of molecular gradients and early activity cascades that lead to sensory hierarchies. What fill the gaps between these hierarchies are densely interconnected networks that widely span the cortex and mature late into development. Limitations of the tethering hypothesis are discussed as well as its broad implications for understanding critical features of the human brain as a byproduct of size scaling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Evolutionary breakpoint analysis on Y chromosomes of higher primates provides insight into human Y evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, R; Kirsch, S; Rappold, G A; Schempp, W

    2005-01-01

    Comparative FISH mapping of PAC clones covering almost 3 Mb of the human AZFa region in Yq11.21 to metaphases of human and great apes unravels breakpoints that were involved in species-specific Y chromosome evolution. An astonishing clustering of evolutionary breakpoints was detected in the very proximal region on the long arm of the human Y chromosome in Yq11.21. These breakpoints were involved in deletions, one specific for the human and another for the orang-utan Y chromosome, in a duplicative translocation/transposition specific for bonobo and chimpanzee Y chromosomes and in a pericentric inversion specific for the gorilla Y chromosome. In addition, our comparative results allow the deduction of a model for the human Y chromosome evolution. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. 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.

  7. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C.; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that 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 in fact 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. PMID:24936195

  8. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that 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 in fact 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Gene promoter evolution targets the center of the human protein interaction network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Planas

    Full Text Available Assessing the contribution of promoters and coding sequences to gene evolution is an important step toward discovering the major genetic determinants of human evolution. Many specific examples have revealed the evolutionary importance of cis-regulatory regions. However, the relative contribution of regulatory and coding regions to the evolutionary process and whether systemic factors differentially influence their evolution remains unclear. To address these questions, we carried out an analysis at the genome scale to identify signatures of positive selection in human proximal promoters. Next, we examined whether genes with positively selected promoters (Prom+ genes show systemic differences with respect to a set of genes with positively selected protein-coding regions (Cod+ genes. We found that the number of genes in each set was not significantly different (8.1% and 8.5%, respectively. Furthermore, a functional analysis showed that, in both cases, positive selection affects almost all biological processes and only a few genes of each group are located in enriched categories, indicating that promoters and coding regions are not evolutionarily specialized with respect to gene function. On the other hand, we show that the topology of the human protein network has a different influence on the molecular evolution of proximal promoters and coding regions. Notably, Prom+ genes have an unexpectedly high centrality when compared with a reference distribution (P=0.008, for Eigenvalue centrality. Moreover, the frequency of Prom+ genes increases from the periphery to the center of the protein network (P=0.02, for the logistic regression coefficient. This means that gene centrality does not constrain the evolution of proximal promoters, unlike the case with coding regions, and further indicates that the evolution of proximal promoters is more efficient in the center of the protein network than in the periphery. These results show that proximal promoters

  11. Gene Promoter Evolution Targets the Center of the Human Protein Interaction Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planas, Jordi; Serrat, Josep M.

    2010-01-01

    Assessing the contribution of promoters and coding sequences to gene evolution is an important step toward discovering the major genetic determinants of human evolution. Many specific examples have revealed the evolutionary importance of cis-regulatory regions. However, the relative contribution of regulatory and coding regions to the evolutionary process and whether systemic factors differentially influence their evolution remains unclear. To address these questions, we carried out an analysis at the genome scale to identify signatures of positive selection in human proximal promoters. Next, we examined whether genes with positively selected promoters (Prom+ genes) show systemic differences with respect to a set of genes with positively selected protein-coding regions (Cod+ genes). We found that the number of genes in each set was not significantly different (8.1% and 8.5%, respectively). Furthermore, a functional analysis showed that, in both cases, positive selection affects almost all biological processes and only a few genes of each group are located in enriched categories, indicating that promoters and coding regions are not evolutionarily specialized with respect to gene function. On the other hand, we show that the topology of the human protein network has a different influence on the molecular evolution of proximal promoters and coding regions. Notably, Prom+ genes have an unexpectedly high centrality when compared with a reference distribution (P = 0.008, for Eigenvalue centrality). Moreover, the frequency of Prom+ genes increases from the periphery to the center of the protein network (P = 0.02, for the logistic regression coefficient). This means that gene centrality does not constrain the evolution of proximal promoters, unlike the case with coding regions, and further indicates that the evolution of proximal promoters is more efficient in the center of the protein network than in the periphery. These results show that proximal promoters have

  12. The evolution of predictive adaptive responses in human life history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nettle, D.; Frankenhuis, W.E.; Rickard, I.J.

    2012-01-01

    Many studies in humans have shown that adverse experience in early life is associated with accelerated reproductive timing, and there is comparative evidence for similar effects in other animals. There are two different classes of adaptive explanation for associations between early-life adversity

  13. Evolution of human-driven fire regimes in Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available author), and yEcology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA Submitted to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Human ability to manipulate re and the landscape has...

  14. The Evolution of Personality Variation in Humans and Other Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettle, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    A comprehensive evolutionary framework for understanding the maintenance of heritable behavioral variation in humans is yet to be developed. Some evolutionary psychologists have argued that heritable variation will not be found in important, fitness-relevant characteristics because of the winnowing effect of natural selection. This article…

  15. The evolution of laughter in great apes and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owren, Michael J; Zimmermann, Elke

    2010-01-01

    It has long been claimed that human emotional expressions, such as laughter, have evolved from nonhuman displays. The aim of the current study was to test this prediction by conducting acoustic and phylogenetic analyses based on the acoustics of tickle-induced vocalizations of orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans. Results revealed both important similarities and differences among the various species’ vocalizations, with the phylogenetic tree reconstructed based on these acoustic data matching the well-established genetic relationships of great apes and humans. These outcomes provide evidence of a common phylogenetic origin of tickle-induced vocalizations in these taxa, which can therefore be termed “laughter” across all five species. Results are consistent with the claims of phylogenetic continuity of emotional expressions. Together with observations made on the use of laughter in great apes and humans, findings of this study further indicate that there were two main periods of selection-driven evolutionary change in laughter within the Hominidae, to a smaller degree, among the great apes and, most distinctively, after the separation of hominins from the last common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos. PMID:20585520

  16. Traditional Chinese medicine and the positive correlation with homeostatic evolution of human being: based on medical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie-Hua

    2012-08-01

    Adaptation is an eternal theme of biological evolution. The paper aims at exploring the conception of positive correlation between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and human homeostatic evolution based on medical perspective. Discussions mainly involve TCM conforming to natural laws and natural evolution of life, spontaneous harmonization of yin and yang and operating system of human self-healing, modern human immunology and human endogenous immune function in TCM, self-homeostasis of human micro-ecological state and balance mechanism on regulating base in TCM, as well as adaptation-eternal theme of biological evolution and safeguarding adaptability-value of TCM. In perspective of medicine, theory and practice of TCM are in positive correlation with human homeostatic evolution, and what TCM tries to maintain is human intrinsic adaptive capability to disease and nature. Therefore, it is the core value of TCM, which is to be further studied, explored, realized and known to the world.

  17. Next Steps in the Evolution of Human Spaceflight Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmain, Clint; Niemann, Chris; McGregor, Darrell

    2011-01-01

    Train before you fly has always been a watchword at NASA, and consequently, NASA has been conducting training for human spaceflight missions for longer than it has been involved in the actual conduct of human spaceflight missions. Throughout that time, NASA s approach to human spaceflight training has continuously evolved to keep pace with the technology of the modern world, but the approach to training itself has not changed significantly. Today, there are more tools and technologies that enable learning than ever before. This paper intends to review the challenges of human spaceflight training and how modern technology and an updated approach could improve that training. The Spaceflight Training Management Office (DA7) within the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) has been investigating the current training of instructors, flight controllers and astronauts in order to identify where a new approach to training and training management may be necessary to improve the efficacy of the training provided. Through this investigation, the DA7 team has identified potential areas of improvement within International Space Station (ISS) training in a wide range of areas, including the delivery of training, the structure of the training program, the concept of what is considered training, and the management of that training. The ISS is an operational program with an established training paradigm. As such, the implementation of these concepts will be met with several challenges that may prevent or preclude them from being adopted. These challenges include demonstrating return-on-investment (ROI) and overcoming cultural or technological obstacles. This report will delve into the possible improvement areas for training, the future training concepts that are being considered, and the challenges associated with implementation. The paper will include concepts for utilization of Web 2.0 technologies, electronic learning, digital media, and other technologies in the development

  18. 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.

  19. Dose Calculation Evolution for Internal Organ Irradiation in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez V., Reina A.

    2007-10-01

    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.

  20. Degenerative spinal disease in large felids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolmstetter, C; Munson, L; Ramsay, E C

    2000-03-01

    Degenerative spinal disorders, including intervertebral disc disease and spondylosis, seldom occur in domestic cats. In contrast, a retrospective study of 13 lions (Panthera leo), 16 tigers (Panthera tigris), 4 leopards (Panthera pardis), 1 snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and 3 jaguars (Panthera onca) from the Knoxville Zoo that died or were euthanatized from 1976 to 1996 indicated that degenerative spinal disease is an important problem in large nondomestic felids. The medical record, radiographic data, and the necropsy report of each animal were examined for evidence of intervertebral disc disease or spondylosis. Eight (three lions, four tigers, and one leopard) animals were diagnosed with degenerative spinal disease. Clinical signs included progressively decreased activity, moderate to severe rear limb muscle atrophy, chronic intermittent rear limb paresis, and ataxia. The age at onset of clinical signs was 10-19 yr (median = 18 yr). Radiographic evaluation of the spinal column was useful in assessing the severity of spinal lesions, and results were correlated with necropsy findings. Lesions were frequently multifocal, included intervertebral disc mineralization or herniation with collapsed intervertebral disc spaces, and were most common in the lumbar area but also involved cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Marked spondylosis was present in the cats with intervertebral disc disease, presumably subsequent to vertebral instability. Six of the animals' spinal cords were examined histologically, and five had acute or chronic damage to the spinal cord secondary to disc protrusion. Spinal disease should be suspected in geriatric large felids with decreased appetite or activity. Radiographic evaluation of the spinal column is the most useful method to assess the type and severity of spinal lesions.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The genomics of selection in dogs and the parallel evolution between dogs and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guo-dong; Zhai, Weiwei; Yang, He-chuan; Fan, Ruo-xi; Cao, Xue; Zhong, Li; Wang, Lu; Liu, Fei; Wu, Hong; Cheng, Lu-guang; Poyarkov, Andrei D; Poyarkov, Nikolai A; Tang, Shu-sheng; Zhao, Wen-ming; Gao, Yun; Lv, Xue-mei; Irwin, David M; Savolainen, Peter; Wu, Chung-I; Zhang, Ya-ping

    2013-01-01

    The genetic bases of demographic changes and artificial selection underlying domestication are of great interest in evolutionary biology. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of multiple grey wolves, Chinese indigenous dogs and dogs of diverse breeds. Demographic analysis show that the split between wolves and Chinese indigenous dogs occurred 32,000 years ago and that the subsequent bottlenecks were mild. Therefore, dogs may have been under human selection over a much longer time than previously concluded, based on molecular data, perhaps by initially scavenging with humans. Population genetic analysis identifies a list of genes under positive selection during domestication, which overlaps extensively with the corresponding list of positively selected genes in humans. Parallel evolution is most apparent in genes for digestion and metabolism, neurological process and cancer. Our study, for the first time, draws together humans and dogs in their recent genomic evolution.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Radiological Analysis of Thoracolumbar Junctional Degenerative Kyphosis in Patients with Lumbar Degenerative Kyphosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-Jun Liu

    2017-01-01

    Conclusions: Although TLJDK is common in patients with lumbar degenerative kyphosis, it might be generated by special characteristics of morphology and biomechanics of the TLJ. To maintain sagittal balance, pelvis back tilt might be more important in patients with TLJDK, whereas thoracic curve changes might be more important in patients without TLJDK.

  9. Comparison of Sagittal Spinopelvic Alignment between Lumbar Degenerative Spondylolisthesis and Degenerative Spinal Stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Jae Kwan; Kim, Sung Min

    2014-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in sagittal spinopelvic alignment between lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis (DSPL) and degenerative spinal stenosis (DSS). Seventy patients with DSPL and 72 patients with DSS who were treated with lumbar interbody fusion surgery were included in this study. The following spinopelvic parameters were measured on whole spine lateral radiographs in a standing position : pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), lumbar lordosis angle (LL), L4-S1 segmental lumbar angle (SLL), thoracic kyphosis (TK), and sagittal vertical axis from the C7 plumb line (SVA). Two groups were subdivided by SVA value, respectively. Normal SVA subgroup and positive SVA subgroup were divided as SVA value (SVA of DSPL was significantly greater than that of DSS (p=0.001). In sub-group analysis between the positive (34.3%) and normal SVA (65.7%), there were significant differences in LL/PI and SLL/PI (pSVA (87.5%), there were significant differences in PT/PI, SS/PI, LL/PI and SLL/PI ratios (p<0.05) in the DSS group. Patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis have the propensity for sagittal imbalance and higher pelvic incidence compared with those with degenerative spinal stenosis. Sagittal imbalance in patients with DSPL is significantly correlated with the loss of lumbar lordosis, especially loss of segmental lumbar lordosis.

  10. Culture rather than genes provides greater scope for the evolution of large-scale human prosociality

    OpenAIRE

    Bell, Adrian V; Peter J Richerson; McElreath, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Whether competition among large groups played an important role in human social evolution is dependent on how variation, whether cultural or genetic, is maintained between groups. Comparisons between genetic and cultural differentiation between neighboring groups show how natural selection on large groups is more plausible on cultural rather than genetic variation.

  11. 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...

  12. 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…

  13. From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2004-12-15

    Dec 15, 2004 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 30; Issue 2. Perspectives: From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain. Jon H Kaas. Volume 30 Issue 2 March 2005 pp 155-165. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  14. Current views on hunter-gatherer nutrition and the evolution of the human diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crittenden, Alyssa N; Schnorr, Stephanie L

    2017-01-01

    Diet composition and food choice are not only central to the daily lives of all living people, but are consistently linked with turning points in human evolutionary history. As such, scholars from a wide range of fields have taken great interest in the role that subsistence has played in both human cultural and biological evolution. Central to this discussion is the diet composition and nutrition of contemporary hunters and gatherers, who are frequently conscripted as model populations for ancestral human nutrition. Research among the world's few remaining foraging populations is experiencing a resurgence, as they are making the final transition away from diets composed of wild foods, to those dominated by domesticated cultigens and/or processed foods. In an effort to glean as much information as possible, before such populations are no longer hunting and gathering, researchers interested in the evolution of human nutrition are rapidly collecting and accessing new and more data. Methods of scientific inquiry are in the midst of rapid change and scholars are able to revisit long-standing questions using state of the art analyses. Here, using the most relevant findings from studies in ethnography, nutrition, human physiology, and microbiomes, we provide a brief summary of the study of the evolution of human nutrition as it has specifically pertained to data coming from living hunter-gatherers. In doing so, we hope to bridge the disciplines that are currently invested in research on nutrition and health among foraging populations. © 2017 American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

  15. 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.

  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. Degenerative joint disease in female ballet dancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, C N; Lim, L S; Poortman, A; Strübbe, E H; Marti, R K

    1995-01-01

    The relationship between long-term ballet dancing and eventual arthrosis of the hip, ankle, subtalar, and first metatarsophalangeal joint was examined in 19 former professional female dancers, aged 50 to 70 years. The dancers were compared with pair-matched controls. All 38 women underwent medical history taking, clinical examination, and roentgenography of the joints studied. The roentgenographs were independently judged by two investigators and grouped according to a modified classification of Hermodsson. We found a statistically significant increase in roentgenologic arthrosis of the ankle, subtalar, and first metatarsophalangeal joints in the ballet group compared with the control group. There was no significant difference regarding degenerative changes of the hip joint. However, subjects in the dance group who had evidence of degenerative changes on roentgenographs had no clinical complaints. There was a statistically significant increase in hallux valgus deformity in the ballet group (P < 0.05). The dancers also showed a statistically significant increase in flexion, external rotation, and abduction of the hip joint, dorsal flexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and inversion and eversion of subtalar joint. But the control group had statistically significant increased plantar flexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. The most important cause of the statistically significant increase of arthrosis of the ankle and first metatarsophalangeal joints must be explained by repetitive microtrauma.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Evolution of Mission Architectures for Human Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everett, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    Defining transportation architectures for the human exploration of the Moon is a complex task due to the multitude of mission scenarios available. The mission transportation architecture recently proposed for the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) was not designed from carefully predetermined mission requirements and goals, but evolved from an initial set of requirements, which were continually modified as studies revealed that some early assumptions were not optimal. This paper focuses on the mission architectures proposed for FLO and investigates how these transportation architectures evolved. A comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the three distinct mission architectures are discussed, namely (1) Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, (2) staging from the Cislunar Libration Point, and (3) direct to the lunar surface. In addition, several new and revolutionary architectures are discussed.

  1. Tuskegee redux: evolution of legal mandates for human experimentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Robert S; Williams, Jamila C; Kilbourne, Barbara A; Juarez, Paul D

    2012-11-01

    Human health experiments systematically expose people to conditions beyond the boundaries of medical evidence. Such experiments have included legal-medical collaboration, exemplified in the U.S. by the Public Health Service (PHS) Syphilis Study (Tuskegee). That medical experiment was legal, conforming to segregationist protocols and specific legislative authorization which excluded a selected group of African Americans from any medical protection from syphilis. Subsequent corrective action outlawed unethical medical experiments but did not address other forms of collaboration, including PHS submission to laws which may have placed African American women at increased risk from AIDS and breast cancer. Today, anti-lobbying law makes it a felony for PHS workers to openly challenge legally anointed suspension of medical evidence. African Americans and other vulnerable populations may thereby face excess risks-not only from cancer, but also from motor vehicle crashes, firearm assault, end stage renal disease, and other problems-with PHS workers as silent partners.

  2. Trees and ladders: A critique of the theory of human cognitive and behavioural evolution in Palaeolithic archaeology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langbroek, M.

    2012-01-01

    The modern biological model of (human) evolution is that of a branching tree. By contrast, prevailing models for human cognitive evolution remain unilinear in character, representing a ladder. The linear ladder model is the result of the opposition of an ethnographic and a primate reference frame

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Gestation and the evolution of vertical stance bipedal humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.S. Robertson

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available During mammalian gestation a change in maternal stance alters the velocities of maternal blood flows and results in a changed rate of delivery and distribution of nutrients required to form the bone and tissue in various parts of a developing foetus. The latter in turn results in change in the extent and position of tissue and bone formation in the foetus. It is shown that such changes would, over many generations, alter the physical characteristics of the ancestor offspring under conditions where the pregnant maternal ancestor normally exhibiting horizontal stance was constrained to adopt a vertical stance for all or most of the gestation period. This behaviour produced the physical characteristics seen in humans and other Hominidae primates, including the vertical stance and bipedalism of the former accompanied by increase in skull and brain size. The manner in which difficulties of giving birth as the change from horizontal stance to vertical stance proceeded from generation to generation, limited survival is discussed andreasons for the adoption of this behaviour are proposed. The induction of evolutionary change and the operation of natural selection through alterations in the characteristics of embryo/foetus of an animal, induced by physical, chemical, mechanical or behavioural means, is shown to be feasible. The changes are not related to the Lamarckian principle of inheritance of acquired characteristics as the changes described occurred before birth and are not related to any physical or mental characteristics already present in or acquired during the lifetime of the breeding pair.

  6. Study of Modern Human Evolution via Comparative Analysis with the Neanderthal Genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Musaddeque

    2013-01-01

    Many other human species appeared in evolution in the last 6 million years that have not been able to survive to modern times and are broadly known as archaic humans, as opposed to the extant modern humans. It has always been considered fascinating to compare the modern human genome with that of archaic humans to identify modern human-specific sequence variants and figure out those that made modern humans different from their predecessors or cousin species. Neanderthals are the latest humans to become extinct, and many factors made them the best representatives of archaic humans. Even though a number of comparisons have been made sporadically between Neanderthals and modern humans, mostly following a candidate gene approach, the major breakthrough took place with the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. The initial genome-wide comparison, based on the first draft of the Neanderthal genome, has generated some interesting inferences regarding variations in functional elements that are not shared by the two species and the debated admixture question. However, there are certain other genetic elements that were not included or included at a smaller scale in those studies, and they should be compared comprehensively to better understand the molecular make-up of modern humans and their phenotypic characteristics. Besides briefly discussing the important outcomes of the comparative analyses made so far between modern humans and Neanderthals, we propose that future comparative studies may include retrotransposons, pseudogenes, and conserved non-coding regions, all of which might have played significant roles during the evolution of modern humans. PMID:24465235

  7. Study of Modern Human Evolution via Comparative Analysis with the Neanderthal Genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musaddeque Ahmed

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Many other human species appeared in evolution in the last 6 million years that have not been able to survive to modern times and are broadly known as archaic humans, as opposed to the extant modern humans. It has always been considered fascinating to compare the modern human genome with that of archaic humans to identify modern human-specific sequence variants and figure out those that made modern humans different from their predecessors or cousin species. Neanderthals are the latest humans to become extinct, and many factors made them the best representatives of archaic humans. Even though a number of comparisons have been made sporadically between Neanderthals and modern humans, mostly following a candidate gene approach, the major breakthrough took place with the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. The initial genome-wide comparison, based on the first draft of the Neanderthal genome, has generated some interesting inferences regarding variations in functional elements that are not shared by the two species and the debated admixture question. However, there are certain other genetic elements that were not included or included at a smaller scale in those studies, and they should be compared comprehensively to better understand the molecular make-up of modern humans and their phenotypic characteristics. Besides briefly discussing the important outcomes of the comparative analyses made so far between modern humans and Neanderthals, we propose that future comparative studies may include retrotransposons, pseudogenes, and conserved non-coding regions, all of which might have played significant roles during the evolution of modern humans.

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  10. The evolution of predictive adaptive responses in human life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettle, Daniel; Frankenhuis, Willem E; Rickard, Ian J

    2013-09-07

    Many studies in humans have shown that adverse experience in early life is associated with accelerated reproductive timing, and there is comparative evidence for similar effects in other animals. There are two different classes of adaptive explanation for associations between early-life adversity and accelerated reproduction, both based on the idea of predictive adaptive responses (PARs). According to external PAR hypotheses, early-life adversity provides a 'weather forecast' of the environmental conditions into which the individual will mature, and it is adaptive for the individual to develop an appropriate phenotype for this anticipated environment. In internal PAR hypotheses, early-life adversity has a lasting negative impact on the individual's somatic state, such that her health is likely to fail more rapidly as she gets older, and there is an advantage to adjusting her reproductive schedule accordingly. We use a model of fluctuating environments to derive evolveability conditions for acceleration of reproductive timing in response to early-life adversity in a long-lived organism. For acceleration to evolve via the external PAR process, early-life cues must have a high degree of validity and the level of annual autocorrelation in the individual's environment must be almost perfect. For acceleration to evolve via the internal PAR process requires that early-life experience must determine a significant fraction of the variance in survival prospects in adulthood. The two processes are not mutually exclusive, and mechanisms for calibrating reproductive timing on the basis of early experience could evolve through a combination of the predictive value of early-life adversity for the later environment and its negative impact on somatic state.

  11. 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.

  12. Human development x: Explanation of macroevolution--top-down evolution materializes consciousness. The origin of metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermansen, Tyge Dahl; Ventegodt, Søren; Merrick, Joav

    2006-12-15

    In this paper, we first give a short discussion of the macroevolution viewing life as information-directed, complex, dynamic systems. On this basis, we give our explanation of the origin of life and discuss the top-down evolution of molecules, proteins, and macroevolution. We discuss these subjects according to our new holistic biological paradigm. In view of this, we discuss the macroevolution of the organism, the species, the biosphere, and human society. After this, we discuss the shift in evolution from natural selection to a new proposed process of nature called the "metamorphous top-down" evolution. We discuss the capability of the evolutionary shift to govern some of the processes that lead to the formation of new species. We discuss the mechanisms we think are behind this proposed shift in evolution and conclude that this event is able to explain the huge biological diversity of nature in combination with evolutionary natural selection. We also discuss this event of nature as an isolated, but integrated, part of the universe. We propose the most important genetic and biochemical process that we think is behind the evolutionary shift as a complicated symbiosis of mechanisms leading to metamorphosis in all biological individuals, from bacteria to humans. The energetic superorbital that manifests the consciousness governs all these processes through quantum chemical activity. This is the key to evolutionary shift through the consciousness, and we propose to call this process "adult human metamorphosis".

  13. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A; Polk, John D

    2013-01-07

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance.

  14. Evolution of the human ASPM gene, a major determinant of brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianzhi

    2003-12-01

    The size of human brain tripled over a period of approximately 2 million years (MY) that ended 0.2-0.4 MY ago. This evolutionary expansion is believed to be important to the emergence of human language and other high-order cognitive functions, yet its genetic basis remains unknown. An evolutionary analysis of genes controlling brain development may shed light on it. ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) is one of such genes, as nonsense mutations lead to primary microcephaly, a human disease characterized by a 70% reduction in brain size. Here I provide evidence suggesting that human ASPM went through an episode of accelerated sequence evolution by positive Darwinian selection after the split of humans and chimpanzees but before the separation of modern non-Africans from Africans. Because positive selection acts on a gene only when the gene function is altered and the organismal fitness is increased, my results suggest that adaptive functional modifications occurred in human ASPM and that it may be a major genetic component underlying the evolution of the human brain.

  15. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A.; Polk, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance. PMID:23173208

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional epidemiological survey of 4151 participants of the Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study. OBJECTIVE: To identify prevalences and individual risk factors for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study has...... spondylolisthesis was associated with increased age in both sexes (L4: P risk factors for degenerative...

  17. [Vertebragenic cervical myelopathy as a sequel of degenerative anterolisthesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohmann, D

    1988-01-01

    The development of translatory displacement in the lower cervical spine is discussed with reference to the kinematics of the cervical motion segment. Anterior dislocation due to degenerative changes is discussed in its relation to the anatomical conditions and in its effect on the spinal cord. Three cases of cervical myelopathy due to degenerative anterolistesis are described. Operative reposition and dorsal fusion was performed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. OPERATIVE TREATMENT FOR DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samo K. Fokter

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Background. Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS is a common cause of low back and leg pain in the elderly. Conservative treatment seldom results in sustained improvement.Methods. Fifty-six patients (33 women, 23 men older than 50 years (mean 67 years, range 51 to 82 years and with no prior low back surgery were treated from 1993 to 1999 for clinical and radiologic evidence of DLSS. The goal of this study was to describe the results of decompressive laminectomy with or without fusion in terms of reoperation, severity of back pain, leg pain and patient satisfaction. Answers to Swiss spinal stenosis questionnaires completed before surgery and one to five years afterwards were evaluated. Seven patients (12.5% with degenerative spondylolisthesis, scoliosis and/or more radical facetectomies received fusion.Results. Of the 56 patients in the original cohort, two were deceased and two had undergone reoperation by follow-up. Forty-eight patients answered questionnaires. Average duration of follow-up was 2.5 years. More than 70 percent of the respondents had no or only mild back or buttock pain at follow-up and more than 60 percent were able to walk more than 500 m. Added fusion reduced the incidence of low back pain and pain frequency, and increased walking distance (ANOVA.Conclusions. Eighty-one percent of patients were satisfied with the results of surgery and 87.5% would choose to have the operation again if they had the choice. Decompressive laminectomy for DLSS yields best results if instrumented fusion is included in the procedure.

  1. [Surgical treatment of degenerative lumbar diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjerkeset, Tormod; Johnsen, Lars Gunnar; Kibsgaard, Leif; Fuglesang, Paul

    2005-06-30

    The diagnosis and treatment of painful degenerative spinal diseases remains controversial in the literature, and surgical treatment differs greatly between centres and surgeons. We have evaluated our results over a nine-year period. 237 patients referred with chronic degenerative spinal diseases could be evaluated, 132 women and 105 men, median age 48 (17 - 85). Median symptom duration was 10 years (1.5 - 50 years). The patient files were retrospectively studied independently by two surgeons. Out of the patients, 83 (35 %) had previously had lumbar spine operations, mainly discectomies. All patients were controlled as outpatients with clinical examination and an X-ray taken of the lower spine columna at least once. The final evaluation of patient satisfaction with the operation, pain and walking and working capacity was based on a questionnaire. Out of these patients, 64 were treated with decompression only, 173 had additional posterolateral fusion with bone or instrument. Fusion rate was 90 %, with no significant difference between type of fusion (p = 0.07). After a median observation time of 5.2 years (0.5 - 10.5 years) 75 % of the patients were very satisfied or satisfied with the outcome; 48 % were back at work. Factors significantly related to poor results were little preoperative pain (p < 0.001), previous back operations (p = 0.003) and long preoperative sick leave (p = 0.015). Our results are comparable with most published studies. One should be restrictive with surgery on patients with little pain, long sick leave, preoperative inactivity, and previous multiple spinal operations.

  2. T1 slope and degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Hyo Sub; Kim, Ji Hee; Ahn, Jun Hyong; Chang, In Bok; Song, Joon Ho; Kim, Tae Hwan; Park, Moon Soo; Kim, Yong Chan; Kim, Seok Woo; Oh, Jae Keun

    2015-02-15

    Retrospective analysis. The main objectives of this study were to analyze and compare cervical sagittal parameters, including the T1 slope, in a population of 45 patients with degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis (DCS) and to compare these patients with a control group of asymptomatic population. Sagittal balance in the cervical spine is as important as the pelvic incidence and is related to the concept of T1 slope. Compared with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, there are few studies evaluating DCS, and characteristic changes of the cervical sagittal parameters (including T1 slope) in patients with DCS are not well studied. We identified 45 patients with DCS (5.8%) from a database of 767 patients, using cervical radiograph in a standing position. All had radiograph and computed tomographic scan at the same time. Cervical sagittal parameters were analyzed on computed tomographic scan in a standardized supine position. The following cervical sagittal parameters were measured: T1 slope, neck tilt, thoracic inlet angle, and cervical lordosis (C2-C7 angle). The DCS group was compared with a control group of 45 asymptomatic age- and sex-matched adults to the DCS group, who were studied in a recently published study. Of our initial group of 767 patients, 45 with anterolisthesis (5.8%) were included for this study. The T1 slope was significantly greater for DCS (26.06° ± 7.3°) compared with the control group (22.32° ± 7.0°). No significant difference of the neck tilt, thoracic inlet angle, and C2-C7 angle was seen between the DSC group and the control group. Therefore, the T1 slope of the DSC group was significantly greater than that of the control group (P < 0.005). The DCS group was characterized by a greater T1 slope than the control group; therefore, we suggest that a high T1 slope may be a predisposing factor in developing DCS. 3.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungers, William L; Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Richmond, Brian G

    2016-07-05

    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'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Antigenic Patterns and Evolution of the Human Influenza A (H1N1) Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mi; Zhao, Xiang; Hua, Sha; Du, Xiangjun; Peng, Yousong; Li, Xiyan; Lan, Yu; Wang, Dayan; Wu, Aiping; Shu, Yuelong; Jiang, Taijiao

    2015-09-28

    The influenza A (H1N1) virus causes seasonal epidemics that result in severe illnesses and deaths almost every year. A deep understanding of the antigenic patterns and evolution of human influenza A (H1N1) virus is extremely important for its effective surveillance and prevention. Through development of antigenicity inference method for human influenza A (H1N1), named PREDAC-H1, we systematically mapped the antigenic patterns and evolution of the human influenza A (H1N1) virus. Eight dominant antigenic clusters have been inferred for seasonal H1N1 viruses since 1977, which demonstrated sequential replacements over time with a similar pattern in Asia, Europe and North America. Among them, six clusters emerged first in Asia. As for China, three of the eight antigenic clusters were detected in South China earlier than in North China, indicating the leading role of South China in H1N1 transmission. The comprehensive view of the antigenic evolution of human influenza A (H1N1) virus can help formulate better strategy for its prevention and control.

  5. 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.

  6. Mona Lisa smile: the morphological enigma of human and great ape evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grehan, John R

    2006-07-01

    The science of human evolution is confronted with the popular chimpanzee theory and the earlier but largely ignored orangutan theory. The quality and scope of published documentation and verification of morphological features suggests there is very little in morphology to support a unique common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees. A close relationship between humans and African apes is currently supported by only eight unproblematic characters. The orangutan relationship is supported by about 28 well-supported characters, and it is also corroborated by the presence of orangutan-related features in early hominids. The uniquely shared morphology of humans and orangutans raises doubts about the almost universal belief that DNA sequence similarities necessarily demonstrate a closer evolutionary relationship between humans and chimpanzees. A new evolutionary reconstruction is proposed for the soft tissue anatomy, physiology, and behavioral biology of the first hominids that includes concealed ovulation, male beard and mustache, prolonged mating, extended pair-bonding, "house" construction, mechanical "genius," and artistic expression.

  7. No relative expansion of the number of prefrontal neurons in primate and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabi, Mariana; Neves, Kleber; Masseron, Carolinne; Ribeiro, Pedro F M; Ventura-Antunes, Lissa; Torres, Laila; Mota, Bruno; Kaas, Jon H; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2016-08-23

    Human evolution is widely thought to have involved a particular expansion of prefrontal cortex. This popular notion has recently been challenged, although controversies remain. Here we show that the prefrontal region of both human and nonhuman primates holds about 8% of cortical neurons, with no clear difference across humans and other primates in the distribution of cortical neurons or white matter cells along the anteroposterior axis. Further, we find that the volumes of human prefrontal gray and white matter match the expected volumes for the number of neurons in the gray matter and for the number of other cells in the white matter compared with other primate species. These results indicate that prefrontal cortical expansion in human evolution happened along the same allometric trajectory as for other primate species, without modification of the distribution of neurons across its surface or of the volume of the underlying white matter. We thus propose that the most distinctive feature of the human prefrontal cortex is its absolute number of neurons, not its relative volume.

  8. Third nature: the co-evolution of human behavior, culture, and technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, William A

    2005-07-01

    Within a dynamical-systems framework, human behavior is seen as emergent from broad evolutionary processes associated with three basic forms of nature. First nature, matter, emerged from the big bang some 12-15 billion years ago; second nature, life, from the first bacteria up to 4 billion years ago; third nature, ideology and cultural artifacts (e.g., institutions and technology), with a shift to self-reflective, symbolic thought and agrarianism in humans some 8-40 thousand years ago. The co-evolution of these three natures has dramatically altered human behavior and its relationship to the whole planet. Third nature has infused human minds with several powerful ideas, or memes, including the idea of progress. These ideas have fueled the evolution of a complex institutional order (e.g., political systems and technology) and myriad attendant global problems (e.g., wars and environmental degradation). The human brain/mind is seen as the primary medium by which third nature governs human behavior and, therefore, self perpetuates.

  9. Using the Neandertal genome to study the evolution of small insertions and deletions in modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintalapati, Manjusha; Dannemann, Michael; Prüfer, Kay

    2017-08-04

    Small insertions and deletions occur in humans at a lower rate compared to nucleotide changes, but evolve under more constraint than nucleotide changes. While the evolution of insertions and deletions have been investigated using ape outgroups, the now available genome of a Neandertal can shed light on the evolution of indels in more recent times. We used the Neandertal genome together with several primate outgroup genomes to differentiate between human insertion/deletion changes that likely occurred before the split from Neandertals and those that likely arose later. Changes that pre-date the split from Neandertals show a smaller proportion of deletions than those that occurred later. The presence of a Neandertal-shared allele in Europeans or Asians but the absence in Africans was used to detect putatively introgressed indels in Europeans and Asians. A larger proportion of these variants reside in intergenic regions compared to other modern human variants, and some variants are linked to SNPs that have been associated with traits in modern humans. Our results are in agreement with earlier results that suggested that deletions evolve under more constraint than insertions. When considering Neandertal introgressed variants, we find some evidence that negative selection affected these variants more than other variants segregating in modern humans. Among introgressed variants we also identify indels that may influence the phenotype of their carriers. In particular an introgressed deletion associated with a decrease in the time to menarche may constitute an example of a former Neandertal-specific trait contributing to modern human phenotypic diversity.

  10. Evolution of the human X--a smart and sexy chromosome that controls speciation and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, J A M; Gécz, J; Hameister, H

    2002-01-01

    In humans, as in other mammals, sex is determined by an XX female/XY male chromosome system. Most attention has focused on the small, degenerate Y chromosome, which bears the male-dominant gene SRY. The X, in contrast, has been considered a well-behaved and immaculately conserved element that has hardly changed since the pre-mammal days when it was just another autosome pair. However, the X, uniquely in the genome, is present in two copies in females and only one in males. This has had dire consequences genetically on the evolution of its activity--and now it appears, on its gene content and/or the function of its genes. Here we will discuss the origin of the human X, and the evolution of dosage compensation and gene content, in the light of recent demonstrations that particular functions in sex and reproduction and cognition have accumulated on it. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular epidemiology and evolution of human respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaunt, Eleanor R.; Jansen, Rogier R.; Poovorawan, Yong; Templeton, Kate E.; Toms, Geoffrey L.; Simmonds, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are ubiquitous respiratory pathogens of the Pneumovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae. Two major surface antigens are expressed by both viruses; the highly conserved fusion (F) protein, and the extremely diverse

  13. Molecular Epidemiology and Evolution of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaunt, E.R.; Jansen, R.R.; Poovorawan, Y.; Templeton, K.E.; Toms, G.L.; Simmonds, P.

    2011-01-01

    Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are ubiquitous respiratory pathogens of the Pneumovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae. Two major surface antigens are expressed by both viruses; the highly conserved fusion (F) protein, and the extremely diverse

  14. Conservation of carbohydrate binding interfaces: evidence of human HBGA selection in norovirus evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Tan

    Full Text Available Human noroviruses are the major viral pathogens of epidemic acute gastroenteritis. These genetically diverse viruses comprise two major genogroups (GI and GII and approximately 30 genotypes. Noroviruses recognize human histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs in a diverse, strain-specific manner. Recently the crystal structures of the HBGA-binding interfaces of the GI Norwalk virus and the GII VA387 have been determined, which allows us to examine the genetic and structural relationships of the HBGA-binding interfaces of noroviruses with variable HBGA-binding patterns. Our hypothesis is that, if HBGAs are the viral receptors necessary for norovirus infection and spread, their binding interfaces should be under a selection pressure in the evolution of noroviruses.Structural comparison of the HBGA-binding interfaces of the two noroviruses has revealed shared features but significant differences in the location, sequence composition, and HBGA-binding modes. On the other hand, the primary sequences of the HBGA-binding interfaces are highly conserved among strains within each genogroup. The roles of critical residues within the binding sites have been verified by site-directed mutagenesis followed by functional analysis of strains with variable HBGA-binding patterns.Our data indicate that the human HBGAs are an important factor in norovirus evolution. Each of the two major genogroups represents an evolutionary lineage characterized by distinct genetic traits. Functional convergence of strains with the same HBGA targets subsequently resulted in acquisition of analogous HBGA binding interfaces in the two genogroups that share an overall structural similarity, despite their distinct locations and amino acid compositions. On the other hand, divergent evolution may have contributed to the observed overall differences between and within the two lineages. Thus, both divergent and convergent evolution, as well as the polymorphic human HBGAs, likely contribute to

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    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.

  16. Arthur Smith Woodward and his involvement in the study of human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Dean, C.; De Groote, I.; Stringer, C.

    2016-01-01

    In 1884, Arthur Smith Woodward first met Charles Dawson, a solicitor and industrious amateur collector, antiquarian, geologist, archaeologist and palaeontologist. This began a long association and friendship centred on their mutual interest in palaeontology and human evolution. Dawson devised a complicated plot focused around the ancient river gravel deposits at Barkham Manor near the village of Piltdown, Sussex. In these gravels he planted stone tools and fossil mammal remains together with ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouprina, Natalay; Pavlicek, Adam; Mochida, Ganeshwaran H; Solomon, Gregory; Gersch, William; Yoon, Young-Ho; Collura, Randall; Ruvolo, Maryellen; Barrett, J Carl; Woods, C Geoffrey; Walsh, Christopher A; Jurka, Jerzy; Larionov, Vladimir

    2004-05-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Zihlman, Adrienne L.; Bolter, Debra R.

    2015-01-01

    © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 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 bonob...

  2. [The diffusion of the human evolution in Spain and the JAE (1907-1939)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelayo, Francisco

    2007-01-01

    During the first decades of the 20th century important findings of hominids fossil remains were made, enlarging the knowledge on Human Evolution. This period runs parallel to the activity of the Junta para Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (JAE), an institution that helped to spread the new paleontological facts in Spain by providing funds for further studies and research, by the foundation of the Comisión de Investigaciones Paleontológicas y Prehistóricas (CIPP) and the promotion of publications on Human Paleontology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Role of Genetic Drift in Shaping Modern Human Cranial Evolution: A Test Using Microevolutionary Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather F. Smith

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The means by which various microevolutionary processes have acted in the past to produce patterns of cranial variation that characterize modern humans is not thoroughly understood. Applying a microevolutionary framework, within- and among-population variance/covariance (V/CV structure was compared for several functional and developmental modules of the skull across a worldwide sample of modern humans. V/CV patterns in the basicranium, temporal bone, and face are proportional within and among groups, which is consistent with a hypothesis of neutral evolution; however, mandibular morphology deviated from this pattern. Degree of intergroup similarity in facial, temporal bone, and mandibular morphology is significantly correlated with geographic distance; however, much of the variance remains unexplained. These findings provide insight into the evolutionary history of modern human cranial variation by identifying signatures of genetic drift, gene flow, and migration and set the stage for inferences regarding selective pressures that early humans encountered since their initial migrations around the world.

  6. 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.

  7. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branka eHrvoj-Mihic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species.The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research.

  8. Energetic and nutritional constraints on infant brain development: implications for brain expansion during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    The human brain confronts two major challenges during its development: (i) meeting a very high energy requirement, and (ii) reliably accessing an adequate dietary source of specific brain selective nutrients needed for its structure and function. Implicitly, these energetic and nutritional constraints to normal brain development today would also have been constraints on human brain evolution. The energetic constraint was solved in large measure by the evolution in hominins of a unique and significant layer of body fat on the fetus starting during the third trimester of gestation. By providing fatty acids for ketone production that are needed as brain fuel, this fat layer supports the brain's high energy needs well into childhood. This fat layer also contains an important reserve of the brain selective omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), not available in other primates. Foremost amongst the brain selective minerals are iodine and iron, with zinc, copper and selenium also being important. A shore-based diet, i.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, bird's eggs and aquatic plants, provides the richest known dietary sources of brain selective nutrients. Regular access to these foods by the early hominin lineage that evolved into humans would therefore have helped free the nutritional constraint on primate brain development and function. Inadequate dietary supply of brain selective nutrients still has a deleterious impact on human brain development on a global scale today, demonstrating the brain's ongoing vulnerability. The core of the shore-based paradigm of human brain evolution proposes that sustained access by certain groups of early Homo to freshwater and marine food resources would have helped surmount both the nutritional as well as the energetic constraints on mammalian brain development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Management of degenerative cervical myelopathy - An update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joaquim, Andrei F; Ghizoni, Enrico; Tedeschi, Helder; Hsu, Wellington K; Patel, Alpesh A

    2016-12-01

    Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the most common cause of spinal cord dysfunction in adult patients. Patients generally present with a slow, progressive neurological decline or a stepwise deterioration pattern. In this paper, we discuss the most important factors involved in the management of DCM, including a discussion about the surgical approaches. The authors performed an extensive review of the peer-reviewed literature addressing the aforementioned objectives. Although the diagnosis is clinical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the study of choice to confirm stenosis and also to exclude the differential diagnosis. The severity the clinical symptoms of DCM are evaluated by different scales, but the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) and the Nürick scale are probably the most commonly used. Spontaneous clinical improvement is rare and surgery is the main treatment form in an attempt to prevent further neurological deterioration and, potentially, to provide some improvement in symptoms and function. Anterior, posterior or combined cervical approaches are used to decompress the spinal cord, with adjunctive fusion being commonly performed. The choice of one approach over the other depends on patient characteristics (such as number of involved levels, site of compression, cervical alignment, previous surgeries, bone quality, presence of instability, among others) as well as surgeon preference and experience. Spine surgeons must understand the advantages and disadvantages of all surgical techniques to choose the best procedure for their patients. Further comparative studies are necessary to establish the superiority of one approach over the other when multiple options are available.

  11. Cervical myelopathy due to degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koakutsu, Tomoaki; Nakajo, Junko; Morozumi, Naoki; Hoshikawa, Takeshi; Ogawa, Shinji; Ishii, Yushin

    2011-05-01

    To investigate clinical-radiological features of cervical myelopathy due to degenerative spondylolisthesis (DSL). A total of 448 patients were operated for cervical myelopathy at Nishitaga National Hospital between 2000 and 2003. Of these patients, DSL at the symptomatic disc level was observed in 22 (4.9%) patients. Clinical features were investigated by medical records, and radiological features were investigated by radiographs. Disc levels of DSL were C3/4 in 6 cases and C4/5 in 16 cases. Distance of anterior slippage was 2 to 5 mm (average 2.9 mm) in flexion position. Space available for the spinal cord (SAC) was 11 to 15 mm (average 12.8 mm) in flexion position and 11 to 18 mm (average 14.6 mm) in extension position; 11 cases were reducible and 11 cases were irreducible in extension position. Myelograms demonstrated compression of spinal cord by the ligamentum flavum in extension position. Compression of spinal cord was not demonstrated in flexion position. C5-7 lordosis angle was lower than control. C5-7 range of motion (ROM) was reduced compared to controls. These alterations were statistically significant. DSL occurs in the mid-cervical spine. Lower cervical spine demonstrated restricted ROM and lower lordosis angle. Pathogenesis of cervical myelopathy due to DSL is compression of spinal cord by the ligamentum flavum in extension position and not by reduced SAC in flexion position.

  12. 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.

  13. Chronic degenerative diseases in elderly: physiotherapeutic data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lais Keylla Felipe

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To assess the most frequent chronic diseases in the elderly population of a private clinic of Physiotherapy. Methods: We assessed medical records of clients who received treatment at a Physiotherapy clinic in the period 2005 to 2008, looking for chronic diseases as diagnosis and/or related to them. Of these, we selected those which contained birth date and/or aged sixty-five years or above. An instrument like a check list, developed by the researchers, identified: quantity, gender, medical diagnosis and comorbidities. For quantification of variables we applied simple percentage calculation. Results: In the study period, there were four hundred fifty-eight records, of which forty-nine corresponded to the survey’s inclusion criteria. The majority 59.2% (n=29 referred to the year 2008; 26.6% (n=13 being males and 73.4% (n=36 females. The most commonly found diagnosis comprised osteoarthritis 57.1% (n=28, fracture and/or history of fractures 24.4% (n=12 and other diagnosis 48.9% (n=24. Associated chronic diseases included diabetes mellitus 18.3% (n=9 and systemic hypertension 57.1% (n=23. Conclusion: Chronic degenerative diseases in elderly have received increasing attention from health professionals; osteoarthritis being the most common diagnosis in this study, followed by fracture and/or history of fractures. The comorbidities represented a greater negative impact in the quality of life of elderly.

  14. Computed tomography in lumbar degenerative disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isu, Toyohiko; Miyasaka, Kazuo; Abe, Satoru; Takei, Hidetoshi; Kaneda, Kiyoshi (Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo (Japan). School of Medicine)

    1984-02-01

    We reported the 18 patients which underwent surgical exploration and reviewed these CT findings. Method All CT scans were obtained on Somatom II, high resolution CT scanner, with the patient in the supine position. A lateral localizer image (Topogram) was used to select the appropriate intervertebral disk space. The slice thickness was 4 mm. Results 1) CT findings in lumbar degenerative diseases include bony canal stenosis (central canal stenosis, narrowed lateral recess), soft tissue abnormalities (herniated nucleus pulposus, bulging annulus, hypertrophy and/or ossification of ligamentum flavum, no delineation of nerve root in lateral recess), and spinal instability (spondylolisthesis, vacuum phenomenon). 2) The above three factors contribute to narrowing of spinal canal. 3) No delineation of nerve root or soft tissue replacement of epidural fat in lateral recess suggests that the nerve root may be compressed by some factors. 4) Herniated nucleus pulposus may cause nerve root compression with or without canal stenosis. Conclusion This study revealed that the CT findings correlated closely with the surgical findings and the site of nerve root compression could be determined.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. New frontiers in the study of human cultural and genetic evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Cody T; Richerson, Peter J

    2014-12-01

    In this review, we discuss the dynamic linkages between culture and the genetic evolution of the human species. We begin by briefly describing the framework of gene-culture coevolutionary (or dual-inheritance) models for human evolutionary change. Until recently, the literature on gene-culture coevolution was composed primarily of mathematical models and formalized theory describing the complex dynamics underlying human behavior, adaptation, and technological evolution, but had little empirical support concerning genetics. The rapid progress in the fields of molecular genetics and genomics, however, is now providing the kinds of data needed to produce rich empirical support for gene-culture coevolutionary models. We briefly outline how theoretical and methodological progress in genome sciences has provided ways for the strength of selection on genes to be evaluated, and then outline how evidence of selection on several key genes can be directly linked to human cultural practices. We then describe some exciting new directions in the empirical study of gene-culture coevolution, and conclude with a discussion of the role of gene-culture evolutionary models in the future integration of medical, biological, and social sciences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Cranial shape and size variation in human evolution: structural and functional perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano

    2007-12-01

    A GLIMPSE INTO MODERN PALEOANTHROPOLOGY: In the last decades, paleoanthropology has been deeply modified, changing from a descriptive and historical science to a more quantitative and analytical discipline. The covariation of multiple traits is investigated to study the evolutionary changes of the underlying anatomical models, mostly through the introduction of digital biomedical imaging procedures and of computed geometrical analyses supported by multivariate statistics. FUNCTIONAL CRANIOLOGY: The evolution of the human cranium is consequently considered in terms of functional and structural relationships between its components, largely influenced by the allometric variations associated with the increase in the relative cranial capacity. In the human genus, the changes in the face, base, and neurocranium are characterised by a mosaic variation, in which adaptations, secondary consequences, and stochastic factors concur to generate a set of anatomical possibilities and constraints. SYSTEMIC PERSPECTIVES TO THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN CRANIAL MORPHOLOGY: Concepts like morphological modularity, anatomical integration, and heterochrony represent key issues in the development of the current human evolutionary studies.

  20. Imitation, pretend play, and childhood: essential elements in the evolution of human culture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Mark

    2012-05-01

    There is much controversy over what is needed for culture to flourish and what has led human culture to be different from "cultural" characteristics of other animals. Here I argue that the emergence of childhood as a step in the life cycle was critical to the evolution of the human cultural mind. My line of reasoning is built around two complementary features of childhood: imitation and play. When children imitate adults they routinely copy unnecessary and arbitrary actions. They will persistently replicate how an object is used, even when doing so interferes with their ability to produce the very outcome those actions are intended to bring about. Though seemingly maladaptive, this behavior provides for the faithful transmission of cultural ideas across generations. When children play together they commonly construct rules and meanings that exist purely because the players agree they "exist." Play thus provides the building blocks with which children rehearse the kinds of institutional realities that typify cultural practices. I argue that these forms of imitation and play represent a foundation upon which human culture flourished and that neither are prevalent in nonhuman animals. In light of these arguments evidence will be assessed suggesting that childhood emerged relatively late in human evolution.

  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. Dynamic Landscapes and Sea Level Change in Human Evolution and Dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, G. C.; Devès, M. H.; Bailey, G.; Inglis, R.; Williams, M.

    2012-12-01

    Archaeological studies of human settlement in its wider landscape setting usually focus on climate change as the principal environmental driver of change in the physical features of the landscape, even on the long time scales of early human evolution. We emphasize that landscapes evolve dynamically due to an interplay of processes occurring over different timescales. Tectonic deformation, volcanism, sea level changes, by acting on the topography, the lithology and on the patterns of erosion-deposition in a given area, can moderate or amplify the influence of climate at the regional and local scale. These processes impose or alleviate physical barriers to movement, and modify the distribution and accessibility of plant and animal resources in ways critical to human ecological and evolutionary success (King and Bailey, JHE 2006; Bailey and King, Antiquity 2011). The DISPERSE project, an ERC-funded collaboration between the University of York and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris,are developing systematic methods for reconstructing landscapes associated with active tectonics, volcanism and sea level change at a variety of scales in order to study their potential impact on patterns of human evolution and dispersal. These approaches use remote sensing techniques combined with archaeological and tectonic field surveys on land and underwater. Examples are shown from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to illustrate the ways in which changes of significance to human settlement can occur at a range of geographical scales and on time scales that range from lifetimes to tens of millennia, creating and sustaining attractive conditions for human settlement and exercising powerful selective pressures on human development.

  3. Routine Upright Imaging for Evaluating Degenerative Lumbar Stenosis: Incidence of Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Missed on Supine MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segebarth, Brad; Kurd, Mark F; Haug, Priscilla H; Davis, Rick

    2015-12-01

    A retrospective cohort. Degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) with lumbar stenosis is a well-studied pathology and diagnosis is most commonly determined by a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and standing radiographs. However, routine upright imaging is not universally accepted as standard in all practices. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no study investigating the incidence of missed diagnosis of DS evident only on standing lateral or dynamic radiographs when compared with sagittal alignment on MRI. The authors hypothesize that supine MRI evaluation alone in lumbar degenerative disease will significantly underestimate the incidence of DS. Secondary hypothesis is that there will be no significant difference in detecting spondylolisthesis when comparing dynamic flexion-extension radiographs to standing lateral radiographs. We retrospectively evaluated all patients presenting to spine clinic for degenerative lumbar conditions from July 2004 to July 2006 who had an MRI, upright lateral, and flexion-extension radiographs at our institution. The incidence of DS found on dynamic flexion-extension radiographs but not on MRI was determined. We then reviewed each and compared flexion-extension versus standing lateral views to determine whether there was any significant difference in detecting anterolisthesis. Of 416 patients with eligible studies, 109 were found to have DS at levels L4-L5, L5-S1, or L3-L4 based on flexion-extension radiographs. Of these, only 78 were found to have a corresponding spondylolisthesis on MRI, leaving 31/109 (28%) of DS levels undiagnosed on MRI. No additional anterolisthesis cases were detected on standing flexion-extension verses standing lateral radiographs. Routine standing lateral radiographs should be standard practice to identify DS, as nearly 1/3 of cases will be missed on supine MRI. This may have implications on whether or not an arthrodesis is performed on those patients requiring lumbar decompression. Flexion

  4. 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

  5. The Number of Human Population, a Statistical and Economical Synthesis of Alternative Evolution towards Demographical Explosion or Implosion

    OpenAIRE

    Gheorghe Savoiu

    2006-01-01

    The number of the human population had reunited both in its quantitative side, and, especially, in the qualitative one, the most significant aspects of the various and detailed human evolution and dynamic. This demographic and synthetic indicator allowed a detailed and original process of population segmentation in the field of the contemporary analysis. Referring to a new process of demographic evolution and defining the population’s decline, demographers like Ehrlich and Longman have used t...

  6. Evolution of a Mediterranean Coastal Zone: Human Impacts on the Marine Environment of Cape Creus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloret, Josep; Riera, Victòria

    2008-12-01

    This study presents an integrated analysis of the evolution of the marine environment and the human uses in Cape Creus, a Mediterranean coastal area where intense commercial fisheries and recreational uses have coexisted over the last fifty years. The investigation synthesizes the documented impacts of human activities on the marine environment of Cap de Creus and integrates them with new data. In particular, the evolution of vulnerable, exploited species is used to evaluate the fishing impacts. The effects of area protection through the establishment of a marine reserve in the late 1990s and the potential climate change impacts are also considered. The evolution of the human uses is marked by the increasing socioeconomic importance of recreational activities (which affect species and habitats) in detriment to artisanal and red coral fisheries (which principally affect at a species level). Overall, populations of sedentary, vulnerable exploited species, hard sessile benthic invertebrates, and ecologically fragile habitats, such as seagrass meadows, the coralligenous and infralittoral algal assemblages have been the most negatively impacted by anthropogenic activities. Albeit human uses currently constitute the largest negative impact on the marine environment of Cap de Creus, climate change is emerging as a key factor that could have considerable implications for the marine environment and tourism activities. The establishment of the marine reserve appears to have had little socioeconomic impact, but there is some evidence that it had some positive biological effects on sedentary, littoral fishes. Results demonstrate that the declaration of a marine reserve alone does not guarantee the sustainability of marine resources and habitats but should be accompanied with an integrated coastal management plan.

  7. Evolution of a Mediterranean coastal zone: human impacts on the marine environment of Cape Creus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloret, Josep; Riera, Victòria

    2008-12-01

    This study presents an integrated analysis of the evolution of the marine environment and the human uses in Cape Creus, a Mediterranean coastal area where intense commercial fisheries and recreational uses have coexisted over the last fifty years. The investigation synthesizes the documented impacts of human activities on the marine environment of Cap de Creus and integrates them with new data. In particular, the evolution of vulnerable, exploited species is used to evaluate the fishing impacts. The effects of area protection through the establishment of a marine reserve in the late 1990s and the potential climate change impacts are also considered. The evolution of the human uses is marked by the increasing socioeconomic importance of recreational activities (which affect species and habitats) in detriment to artisanal and red coral fisheries (which principally affect at a species level). Overall, populations of sedentary, vulnerable exploited species, hard sessile benthic invertebrates, and ecologically fragile habitats, such as seagrass meadows, the coralligenous and infralittoral algal assemblages have been the most negatively impacted by anthropogenic activities. Albeit human uses currently constitute the largest negative impact on the marine environment of Cap de Creus, climate change is emerging as a key factor that could have considerable implications for the marine environment and tourism activities. The establishment of the marine reserve appears to have had little socioeconomic impact, but there is some evidence that it had some positive biological effects on sedentary, littoral fishes. Results demonstrate that the declaration of a marine reserve alone does not guarantee the sustainability of marine resources and habitats but should be accompanied with an integrated coastal management plan.

  8. 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.

  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. 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...... and even tarsiers and New World monkeys show restricted trophoblast invasion. Moreover, a truly villous placenta occurs only in Old World monkeys and great apes. The two latter groups of haplorhine primates show varying degrees of trophoblast-uterine interaction, including differences in the extent...... of decidualization, formation and disintegration of a cytotrophoblastic shell, degree of interstitial trophoblast invasion and depth of trophoblast invasion into spiral arteries. Recently, the occurrence of human-like deep invasion was confirmed in gorillas and chimpanzees. As the still enigmatic disease of pre...

  11. Variable NK cell receptors and their MHC class I ligands in immunity, reproduction and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2013-02-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, in which they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of the MHC-C gene in hominids drove the evolution of a system of NK cell receptors for MHC-C molecules that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. By contrast, the human system of MHC-C receptors seems to have been subject to different selection pressures that have acted in competition on the immunological and reproductive functions of MHC class I molecules. We suggest that this compromise facilitated the development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out of Africa and populate other continents.

  12. Evolution of regulatory networks in Candida glabrata: learning to live with the human host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Sushmita; Thompson, Dawn

    2015-12-01

    The opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida glabrata is second only to C. albicans as the cause of Candida infections and yet is more closely related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recent advances in functional genomics technologies and computational approaches to decipher regulatory networks, and the comparison of these networks among these and other Ascomycete species, have revealed both unique and shared strategies in adaptation to a human commensal/opportunistic pathogen lifestyle and antifungal drug resistance in C. glabrata. Recently, several C. glabrata sister species in the Nakeseomyces clade representing both human associated (commensal) and environmental isolates have had their genomes sequenced and analyzed. This has paved the way for comparative functional genomics studies to characterize the regulatory networks in these species to identify informative patterns of conservation and divergence linked to phenotypic evolution in the Nakaseomyces lineage. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Grandmothers and the evolution of human longevity: a review of findings and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Kristen; Coxworth, James E

    2013-01-01

    Women and female great apes both continue giving birth into their forties, but not beyond. However humans live much longer than other apes do. Even in hunting and gathering societies, where the mortality rate is high, adult life spans average twice those of chimpanzees, which become decrepit during their fertile years and rarely survive them. Since women usually remain healthy through and beyond childbearing age, human communities include substantial proportions of economically productive postmenopausal women. A grandmother hypothesis(8-12) may explain why greater longevity evolved in our lineage while female fertility still ends at ancestral ages. This hypothesis has implications for the evolution of a wide array of human features. Here we review some history of the hypothesis, recent findings, and questions for ongoing research. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. 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.

  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. Functional outcome of surgical management of degenerative lumbar canal stenosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajendra Nath

    2012-01-01

    Conclusion: Operative treatment in patients of degenerative lumbar canal stenosis yields excellent results as observed on the basis of JOA scoring system. No patient got recurrence of symptoms of nerve compression.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emch, Todd M. [Cleveland Clinic, Division of Neuroradiology, Imaging Institute, Neuroradiology L-10, Cleveland, OH (United States); Modic, Michael T. [Cleveland Clinic, Division of Neuroradiology, Imaging Institute, Neurological Institute T-13, Cleveland, OH (United States)

    2011-09-15

    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.)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional epidemiological survey of 4151 participants of the Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study. OBJECTIVE: To identify prevalences and individual risk factors for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The Copenhagen Osteoarthritis Study has...

  19. OCT inspection of degenerative and rheumatic tendinous cords

    Science.gov (United States)

    Real, Eusebio; Revuelta, José M.; Pontón, Alejandro; Calvo-Díez, Marta; López-Higuera, José M.; Conde, Olga M.

    2017-07-01

    Surgical repair of the mitral valve complex presents high mortality rates, strongly dependent on the surgical procedure. Intensity and polarization sensitive OCT are explored as a feasible degradation inspection method for rheumatic and degenerative chords.

  20. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is associated with low spinal bone density

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thomas; Christensen, Finn; 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......Spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis share many symptoms and the same treatment, but their causes remain unclear. Bone mineral density has been suggested to play a role. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in spinal bone density between spinal stenosis...... 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...

  1. Vacuum facet phenomenon: a computed tomographic sign of degenerative spondylolisthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefkowitz, D.M.; Quencer, D.M.

    1982-08-01

    A vacuum facet phenomenon, seen on computed tomography as a lens-shaped lucency within a lumbar facet joint, was observed as a consequence of degenerative spondylolisthesis. The significance of this finding is discussed.

  2. Human evolution. Comment on "Human-like hand use in Australopithecus africanus".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almécija, Sergio; Wallace, Ian J; Judex, Stefan; Alba, David M; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2015-06-05

    Skinner and colleagues (Research Article, 23 January 2015, p. 395), based on metacarpal trabecular bone structure, argue that Australopithecus africanus employed human-like dexterity for stone tool making and use 3 million years ago. However, their evolutionary and biological assumptions are misinformed, failing to refute the previously existing hypothesis that human-like manipulation preceded systematized stone tool manufacture, as indicated by the fossil record. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Regional selection of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 provides new insight into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Hu, Enzhi; Wang, Zhenbo; Liu, Jiewei; Li, Jin; Li, Ming; Chen, Hua; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi; Su, Bing

    2017-02-01

    Human evolution is marked by a continued enlargement of the brain. Previous studies on human brain evolution focused on identifying sequence divergences of brain size regulating genes between humans and nonhuman primates. However, the evolutionary pattern of the brain size regulating genes during recent human evolution is largely unknown. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 and found that in recent human evolution, CASC5 has accumulated many modern human specific amino acid changes, including two fixed changes and six polymorphic changes. Among human populations, 4 of the 6 amino acid polymorphic sites have high frequencies of derived alleles in East Asians, but are rare in Europeans and Africans. We proved that this between-population allelic divergence was caused by regional Darwinian positive selection in East Asians. Further analysis of brain image data of Han Chinese showed significant associations of the amino acid polymorphic sites with gray matter volume. Hence, CASC5 may contribute to the morphological and structural changes of the human brain during recent evolution. The observed between-population divergence of CASC5 variants was driven by natural selection that tends to favor a larger gray matter volume in East Asians.

  4. Functional divergence of the brain-size regulating gene MCPH1 during primate evolution and the origin of humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the key genes that regulate human brain size, MCPH1 has evolved under strong Darwinian positive selection during the evolution of primates. During this evolution, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences among primates may have caused functional changes that contribute to brain enlargement. Results To test this hypothesis, we used co-immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays to examine the activating and repressing effects of MCPH1 on a set of its down-stream genes and then compared the functional outcomes of a series of mutant MCPH1 proteins that carry mutations at the human- and great-ape-specific sites. The results demonstrate that the regulatory effects of human MCPH1 and rhesus macaque MCPH1 are different in three of eight down-stream genes tested (p73, cyclinE1 and p14ARF), suggesting a functional divergence of MCPH1 between human and non-human primates. Further analyses of the mutant MCPH1 proteins indicated that most of the human-specific mutations could change the regulatory effects on the down-stream genes. A similar result was also observed for one of the four great-ape-specific mutations. Conclusions Collectively, we propose that during primate evolution in general and human evolution in particular, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences under Darwinian positive selection led to functional modifications, providing a possible molecular mechanism of how MCPH1 contributed to brain enlargement during primate evolution and human origin. PMID:23697381

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2017-01-01

    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 behavioral 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. PMID:28250420

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. To investigate the degenerative alterations of the spine in Paleopathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Licata

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the degenerative markers at the spine in adult skeletons recovered from archaeological sites. The results of this study may allow us to make inferences about the etiology of the degenerative pathology, physical activity levels and life style in the community. The relevance of this research is that it constitutes a reliable data base to compare with future investigations.

  10. SURGICAL VS. CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT FOR DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR STENOSIS

    OpenAIRE

    Dias, Caio Roncon; Astur, Nelson; Umeta, Ricardo Shigueaki Galhego; Caffaro, Maria Fernanda Silber; Avanzi, Osmar; Meves, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Objectives:To compare the clinical outcomes between patients with degenerative lumbar stenosis who were treated by decompression with those awaiting the same kind of treatment for the disease.Methods:Retrospective study which divided patients with degenerative lumbar stenosis with surgical indication in 2 groups, operated and awaiting the procedure. The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire, visual analog scale and SF36 were applied.Results:Twelve operated patients and 18 awaiting the...

  11. [MRT diagnosis for degenerative changes in the spine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, T; Quäschling, U; Engelbrecht, V

    2004-08-01

    MRT is very well suited to the diagnosis of degenerative alterations in the spine. The option of imaging in multiple planes, the excellent soft-tissue contrast offering tissue differentiation, the absence of hardening artefacts and the avoidance of exposure to radiation have led to a shift in favour of MRT for diagnosis. In the present paper the MRT characteristics of the most important degenerative alterations that affect the spine are discussed.

  12. Degenerative alterations of the spine in an Early Mediaeval population from Mannheim-Seckenheim, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navitainuck, Denise; Meyer, Christian; Alt, Kurt W

    2013-06-01

    Palaeopathological and palaeoepidemiological analyses of human skeletal remains are some of the most important bases for the reconstruction of life of past populations. The assessment of frequency and degree of pathological alterations contributes to conclusions of a population's health status, labour conditions, and environmental influences. Degenerative diseases of the spine are among the most common lesions observed in archaeological human remains. The large number of excavated Early Mediaeval cemeteries in Germany enables the comparison of contemporary populations increasing the reliability of conclusions regarding their living conditions. In this study, 112 adult individuals with largely complete and well preserved spines from the Early Mediaeval population of Mannheim-Seckenheim were analysed for pattern and degree of degenerative changes of the spine. The severity of degeneration was recorded using modified categories originally presented by Lutter (1984) for spondylosis deformans and spondylarthrosis deformans scaling from 0 to 4. In addition, the presence of Schmorl's nodes was recorded and the vertebrae were examined for signs of Scheuermann's disease. In general, there was a high prevalence of degenerative diseases of the spine and males were affected more often and to a greater degree than females. The frequency of spondylosis deformans and spondylarthrosis deformans increased with age. In comparison with other Early Mediaeval series there was a much higher prevalence of degenerative diseases in Mannheim-Seckenheim, although most instances were mild manifestations. No cases of Scheuermann's disease (defined as three adjacent vertebrae with wedging of 5° or more and anterior extensions) were identified in the studied sample. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Spinopelvic alignment of patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrey, Cédric; Jund, Jérôme; Perrin, Gilles; Roussouly, Pierre

    2007-11-01

    The main objectives of this study were to analyze and compare spinopelvic parameters, including the pelvis shape, in a population of 40 patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DSPL) and to compare these patients with a control group of asymptomatic volunteers. Forty patients with DSPL were included in this study. Spinopelvic parameters were analyzed on preoperative full spine x-rays in a standardized standing position. The following spinopelvic parameters were measured: pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope, pelvic tilt, lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and positioning of the C7 plumb line. The population of patients was compared with a control population of 154 normal and asymptomatic adults who were studied in a recently published study. In order to understand variations of spinopelvic parameters, a control group was matched according to the PI, which is a morphological parameter. The PI was significantly greater for patients with DSPL (60.1 +/- 10.6 degrees) compared with the control group (52 +/- 10.7 degrees) (P < 0.0005). After matching according to the pelvic incidence, the DSPL population was characterized by an anterior translation of the C7 plumb line (P < 0.05), a loss of lumbar lordosis (P < 0.0005), and a decrease of the sacral slope (P < 0.0005). Retrolisthesis and/or segmental intervertebral hyperextension were observed in the upper lumbar spine in 30% of the cases. Matching according to the PI between the patients in the study and the control group enabled us to understand variations of the spinopelvic parameters in a population of patients with DSPL. DSPL patients were characterized by a greater PI than the asymptomatic population; therefore, we suggest that a high PI may be a predisposing factor in developing DSPL. Finally, we observed significant variations in spinopelvic alignment, such as loss of lordosis and sagittal unbalance, which were partially compensated by pelvis back tilt and hyperextension in the upper lumbar spine.

  14. Clinical and radiographic degenerative spondylolisthesis (CARDS) classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kepler, Christopher K; Hilibrand, Alan S; Sayadipour, Amir; Koerner, John D; Rihn, Jeffrey A; Radcliff, Kristen E; Vaccaro, Alexander R; Albert, Todd J; Anderson, D Greg

    2015-08-01

    Lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) is a common, acquired condition leading to disabling back and/or leg pain. Although surgery is common used to treat patients with severe symptoms, there are no universally accepted treatment guidelines. Wide variation in vertebral translation, disc collapse, sagittal alignment, and vertebral mobility suggests this is a heterogeneous disease. A classification scheme would be useful to differentiate homogenous subgroups that may benefit from different treatment strategies. To develop and test the reliability of a simple, clinically useful classification scheme for lumbar DS. Retrospective case series. One hundred twenty-six patients. Proposed radiographic classification system. A classification system is proposed that considers disc space height, sagittal alignment and translation, and the absence or presence of unilateral or bilateral leg pain. Test cases were graded by six observers to establish interobserver reliability and regraded in a different order 1 month later to establish intraobserver reliability using Kappa analysis. To establish the relative prevalence of each subtype, a series of 100 consecutive patients presenting with L4-L5 DS were classified. Four radiographic subtypes were identified: Type A: advanced Disc space collapse without kyphosis; Type B: disc partially preserved with translation of 5 mm or less; Type C: disc partially preserved with translation of more than 5 mm; and Type D: kyphotic alignment. The leg pain modifier 0 denotes no leg pain, 1 denotes unilateral leg pain, and 2 represents bilateral leg pain. The Kappa value describing interobserver reliability was 0.82, representing near-perfect agreement. Intraobserver reliability analysis demonstrated Kappa=0.83, representing near-perfect agreement. Grading of the consecutive series of 100 patients revealed the following distribution: 16% Type A, 37% Type B, 33% Type C, and 14% Type D. A new radiographic and clinical classification scheme for

  15. 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.

  16. Role of maternal thyroid hormones in the developing neocortex and during human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenzel, Denise; Huttner, Wieland B.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of thyroid hormones during brain development has been appreciated for many decades. In humans, low levels of circulating maternal thyroid hormones, e.g., caused by maternal hypothyroidism or lack of iodine in diet, results in a wide spectrum of severe neurological defects, including neurological cretinism characterized by profound neurologic impairment and mental retardation, underlining the importance of the maternal thyroid hormone contribution. In fact, iodine intake, which is essential for thyroid hormone production in the thyroid gland, has been related to the expansion of the brain, associated with the increased cognitive capacities during human evolution. Because thyroid hormones regulate transcriptional activity of target genes via their nuclear thyroid hormone receptors (THRs), even mild and transient changes in maternal thyroid hormone levels can directly affect and alter the gene expression profile, and thus disturb fetal brain development. Here we summarize how thyroid hormones may have influenced human brain evolution through the adaptation to new habitats, concomitant with changes in diet and, therefore, iodine intake. Further, we review the current picture we gained from experimental studies in rodents on the function of maternal thyroid hormones during developmental neurogenesis. We aim to evaluate the effects of maternal thyroid hormone deficiency as well as lack of THRs and transporters on brain development and function, shedding light on the cellular behavior conducted by thyroid hormones. PMID:23882187

  17. 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.

  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. The importance of population growth and regulation in human life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldini, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Explaining the evolution of human life history traits remains an important challenge for evolutionary anthropologists. Progress is hindered by a poor appreciation of how demographic factors affect the action of natural selection. I review life history theory showing that the quantity maximized by selection depends on whether and how population growth is regulated. I show that the common use of R, a strategy's expected lifetime number of offspring, as a fitness maximand is only appropriate under a strict set of conditions, which are apparently unappreciated by anthropologists. To concretely show how demography-free life history theory can lead to errors, I reanalyze an influential model of human life history evolution, which investigated the coevolution of a long lifespan and late age of maturity. I show that the model's conclusions do not hold under simple changes to the implicitly assumed mechanism of density dependence, even when stated assumptions remain unchanged. This analysis suggests that progress in human life history theory requires better understanding of the demography of our ancestors.

  20. Neural correlates of Early Stone Age toolmaking: technology, language and cognition in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich; Toth, Nicholas; Schick, Kathy; Chaminade, Thierry

    2008-06-12

    Archaeological and palaeontological evidence from the Early Stone Age (ESA) documents parallel trends of brain expansion and technological elaboration in human evolution over a period of more than 2Myr. However, the relationship between these defining trends remains controversial and poorly understood. Here, we present results from a positron emission tomography study of functional brain activation during experimental ESA (Oldowan and Acheulean) toolmaking by expert subjects. Together with a previous study of Oldowan toolmaking by novices, these results document increased demands for effective visuomotor coordination and hierarchical action organization in more advanced toolmaking. This includes an increased activation of ventral premotor and inferior parietal elements of the parietofrontal praxis circuits in both the hemispheres and of the right hemisphere homologue of Broca's area. The observed patterns of activation and of overlap with language circuits suggest that toolmaking and language share a basis in more general human capacities for complex, goal-directed action. The results are consistent with coevolutionary hypotheses linking the emergence of language, toolmaking, population-level functional lateralization and association cortex expansion in human evolution.

  1. Regenerative Therapies for Equine Degenerative Joint Disease: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckx, Sarah; Zimmerman, Marieke; Crocetti, Sara; Suls, Marc; Mariën, Tom; Ferguson, Stephen J.; Chiers, Koen; Duchateau, Luc; Franco-Obregón, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24465787

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckx, Sarah; Zimmerman, Marieke; Crocetti, Sara; Suls, Marc; Mariën, Tom; Ferguson, Stephen J; Chiers, Koen; Duchateau, Luc; Franco-Obregón, Alfredo; Wuertz, Karin; Spaas, Jan H

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watt, F.; Minqin, R.; Patricia Thong ps [Research Centre for Nuclear Microscopy, Dept. of Physics, National University of Singapore (Singapore)

    1999-07-01

    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{sub 2} and free radical damage. (author)

  5. Unconstrained cranial evolution in Neandertals and modern humans compared to common chimpanzees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Timothy D.; Stringer, Chris B.

    2015-01-01

    A variety of lines of evidence support the idea that neutral evolutionary processes (genetic drift, mutation) have been important in generating cranial differences between Neandertals and modern humans. But how do Neandertals and modern humans compare with other species? And how do these comparisons illuminate the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification? To address these questions, we used 27 standard cranial measurements collected on 2524 recent modern humans, 20 Neandertals and 237 common chimpanzees to estimate split times between Neandertals and modern humans, and between Pan troglodytes verus and two other subspecies of common chimpanzee. Consistent with a neutral divergence, the Neandertal versus modern human split-time estimates based on cranial measurements are similar to those based on DNA sequences. By contrast, the common chimpanzee cranial estimates are much lower than DNA-sequence estimates. Apparently, cranial evolution has been unconstrained in Neandertals and modern humans compared with common chimpanzees. Based on these and additional analyses, it appears that cranial differentiation in common chimpanzees has been restricted by stabilizing natural selection. Alternatively, this restriction could be due to genetic and/or developmental constraints on the amount of within-group variance (relative to effective population size) available for genetic drift to act on. PMID:26468243

  6. 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.

  7. Unconstrained cranial evolution in Neandertals and modern humans compared to common chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Timothy D; Stringer, Chris B

    2015-10-22

    A variety of lines of evidence support the idea that neutral evolutionary processes (genetic drift, mutation) have been important in generating cranial differences between Neandertals and modern humans. But how do Neandertals and modern humans compare with other species? And how do these comparisons illuminate the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification? To address these questions, we used 27 standard cranial measurements collected on 2524 recent modern humans, 20 Neandertals and 237 common chimpanzees to estimate split times between Neandertals and modern humans, and between Pan troglodytes verus and two other subspecies of common chimpanzee. Consistent with a neutral divergence, the Neandertal versus modern human split-time estimates based on cranial measurements are similar to those based on DNA sequences. By contrast, the common chimpanzee cranial estimates are much lower than DNA-sequence estimates. Apparently, cranial evolution has been unconstrained in Neandertals and modern humans compared with common chimpanzees. Based on these and additional analyses, it appears that cranial differentiation in common chimpanzees has been restricted by stabilizing natural selection. Alternatively, this restriction could be due to genetic and/or developmental constraints on the amount of within-group variance (relative to effective population size) available for genetic drift to act on. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. The origins and evolution of genetic disease risk in modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard J

    2010-09-01

    Patterns and risks of human disease have evolved. In this article, I review evidence regarding the importance of recent adaptive evolution, positive selection, and genomic conflicts in shaping the genetic and phenotypic architectures of polygenic human diseases. Strong recent selection in human populations can create and maintain genetically based disease risk primarily through three processes: increased scope for dysregulation from recent human adaptations, divergent optima generated by intraspecific genomic conflicts, and transient or stable deleterious by-products of positive selection caused by antagonistic pleiotropy, ultimately due to trade-offs at the levels of molecular genetics, development, and physiology. Human disease due to these processes appears to be concentrated in three sets of phenotypes: cognition and emotion, reproductive traits, and life-history traits related to long life-span. Diverse, convergent lines of evidence suggest that a small set of tissues whose pleiotropic patterns of gene function and expression are under especially strong selection-brain, placenta, testis, prostate, breast, and ovary-has mediated a considerable proportion of disease risk in modern humans. © 2010 New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

  11. Identification of the imprinted KLF14 transcription factor undergoing human-specific accelerated evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Layla Parker-Katiraee

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Imprinted genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin manner and are located in clusters throughout the genome. Aberrations in the expression of imprinted genes on human Chromosome 7 have been suggested to play a role in the etiologies of Russell-Silver Syndrome and autism. We describe the imprinting of KLF14, an intronless member of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors located at Chromosome 7q32. We show that it has monoallelic maternal expression in all embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues studied, in both human and mouse. We examine epigenetic modifications in the KLF14 CpG island in both species and find this region to be hypomethylated. In addition, we perform chromatin immunoprecipitation and find that the murine Klf14 CpG island lacks allele-specific histone modifications. Despite the absence of these defining features, our analysis of Klf14 in offspring from DNA methyltransferase 3a conditional knockout mice reveals that the gene's expression is dependent upon a maternally methylated region. Due to the intronless nature of Klf14 and its homology to Klf16, we suggest that the gene is an ancient retrotransposed copy of Klf16. By sequence analysis of numerous species, we place the timing of this event after the divergence of Marsupialia, yet prior to the divergence of the Xenarthra superclade. We identify a large number of sequence variants in KLF14 and, using several measures of diversity, we determine that there is greater variability in the human lineage with a significantly increased number of nonsynonymous changes, suggesting human-specific accelerated evolution. Thus, KLF14 may be the first example of an imprinted transcript undergoing accelerated evolution in the human lineage.

  12. Gorilla and Orangutan Brains Conform to the Primate Cellular Scaling Rules: Implications for Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H.

    2011-01-01

    Gorillas and orangutans are primates at least as large as humans, but their brains amount to about one third of the size of the human brain. This discrepancy has been used as evidence that the human brain is about 3 times larger than it should be for a primate species of its body size. In contrast to the view that the human brain is special in its size, we have suggested that it is the great apes that might have evolved bodies that are unusually large, on the basis of our recent finding that the cellular composition of the human brain matches that expected for a primate brain of its size, making the human brain a linearly scaled-up primate brain in its number of cells. To investigate whether the brain of great apes also conforms to the primate cellular scaling rules identified previously, we determine the numbers of neuronal and other cells that compose the orangutan and gorilla cerebella, use these numbers to calculate the size of the brain and of the cerebral cortex expected for these species, and show that these match the sizes described in the literature. Our results suggest that the brains of great apes also scale linearly in their numbers of neurons like other primate brains, including humans. The conformity of great apes and humans to the linear cellular scaling rules that apply to other primates that diverged earlier in primate evolution indicates that prehistoric Homo species as well as other hominins must have had brains that conformed to the same scaling rules, irrespective of their body size. We then used those scaling rules and published estimated brain volumes for various hominin species to predict the numbers of neurons that composed their brains. We predict that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis had brains with approximately 80 billion neurons, within the range of variation found in modern Homo sapiens. We propose that while the cellular scaling rules that apply to the primate brain have remained stable in hominin evolution (since they

  13. The Red Queen in mitochondria: cyto-nuclear co-evolution, hybrid breakdown and human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jui-Yu eChou

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Cyto-nuclear incompatibility, a specific form of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility caused by incompatible alleles between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, has been suggested to play a critical role during speciation. Several features of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA, including high mutation rate, dynamic genomic structure, and uniparental inheritance, make mtDNA more likely to accumulate mutations in the population. Once mtDNA has changed, the nuclear genome needs to play catch-up due to the intimate interactions between these two genomes. In two populations, if cyto-nuclear co-evolution is driven in different directions, it may eventually lead to hybrid incompatibility. Although cyto-nuclear incompatibility has been observed in a wide range of organisms, it remains unclear what type of mutations drives the co-evolution. Currently, evidence supporting adaptive mutations in mtDNA remains limited. On the other hand, it has been known that some mutations allow mtDNA to propagate more efficiently but compromise the host fitness (described as selfish mtDNA. Arms races between such selfish mtDNA and host nuclear genomes can accelerate cyto-nuclear co-evolution and lead to a phenomenon called the Red Queen Effect. Here, we discuss how the Red Queen Effect may contribute to the frequent observation of cyto-nuclear incompatibility and be the underlying driving force of some human mitochondrial diseases.

  14. The Red Queen in mitochondria: cyto-nuclear co-evolution, hybrid breakdown and human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Jui-Yu; Leu, Jun-Yi

    2015-01-01

    Cyto-nuclear incompatibility, a specific form of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility caused by incompatible alleles between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, has been suggested to play a critical role during speciation. Several features of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), including high mutation rate, dynamic genomic structure, and uniparental inheritance, make mtDNA more likely to accumulate mutations in the population. Once mtDNA has changed, the nuclear genome needs to play catch-up due to the intimate interactions between these two genomes. In two populations, if cyto-nuclear co-evolution is driven in different directions, it may eventually lead to hybrid incompatibility. Although cyto-nuclear incompatibility has been observed in a wide range of organisms, it remains unclear what type of mutations drives the co-evolution. Currently, evidence supporting adaptive mutations in mtDNA remains limited. On the other hand, it has been known that some mutations allow mtDNA to propagate more efficiently but compromise the host fitness (described as selfish mtDNA). Arms races between such selfish mtDNA and host nuclear genomes can accelerate cyto-nuclear co-evolution and lead to a phenomenon called the Red Queen Effect. Here, we discuss how the Red Queen Effect may contribute to the frequent observation of cyto-nuclear incompatibility and be the underlying driving force of some human mitochondrial diseases.

  15. [Human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS in terms of reverse transcriptase and molecular evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doi, H

    1998-03-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolves rapidly in the host. The computer analysis of the HIV-1 genome has shown that the mutation manner is dependent on oligonucleotide sequences (in particular, six bases long); thus HIV-1 adaptively evolves. The six-base-long interaction between template-primer oligonucleotide and the reverse transcriptase (RT) has been revealed by the crystal structure of RT, in vitro termination assay of plymerization, and hydroxyl radical footprint analysis. It has been thought that AIDS is caused by the large numbers of HIV-1 quasispecies yielded by the adaptive and rapid evolution in the host. However, the slow evolution and the high levels of viral RNA in the progressive HIV-1 infected individuals (progressives) were recently reported; in contrast, the adaptive and rapid evolution and the low viral-RNA levels were reported in the non-progressives. This suggests that the physiological environment, e.g. pH and dNTP balance, in which RT works in the progressives is different from that in the non-progressives.

  16. Plausible mechanisms for brain structural and size changes in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazek, Vladimir; Brùzek, Jaroslav; Casanova, Manuel F

    2011-09-01

    Encephalization has many contexts and implications. On one hand, it is concerned with the transformation of eating habits, social relationships and communication, cognitive skills and the mind. Along with the increase in brain size on the other hand, encephalization is connected with the creation of more complex brain structures, namely in the cerebral cortex. It is imperative to inquire into the mechanisms which are linked with brain growth and to find out which of these mechanisms allow it and determine it. There exist a number of theories for understanding human brain evolution which originate from neurological sciences. These theories are the concept of radial units, minicolumns, mirror neurons, and neurocognitive networks. Over the course of evolution, it is evident that a whole range of changes have taken place in regards to heredity. These changes include new mutations of genes in the microcephalin complex, gene duplications, gene co-expression, and genomic imprinting. This complex study of the growth and reorganization of the brain and the functioning of hereditary factors and their external influences creates an opportunity to consider the implications of cultural evolution and cognitive faculties.

  17. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Is Associated with Low Spinal Bone Density: A Comparative Study between Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Finn B.; Langdahl, Bente L.; Ernst, Carsten; Fruensgaard, Søren; Østergaard, Jørgen; Andersen, Jens Langer; Niedermann, Bent; Høy, Kristian; Helmig, Peter; Holm, Randi; Egund, Niels; Bünger, Cody

    2013-01-01

    Spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis share many symptoms and the same treatment, but their causes remain unclear. Bone mineral density has been suggested to play a role. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in spinal bone density between spinal stenosis 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% osteopenic compared to only 9% of spinal stenosis patients being osteoporotic and 30% osteopenic (P = 0.01). Pain levels tended to increase with poorer bone status (P = 0.06). Patients treated surgically for symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis have much lower bone mass than patients of similar age treated surgically for spinal stenosis. Low BMD might play a role in the development of the degenerative spondylolisthesis, further studies are needed to clarify this. PMID:24024179

  18. SNP@Evolution: a hierarchical database of positive selection on the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richards Elliott

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Positive selection is a driving force that has shaped the modern human. Recent developments in high throughput technologies and corresponding statistics tools have made it possible to conduct whole genome surveys at a population scale, and a variety of measurements, such as heterozygosity (HET, FST, and Tajima's D, have been applied to multiple datasets to identify signals of positive selection. However, great effort has been required to combine various types of data from individual sources, and incompatibility among datasets has been a common problem. SNP@Evolution, a new database which integrates multiple datasets, will greatly assist future work in this area. Description As part of our research scanning for evolutionary signals in HapMap Phase II and Phase III datasets, we built SNP@Evolution as a multi-aspect database focused on positive selection. Among its many features, SNP@Evolution provides computed FST and HET of all HapMap SNPs, 5+ HapMap SNPs per qualified gene, and all autosome regions detected from whole genome window scanning. In an attempt to capture multiple selection signals across the genome, selection-signal enrichment strength (ES values of HET, FST, and P-values of iHS of most annotated genes have been calculated and integrated within one frame for users to search for outliers. Genes with significant ES or P-values (with thresholds of 0.95 and 0.05, respectively have been highlighted in color. Low diversity chromosome regions have been detected by sliding a 100 kb window in a 10 kb step. To allow this information to be easily disseminated, a graphical user interface (GBrowser was constructed with the Generic Model Organism Database toolkit. Conclusion Available at http://bighapmap.big.ac.cn, SNP@Evolution is a hierarchical database focused on positive selection of the human genome. Based on HapMap Phase II and III data, SNP@Evolution includes 3,619,226/1,389,498 SNPs with their computed HET and FST, as

  19. Human evolution. Response to Comment on "Human-like hand use in Australopithecus africanus".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Matthew M; Stephens, Nicholas B; Tsegai, Zewdi J; Foote, Alexandra C; Nguyen, N Huynh; Gross, Thomas; Pahr, Dieter H; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kivell, Tracy L

    2015-06-05

    Almécija and colleagues claim that we apply a simplified understanding of bone functional adaptation and that our results of human-like hand use in Australopithecus africanus are not novel. We argue that our results speak to actual behavior, rather than potential behaviors, and our functional interpretation is well supported by our methodological approach, comparative sample, and previous experimental data. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Origin and evolution of candidate mental retardation genes on the human X chromosome (MRX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deakin Janine E

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The human X chromosome has a biased gene content. One group of genes that is over-represented on the human X are those expressed in the brain, explaining the large number of sex-linked mental retardation (MRX syndromes. Results To determine if MRX genes were recruited to the X, or whether their brain-specific functions were acquired after relocation to the mammalian X chromosome, we examined the location and expression of their orthologues in marsupials, which diverged from human approximately 180 million years ago. We isolated and mapped nine tammar wallaby MRX homologues, finding that six were located on the tammar wallaby X (which represents the ancient conserved mammal X and three on chromosome 5, representing the recently added region of the human X chromosome. The location of MRX genes within the same synteny groups in human and wallaby does not support the hypothesis that genes with an important function in the brain were recruited in multiple independent events from autosomes to the mammalian X chromosome. Most of the tammar wallaby MRX homologues were more widely expressed in tammar wallaby than in human. Only one, the tammar wallaby ARX homologue (located on tammar chromosome 5p, has a restricted expression pattern comparable to its pattern in human. The retention of the brain-specific expression of ARX over 180 million years suggests that this gene plays a fundamental role in mammalian brain development and function. Conclusion Our results suggest all the genes in this study may have originally had more general functions that became more specialised and important in brain function during evolution of humans and other placental mammals.

  1. 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).

  2. Life history trade-offs explain the evolution of human pygmies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliano, Andrea Bamberg; Vinicius, Lucio; Lahr, Marta Mirazón

    2007-12-18

    Explanations for the evolution of human pygmies continue to be a matter of controversy, recently fuelled by the disagreements surrounding the interpretation of the fossil hominin Homo floresiensis. Traditional hypotheses assume that the small body size of human pygmies is an adaptation to special challenges, such as thermoregulation, locomotion in dense forests, or endurance against starvation. Here, we present an analysis of stature, growth, and individual fitness for a large population of Aeta and a smaller one of Batak from the Philippines and compare it with data on other pygmy groups accumulated by anthropologists for a century. The results challenge traditional explanations of human pygmy body size. We argue that human pygmy populations and adaptations evolved independently as the result of a life history tradeoff between the fertility benefits of larger body size against the costs of late growth cessation, under circumstances of significant young and adult mortality. Human pygmies do not appear to have evolved through positive selection for small stature-this was a by-product of selection for early onset of reproduction.

  3. Evolution of the human-water relationships in 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.

    2015-01-01

    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 partitioning precipitation into evapotranspiration and runoff. The reconstruction results provided the basis for investigating the impacts of human societies on hydrological systems. Based on transition theory the evolutionary processes 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 rebalancing (after AD 2000). The evolutionary process analysis revealed that there were large differences in the rate and scale of change and the period over which they occurred, and transition of the human-water relationship had no fixed pattern. This understanding of the dynamics of the human-water relationship will assist policy makers to identify management practices that require improvement by understanding how today's problems were created in the past, for more sustainable catchment in the future.

  4. 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.

  5. Evolution. Systematic humanization of yeast genes reveals conserved functions and genetic modularity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kachroo, Aashiq H; Laurent, Jon M; Yellman, Christopher M; Meyer, Austin G; Wilke, Claus O; Marcotte, Edward M

    2015-05-22

    To determine whether genes retain ancestral functions over a billion years of evolution and to identify principles of deep evolutionary divergence, we replaced 414 essential yeast genes with their human orthologs, assaying for complementation of lethal growth defects upon loss of the yeast genes. Nearly half (47%) of the yeast genes could be successfully humanized. Sequence similarity and expression only partly predicted replaceability. Instead, replaceability depended strongly on gene modules: Genes in the same process tended to be similarly replaceable (e.g., sterol biosynthesis) or not (e.g., DNA replication initiation). Simulations confirmed that selection for specific function can maintain replaceability despite extensive sequence divergence. Critical ancestral functions of many essential genes are thus retained in a pathway-specific manner, resilient to drift in sequences, splicing, and protein interfaces. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. What moves us? How mobility and movement are at the center of human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Steven L; Raichlen, David A; Clark, Amy E

    2016-05-06

    Movement is central to the survival of all free-living organisms. Consequently, movement and what anthropologists often refer to as mobility, which is the sum of small-scale movements tracked across larger geographic and temporal scales, are key targets of selection. Movement and mobility also underpin many of the key features that make us human and that allowed our lineage to adapt to changing environments across the globe. The most obvious example is the evolution of humans' singular mode of locomotion. Bipedalism is arguably the most important derived anatomical trait of the hominin lineage. The mechanisms and circumstances that gave rise to this novel mode of movement remain subjects of intense research. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. The Evolution and Functional Impact of Human Deletion Variants Shared with Archaic Hominin Genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yen-Lung; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Karakoc, Emre; Ajay, Jerry; Gokcumen, Omer

    2015-01-01

    Allele sharing between modern and archaic hominin genomes has been variously interpreted to have originated from ancestral genetic structure or through non-African introgression from archaic hominins. However, evolution of polymorphic human deletions that are shared with archaic hominin genomes has yet to be studied. We identified 427 polymorphic human deletions that are shared with archaic hominin genomes, approximately 87% of which originated before the Human–Neandertal divergence (ancient) and only approximately 9% of which have been introgressed from Neandertals (introgressed). Recurrence, incomplete lineage sorting between human and chimp lineages, and hominid-specific insertions constitute the remaining approximately 4% of allele sharing between humans and archaic hominins. We observed that ancient deletions correspond to more than 13% of all common (>5% allele frequency) deletion variation among modern humans. Our analyses indicate that the genomic landscapes of both ancient and introgressed deletion variants were primarily shaped by purifying selection, eliminating large and exonic variants. We found 17 exonic deletions that are shared with archaic hominin genomes, including those leading to three fusion transcripts. The affected genes are involved in metabolism of external and internal compounds, growth and sperm formation, as well as susceptibility to psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. Our analyses suggest that these “exonic” deletion variants have evolved through different adaptive forces, including balancing and population-specific positive selection. Our findings reveal that genomic structural variants that are shared between humans and archaic hominin genomes are common among modern humans and can influence biomedically and evolutionarily important phenotypes. PMID:25556237

  10. Rationale for the Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Degenerative Spondylolisthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Gregory D; Kepler, Christopher K; Kurd, Mark F; Vaccaro, Alexander R; Hsu, Wellington K; Patel, Alpesh A; Savage, Jason W

    2015-11-01

    A questionnaire survey. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of patient age, dynamic instability, and/or low back pain on the treatment of patients with a degenerative spondylolisthesis, and if the operative approach is affected by surgeon specialty, location, or practice model. The classic treatment for patients with symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis is decompression and fusion; however in a select group of patients, an isolated decompression may be reasonable. A survey was sent to surgeon members of the Lumbar Spine Research Society and AOSpine requesting information regarding their preferred treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis for a number of different clinical scenarios. Determinants included patient age, the presence of instability, symptoms of low back pain, surgeon's location, surgeon's specialty, and practice model. A total of 223 spine surgeons completed the survey. Age of the patient, the presence of instability, and low back pain all significantly (P spondylolisthesis. The most common operative treatment for a degenerative spondylolisthesis is a decompression and fusion; however, the results of this survey demonstrate that surgeons consider degenerative spondylolisthesis a heterogeneous condition that requires an individualized surgical plan. Future studies are needed to evaluate the effect of variables such as age, the presence of low back pain, and the presence of dynamic instability on patient reported outcomes from various surgical options. N/A.

  11. CT findings of isthmic spondylolisthesis and degenerative spondylolisthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Suk Kyeong; Cho, Seong II; Chung, Gyung Ho; Lee, Sang Yong; Han, Young Min; Sohn, Myung Hee; Kim, Chong Soo; Choi, Ki Chul [Chonbuk National Univ. College of Medicine, Chonju (Korea, Republic of)

    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.

  12. 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)

  13. Gestural and Symbolic Development among Apes and Humans: Support for a Multimodal Theory of Language Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen eGillespie-Lynch

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans? This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared nonverbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution.

  14. Gestural and symbolic development among apes and humans: support for a multimodal theory of language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Greenfield, Patricia M; Lyn, Heidi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue

    2014-01-01

    What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans?This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo, and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared non-verbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact) were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular epidemiology and evolution of human respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor R Gaunt

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV and human metapneumovirus (HMPV are ubiquitous respiratory pathogens of the Pneumovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae. Two major surface antigens are expressed by both viruses; the highly conserved fusion (F protein, and the extremely diverse attachment (G glycoprotein. Both viruses comprise two genetic groups, A and B. Circulation frequencies of the two genetic groups fluctuate for both viruses, giving rise to frequently observed switching of the predominantly circulating group. Nucleotide sequence data for the F and G gene regions of HRSV and HMPV variants from the UK, The Netherlands, Bangkok and data available from Genbank were used to identify clades of both viruses. Several contemporary circulating clades of HRSV and HMPV were identified by phylogenetic reconstructions. The molecular epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics of clades were modelled in parallel. Times of origin were determined and positively selected sites were identified. Sustained circulation of contemporary clades of both viruses for decades and their global dissemination demonstrated that switching of the predominant genetic group did not arise through the emergence of novel lineages each respiratory season, but through the fluctuating circulation frequencies of pre-existing lineages which undergo proliferative and eclipse phases. An abundance of sites were identified as positively selected within the G protein but not the F protein of both viruses. For HRSV, these were discordant with previously identified residues under selection, suggesting the virus can evade immune responses by generating diversity at multiple sites within linear epitopes. For both viruses, different sites were identified as positively selected between genetic groups.

  17. Formation of Behavioural Finance as the Natural Stage of the Human Model Evolution in Economics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor Pavlovich Ivanitsky

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the background analysis of the formation of human model in economics. in the conditions of the constantly performing development of the economic science until the neoclassic paradigm and its modifications. Among them is behavioural finance, which presents a special interest for modern researchers. The evolution of the model of making economically significant decisions in inter-temporal and essential dimensions is the subject matter of the research. We have shown that the concept of the economic human model itself is the multidimensional one. In parallel with the processes of economical, social and political changes and economic science development, the economic human model was becoming more complex and relevant for each period of time. In this regard, we followed the stages of defining the concept of “subject rationality”. The study determines the significant traits implemented by researchers to create a full and consistent human model. We demonstrate the gradual development of economists’ idea of different types of the motivation of economic agents. Along with the financial factors of motivation, the scientists begin to take into account non-financial ones. This approach can help researchers get more “humanistic” view at the economic human. The modern concept of the economic human with attention to its implicit restrictions is formed through the complication of requirements to the rationality and its components crystallization. In the paper, we characterize contribution of the domestic scientists to the development of new directions of economic theory. The research describes the role of different regional economic scientific schools in the process of the formation of the Russian behavioural finance school

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Gene–culture interaction and the evolution of the human sense of fairness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tru-Gin; Lu, Yao

    2016-01-01

    How Darwinian evolution would produce creatures with the proclivity of Darwinian generosity, most of them voluntarily giving up the immediate benefit for themselves or their genes, remains a puzzle. This study targets a problem, the origin of human sense of fairness, and uses fairness-related genes and the social manipulation of Darwinian generosity as the key variables underlying the human sense of fairness, inequity aversion, as well as their relationships within cooperation, and the anticipation foresight of the way relationships are affected by resource division, given the assumption of randomly matched partners. Here we suggest a model in which phenotype will gradually converge towards the perfect sense of fairness along with the prospect of cooperation. Later, the sense of fairness will decrease but it is never extinct. Where social manipulation of Darwinian generosity overshadows genetics, the sense of fairness could be acute to the degree of social manipulation. Above all, there still exists a threshold in the degree of social manipulation, beyond which altruism dominates selfishness in human cooperation. Finally, we propose three new directions toward more realistic scenarios stimulated by recent development of the synergy between statistical physics, network science and evolutionary game theory. PMID:27562008

  5. Gene-culture interaction and the evolution of the human sense of fairness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tru-Gin; Lu, Yao

    2016-08-26

    How Darwinian evolution would produce creatures with the proclivity of Darwinian generosity, most of them voluntarily giving up the immediate benefit for themselves or their genes, remains a puzzle. This study targets a problem, the origin of human sense of fairness, and uses fairness-related genes and the social manipulation of Darwinian generosity as the key variables underlying the human sense of fairness, inequity aversion, as well as their relationships within cooperation, and the anticipation foresight of the way relationships are affected by resource division, given the assumption of randomly matched partners. Here we suggest a model in which phenotype will gradually converge towards the perfect sense of fairness along with the prospect of cooperation. Later, the sense of fairness will decrease but it is never extinct. Where social manipulation of Darwinian generosity overshadows genetics, the sense of fairness could be acute to the degree of social manipulation. Above all, there still exists a threshold in the degree of social manipulation, beyond which altruism dominates selfishness in human cooperation. Finally, we propose three new directions toward more realistic scenarios stimulated by recent development of the synergy between statistical physics, network science and evolutionary game theory.

  6. Parental selection: a third selection process in the evolution of human hairlessness and skin color.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Judith Rich

    2006-01-01

    It is proposed that human hairlessness, and the pale skin seen in modern Europeans and Asians, are not the results of Darwinian selection; these attributes provide no survival benefits. They are instead the results of sexual selection combined with a third, previously unrecognized, process: parental selection. The use of infanticide as a method of birth control in premodern societies gave parents - in particular, mothers - the power to exert an influence on the course of human evolution by deciding whether to keep or abandon a newborn infant. If such a decision was made before the infant was born, it could be overturned in the positive direction if the infant was particularly beautiful - that is, if the infant conformed to the standards of beauty prescribed by the mother's culture. It could be overturned in the negative direction if the infant failed to meet those standards. Thus, human hairlessness and pale skin could have resulted in part from cultural preferences expressed as decisions made by women immediately after childbirth.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Changes in collagen cross-linking in degenerative disc disease and scoliosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duance, V C; Crean, J K; Sims, T J; Avery, N; Smith, S; Menage, J; Eisenstein, S M; Roberts, S

    1998-12-01

    Biochemical study of the changes in the collagen cross-link profile of human intervertebral discs collected at surgery from patients with either low back pain associated with disc degeneration or scoliosis. To determine whether changes occur in the collagen cross-link profile in the disc of patients with either low back pain associated with disc degeneration or scoliosis, which may well influence matrix integrity. Such changes in the cross-link profile of a tissue indicates increased matrix turnover and tissue remodeling and may have implications for the progression of these disorders. The diseases of the intervertebral disc, degenerative disc disease and scoliosis, are both characterized by changes in the extracellular matrix components that will affect the mechanical function of the tissue. The stability of the collagenous components and hence the mechanical integrity of connective tissues such as the disc is dependent on the degree and type of cross-links between the collagen molecules. This article reports results on the distribution of the different cross-links in the disc and the changes that occur with age, degenerative disc disease, and scoliosis. Thirty-three discs were obtained from patients with degenerative disc disease and 29 discs from patients with scoliosis. Samples were acid hydrolyzed and the collagen cross-links analyzed by either fractionation on an amino acid analyzer configured for cross-link analysis using ninhydrin postcolumn detection or fractionation by high-pressure liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The reducible cross-links and the mature cross-link all increased from the outer anulus fibrosus through into the nucleus pulposus. The highest levels of the mature cross-link were found in the cartilage end-plate. The nonenzymic derived cross-link, pentosidine, in contrast, showed little difference across the disc, but did show the expected age-related increase. In degenerative disc disease, no change in the levels of the

  9. Evolution of human G4P[8] group A rotavirus strains circulating in Italy in 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianiro, Giovanni; Delogu, Roberto; Fiore, Lucia; Ruggeri, Franco M

    2015-06-02

    Group A rotaviruses (RVA) are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in young (humans worldwide are associated with the five major G/P combinations G1P[8], G2P[4], G3P[8], G4P[8] and G9P[8]. During RVA gastroenteritis surveillance in Italy, a total of 1112 samples collected from children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in 2013 were RVA positive and were genotyped following standardized protocols from the EuroRotaNet. Most strains analyzed belonged to the five major human genotypes. Among these common strains, 22 G4P[8] RVA strains from different Italian regions were subjected to nucleotide sequencing of their VP4, VP6, VP7 and NSP4 genes to investigate their evolution. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the Italian strains belonged to lineage G4-I for VP7 and to lineage P[8]-III for VP4, in line with the modern G4P[8] RVA strains detected in children worldwide. The phylogenetic trees revealed high degrees of nucleotide identity between the RVA strains involved in this study and G4P[8] strains detected previously in Europe, Asia and Africa, but also demonstrated at least three separate evolution clusters within the same lineage. Based on the amino acid sequences deduced for their hypervariable regions, both the VP7 and VP8* proteins of the Italian G4P[8] RVA strains presented amino acid substitutions near known neutralizing epitopes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. [Role of defective intracellular proteolysis in human degenerative diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nezelof, Christian

    2012-11-01

    Although intracellular protein synthesis has been studied extensively, protein degradation and disposal, know as proteolysis, has been relatively neglected. Modern studies which led two Nobel prizes (de Duve in 1950 and Herschko, Rose and Ciechanover in 1980) established that proteolysis is ensured by two separate but complementary mechanisms: lysosomes responsible for auto and heterophagy and the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS). The UPS involves ubiquitin, a small molecule consisting of 76 amino acids found in all eukaryotic cells that ensures the identification of the protein to be degraded and its transport to the proteasome, an intracellular complex with enzymes which degrade unneeded or damaged proteins. The proteasome, acting as a composting agent, ensures the enzymatic dissociation of the protein. In this degradation process, as infinite screw, ubiquitin, peptides and amino acids are released and made available for a new cycle. Knowledge of the UPS and its related disorders is continually expanding. Concurrent with lysosomes which work in acidic environment, it is currently known that the UPS provides 80% to 90% of the proteolysis of the short-life proteins and ensures, as chaperon-molecules, the right conformation and hence the correct function of the proteins. The proteolytic activity generates abnormal residues (tau protein, amyloid and related proteins) and various soluble and insoluble wastes. Some are precipitated as inclusion-bodies or aggregosomes, identified years ago by pathologists. These aggregosomes affect almost exclusively long-lived cells (nervous and muscular, macophages). Pigment deposits, such as lipofuscines made by the peroxydation of cell membranes, are the most abundant. Due to their diverse chemical composition, they cannot be empoyed for a scientific classification. Failures of these systems are numerous. They vary not according to the chemical nature of the abnormal protein and wastes but the life span of the targeted cells and the nature of proteolysis. In this article, therefore, the following distinction should be made:--Lysosomal failures. They represent hereditary metabolic disorders involving all categories of cells. They are characterized by the accumulation of homogeneous material related to the underlying disease. Young people are predominantly affected--UPS failures. They represent sporadic conditions principally involving long-lived cells. The accumulated material is heterogeneous, composed of abnormal proteins and various "garbage-like" waste, including pigments. The elderly are predominatly affected, suggesting an epigenetic wear and tear process. Hypothetically, most the sporadic neurodegenerative diseases, from retinal macular degeneration and its associated drüsen to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease may represent fairly good examples of the UPS deficit.

  11. ‘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

  12. The transition to foraging for dense and predictable resources and its impact on the evolution of modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marean, Curtis W

    2016-07-05

    Scientists have identified a series of milestones in the evolution of the human food quest that are anticipated to have had far-reaching impacts on biological, behavioural and cultural evolution: the inclusion of substantial portions of meat, the broad spectrum revolution and the transition to food production. The foraging shift to dense and predictable resources is another key milestone that had consequential impacts on the later part of human evolution. The theory of economic defendability predicts that this shift had an important consequence-elevated levels of intergroup territoriality and conflict. In this paper, this theory is integrated with a well-established general theory of hunter-gatherer adaptations and is used to make predictions for the sequence of appearance of several evolved traits of modern humans. The distribution of dense and predictable resources in Africa is reviewed and found to occur only in aquatic contexts (coasts, rivers and lakes). The palaeoanthropological empirical record contains recurrent evidence for a shift to the exploitation of dense and predictable resources by 110 000 years ago, and the first known occurrence is in a marine coastal context in South Africa. Some theory predicts that this elevated conflict would have provided the conditions for selection for the hyperprosocial behaviours unique to modern humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of degenerative cervical myelopathy: a review of structural changes and measurement techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouri, Aria; Martin, Allan R; Mikulis, David; Fehlings, Michael G

    2016-06-01

    Degenerative cervical myelopathy encompasses a spectrum of age-related structural changes of the cervical spine that result in static and dynamic injury to the spinal cord and collectively represent the most common cause of myelopathy in adults. Although cervical myelopathy is determined clinically, the diagnosis requires confirmation via imaging, and MRI is the preferred modality. Because of the heterogeneity of the condition and evolution of MRI technology, multiple techniques have been developed over the years in an attempt to quantify the degree of baseline severity and potential for neurological recovery. In this review, these techniques are categorized anatomically into those that focus on bone, ligaments, discs, and the spinal cord. In addition, measurements for the cervical spine canal size and sagittal alignment are also described briefly. These tools have resulted collectively in the identification of numerous useful parameters. However, the development of multiple techniques for assessing the same feature, such as cord compression, has also resulted in a number of challenges, including introducing ambiguity in terms of which methods to use and hindering effective comparisons of analysis in the literature. In addition, newer techniques that use advanced MRI are emerging and providing exciting new tools for assessing the spinal cord in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy.

  14. Detecting lineage-specific adaptive evolution of brain-expressed genes in human using rhesus macaque as outgroup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Xiao-Jing; Zheng, Hong-Kun; Wang, Jun

    2006-01-01

    Comparative genetic analysis between human and chimpanzee may detect genetic divergences responsible for human-specific characteristics. Previous studies have identified a series of genes that potentially underwent Darwinian positive selection during human evolution. However, without a closely...... related species as outgroup, it is difficult to identify human-lineage-specific changes, which is critical in delineating the biological uniqueness of humans. In this study, we conducted phylogeny-based analyses of 2633 human brain-expressed genes using rhesus macaque as the outgroup. We identified 47...... candidate genes showing strong evidence of positive selection in the human lineage. Genes with maximal expression in the brain showed a higher evolutionary rate in human than in chimpanzee. We observed that many immune-defense-related genes were under strong positive selection, and this trend was more...

  15. 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

  16. Inflammatory and degenerative disease in the temporomandibular joint

    OpenAIRE

    Gynther, Göran W.

    1996-01-01

    Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthroscopy is an established technique withhigh diagnostic accuracy regarding synovitis and degenerative changes of the articularfibrocartilage and disk. However, so far no studies have been done to correlate themacroscopic and histologic findings with each arthroscopic criterion. Thereforepatients with TMJ internal derangement (ID) were investigated by arthroscopy andarthrotomy (with biopsy) and the findings were compared with observations usinglight microscopy...

  17. Bilateral degenerative coxofemoral joint disease in a foal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trent, A M; Krook, L

    1985-02-01

    Bilateral degenerative coxofemoral joint disease and noninflammatory osteonecrosis in the femoral heads were diagnosed in a 5-month-old Standardbred colt. Cytologic evaluation and bacterial cultures of coxofemoral synovial fluid, and radiographic and pathologic examination of the coxofemoral joints were conducted. The cause was not determined; however, a thrombus found in association with 1 focus of osteonecrosis was suspected as an etiologic factor.

  18. Cervical degenerative disc disease: epidemiology, natural history, clinical presentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kollintzas

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease (CDDD is a common diagnosis for patients with neck and arm pain. Abnormal MRI or x-ray findings are not enough to establish diagnosis and propose therapeutic intervention. Epidemiology, natural history and clinical syndromes related with CDDD are presented in detail.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozzoli, Uberto; Menozzi, Giorgia; Fumagalli, Matteo; Cereda, Matteo; Comi, Giacomo P; Cagliani, Rachele; Bresolin, Nereo; Sironi, Manuela

    2008-03-27

    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. 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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Reconstruction of human evolution: Bringing together genetic, archaeological, and linguistic data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cavalli-Sforza, L.L.; Piazza, A.; Menozzi, P.; Mountain, J. (Stanford Univ., CA (USA))

    1988-08-01

    The genetic information for this work came from a very large collection of gene frequencies for classical (non-DNA) polymorphisms of the world aborigines. The data were grouped in 42 populations studied for 120 alleles. The reconstruction of human evolutionary history thus generated was checked with statistical techniques such as boot-strapping. It changes some earlier conclusions and is in agreement with more recent ones, including published and unpublished DNA-marker results. The first split in the phylogenetic tree separates Africans from non-Africans, and the second separates two major clusters, one corresponding to Caucasoids, East Asians, Arctic populations, and American natives, and the other to Southeast Asians (mainland and insular), Pacific islanders, and New Guineans and Australians. Average genetic distances between the most important clusters are proportional to archaeological separation times. Linguistic families correspond to groups of populations with very few, easily understood overlaps, and their origin can be given a time frame. Linguistic superfamilies show remarkable correspondence with the two major clusters, indicating considerable parallelism between genetic and lingustic evolution. The latest step in language development may have been an important factor determining the rapid expansion that followed the appearance of modern humans and the demise of Neanderthals.

  3. Phylogenetic investigation of human FGFR-bearing paralogons favors piecemeal duplication theory of vertebrate genome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajmal, Wajya; Khan, Hiba; Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying the organismal complexity and origin of novelties during vertebrate history is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. Ohno (1970) was the first to postulate that whole genome duplications (WGD) have played a vital role in the evolution of new gene functions: permitting an increase in morphological, physiological and anatomical complexity during early vertebrate history. Here, we analyze the evolutionary history of human FGFR-bearing paralogon (human autosome 4/5/8/10) by the phylogenetic analysis of multigene families with triplicate and quadruplicate distribution on these chromosomes. Our results categorized the histories of 21 families into discrete co-duplicated groups. Genes of a particular co-duplicated group exhibit identical evolutionary history and have duplicated in concert with each other, whereas genes belonging to different groups have dissimilar histories and have not duplicated concurrently. Taken together with our previously published data, we submit that there is sufficient empirical evidence to disprove the 1R/2R hypothesis and to support the general prediction that vertebrate genome evolved by relatively small-scale, regional duplication events that spread across the history of life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The evolution of the human pelvis: changing adaptations to bipedalism, obstetrics and thermoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruss, Laura Tobias; Schmitt, Daniel

    2015-03-05

    The fossil record of the human pelvis reveals the selective priorities acting on hominin anatomy at different points in our evolutionary history, during which mechanical requirements for locomotion, childbirth and thermoregulation often conflicted. In our earliest upright ancestors, fundamental alterations of the pelvis compared with non-human primates facilitated bipedal walking. Further changes early in hominin evolution produced a platypelloid birth canal in a pelvis that was wide overall, with flaring ilia. This pelvic form was maintained over 3-4 Myr with only moderate changes in response to greater habitat diversity, changes in locomotor behaviour and increases in brain size. It was not until Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and the Middle East 200 000 years ago that the narrow anatomically modern pelvis with a more circular birth canal emerged. This major change appears to reflect selective pressures for further increases in neonatal brain size and for a narrow body shape associated with heat dissipation in warm environments. The advent of the modern birth canal, the shape and alignment of which require fetal rotation during birth, allowed the earliest members of our species to deal obstetrically with increases in encephalization while maintaining a narrow body to meet thermoregulatory demands and enhance locomotor performance. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Geoethics and philosophy of Earth sciences: the role of geophysical factors in human evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Telmo Pievani

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This article explores the role of philosophy of the Earth sciences in the foundation of the principles of ‘geoethics’. In particular, the focus is on two different examples of philosophical analysis in the field of geosciences: the first is the trial against the Italian National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, which was charged with negligence in communication and prediction on the occasion of the earthquake that almost destroyed the city of L’Aquila on the night of April 6, 2009; the second is related to the scientific and theoretical consequences of the updated geographical scenario of the human global populating of the Earth, based on archeological, paleontological and genetic data. Our concept of ‘scientific prediction’ in the case of geophysical phenomena and the new ways to see human evolution that depend on geophysical factors have ethical and philosophical implications that are crucial for the foundations of geoethics. The tentative conclusion is that we need an evolutionary sense of belonging to our Planet, and a concept of ‘natural’ phenomena and ‘natural’ disasters that should not be an alibi for the underestimation of our political and ethical responsibilities.

  6. The evolution of the human pelvis: changing adaptations to bipedalism, obstetrics and thermoregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruss, Laura Tobias; Schmitt, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of the human pelvis reveals the selective priorities acting on hominin anatomy at different points in our evolutionary history, during which mechanical requirements for locomotion, childbirth and thermoregulation often conflicted. In our earliest upright ancestors, fundamental alterations of the pelvis compared with non-human primates facilitated bipedal walking. Further changes early in hominin evolution produced a platypelloid birth canal in a pelvis that was wide overall, with flaring ilia. This pelvic form was maintained over 3–4 Myr with only moderate changes in response to greater habitat diversity, changes in locomotor behaviour and increases in brain size. It was not until Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and the Middle East 200 000 years ago that the narrow anatomically modern pelvis with a more circular birth canal emerged. This major change appears to reflect selective pressures for further increases in neonatal brain size and for a narrow body shape associated with heat dissipation in warm environments. The advent of the modern birth canal, the shape and alignment of which require fetal rotation during birth, allowed the earliest members of our species to deal obstetrically with increases in encephalization while maintaining a narrow body to meet thermoregulatory demands and enhance locomotor performance. PMID:25602067

  7. Human APOBEC3G drives HIV-1 evolution and the development of drug resistance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Tamoy [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kim, Eun - Young [FEINBERG SCHOOL OF MEDS; Koning, Fransje [KING' S COLLEGE LONDON; Malim, Michael [KING' S COLLEGE LONDON; Wolinsky, Steven M [FEINBERG SCHOOL OF MEDS

    2008-01-01

    Human APOBEC3G (hA3G) is an innate virus restriction factor that induces deamination of specific cytidine residues in single-stranded human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) DNA. Whereas destructive hA3G editing leads to a profound loss of HIV-1 infectivity, more limited editing could be a source of adaptation and diversification. Here we show that the presence of hA3G in T-cells can drive the development of diversity in HIV-1 populations and that under selection pressure imposed by the nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3TC ((-)2',3'-dideoxy-3'-thiacytidine), a single point mutation that confers 3TC resistance, methionine 184 to isoleucine (M1841), emerges rapidly and reaches fixation. These results provide strong evidence that mutation by hA3G is an important source of genetic variation on which natural selection acts to shape the structure of the viral population and drive the tempo of HIV-1 evolution.

  8. Experiments with humans indicate that decision accuracy drives the evolution of niche width.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosh, Colin R; Ruxton, Graeme D; Krause, Jens; Franks, Daniel W

    2011-12-07

    One theory to explain the high incidence of niche specialization in many animals is that it reduces attentional load during resource-seeking behaviour and thus leads to more accurate resource selection. A recent neural network model refined the predictions of this theory, indicating that a cognitive advantage in specialists is likely to occur under realistic ecological conditions, namely when 'mistakes' (i.e. selection of non-host resources) contribute moderately but positively to fitness. Here, we present a formal empirical test of the predictions of this model. Using a human-computer interactive, we demonstrate that the central prediction of the model is supported: specialist humans are more accurate decision-makers than generalists when their mistakes are rewarded, but not when mistakes are punished. The idea that increased decision accuracy drives the evolution of niche width in animals has been supported in almost all empirical systems in which it has been investigated. Theoretical work supports the idea, and now the predictions of a key theoretical model have been demonstrated in a real biological information-processing system. Considering these interlocking pieces of evidence, we argue that specialization through increased decision accuracy may contribute significantly, along with other mechanisms, to promote niche specialization in animals.

  9. Co-evolution of NK receptors and HLA ligands in humans is driven by reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffett, Ashley; Colucci, Francesco

    2015-09-01

    Allogeneic individuals co-exist during pregnancy in eutherian mammals. Maternal and fetal cells intermingle at the site of placental attachment in the uterus, where the arteries are remodeled to supply the fetus with oxygen and nutrients. This access by placental cells to the maternal supply line determines the growth and birth weight of the baby and is subject to stabilizing selection. Invading placental trophoblast cells express human leukocyte antigen class I ligands (HLA-E, HLA-G, and HLA-C) for receptors on maternal uterine natural killer (NK) and myelomonocytic cells, CD94/NKG2, leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor (LILR), and killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR). Of these, only the KIR/HLA-C system is highly polymorphic. Different combinations of maternal KIR and fetal HLA-C variants are correlated with low birth weight and pre-eclampsia or high birth weight and obstructed labor, the two extremes of the obstetric dilemma. This situation has arisen because of the evolution of bipedalism and subsequently, in the last million years, larger brains. At this point, the human system began to reach a balance between KIR A and KIR B haplotypes and C1 and C2 epitopes of HLA-C alleles that reflects a functional compromise between the competing demands of immunity and reproduction. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Metopic suture and RUNX2, a key transcription factor in osseous morphogenesis with possible important implications for human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magherini, Stefano; Fiore, Maria Giulia; Chiarelli, Brunetto; Serrao, Antonio; Paternostro, Ferdinando; Morucci, Gabriele; Branca, Jacopo J V; Ruggiero, Marco; Pacini, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Overall, the comparative data available on the timing of metopic suture closure in present-day and fossil members of human lineage, as well as great apes, seem to indicate that human brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns, involving delayed fusion of the metopic suture. It is very interesting that the recent sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed signs of positive selection in the modern human variant of the RUNX2 gene, which is known to affect metopic suture fusion in addition to being essential for osteoblast development and proper bone formation. It is possible that an evolutionary change in RUNX2, affecting aspects of the morphology of the upper body and cranium, was of importance in the origin of modern humans. Thus, to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular evolution of this gene probably implicated in human evolution, we performed a comparative bioinformatic analysis of the coding sequences of RUNX2 in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates. We found amino-acid sequence differences between RUNX2 protein isoforms of Homo sapiens and the other Primates examined, that might have important implications for the timing of metopic suture closure. Further studies are needed to clear the potential distinct developmental roles of different species-specific RUNX2 N-terminal isoforms. Meantime, our bioinformatic analysis, regarding expression of the RUNX2 gene in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates, has provided a contribution to this important issue of human evolution.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Reciprocal altruism in human social evolution : The viability of reciprocal altruism with a preference for ''old-helping-partners''

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vos, H.; Zeggelink, E.P.H.

    This article is a contribution to a solution of the problem of how cooperation emerged in human social evolution, Contrary to models based on evolutionary game theory, the model presented here can provide a potential explanation of the emergence of cooperation and, at the same time, of group living,

  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. 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.

  18. Genetic diversity and molecular evolution of the major human metapneumovirus surface glycoproteins over a decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papenburg, Jesse; Carbonneau, Julie; Isabel, Sandra; Bergeron, Michel G; Williams, John V; De Serres, Gaston; Hamelin, Marie-Ève; Boivin, Guy

    2013-11-01

    Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a recently discovered paramyxovirus that is a major cause of respiratory infections worldwide. We aim to describe the molecular evolution of the HMPV F (fusion) and G (attachment) surface glycoproteins because they are targets for vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and antivirals currently in development. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected in children <3 years old with acute respiratory infection in Quebec City during 2001-2010. HMPV-positive samples (n = 163) underwent HMPV-F and -G gene sequencing. Furthermore, HMPV-F (n = 124) and -G (n = 217) sequences were obtained from GenBank and other studies. Evolutionary analyses (phylogenetic reconstruction, sequence identity, detection of recombination and adaptive evolution) were computed. Sequences clustered into 5 genetic lineages (A1, A2a, A2b, B1 and B2). Multiple lineages circulated each year in Quebec City. With the exception of B1, each of the 5 subgroups was the predominant lineage during ≥1 season. The A1 lineage was not detected since 2002-2003 in our local cohort. There was no evidence of inter- or intragenic recombination. HMPV-F was highly conserved, whereas HMPV-G exhibited greater diversity. HMPV-F demonstrated strong evidence of purifying selection, both overall and in an abundance of negatively selected amino acid sites. In contrast, sites under diversifying selection were detected in all HMPV-G lineages (range, 4-15), all of which were located in the ectodomain. Predominant circulating HMPV lineages vary by year. HMPV-F is highly constrained and undergoes significant purifying selection. Given its high genetic variability, we found a modest number of positively selected sites in HMPV-G. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A synthesis of the theories and concepts of early human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslin, Mark A; Shultz, Susanne; Trauth, Martin H

    2015-03-05

    Current evidence suggests that many of the major events in hominin evolution occurred in East Africa. Hence, over the past two decades, there has been intensive work undertaken to understand African palaeoclimate and tectonics in order to put together a coherent picture of how the environment of Africa has varied over the past 10 Myr. A new consensus is emerging that suggests the unusual geology and climate of East Africa created a complex, environmentally very variable setting. This new understanding of East African climate has led to the pulsed climate variability hypothesis that suggests the long-term drying trend in East Africa was punctuated by episodes of short alternating periods of extreme humidity and aridity which may have driven hominin speciation, encephalization and dispersals out of Africa. This hypothesis is unique as it provides a conceptual framework within which other evolutionary theories can be examined: first, at macro-scale comparing phylogenetic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium; second, at a more focused level of human evolution comparing allopatric speciation, aridity hypothesis, turnover pulse hypothesis, variability selection hypothesis, Red Queen hypothesis and sympatric speciation based on sexual selection. It is proposed that each one of these mechanisms may have been acting on hominins during these short periods of climate variability, which then produce a range of different traits that led to the emergence of new species. In the case of Homo erectus (sensu lato), it is not just brain size that changes but life history (shortened inter-birth intervals, delayed development), body size and dimorphism, shoulder morphology to allow thrown projectiles, adaptation to long-distance running, ecological flexibility and social behaviour. The future of evolutionary research should be to create evidence-based meta-narratives, which encompass multiple mechanisms that select for different traits leading ultimately to speciation.

  20. Molecular evolution of the fusion protein (F) gene in human respiratory syncytial virus subgroup B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Hirokazu; Nagasawa, Koo; Kimura, Ryusuke; Tsukagoshi, Hiroyuki; Matsushima, Yuki; Fujita, Kiyotaka; Hirano, Eiko; Ishiwada, Naruhiko; Misaki, Takako; Oishi, Kazunori; Kuroda, Makoto; Ryo, Akihide

    2017-08-01

    In this study, we examined the molecular evolution of the fusion protein (F) gene in human respiratory syncytial virus subgroup B (HRSV-B). First, we performed time-scale evolution analyses using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. Next, we performed genetic distance, linear B-cell epitope prediction, N-glycosylation, positive/negative selection site, and Bayesian skyline plot analyses. We also constructed a structural model of the F protein and mapped the amino acid substitutions and the predicted B-cell epitopes. The MCMC-constructed phylogenetic tree indicated that the HRSV F gene diverged from the bovine respiratory syncytial virus gene approximately 580years ago and had a relatively low evolutionary rate (7.14×10(-4)substitutions/site/year). Furthermore, a common ancestor of HRSV-A and -B diverged approximately 290years ago, while HRSV-B diverged into three clusters for approximately 60years. The genetic similarity of the present strains was very high. Although a maximum of 11 amino acid substitutions were observed in the structural model of the F protein, only one strain possessed an amino acid substitution located within the palivizumab epitope. Four epitopes were predicted, although these did not correspond to the neutralization sites of the F protein including the palivizumab epitope. In addition, five N-glycosylation sites of the present HRSV-B strains were inferred. No positive selection sites were identified; however, many sites were found to be under negative selection. The effective population size of the gene has remained almost constant. On the basis of these results, it can be concluded that the HRSV-B F gene is highly conserved, as is the F protein of HRSV-A. Moreover, our prediction of B-cell epitopes does not show that the palivizumab reaction site may be recognized as an epitope during naturally occurring infections. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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)

  2. 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 BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  3. 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

  4. The Omo-Turkana Basin fossil hominins and their contribution to our understanding of human evolution in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Bernard; Leakey, Meave

    2011-01-01

    The Omo-Turkana Basin, including the hominin fossil sites around Lake Turkana and the sites along the lower reaches of the Omo River, has made and continues to make an important contribution to improving our murky understanding of human evolution. This review highlights the various ways the Omo-Turkana Basin fossil record has contributed to, and continues to challenge, interpretations of human evolution. Despite many diagrams that look suspiciously like comprehensive hypotheses about human evolutionary history, any sensible paleoanthropologist knows that the early hominin fossil record is too meager to do anything other than offer very provisional statements about hominin taxonomy and phylogeny. If history tells us anything, it is that we still have much to learn about the hominin clade. Thus, we summarize the current state of knowledge of the hominin species represented at the Omo-Turkana Basin sites. We then focus on three specific topics for which the fossil evidence is especially relevant: the origin and nature of Paranthropus; the origin and nature of early Homo; and the ongoing debate about whether the pattern of human evolution is more consistent with speciation by cladogenesis, with greater taxonomic diversity or with speciation by anagenetic transformation, resulting in less taxonomic diversity and a more linear interpretation of human evolutionary history. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. The transition to foraging for dense and predictable resources and its impact on the evolution of modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marean, Curtis W.

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified a series of milestones in the evolution of the human food quest that are anticipated to have had far-reaching impacts on biological, behavioural and cultural evolution: the inclusion of substantial portions of meat, the broad spectrum revolution and the transition to food production. The foraging shift to dense and predictable resources is another key milestone that had consequential impacts on the later part of human evolution. The theory of economic defendability predicts that this shift had an important consequence—elevated levels of intergroup territoriality and conflict. In this paper, this theory is integrated with a well-established general theory of hunter–gatherer adaptations and is used to make predictions for the sequence of appearance of several evolved traits of modern humans. The distribution of dense and predictable resources in Africa is reviewed and found to occur only in aquatic contexts (coasts, rivers and lakes). The palaeoanthropological empirical record contains recurrent evidence for a shift to the exploitation of dense and predictable resources by 110 000 years ago, and the first known occurrence is in a marine coastal context in South Africa. Some theory predicts that this elevated conflict would have provided the conditions for selection for the hyperprosocial behaviours unique to modern humans. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Major transitions in human evolution’. PMID:27298470

  6. Their loss is our gain: regressive evolution in vertebrates provides genomic models for uncovering human disease loci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerling, Christopher A; Widjaja, Andrew D; Nguyen, Nancy N; Springer, Mark S

    2017-12-01

    Throughout Earth's history, evolution's numerous natural 'experiments' have resulted in a diverse range of phenotypes. Though de novo phenotypes receive widespread attention, degeneration of traits inherited from an ancestor is a very common, yet frequently neglected, evolutionary path. The latter phenomenon, known as regressive evolution, often results in vertebrates with phenotypes that mimic inherited disease states in humans. Regressive evolution of anatomical and/or physiological traits is typically accompanied by inactivating mutations underlying these traits, which frequently occur at loci identical to those implicated in human diseases. Here we discuss the potential utility of examining the genomes of vertebrates that have experienced regressive evolution to inform human medical genetics. This approach is low cost and high throughput, giving it the potential to rapidly improve knowledge of disease genetics. We discuss two well-described examples, rod monochromacy (congenital achromatopsia) and amelogenesis imperfecta, to demonstrate the utility of this approach, and then suggest methods to equip non-experts with the ability to corroborate candidate genes and uncover new disease loci. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  7. Human Development X: Explanation of Macroevolution — Top-Down Evolution Materializes Consciousness. The Origin of Metamorphosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we first give a short discussion of the macroevolution viewing life as information-directed, complex, dynamic systems. On this basis, we give our explanation of the origin of life and discuss the top-down evolution of molecules, proteins, and macroevolution. We discuss these subjects according to our new holistic biological paradigm. In view of this, we discuss the macroevolution of the organism, the species, the biosphere, and human society. After this, we discuss the shift in evolution from natural selection to a new proposed process of nature called the “metamorphous top-down” evolution. We discuss the capability of the evolutionary shift to govern some of the processes that lead to the formation of new species. We discuss the mechanisms we think are behind this proposed shift in evolution and conclude that this event is able to explain the huge biological diversity of nature in combination with evolutionary natural selection. We also discuss this event of nature as an isolated, but integrated, part of the universe. We propose the most important genetic and biochemical process that we think is behind the evolutionary shift as a complicated symbiosis of mechanisms leading to metamorphosis in all biological individuals, from bacteria to humans. The energetic superorbital that manifests the consciousness governs all these processes through quantum chemical activity. This is the key to evolutionary shift through the consciousness, and we propose to call this process “adult human metamorphosis”.

  8. From action to language: comparative perspectives on primate tool use, gesture and the evolution of human language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, James; Ferrari, Pier Francesco; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The papers in this Special Issue examine tool use and manual gestures in primates as a window on the evolution of the human capacity for language. Neurophysiological research has supported the hypothesis of a close association between some aspects of human action organization and of language representation, in both phonology and semantics. Tool use provides an excellent experimental context to investigate analogies between action organization and linguistic syntax. Contributors report and contextualize experimental evidence from monkeys, great apes, humans and fossil hominins, and consider the nature and the extent of overlaps between the neural representations of tool use, manual gestures and linguistic processes. PMID:22106422

  9. Human impacts on the evolution of Rosolina Mare (Northern Adriatic, Italy): first results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbau, Corinne; Simeoni, Umberto

    2013-04-01

    The Italian coasts have undergone profound changes over the last century, in particular after the late 1950's. With the tourism industry development, the coastal system has been hardened resulting in the drastic reduction of its evolutive capacity. Human activity has therefore become a geological agent that has affected the evolution of the coastal zone both directly and indirectly in the last century. This study focuses on some of the coastal morphologies that have been modified by human actions in long and medium-term. The research was based on a comparison of sixty-year changes in land use, on dune-beach system and on the nearshore of Rosolina (Northern Adriatic, Italy). This coastal sandy zone extends over about 8 km in a N-NE - S-SW direction, and is delimited by the Adige River to the north and by the Porto Caleri to the south. This littoral, characterized by highly humanized stretches and natural stretches without human activities, can be divided into three parts: the first in the north, about 2 km long, where the beach is almost non-existent, the second in the central part long about 3 km, with a wide beach and completely built up for tourism, and the third in the south, about 3 km long, is within a natural park and is characterized by a wide beach bordered by a complex dune system. In the central part the coastal dunes present the greater heights, with an average of about +7 m (+ 4.5 m to +11 m); in the northern part the rare dunes reach heights of about +5 m (+4.5 m to +5.5 m). In the southern part the dunes present lower heights averaging +4.2 m (from +3 m to +5.5 m). The conservation state of the dunes is the result of coastal anthropization: blowouts and breaches in the coastal dune system are observed where there was the greatest urban development to allow users access to the beach. These "passages", however, constitute preferential sediment paths out of the beach as sediments are no longer stopped by the dune and its vegetation and are thus

  10. BEND3 is involved in the human-specific repression of calreticulin: Implication for the evolution of higher brain functions in human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajanirefah, A; Nguyen, L N; Ohadi, M

    2016-01-15

    Recent emerging evidence indicates that changes in gene expression levels are linked to human evolution. We have previously reported a human-specific nucleotide in the promoter sequence of the calreticulin (CALR) gene at position -220C, which is the site of action of valproic acid. Reversion of this nucleotide to the ancestral A-allele has been detected in patients with degrees of deficit in higher brain cognitive functions. This mutation has since been reported in the 1000 genomes database at an approximate frequency of brain functions. To our knowledge, CALR rs138452745 is the first instance of enormous nucleotide conservation across evolution, except in the human species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Cellular uptake, evolution, and excretion of silica nanoparticles in human cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Zhiqin; Huang, Yuanjie; Tao, Qian; Li, Quan

    2011-08-01

    A systematic study on the interaction of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with human cells has been carried out in the present work. Endocytosis and exocytosis are identified as major pathways for NPs entering, and exiting the cells, respectively. Most of the NPs are found to be enclosed in membrane bounded organelles, which are fairly stable (against rupture) as very few NPs are released into the cytoplasm. The nanoparticle-cell interaction is a dynamic process, and the amount of NPs inside the cells is affected by both the amount and morphology (degree of aggregation) of NPs in the medium. These interaction characteristics determine the low cytotoxicity of SiO2 NPs at low feeding concentration.A systematic study on the interaction of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with human cells has been carried out in the present work. Endocytosis and exocytosis are identified as major pathways for NPs entering, and exiting the cells, respectively. Most of the NPs are found to be enclosed in membrane bounded organelles, which are fairly stable (against rupture) as very few NPs are released into the cytoplasm. The nanoparticle-cell interaction is a dynamic process, and the amount of NPs inside the cells is affected by both the amount and morphology (degree of aggregation) of NPs in the medium. These interaction characteristics determine the low cytotoxicity of SiO2 NPs at low feeding concentration. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Low magnification TEM image of 400 nm amorphous silica NPs; TEM images depicting the evolution process of 50 nm silica NPs inside cells; Confocal microscopy images showing the interaction of silica NPs with cells; ζ potential of NPs in dispersion with different pH value; MTT results of H1299 and NE083 cells incubated with 400 nm and 10-20 nm amorphous silica NPs and light microscopy images of H1299 cells treated with 50 nm silica NPs. See DOI: 10.1039/c1nr10499c

  12. Directed evolution of human heavy chain variable domain (VH using in vivo protein fitness filter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Sik Kim

    Full Text Available Human immunoglobulin heavy chain variable domains (VH are promising scaffolds for antigen binding. However, VH is an unstable and aggregation-prone protein, hindering its use for therapeutic purposes. To evolve the VH domain, we performed in vivo protein solubility selection that linked antibiotic resistance to the protein folding quality control mechanism of the twin-arginine translocation pathway of E. coli. After screening a human germ-line VH library, 95% of the VH proteins obtained were identified as VH3 family members; one VH protein, MG2x1, stood out among separate clones expressing individual VH variants. With further screening of combinatorial framework mutation library of MG2x1, we found a consistent bias toward substitution with tryptophan at the position of 50 and 58 in VH. Comparison of the crystal structures of the VH variants revealed that those substitutions with bulky side chain amino acids filled the cavity in the VH interface between heavy and light chains of the Fab arrangement along with the increased number of hydrogen bonds, decreased solvation energy, and increased negative charge. Accordingly, the engineered VH acquires an increased level of thermodynamic stability, reversible folding, and soluble expression. The library built with the VH variant as a scaffold was qualified as most of VH clones selected randomly were expressed as soluble form in E. coli regardless length of the combinatorial CDR. Furthermore, a non-aggregation feature of the selected VH conferred a free of humoral response in mice, even when administered together with adjuvant. As a result, this selection provides an alternative directed evolution pathway for unstable proteins, which are distinct from conventional methods based on the phage display.

  13. 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.

  14. Recombination in circulating Human enterovirus B: independent evolution of structural and non-structural genome regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukashev, Alexander N; Lashkevich, Vasilii A; Ivanova, Olga E; Koroleva, Galina A; Hinkkanen, Ari E; Ilonen, Jorma

    2005-12-01

    The complete nucleotide sequences of eight Human enterovirus B (HEV-B) strains were determined, representing five serotypes, E6, E7, E11, CVB3 and CVB5, which were isolated in the former Soviet Union between 1998 and 2002. All strains were mosaic recombinants and only the VP2-VP3-VP1 genome region was similar to that of the corresponding prototype HEV-B strains. In seven of the eight strains studied, the 2C-3D genome region was most similar to the prototype E30, EV74 and EV75 strains, whilst the remaining strain was most similar to the prototype E1 and E9 strains in the non-structural protein genome region. Most viruses also bore marks of additional recombination events in this part of the genome. In the 5' non-translated region, all strains were more similar to the prototype E9 than to other enteroviruses. In most cases, recombination mapped to the VP4 and 2ABC genome regions. This, together with the star-like topology of the phylogenetic trees for these genome regions, identified these genome parts as recombination hot spots. These findings further support the concept of independent evolution of enterovirus genome fragments and indicate a requirement for more advanced typing approaches. A range of available phylogenetic methods was also compared for efficient detection of recombination in enteroviruses.

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptive potential of genomic structural variation in human and mammalian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radke, David W; Lee, Charles

    2015-09-01

    Because phenotypic innovations must be genetically heritable for biological evolution to proceed, it is natural to consider new mutation events as well as standing genetic variation as sources for their birth. Previous research has identified a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms that underlie a subset of adaptive traits in organisms. However, another well-known class of variation, genomic structural variation, could have even greater potential to produce adaptive phenotypes, due to the variety of possible types of alterations (deletions, insertions, duplications, among others) at different genomic positions and with variable lengths. It is from these dramatic genomic alterations, and selection on their phenotypic consequences, that adaptations leading to biological diversification could be derived. In this review, using studies in humans and other mammals, we highlight examples of how phenotypic variation from structural variants might become adaptive in populations and potentially enable biological diversification. Phenotypic change arising from structural variants will be described according to their immediate effect on organismal metabolic processes, immunological response and physical features. Study of population dynamics of segregating structural variation can therefore provide a window into understanding current and historical biological diversification. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

  18. Comparison of protein and mRNA expression evolution in humans and chimpanzees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Fu

    Full Text Available Even though mRNA expression levels are commonly used as a proxy for estimating functional differences that occur at the protein level, the relation between mRNA and protein expression is not well established. Further, no study to date has tested whether the evolutionary differences in mRNA expression observed between species reflect those observed in protein expression. Since a large proportion of mRNA expression differences observed between mammalian species appears to have no functional consequences for the phenotype, it is conceivable that many or most mRNA expression differences are not reflected at the protein level. If this is true, then differences in protein expression may largely reflect functional adaptations observed in species phenotypes. In this paper, we present the first direct comparison of mRNA and protein expression differences seen between humans and chimpanzees. We reproducibly find a significant positive correlation between mRNA expression and protein expression differences. This correlation is comparable in magnitude to that found between mRNA and protein expression changes at different developmental stages or in different physiological conditions within one species. Noticeably, this correlation is mainly due to genes with large expression differences between species. Our study opens the door to a new level of understanding of regulatory evolution and poses many new questions that remain to be answered.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Evolution of peripheral nerve function in humans: novel insights from motor nerve excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrar, Michelle A; Park, Susanna B; Lin, Cindy S-Y; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    While substantial alterations in myelination and axonal growth have been described during maturation, their interactions with the configuration and activity of axonal membrane ion channels to achieve impulse conduction have not been fully elucidated. The present study utilized axonal excitability techniques to compare the changes in nerve function across healthy infants, children, adolescents and adults. Multiple excitability indices (stimulus-response curve, strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, current-threshold relationship and recovery cycle) combined with conventional neurophysiological measures were investigated in 57 subjects (22 males, 35 females; age range 0.46-24 years), stimulating the median motor nerve at the wrist. Maturational changes in conduction velocity were paralleled by significant alterations in multiple excitability parameters, similarly reaching steady values in adolescence. Maturation was accompanied by reductions in threshold (P motor skills during childhood, and provide unique insight into the evolution of postnatal human peripheral nerve function. Significantly, these findings bring the dynamics of axonal development to the clinical domain and serve to further illuminate pathophysiological mechanisms that occur during development.

  2. 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 <28 were available. Seventeen of 44 patients had prolonged shedding. Among 31 available samples, 35% were OC43, 32% were NL63, 19% were HKU1, and 13% were 229E; median shedding duration was similar between strains (P = .79). Bivariable logistic regression analyses suggested that high viral load, receipt of high-dose steroids, and myeloablative conditioning were associated with prolonged shedding. mNGS among 5 subjects showed single-nucleotide polymorphisms from OC43 and NL63 starting 1 month following onset of shedding. High viral load, high-dose steroids, and myeloablative conditioning were associated with prolonged shedding of HCoV in HCT recipients. Genome changes were consistent with the expected molecular clock of HCoV.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Degenerative retrolisthesis: is it a compensatory mechanism for sagittal imbalance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, C-H; Park, J-U; Chung, N-S; Son, K-H; Lee, Y-S; Kim, J-J

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the spinopelvic morphology and global sagittal balance of patients with a degenerative retrolisthesis or anterolisthesis. A total of 269 consecutive patients with a degenerative spondylolisthesis were included in this study. There were 95 men and 174 women with a mean age of 64.3 years (sd 10.5; 40 to 88). A total of 106 patients had a pure retrolisthesis (R group), 130 had a pure anterolisthesis (A group), and 33 had both (R+A group). A backward slip was found in the upper lumbar levels (mostly L2 or L3) with an almost equal gender distribution in both the R and R+A groups. The pelvic incidence and sacral slope of the R group were significantly lower than those of the A (both p anterolisthesis and high pelvic incidence.

  9. Sagittal Balance Correction in Lateral Interbody Fusion for Degenerative Scoliosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blizzard, Daniel J; Gallizzi, Michael A; Sheets, Charles; Smith, Benjamin T; Isaacs, Robert E; Eure, Megan; Brown, Christopher R

    2016-01-01

    Sagittal balance restoration has been shown to be an important determinant of outcomes in corrective surgery for degenerative scoliosis. Lateral interbody fusion (LIF) is a less-invasive technique which permits the placement of a high lordosis interbody cage without risks associated with traditional anterior or transforaminal interbody techniques. Studies have shown improvement in lumbar lordosis following LIF, but only one other study has assessed sagittal balance in this population. The objective of this study is to evaluate the ability of LIF to restore sagittal balance in degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Thirty-five patients who underwent LIF for degenerative thoracolumbar scoliosis from July 2013 to March 2014 by a single surgeon were included. Outcome measures included sagittal balance, lumbar lordosis, Cobb Angle, and segmental lordosis. Measures were evaluated pre-operative, immediately post-operatively, and at their last clinical follow-up. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to assess the differences between pre-operative, first postoperative, and a follow-up visit. The average sagittal balance correction was not significantly different: 1.06cm from 5.79cm to 4.74cm forward. The average Cobb angle correction was 14.1 degrees from 21.6 to 5.5 degrees. The average change in global lumbar lordosis was found to be significantly different: 6.3 degrees from 28.9 to 35.2 degrees. This study demonstrates that LIF reliably restores lordosis, but does not significantly improve sagittal balance. Despite this, patients had reliable improvement in pain and functionality suggesting that sagittal balance correction may not be as critical in scoliosis correction as previous studies have indicated. LIF does not significantly change sagittal balance; however, clinical improvement does not seem to be contingent upon sagittal balance correction in the degenerative scoliosis population. The DUHS IRB has determined this study meets criteria for an IRB waiver.

  10. Regenerative Therapies for Equine Degenerative Joint Disease: A Preliminary Study

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah Broeckx; Marieke Zimmerman; Sara Crocetti; Marc Suls; Tom Mariën; Stephen J Ferguson; Koen Chiers; Luc Duchateau; Alfredo Franco-Obregón; Karin Wuertz; Spaas, Jan H.

    2014-01-01

    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 injecte...

  11. Reported outcome measures in degenerative cervical myelopathy: a systematic review

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Benjamin; McHugh, Maire; Elgheriani, Ali; Kolias, Angelos; Tetreault, Lindsay A.; Hutchinson, Peter John; Fehlings, Michael G.; Kotter, Mark Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Degenerative cervical myelopathy [DCM] is a disabling and increasingly prevalent group of diseases. Heterogeneous reporting of trial outcomes limits effective inter-study comparison and optimisation of treatment. This is recognised in many fields of healthcare research. The present study aims to assess the heterogeneity of outcome reporting in DCM as the premise for the development of a standardised reporting set. METHODS: A systematic review of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, regist...

  12. Retrolisthesis as a Compensatory Mechanism in Degenerative Lumbar Spine

    OpenAIRE

    Jeon, Ikchan; Kim, Sang Woo

    2015-01-01

    Objective Posterior vertebral translation as a type of spondylolisthesis, retrolisthesis is observed commonly in patients with degenerative spinal problems. Nevertheless, there is insufficient literature on retrolisthesis compared to anterolisthesis. The purpose of this study is to clarify the clinical features of retrolisthesis, and its developmental mechanism associated with a compensatory role in sagittal imbalance of the lumbar spine. Methods From 2003 to 2012, 230 Korean patients who und...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Garjesh Singh; Tribhuwan Narayan; Alankrita

    2015-01-01

    : 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 degenera...

  14. Adjacent segment disease in degenerative pathologies with posterior instrumentation

    OpenAIRE

    Olvera, Ana Guadalupe Ramírez; Arroyo, Manuel Villarreal; Martínez, Luis Mario Hinojosa; Pérez, Enrique Méndez; Hinojosa, Luis Romeo Ramos

    2015-01-01

    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, ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. NONOPERATIVE VERSUS OPERATIVE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH DEGENERATIVE SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Alfredo Corredor

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate clinical and functional results of patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis treated with operatively or nonoperatively. Methods: Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis treated either nonoperatively or operatively from 2004 to 2014 were selected from databases and a cross-sectional evaluation was performed. Outcome measures included back and leg visual analogue scales (VAS, Fischgrund criteria, Short Form-36 (SF-36 function score, and the modified Oswestry Disability Index (ODI. Results: 43 patients were evaluated: 20 with nonoperative treatment and 23 with operative treatment. Baseline characteristics were similar without significant differences between groups. Mean follow-up time was 43 months (range 10 - 72 for the nonoperative group and 36 months (range 6-80 for the operative group. Significant statistical difference in favor of operative group were found in back VAS (mean 4 versus 8, p = 0.000, leg VAS (mean 3 versus 6, p = 0.0015, SF-36 function score (mean 77 versus 35, p = 0.000, and ODI (mean 17 versus 46, p = 0.000. On the basis of the Fischgrund criteria, only 10 % of patients reported excellent or good health post nonoperative treatment versus 83% for those treated operatively (p = 0.000. Conclusion: In this cross-sectional study, we observed that symptomatic patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis who underwent operative treatment have superior clinical and functional scores compared to those that underwent nonoperative treatment.

  18. Degenerative myelopathy in 18 Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, P A; Coates, J R; Abyad, R J; Williams, D A; O'Brien, D P; Olby, N J; Keating, J H; Oglesbee, M

    2009-03-01

    Postmortem examination was performed on 18 Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs (mean age 12.7 years) with clinical signs and antemortem diagnostic tests compatible with a diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy. Tissue sections from specific spinal cord and brain regions were systematically evaluated in all dogs. Axonal degeneration and loss were graded according to severity and subsequently compared across different spinal cord segments and funiculi. White matter lesions were identified in defined regions of the dorsal, lateral, and ventral funiculi. The dorsolateral portion of the lateral funiculus was the most severely affected region in all cord segments. Spinal cord segment T12 exhibited the most severe axonal loss. Spinal nerve roots, peripheral nerves, and brain sections were within normal limits, with the exception of areas of mild astrogliosis in gray matter of the caudal medulla. Dogs with more severe lesions showed significant progression of axonal degeneration and loss at T12 and at cord segments cranial and caudal to T12. Severity of axonal loss in individual dogs positively correlated with the duration of clinical signs. The distribution of axonal degeneration resembled that reported in German Shepherd Dog degenerative myelopathy but differed with respect to the transverse and longitudinal extent of the lesions within more clearly defined funicular areas. Although these lesion differences might reflect disease longevity, they could also indicate a form of degenerative myelopathy unique to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog.

  19. 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.

  20. Diagnosis and conservative management of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, David J.

    2007-01-01

    Degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) is a disorder that causes the slip of one vertebral body over the one below due to degenerative changes in the spine. Lumbar DS is a major cause of spinal canal stenosis and is often related to low back and leg pain. We reviewed the symptoms, prognosis and conservative treatments for symptoms associated with DS. PubMed and MEDLINE databases (1950–2007) were searched for the key words “spondylolisthesis”, “pseudospondylolisthesis”, “degenerative spondylolisthesis”, “spinal stenosis”, “lumbar spine”, “antherolisthesis”, “posterolisthesis”, “low back pain”, and “lumbar instability”. All relevant articles in English were reviewed. Pertinent secondary references were also retrieved. The prognosis of patients with DS is favorable, however, those who suffer from neurological symptoms such as intermittent claudication or vesicorectal disorder, will most probably experience neurological deterioration if they are not operated upon. Nonoperative treatment should be the initial course of action in most cases of DS, with or without neurologic symptoms. Treatment options include use of analgesics and NSAIDs to control pain; epidural steroid injections, and physical methods such as bracing and flexion strengthening exercises. An up-to-date knowledge on diagnosis and prevention of lumbar DS can assist in determination of future research goals. Additional studies are required to establish treatment protocols for the conservative treatment of DS. PMID:18026865

  1. [Implications of some risk factors in degenerative valvular heart diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionescu, Simona Daniela; Sandru, V; Artenie, R; Rezuş, C; Manea, Paloma; Burdujan, Alina; Hrustovici, A; Cosovanu, A

    2004-01-01

    A retrospective study on 223 patients diagnosed with degenerative heart valvular lesions: 124 women with an average of 74.9 years old and 99 men with an average of 70.1 years old with the lower limit under 50 years old (one woman and one man) and upper limit over 80 years old (22 women and 11 men) revealed that 109 patients (48.8%) had arterial hypertension, 30 patients (13.4%) had diabetes mellitus, and 16 patients (7%) had obesity. Chronic alcoholism was present at 89 patients (39.9%), chronic tobacco consumption at 54 patients (24.2%), cholesterol value over 200mg/dl in 99 patients (44%) and triglycerides value over 150 mg/dl in 15 patients (6.6%). In the 15 patients with a sever form of aortic stenosis was discovered cholesterol value over 200 mg/dl as well as chronic tobacco use and alcoholism. Degenerative heart valvular disease represents a different process from arteriosclerosis, therefore the conventional risk factors of arteriosclerosis, can not be considered as having the same significance for degenerative heart diseases.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. [Drinking water hardness and chronic degenerative diseases. I. Analysis of epidemiological research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardi, G; Donato, F; Monarca, S; Gelatti, U

    2003-01-01

    For many years a causal relation between drinking water hardness and cardiovascular or other chronic degenerative diseases in humans has been hypothesized. In order to evaluate the association between the concentration of minerals (calcium and magnesium) responsible for the hardness of drinking water and human health, a review of all the articles published on the subject from 1980 up to today has been carried out. The retrieved articles have been divided into 4 categories: geographic correlation studies, cross-sectional studies, case-control and cohort studies, and clinical trials. The methods for the selection of the articles and the extraction and analysis of the data are detailed in this paper. Epidemiological studies have been reviewed critically, and some conclusions have been drawn taking into account the research in basic sciences and experimental studies. However, a formal meta-analysis has not been performed, due to the heterogeneity of measures of effect among the different studies.

  5. Archeology, biology, anthropology: human evolution according to Gabriel de Mortillet and John Lubbock (France, England c. 1860-1870).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    This essay compares the first evolutionary syntheses on human prehistory formulated by John Lubbock (1865) in Britain and Gabriel de Mortillet (1869-1883) in France, which both brought the question of human evolution in multidisciplinary light by borrowing tools from archaeology and ethnology rather than from biology. This paper shows that these syntheses displayed similarities as well as differences, and intends to give a comparative assessment of some intellectual and social characteristics of British and French nineteenth-century prehistoric archaeology. Lubbock's and Mortillet's syntheses relied heavily on archaeological collections but these were of different content and status. They stressed progress but they were also organized in accordance to different visions of evolution. Both were articulated from political and religious standpoints, but these standpoints were different in their content and tone.

  6. The Number of Human Population, a Statistical and Economical Synthesis of Alternative Evolution towards Demographical Explosion or Implosion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gheorghe Savoiu

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available The number of the human population had reunited both in its quantitative side, and, especially, in the qualitative one, the most significant aspects of the various and detailed human evolution and dynamic. This demographic and synthetic indicator allowed a detailed and original process of population segmentation in the field of the contemporary analysis. Referring to a new process of demographic evolution and defining the population’s decline, demographers like Ehrlich and Longman have used the concept of demographic explosion but with the opposite demographic implosion too. World population through the accomplishment of the United Nations Population Revision or UNO prognosis seems to be forever somewhere between the limits of explosion and implosion.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The survival of the kindest: a theoretical review and empirical investigation of explanations to the evolution of human altruism

    OpenAIRE

    Pradel, Julia

    2008-01-01

    Charles Darwin was concerned that his entire theory of evolution by natural selection might be negated by a phenomenon prevalent in a variety of species including humans; namely altruism. If natural selection really favored the survival of the fittest, how could a strategy so irrational as to sacrifice oneself for the well-being of unrelated others survive? A number of scientists have contributed valuable theories to elucidate the �paradox of altruism�. However, in spite of the merits of thes...

  10. Human Development X: Explanation of Macroevolution — Top-Down Evolution Materializes Consciousness. The Origin of Metamorphosis

    OpenAIRE

    Hermansen, Tyge Dahl; Ventegodt, Søren; Merrick, Joav

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, we first give a short discussion of the macroevolution viewing life as information-directed, complex, dynamic systems. On this basis, we give our explanation of the origin of life and discuss the top-down evolution of molecules, proteins, and macroevolution. We discuss these subjects according to our new holistic biological paradigm. In view of this, we discuss the macroevolution of the organism, the species, the biosphere, and human society. After this, we discuss the shift in...

  11. Formulating a historical and demographic model of recent human evolution based on resequencing data from noncoding regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Laval

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Estimating the historical and demographic parameters that characterize modern human populations is a fundamental part of reconstructing the recent history of our species. In addition, the development of a model of human evolution that can best explain neutral genetic diversity is required to identify confidently regions of the human genome that have been targeted by natural selection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have resequenced 20 independent noncoding autosomal regions dispersed throughout the genome in 213 individuals from different continental populations, corresponding to a total of approximately 6 Mb of diploid resequencing data. We used these data to explore and co-estimate an extensive range of historical and demographic parameters with a statistical framework that combines the evaluation of multiple models of human evolution via a best-fit approach, followed by an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC analysis. From a methodological standpoint, evaluating the accuracy of the parameter co-estimation allowed us to identify the most accurate set of statistics to be used for the estimation of each of the different historical and demographic parameters characterizing recent human evolution. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results support a model in which modern humans left Africa through a single major dispersal event occurring approximately 60,000 years ago, corresponding to a drastic reduction of approximately 5 times the effective population size of the ancestral African population of approximately 13,800 individuals. Subsequently, the ancestors of modern Europeans and East Asians diverged much later, approximately 22,500 years ago, from the population of ancestral migrants. This late diversification of Eurasians after the African exodus points to the occurrence of a long maturation phase in which the ancestral Eurasian population was not yet diversified.

  12. It's not all about us: evolution and maintenance of Cryptococcus virulence requires selection outside the human host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerstein, Aleeza C; Nielsen, Kirsten

    2017-04-01

    Cryptococcus is predominantly an AIDS-related pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Research studies have historically focused on understanding how the organism causes human disease through the use of in vivo and in vitro model systems to identify virulence factors. Cryptococcus is not an obligate pathogen, however, as human-human transmission is either absent or rare. Selection in the environment must thus be invoked to shape the evolution of this taxa, and directly influences genotypic and trait diversity. Importantly, the evolution and maintenance of pathogenicity must also stem directly from environmental selection. To that end, here we examine abiotic and biotic stresses in the environment, and discuss how they could shape the factors that are commonly identified as important virulence traits. We identify a number of important unanswered questions about Cryptococcus diversity and evolution that are critical for understanding this deadly pathogen, and discuss how implementation of modern sampling and genomic tools could be utilized to answer these questions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Human migration to space: Alternative technological approaches for long-term adaptation to extraterrestrial environments and the implications for human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)</