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Sample records for human evolutionary tree

  1. Can Children Read Evolutionary Trees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsworth, Shaaron; Saffer, Jessica

    2013-01-01

    Representations of the "tree of life" such as cladograms show the history of lineages and their relationships. They are increasingly found in formal and informal learning settings. Unfortunately, there is evidence that these representations can be challenging to interpret correctly. This study explored the question of whether children…

  2. How to Identify and Interpret Evolutionary Tree Diagrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Yi; Anderson, Trevor; Pelaez, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary trees are key tools for modern biology and are commonly portrayed in textbooks to promote learning about biological evolution. However, many people have difficulty in understanding what evolutionary trees are meant to portray. In fact, some ideas that current professional biologists depict with evolutionary trees are neither clearly…

  3. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R. Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G. A.; Camargo, José L. C.; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B.; Di Fiore, Anthony; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben H.; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A.; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A.; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C.; Pipoly, John J.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P.; Silveira, Marcos; ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; van der Meer, Peter J.; Vasquez, Rodolfo V.; Vieira, Simone A.; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Zagt, Roderick J.; Baker, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. PMID:27974517

  4. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G; Phillips, Oliver L; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E O C; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G A; Camargo, José L C; Comiskey, James A; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B; Di Fiore, Anthony; Elias, Fernando; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N; Killeen, Timothy J; Laurance, William F; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon-Junior, Ben H; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C; Pipoly, John J; Pitman, Nigel C A; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M F; van der Meer, Peter J; Vasquez, Rodolfo V; Vieira, Simone A; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R; Zagt, Roderick J; Baker, Timothy R

    2016-12-14

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. © 2016 The Authors.

  5. BEAST: Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drummond Alexei J

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolutionary analysis of molecular sequence variation is a statistical enterprise. This is reflected in the increased use of probabilistic models for phylogenetic inference, multiple sequence alignment, and molecular population genetics. Here we present BEAST: a fast, flexible software architecture for Bayesian analysis of molecular sequences related by an evolutionary tree. A large number of popular stochastic models of sequence evolution are provided and tree-based models suitable for both within- and between-species sequence data are implemented. Results BEAST version 1.4.6 consists of 81000 lines of Java source code, 779 classes and 81 packages. It provides models for DNA and protein sequence evolution, highly parametric coalescent analysis, relaxed clock phylogenetics, non-contemporaneous sequence data, statistical alignment and a wide range of options for prior distributions. BEAST source code is object-oriented, modular in design and freely available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com/ under the GNU LGPL license. Conclusion BEAST is a powerful and flexible evolutionary analysis package for molecular sequence variation. It also provides a resource for the further development of new models and statistical methods of evolutionary analysis.

  6. Dynamic Ising model: reconstruction of evolutionary trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Oliveira, P M C

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Heterogeneous Compression of Large Collections of Evolutionary Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Suzanne J

    2015-01-01

    Compressing heterogeneous collections of trees is an open problem in computational phylogenetics. In a heterogeneous tree collection, each tree can contain a unique set of taxa. An ideal compression method would allow for the efficient archival of large tree collections and enable scientists to identify common evolutionary relationships over disparate analyses. In this paper, we extend TreeZip to compress heterogeneous collections of trees. TreeZip is the most efficient algorithm for compressing homogeneous tree collections. To the best of our knowledge, no other domain-based compression algorithm exists for large heterogeneous tree collections or enable their rapid analysis. Our experimental results indicate that TreeZip averages 89.03 percent (72.69 percent) space savings on unweighted (weighted) collections of trees when the level of heterogeneity in a collection is moderate. The organization of the TRZ file allows for efficient computations over heterogeneous data. For example, consensus trees can be computed in mere seconds. Lastly, combining the TreeZip compressed (TRZ) file with general-purpose compression yields average space savings of 97.34 percent (81.43 percent) on unweighted (weighted) collections of trees. Our results lead us to believe that TreeZip will prove invaluable in the efficient archival of tree collections, and enables scientists to develop novel methods for relating heterogeneous collections of trees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigoni, Francesca; Barsanti, Giulio

    2011-01-01

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

  9. How eco-evolutionary principles can guide tree breeding and tree biotechnology for enhanced productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Oskar; Palmroth, Sari; Näsholm, Torgny

    2014-11-01

    Tree breeding and biotechnology can enhance forest productivity and help alleviate the rising pressure on forests from climate change and human exploitation. While many physiological processes and genes are targeted in search of genetically improved tree productivity, an overarching principle to guide this search is missing. Here, we propose a method to identify the traits that can be modified to enhance productivity, based on the differences between trees shaped by natural selection and 'improved' trees with traits optimized for productivity. We developed a tractable model of plant growth and survival to explore such potential modifications under a range of environmental conditions, from non-water limited to severely drought-limited sites. We show how key traits are controlled by a trade-off between productivity and survival, and that productivity can be increased at the expense of long-term survival by reducing isohydric behavior (stomatal regulation of leaf water potential) and allocation to defense against pests compared with native trees. In contrast, at dry sites occupied by naturally drought-resistant trees, the model suggests a better strategy may be to select trees with slightly lower wood density than the native trees and to augment isohydric behavior and allocation to defense. Thus, which traits to modify, and in which direction, depend on the original tree species or genotype, the growth environment and wood-quality versus volume production preferences. In contrast to this need for customization of drought and pest resistances, consistent large gains in productivity for all genotypes can be obtained if root traits can be altered to reduce competition for water and nutrients. Our approach illustrates the potential of using eco-evolutionary theory and modeling to guide plant breeding and genetic technology in selecting target traits in the quest for higher forest productivity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved

  10. Evolutionary heritage influences amazon tree ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, De Fernanda Coelho; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J.W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Gonzalez, Gabriela Lopez; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Toby Pennington, R.; Poorter, Lourens; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Boot, Rene G.A.; Meer, van der Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of

  11. Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakya, Subir B; Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Sheldon, Frederick H

    2017-11-01

    Molecular phylogenetic studies of woodpeckers (Picidae) have generally focused on relationships within specific clades or have sampled sparsely across the family. We compared DNA sequences of six loci from 203 of the 217 recognized species of woodpeckers to construct a comprehensive tree of intrafamilial relationships. We recovered many known, but also numerous unknown, relationships among clades and species. We found, for example, that the three picine tribes are related as follows (Picini, (Campephilini, Melanerpini)) and that the genus Dinopium is paraphyletic. We used the tree to analyze rates of diversification and biogeographic patterns within the family. Diversification rate increased on two occasions during woodpecker history. We also tested diversification rates between temperate and tropical species but found no significant difference. Biogeographic analysis supported an Old World origin of the family and identified at least six independent cases of New World-Old World sister relationships. In light of the tree, we discuss how convergence, mimicry, and potential cases of hybridization have complicated woodpecker taxonomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Taxon ordering in phylogenetic trees by means of evolutionary algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cerutti Francesco

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In in a typical "left-to-right" phylogenetic tree, the vertical order of taxa is meaningless, as only the branch path between them reflects their degree of similarity. To make unresolved trees more informative, here we propose an innovative Evolutionary Algorithm (EA method to search the best graphical representation of unresolved trees, in order to give a biological meaning to the vertical order of taxa. Methods Starting from a West Nile virus phylogenetic tree, in a (1 + 1-EA we evolved it by randomly rotating the internal nodes and selecting the tree with better fitness every generation. The fitness is a sum of genetic distances between the considered taxon and the r (radius next taxa. After having set the radius to the best performance, we evolved the trees with (λ + μ-EAs to study the influence of population on the algorithm. Results The (1 + 1-EA consistently outperformed a random search, and better results were obtained setting the radius to 8. The (λ + μ-EAs performed as well as the (1 + 1, except the larger population (1000 + 1000. Conclusions The trees after the evolution showed an improvement both of the fitness (based on a genetic distance matrix, then close taxa are actually genetically close, and of the biological interpretation. Samples collected in the same state or year moved close each other, making the tree easier to interpret. Biological relationships between samples are also easier to observe.

  13. The Complexity of Constructing Evolutionary Trees Using Experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

    We present tight upper and lower bounds for the problem of constructing evolutionary trees in the experiment model. We describe an algorithm which constructs an evolutionary tree of n species in time O(nd logd n) using at most n⌈d/2⌉(log2⌈d/2⌉-1 n+O(1)) experiments for d > 2, and at most n(log n......+O(1)) experiments for d = 2, where d is the degree of the tree. This improves the previous best upper bound by a factor θ(log d). For d = 2 the previously best algorithm with running time O(n log n) had a bound of 4n log n on the number of experiments. By an explicit adversary argument, we show an Ω......(nd logd n) lower bound, matching our upper bounds and improving the previous best lower bound by a factor θ(logd n). Central to our algorithm is the construction and maintenance of separator trees of small height, which may be of independent interest....

  14. Hierarchical classification with a competitive evolutionary neural tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, R G.; Butchart, K; Davey, N

    1999-04-01

    A new, dynamic, tree structured network, the Competitive Evolutionary Neural Tree (CENT) is introduced. The network is able to provide a hierarchical classification of unlabelled data sets. The main advantage that the CENT offers over other hierarchical competitive networks is its ability to self determine the number, and structure, of the competitive nodes in the network, without the need for externally set parameters. The network produces stable classificatory structures by halting its growth using locally calculated heuristics. The results of network simulations are presented over a range of data sets, including Anderson's IRIS data set. The CENT network demonstrates its ability to produce a representative hierarchical structure to classify a broad range of data sets.

  15. Human decision error (HUMDEE) trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostrom, L.T.

    1993-01-01

    Graphical presentations of human actions in incident and accident sequences have been used for many years. However, for the most part, human decision making has been underrepresented in these trees. This paper presents a method of incorporating the human decision process into graphical presentations of incident/accident sequences. This presentation is in the form of logic trees. These trees are called Human Decision Error Trees or HUMDEE for short. The primary benefit of HUMDEE trees is that they graphically illustrate what else the individuals involved in the event could have done to prevent either the initiation or continuation of the event. HUMDEE trees also present the alternate paths available at the operator decision points in the incident/accident sequence. This is different from the Technique for Human Error Rate Prediction (THERP) event trees. There are many uses of these trees. They can be used for incident/accident investigations to show what other courses of actions were available and for training operators. The trees also have a consequence component so that not only the decision can be explored, also the consequence of that decision

  16. Performance Analysis of Evolutionary Algorithms for Steiner Tree Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Xinsheng; Zhou, Yuren; Xia, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Qingfu

    2017-01-01

    The Steiner tree problem (STP) aims to determine some Steiner nodes such that the minimum spanning tree over these Steiner nodes and a given set of special nodes has the minimum weight, which is NP-hard. STP includes several important cases. The Steiner tree problem in graphs (GSTP) is one of them. Many heuristics have been proposed for STP, and some of them have proved to be performance guarantee approximation algorithms for this problem. Since evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are general and popular randomized heuristics, it is significant to investigate the performance of EAs for STP. Several empirical investigations have shown that EAs are efficient for STP. However, up to now, there is no theoretical work on the performance of EAs for STP. In this article, we reveal that the (1+1) EA achieves 3/2-approximation ratio for STP in a special class of quasi-bipartite graphs in expected runtime [Formula: see text], where [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text] are, respectively, the number of Steiner nodes, the number of special nodes, and the largest weight among all edges in the input graph. We also show that the (1+1) EA is better than two other heuristics on two GSTP instances, and the (1+1) EA may be inefficient on a constructed GSTP instance.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gillian R.; Dickins, Thomas E.; Sear, Rebecca; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. PMID:21199836

  19. Fixed Parameter Evolutionary Algorithms and Maximum Leaf Spanning Trees: A Matter of Mutations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kratsch, Stefan; Lehre, Per Kristian; Neumann, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms have been shown to be very successful for a wide range of NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems. We investigate the NP-hard problem of computing a spanning tree that has a maximal number of leaves by evolutionary algorithms in the context of fixed parameter tractabil...... two common mutation operators, we show that an operator related to spanning tree problems leads to an FPT running time in contrast to a general mutation operator that does not have this property....

  20. Playing Multi-Action Adversarial Games: Online Evolutionary Planning versus Tree Search

    OpenAIRE

    Justesen, Niels; Mahlmann, Tobias; Risi, Sebastian; Togelius, Julian

    2017-01-01

    We address the problem of playing turn-based multi-action adversarial games, which include many strategy games with extremely high branching factors as players take multiple actions each turn. This leads to the breakdown of standard tree search methods, including Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS), as they become unable to reach a sufficient depth in the game tree. In this paper, we introduce Online Evolutionary Planning (OEP) to address this challenge, which searches for combinations of actions ...

  1. The evolutionary roots of human decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Laurie R; Rosati, Alexandra G

    2015-01-03

    Humans exhibit a suite of biases when making economic decisions. We review recent research on the origins of human decision making by examining whether similar choice biases are seen in nonhuman primates, our closest phylogenetic relatives. We propose that comparative studies can provide insight into four major questions about the nature of human choice biases that cannot be addressed by studies of our species alone. First, research with other primates can address the evolution of human choice biases and identify shared versus human-unique tendencies in decision making. Second, primate studies can constrain hypotheses about the psychological mechanisms underlying such biases. Third, comparisons of closely related species can identify when distinct mechanisms underlie related biases by examining evolutionary dissociations in choice strategies. Finally, comparative work can provide insight into the biological rationality of economically irrational preferences.

  2. Calculating the probability of multitaxon evolutionary trees: bootstrappers Gambit.

    OpenAIRE

    Lake, J A

    1995-01-01

    The reconstruction of multitaxon trees from molecular sequences is confounded by the variety of algorithms and criteria used to evaluate trees, making it difficult to compare the results of different analyses. A global method of multitaxon phylogenetic reconstruction described here, Bootstrappers Gambit, can be used with any four-taxon algorithm, including distance, maximum likelihood, and parsimony methods. It incorporates a Bayesian-Jeffreys'-bootstrap analysis to provide a uniform probabil...

  3. An evolutionary theory of human motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  4. Human action analysis with randomized trees

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Gang; Liu, Zicheng

    2014-01-01

    This book will provide a comprehensive overview on human action analysis with randomized trees. It will cover both the supervised random trees and the unsupervised random trees. When there are sufficient amount of labeled data available, supervised random trees provides a fast method for space-time interest point matching. When labeled data is minimal as in the case of example-based action search, unsupervised random trees is used to leverage the unlabelled data. We describe how the randomized trees can be used for action classification, action detection, action search, and action prediction.

  5. Inferring phylogenetic trees from the knowledge of rare evolutionary events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellmuth, Marc; Hernandez-Rosales, Maribel; Long, Yangjing; Stadler, Peter F

    2018-06-01

    Rare events have played an increasing role in molecular phylogenetics as potentially homoplasy-poor characters. In this contribution we analyze the phylogenetic information content from a combinatorial point of view by considering the binary relation on the set of taxa defined by the existence of a single event separating two taxa. We show that the graph-representation of this relation must be a tree. Moreover, we characterize completely the relationship between the tree of such relations and the underlying phylogenetic tree. With directed operations such as tandem-duplication-random-loss events in mind we demonstrate how non-symmetric information constrains the position of the root in the partially reconstructed phylogeny.

  6. Tree imbalance causes a bias in phylogenetic estimation of evolutionary timescales using heterochronous sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchêne, David; Duchêne, Sebastian; Ho, Simon Y W

    2015-07-01

    Phylogenetic estimation of evolutionary timescales has become routine in biology, forming the basis of a wide range of evolutionary and ecological studies. However, there are various sources of bias that can affect these estimates. We investigated whether tree imbalance, a property that is commonly observed in phylogenetic trees, can lead to reduced accuracy or precision of phylogenetic timescale estimates. We analysed simulated data sets with calibrations at internal nodes and at the tips, taking into consideration different calibration schemes and levels of tree imbalance. We also investigated the effect of tree imbalance on two empirical data sets: mitogenomes from primates and serial samples of the African swine fever virus. In analyses calibrated using dated, heterochronous tips, we found that tree imbalance had a detrimental impact on precision and produced a bias in which the overall timescale was underestimated. A pronounced effect was observed in analyses with shallow calibrations. The greatest decreases in accuracy usually occurred in the age estimates for medium and deep nodes of the tree. In contrast, analyses calibrated at internal nodes did not display a reduction in estimation accuracy or precision due to tree imbalance. Our results suggest that molecular-clock analyses can be improved by increasing taxon sampling, with the specific aims of including deeper calibrations, breaking up long branches and reducing tree imbalance. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Creating ensembles of oblique decision trees with evolutionary algorithms and sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu-Paz, Erick [Oakland, CA; Kamath, Chandrika [Tracy, CA

    2006-06-13

    A decision tree system that is part of a parallel object-oriented pattern recognition system, which in turn is part of an object oriented data mining system. A decision tree process includes the step of reading the data. If necessary, the data is sorted. A potential split of the data is evaluated according to some criterion. An initial split of the data is determined. The final split of the data is determined using evolutionary algorithms and statistical sampling techniques. The data is split. Multiple decision trees are combined in ensembles.

  8. Evolutionary change in physiological phenotypes along the human lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vining, Alexander Q; Nunn, Charles L

    2016-01-01

    Research in evolutionary medicine provides many examples of how evolution has shaped human susceptibility to disease. Traits undergoing rapid evolutionary change may result in associated costs or reduce the energy available to other traits. We hypothesize that humans have experienced more such changes than other primates as a result of major evolutionary change along the human lineage. We investigated 41 physiological traits across 50 primate species to identify traits that have undergone marked evolutionary change along the human lineage. We analysed the data using two Bayesian phylogenetic comparative methods. One approach models trait covariation in non-human primates and predicts human phenotypes to identify whether humans are evolutionary outliers. The other approach models adaptive shifts under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution to assess whether inferred shifts are more common on the human branch than on other primate lineages. We identified four traits with strong evidence for an evolutionary increase on the human lineage (amylase, haematocrit, phosphorus and monocytes) and one trait with strong evidence for decrease (neutrophilic bands). Humans exhibited more cases of distinct evolutionary change than other primates. Human physiology has undergone increased evolutionary change compared to other primates. Long distance running may have contributed to increases in haematocrit and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, while dietary changes are likely related to increases in amylase. In accordance with the pathogen load hypothesis, human monocyte levels were increased, but many other immune-related measures were not. Determining the mechanisms underlying conspicuous evolutionary change in these traits may provide new insights into human disease. The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  9. Exploring connections between trees and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoffrey Donovan; Marie. Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Humans have intuitively understood the value of trees to their physical and mental health since the beginning of recorded time. A scientist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station wondered if such a link could be scientifically validated. His research team took advantage of an infestation of emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that kills ash trees, to conduct a...

  10. Human reliability analysis using event trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heslinga, G.

    1983-01-01

    The shut-down procedure of a technologically complex installation as a nuclear power plant consists of a lot of human actions, some of which have to be performed several times. The procedure is regarded as a chain of modules of specific actions, some of which are analyzed separately. The analysis is carried out by making a Human Reliability Analysis event tree (HRA event tree) of each action, breaking down each action into small elementary steps. The application of event trees in human reliability analysis implies more difficulties than in the case of technical systems where event trees were mainly used until now. The most important reason is that the operator is able to recover a wrong performance; memory influences play a significant role. In this study these difficulties are dealt with theoretically. The following conclusions can be drawn: (1) in principle event trees may be used in human reliability analysis; (2) although in practice the operator will recover his fault partly, theoretically this can be described as starting the whole event tree again; (3) compact formulas have been derived, by which the probability of reaching a specific failure consequence on passing through the HRA event tree after several times of recovery is to be calculated. (orig.)

  11. Combining evolutionary algorithms with oblique decision trees to detect bent-double galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu-Paz, Erick; Kamath, Chandrika

    2000-10-01

    Decision tress have long been popular in classification as they use simple and easy-to-understand tests at each node. Most variants of decision trees test a single attribute at a node, leading to axis- parallel trees, where the test results in a hyperplane which is parallel to one of the dimensions in the attribute space. These trees can be rather large and inaccurate in cases where the concept to be learned is best approximated by oblique hyperplanes. In such cases, it may be more appropriate to use an oblique decision tree, where the decision at each node is a linear combination of the attributes. Oblique decision trees have not gained wide popularity in part due to the complexity of constructing good oblique splits and the tendency of existing splitting algorithms to get stuck in local minima. Several alternatives have been proposed to handle these problems including randomization in conjunction wiht deterministic hill-climbing and the use of simulated annealing. In this paper, we use evolutionary algorithms (EAs) to determine the split. EAs are well suited for this problem because of their global search properties, their tolerance to noisy fitness evaluations, and their scalability to large dimensional search spaces. We demonstrate our technique on a synthetic data set, and then we apply it to a practical problem from astronomy, namely, the classification of galaxies with a bent-double morphology. In addition, we describe our experiences with several split evaluation criteria. Our results suggest that, in some cases, the evolutionary approach is faster and more accurate than existing oblique decision tree algorithms. However, for our astronomical data, the accuracy is not significantly different than the axis-parallel trees.

  12. 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.

  13. The human dark side: evolutionary psychology and original sin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joseph; Theol, M

    2014-04-01

    Human nature has a dark side, something important to religions. Evolutionary psychology has been used to illuminate the human shadow side, although as a discipline it has attracted criticism. This article seeks to examine the evolutionary psychology's understanding of human nature and to propose an unexpected dialog with an enduring account of human evil known as original sin. Two cases are briefly considered: murder and rape. To further the exchange, numerous theoretical and methodological criticisms and replies of evolutionary psychology are explored jointly with original sin. Evolutionary psychology can partner with original sin since they share some theoretical likenesses and together they offer insights into the nature of what it means to be human.

  14. Playing Multi-Action Adversarial Games: Online Evolutionary Planning versus Tree Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Niels; Mahlmann, Tobias; Risi, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    We address the problem of playing turn-based multi-action adversarial games, which include many strategy games with extremely high branching factors as players take multiple actions each turn. This leads to the breakdown of standard tree search methods, including Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS......), as they become unable to reach a sufficient depth in the game tree. In this paper, we introduce Online Evolutionary Planning (OEP) to address this challenge, which searches for combinations of actions to perform during a single turn guided by a fitness function that evaluates the quality of a particular state....... We compare OEP to different MCTS variations that constrain the exploration to deal with the high branching factor in the turn-based multi-action game Hero Academy. While the constrained MCTS variations outperform the vanilla MCTS implementation by a large margin, OEP is able to search the space...

  15. Human compulsivity: A perspective from evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Cosmic phylogeny: reconstructing the chemical history of the solar neighbourhood with an evolutionary tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jofré, Paula; Das, Payel; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Foley, Robert

    2017-05-01

    Using 17 chemical elements as a proxy for stellar DNA, we present a full phylogenetic study of stars in the solar neighbourhood. This entails applying a clustering technique that is widely used in molecular biology to construct an evolutionary tree from which three branches emerge. These are interpreted as stellar populations that separate in age and kinematics and can be thus attributed to the thin disc, the thick disc and an intermediate population of probable distinct origin. We further find six lone stars of intermediate age that could not be assigned to any population with enough statistical significance. Combining the ages of the stars with their position on the tree, we are able to quantify the mean rate of chemical enrichment of each of the populations, and thus show in a purely empirical way that the star formation rate in the thick disc is much higher than that in the thin disc. We are also able to estimate the relative contribution of dynamical processes such as radial migration and disc heating to the distribution of chemical elements in the solar neighbourhood. Our method offers an alternative approach to chemical tagging methods with the advantage of visualizing the behaviour of chemical elements in evolutionary trees. This offers a new way to search for 'common ancestors' that can reveal the origin of solar neighbourhood stars.

  17. Human genomic disease variants: a neutral evolutionary explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-08-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease.

  18. Evolutionary approach to communication between humans and dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, Gabriella

    2011-01-01

    Dog-human communication has been widely investigated recently for different theoretical reasons, in most cases through dogs' comprehension of human gestural cues. Dogs have been reported to be very skilful in comprehending a variety of human pointing gestures in many independent studies. This paper provides a short overview of the possible explanations behind the dogs' exceptional communicational abilities towards humans from an evolutionary perspective, concluding that the different and seemingly contradictory hypotheses are not exclusive but they might have a synergic effect.

  19. The Phylogeny of Rickettsia Using Different Evolutionary Signatures: How Tree-Like is Bacterial Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Gemma G. R.; Weinert, Lucy A.; Rhule, Emma L.; Welch, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria whose hosts and transmission strategies are both impressively diverse, and this is reflected in a highly dynamic genome. Some previous studies have described the evolutionary history of Rickettsia as non-tree-like, due to incongruity between phylogenetic reconstructions using different portions of the genome. Here, we reconstruct the Rickettsia phylogeny using whole-genome data, including two new genomes from previously unsampled host groups. We find that a single topology, which is supported by multiple sources of phylogenetic signal, well describes the evolutionary history of the core genome. We do observe extensive incongruence between individual gene trees, but analyses of simulations over a single topology and interspersed partitions of sites show that this is more plausibly attributed to systematic error than to horizontal gene transfer. Some conflicting placements also result from phylogenetic analyses of accessory genome content (i.e., gene presence/absence), but we argue that these are also due to systematic error, stemming from convergent genome reduction, which cannot be accommodated by existing phylogenetic methods. Our results show that, even within a single genus, tests for gene exchange based on phylogenetic incongruence may be susceptible to false positives. PMID:26559010

  20. Human Behavior and Cognition in Evolutionary Economics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Richard R

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Mouse Models as Predictors of Human Responses: Evolutionary Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhl, Elizabeth W; Warner, Natalie J

    Mice offer a number of advantages and are extensively used to model human diseases and drug responses. Selective breeding and genetic manipulation of mice have made many different genotypes and phenotypes available for research. However, in many cases, mouse models have failed to be predictive. Important sources of the prediction problem have been the failure to consider the evolutionary basis for species differences, especially in drug metabolism, and disease definitions that do not reflect the complexity of gene expression underlying disease phenotypes. Incorporating evolutionary insights into mouse models allow for unique opportunities to characterize the effects of diet, different gene expression profiles, and microbiomics underlying human drug responses and disease phenotypes.

  2. Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, Gert; Barrett, Louise

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

  3. Shining evolutionary light on human sleep and sleep disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Charles L; Samson, David R; Krystal, Andrew D

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is essential to cognitive function and health in humans, yet the ultimate reasons for sleep-i.e. 'why' sleep evolved-remain mysterious. We integrate findings from human sleep studies, the ethnographic record, and the ecology and evolution of mammalian sleep to better understand sleep along the human lineage and in the modern world. Compared to other primates, sleep in great apes has undergone substantial evolutionary change, with all great apes building a sleeping platform or 'nest'. Further evolutionary change characterizes human sleep, with humans having the shortest sleep duration, yet the highest proportion of rapid eye movement sleep among primates. These changes likely reflect that our ancestors experienced fitness benefits from being active for a greater portion of the 24-h cycle than other primates, potentially related to advantages arising from learning, socializing and defending against predators and hostile conspecifics. Perspectives from evolutionary medicine have implications for understanding sleep disorders; we consider these perspectives in the context of insomnia, narcolepsy, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythm disorders and sleep apnea. We also identify how human sleep today differs from sleep through most of human evolution, and the implications of these changes for global health and health disparities. More generally, our review highlights the importance of phylogenetic comparisons in understanding human health, including well-known links between sleep, cognitive performance and health in humans. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  4. Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burger, Oskar; Baudisch, Annette; Vaupel, James W

    2012-01-01

    Life expectancy is increasing in most countries and has exceeded 80 in several, as low-mortality nations continue to make progress in averting deaths. The health and economic implications of mortality reduction have been given substantial attention, but the observed malleability of human mortality...... about 4 of the roughly 8,000 human generations that have ever lived. Moreover, mortality improvement in humans is on par with or greater than the reductions in mortality in other species achieved by laboratory selection experiments and endocrine pathway mutations. This observed plasticity in age...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  6. The evolutionary basis of human social learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, T J H; Rendell, L E; Ehn, M; Hoppitt, W; Laland, K N

    2012-02-22

    Humans are characterized by an extreme dependence on culturally transmitted information. Such dependence requires the complex integration of social and asocial information to generate effective learning and decision making. Recent formal theory predicts that natural selection should favour adaptive learning strategies, but relevant empirical work is scarce and rarely examines multiple strategies or tasks. We tested nine hypotheses derived from theoretical models, running a series of experiments investigating factors affecting when and how humans use social information, and whether such behaviour is adaptive, across several computer-based tasks. The number of demonstrators, consensus among demonstrators, confidence of subjects, task difficulty, number of sessions, cost of asocial learning, subject performance and demonstrator performance all influenced subjects' use of social information, and did so adaptively. Our analysis provides strong support for the hypothesis that human social learning is regulated by adaptive learning rules.

  7. Tempo and mode of genomic mutations unveil human evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Yuichiro

    2015-01-01

    Mutations that have occurred in human genomes provide insight into various aspects of evolutionary history such as speciation events and degrees of natural selection. Comparing genome sequences between human and great apes or among humans is a feasible approach for inferring human evolutionary history. Recent advances in high-throughput or so-called 'next-generation' DNA sequencing technologies have enabled the sequencing of thousands of individual human genomes, as well as a variety of reference genomes of hominids, many of which are publicly available. These sequence data can help to unveil the detailed demographic history of the lineage leading to humans as well as the explosion of modern human population size in the last several thousand years. In addition, high-throughput sequencing illustrates the tempo and mode of de novo mutations, which are producing human genetic variation at this moment. Pedigree-based human genome sequencing has shown that mutation rates vary significantly across the human genome. These studies have also provided an improved timescale of human evolution, because the mutation rate estimated from pedigree analysis is half that estimated from traditional analyses based on molecular phylogeny. Because of the dramatic reduction in sequencing cost, sequencing on-demand samples designed for specific studies is now also becoming popular. To produce data of sufficient quality to meet the requirements of the study, it is necessary to set an explicit sequencing plan that includes the choice of sample collection methods, sequencing platforms, and number of sequence reads.

  8. Evolutionary approach to communication between humans and dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriella Lakatos

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Dog-human communication has been widely investigated recently for different theoretical reasons, in most cases through dogs' comprehension of human gestural cues. Dogs have been reported to be very skilful in comprehending a variety of human pointing gestures in many independent studies. This paper provides a short overview of the possible explanations behind the dogs' exceptional communicational abilities towards humans from an evolutionary perspective, concluding that the different and seemingly contradictory hypotheses are not exclusive but they might have a synergic effect.

  9. When Relationships Depicted Diagrammatically Conflict with Prior Knowledge: An Investigation of Students' Interpretations of Evolutionary Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2014-01-01

    Science is an important domain for investigating students' responses to information that contradicts their prior knowledge. In previous studies of this topic, this information was communicated verbally. The present research used diagrams, specifically trees (cladograms) depicting evolutionary relationships among taxa. Effects of college…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ARTHUR eSANIOTIS

    2014-09-01

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

  11. Phylogeny and evolutionary histories of Pyrus L. revealed by phylogenetic trees and networks based on data from multiple DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiaoyan; Cai, Danying; Potter, Daniel; Postman, Joseph; Liu, Jing; Teng, Yuanwen

    2014-11-01

    Reconstructing the phylogeny of Pyrus has been difficult due to the wide distribution of the genus and lack of informative data. In this study, we collected 110 accessions representing 25 Pyrus species and constructed both phylogenetic trees and phylogenetic networks based on multiple DNA sequence datasets. Phylogenetic trees based on both cpDNA and nuclear LFY2int2-N (LN) data resulted in poor resolution, especially, only five primary species were monophyletic in the LN tree. A phylogenetic network of LN suggested that reticulation caused by hybridization is one of the major evolutionary processes for Pyrus species. Polytomies of the gene trees and star-like structure of cpDNA networks suggested rapid radiation is another major evolutionary process, especially for the occidental species. Pyrus calleryana and P. regelii were the earliest diverged Pyrus species. Two North African species, P. cordata, P. spinosa and P. betulaefolia were descendent of primitive stock Pyrus species and still share some common molecular characters. Southwestern China, where a large number of P. pashia populations are found, is probably the most important diversification center of Pyrus. More accessions and nuclear genes are needed for further understanding the evolutionary histories of Pyrus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. SICLE: a high-throughput tool for extracting evolutionary relationships from phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan F. DeBlasio

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We present the phylogeny analysis software SICLE (Sister Clade Extractor, an easy-to-use, high-throughput tool to describe the nearest neighbors to a node of interest in a phylogenetic tree as well as the support value for the relationship. The application is a command line utility that can be embedded into a phylogenetic analysis pipeline or can be used as a subroutine within another C++ program. As a test case, we applied this new tool to the published phylome of Salinibacter ruber, a species of halophilic Bacteriodetes, identifying 13 unique sister relationships to S. ruber across the 4,589 gene phylogenies. S. ruber grouped with bacteria, most often other Bacteriodetes, in the majority of phylogenies, but 91 phylogenies showed a branch-supported sister association between S. ruber and Archaea, an evolutionarily intriguing relationship indicative of horizontal gene transfer. This test case demonstrates how SICLE makes it possible to summarize the phylogenetic information produced by automated phylogenetic pipelines to rapidly identify and quantify the possible evolutionary relationships that merit further investigation. SICLE is available for free for noncommercial use at http://eebweb.arizona.edu/sicle/.

  13. SICLE: a high-throughput tool for extracting evolutionary relationships from phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBlasio, Dan F; Wisecaver, Jennifer H

    2016-01-01

    We present the phylogeny analysis software SICLE (Sister Clade Extractor), an easy-to-use, high-throughput tool to describe the nearest neighbors to a node of interest in a phylogenetic tree as well as the support value for the relationship. The application is a command line utility that can be embedded into a phylogenetic analysis pipeline or can be used as a subroutine within another C++ program. As a test case, we applied this new tool to the published phylome of Salinibacter ruber, a species of halophilic Bacteriodetes, identifying 13 unique sister relationships to S. ruber across the 4,589 gene phylogenies. S. ruber grouped with bacteria, most often other Bacteriodetes, in the majority of phylogenies, but 91 phylogenies showed a branch-supported sister association between S. ruber and Archaea, an evolutionarily intriguing relationship indicative of horizontal gene transfer. This test case demonstrates how SICLE makes it possible to summarize the phylogenetic information produced by automated phylogenetic pipelines to rapidly identify and quantify the possible evolutionary relationships that merit further investigation. SICLE is available for free for noncommercial use at http://eebweb.arizona.edu/sicle/.

  14. Evolutionary theory, human uniqueness and the image of God

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gijsbert van den Brink

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, I examined what might be called the evolutionary argument against human uniqueness and human dignity. After having rehearsed briefly the roots of the classical Judeo- Christian view on human uniqueness and human dignity in the first chapters of Genesis, I went on to explore and delineate the nature of the evolutionary argument against this view. Next, I examined whether Christian theology might widen the concept of imago Dei so as to include other beings as well as humans, thus giving up the idea of human uniqueness. I concluded, however, that this move is deeply problematic. Therefore, I turned to a discussion of some recent attempts to define both human uniqueness and the image of God in theological rather than empirical terms. One of these, which is based on the concept of incarnation, is found wanting, but another one is construed in such a way that it enables us to reconcile the idea of human uniqueness as encapsulated in the doctrine of the imago Dei with contemporary evolutionary theory. Thus, this article can be seen as an exercise in bringing classical Christian theology to terms with evolution, further highlighting this theology’s ongoing vitality. Evolusieteorie, menslike uniekheid and die beeld van God. In hierdie artikel ondersoek ek die sogenaamde evolusionêre argument teen menslike uniekheid en menswaardigheid. Na ‘n kort oorsig oor die oorsprong van die klassieke Joods-Christelike siening van menslike uniekheid en menswaardigheid soos uit die eerste vyf hoofstukke van Genesis blyk, ondersoek en beeld ek die aard van die evolusionêre argument hierteenoor uit. Vervolgens word die vraag ondersoek of die Christelike teologie die konsep van imago Dei sodanig kan verbreed dat dit ook ander wesens behalwe mense kan insluit, waardeur die idee van menslike uniekheid dus prysgegee word. Ek kom egter tot die slotsom dat hierdie skuif hoogs problematies is. Daarom wend ek my tot ’n bespreking van onlangse pogings om

  15. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Many psychiatric diseases observed in humans have tenuous or absent analogs in other species. Most notable among these are schizophrenia and autism. One hypothesis has posited that these diseases have arisen as a consequence of human brain evolution, for example, that the same processes that led to advances in cognition, language, and executive function also resulted in novel diseases in humans when dysfunctional. Here, the molecular evolution of genes associated with these and other psychiatric disorders are compared among species. Genes associated with psychiatric disorders are drawn from the literature and orthologous sequences are collected from eleven primate species (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, macaque, baboon, marmoset, squirrel monkey, and galago and thirty one non-primate mammalian species. Evolutionary parameters, including dN/dS, are calculated for each gene and compared between disease classes and among species, focusing on humans and primates compared to other mammals and on large-brained taxa (cetaceans, rhinoceros, walrus, bear, and elephant compared to their small-brained sister species. Evidence of differential selection in primates supports the hypothesis that schizophrenia and autism are a cost of higher brain function. Through this work a better understanding of the molecular evolution of the human brain, the pathophysiology of disease, and the genetic basis of human psychiatric disease is gained.

  16. Kernel Method Based Human Model for Enhancing Interactive Evolutionary Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qiangfu; Liu, Yong

    2015-01-01

    A fitness landscape presents the relationship between individual and its reproductive success in evolutionary computation (EC). However, discrete and approximate landscape in an original search space may not support enough and accurate information for EC search, especially in interactive EC (IEC). The fitness landscape of human subjective evaluation in IEC is very difficult and impossible to model, even with a hypothesis of what its definition might be. In this paper, we propose a method to establish a human model in projected high dimensional search space by kernel classification for enhancing IEC search. Because bivalent logic is a simplest perceptual paradigm, the human model is established by considering this paradigm principle. In feature space, we design a linear classifier as a human model to obtain user preference knowledge, which cannot be supported linearly in original discrete search space. The human model is established by this method for predicting potential perceptual knowledge of human. With the human model, we design an evolution control method to enhance IEC search. From experimental evaluation results with a pseudo-IEC user, our proposed model and method can enhance IEC search significantly. PMID:25879050

  17. Possible evolutionary origins of human female sexual fluidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2017-08-01

    I propose an evolutionary theory of human female sexual fluidity and argue that women may have been evolutionarily designed to be sexually fluid in order to allow them to have sex with their cowives in polygynous marriage and thus reduce conflict and tension inherent in such marriage. In addition to providing an extensive definition and operationalization of the concept of sexual fluidity and specifying its ultimate function for women, the proposed theory can potentially solve several theoretical and empirical puzzles in evolutionary psychology and sex research. Analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) confirm the theory's predictions that: (i) women (but not men) who experience increased levels of sexual fluidity have a larger number of children (suggesting that female sexual fluidity, if heritable, may be evolutionarily selected); (ii) women (but not men) who experience marriage or parenthood early in adult life subsequently experience increased levels of sexual fluidity; and (iii) sexual fluidity is significantly positively correlated with known markers of unrestricted sexual orientation among women whereas it is significantly negatively correlated with such markers among men. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. Using Evolutionary Data in Developing Phylogenetic Trees: A Scaffolded Approach with Authentic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Analyzing evolutionary relationships requires that students have a thorough understanding of evidence and of how scientists use evidence to develop these relationships. In this lesson sequence, students work in groups to process many different lines of evidence of evolutionary relationships between ungulates, then construct a scientific argument…

  19. Schizophrenia and Human Self-Domestication: An Evolutionary Linguistics Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Di Pietro, Lorena; Barba, Marta; Lattanzi, Wanda

    2017-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that entails social and cognitive deficits, including marked language problems. Its complex multifactorial etiopathogenesis, including genetic and environmental factors, is still widely uncertain. SZ incidence has always been high and quite stable in human populations, across time and regardless of cultural implications, for unclear reasons. It has been hypothesized that SZ pathophysiology may involve the biological components that changed during the recent human evolutionary history, and led to our distinctive mode of cognition, which includes language skills. In this paper we explore this hypothesis, focusing on the self-domestication of the human species. This has been claimed to account for many human-specific distinctive traits, including aspects of our behavior and cognition, and to favor the emergence of complex languages through cultural evolution. The "domestication syndrome" in mammals comprises the constellation of traits exhibited by domesticated strains, seemingly resulting from the hypofunction of the neural crest. It is our intention to show that people with SZ exhibit more marked domesticated traits at the morphological, physiological, and behavioral levels. We also show that genes involved in domestication and neural crest development and function comprise nearly 20% of SZ candidates, most of which exhibit altered expression profiles in the brain of SZ patients, specifically in areas involved in language processing. Based on these observations, we conclude that SZ may represent an abnormal ontogenetic itinerary for the human faculty of language, resulting, at least in part, from changes in genes important for the domestication syndrome and primarily involving the neural crest. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Evolutionary trees: an integer multicommodity max-flow-min-cut theorem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erdös, Péter L.; Szekely, László A.

    1992-01-01

    In biomathematics, the extensions of a leaf-colouration of a binary tree to the whole vertex set with minimum number of colour-changing edges are extensively studied. Our paper generalizes the problem for trees; algorithms and a Menger-type theorem are presented. The LP dual of the problem is a

  1. Theories about evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus in primates and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez; Drexler, Jan Felix; Lima, Renato Santos de; Rosário, Mila de Oliveira Hughes Veiga do; Netto, Eduardo Martins

    2014-01-01

    The human hepatitis B virus causes acute and chronic hepatitis and is considered one of the most serious human health issues by the World Health Organization, causing thousands of deaths per year. There are similar viruses belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family that infect non-human primates and other mammals as well as some birds. The majority of non-human primate virus isolates were phylogenetically close to the human hepatitis B virus, but like the human genotypes, the origins of these viruses remain controversial. However, there is a possibility that human hepatitis B virus originated in primates. Knowing whether these viruses might be common to humans and primates is crucial in order to reduce the risk to humans. To review the existing knowledge about the evolutionary origins of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates. This review was done by reading several articles that provide information about the Hepadnaviridae virus family in non-human primates and humans and the possible origins and evolution of these viruses. The evolutionary origin of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates has been dated back to several thousand years; however, recent analyses of genomic fossils of avihepadnaviruses integrated into the genomes of several avian species have suggested a much older origin of this genus. Some hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus have been debated since the '90s. One theory suggested a New World origin because of the phylogenetic co-segregation between some New World human hepatitis B virus genotypes F and H and woolly monkey human hepatitis B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old World non-human primates and human hepatitis B virus variants. Another theory suggests an Old World origin of human hepatitis B virus, and that it would have been spread following prehistoric human migrations over 100,000 years ago. A third theory suggests a co-speciation of human hepatitis B virus in non-human primate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The environmental context of human evolutionary history in Eurasia and Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elton, Sarah

    2008-04-01

    This review has three main aims: (1) to make specific predictions about the habitat of the hypothetical last common ancestor of the chimpanzee/bonobo-human clade; (2) to outline the major trends in environments between 8-6 Ma and the late Pleistocene; and (3) to pinpoint when, and in some cases where, human ancestors evolved to cope with the wide range of habitats they presently tolerate. Several lines of evidence indicate that arboreal environments, particularly woodlands, were important habitats for late Miocene hominids and hominins, and therefore possibly for the last common ancestor of the chimpanzee/bonobo-human clade. However, as there is no clear candidate for this last common ancestor, and because the sampling of fossils and past environments is inevitably patchy, this prediction remains a working hypothesis at best. Nonetheless, as a primate, it is expected that the last common ancestor was ecologically dependent on trees in some form. Understanding past environments is important, as palaeoenvironmental reconstructions provide the context for human morphological and behavioural evolution. Indeed, the impact of climate on the evolutionary history of our species has long been debated. Since the mid-Miocene, the Earth has been experiencing a general cooling trend accompanied by aridification, which intensified during the later Pliocene and Pleistocene. Numerous climatic fluctuations, as well as local, regional and continental geography that influenced weather patterns and vegetation, created hominin environments that were dynamic in space and time. Behavioural flexibility and cultural complexity were crucial aspects of hominin expansion into diverse environments during the Pleistocene, but the ability to exploit varied and varying habitats was established much earlier in human evolutionary history. The development of increasingly complex tool technology facilitated re-expansion into tropical forests. These environments are difficult for obligate bipeds to

  4. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Dexter

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin.

  5. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwick, Paul W.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  6. Genomicus 2018: karyotype evolutionary trees and on-the-fly synteny computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Nga Thi Thuy; Vincens, Pierre; Roest Crollius, Hugues; Louis, Alexandra

    2018-01-04

    Since 2010, the Genomicus web server is available online at http://genomicus.biologie.ens.fr/genomicus. This graphical browser provides access to comparative genomic analyses in four different phyla (Vertebrate, Plants, Fungi, and non vertebrate Metazoans). Users can analyse genomic information from extant species, as well as ancestral gene content and gene order for vertebrates and flowering plants, in an integrated evolutionary context. New analyses and visualization tools have recently been implemented in Genomicus Vertebrate. Karyotype structures from several genomes can now be compared along an evolutionary pathway (Multi-KaryotypeView), and synteny blocks can be computed and visualized between any two genomes (PhylDiagView). © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. The Riddle of a Human Being: A Human Singularity of Co-evolutionary Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena N. Knyazeva

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: #39;Times New Roman#39;"The theory of self-organization of complex systems studies laws of sustainable co-evolutionary development of structures having different speeds of development as well as laws of assembling of a complex evolutionary whole from parts when some elements of ldquo;memoryrdquo; (the biological memory, i.e. DNA, the memory of culture, i.e. the cultural and historical traditions, etc. must be included. The theory reveals general rules of nonlinear synthesis of complex evolutionary structures. The most important and paradoxical consequences of the holistic view, including an approach to solving the riddle of human personality, are as follows: 1 the explanation why and under what conditions a part (a human can be more complex than a whole (society; 2 in order to reconstruct society it is necessary to change an individual but not by cutting off the supposed undesirable past, since a human being as a microcosm is the synthesis of all previous stages of evolution, and as a result of repression of, it would seem, the wild past one can extinguish a ldquo;divine sparkrdquo; in his soul; 3 in the physical sense, singularity denotes a moment of instability, phase transition; one can talk about the human singularity of co-evolutionary processes, since in such a moment of instability individual actions of a human can play a key role in determining a channel of further development as well as in appearance of a new pattern of collective behavior in society; 4 as the models of nonlinear dynamics, elaborated at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, show, there is a possibility of a direct influence of the future and even a touch of an infinitely remote future in certain evolutionary regimes and under rigorously definite conditions, more over, it turns out that such a possibility exists only for a human (admittedly, through a specific state of being

  8. The Natural Evolutionary Potential of Tree Populations to Cope with Newly Introduced Pests and Pathogens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budde, Katharina Birgit; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Ravn, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Emerging diseases often originate from host shifts of introduced pests or pathogens. Genetic resistance of the host to such diseases might be limited or absent due to the lack of coevolutionary history. We review six examples of major disease outbreaks on native tree species caused by different...

  9. The concept of ageing in evolutionary algorithms: Discussion and inspirations for human ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimopoulos, Christos; Papageorgis, Panagiotis; Boustras, George; Efstathiades, Christodoulos

    2017-04-01

    This paper discusses the concept of ageing as this applies to the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, and examines its relationship to the concept of ageing as this is understood for human beings. Evolutionary Algorithms constitute a family of search algorithms which base their operation on an analogy from the evolution of species in nature. The paper initially provides the necessary knowledge on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, focusing on the use of ageing strategies during the implementation of the evolutionary process. Background knowledge on the concept of ageing, as this is defined scientifically for biological systems, is subsequently presented. Based on this information, the paper provides a comparison between the two ageing concepts, and discusses the philosophical inspirations which can be drawn for human ageing based on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Studying the evolutionary relationships and phylogenetic trees of 21 groups of tRNA sequences based on complex networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Fangping; Chen, Bowen

    2012-03-01

    To find out the evolutionary relationships among different tRNA sequences of 21 amino acids, 22 networks are constructed. One is constructed from whole tRNAs, and the other 21 networks are constructed from the tRNAs which carry the same amino acids. A new method is proposed such that the alignment scores of any two amino acids groups are determined by the average degree and the average clustering coefficient of their networks. The anticodon feature of isolated tRNA and the phylogenetic trees of 21 group networks are discussed. We find that some isolated tRNA sequences in 21 networks still connect with other tRNAs outside their group, which reflects the fact that those tRNAs might evolve by intercrossing among these 21 groups. We also find that most anticodons among the same cluster are only one base different in the same sites when S ≥ 70, and they stay in the same rank in the ladder of evolutionary relationships. Those observations seem to agree on that some tRNAs might mutate from the same ancestor sequences based on point mutation mechanisms.

  11. Global to local genetic diversity indicators of evolutionary potential in tree species within and outside forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graudal, Lars; Aravanopoulos, Filippos; Bennadji, Zohra

    2014-01-01

    -monitoring schemes. Here, we provide a review and an assessment of the different attempts made to provide such indicators for tree genetic diversity from the global level down to the level of the management unit. So far, no generally accepted indicators have been provided as international standards, nor tested...... for their possible use in practice. We suggest that indicators for monitoring genetic diversity and dynamics should be based on ecological and demographic surrogates of adaptive diversity as well as genetic markers capable of identifying genetic erosion and gene flow. A comparison of past and present genecological...... distributions (patterns of genetic variation of key adaptive traits in the ecological space) of selected species is a realistic way of assessing the trend of intra-specific variation, and thus provides a state indicator of tree genetic diversity also able to reflect possible pressures threatening genetic...

  12. Theories about evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus in primates and humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez Souza

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: Some hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus have been debated since the ‘90s. One theory suggested a New World origin because of the phylogenetic co-segregation between some New World human hepatitis B virus genotypes F and H and woolly monkey human hepatitis B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old World non-human primates and human hepatitis B virus variants. Another theory suggests an Old World origin of human hepatitis B virus, and that it would have been spread following prehistoric human migrations over 100,000 years ago. A third theory suggests a co-speciation of human hepatitis B virus in non-human primate hosts because of the proximity between the phylogeny of Old and New World non-human primate and their human hepatitis B virus variants. The importance of further research, related to the subject in South American wild fauna, is paramount and highly relevant for understanding the origin of human hepatitis B virus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  14. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a tree fern Alsophila spinulosa: insights into evolutionary changes in fern chloroplast genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lei; Yi, Xuan; Yang, Yong-Xia; Su, Ying-Juan; Wang, Ting

    2009-06-11

    Ferns have generally been neglected in studies of chloroplast genomics. Before this study, only one polypod and two basal ferns had their complete chloroplast (cp) genome reported. Tree ferns represent an ancient fern lineage that first occurred in the Late Triassic. In recent phylogenetic analyses, tree ferns were shown to be the sister group of polypods, the most diverse group of living ferns. Availability of cp genome sequence from a tree fern will facilitate interpretation of the evolutionary changes of fern cp genomes. Here we have sequenced the complete cp genome of a scaly tree fern Alsophila spinulosa (Cyatheaceae). The Alsophila cp genome is 156,661 base pairs (bp) in size, and has a typical quadripartite structure with the large (LSC, 86,308 bp) and small single copy (SSC, 21,623 bp) regions separated by two copies of an inverted repeat (IRs, 24,365 bp each). This genome contains 117 different genes encoding 85 proteins, 4 rRNAs and 28 tRNAs. Pseudogenes of ycf66 and trnT-UGU are also detected in this genome. A unique trnR-UCG gene (derived from trnR-CCG) is found between rbcL and accD. The Alsophila cp genome shares some unusual characteristics with the previously sequenced cp genome of the polypod fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, including the absence of 5 tRNA genes that exist in most other cp genomes. The genome shows a high degree of synteny with that of Adiantum, but differs considerably from two basal ferns (Angiopteris evecta and Psilotum nudum). At one endpoint of an ancient inversion we detected a highly repeated 565-bp-region that is absent from the Adiantum cp genome. An additional minor inversion of the trnD-GUC, which is possibly shared by all ferns, was identified by comparison between the fern and other land plant cp genomes. By comparing four fern cp genome sequences it was confirmed that two major rearrangements distinguish higher leptosporangiate ferns from basal fern lineages. The Alsophila cp genome is very similar to that of the

  15. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a tree fern Alsophila spinulosa: insights into evolutionary changes in fern chloroplast genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yong-Xia

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ferns have generally been neglected in studies of chloroplast genomics. Before this study, only one polypod and two basal ferns had their complete chloroplast (cp genome reported. Tree ferns represent an ancient fern lineage that first occurred in the Late Triassic. In recent phylogenetic analyses, tree ferns were shown to be the sister group of polypods, the most diverse group of living ferns. Availability of cp genome sequence from a tree fern will facilitate interpretation of the evolutionary changes of fern cp genomes. Here we have sequenced the complete cp genome of a scaly tree fern Alsophila spinulosa (Cyatheaceae. Results The Alsophila cp genome is 156,661 base pairs (bp in size, and has a typical quadripartite structure with the large (LSC, 86,308 bp and small single copy (SSC, 21,623 bp regions separated by two copies of an inverted repeat (IRs, 24,365 bp each. This genome contains 117 different genes encoding 85 proteins, 4 rRNAs and 28 tRNAs. Pseudogenes of ycf66 and trnT-UGU are also detected in this genome. A unique trnR-UCG gene (derived from trnR-CCG is found between rbcL and accD. The Alsophila cp genome shares some unusual characteristics with the previously sequenced cp genome of the polypod fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, including the absence of 5 tRNA genes that exist in most other cp genomes. The genome shows a high degree of synteny with that of Adiantum, but differs considerably from two basal ferns (Angiopteris evecta and Psilotum nudum. At one endpoint of an ancient inversion we detected a highly repeated 565-bp-region that is absent from the Adiantum cp genome. An additional minor inversion of the trnD-GUC, which is possibly shared by all ferns, was identified by comparison between the fern and other land plant cp genomes. Conclusion By comparing four fern cp genome sequences it was confirmed that two major rearrangements distinguish higher leptosporangiate ferns from basal fern lineages. The

  16. Insights on the evolutionary origin of Detarioideae, a clade of ecologically dominant tropical African trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Estrella, Manuel; Forest, Félix; Wieringa, Jan J; Fougère-Danezan, Marie; Bruneau, Anne

    2017-06-01

    African tropical forests are generally considered less diverse than their Neotropical and Asian counterparts. By contrast, the Detarioideae is much more diverse in Africa than in South America and Asia. To better understand the evolution of this contrasting diversity pattern, we investigated the biogeographical and ecological origin of this subfamily, testing whether they originated in dry biomes surrounding the Tethys Seaway as currently hypothesized for many groups of Leguminosae. We constructed the largest time-calibrated phylogeny for the subfamily to date, reconstructed ancestral states for geography and biome/habitat, estimated diversification and extinction rates, and evaluated biome/habitat and geographic shifts in Detarioideae. The ancestral habitat of Detarioideae is postulated to be a primary forest (terra firme) originated in Africa-South America, in the early Palaeocene, after which several biome/habitat and geographic shifts occurred. The origin of Detarioideae is older than previous estimates, which postulated a dry (succulent) biome origin according to the Tethys Seaway hypothesis, and instead we reveal a post Gondwana and terra firme origin for this early branching clade of legumes. Detarioideae include some of the most dominant trees in evergreen forests and have likely played a pivotal role in shaping continental African forest diversity. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Evolutionary dynamics of bacteria in a human host environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Lei; Jelsbak, Lars; Marvig, Rasmus Lykke

    2011-01-01

    Laboratory evolution experiments have led to important findings relating organism adaptation and genomic evolution. However, continuous monitoring of long-term evolution has been lacking for natural systems, limiting our understanding of these processes in situ. Here we characterize the evolution...... long-term in vitro evolution experiments. The evolved phenotype of the infecting bacteria further suggests that the opportunistic pathogen has transitioned to become a primary pathogen for cystic fibrosis patients.......Laboratory evolution experiments have led to important findings relating organism adaptation and genomic evolution. However, continuous monitoring of long-term evolution has been lacking for natural systems, limiting our understanding of these processes in situ. Here we characterize...... the evolutionary dynamics of a lineage of a clinically important opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as it adapts to the airways of several individual cystic fibrosis patients over 200,000 bacterial generations, and provide estimates of mutation rates of bacteria in a natural environment...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühli, Frank Jakobus; Henneberg, Maciej

    2013-04-29

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

  20. Shining evolutionary light on human sleep and sleep disorders.

    OpenAIRE

    Krystal, Andrew; Nunn, CL; Samson, DR; Krystal, AD

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is essential to cognitive function and health in humans, yet the ultimate reasons for sleep-i.e. 'why' sleep evolved-remain mysterious. We integrate findings from human sleep studies, the ethnographic record, and the ecology and evolution of mammalia

  1. Human drivers of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in emerging and disappearing infectious disease systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, Mary A; Gowler, Camden D; Shaw, Clara L; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-01-19

    Humans have contributed to the increased frequency and severity of emerging infectious diseases, which pose a significant threat to wild and domestic species, as well as human health. This review examines major pathways by which humans influence parasitism by altering (co)evolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites on ecological timescales. There is still much to learn about these interactions, but a few well-studied cases show that humans influence disease emergence every step of the way. Human actions significantly increase dispersal of host, parasite and vector species, enabling greater frequency of infection in naive host populations and host switches. Very dense host populations resulting from urbanization and agriculture can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites and, in some cases, more resistant host populations. Human activities that reduce host genetic diversity or impose abiotic stress can impair the ability of hosts to adapt to disease threats. Further, evolutionary responses of hosts and parasites can thwart disease management and biocontrol efforts. Finally, in rare cases, humans influence evolution by eradicating an infectious disease. If we hope to fully understand the factors driving disease emergence and potentially control these epidemics we must consider the widespread influence of humans on host and parasite evolutionary trajectories.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khaja, Nawal

    2007-01-01

    This is a thematic lesson plan for young learners about palm trees and the importance of taking care of them. The two part lesson teaches listening, reading and speaking skills. The lesson includes parts of a tree; the modal auxiliary, can; dialogues and a role play activity.

  3. Human evolutionary history: consequences for the pathogenesis of otitis media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluestone, Charles D; Swarts, J Douglas

    2010-12-01

    The pathogenesis of otitis media is multifactorial, but the role of evolution on its development has not been addressed. We posit that the high prevalence of middle-ear disease is most likely restricted to humans, in contrast to other wild species, because the associated hearing loss would have reduced the fitness of affected individuals as a result of predation. We present here the possible consequences of two human adaptations that may have resulted in ubiquitous otitis media: the interaction of bipedalism and increased brain size, and the loss of facial prognathism resulting from speech or cooking. As a consequence of our adaptation for bipedalism, the female pelvic outlet is constricted, which, in the context of a rapidly enlarging brain, results in humans being born 12 months too soon. Significantly, immature eustachian tube structure and function, in conjunction with an immature immune system, helps to explain the high incidence of otitis media in the first year of life. But the persistence of middle-ear disease beyond this stage is not explained by "immaturity." The morphology of the palate changed with the adaptations that produced facial flattening, with concomitant effects on eustachian tube function. These changes resulted in relatively poor human physiologic tubal function in comparison to the nonhuman primate. Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currier, Russell W; Steele, James H

    2011-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Evolutionary forces shaping genomic islands of population differentiation in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofer Tamara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Levels of differentiation among populations depend both on demographic and selective factors: genetic drift and local adaptation increase population differentiation, which is eroded by gene flow and balancing selection. We describe here the genomic distribution and the properties of genomic regions with unusually high and low levels of population differentiation in humans to assess the influence of selective and neutral processes on human genetic structure. Methods Individual SNPs of the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP showing significantly high or low levels of population differentiation were detected under a hierarchical-island model (HIM. A Hidden Markov Model allowed us to detect genomic regions or islands of high or low population differentiation. Results Under the HIM, only 1.5% of all SNPs are significant at the 1% level, but their genomic spatial distribution is significantly non-random. We find evidence that local adaptation shaped high-differentiation islands, as they are enriched for non-synonymous SNPs and overlap with previously identified candidate regions for positive selection. Moreover there is a negative relationship between the size of islands and recombination rate, which is stronger for islands overlapping with genes. Gene ontology analysis supports the role of diet as a major selective pressure in those highly differentiated islands. Low-differentiation islands are also enriched for non-synonymous SNPs, and contain an overly high proportion of genes belonging to the 'Oncogenesis' biological process. Conclusions Even though selection seems to be acting in shaping islands of high population differentiation, neutral demographic processes might have promoted the appearance of some genomic islands since i as much as 20% of islands are in non-genic regions ii these non-genic islands are on average two times shorter than genic islands, suggesting a more rapid erosion by recombination, and iii most loci are

  7. Experimental chronic hepatitis B infection of neonatal tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis: A model to study molecular causes for susceptibility and disease progression to chronic hepatitis in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Qi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV infection continues to be an escalating global health problem. Feasible and effective animal models for HBV infection are the prerequisite for developing novel therapies for this disease. The tree shrew (Tupaia is a small animal species evolutionary closely related to humans, and thus is permissive to certain human viral pathogens. Whether tree shrews could be chronically infected with HBV in vivo has been controversial for decades. Most published research has been reported on adult tree shrews, and only small numbers of HBV infected newborn tree shrews had been observed over short time periods. We investigated susceptibility of newborn tree shrews to experimental HBV infection as well as viral clearance over a protracted time period. Results Forty-six newborn tree shrews were inoculated with the sera from HBV-infected patients or tree shrews. Serum and liver samples of the inoculated animals were periodically collected and analyzed using fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Southern blot, and immunohistochemistry. Six tree shrews were confirmed and four were suspected as chronically HBV-infected for more than 48 (up to 228 weeks after inoculation, including three that had been inoculated with serum from a confirmed HBV-infected tree shrew. Conclusions Outbred neonatal tree shrews can be long-term chronically infected with HBV at a frequency comparable to humans. The model resembles human disease where also a smaller proportion of infected individuals develop chronic HBV related disease. This model might enable genetic and immunologic investigations which would allow determination of underlying molecular causes favoring susceptibility for chronic HBV infection and disease establishment vs. viral clearance.

  8. The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew; Erdal, David

    2012-01-01

    Hominin evolution took a remarkable pathway, as the foraging strategy extended to large mammalian prey already hunted by a guild of specialist carnivores. How was this possible for a moderately sized ape lacking the formidable anatomical adaptations of these competing ‘professional hunters’? The long-standing answer that this was achieved through the elaboration of a new ‘cognitive niche’ reliant on intelligence and technology is compelling, yet insufficient. Here we present evidence from a diversity of sources supporting the hypothesis that a fuller answer lies in the evolution of a new socio-cognitive niche, the principal components of which include forms of cooperation, egalitarianism, mindreading (also known as ‘theory of mind’), language and cultural transmission, that go far beyond the most comparable phenomena in other primates. This cognitive and behavioural complex allows a human hunter–gatherer band to function as a unique and highly competitive predatory organism. Each of these core components of the socio-cognitive niche is distinctive to humans, but primate research has increasingly identified related capacities that permit inferences about significant ancestral cognitive foundations to the five pillars of the human social cognitive niche listed earlier. The principal focus of the present study was to review and integrate this range of recent comparative discoveries. PMID:22734055

  9. Understanding variation in human fertility: what can we learn from evolutionary demography?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca; Lawson, David W; Kaplan, Hillard; Shenk, Mary K

    2016-04-19

    Decades of research on human fertility has presented a clear picture of how fertility varies, including its dramatic decline over the last two centuries in most parts of the world. Why fertility varies, both between and within populations, is not nearly so well understood. Fertility is a complex phenomenon, partly physiologically and partly behaviourally determined, thus an interdisciplinary approach is required to understand it. Evolutionary demographers have focused on human fertility since the 1980s. The first wave of evolutionary demographic research made major theoretical and empirical advances, investigating variation in fertility primarily in terms of fitness maximization. Research focused particularly on variation within high-fertility populations and small-scale subsistence societies and also yielded a number of hypotheses for why fitness maximization seems to break down as fertility declines during the demographic transition. A second wave of evolutionary demography research on fertility is now underway, paying much more attention to the cultural and psychological mechanisms underpinning fertility. It is also engaging with the complex, multi-causal nature of fertility variation, and with understanding fertility in complex modern and transitioning societies. Here, we summarize the history of evolutionary demographic work on human fertility, describe the current state of the field, and suggest future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Satoshi Hirabayashi; Allison Bodine; Eric. Greenfield

    2014-01-01

    Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees and forests on air quality and human health across the United States remains unknown. Computer simulations with local environmental data reveal that trees and...

  11. Genealogical and evolutionary inference with the human Y chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, M P; Goldstein, D B

    2001-03-02

    Population genetics has emerged as a powerful tool for unraveling human history. In addition to the study of mitochondrial and autosomal DNA, attention has recently focused on Y-chromosome variation. Ambiguities and inaccuracies in data analysis, however, pose an important obstacle to further development of the field. Here we review the methods available for genealogical inference using Y-chromosome data. Approaches can be divided into those that do and those that do not use an explicit population model in genealogical inference. We describe the strengths and weaknesses of these model-based and model-free approaches, as well as difficulties associated with the mutation process that affect both methods. In the case of genealogical inference using microsatellite loci, we use coalescent simulations to show that relatively simple generalizations of the mutation process can greatly increase the accuracy of genealogical inference. Because model-free and model-based approaches have different biases and limitations, we conclude that there is considerable benefit in the continued use of both types of approaches.

  12. Expression Profiling of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Genes Reveals Their Evolutionary and Functional Diversity in Different Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis Cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Jin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis is the only commercially cultivated plant for producing natural rubber, one of the most essential industrial raw materials. Knowledge of the evolutionary and functional characteristics of kinases in H. brasiliensis is limited because of the long growth period and lack of well annotated genome information. Here, we reported mitogen-activated protein kinases in H. brasiliensis (HbMPKs by manually checking and correcting the rubber tree genome. Of the 20 identified HbMPKs, four members were validated by proteomic data. Protein motif and phylogenetic analyses classified these members into four known groups comprising Thr-Glu-Tyr (TEY and Thr-Asp-Tyr (TDY domains, respectively. Evolutionary and syntenic analyses suggested four duplication events: HbMPK3/HbMPK6, HbMPK8/HbMPK9/HbMPK15, HbMPK10/HbMPK12 and HbMPK11/HbMPK16/HbMPK19. Expression profiling of the identified HbMPKs in roots, stems, leaves and latex obtained from three cultivars with different latex yield ability revealed tissue- and variety-expression specificity of HbMPK paralogues. Gene expression patterns under osmotic, oxidative, salt and cold stresses, combined with cis-element distribution analyses, indicated different regulation patterns of HbMPK paralogues. Further, Ka/Ks and Tajima analyses suggested an accelerated evolutionary rate in paralogues HbMPK10/12. These results revealed HbMPKs have diverse functions in natural rubber biosynthesis, and highlighted the potential possibility of using MPKs to improve stress tolerance in future rubber tree breeding.

  13. Urban tree effects on fine particulate matter and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak

    2014-01-01

    Overall, city trees reduce particulate matter and provide substantial health benefits; but under certain conditions, they can locally increase particulate matter concentrations. Urban foresters need to understand how trees affect particulate matter so they can select proper species and create appropriate designs to improve air quality. This article details trees'...

  14. Does biodiversity make a difference? Relationships between species richness, evolutionary diversity, and aboveground live tree biomass across US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity conveys numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including community stability and resilience. In the context of managing forests for climate change mitigation/adaptation, maximizing and/or maintaining aboveground biomass will require understanding the interactions between tree biodiversity, site productivity, and the stocking of live trees....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Data Fusion Research of Triaxial Human Body Motion Gesture based on Decision Tree

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feihong Zhou

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The development status of human body motion gesture data fusion domestic and overseas has been analyzed. A triaxial accelerometer is adopted to develop a wearable human body motion gesture monitoring system aimed at old people healthcare. On the basis of a brief introduction of decision tree algorithm, the WEKA workbench is adopted to generate a human body motion gesture decision tree. At last, the classification quality of the decision tree has been validated through experiments. The experimental results show that the decision tree algorithm could reach an average predicting accuracy of 97.5 % with lower time cost.

  17. Evolutionary continuity and personhood: Legal and therapeutic implications of animal consciousness and human unconsciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benvenuti, Anne

    Convergent lines of research in the biological sciences have made obsolete the commonly held assumption that humans are distinct from and superior to all other animals, a development predicted by evolutionary science. Cumulative evidence has both elevated other animals from the status of "dumb brutes" to that of fully sentient and intentional beings and has simultaneously discredited elevated claims of human rationality, intentionality, and freedom from the constraints experienced by other animals. It follows then that any theoretical model in which humans occupy the top of an imagined evolutionary hierarchy is untenable. This simple fact calls for a rethinking of foundational concepts in law and health sciences. A further cultural fallacy that is exposed by these converging lines of scientific evidence is the notion that the subjective inner and abstract dimension of human beings is the most true and valuable level of analysis for organizing human lives. In fact, our individual and collective minds are particularly vulnerable to elaborated false narratives that may be definitive of the particular forms of suffering that humans experience and seek to heal with modalities like psychoanalytic psychotherapies. I conclude with the suggestion that other animals may have the capacity to help us with this healing project, even as we are ethically bound to heal the suffering that we have collectively imposed upon them. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. A global evolutionary and metabolic analysis of human obesity gene risk variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Joseph J; Hazlett, Zachary S; Orlando, Robert A; Garver, William S

    2017-09-05

    It is generally accepted that the selection of gene variants during human evolution optimized energy metabolism that now interacts with our obesogenic environment to increase the prevalence of obesity. The purpose of this study was to perform a global evolutionary and metabolic analysis of human obesity gene risk variants (110 human obesity genes with 127 nearest gene risk variants) identified using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to enhance our knowledge of early and late genotypes. As a result of determining the mean frequency of these obesity gene risk variants in 13 available populations from around the world our results provide evidence for the early selection of ancestral risk variants (defined as selection before migration from Africa) and late selection of derived risk variants (defined as selection after migration from Africa). Our results also provide novel information for association of these obesity genes or encoded proteins with diverse metabolic pathways and other human diseases. The overall results indicate a significant differential evolutionary pattern for the selection of obesity gene ancestral and derived risk variants proposed to optimize energy metabolism in varying global environments and complex association with metabolic pathways and other human diseases. These results are consistent with obesity genes that encode proteins possessing a fundamental role in maintaining energy metabolism and survival during the course of human evolution. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. INACTIVITY OF RECOMBINANT ELA2B PROVIDES A NEW EXAMPLE OF EVOLUTIONARY ELASTASE SILENCING IN HUMANS

    OpenAIRE

    Szepessy, Edit; Sahin-Tóth, Miklós

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND. The archetypal mammalian elastase (ELA1) is not expressed in the human pancreas, because evolutionary mutations suppressed transcription of the ELA1 gene. AIMS. In this study we tested the theory that the unique duplication of the ELA2 gene in humans might compensate for the loss of ELA1. METHODS. Recombinant ELA2A and ELA2B were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their activity was tested on Glt-Ala-Ala-Pro-Leu-p-nitroanilide, DQ elastin and bovine milk protein. RESULTS. Surprisi...

  20. The Impact of Evolutionary Driving Forces on Human Complex Diseases: A Population Genetics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amr T. M. Saeb

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the molecular evolution of human genome has paved the way to understand genetic adaptation of humans to the environmental changes and corresponding complex diseases. In this review, we discussed the historical origin of genetic diversity among human populations, the evolutionary driving forces that can affect genetic diversity among populations, and the effects of human movement into new environments and gene flow on population genetic diversity. Furthermore, we presented the role of natural selection on genetic diversity and complex diseases. Then we reviewed the disadvantageous consequences of historical selection events in modern time and their relation to the development of complex diseases. In addition, we discussed the effect of consanguinity on the incidence of complex diseases in human populations. Finally, we presented the latest information about the role of ancient genes acquired from interbreeding with ancient hominids in the development of complex diseases.

  1. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness......Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...

  2. The dating mind: evolutionary psychology and the emerging science of human courtship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oesch, Nathan; Miklousic, Igor

    2012-12-20

    In the New York Times bestselling book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (2006), the world was granted its first exclusive introduction to the steadily growing dating coach and pick-up artist community. Many of its most prominent authorities claim to use insights and information gleaned both through first-hand experience as well as empirical research in evolutionary psychology. One of the industry's most well-respected authorities, the illusionist Erik von Markovik, promotes a three-phase model of human courtship: Attraction, building mutual Comfort and Trust, and Seduction. The following review argues that many of these claims are in fact grounded in solid empirical findings from social, physiological and evolutionary psychology. Two texts which represent much of this literature are critiqued and their implications discussed.

  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. Evolutionary distance from human homologs reflects allergenicity of animal food proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, John A; Breiteneder, Heimo; Mills, E N Clare

    2007-12-01

    In silico analysis of allergens can identify putative relationships among protein sequence, structure, and allergenic properties. Such systematic analysis reveals that most plant food allergens belong to a restricted number of protein superfamilies, with pollen allergens behaving similarly. We have investigated the structural relationships of animal food allergens and their evolutionary relatedness to human homologs to define how closely a protein must resemble a human counterpart to lose its allergenic potential. Profile-based sequence homology methods were used to classify animal food allergens into Pfam families, and in silico analyses of their evolutionary and structural relationships were performed. Animal food allergens could be classified into 3 main families--tropomyosins, EF-hand proteins, and caseins--along with 14 minor families each composed of 1 to 3 allergens. The evolutionary relationships of each of these allergen superfamilies showed that in general, proteins with a sequence identity to a human homolog above approximately 62% were rarely allergenic. Single substitutions in otherwise highly conserved regions containing IgE epitopes in EF-hand parvalbumins may modulate allergenicity. These data support the premise that certain protein structures are more allergenic than others. Contrasting with plant food allergens, animal allergens, such as the highly conserved tropomyosins, challenge the capability of the human immune system to discriminate between foreign and self-proteins. Such immune responses run close to becoming autoimmune responses. Exploiting the closeness between animal allergens and their human homologs in the development of recombinant allergens for immunotherapy will need to consider the potential for developing unanticipated autoimmune responses.

  5. ColorTree: a batch customization tool for phylogenic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Hua; Lercher, Martin J

    2009-07-31

    Genome sequencing projects and comparative genomics studies typically aim to trace the evolutionary history of large gene sets, often requiring human inspection of hundreds of phylogenetic trees. If trees are checked for compatibility with an explicit null hypothesis (e.g., the monophyly of certain groups), this daunting task is greatly facilitated by an appropriate coloring scheme. In this note, we introduce ColorTree, a simple yet powerful batch customization tool for phylogenic trees. Based on pattern matching rules, ColorTree applies a set of customizations to an input tree file, e.g., coloring labels or branches. The customized trees are saved to an output file, which can then be viewed and further edited by Dendroscope (a freely available tree viewer). ColorTree runs on any Perl installation as a stand-alone command line tool, and its application can thus be easily automated. This way, hundreds of phylogenic trees can be customized for easy visual inspection in a matter of minutes. ColorTree allows efficient and flexible visual customization of large tree sets through the application of a user-supplied configuration file to multiple tree files.

  6. A Test of Evolutionary Policing Theory with Data from Human Societies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kümmerli, Rolf

    2011-01-01

    In social groups where relatedness among interacting individuals is low, cooperation can often only be maintained through mechanisms that repress competition among group members. Repression-of-competition mechanisms, such as policing and punishment, seem to be of particular importance in human societies, where cooperative interactions often occur among unrelated individuals. In line with this view, economic games have shown that the ability to punish defectors enforces cooperation among humans. Here, I examine a real-world example of a repression-of-competition system, the police institutions common to modern human societies. Specifically, I test evolutionary policing theory by comparing data on policing effort, per capita crime rate, and similarity (used as a proxy for genetic relatedness) among citizens across the 26 cantons of Switzerland. This comparison revealed full support for all three predictions of evolutionary policing theory. First, when controlling for policing efforts, crime rate correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens. This is in line with the prediction that high similarity results in higher levels of cooperative self-restraint (i.e. lower crime rates) because it aligns the interests of individuals. Second, policing effort correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens, supporting the prediction that more policing is required to enforce cooperation in low-similarity societies, where individuals' interests diverge most. Third, increased policing efforts were associated with reductions in crime rates, indicating that policing indeed enforces cooperation. These analyses strongly indicate that humans respond to cues of their social environment and adjust cheating and policing behaviour as predicted by evolutionary policing theory. PMID:21909429

  7. Combining evolutionary game theory and network theory to analyze human cooperation patterns

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scatà, Marialisa; Di Stefano, Alessandro; La Corte, Aurelio; Liò, Pietro; Catania, Emanuele; Guardo, Ermanno; Pagano, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • We investigate the evolutionary dynamics of human cooperation in a social network. • We introduce the concepts of “Critical Mass”, centrality measure and homophily. • The emergence of cooperation is affected by the spatial choice of the “Critical Mass”. • Our findings show that homophily speeds up the convergence towards cooperation. • Centrality and “Critical Mass” spatial choice partially offset the impact of homophily. - Abstract: As natural systems continuously evolve, the human cooperation dilemma represents an increasingly more challenging question. Humans cooperate in natural and social systems, but how it happens and what are the mechanisms which rule the emergence of cooperation, represent an open and fascinating issue. In this work, we investigate the evolution of cooperation through the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of behaviours within the social network, where nodes can choose to cooperate or defect following the classical social dilemmas represented by Prisoner’s Dilemma and Snowdrift games. To this aim, we introduce a sociological concept and statistical estimator, “Critical Mass”, to detect the minimum initial seed of cooperators able to trigger the diffusion process, and the centrality measure to select within the social network. Selecting different spatial configurations of the Critical Mass nodes, we highlight how the emergence of cooperation can be influenced by this spatial choice of the initial core in the network. Moreover, we target to shed light how the concept of homophily, a social shaping factor for which “birds of a feather flock together”, can affect the evolutionary process. Our findings show that homophily allows speeding up the diffusion process and make quicker the convergence towards human cooperation, while centrality measure and thus the Critical Mass selection, play a key role in the evolution showing how the spatial configurations can create some hidden patterns, partially

  8. A test of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kümmerli, Rolf

    2011-01-01

    In social groups where relatedness among interacting individuals is low, cooperation can often only be maintained through mechanisms that repress competition among group members. Repression-of-competition mechanisms, such as policing and punishment, seem to be of particular importance in human societies, where cooperative interactions often occur among unrelated individuals. In line with this view, economic games have shown that the ability to punish defectors enforces cooperation among humans. Here, I examine a real-world example of a repression-of-competition system, the police institutions common to modern human societies. Specifically, I test evolutionary policing theory by comparing data on policing effort, per capita crime rate, and similarity (used as a proxy for genetic relatedness) among citizens across the 26 cantons of Switzerland. This comparison revealed full support for all three predictions of evolutionary policing theory. First, when controlling for policing efforts, crime rate correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens. This is in line with the prediction that high similarity results in higher levels of cooperative self-restraint (i.e. lower crime rates) because it aligns the interests of individuals. Second, policing effort correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens, supporting the prediction that more policing is required to enforce cooperation in low-similarity societies, where individuals' interests diverge most. Third, increased policing efforts were associated with reductions in crime rates, indicating that policing indeed enforces cooperation. These analyses strongly indicate that humans respond to cues of their social environment and adjust cheating and policing behaviour as predicted by evolutionary policing theory.

  9. A test of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolf Kümmerli

    Full Text Available In social groups where relatedness among interacting individuals is low, cooperation can often only be maintained through mechanisms that repress competition among group members. Repression-of-competition mechanisms, such as policing and punishment, seem to be of particular importance in human societies, where cooperative interactions often occur among unrelated individuals. In line with this view, economic games have shown that the ability to punish defectors enforces cooperation among humans. Here, I examine a real-world example of a repression-of-competition system, the police institutions common to modern human societies. Specifically, I test evolutionary policing theory by comparing data on policing effort, per capita crime rate, and similarity (used as a proxy for genetic relatedness among citizens across the 26 cantons of Switzerland. This comparison revealed full support for all three predictions of evolutionary policing theory. First, when controlling for policing efforts, crime rate correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens. This is in line with the prediction that high similarity results in higher levels of cooperative self-restraint (i.e. lower crime rates because it aligns the interests of individuals. Second, policing effort correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens, supporting the prediction that more policing is required to enforce cooperation in low-similarity societies, where individuals' interests diverge most. Third, increased policing efforts were associated with reductions in crime rates, indicating that policing indeed enforces cooperation. These analyses strongly indicate that humans respond to cues of their social environment and adjust cheating and policing behaviour as predicted by evolutionary policing theory.

  10. Quantifying the Role of Homophily in Human Cooperation Using Multiplex Evolutionary Game Theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Di Stefano

    Full Text Available Nature shows as human beings live and grow inside social structures. This assumption allows us to explain and explore how it may shape most of our behaviours and choices, and why we are not just blindly driven by instincts: our decisions are based on more complex cognitive reasons, based on our connectedness on different spaces. Thus, human cooperation emerges from this complex nature of social network. Our paper, focusing on the evolutionary dynamics, is intended to explore how and why it happens, and what kind of impact is caused by homophily among people. We investigate the evolution of human cooperation using evolutionary game theory on multiplex. Multiplexity, as an extra dimension of analysis, allows us to unveil the hidden dynamics and observe non-trivial patterns within a population across network layers. More importantly, we find a striking role of homophily, as the higher the homophily between individuals, the quicker is the convergence towards cooperation in the social dilemma. The simulation results, conducted both macroscopically and microscopically across the network layers in the multiplex, show quantitatively the role of homophily in human cooperation.

  11. Sex, rebellion and decadence: the scandalous evolutionary history of the human Y chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Costa, Paulo

    2012-12-01

    It can be argued that the Y chromosome brings some of the spirit of rock&roll to our genome. Equal parts degenerate and sex-driven, the Y has boldly rebelled against sexual recombination, one of the sacred pillars of evolution. In evolutionary terms this chromosome also seems to have adopted another of rock&roll's mottos: living fast. Yet, it appears to have refused to die young. In this manuscript the Y chromosome will be analyzed from the intersection between structural, evolutionary and functional biology. Such integrative approach will present the Y as a highly specialized product of a series of remarkable evolutionary processes. These led to the establishment of a sex-specific genomic niche that is maintained by a complex balance between selective pressure and the genetic diversity introduced by intrachromosomal recombination. Central to this equilibrium is the "polish or perish" dilemma faced by the male-specific Y genes: either they are polished by the acquisition of male-related functions or they perish via the accumulation of inactivating mutations. Thus, understanding to what extent the idiosyncrasies of Y recombination may impact this chromosome's role in sex determination and male germline functions should be regarded as essential for added clinical insight into several male infertility phenotypes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Molecular Genetics of Human Reproductive Failure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The origins and evolutionary history of human non-coding RNA regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherafatian, Masih; Mowla, Seyed Javad

    2017-04-01

    The evolutionary history and origin of the regulatory function of animal non-coding RNAs are not well understood. Lack of conservation of long non-coding RNAs and small sizes of microRNAs has been major obstacles in their phylogenetic analysis. In this study, we tried to shed more light on the evolution of ncRNA regulatory networks by changing our phylogenetic strategy to focus on the evolutionary pattern of their protein coding targets. We used available target databases of miRNAs and lncRNAs to find their protein coding targets in human. We were able to recognize evolutionary hallmarks of ncRNA targets by phylostratigraphic analysis. We found the conventional 3'-UTR and lesser known 5'-UTR targets of miRNAs to be enriched at three consecutive phylostrata. Firstly, in eukaryata phylostratum corresponding to the emergence of miRNAs, our study revealed that miRNA targets function primarily in cell cycle processes. Moreover, the same overrepresentation of the targets observed in the next two consecutive phylostrata, opisthokonta and eumetazoa, corresponded to the expansion periods of miRNAs in animals evolution. Coding sequence targets of miRNAs showed a delayed rise at opisthokonta phylostratum, compared to the 3' and 5' UTR targets of miRNAs. LncRNA regulatory network was the latest to evolve at eumetazoa.

  13. DrawCompileEvolve: Sparking interactive evolutionary art with human creations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jinhong; Taarnby, Rasmus; Liapis, Antonios

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents DrawCompileEvolve, a web-based drawing tool which allows users to draw simple primitive shapes, group them together or define patterns in their groupings (e.g. symmetry, repetition). The user’s vector drawing is then compiled into an indirectly encoded genetic representation......, which can be evolved interactively, allowing the user to change the image’s colors, patterns and ultimately transform it. The human artist has direct control while drawing the initial seed of an evolutionary run and indirect control while interactively evolving it, thus making DrawCompileEvolve a mixed...

  14. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pievani, Telmo; Serrelli, Emanuele

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, G

    1995-12-01

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

  17. An evolutionary theory of large-scale human warfare: Group-structured cultural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zefferman, Matthew R; Mathew, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    When humans wage war, it is not unusual for battlefields to be strewn with dead warriors. These warriors typically were men in their reproductive prime who, had they not died in battle, might have gone on to father more children. Typically, they are also genetically unrelated to one another. We know of no other animal species in which reproductively capable, genetically unrelated individuals risk their lives in this manner. Because the immense private costs borne by individual warriors create benefits that are shared widely by others in their group, warfare is a stark evolutionary puzzle that is difficult to explain. Although several scholars have posited models of the evolution of human warfare, these models do not adequately explain how humans solve the problem of collective action in warfare at the evolutionarily novel scale of hundreds of genetically unrelated individuals. We propose that group-structured cultural selection explains this phenomenon. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Assessing the evolutionary impact of amino acid mutations in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boyko, Adam R; Williamson, Scott H; Indap, Amit R

    2008-01-01

    Quantifying the distribution of fitness effects among newly arising mutations in the human genome is key to resolving important debates in medical and evolutionary genetics. Here, we present a method for inferring this distribution using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) data from a population...... of demographic and selective effects to patterning amino acid variation in the human genome. We find evidence of an ancient population expansion in the sample with African ancestry and a relatively recent bottleneck in the sample with European ancestry. After accounting for these demographic effects, we find...... with non-stationary demographic history (such as that of modern humans). Application of our method to 47,576 coding SNPs found by direct resequencing of 11,404 protein coding-genes in 35 individuals (20 European Americans and 15 African Americans) allows us to assess the relative contribution...

  19. Phylogeny and evolutionary histories of Pyrus L. revealed by phylogenetic trees and networks based on data from multiple DNA sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reconstructing the phylogeny of Pyrus has been difficult due to the wide distribution of the genus and lack of informative data. In this study, we collected 110 accessions representing 25 Pyrus species and constructed both phylogenetic trees and phylogenetic networks based on multiple DNA sequence d...

  20. Comprehensive national database of tree effects on air quality and human health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoshi Hirabayashi; David J. Nowak

    2016-01-01

    Trees remove air pollutants through dry deposition processes depending upon forest structure, meteorology, and air quality that vary across space and time. Employing nationally available forest, weather, air pollution and human population data for 2010, computer simulations were performed for deciduous and evergreen trees with varying leaf area index for rural and...

  1. Putative recombination events and evolutionary history of five economically important viruses of fruit trees based on coat protein-encoding gene sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulila, Moncef

    2010-06-01

    To enhance the knowledge of recombination as an evolutionary process, 267 accessions retrieved from GenBank were investigated, all belonging to five economically important viruses infecting fruit crops (Plum pox, Apple chlorotic leaf spot, Apple mosaic, Prune dwarf, and Prunus necrotic ringspot viruses). Putative recombinational events were detected in the coat protein (CP)-encoding gene using RECCO and RDP version 3.31beta algorithms. Based on RECCO results, all five viruses were shown to contain potential recombination signals in the CP gene. Reconstructed trees with modified topologies were proposed. Furthermore, RECCO performed better than the RDP package in detecting recombination events and exhibiting their evolution rate along the sequences of the five viruses. RDP, however, provided the possible major and minor parents of the recombinants. Thus, the two methods should be considered complementary.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollegaard, Birgitte

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

  3. Evolutionary Design of Convolutional Neural Networks for Human Activity Recognition in Sensor-Rich Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Human activity recognition is a challenging problem for context-aware systems and applications. It is gaining interest due to the ubiquity of different sensor sources, wearable smart objects, ambient sensors, etc. This task is usually approached as a supervised machine learning problem, where a label is to be predicted given some input data, such as the signals retrieved from different sensors. For tackling the human activity recognition problem in sensor network environments, in this paper we propose the use of deep learning (convolutional neural networks) to perform activity recognition using the publicly available OPPORTUNITY dataset. Instead of manually choosing a suitable topology, we will let an evolutionary algorithm design the optimal topology in order to maximize the classification F1 score. After that, we will also explore the performance of committees of the models resulting from the evolutionary process. Results analysis indicates that the proposed model was able to perform activity recognition within a heterogeneous sensor network environment, achieving very high accuracies when tested with new sensor data. Based on all conducted experiments, the proposed neuroevolutionary system has proved to be able to systematically find a classification model which is capable of outperforming previous results reported in the state-of-the-art, showing that this approach is useful and improves upon previously manually-designed architectures. PMID:29690587

  4. Evolutionary Design of Convolutional Neural Networks for Human Activity Recognition in Sensor-Rich Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Baldominos

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Human activity recognition is a challenging problem for context-aware systems and applications. It is gaining interest due to the ubiquity of different sensor sources, wearable smart objects, ambient sensors, etc. This task is usually approached as a supervised machine learning problem, where a label is to be predicted given some input data, such as the signals retrieved from different sensors. For tackling the human activity recognition problem in sensor network environments, in this paper we propose the use of deep learning (convolutional neural networks to perform activity recognition using the publicly available OPPORTUNITY dataset. Instead of manually choosing a suitable topology, we will let an evolutionary algorithm design the optimal topology in order to maximize the classification F1 score. After that, we will also explore the performance of committees of the models resulting from the evolutionary process. Results analysis indicates that the proposed model was able to perform activity recognition within a heterogeneous sensor network environment, achieving very high accuracies when tested with new sensor data. Based on all conducted experiments, the proposed neuroevolutionary system has proved to be able to systematically find a classification model which is capable of outperforming previous results reported in the state-of-the-art, showing that this approach is useful and improves upon previously manually-designed architectures.

  5. Evolutionary Design of Convolutional Neural Networks for Human Activity Recognition in Sensor-Rich Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldominos, Alejandro; Saez, Yago; Isasi, Pedro

    2018-04-23

    Human activity recognition is a challenging problem for context-aware systems and applications. It is gaining interest due to the ubiquity of different sensor sources, wearable smart objects, ambient sensors, etc. This task is usually approached as a supervised machine learning problem, where a label is to be predicted given some input data, such as the signals retrieved from different sensors. For tackling the human activity recognition problem in sensor network environments, in this paper we propose the use of deep learning (convolutional neural networks) to perform activity recognition using the publicly available OPPORTUNITY dataset. Instead of manually choosing a suitable topology, we will let an evolutionary algorithm design the optimal topology in order to maximize the classification F1 score. After that, we will also explore the performance of committees of the models resulting from the evolutionary process. Results analysis indicates that the proposed model was able to perform activity recognition within a heterogeneous sensor network environment, achieving very high accuracies when tested with new sensor data. Based on all conducted experiments, the proposed neuroevolutionary system has proved to be able to systematically find a classification model which is capable of outperforming previous results reported in the state-of-the-art, showing that this approach is useful and improves upon previously manually-designed architectures.

  6. Biodiversity, Extinction, and Humanity’s Future: The Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Human Population and Resource Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick L. Hindmarsh

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human actions have altered global environments and reduced biodiversity by causing extinctions and reducing the population sizes of surviving species. Increasing human population size and per capita resource use will continue to have direct and indirect ecological and evolutionary consequences. As a result, future generations will inhabit a planet with significantly less wildlife, reduced evolutionary potential, diminished ecosystem services, and an increased likelihood of contracting infectious disease. The magnitude of these effects will depend on the rate at which global human population and/or per capita resource use decline to sustainable levels and the degree to which population reductions result from increased death rates rather than decreased birth rates.

  7. Of Hissing Snakes and Angry Voices: Human Infants Are Differentially Responsive to Evolutionary Fear-Relevant Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlich, Nicole; Lipp, Ottmar V.; Slaughter, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Adult humans demonstrate differential processing of stimuli that were recurrent threats to safety and survival throughout evolutionary history. Recent studies suggest that differential processing of evolutionarily ancient threats occurs in human infants, leading to the proposal of an inborn mechanism for rapid identification of, and response to,…

  8. Evolutionary history of a vanishing radiation: isolation-dependent persistence and diversification in Pacific Island partulid tree snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Taehwan; Li, Jingchun; Churchill, Celia K C; Foighil, Diarmaid Ó

    2014-09-24

    Partulid tree snails are endemic to Pacific high islands and have experienced extraordinary rates of extinction in recent decades. Although they collectively range across a 10,000 km swath of Oceania, half of the family's total species diversity is endemic to a single Eastern Pacific hot spot archipelago (the Society Islands) and all three partulid genera display highly distinctive distributions. Our goal was to investigate broad scale (range wide) and fine scale (within-Society Islands) molecular phylogenetic relationships of the two widespread genera, Partula and Samoana. What can such data tell us regarding the genesis of such divergent generic distribution patterns, and nominal species diversity levels across Oceania? Museum, captive (zoo) and contemporary field specimens enabled us to genotype 54 of the ~120 recognized species, including many extinct or extirpated taxa, from 14 archipelagoes. The genera Partula and Samoana are products of very distinct diversification processes. Originating at the western edge of the familial range, the derived genus Samoana is a relatively recent arrival in the far eastern archipelagoes (Society, Austral, Marquesas) where it exhibits a stepping-stone phylogenetic pattern and has proven adept at both intra-and inter- archipelago colonization. The pronounced east-west geographic disjunction exhibited by the genus Partula stems from a much older long-distance dispersal event and its high taxonomic diversity in the Society Islands is a product of a long history of within-archipelago diversification. The central importance of isolation for partulid lineage persistence and diversification is evident in time-calibrated phylogenetic trees that show that remote archipelagoes least impacted by continental biotas bear the oldest clades and/or the most speciose radiations. In contemporary Oceania, that isolation is being progressively undermined and these tree snails are now directly exposed to introduced continental predators

  9. Uniqueness of human running coordination: The integration of modern and ancient evolutionary innovations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eKiely

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Running is a pervasive activity across human cultures and a cornerstone of contemporary health, fitness and sporting activities. Yet for the overwhelming predominance of human existence running was an essential prerequisite for survival. A means to hunt, and a means to escape when hunted. In a very real sense humans have evolved to run. Yet curiously, perhaps due to running’s cultural ubiquity and the natural ease with which we learn to run, we rarely consider the uniqueness of human bipedal running within the animal kingdom. Our unique upright, single stance, bouncing running gait imposes a unique set of coordinative difficulties. Challenges demanding we precariously balance our fragile brains in the very position where they are most vulnerable to falling injury while simultaneously retaining stability, steering direction of travel, and powering the upcoming stride: all within the abbreviated time-frames afforded by short, violent ground contacts separated by long flight times. These running coordination challenges are solved through the tightly-integrated blending of primitive evolutionary legacies, conserved from reptilian and vertebrate lineages, and comparatively modern, more exclusively human, innovations. The integrated unification of these top-down and bottom-up control processes bestows humans with an agile control system, enabling us to readily modulate speeds, change direction, negotiate varied terrains and to instantaneously adapt to changing surface conditions. The seamless integration of these evolutionary processes is facilitated by pervasive, neural and biological, activity-dependent adaptive plasticity. Over time, and with progressive exposure, this adaptive plasticity shapes neural and biological structures to best cope with regularly imposed movement challenges. This pervasive plasticity enables the gradual construction of a robust system of distributed coordinated control, comprised of processes that are so deeply

  10. Identifying human disease genes through cross-species gene mapping of evolutionary conserved processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding complex networks that modulate development in humans is hampered by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within and between populations. Here we present a method that exploits natural variation in highly diverse mouse genetic reference panels in which genetic and environmental factors can be tightly controlled. The aim of our study is to test a cross-species genetic mapping strategy, which compares data of gene mapping in human patients with functional data obtained by QTL mapping in recombinant inbred mouse strains in order to prioritize human disease candidate genes.We exploit evolutionary conservation of developmental phenotypes to discover gene variants that influence brain development in humans. We studied corpus callosum volume in a recombinant inbred mouse panel (C57BL/6J×DBA/2J, BXD strains using high-field strength MRI technology. We aligned mouse mapping results for this neuro-anatomical phenotype with genetic data from patients with abnormal corpus callosum (ACC development.From the 61 syndromes which involve an ACC, 51 human candidate genes have been identified. Through interval mapping, we identified a single significant QTL on mouse chromosome 7 for corpus callosum volume with a QTL peak located between 25.5 and 26.7 Mb. Comparing the genes in this mouse QTL region with those associated with human syndromes (involving ACC and those covered by copy number variations (CNV yielded a single overlap, namely HNRPU in humans and Hnrpul1 in mice. Further analysis of corpus callosum volume in BXD strains revealed that the corpus callosum was significantly larger in BXD mice with a B genotype at the Hnrpul1 locus than in BXD mice with a D genotype at Hnrpul1 (F = 22.48, p<9.87*10(-5.This approach that exploits highly diverse mouse strains provides an efficient and effective translational bridge to study the etiology of human developmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.

  11. Human impacts affect tree community features of 20 forest fragments of a vanishing neotropical hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, José Aldo Alves; de Oliveira-Filho, Ary Teixeira; Eisenlohr, Pedro V; Miranda, Pedro L S; de Lemos Filho, José Pires

    2015-02-01

    The loss in forest area due to human occupancy is not the only threat to the remaining biodiversity: forest fragments are susceptible to additional human impact. Our aim was to investigate the effect of human impact on tree community features (species composition and abundance, and structural descriptors) and check if there was a decrease in the number of slender trees, an increase in the amount of large trees, and also a reduction in the number of tree species that occur in 20 fragments of Atlantic montane semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. We produced digital maps of each forest fragment using Landsat 7 satellite images and processed the maps to obtain morphometric variables. We used investigative questionnaires and field observations to survey the history of human impact. We then converted the information into scores given to the extent, severity, and duration of each impact, including proportional border area, fire, trails, coppicing, logging, and cattle, and converted these scores into categorical levels. We used linear models to assess the effect of impacts on tree species abundance distribution and stand structural descriptors. Part of the variation in floristic patterns was significantly correlated to the impacts of fire, logging, and proportional border area. Structural descriptors were influenced by cattle and outer roads. Our results provided, for the first time, strong evidence that tree species occurrence and abundance, and forest structure of Atlantic seasonal forest fragments respond differently to various modes of disturbance by humans.

  12. Competition for dead trees between humans and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in central eastern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Rose T; Raharison, Jean-Luc; Irwin, Mitchell T

    2017-04-01

    The destruction and degradation of forest habitats are major threats to the sustainability of lemur populations in Madagascar. Madagascan landscapes often contain forest fragments that represent refuges for native fauna, while also being used for firewood and timber by local human populations. As undisturbed forest becomes increasingly scarce, understanding resource competition between humans and wildlife in disturbed habitats will be increasingly important. We tested the hypothesis that Malagasy and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) compete for the limited number of dead trees in rainforest fragments at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar. We surveyed 2.16 ha within five fragments (range 5-228 ha) surrounding human settlements to quantify the density of dead trees and traces of both human and aye-aye activity. Neither aye-aye nor human traces were distributed according to the availability of particular trees species, and aye-ayes and Malagasy apparently preferred several different species. Although overlap was recorded in tree species used, human use tended to be positively correlated with a species' desirability as firewood, while a negative relationship was seen for aye-ayes. Both consumers used trees of similar diameter at breast height, but those used by aye-ayes tended to be older, suggesting that human use might precede usefulness for aye-ayes. Finally, the density of dead trees and aye-aye traces were highest in smaller fragments, but human traces did not vary across fragment size. Although further study is needed to better quantify the aye-aye diet in this region, these data suggest that aye-ayes and local people compete for dead trees, and this competition could constitute a pressure on aye-aye populations.

  13. Evolutionary enhancement of the SLIM-MAUD method of estimating human error rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamanali, J.H.; Hubbard, F.R.; Mosleh, A.; Waller, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    The methodology described in this paper assigns plant-specific dynamic human error rates (HERs) for individual plant examinations based on procedural difficulty, on configuration features, and on the time available to perform the action. This methodology is an evolutionary improvement of the success likelihood index methodology (SLIM-MAUD) for use in systemic scenarios. It is based on the assumption that the HER in a particular situation depends of the combined effects of a comprehensive set of performance-shaping factors (PSFs) that influence the operator's ability to perform the action successfully. The PSFs relate the details of the systemic scenario in which the action must be performed according to the operator's psychological and cognitive condition

  14. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  15. A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Garber, Manuel; Zuk, Or; Lin, Michael F; Parker, Brian J; Washietl, Stefan; Kheradpour, Pouya; Ernst, Jason; Jordan, Gregory; Mauceli, Evan; Ward, Lucas D; Lowe, Craig B; Holloway, Alisha K; Clamp, Michele; Gnerre, Sante; Alföldi, Jessica; Beal, Kathryn; Chang, Jean; Clawson, Hiram; Cuff, James; Di Palma, Federica; Fitzgerald, Stephen; Flicek, Paul; Guttman, Mitchell; Hubisz, Melissa J; Jaffe, David B; Jungreis, Irwin; Kent, W James; Kostka, Dennis; Lara, Marcia; Martins, Andre L; Massingham, Tim; Moltke, Ida; Raney, Brian J; Rasmussen, Matthew D; Robinson, Jim; Stark, Alexander; Vilella, Albert J; Wen, Jiayu; Xie, Xiaohui; Zody, Michael C; Baldwin, Jen; Bloom, Toby; Chin, Chee Whye; Heiman, Dave; Nicol, Robert; Nusbaum, Chad; Young, Sarah; Wilkinson, Jane; Worley, Kim C; Kovar, Christie L; Muzny, Donna M; Gibbs, Richard A; Cree, Andrew; Dihn, Huyen H; Fowler, Gerald; Jhangiani, Shalili; Joshi, Vandita; Lee, Sandra; Lewis, Lora R; Nazareth, Lynne V; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Santibanez, Jireh; Warren, Wesley C; Mardis, Elaine R; Weinstock, George M; Wilson, Richard K; Delehaunty, Kim; Dooling, David; Fronik, Catrina; Fulton, Lucinda; Fulton, Bob; Graves, Tina; Minx, Patrick; Sodergren, Erica; Birney, Ewan; Margulies, Elliott H; Herrero, Javier; Green, Eric D; Haussler, David; Siepel, Adam; Goldman, Nick; Pollard, Katherine S; Pedersen, Jakob S; Lander, Eric S; Kellis, Manolis

    2011-10-12

    The comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and locate constrained elements covering ∼4.2% of the genome. We use evolutionary signatures and comparisons with experimental data sets to suggest candidate functions for ∼60% of constrained bases. These elements reveal a small number of new coding exons, candidate stop codon readthrough events and over 10,000 regions of overlapping synonymous constraint within protein-coding exons. We find 220 candidate RNA structural families, and nearly a million elements overlapping potential promoter, enhancer and insulator regions. We report specific amino acid residues that have undergone positive selection, 280,000 non-coding elements exapted from mobile elements and more than 1,000 primate- and human-accelerated elements. Overlap with disease-associated variants indicates that our findings will be relevant for studies of human biology, health and disease.

  16. Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Bozek

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and mice based on over 10,000 hydrophilic compounds. While chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse metabolomes diverge following the genetic distances among species, we detect remarkable acceleration of metabolome evolution in human prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscle affecting neural and energy metabolism pathways. These metabolic changes could not be attributed to environmental conditions and were confirmed against the expression of their corresponding enzymes. We further conducted muscle strength tests in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The results suggest that, while humans are characterized by superior cognition, their muscular performance might be markedly inferior to that of chimpanzees and macaque monkeys.

  17. Midsagittal Brain Variation among Non-Human Primates: Insights into Evolutionary Expansion of the Human Precuneus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira-Pedro, Ana Sofia; Rilling, James K; Chen, Xu; Preuss, Todd M; Bruner, Emiliano

    2017-01-01

    The precuneus is a major element of the superior parietal lobule, positioned on the medial side of the hemisphere and reaching the dorsal surface of the brain. It is a crucial functional region for visuospatial integration, visual imagery, and body coordination. Previously, we argued that the precuneus expanded in recent human evolution, based on a combination of paleontological, comparative, and intraspecific evidence from fossil and modern human endocasts as well as from human and chimpanzee brains. The longitudinal proportions of this region are a major source of anatomical variation among adult humans and, being much larger in Homo sapiens, is the main characteristic differentiating human midsagittal brain morphology from that of our closest living primate relative, the chimpanzee. In the current shape analysis, we examine precuneus variation in non-human primates through landmark-based models, to evaluate the general pattern of variability in non-human primates, and to test whether precuneus proportions are influenced by allometric effects of brain size. Results show that precuneus proportions do not covary with brain size, and that the main difference between monkeys and apes involves a vertical expansion of the frontal and occipital regions in apes. Such differences might reflect differences in brain proportions or differences in cranial architecture. In this sample, precuneus variation is apparently not influenced by phylogenetic or allometric factors, but does vary consistently within species, at least in chimpanzees and macaques. This result further supports the hypothesis that precuneus expansion in modern humans is not merely a consequence of increasing brain size or of allometric scaling, but rather represents a species-specific morphological change in our lineage. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Competence and the Evolutionary Origins of Status and Power in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapais, Bernard

    2015-06-01

    In this paper I propose an evolutionary model of human status that expands upon an earlier model proposed by Henrich and Gil-White Evolution and Human Behavior, 22,165-196 (2001). According to their model, there are two systems of status attainment in humans-"two ways to the top": the dominance route, which involves physical intimidation, a psychology of fear and hubristic pride, and provides coercive power, and the prestige route, which involves skills and knowledge (competence), a psychology of attraction to experts and authentic pride, and translates mainly into influence. The two systems would have evolved in response to different selective pressures, with attraction to experts serving a social learning function and coinciding with the evolution of cumulative culture. In this paper I argue that (1) the only one way to the top is competence because dominance itself involves competence and confers prestige, so there is no such thing as pure dominance status; (2) dominance in primates has two components: a competitive one involving physical coercion and a cooperative one involving competence-based attraction to high-ranking individuals (proto-prestige); (3) competence grants the same general type of power (dependence-based) in humans and other primates; (4) the attractiveness of high rank in primates is homologous with the admiration of experts in humans; (5) upon the evolution of cumulative culture, the attractiveness of high rank was co-opted to generate status differentials in a vast number of culturally generated domains of activity. I also discuss, in this perspective, the origins of hubristic pride, authentic pride, and nonauthoritarian leadership.

  19. Oxytocin Pathway Genes: Evolutionary Ancient System Impacting on Human Affiliation, Sociality, and Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Ruth; Monakhov, Mikhail; Pratt, Maayan; Ebstein, Richard P

    2016-02-01

    Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide signaling molecule originating from an ancestral peptide, appears in different variants across all vertebrate and several invertebrate species. Throughout animal evolution, neuropeptidergic signaling has been adapted by organisms for regulating response to rapidly changing environments. The family of OT-like molecules affects both peripheral tissues implicated in reproduction, homeostasis, and energy balance, as well as neuromodulation of social behavior, stress regulation, and associative learning in species ranging from nematodes to humans. After describing the OT-signaling pathway, we review research on the three genes most extensively studied in humans: the OT receptor (OXTR), the structural gene for OT (OXT/neurophysin-I), and CD38. Consistent with the notion that sociality should be studied from the perspective of social life at the species level, we address human social functions in relation to OT-pathway genes, including parenting, empathy, and using social relationships to manage stress. We then describe associations between OT-pathway genes with psychopathologies involving social dysfunctions such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia. Human research particularly underscored the involvement of two OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576, rs2254298) with fewer studies focusing on other OXTR (rs7632287, rs1042778, rs2268494, rs2268490), OXT (rs2740210, rs4813627, rs4813625), and CD38 (rs3796863, rs6449197) single nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, studies provide evidence for the involvement of OT-pathway genes in human social functions but also suggest that factors such as gender, culture, and early environment often confound attempts to replicate first findings. We conclude by discussing epigenetics, conceptual implications within an evolutionary perspective, and future directions, especially the need to refine phenotypes, carefully characterize early environments, and integrate observations of social behavior across

  20. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Proteins from Protists to Humans and Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Helmut

    2018-03-01

    During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca 2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca 2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H + -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in

  1. Recent tree cover increases in eastern China linked to low, declining human pressure, steep topography, and climatic conditions favoring tree growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nüchel, Jonas; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-01

    Globally, the extent of forest continues to decline, however, some countries have increased their forest extent in recent years. China is one of these countries and has managed to increase their tree cover through huge reforestation and afforestation programs during recent decades as well as land abandonment dynamics. This study investigates tree cover change in the eastern half of China between 2000 and 2010 on three different scales, using random forest modeling of remote sensing data for tree cover in relation to environmental and anthropogenic predictor variables. Our results show that between the years 2000 and 2010 2,667,875 km2 experienced an increase in tree cover while 1,854,900 km2 experienced a decline in tree cover. The area experiencing ≥10% increase in tree cover is almost twice as large as the area with ≥10% drop in tree cover. There is a clear relation between topography and tree cover change with steeper and mid-elevation areas having a larger response on tree cover increase than other areas. Furthermore, human influence, change in population density, and actual evapotranspiration are also important factors in explaining where tree cover has changed. This study adds to the understanding of tree cover change in China, as it has focus on the entire eastern half of China on three different scales and how tree cover change is linked to topography and anthropogenic pressure. Though, our results show an increase in tree cover in China, this study emphasizes the importance of incorporating anthropogenic factors together with biodiversity protection into the reforestation and afforestation programs in the future.

  2. Recent tree cover increases in eastern China linked to low, declining human pressure, steep topography, and climatic conditions favoring tree growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Nüchel

    Full Text Available Globally, the extent of forest continues to decline, however, some countries have increased their forest extent in recent years. China is one of these countries and has managed to increase their tree cover through huge reforestation and afforestation programs during recent decades as well as land abandonment dynamics. This study investigates tree cover change in the eastern half of China between 2000 and 2010 on three different scales, using random forest modeling of remote sensing data for tree cover in relation to environmental and anthropogenic predictor variables. Our results show that between the years 2000 and 2010 2,667,875 km2 experienced an increase in tree cover while 1,854,900 km2 experienced a decline in tree cover. The area experiencing ≥10% increase in tree cover is almost twice as large as the area with ≥10% drop in tree cover. There is a clear relation between topography and tree cover change with steeper and mid-elevation areas having a larger response on tree cover increase than other areas. Furthermore, human influence, change in population density, and actual evapotranspiration are also important factors in explaining where tree cover has changed. This study adds to the understanding of tree cover change in China, as it has focus on the entire eastern half of China on three different scales and how tree cover change is linked to topography and anthropogenic pressure. Though, our results show an increase in tree cover in China, this study emphasizes the importance of incorporating anthropogenic factors together with biodiversity protection into the reforestation and afforestation programs in the future.

  3. Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Potential Candidate Genes in a Human Eating Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ubadah Sabbagh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to find genes linked with eating disorders and associated with both metabolic and neural systems. Our operating hypothesis was that there are genetic factors underlying some eating disorders resting in both those pathways. Specifically, we are interested in disorders that may rest in both sleep and metabolic function, generally called Night Eating Syndrome (NES. A meta-analysis of the Gene Expression Omnibus targeting the mammalian nervous system, sleep, and obesity studies was performed, yielding numerous genes of interest. Through a text-based analysis of the results, a number of potential candidate genes were identified. VGF, in particular, appeared to be relevant both to obesity and, broadly, to brain or neural development. VGF is a highly connected protein that interacts with numerous targets via proteolytically digested peptides. We examined VGF from an evolutionary perspective to determine whether other available evidence supported a role for the gene in human disease. We conclude that some of the already identified variants in VGF from human polymorphism studies may contribute to eating disorders and obesity. Our data suggest that there is enough evidence to warrant eGWAS and GWAS analysis of these genes in NES patients in a case-control study.

  4. Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Potential Candidate Genes in a Human Eating Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbagh, Ubadah; Mullegama, Saman; Wyckoff, Gerald J

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to find genes linked with eating disorders and associated with both metabolic and neural systems. Our operating hypothesis was that there are genetic factors underlying some eating disorders resting in both those pathways. Specifically, we are interested in disorders that may rest in both sleep and metabolic function, generally called Night Eating Syndrome (NES). A meta-analysis of the Gene Expression Omnibus targeting the mammalian nervous system, sleep, and obesity studies was performed, yielding numerous genes of interest. Through a text-based analysis of the results, a number of potential candidate genes were identified. VGF, in particular, appeared to be relevant both to obesity and, broadly, to brain or neural development. VGF is a highly connected protein that interacts with numerous targets via proteolytically digested peptides. We examined VGF from an evolutionary perspective to determine whether other available evidence supported a role for the gene in human disease. We conclude that some of the already identified variants in VGF from human polymorphism studies may contribute to eating disorders and obesity. Our data suggest that there is enough evidence to warrant eGWAS and GWAS analysis of these genes in NES patients in a case-control study.

  5. Evolutionary game theory meets social science: is there a unifying rule for human cooperation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, Alejandro

    2010-05-21

    Evolutionary game theory has shown that human cooperation thrives in different types of social interactions with a PD structure. Models treat the cooperative strategies within the different frameworks as discrete entities and sometimes even as contenders. Whereas strong reciprocity was acclaimed as superior to classic reciprocity for its ability to defeat defectors in public goods games, recent experiments and simulations show that costly punishment fails to promote cooperation in the IR and DR games, where classic reciprocity succeeds. My aim is to show that cooperative strategies across frameworks are capable of a unified treatment, for they are governed by a common underlying rule or norm. An analysis of the reputation and action rules that govern some representative cooperative strategies both in models and in economic experiments confirms that the different frameworks share a conditional action rule and several reputation rules. The common conditional rule contains an option between costly punishment and withholding benefits that provides alternative enforcement methods against defectors. Depending on the framework, individuals can switch to the appropriate strategy and method of enforcement. The stability of human cooperation looks more promising if one mechanism controls successful strategies across frameworks. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Genome-scale detection of positive selection in nine primates predicts human-virus evolutionary conflicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Lee, Robin; Wiel, Laurens; van Dam, Teunis J P; Huynen, Martijn A

    2017-10-13

    Hotspots of rapid genome evolution hold clues about human adaptation. We present a comparative analysis of nine whole-genome sequenced primates to identify high-confidence targets of positive selection. We find strong statistical evidence for positive selection in 331 protein-coding genes (3%), pinpointing 934 adaptively evolving codons (0.014%). Our new procedure is stringent and reveals substantial artefacts (20% of initial predictions) that have inflated previous estimates. The final 331 positively selected genes (PSG) are strongly enriched for innate and adaptive immunity, secreted and cell membrane proteins (e.g. pattern recognition, complement, cytokines, immune receptors, MHC, Siglecs). We also find evidence for positive selection in reproduction and chromosome segregation (e.g. centromere-associated CENPO, CENPT), apolipoproteins, smell/taste receptors and mitochondrial proteins. Focusing on the virus-host interaction, we retrieve most evolutionary conflicts known to influence antiviral activity (e.g. TRIM5, MAVS, SAMHD1, tetherin) and predict 70 novel cases through integration with virus-human interaction data. Protein structure analysis further identifies positive selection in the interaction interfaces between viruses and their cellular receptors (CD4-HIV; CD46-measles, adenoviruses; CD55-picornaviruses). Finally, primate PSG consistently show high sequence variation in human exomes, suggesting ongoing evolution. Our curated dataset of positive selection is a rich source for studying the genetics underlying human (antiviral) phenotypes. Procedures and data are available at https://github.com/robinvanderlee/positive-selection. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bozek, Katarzyna; Wei, Yuning; Yan, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees,...

  8. Post-event human decision errors: operator action tree/time reliability correlation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, R E; Fragola, J; Wreathall, J

    1982-11-01

    This report documents an interim framework for the quantification of the probability of errors of decision on the part of nuclear power plant operators after the initiation of an accident. The framework can easily be incorporated into an event tree/fault tree analysis. The method presented consists of a structure called the operator action tree and a time reliability correlation which assumes the time available for making a decision to be the dominating factor in situations requiring cognitive human response. This limited approach decreases the magnitude and complexity of the decision modeling task. Specifically, in the past, some human performance models have attempted prediction by trying to emulate sequences of human actions, or by identifying and modeling the information processing approach applicable to the task. The model developed here is directed at describing the statistical performance of a representative group of hypothetical individuals responding to generalized situations.

  9. Post-event human decision errors: operator action tree/time reliability correlation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, R.E.; Fragola, J.; Wreathall, J.

    1982-11-01

    This report documents an interim framework for the quantification of the probability of errors of decision on the part of nuclear power plant operators after the initiation of an accident. The framework can easily be incorporated into an event tree/fault tree analysis. The method presented consists of a structure called the operator action tree and a time reliability correlation which assumes the time available for making a decision to be the dominating factor in situations requiring cognitive human response. This limited approach decreases the magnitude and complexity of the decision modeling task. Specifically, in the past, some human performance models have attempted prediction by trying to emulate sequences of human actions, or by identifying and modeling the information processing approach applicable to the task. The model developed here is directed at describing the statistical performance of a representative group of hypothetical individuals responding to generalized situations

  10. Diversity and Evolutionary Histories of Human Coronaviruses NL63 and 229E Associated with Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khannaq, Maryam Nabiel; Ng, Kim Tien; Oong, Xiang Yong; Pang, Yong Kek; Takebe, Yutaka; Chook, Jack Bee; Hanafi, Nik Sherina; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Tee, Kok Keng

    2016-05-04

    The human alphacoronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E are commonly associated with upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Information on their molecular epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics in the tropical region of southeast Asia however is limited. Here, we analyzed the phylogenetic, temporal distribution, population history, and clinical manifestations among patients infected with HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 2,060 consenting adults presented with acute URTI symptoms in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 2012 and 2013. The presence of HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E was detected using multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The spike glycoprotein, nucleocapsid, and 1a genes were sequenced for phylogenetic reconstruction and Bayesian coalescent inference. A total of 68/2,060 (3.3%) subjects were positive for human alphacoronavirus; HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E were detected in 45 (2.2%) and 23 (1.1%) patients, respectively. A peak in the number of HCoV-NL63 infections was recorded between June and October 2012. Phylogenetic inference revealed that 62.8% of HCoV-NL63 infections belonged to genotype B, 37.2% was genotype C, while all HCoV-229E sequences were clustered within group 4. Molecular dating analysis indicated that the origin of HCoV-NL63 was dated to 1921, before it diverged into genotype A (1975), genotype B (1996), and genotype C (2003). The root of the HCoV-229E tree was dated to 1955, before it diverged into groups 1-4 between the 1970s and 1990s. The study described the seasonality, molecular diversity, and evolutionary dynamics of human alphacoronavirus infections in a tropical region. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  11. Evolutionary Divergence of Gene and Protein Expression in the Brains of Humans and Chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauernfeind, Amy L; Soderblom, Erik J; Turner, Meredith E; Moseley, M Arthur; Ely, John J; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Wray, Gregory A; Babbitt, Courtney C

    2015-07-10

    Although transcriptomic profiling has become the standard approach for exploring molecular differences in the primate brain, very little is known about how the expression levels of gene transcripts relate to downstream protein abundance. Moreover, it is unknown whether the relationship changes depending on the brain region or species under investigation. We performed high-throughput transcriptomic (RNA-Seq) and proteomic (liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry) analyses on two regions of the human and chimpanzee brain: The anterior cingulate cortex and caudate nucleus. In both brain regions, we found a lower correlation between mRNA and protein expression levels in humans and chimpanzees than has been reported for other tissues and cell types, suggesting that the brain may engage extensive tissue-specific regulation affecting protein abundance. In both species, only a few categories of biological function exhibited strong correlations between mRNA and protein expression levels. These categories included oxidative metabolism and protein synthesis and modification, indicating that the expression levels of mRNA transcripts supporting these biological functions are more predictive of protein expression compared with other functional categories. More generally, however, the two measures of molecular expression provided strikingly divergent perspectives into differential expression between human and chimpanzee brains: mRNA comparisons revealed significant differences in neuronal communication, ion transport, and regulatory processes, whereas protein comparisons indicated differences in perception and cognition, metabolic processes, and organization of the cytoskeleton. Our results highlight the importance of examining protein expression in evolutionary analyses and call for a more thorough understanding of tissue-specific protein expression levels. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular

  12. A Comparative and Evolutionary Analysis of the Cultural Cognition of Humans and Other Apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew

    2017-01-09

    The comparative and evolutionary analysis of social learning and all manner of cultural processes has become a flourishing field. Applying the 'comparative method' to such phenomena allows us to exploit the good fortunate we have in being able to study them in satisfying detail in our living primate relatives, using the results to reconstruct the cultural cognition of the ancestral forms we share with these species. Here I offer an overview of principal discoveries in recent years, organized through a developing scheme that targets three main dimensions of culture: the patterning of culturally transmitted traditions in time and space; the underlying social learning processes; and the particular behavioral and psychological contents of cultures. I focus on a comparison between humans, particularly children, and our closest primate relative the chimpanzee, for which we now have much the richest database of relevant observational and experimental findings. Commonalities across these sister-species can be identified in each of the three dimensions listed above and in several subcategories within them, but the comparisons also highlight the major contrasts in the nature of culture that have evolved between ourselves and closest primate relatives.

  13. Three human alcohol dehydrogenase subunits: cDNA structure and molecular and evolutionary divergence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikuta, T.; Szeto, S.; Yoshida, A.

    1986-01-01

    Class I human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH; alcohol:NAD + oxidoreductase, EC 1.1.1.1) consists of several homo- and heterodimers of α, β, and γ subunits that are governed by the ADH1, ADH2, and ADH3 loci. The authors previously cloned a full length of cDNA for the β subunit, and the complete sequence of 374 amino acid residues was established. cDNAs for the α and γ subunits were cloned and characterized. A human liver cDNA library, constructed in phage λgt11, was screened by using a synthetic oligonucleotide probe that was matched to the γ but not to the β sequence. Clone pUCADHγ21 and clone pUCADHα15L differed from β cDNA with respect to restriction sites and hybridization with the nucleotide probe. Clone pUCADHγ21 contained an insertion of 1.5 kilobase pairs (kbp) and encodes 374 amino acid residues compatible with the reported amino acid sequence of the γ subunit. Clone pUCADHα15L contained an insertion of 2.4 kbp and included nucleotide sequences that encode 374 amino acid residues for another subunit, the γ subunit. In addition, this clone contained the sequences that encode the COOH-terminal part of the β subunit at its extended 5' region. The amino acid sequences and coding regions of the cDNAs of the three subunits are very similar. A high degree of resemblance is observed also in their 3' noncoding regions. However, distinctive differences exist in the vicinity of the Zn-binding cysteine residue at position 46. Based on the cDNA sequences and the deduced amino acid sequences of the three subunits, their structural and evolutionary relationships are discussed

  14. UV-associated decline in systemic folate: implications for human nutrigenetics, health, and evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucock, Mark; Beckett, Emma; Martin, Charlotte; Jones, Patrice; Furst, John; Yates, Zoe; Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George; Veysey, Martin

    2017-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether UV exposure alters folate status according to C677T-MTHFR genotype, and to consider the relevance of this to human health and the evolutionary model of skin pigmentation. Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) satellite data were used to examine surface UV-irradiance, as a marker of UV exposure, in a large (n = 649) Australian cross-sectional study population. PCR/RFLP analysis was used to genotype C677T-MTHFR. Overall, cumulative UV-irradiance (42 and 120 days pre-clinic) was significantly negatively related to red cell folate (RCF) levels. When the cohort was stratified by MTHFR-C677T genotype, the relationship between UV-irradiance (42 days pre-clinic) and RCF remained significant only in the cohorts containing carriers of the T allele. Statistically significant z-score statistics and interaction terms from genotype and UV-irradiance (p-interaction) demonstrated that genotype did modify the effect of UV-irradiance on RCF, with the largest effect of UV being demonstrated in the 677TT-MTHFR subjects. Data provide strong evidence that surface UV-irradiance reduces long-term systemic folate levels, and that this is influenced by the C677T-MTHFR gene variant. We speculate this effect may be due to 677TT-MTHFR individuals containing more 5,10CH 2 -H 4 PteGlu, and that this folate form may be particularly UV labile. Since UV-irradiance lowers RCF in an MTHFR genotype-specific way, there are likely implications for human health and the evolution of skin pigmentation. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Newly evolved introns in human retrogenes provide novel insights into their evolutionary roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kang Li-Fang

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retrogenes generally do not contain introns. However, in some instances, retrogenes may recruit internal exonic sequences as introns, which is known as intronization. A retrogene that undergoes intronization is a good model with which to investigate the origin of introns. Nevertheless, previously, only two cases in vertebrates have been reported. Results In this study, we systematically screened the human (Homo sapiens genome for retrogenes that evolved introns and analyzed their patterns in structure, expression and origin. In total, we identified nine intron-containing retrogenes. Alignment of pairs of retrogenes and their parents indicated that, in addition to intronization (five cases, retrogenes also may have gained introns by insertion of external sequences into the genes (one case or reversal of the orientation of transcription (three cases. Interestingly, many intronizations were promoted not by base substitutions but by cryptic splice sites, which were silent in the parental genes but active in the retrogenes. We also observed that the majority of introns generated by intronization did not involve frameshifts. Conclusions Intron gains in retrogenes are not as rare as previously thought. Furthermore, diverse mechanisms may lead to intron creation in retrogenes. The activation of cryptic splice sites in the intronization of retrogenes may be triggered by the change of gene structure after retroposition. A high percentage of non-frameshift introns in retrogenes may be because non-frameshift introns do not dramatically affect host proteins. Introns generated by intronization in human retrogenes are generally young, which is consistent with previous findings for Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results provide novel insights into the evolutionary role of introns.

  16. Evolutionary melting pots: a biodiversity hotspot shaped by ring diversifications around the Black Sea in the Eastern tree frog (Hyla orientalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Leuenberger, Julien; Ghali, Karim; Zinenko, Oleksandr; Stöck, Matthias; Perrin, Nicolas

    2016-09-01

    Hotspots of intraspecific genetic diversity, which are of primary importance for the conservation of species, have been associated with glacial refugia, that is areas where species survived the Quaternary climatic oscillations. However, the proximate mechanisms generating these hotspots remain an open issue. Hotspots may reflect the long-term persistence of large refugial populations; alternatively, they may result from allopatric differentiation between small and isolated populations, that later admixed. Here, we test these two scenarios in a widely distributed species of tree frog, Hyla orientalis, which inhabits Asia Minor and southeastern Europe. We apply a fine-scale phylogeographic survey, combining fast-evolving mitochondrial and nuclear markers, with a dense sampling throughout the range, as well as ecological niche modelling, to understand what shaped the genetic variation of this species. We documented an important diversity centre around the Black Sea, composed of multiple allopatric and/or parapatric diversifications, likely driven by a combination of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex regional topography. Remarkably, this diversification forms a ring around the Black Sea, from the Caucasus through Anatolia and eastern Europe, with terminal forms coming into contact and partially admixing in Crimea. Our results support the view that glacial refugia generate rather than host genetic diversity and can also function as evolutionary melting pots of biodiversity. Moreover, we report a new case of ring diversification, triggered by a large, yet cohesive dispersal barrier, a very rare situation in nature. Finally, we emphasize the Black Sea region as an important centre of intraspecific diversity in the Palearctic with implications for conservation. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. The pristine rain forest? Remnants of historical human impacts on current tree species composition and diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gemerden, van B.S.; Olff, H.; Parren, M.P.E.; Bongers, F.J.J.M.

    2003-01-01

    Aim Tropical rain forests are often regarded as pristine and undisturbed by humans. In Central Africa, community-wide disturbances by natural causes are rare and therefore current theory predicts that natural gap phase dynamics structure tree species composition and diversity. However, the dominant

  18. The pristine rain forest? Remnants of historical human impacts on current tree species composition and diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gemerden, Barend S. van; Olff, Han; Parren, Marc P.E.; Bongers, Frans

    2003-01-01

    Aim: Tropical rain forests are often regarded as pristine and undisturbed by humans. In Central Africa, community-wide disturbances by natural causes are rare and therefore current theory predicts that natural gap phase dynamics structure tree species composition and diversity. However, the dominant

  19. Quantifying human and organizational factors in accident management using decision trees: the HORAAM method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumont, G.; Menage, F.; Schneiter, J.R.; Spurgin, A.; Vogel, A.

    2000-01-01

    In the framework of the level 2 Probabilistic Safety Study (PSA 2) project, the Institute for Nuclear Safety and Protection (IPSN) has developed a method for taking into account Human and Organizational Reliability Aspects during accident management. Actions are taken during very degraded installation operations by teams of experts in the French framework of Crisis Organization (ONC). After describing the background of the framework of the Level 2 PSA, the French specific Crisis Organization and the characteristics of human actions in the Accident Progression Event Tree, this paper describes the method developed to introduce in PSA the Human and Organizational Reliability Analysis in Accident Management (HORAAM). This method is based on the Decision Tree method and has gone through a number of steps in its development. The first one was the observation of crisis center exercises, in order to identify the main influence factors (IFs) which affect human and organizational reliability. These IFs were used as headings in the Decision Tree method. Expert judgment was used in order to verify the IFs, to rank them, and to estimate the value of the aggregated factors to simplify the quantification of the tree. A tool based on Mathematica was developed to increase the flexibility and the efficiency of the study

  20. Co-evolutionary dynamics of the human-environment system in the Heihe River basin in the past 2000years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhixiang; Wei, Yongping; Feng, Qi; Xie, Jiali; Xiao, Honglang; Cheng, Guodong

    2018-09-01

    There is limited quantitative understanding of interactions between human and environmental systems over the millennial scale. We aim to reveal the co-evolutionary dynamics of the human-environment system in a river basin by simulating the water use and net primary production (NPP) allocation for human and environmental systems over the last 2000years in Heihe River basin (HRB) in northwest China. We partition the catchment total evapotranspiration (ET) into ET for human and environmental systems with a social-hydrological framework and estimate the NPP for human and environmental systems using the Box-Lieth model, then classify the co-evolutionary processes of the human-environment system into distinct phases using the rate of changes of NPP over time, and discover the trade-offs or synergies relationships between them based on the elasticity of change of the NPP for humans to the change of NPP for environment. The co-evolutionary dynamics of human-environment system in the HRB can be divided into four periods, including: Phase I (Han Dynasty-Yuan Dynasty): predevelopment characterized by nearly no trade-offs between human and environment; Phase II (Yuan Dynasty-RC): slow agricultural development: characterized by a small human win due to small trade-offs between human and environment; Phase III (RC-2000): rapid agricultural development: characterized by a large human win due to large trade-offs between human and environment, and Phase IV (2000-2010): a rebalance characterized by large human wins with a small-environment win due to synergies, although these occurred very occasionally. This study provides a quantitative approach to describe the co-evolution of the human-environment system from the perspective of trade-offs and synergies in the millennial scale for the first time. The relationships between humans and environment changed from trade-off to synergy with the implementation of the water reallocation scheme in 2000. These findings improve the

  1. The Goal of Evolutionary and Neoclassical Economics as a Consequence of the Changes in Concepts of Human Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Horodecka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The economics depends on the concept of human nature very strongly. The concepts of human nature can be understood as a set of assumptions made about the individual (on different levels: behavior, motives, meaning and his interactions with other people, with groups and diverse institutions. It corresponds with the image of world people have. The concept of human nature together with an image of the world builds the basis of thinking about the economics and about such fundamental element of it as its goal. Therefore if those images of men change, the way of thinking about economics and their elements adjust to those changes as well. The goal of the paper is to present the impact of these alterations of image of man on the economics. This impact will be illustrated on the example of the evolutionary economics, which is contrasted with the orthodox concept of human nature persisting in the neoclassical economics – homo economicus. The method applied to this research is, among others, a content analysis of the most important texts developed within neoclassical and evolutionary economics. To reach this goal, the following steps will be conducted: firstly, the concepts of human nature will be defined in regards of their particularity depending on the discipline by which they are defined; secondly, the main differences between concepts of human nature in neoclassical and evolutionary economics will be analyzed, and thirdly the differences in understanding of the goal and field between those two schools will be explained as resulting from the diverse concepts of human nature. The analysis proved that the main differences in those economic schools might be explained by the changed assumptions about the human nature and the image of the world.

  2. Early Menarche as an Alternative Reproductive Tactic in Human Females: An Evolutionary Approach to Reproductive Health Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan T. Gillette

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12 can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Lieberman

    2014-07-01

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

  4. The tomography of human mobility - what do shortest-path trees reveal?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thiemann, Christian [Eng. Sci. and Appl. Math, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (United States); Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen (Germany); Grady, Daniel; Brockmann, Dirk [Eng. Sci. and Appl. Math, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Similar to illustrating the anatomy of organs using pictures of tissue slices taken at various depths, we construct shortest-path trees of different nodes to create tomograms of large-scale human mobility networks. This tomography allows us to measure global properties of the system conditioned on a reference location in the network to gain a fuller characterization of a node. It also suggests a canonical coordinate system for representing complex networks and dynamical processes thereon in a simplified way, revealing a new symmetry in the human mobility networks we investigated. Furthermore, introducing the notion of tree similarity, we devised a new technique for clustering nodes with similar topological footprint, yielding a unique and efficient method for community identification and topological backbone extraction. We applied these methods to a multi-scale human mobility network obtained from the dollar-bill-tracking site wheresgoerge.com and to the U.S. and world-wide air transportation network.

  5. 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.

  6. Brief Communication: Quantitative- and molecular-genetic differentiation in humans and chimpanzees: implications for the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Estimates of the amount of genetic differentiation in humans among major geographic regions (e.g., Eastern Asia vs. Europe) from quantitative-genetic analyses of cranial measurements closely match those from classical- and molecular-genetic markers. Typically, among-region differences account for ∼10% of the total variation. This correspondence is generally interpreted as evidence for the importance of neutral evolutionary processes (e.g., genetic drift) in generating among-region differences in human cranial form, but it was initially surprising because human cranial diversity was frequently assumed to show a strong signature of natural selection. Is the human degree of similarity of cranial and DNA-sequence estimates of among-region genetic differentiation unusual? How do comparisons with other taxa illuminate the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification? Chimpanzees provide a useful starting point for placing the human results in a broader comparative context, because common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) are the extant species most closely related to humans. To address these questions, I used 27 cranial measurements collected on a sample of 861 humans and 263 chimpanzees to estimate the amount of genetic differentiation between pairs of groups (between regions for humans and between species or subspecies for chimpanzees). Consistent with previous results, the human cranial estimates are quite similar to published DNA-sequence estimates. In contrast, the chimpanzee cranial estimates are much smaller than published DNA-sequence estimates. It appears that cranial differentiation has been limited in chimpanzees relative to humans. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Historical human footprint on modern tree species composition in the Purus-Madeira interfluve, central Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Levis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Native Amazonian populations managed forest resources in numerous ways, often creating oligarchic forests dominated by useful trees. The scale and spatial distribution of forest modification beyond pre-Columbian settlements is still unknown, although recent studies propose that human impact away from rivers was minimal. We tested the hypothesis that past human management of the useful tree community decreases with distance from rivers. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In six sites, we inventoried trees and palms with DBH≥10 cm and collected soil for charcoal analysis; we also mapped archaeological evidence around the sites. To quantify forest manipulation, we measured the relative abundance, richness and basal area of useful trees and palms. We found a strong negative exponential relationship between forest manipulation and distance to large rivers. Plots located from 10 to 20 km from a main river had 20-40% useful arboreal species, plots between 20 and 40 km had 12-23%, plots more than 40 km had less than 15%. Soil charcoal abundance was high in the two sites closest to secondary rivers, suggesting past agricultural practices. The shortest distance between archaeological evidence and plots was found in sites near rivers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results strongly suggest that past forest manipulation was not limited to the pre-Columbian settlements along major rivers, but extended over interfluvial areas considered to be primary forest today. The sustainable use of Amazonian forests will be most effective if it considers the degree of past landscape domestication, as human-modified landscapes concentrate useful plants for human sustainable use and management today.

  9. Genealogy and gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmuson, Marianne

    2008-02-01

    Heredity can be followed in persons or in genes. Persons can be identified only a few generations back, but simplified models indicate that universal ancestors to all now living persons have occurred in the past. Genetic variability can be characterized as variants of DNA sequences. Data are available only from living persons, but from the pattern of variation gene trees can be inferred by means of coalescence models. The merging of lines backwards in time leads to a MRCA (most recent common ancestor). The time and place of living for this inferred person can give insights in human evolutionary history. Demographic processes are incorporated in the model, but since culture and customs are known to influence demography the models used ought to be tested against available genealogy. The Icelandic data base offers a possibility to do so and points to some discrepancies. Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome patterns give a rather consistent view of human evolutionary history during the latest 100 000 years but the earlier epochs of human evolution demand gene trees with longer branches. The results of such studies reveal as yet unsolved problems about the sources of our genome.

  10. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

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

  11. Human Factors Reliability Analysis for Assuring Nuclear Safety Using Fuzzy Fault Tree

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisawy, E.A.-F. I.; Sallam, H.

    2016-01-01

    In order to ensure effective prevention of harmful events, the risk assessment process cannot ignore the role of humans in the dynamics of accidental events and thus the seriousness of the consequences that may derive from them. Human reliability analysis (HRA) involves the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the human contribution to risk. HRA techniques have been developed in order to provide human error probability values associated with operators’ tasks to be included within the broader context of system risk assessment, and are aimed at reducing the probability of accidental events. Fault tree analysis (FTA) is a graphical model that displays the various combinations of equipment failures and human errors that can result in the main system failure of interest. FTA is a risk analysis technique to assess likelihood (in a probabilistic context) of an event. The objective data available to estimate the likelihood is often missing, and even if available, is subject to incompleteness and imprecision or vagueness. Without addressing incompleteness and imprecision in the available data, FTA and subsequent risk analysis give a false impression of precision and correctness that undermines the overall credibility of the process. To solve this problem, qualitative justification in the context of failure possibilities can be used as alternative for quantitative justification. In this paper, we introduce the approach of fuzzy reliability as solution for fault tree analysis drawbacks. A new fuzzy fault tree method is proposed for the analysis of human reliability based on fuzzy sets and fuzzy operations t-norms, co-norms, defuzzification, and fuzzy failure probability. (author)

  12. Genetic and evolutionary analyses of the human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorit Schleinitz

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2 is essential for BMP signalling and may be involved in the regulation of adipogenesis. The BMPR2 locus has been suggested as target of recent selection in human populations. We hypothesized that BMPR2 might have a role in the pathophysiology of obesity.Evolutionary analyses (dN/dS, Fst, iHS were conducted in vertebrates and human populations. BMPR2 mRNA expression was measured in 190 paired samples of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. The gene was sequenced in 48 DNA samples. Nine representative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were genotyped for subsequent association studies on quantitative traits related to obesity in 1830 German Caucasians. An independent cohort of 925 Sorbs was used for replication. Finally, relation of genotypes to mRNA in fat was examined.The evolutionary analyses indicated signatures of selection on the BMPR2 locus. BMPR2 mRNA expression was significantly increased both in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of 37 overweight (BMI>25 and 30 kg/m² compared with 44 lean subjects (BMI< 25 kg/m² (P<0.001. In a case-control study including lean and obese subjects, two intronic SNPs (rs6717924, rs13426118 were associated with obesity (adjusted P<0.05. Combined analyses including the initial cohort and the Sorbs confirmed a consistent effect for rs6717924 (combined P = 0.01 on obesity. Moreover, rs6717924 was associated with higher BMPR2 mRNA expression in visceral adipose tissue.Combined BMPR2 genotype-phenotype-mRNA expression data as well as evolutionary aspects suggest a role of BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podder Soumita

    2012-01-01

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

  14. HBC-Evo: predicting human breast cancer by exploiting amino acid sequence-based feature spaces and evolutionary ensemble system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, Abdul; Ali, Safdar

    2015-01-01

    We developed genetic programming (GP)-based evolutionary ensemble system for the early diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of human breast cancer. This system has effectively exploited the diversity in feature and decision spaces. First, individual learners are trained in different feature spaces using physicochemical properties of protein amino acids. Their predictions are then stacked to develop the best solution during GP evolution process. Finally, results for HBC-Evo system are obtained with optimal threshold, which is computed using particle swarm optimization. Our novel approach has demonstrated promising results compared to state of the art approaches.

  15. Regional deposition of thoron progeny in models of the human tracheobronchial tree

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, S.M.; Cheng, Yung-Sung; Yeh, Hsu-Chi.

    1995-01-01

    Models of the human tracheobronchial tree have been used to determine total and regional aerosol deposition of inhaled particles. Particle sizes measured in these studies have all been > 40 nm in diameter. The deposition of aerosols < 40 nm in diameter has not been measured. Particles in the ultrafine aerosol size range include some combustion aerosols and indoor radon progeny. Also, the influence of reduced lung size and airflow rates on particle deposition in young children has not been determined. With their smaller lung size and smaller minute volumes, children may be at increased risk from ultrafine pollutants. In order to accurately determine dose of inhaled aerosols, the effects of particle size, minute volume, and age at exposure must be quantified. The purpose of this study was to determine the deposition efficiency of ultrafine aerosols smaller than 40 nm in diameter in models of the human tracheobronchia tree. This study demonstrates that the deposition efficiency of aerosols in the model of the child's tracheobronchial tree may be slightly higher than in the adult models

  16. Regional deposition of thoron progeny in models of the human tracheobronchial tree

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, S.M.; Cheng, Yung-Sung; Yeh, Hsu-Chi

    1995-12-01

    Models of the human tracheobronchial tree have been used to determine total and regional aerosol deposition of inhaled particles. Particle sizes measured in these studies have all been > 40 nm in diameter. The deposition of aerosols < 40 nm in diameter has not been measured. Particles in the ultrafine aerosol size range include some combustion aerosols and indoor radon progeny. Also, the influence of reduced lung size and airflow rates on particle deposition in young children has not been determined. With their smaller lung size and smaller minute volumes, children may be at increased risk from ultrafine pollutants. In order to accurately determine dose of inhaled aerosols, the effects of particle size, minute volume, and age at exposure must be quantified. The purpose of this study was to determine the deposition efficiency of ultrafine aerosols smaller than 40 nm in diameter in models of the human tracheobronchia tree. This study demonstrates that the deposition efficiency of aerosols in the model of the child`s tracheobronchial tree may be slightly higher than in the adult models.

  17. Molecular epidemiology and evolutionary histories of human coronavirus OC43 and HKU1 among patients with upper respiratory tract infections in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khannaq, Maryam Nabiel; Ng, Kim Tien; Oong, Xiang Yong; Pang, Yong Kek; Takebe, Yutaka; Chook, Jack Bee; Hanafi, Nik Sherina; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Tee, Kok Keng

    2016-02-25

    Despite the worldwide circulation of human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) and HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1), data on their molecular epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics in the tropical Southeast Asia region is lacking. The study aimed to investigate the genetic diversity, temporal distribution, population history and clinical symptoms of betacoronavirus infections in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 2012 and 2013. A total of 2,060 adults presented with acute respiratory symptoms were screened for the presence of betacoronaviruses using multiplex PCR. The spike glycoprotein, nucleocapsid and 1a genes were sequenced for phylogenetic reconstruction and Bayesian coalescent inference. A total of 48/2060 (2.4 %) specimens were tested positive for HCoV-OC43 (1.3 %) and HCoV-HKU1 (1.1 %). Both HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 were co-circulating throughout the year, with the lowest detection rates reported in the October-January period. Phylogenetic analysis of the spike gene showed that the majority of HCoV-OC43 isolates were grouped into two previously undefined genotypes, provisionally assigned as novel lineage 1 and novel lineage 2. Sign of natural recombination was observed in these potentially novel lineages. Location mapping showed that the novel lineage 1 is currently circulating in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and China, while novel lineage 2 can be found in Malaysia and China. Molecular dating showed the origin of HCoV-OC43 around late 1950s, before it diverged into genotypes A (1960s), B (1990s), and other genotypes (2000s). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 27.3 % of the HCoV-HKU1 strains belong to genotype A while 72.7 % belongs to genotype B. The tree root of HCoV-HKU1 was similar to that of HCoV-OC43, with the tMRCA of genotypes A and B estimated around the 1990s and 2000s, respectively. Correlation of HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 with the severity of respiratory symptoms was not observed. The present study reported the molecular complexity and evolutionary dynamics of human

  18. Evolutionary trends of European bat lyssavirus type 2 including genetic characterization of Finnish strains of human and bat origin 24 years apart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakava-Viljanen, Miia; Miia, Jakava-Viljanen; Nokireki, Tiina; Tiina, Nokireki; Sironen, Tarja; Tarja, Sironen; Vapalahti, Olli; Olli, Vapalahti; Sihvonen, Liisa; Liisa, Sihvonen; Huovilainen, Anita; Anita, Huovilainen

    2015-06-01

    Among other Lyssaviruses, Daubenton's and pond-bat-related European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) can cause human rabies. To investigate the diversity and evolutionary trends of EBLV-2, complete genome sequences of two Finnish isolates were analysed. One originated from a human case in 1985, and the other originated from a bat in 2009. The overall nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence identity of the two Finnish isolates were high, as well as the similarity to fully sequenced EBLV-2 strains originating from the UK and the Netherlands. In phylogenetic analysis, the EBLV-2 strains formed a monophyletic group that was separate from other bat-type lyssaviruses, with significant support. EBLV-2 shared the most recent common ancestry with Bokeloh bat lyssavirus (BBLV) and Khujan virus (KHUV). EBLV-2 showed limited diversity compared to RABV and appears to be well adapted to its host bat species. The slow tempo of viral evolution was evident in the estimations of divergence times for EBLV-2: the current diversity was estimated to have built up during the last 2000 years, and EBLV-2 diverged from KHUV about 8000 years ago. In a phylogenetic tree of partial N gene sequences, the Finnish EBLV-2 strains clustered with strains from Central Europe, supporting the hypothesis that EBLV-2 circulating in Finland might have a Central European origin. The Finnish EBLV-2 strains and a Swiss strain were estimated to have diverged from other EBLV-2 strains during the last 1000 years, and the two Finnish strains appear to have evolved from a common ancestor during the last 200 years.

  19. Assessing the relative importance of isolated Ficus trees to insectivorous birds in an Indian human-modified tropical landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthews, Thomas J.; Cottee-Jones, H. Eden W.; Bregman, Tom P.

    2017-01-01

    The destruction of forest for agricultural expansion has created a vast estate of human-modified land in tropical regions. One group of organisms that are particularly vulnerable to the loss of forest habitat are insectivorous birds. Despite this, few conservation strategies have been identified...... for this group in human-modified landscapes. We survey the use of 104 isolated trees by insectivorous birds in rural Assam, India. We used an information theoretic model comparison approach to determine the important variables driving insectivorous bird diversity within these isolated trees. Our work...... demonstrates that the conservation of large trees in human-modified landscapes may play an important role in maintaining bird diversity and ecological function beyond the forest edge. More specifically, we found that isolated Ficus trees hold assemblages with particularly high insectivore abundance, richness...

  20. Alfred Russel Wallace's medical libertarianism: state medicine, human progress, and evolutionary purpose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), naturalist and explorer of South America and the Malay Archipelago, secured his place in history by independently discovering the theory of natural selection. His letter outlining the theory was sent from Ternate in eastern Indonesia and received at Down House, according to Charles Darwin (1809-82), on June 18, 1858, prompting the now-famed evolutionist to rush his languishing manuscript to press. Wallace's contributions to evolutionary biology, biogeography, and anthropology are well known, but his medical views have received far less attention. Within the context of a strident populist antivaccination movement and an ominous elitist eugenics campaign, Wallace took his stand, which revealed itself in a libertarianism that defended traditional socialist constituencies (the working poor, the lumpenproletariat, and feminist reformers) against state-mandated medical interventions. Rather than viewing Wallace as a heterodox contrarian, this article argues that his positions were logical outgrowths of his medical libertarianism and evolutionary and social theories. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Evolutionary conservation and network structure characterize genes of phenotypic relevance for mitosis in human.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Ostaszewski

    Full Text Available The impact of gene silencing on cellular phenotypes is difficult to establish due to the complexity of interactions in the associated biological processes and pathways. A recent genome-wide RNA knock-down study both identified and phenotypically characterized a set of important genes for the cell cycle in HeLa cells. Here, we combine a molecular interaction network analysis, based on physical and functional protein interactions, in conjunction with evolutionary information, to elucidate the common biological and topological properties of these key genes. Our results show that these genes tend to be conserved with their corresponding protein interactions across several species and are key constituents of the evolutionary conserved molecular interaction network. Moreover, a group of bistable network motifs is found to be conserved within this network, which are likely to influence the network stability and therefore the robustness of cellular functioning. They form a cluster, which displays functional homogeneity and is significantly enriched in genes phenotypically relevant for mitosis. Additional results reveal a relationship between specific cellular processes and the phenotypic outcomes induced by gene silencing. This study introduces new ideas regarding the relationship between genotype and phenotype in the context of the cell cycle. We show that the analysis of molecular interaction networks can result in the identification of genes relevant to cellular processes, which is a promising avenue for future research.

  2. Differential Evolutionary Constraints in the Evolution of Chemoreceptors: A Murine and Human Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemoreception is among the most important sensory modalities in animals. Organisms use the ability to perceive chemical compounds in all major ecological activities. Recent studies have allowed the characterization of chemoreceptor gene families. These genes present strikingly high variability in copy numbers and pseudogenization degrees among different species, but the mechanisms underlying their evolution are not fully understood. We have analyzed the functional networks of these genes, their orthologs distribution, and performed phylogenetic analyses in order to investigate their evolutionary dynamics. We have modeled the chemosensory networks and compared the evolutionary constraints of their genes in Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, and Rattus norvegicus. We have observed significant differences regarding the constraints on the orthologous groups and network topologies of chemoreceptors and signal transduction machinery. Our findings suggest that chemosensory receptor genes are less constrained than their signal transducing machinery, resulting in greater receptor diversity and conservation of information processing pathways. More importantly, we have observed significant differences among the receptors themselves, suggesting that olfactory and bitter taste receptors are more conserved than vomeronasal receptors.

  3. The Long Evolutionary Journey of Cancer from Ancestor to Modern Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, Giuseppe; Trosko, James E

    2017-01-01

    In this article, we review various key issues in cancer development and progression that have important implications for both cancer prevention and treatment: (1) evolutionary aspects of cancer appearance; (2) evidence of organ-specific adult stem cells as cancer-initiating cells; (3) the immortality of cancer-initiating cells; (4) cancer cell loss of growth control, contact inhibition, terminal differentiation, and apoptosis; (5) stem-cell versus de-differentiation theory of carcinogenesis; (6) mutations in cancer; (7) oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes; (8) epigenetics as the rate-limiting step in carcinogenesis; (9) the potential role of cultural, lifestyle, and nutritional behaviors in oncology; and (10) changes of commensal microbial community and its metagenome in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Relevant, combined evidence is discussed from a standpoint whereby cancer is considered a multifaceted disease requiring integrated biomolecular and clinico-pathological information to design and implement strategies for either primary prevention or therapy.

  4. The frequent evolutionary birth and death of functional promoters in mouse and human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Young, Robert S.; Hayashizaki, Yosihide; Andersson, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Promoters are central to the regulation of gene expression. Changes in gene regulation are thought to underlie much of the adaptive diversification between species and phenotypic variation within populations. In contrast to earlier work emphasizing the importance of enhancer evolution and subtle...... diverged. Tissue-restricted promoters are the most evolutionarily volatile where retrotransposition is an important, but not the sole source of innovation. There is considerable heterogeneity of turnover rates between promoters in different tissues, but the consistency of these in both lineages suggests...... decaying with weak transcriptional output and relaxed selective constraint. Our results suggest that promoter gain and loss is an important process in the evolutionary rewiring of gene regulation and may be a significant source of phenotypic diversification....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan van der Schyff

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

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

  10. Identification of an evolutionary conserved SURF-6 domain in a family of nucleolar proteins extending from human to yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

    The mammalian SURF-6 protein is localized in the nucleolus, yet its function remains elusive in the recently characterized nucleolar proteome. We discovered by searching the Protein families database that a unique evolutionary conserved SURF-6 domain is present in the carboxy-terminal of a novel family of eukaryotic proteins extending from human to yeast. By using the enhanced green fluorescent protein as a fusion protein marker in mammalian cells, we show that proteins from distantly related taxonomic groups containing the SURF-6 domain are localized in the nucleolus. Deletion sequence analysis shows that multiple regions of the SURF-6 protein are capable of nucleolar targeting independently of the evolutionary conserved domain. We identified that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae member of the SURF-6 family, named rrp14 or ykl082c, has been categorized in yeast databases to interact with proteins involved in ribosomal biogenesis and cell polarity. These results classify SURF-6 as a new family of nucleolar proteins in the eukaryotic kingdom and point out that SURF-6 has a distinct domain within the known nucleolar proteome that may mediate complex protein-protein interactions for analogous processes between yeast and mammalian cells

  11. Trinets encode tree-child and level-2 phylogenetic networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.J.J. van Iersel (Leo); V. Moulton

    2012-01-01

    htmlabstractPhylogenetic networks generalize evolutionary trees, and are commonly used to represent evolutionary histories of species that undergo reticulate evolutionary processes such as hybridization, recombination and lateral gene transfer. Recently, there has been great interest in trying to

  12. Impacts of Human Activities on Tree Species Composition Along the Forest Savanna Boundary in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiana Ndidi Egbinola

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The study investigated the tree species composition along the forest-savanna boundary in Oyo state of Nigeria with the aim of assessing the impact of human activities on the floristic composition. A transect was placed along the study area and species data was collected from quadrats placed in study plots within different study sites. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA was used to determine vegetation assemblages, while both correlation and the analysis of variance (ANOVA were used to show the relationship between species in the different study sites. Results of the DCA revealed three species assemblages, an area with only forest species, another with only savanna species and a third with both forest/savanna species. ANOVA results further revealed that within the forest and savanna assemblages, species in mature and successional sites were alike. The study therefore revealed that human activities’ within the region is leading to the establishment of savanna species and an elimination of forest species.

  13. An Evolutionary Genomic Approach to Identify Genes Involved in Human Birth Timing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orabona, Guilherme; Morgan, Thomas; Haataja, Ritva; Hallman, Mikko; Puttonen, Hilkka; Menon, Ramkumar; Kuczynski, Edward; Norwitz, Errol; Snegovskikh, Victoria; Palotie, Aarno; Fellman, Vineta; DeFranco, Emily A.; Chaudhari, Bimal P.; McGregor, Tracy L.; McElroy, Jude J.; Oetjens, Matthew T.; Teramo, Kari; Borecki, Ingrid; Fay, Justin; Muglia, Louis

    2011-01-01

    Coordination of fetal maturation with birth timing is essential for mammalian reproduction. In humans, preterm birth is a disorder of profound global health significance. The signals initiating parturition in humans have remained elusive, due to divergence in physiological mechanisms between humans and model organisms typically studied. Because of relatively large human head size and narrow birth canal cross-sectional area compared to other primates, we hypothesized that genes involved in parturition would display accelerated evolution along the human and/or higher primate phylogenetic lineages to decrease the length of gestation and promote delivery of a smaller fetus that transits the birth canal more readily. Further, we tested whether current variation in such accelerated genes contributes to preterm birth risk. Evidence from allometric scaling of gestational age suggests human gestation has been shortened relative to other primates. Consistent with our hypothesis, many genes involved in reproduction show human acceleration in their coding or adjacent noncoding regions. We screened >8,400 SNPs in 150 human accelerated genes in 165 Finnish preterm and 163 control mothers for association with preterm birth. In this cohort, the most significant association was in FSHR, and 8 of the 10 most significant SNPs were in this gene. Further evidence for association of a linkage disequilibrium block of SNPs in FSHR, rs11686474, rs11680730, rs12473870, and rs1247381 was found in African Americans. By considering human acceleration, we identified a novel gene that may be associated with preterm birth, FSHR. We anticipate other human accelerated genes will similarly be associated with preterm birth risk and elucidate essential pathways for human parturition. PMID:21533219

  14. Mind the Gap: Appropriate Evolutionary Perspectives toward the Integration of the Sciences and Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heywood, Leslie L.; Garcia, Justin R.; Wilson, David Sloan

    2010-01-01

    Although Darwinism has gained a foothold in the social sciences, in the humanities, with a few exceptions, it is still largely rejected--not, as some would claim, because humanists are all radical poststructuralists who deny that material reality exists, but rather because, with notable exceptions, Darwinists who work within the humanities have…

  15. Segmental duplications and evolutionary acquisition of UV damage response in the SPATA31 gene family of primates and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekpen, Cemalettin; Künzel, Sven; Xie, Chen; Eaaswarkhanth, Muthukrishnan; Lin, Yen-Lung; Gokcumen, Omer; Akdis, Cezmi A; Tautz, Diethard

    2017-03-06

    Segmental duplications are an abundant source for novel gene functions and evolutionary adaptations. This mechanism of generating novelty was very active during the evolution of primates particularly in the human lineage. Here, we characterize the evolution and function of the SPATA31 gene family (former designation FAM75A), which was previously shown to be among the gene families with the strongest signal of positive selection in hominoids. The mouse homologue for this gene family is a single copy gene expressed during spermatogenesis. We show that in primates, the SPATA31 gene duplicated into SPATA31A and SPATA31C types and broadened the expression into many tissues. Each type became further segmentally duplicated in the line towards humans with the largest number of full-length copies found for SPATA31A in humans. Copy number estimates of SPATA31A based on digital PCR show an average of 7.5 with a range of 5-11 copies per diploid genome among human individuals. The primate SPATA31 genes also acquired new protein domains that suggest an involvement in UV response and DNA repair. We generated antibodies and show that the protein is re-localized from the nucleolus to the whole nucleus upon UV-irradiation suggesting a UV damage response. We used CRISPR/Cas mediated mutagenesis to knockout copies of the gene in human primary fibroblast cells. We find that cell lines with reduced functional copies as well as naturally occurring low copy number HFF cells show enhanced sensitivity towards UV-irradiation. The acquisition of new SPATA31 protein functions and its broadening of expression may be related to the evolution of the diurnal life style in primates that required a higher UV tolerance. The increased segmental duplications in hominoids as well as its fast evolution suggest the acquisition of further specific functions particularly in humans.

  16. The Fibularis (Peroneus Tertius Muscle in Humans: A Meta-Analysis of Anatomical Studies with Clinical and Evolutionary Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaissar Yammine

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Being considered an exclusive human structure for a long time, fibularis tertius (FT is believed to have a secondary function of foot dorsiflexion and eversion. This study is an attempt to approach the issue from an anatomical perspective. A systematic literature search identified 35 studies (7601 legs which met the inclusion criteria. The weighted results of FT presence were as follows: an “adult cadaveric” frequency of 93.2% and a clinical frequency of 80%. The most common FT origin and insertion sites were the distal half of fibula and the base of the 5th metatarsal, respectively. In 95% of cases, an accessory fibular muscle was detected when FT was lacking. We demonstrated that the discrepancy found between the adult cadaveric and clinical frequency values would point out a probable bias in interpreting previous kinesiological results. On an evolutionary level, comparative anatomy demonstrated a very low FT prevalence among monkeys while reaching a frequency of 30% in gorillas, the only non-human apes having an almost exclusive terrestrial locomotion. The consistent prevalence among humans and the presence of similar functional muscles when it is missing would support an essential role of FT during the phylogenetic development of the erect bipedal posture and probably during gait.

  17. SubClonal Hierarchy Inference from Somatic Mutations: Automatic Reconstruction of Cancer Evolutionary Trees from Multi-region Next Generation Sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noushin Niknafs

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent improvements in next-generation sequencing of tumor samples and the ability to identify somatic mutations at low allelic fractions have opened the way for new approaches to model the evolution of individual cancers. The power and utility of these models is increased when tumor samples from multiple sites are sequenced. Temporal ordering of the samples may provide insight into the etiology of both primary and metastatic lesions and rationalizations for tumor recurrence and therapeutic failures. Additional insights may be provided by temporal ordering of evolving subclones--cellular subpopulations with unique mutational profiles. Current methods for subclone hierarchy inference tightly couple the problem of temporal ordering with that of estimating the fraction of cancer cells harboring each mutation. We present a new framework that includes a rigorous statistical hypothesis test and a collection of tools that make it possible to decouple these problems, which we believe will enable substantial progress in the field of subclone hierarchy inference. The methods presented here can be flexibly combined with methods developed by others addressing either of these problems. We provide tools to interpret hypothesis test results, which inform phylogenetic tree construction, and we introduce the first genetic algorithm designed for this purpose. The utility of our framework is systematically demonstrated in simulations. For most tested combinations of tumor purity, sequencing coverage, and tree complexity, good power (≥ 0.8 can be achieved and Type 1 error is well controlled when at least three tumor samples are available from a patient. Using data from three published multi-region tumor sequencing studies of (murine small cell lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in which the authors reconstructed subclonal phylogenetic trees by manual expert curation, we show how different configurations of our tools can

  18. SubClonal Hierarchy Inference from Somatic Mutations: Automatic Reconstruction of Cancer Evolutionary Trees from Multi-region Next Generation Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niknafs, Noushin; Beleva-Guthrie, Violeta; Naiman, Daniel Q; Karchin, Rachel

    2015-10-01

    Recent improvements in next-generation sequencing of tumor samples and the ability to identify somatic mutations at low allelic fractions have opened the way for new approaches to model the evolution of individual cancers. The power and utility of these models is increased when tumor samples from multiple sites are sequenced. Temporal ordering of the samples may provide insight into the etiology of both primary and metastatic lesions and rationalizations for tumor recurrence and therapeutic failures. Additional insights may be provided by temporal ordering of evolving subclones--cellular subpopulations with unique mutational profiles. Current methods for subclone hierarchy inference tightly couple the problem of temporal ordering with that of estimating the fraction of cancer cells harboring each mutation. We present a new framework that includes a rigorous statistical hypothesis test and a collection of tools that make it possible to decouple these problems, which we believe will enable substantial progress in the field of subclone hierarchy inference. The methods presented here can be flexibly combined with methods developed by others addressing either of these problems. We provide tools to interpret hypothesis test results, which inform phylogenetic tree construction, and we introduce the first genetic algorithm designed for this purpose. The utility of our framework is systematically demonstrated in simulations. For most tested combinations of tumor purity, sequencing coverage, and tree complexity, good power (≥ 0.8) can be achieved and Type 1 error is well controlled when at least three tumor samples are available from a patient. Using data from three published multi-region tumor sequencing studies of (murine) small cell lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in which the authors reconstructed subclonal phylogenetic trees by manual expert curation, we show how different configurations of our tools can identify either a single

  19. Evolutionary relationships within the human rhinovirus genus: comparison of serotypes 89, 2, and 14

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duechler, M.; Skern, T.; Sommergruber, W.; Neubauer, C.; Gruendler, P.; Fogy, I.; Blaas, D.; Kuechler, E.

    1987-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of human rhinovirus type 89 was determined from the cDNA that had been cloned into Escherichia coli. The genome is 7152 nucleotides long and contains a single large open reading frame of 2164 codons. Translation commences at position 619 and ends 42 nucleotides before the poly(a) tract. The positions of three proteolytic cleavage sites in the polyprotein were determined by N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the capsid proteins; the remainder were predicted from comparisons with other picornaviruses. Extensive similarity between the derived amino acid sequences of human rhinovirus types 89 and 2 was found, whereas the similarity between human rhinovirus types 89 and 14 was considerably less. It is apparent that human rhinoviruses may be more closely related than has been previously thought

  20. Toward the modeling of mucus draining from the human lung: role of the geometry of the airway tree

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mauroy, Benjamin; Merckx, Jacques; Flaud, Patrice; Fausser, Christian; Pelca, Dominique

    2011-01-01

    Mucociliary clearance and cough are the two main natural mucus draining methods in the bronchial tree. If they are affected by a pathology, they can become insufficient or even ineffective, then therapeutic draining of mucus plays a critical role to keep mucus levels in the lungs acceptable. The manipulations of physical therapists are known to be very efficient clinically but they are mostly empirical since the biophysical mechanisms involved in these manipulations have never been studied. We develop in this work a model of mucus clearance in idealized rigid human bronchial trees and focus our study on the interaction between (1) tree geometry, (2) mucus physical properties and (3) amplitude of flow rate in the tree. The mucus is considered as a Bingham fluid (gel-like) which is moved upward in the tree thanks to its viscous interaction with air flow. Our studies point out the important roles played both by the geometry and by the physical properties of mucus (yield stress and viscosity). More particularly, the yield stress has to be overcome to make mucus flow. Air flow rate and yield stress determine the maximal possible mucus thickness in each branch of the tree at equilibrium. This forms a specific distribution of mucus in the tree whose characteristics are strongly related to the multi-scaled structure of the tree. The behavior of any mucus distribution is then dependent on this distribution. Finally, our results indicate that increasing air flow rates ought to be more efficient to drain mucus out of the bronchial tree while minimizing patient discomfort

  1. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  2. Evolutionary and ecological forces that shape the bacterial communities of the human gut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messer, Jeannette S.; Liechty, Emma R; Vogel, Olivia A.; Chang, Eugene B.

    2017-01-01

    Since microbes were first described in the mid-1600's, we have come to appreciate that they live all around and within us with both beneficial and detrimental effects on nearly every aspect of our lives. The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by a dynamic community of trillions of bacteria that constantly interact with each other and their human host. The acquisition of these bacteria is not stochastic, but determined by circumstance (environment), host rules (genetics, immune state, mucus, etc), and dynamic self-selection among microbes to form stable, resilient communities that are in balance with the host. In this review, we will discuss how these factors lead to formation of the gut bacterial community and influence its interactions with the host. We will also address how gut bacteria contribute to disease and how they could potentially be targeted to prevent and treat a variety of human ailments. PMID:28145439

  3. 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.

  4. Evolutionary history of Helicobacter pylori sequences reflect past human migrations in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breurec, Sebastien; Guillard, Bertrand; Hem, Sopheak; Brisse, Sylvain; Dieye, Fatou Bintou; Huerre, Michel; Oung, Chakravuth; Raymond, Josette; Tan, Tek Sreng; Thiberge, Jean-Michel; Vong, Sirenda; Monchy, Didier; Linz, Bodo

    2011-01-01

    The human population history in Southeast Asia was shaped by numerous migrations and population expansions. Their reconstruction based on archaeological, linguistic or human genetic data is often hampered by the limited number of informative polymorphisms in classical human genetic markers, such as the hypervariable regions of the mitochondrial DNA. Here, we analyse housekeeping gene sequences of the human stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori from various countries in Southeast Asia and we provide evidence that H. pylori accompanied at least three ancient human migrations into this area: i) a migration from India introducing hpEurope bacteria into Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia; ii) a migration of the ancestors of Austro-Asiatic speaking people into Vietnam and Cambodia carrying hspEAsia bacteria; and iii) a migration of the ancestors of the Thai people from Southern China into Thailand carrying H. pylori of population hpAsia2. Moreover, the H. pylori sequences reflect iv) the migrations of Chinese to Thailand and Malaysia within the last 200 years spreading hspEasia strains, and v) migrations of Indians to Malaysia within the last 200 years distributing both hpAsia2 and hpEurope bacteria. The distribution of the bacterial populations seems to strongly influence the incidence of gastric cancer as countries with predominantly hspEAsia isolates exhibit a high incidence of gastric cancer while the incidence is low in countries with a high proportion of hpAsia2 or hpEurope strains. In the future, the host range expansion of hpEurope strains among Asian populations, combined with human motility, may have a significant impact on gastric cancer incidence in Asia.

  5. [Evolutionary history of human locomotor system--from walking to long-distance running].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viranta-Kovanen, Suvi

    2015-01-01

    Bipedality evolved in hominids more than 4 million years ago. Bipedals were a diverse group including the lineage of obligatory walkers that finally lead to humans. Important anatomical changes in this group were: enhanced lumbar lordosis, shortening of the ilium, and emphasize on the parasagittal movements. Long-distance running evolved much later and it was associated with well-developed plantar arches, strengthening of muscles supporting the erect trunk, and decoupling of the pectoral girdle and head. In addition to anatomical changes, humans have many physiological adaptations to long-distance running. It is likely that the ability to run long-distance has been important for the survival of our species.

  6. Evolutionary relationships within a subgroup of HERV-K-related human endogenous retroviruses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zsíros, J.; Jebbink, M. F.; Lukashov, V. V.; Voûte, P. A.; Berkhout, B.

    1998-01-01

    The prototype endogenous retrovirus HERV-K10 was identified in the human genome by its homology to the exogenous mouse mammary tumour virus. By analysis of a short 244 bp segment of the reverse transcriptase (RT) gene of other HERV-K10-like sequences, it has become clear that these elements

  7. A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Garber, Manuel; Zuk, Or

    2011-01-01

    The comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and locate constrained elements covering...

  8. Evolutionary trajectory of the VP1 gene of human enterovirus 71 genogroup B and C viruses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.M.G. van der Sanden (Sabine); H.G.A.M. van der Avoort (Harrie); P. Lemey (Philippe); G. Uslu (Gökhan); M.P.G. Koopmans D.V.M. (Marion)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractFrom 1963 to 1986, human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) infections in the Netherlands were successively caused by viruses of subgenogroups B0, B1 and B2. A genogroup shift occurred in 1987, after which viruses of subgenogroups C1 and C2 were detected exclusively. This is in line with HEV71

  9. Characterization of a chromosome-specific chimpanzee alpha satellite subset: Evolutionary relationship to subsets on human chromosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warburton, P.E.; Gosden, J.; Lawson, D. [Western General Hospital, Edinburgh (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1996-04-15

    Alpha satellite DNA is a tandemly repeated DNA family found at the centromeres of all primate chromosomes examined. The fundamental repeat units of alpha satellite DNA are diverged 169- to 172-bp monomers, often found to be organized in chromosome-specific higher-order repeat units. The chromosomes of human (Homo sapiens (HSA)), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes (PTR) and Pan paniscus), and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) share a remarkable similarity and synteny. It is of interest to ask if alpha satellite arrays at centromeres of homologous chromosomes between these species are closely related (evolving in an orthologous manner) or if the evolutionary processes that homogenize and spread these arrays within and between chromosomes result in nonorthologous evolution of arrays. By using PCR primers specific for human chromosome 17-specific alpha satellite DNA, we have amplified, cloned, and characterized a chromosome-specific subset from the PTR chimpanzee genome. Hybridization both on Southern blots and in situ as well as sequence analysis show that this subset is most closely related, as expected, to sequences on HSA 17. However, in situ hybridization reveals that this subset is not found on the homologous chromosome in chimpanzee (PTR 19), but instead on PTR 12, which is homologous to HSA 2p. 40 refs., 3 figs.

  10. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper; Liutkeviciute, Zita; Keov, Peter; Eder, Thomas; Rattei, Thomas; Arrowsmith, Sarah; Wray, Susan; Marek, Ales; Elbert, Tomas; Alewood, Paul F.; Gloriam, David E.; Gruber, Christian W.

    2017-02-01

    Characterisation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) relies on the availability of a toolbox of ligands that selectively modulate different functional states of the receptors. To uncover such molecules, we explored a unique strategy for ligand discovery that takes advantage of the evolutionary conservation of the 600-million-year-old oxytocin/vasopressin signalling system. We isolated the insect oxytocin/vasopressin orthologue inotocin from the black garden ant (Lasius niger), identified and cloned its cognate receptor and determined its pharmacological properties on the insect and human oxytocin/vasopressin receptors. Subsequently, we identified a functional dichotomy: inotocin activated the insect inotocin and the human vasopressin V1b receptors, but inhibited the human V1aR. Replacement of Arg8 of inotocin by D-Arg8 led to a potent, stable and competitive V1aR-antagonist ([D-Arg8]-inotocin) with a 3,000-fold binding selectivity for the human V1aR over the other three subtypes, OTR, V1bR and V2R. The Arg8/D-Arg8 ligand-pair was further investigated to gain novel insights into the oxytocin/vasopressin peptide-receptor interaction, which led to the identification of key residues of the receptors that are important for ligand functionality and selectivity. These observations could play an important role for development of oxytocin/vasopressin receptor modulators that would enable clear distinction of the physiological and pathological responses of the individual receptor subtypes.

  11. Variable postpartum responsiveness among humans and other primates with "cooperative breeding": A comparative and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrdy, Sarah B

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care".Until recently, evolutionists reconstructing mother-infant bonding among human ancestors relied on nonhuman primate models characterized by exclusively maternal care, overlooking the highly variable responsiveness exhibited by mothers in species with obligate reliance on allomaternal care and provisioning. It is now increasingly recognized that apes as large-brained, slow maturing, and nutritionally dependent for so long as early humans were, could not have evolved unless "alloparents" (group members other than genetic parents), in addition to parents, had helped mothers to care for and provision offspring, a rearing system known as "cooperative breeding." Here I review situation-dependent maternal responses ranging from highly possessive to permissive, temporarily distancing, rejecting, or infanticidal, documented for a small subset of cooperatively breeding primates. As in many mammals, primate maternal responsiveness is influenced by physical condition, endocrinological priming, prior experience and local environments (especially related to security). But mothers among primates who evolved as cooperative breeders also appear unusually sensitive to cues of social support. In addition to more "sapient" or rational decision-making, humankind's deep history of cooperative breeding must be considered when trying to understand the extremely variable responsiveness of human mothers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. A Selective Bottleneck Shapes the Evolutionary Mutant Spectra of Enterovirus A71 during Viral Dissemination in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Sheng-Wen; Huang, Yi-Hui; Tsai, Huey-Pin; Kuo, Pin-Hwa; Wang, Shih-Min; Liu, Ching-Chuan; Wang, Jen-Ren

    2017-12-01

    RNA viruses accumulate mutations to rapidly adapt to environmental changes. Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) causes various clinical manifestations with occasional severe neurological complications. However, the mechanism by which EV-A71 evolves within the human body is unclear. Utilizing deep sequencing and haplotype analyses of viruses from various tissues of an autopsy patient, we sought to define the evolutionary pathway by which enterovirus A71 evolves fitness for invading the central nervous system in humans. Broad mutant spectra with divergent mutations were observed at the initial infection sites in the respiratory and digestive systems. After viral invasion, we identified a haplotype switch and dominant haplotype, with glycine at VP1 residue 31 (VP1-31G) in viral particles disseminated into the integumentary and central nervous systems. In vitro viral growth and fitness analyses indicated that VP1-31G conferred growth and a fitness advantage in human neuronal cells, whereas VP1-31D conferred enhanced replication in human colorectal cells. A higher proportion of VP1-31G was also found among fatal cases, suggesting that it may facilitate central nervous system infection in humans. Our data provide the first glimpse of EV-A71 quasispecies from oral tissues to the central nervous system within humans, showing broad implications for the surveillance and pathogenesis of this reemerging viral pathogen. IMPORTANCE EV-A71 continues to be a worldwide burden to public health. Although EV-A71 is the major etiological agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease, it can also cause neurological pulmonary edema, encephalitis, and even death, especially in children. Understanding selection processes enabling dissemination and accurately estimating EV-A71 diversity during invasion in humans are critical for applications in viral pathogenesis and vaccine studies. Here, we define a selection bottleneck appearing in respiratory and digestive tissues. Glycine substitution at VP1 residue 31

  13. Evolutionary considerations on complex emotions and music-induced emotions. Comment on "The quartet theory of human emotions: An integrative and neurofunctional model" by S. Koelsch et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingras, Bruno; Marin, Manuela M.

    2015-06-01

    Recent efforts to uncover the neural underpinnings of emotional experiences have provided a foundation for novel neurophysiological theories of emotions, adding to the existing body of psychophysiological, motivational, and evolutionary theories. Besides explicitly modeling human-specific emotions and considering the interactions between emotions and language, Koelsch et al.'s original contribution to this challenging endeavor is to identify four brain areas as distinct "affect systems" which differ in terms of emotional qualia and evolutionary pathways [1]. Here, we comment on some features of this promising Quartet Theory of Emotions, focusing particularly on evolutionary and biological aspects related to the four affect systems and their relation to prevailing emotion theories, as well as on the role of music-induced emotions.

  14. Varied behavioral responses induced by morphine in the tree shrew: a possible model for human opiate addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang eShen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Tree shrews represent a suitable animal model to study the pathogenesis of human diseases as they are phylogenetically close to primates and have a well-developed central nervous system that possesses many homologies with primates. Therefore, in our study, we investigated whether tree shrews can be used to explore the addictive behaviors induced by morphine. Firstly, to investigate the psychoactive effect of morphine on tree shrews’ behavior, the number of jumping and shuttling, which represent the vertical and horizontal locomotor activity respectively, was examined following the injection of different dosage of morphine. Our results showed intramuscular (IM injection of morphine (5 or 10 mg/kg significantly increased the locomotor activity of tree shrews 30-60 min post-injection. Then, using the conditioned place preference/aversion (CPP/CPA paradigm, we found morphine-conditioned tree shrews exhibited place preference in the morphine-paired chamber on the test day. In addition, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal induced place aversion in the chronic morphine-dependent tree shrews. We evaluated the craving for morphine drinking by assessing the break point that reflects the maximum effort animals will expend to get the drug. Our data showed the break point was significantly increased when compared to the baseline on the 1st, 7th and 14th day after the abstinence. Moreover, in the intravenous morphine self-administration experiment, tree shrews conditioned with morphine responded on the active lever significantly more frequently than on the inactive lever after training. These results suggest that tree shrew may be a potential candidate for study the addictive behaviors and the underling neurological mechanisms.

  15. How scientists perceive the evolutionary origin of human traits: Results of a survey study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuomisto, Hanna; Tuomisto, Matleena; Tuomisto, Jouni T

    2018-03-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed for why the traits distinguishing humans from other primates originally evolved, and any given trait may have been explained both as an adaptation to different environments and as a result of demands from social organization or sexual selection. To find out how popular the different explanations are among scientists, we carried out an online survey among authors of recent scientific papers in journals covering relevant fields of science (paleoanthropology, paleontology, ecology, evolution, human biology). Some of the hypotheses were clearly more popular among the 1,266 respondents than others, but none was universally accepted or rejected. Even the most popular of the hypotheses were assessed "very likely" by 70% of the respondents. An ordination of the hypotheses identified two strong gradients. Along one gradient, the hypotheses were sorted by their popularity, measured by the average credibility score given by the respondents. The second gradient separated all hypotheses postulating adaptation to swimming or diving into their own group. The average credibility scores given for different subgroups of the hypotheses were not related to respondent's age or number of publications authored. However, (paleo)anthropologists were more critical of all hypotheses, and much more critical of the water-related ones, than were respondents representing other fields of expertise. Although most respondents did not find the water-related hypotheses likely, only a small minority found them unscientific. The most popular hypotheses were based on inherent drivers; that is, they assumed the evolution of a trait to have been triggered by the prior emergence of another human-specific behavioral or morphological trait, but opinions differed as to which of the traits came first.

  16. The Relationship Between Digit Independence and Digital Sesamoids in Humans and a Proposal of a New Digital Sesamoid Evolutionary Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yammine, Kaissar

    2018-01-03

    /frequency of independent forearm/hand muscles, and particularly the independent extensors, is likely to be a major factor in sesamoid reversion in hominoids. The argument is based on the link between the metatarsal break induced by the digitigrade locomotion observed in quadrupedal mammals and tetrapods and the amount of extra-extension of the metacarpo-phalangeal joints conferred by the individualization of some forearm extensors. The same rationale yielded similar conclusions when applied to both the hand and foot. The manipulative function of the hand and the plantigrade locomotion of the foot required such extra-extension in specific digits and consequently, a higher frequency of digital sesamoids was associated with these two different functions. The new evolutionary analysis suggests evolutionary pathways for both, the sesamoids of the hands and feet, and speculates that muscle individualization would have induced a very slow re-acquisition of digital sesamoids when compared to their rapid decline after brachiation. It is the first hypothesis offering a plausible explication on the recent evolution of digital sesamoids; specifically, the progression of sesamoid frequency in African apes and its resurgence, prevalence and distribution in humans. Anat Rec, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Dynamics of the vascular profile of the finer branches of the biliary tree in normal and diseased human livers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gouw, Annette S. H.; van den Heuvel, Marius C.; Boot, Marcel; Slooff, Maarten J. H.; Poppema, Sibrand; de Jong, Koert P.

    Background/Aims: Results of our previous studies supported the concept that in the human liver, the smallest ramification of the biliary tree, the bile ductules, might contain hepatic progenitor cells. An insufficient proliferative response and loss of bile ductules preceded bile duct loss whereas

  18. A revised root for the human Y chromosomal phylogenetic tree: the origin of patrilineal diversity in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruciani, Fulvio; Trombetta, Beniamino; Massaia, Andrea; Destro-Bisol, Giovanni; Sellitto, Daniele; Scozzari, Rosaria

    2011-06-10

    To shed light on the structure of the basal backbone of the human Y chromosome phylogeny, we sequenced about 200 kb of the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome (MSY) from each of seven Y chromosomes belonging to clades A1, A2, A3, and BT. We detected 146 biallelic variant sites through this analysis. We used these variants to construct a patrilineal tree, without taking into account any previously reported information regarding the phylogenetic relationships among the seven Y chromosomes here analyzed. There are several key changes at the basal nodes as compared with the most recent reference Y chromosome tree. A different position of the root was determined, with important implications for the origin of human Y chromosome diversity. An estimate of 142 KY was obtained for the coalescence time of the revised MSY tree, which is earlier than that obtained in previous studies and easier to reconcile with plausible scenarios of modern human origin. The number of deep branchings leading to African-specific clades has doubled, further strengthening the MSY-based evidence for a modern human origin in the African continent. An analysis of 2204 African DNA samples showed that the deepest clades of the revised MSY phylogeny are currently found in central and northwest Africa, opening new perspectives on early human presence in the continent. Copyright © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  20. Improving High-Throughput Sequencing Approaches for Reconstructing the Evolutionary Dynamics of Upper Paleolithic Human Groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    the development and testing of innovative molecular approaches aiming at improving the amount of informative HTS data one can recover from ancient DNA extracts. We have characterized important ligation and amplification biases in the sequencing library building and enrichment steps, which can impede further...... been mainly driven by the development of High-Throughput DNA Sequencing (HTS) technologies but also by the implementation of novel molecular tools tailored to the manipulation of ultra short and damaged DNA molecules. Our ability to retrieve traces of genetic material has tremendously improved, pushing......, that impact on the overall efficacy of the method. In a second part, we implemented some of these molecular tools to the processing of five Upper Paleolithic human samples from the Kostenki and Sunghir sites in Western Eurasia, in order to reconstruct the deep genomic history of European populations...

  1. Evolutionary constraint and disease associations of post-translational modification sites in human genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jüri Reimand

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Interpreting the impact of human genome variation on phenotype is challenging. The functional effect of protein-coding variants is often predicted using sequence conservation and population frequency data, however other factors are likely relevant. We hypothesized that variants in protein post-translational modification (PTM sites contribute to phenotype variation and disease. We analyzed fraction of rare variants and non-synonymous to synonymous variant ratio (Ka/Ks in 7,500 human genomes and found a significant negative selection signal in PTM regions independent of six factors, including conservation, codon usage, and GC-content, that is widely distributed across tissue-specific genes and function classes. PTM regions are also enriched in known disease mutations, suggesting that PTM variation is more likely deleterious. PTM constraint also affects flanking sequence around modified residues and increases around clustered sites, indicating presence of functionally important short linear motifs. Using target site motifs of 124 kinases, we predict that at least ∼180,000 motif-breaker amino acid residues that disrupt PTM sites when substituted, and highlight kinase motifs that show specific negative selection and enrichment of disease mutations. We provide this dataset with corresponding hypothesized mechanisms as a community resource. As an example of our integrative approach, we propose that PTPN11 variants in Noonan syndrome aberrantly activate the protein by disrupting an uncharacterized cluster of phosphorylation sites. Further, as PTMs are molecular switches that are modulated by drugs, we study mutated binding sites of PTM enzymes in disease genes and define a drug-disease network containing 413 novel predicted disease-gene links.

  2. Recommendations for Nanomedicine Human Subjects Research Oversight: An Evolutionary Approach for an Emerging Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, Leili; Wolf, Susan M.; McCullough, Jeffrey; Hall, Ralph; Lawrenz, Frances; Kahn, Jeffrey P.; Jones, Cortney; Campbell, Stephen A.; Dresser, Rebecca S.; Erdman, Arthur G.; Haynes, Christy L.; Hoerr, Robert A.; Hogle, Linda F.; Keane, Moira A.; Khushf, George; King, Nancy M.P.; Kokkoli, Efrosini; Marchant, Gary; Maynard, Andrew D.; Philbert, Martin; Ramachandran, Gurumurthy; Siegel, Ronald A.; Wickline, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    The nanomedicine field is fast evolving toward complex, “active,” and interactive formulations. Like many emerging technologies, nanomedicine raises questions of how human subjects research (HSR) should be conducted and the adequacy of current oversight, as well as how to integrate concerns over occupational, bystander, and environmental exposures. The history of oversight for HSR investigating emerging technologies is a patchwork quilt without systematic justification of when ordinary oversight for HSR is enough versus when added oversight is warranted. Nanomedicine HSR provides an occasion to think systematically about appropriate oversight, especially early in the evolution of a technology, when hazard and risk information may remain incomplete. This paper presents the consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary, NIH-funded project group, to ensure a science-based and ethically informed approach to HSR issues in nanomedicine, and integrate HSR analysis with analysis of occupational, bystander, and environmental concerns. We recommend creating two bodies, an interagency Human Subjects Research in Nanomedicine (HSR/N) Working Group and a Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Nanomedicine (SAC/N). HSR/N and SAC/N should perform 3 primary functions: (1) analysis of the attributes and subsets of nanomedicine interventions that raise HSR challenges and current gaps in oversight; (2) providing advice to relevant agencies and institutional bodies on the HSR issues, as well as federal and federal-institutional coordination; and (3) gathering and analyzing information on HSR issues as they emerge in nanomedicine. HSR/N and SAC/N will create a home for HSR analysis and coordination in DHHS (the key agency for relevant HSR oversight), optimize federal and institutional approaches, and allow HSR review to evolve with greater knowledge about nanomedicine interventions and greater clarity about attributes of concern. PMID:23289677

  3. Real-time classification of humans versus animals using profiling sensors and hidden Markov tree model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossen, Jakir; Jacobs, Eddie L.; Chari, Srikant

    2015-07-01

    Linear pyroelectric array sensors have enabled useful classifications of objects such as humans and animals to be performed with relatively low-cost hardware in border and perimeter security applications. Ongoing research has sought to improve the performance of these sensors through signal processing algorithms. In the research presented here, we introduce the use of hidden Markov tree (HMT) models for object recognition in images generated by linear pyroelectric sensors. HMTs are trained to statistically model the wavelet features of individual objects through an expectation-maximization learning process. Human versus animal classification for a test object is made by evaluating its wavelet features against the trained HMTs using the maximum-likelihood criterion. The classification performance of this approach is compared to two other techniques; a texture, shape, and spectral component features (TSSF) based classifier and a speeded-up robust feature (SURF) classifier. The evaluation indicates that among the three techniques, the wavelet-based HMT model works well, is robust, and has improved classification performance compared to a SURF-based algorithm in equivalent computation time. When compared to the TSSF-based classifier, the HMT model has a slightly degraded performance but almost an order of magnitude improvement in computation time enabling real-time implementation.

  4. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as “maladaptive.” In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or from evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ∼40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons, evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (which provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff, and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension. Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout the life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo, developmental programming, and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  7. Distinguishing the Transcription Regulation Patterns in Promoters of Human Genes with Different Function or Evolutionary Age

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Tanvir

    2012-07-01

    Distinguishing transcription regulatory patterns of different gene groups is a common problem in various bioinformatics studies. In this work we developed a methodology to deal with such a problem based on machine learning techniques. We applied our method to two biologically important problems related to detecting a difference in transcription regulation of: a/ protein-coding and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in human, as well as b/ a difference between primate-specific and non-primate-specific long non-coding RNAs. Our method is capable to classify RNAs using various regulatory features of genes that transcribe into these RNAs, such as nucleotide frequencies, transcription factor binding sites, de novo sequence motifs, CpG islands, repetitive elements, histone modification marks, and others. Ten-fold cross-validation tests suggest that our model can distinguish protein-coding and non-coding RNAs with accuracy above 80%. Twenty-fold cross-validation tests suggest that our model can distinguish primate-specific from non-primate-specific promoters of lncRNAs with accuracy above 80%. Consequently, we can hypothesize that transcription of the groups of genes mentioned above are regulated by different mechanisms. Feature selection techniques allowed us to reduce the number of features significantly while keeping the accuracy around 80%. Consequently, we can conclude that selected features play significant role in transcription regulation of coding and non-coding genes, as well as primate-specific and non-primate-specific lncRNA genes.

  8. A typological approach to testing the evolutionary functions of human female orgasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Robert; Belsky, Jay

    2012-10-01

    Building on previous work that identified different types of orgasm in women (King, Belsky, Mah, & Binik, 2011), the goal of the present study was to extend such typological work and determine whether female orgasmic variability tracked potentially evolutionarily salient sexual partner characteristics (e.g., those displaying possible immune-system compatibility). A total of 265 females completed an Internet survey about their orgasmic experience-achieved either with partners or alone. For partnered orgasms, they also provided details of partner characteristics and sexual behaviors. Latent class analysis revealed two orgasm types which were meaningfully distinguishable in terms of sensations and location-either centered on the surface of genitalia or deep inside. Deep orgasms were associated with internal sensations consistent with proposed functions of female orgasm in terms of differential sperm insuck. Such orgasms were associated with partners who were perceived as considerate, dominant, with a noticeably attractive smell, and as providing firm penetration. However, some hypothesized reproductively significant partner characteristics were not differentially associated with deep orgasms (i.e., muscularity, aggression, masculinity). Results were discussed and future research directions outlined. In particular, it is suggested that sexual passion between partners is a non-accidental component of sexual functioning and that this has too frequently been missing in sex research involving humans. Direct physiological measures of the results of female orgasm need to be undertaken. Additionally, the intriguing phenomenon of female ejaculation deserves scientific attention.

  9. Genetic Variation among Major Human Geographic Groups Supports a Peculiar Evolutionary Trend in PAX9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa R.; Meyer, Diogo; Pereira, Tiago V.; Mazières, Stéphane; Elion, Jacques; Krishnamoorthy, Rajagopal; Zago, Marco A.; Silva, Wilson A.; Salzano, Francisco M.; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2011-01-01

    A total of 172 persons from nine South Amerindian, three African and one Eskimo populations were studied in relation to the Paired box gene 9 (PAX9) exon 3 (138 base pairs) as well as its 5′and 3′flanking intronic segments (232 bp and 220 bp, respectively) and integrated with the information available for the same genetic region from individuals of different geographical origins. Nine mutations were scored in exon 3 and six in its flanking regions; four of them are new South American tribe-specific singletons. Exon3 nucleotide diversity is several orders of magnitude higher than its intronic regions. Additionally, a set of variants in the PAX9 and 101 other genes related with dentition can define at least some dental morphological differences between Sub-Saharan Africans and non-Africans, probably associated with adaptations after the modern human exodus from Africa. Exon 3 of PAX9 could be a good molecular example of how evolvability works. PMID:21298044

  10. Genetic variation among major human geographic groups supports a peculiar evolutionary trend in PAX9.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa R Paixão-Côrtes

    Full Text Available A total of 172 persons from nine South Amerindian, three African and one Eskimo populations were studied in relation to the Paired box gene 9 (PAX9 exon 3 (138 base pairs as well as its 5'and 3'flanking intronic segments (232 bp and 220 bp, respectively and integrated with the information available for the same genetic region from individuals of different geographical origins. Nine mutations were scored in exon 3 and six in its flanking regions; four of them are new South American tribe-specific singletons. Exon3 nucleotide diversity is several orders of magnitude higher than its intronic regions. Additionally, a set of variants in the PAX9 and 101 other genes related with dentition can define at least some dental morphological differences between Sub-Saharan Africans and non-Africans, probably associated with adaptations after the modern human exodus from Africa. Exon 3 of PAX9 could be a good molecular example of how evolvability works.

  11. Predicting human miRNA target genes using a novel evolutionary methodology

    KAUST Repository

    Aigli, Korfiati; Kleftogiannis, Dimitrios A.; Konstantinos, Theofilatos; Spiros, Likothanassis; Athanasios, Tsakalidis; Seferina, Mavroudi

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of miRNAs had great impacts on traditional biology. Typically, miRNAs have the potential to bind to the 3'untraslated region (UTR) of their mRNA target genes for cleavage or translational repression. The experimental identification of their targets has many drawbacks including cost, time and low specificity and these are the reasons why many computational approaches have been developed so far. However, existing computational approaches do not include any advanced feature selection technique and they are facing problems concerning their classification performance and their interpretability. In the present paper, we propose a novel hybrid methodology which combines genetic algorithms and support vector machines in order to locate the optimal feature subset while achieving high classification performance. The proposed methodology was compared with two of the most promising existing methodologies in the problem of predicting human miRNA targets. Our approach outperforms existing methodologies in terms of classification performances while selecting a much smaller feature subset. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  12. Predicting human miRNA target genes using a novel evolutionary methodology

    KAUST Repository

    Aigli, Korfiati

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of miRNAs had great impacts on traditional biology. Typically, miRNAs have the potential to bind to the 3\\'untraslated region (UTR) of their mRNA target genes for cleavage or translational repression. The experimental identification of their targets has many drawbacks including cost, time and low specificity and these are the reasons why many computational approaches have been developed so far. However, existing computational approaches do not include any advanced feature selection technique and they are facing problems concerning their classification performance and their interpretability. In the present paper, we propose a novel hybrid methodology which combines genetic algorithms and support vector machines in order to locate the optimal feature subset while achieving high classification performance. The proposed methodology was compared with two of the most promising existing methodologies in the problem of predicting human miRNA targets. Our approach outperforms existing methodologies in terms of classification performances while selecting a much smaller feature subset. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  13. Human Management of a Wild Plant Modulates the Evolutionary Dynamics of a Gene Determining Recessive Resistance to Virus Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulicard, Nils; Pacios, Luis Fernández; Gallois, Jean-Luc; Piñero, Daniel; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2016-08-01

    This work analyses the genetic variation and evolutionary patterns of recessive resistance loci involved in matching-allele (MA) host-pathogen interactions, focusing on the pvr2 resistance gene to potyviruses of the wild pepper Capsicum annuum glabriusculum (chiltepin). Chiltepin grows in a variety of wild habitats in Mexico, and its cultivation in home gardens started about 25 years ago. Potyvirus infection of Capsicum plants requires the physical interaction of the viral VPg with the pvr2 product, the translation initiation factor eIF4E1. Mutations impairing this interaction result in resistance, according to the MA model. The diversity of pvr2/eIF4E1 in wild and cultivated chiltepin populations from six biogeographical provinces in Mexico was analysed in 109 full-length coding sequences from 97 plants. Eleven alleles were found, and their interaction with potyvirus VPg in yeast-two-hybrid assays, plus infection assays of plants, identified six resistance alleles. Mapping resistance mutations on a pvr2/eIF4E1 model structure showed that most were around the cap-binding pocket and strongly altered its surface electrostatic potential, suggesting resistance-associated costs due to functional constraints. The pvr2/eIF4E1 phylogeny established that susceptibility was ancestral and resistance was derived. The spatial structure of pvr2/eIF4E1 diversity differed from that of neutral markers, but no evidence of selection for resistance was found in wild populations. In contrast, the resistance alleles were much more frequent, and positive selection stronger, in cultivated chiltepin populations, where diversification of pvr2/eIF4E1 was higher. This analysis of the genetic variation of a recessive resistance gene involved in MA host-pathogen interactions in populations of a wild plant show that evolutionary patterns differ according to the plant habitat, wild or cultivated. It also demonstrates that human management of the plant population has profound effects on the

  14. Human Management of a Wild Plant Modulates the Evolutionary Dynamics of a Gene Determining Recessive Resistance to Virus Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils Poulicard

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This work analyses the genetic variation and evolutionary patterns of recessive resistance loci involved in matching-allele (MA host-pathogen interactions, focusing on the pvr2 resistance gene to potyviruses of the wild pepper Capsicum annuum glabriusculum (chiltepin. Chiltepin grows in a variety of wild habitats in Mexico, and its cultivation in home gardens started about 25 years ago. Potyvirus infection of Capsicum plants requires the physical interaction of the viral VPg with the pvr2 product, the translation initiation factor eIF4E1. Mutations impairing this interaction result in resistance, according to the MA model. The diversity of pvr2/eIF4E1 in wild and cultivated chiltepin populations from six biogeographical provinces in Mexico was analysed in 109 full-length coding sequences from 97 plants. Eleven alleles were found, and their interaction with potyvirus VPg in yeast-two-hybrid assays, plus infection assays of plants, identified six resistance alleles. Mapping resistance mutations on a pvr2/eIF4E1 model structure showed that most were around the cap-binding pocket and strongly altered its surface electrostatic potential, suggesting resistance-associated costs due to functional constraints. The pvr2/eIF4E1 phylogeny established that susceptibility was ancestral and resistance was derived. The spatial structure of pvr2/eIF4E1 diversity differed from that of neutral markers, but no evidence of selection for resistance was found in wild populations. In contrast, the resistance alleles were much more frequent, and positive selection stronger, in cultivated chiltepin populations, where diversification of pvr2/eIF4E1 was higher. This analysis of the genetic variation of a recessive resistance gene involved in MA host-pathogen interactions in populations of a wild plant show that evolutionary patterns differ according to the plant habitat, wild or cultivated. It also demonstrates that human management of the plant population has profound

  15. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Kiyeon

    2016-01-13

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima’s D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima’s D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima’s D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima’s D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima’s D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima’s D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Hecht

    2012-07-01

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

  17. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Kiyeon; Omori, Ryosuke; Ueno, Keisuke; Iida, Sayaka; Ito, Kimihito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima’s D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima’s D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima’s D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima’s D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima’s D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima’s D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

  18. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-10-01

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

  20. Degradation of Human PDZ-Proteins by Human Alphapapillomaviruses Represents an Evolutionary Adaptation to a Novel Cellular Niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; DeSalle, Rob; Einstein, Mark H; Burk, Robert D

    2015-06-01

    In order to complete their life cycle, papillomaviruses have evolved to manipulate a plethora of cellular pathways. The products of the human Alphapapillomavirus E6 proteins specifically interact with and target PDZ containing proteins for degradation. This viral phenotype has been suggested to play a role in viral oncogenesis. To analyze the association of HPV E6 mediated PDZ-protein degradation with cervical oncogenesis, a high-throughput cell culture assay was developed. Degradation of an epitope tagged human MAGI1 isoform was visualized by immunoblot. The correlation between HPV E6-induced degradation of hMAGI1 and epidemiologically determined HPV oncogenicity was evaluated using a Bayesian approach within a phylogenetic context. All tested oncogenic types degraded the PDZ-containing protein hMAGI1d; however, E6 proteins isolated from several related albeit non-oncogenic viral types were equally efficient at degrading hMAGI1. The relationship between both traits (oncogenicity and PDZ degradation potential) is best explained by a model in which the potential to degrade PDZ proteins was acquired prior to the oncogenic phenotype. This analysis provides evidence that the ancestor of both oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPVs acquired the potential to degrade human PDZ-containing proteins. This suggests that HPV E6 directed degradation of PDZ-proteins represents an ancient ecological niche adaptation. Phylogenetic modeling indicates that this phenotype is not specifically correlated with oncogenic risk, but may act as an enabling phenotype. The role of PDZ protein degradation in HPV fitness and oncogenesis needs to be interpreted in the context of Alphapapillomavirus evolution.

  1. Degradation of Human PDZ-Proteins by Human Alphapapillomaviruses Represents an Evolutionary Adaptation to a Novel Cellular Niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; DeSalle, Rob; Einstein, Mark H.; Burk, Robert D.

    2015-01-01

    In order to complete their life cycle, papillomaviruses have evolved to manipulate a plethora of cellular pathways. The products of the human Alphapapillomavirus E6 proteins specifically interact with and target PDZ containing proteins for degradation. This viral phenotype has been suggested to play a role in viral oncogenesis. To analyze the association of HPV E6 mediated PDZ-protein degradation with cervical oncogenesis, a high-throughput cell culture assay was developed. Degradation of an epitope tagged human MAGI1 isoform was visualized by immunoblot. The correlation between HPV E6-induced degradation of hMAGI1 and epidemiologically determined HPV oncogenicity was evaluated using a Bayesian approach within a phylogenetic context. All tested oncogenic types degraded the PDZ-containing protein hMAGI1d; however, E6 proteins isolated from several related albeit non-oncogenic viral types were equally efficient at degrading hMAGI1. The relationship between both traits (oncogenicity and PDZ degradation potential) is best explained by a model in which the potential to degrade PDZ proteins was acquired prior to the oncogenic phenotype. This analysis provides evidence that the ancestor of both oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPVs acquired the potential to degrade human PDZ-containing proteins. This suggests that HPV E6 directed degradation of PDZ-proteins represents an ancient ecological niche adaptation. Phylogenetic modeling indicates that this phenotype is not specifically correlated with oncogenic risk, but may act as an enabling phenotype. The role of PDZ protein degradation in HPV fitness and oncogenesis needs to be interpreted in the context of Alphapapillomavirus evolution. PMID:26086730

  2. Degradation of Human PDZ-Proteins by Human Alphapapillomaviruses Represents an Evolutionary Adaptation to a Novel Cellular Niche.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koenraad Van Doorslaer

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to complete their life cycle, papillomaviruses have evolved to manipulate a plethora of cellular pathways. The products of the human Alphapapillomavirus E6 proteins specifically interact with and target PDZ containing proteins for degradation. This viral phenotype has been suggested to play a role in viral oncogenesis. To analyze the association of HPV E6 mediated PDZ-protein degradation with cervical oncogenesis, a high-throughput cell culture assay was developed. Degradation of an epitope tagged human MAGI1 isoform was visualized by immunoblot. The correlation between HPV E6-induced degradation of hMAGI1 and epidemiologically determined HPV oncogenicity was evaluated using a Bayesian approach within a phylogenetic context. All tested oncogenic types degraded the PDZ-containing protein hMAGI1d; however, E6 proteins isolated from several related albeit non-oncogenic viral types were equally efficient at degrading hMAGI1. The relationship between both traits (oncogenicity and PDZ degradation potential is best explained by a model in which the potential to degrade PDZ proteins was acquired prior to the oncogenic phenotype. This analysis provides evidence that the ancestor of both oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPVs acquired the potential to degrade human PDZ-containing proteins. This suggests that HPV E6 directed degradation of PDZ-proteins represents an ancient ecological niche adaptation. Phylogenetic modeling indicates that this phenotype is not specifically correlated with oncogenic risk, but may act as an enabling phenotype. The role of PDZ protein degradation in HPV fitness and oncogenesis needs to be interpreted in the context of Alphapapillomavirus evolution.

  3. A continental analysis of correlations between tree patterns in African savannas and human and environmental variables

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, T.A.; Langevelde, van F.; Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.; Raad, de A.L.; Leeuw, de J.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    This study analyses possible relationships between natural processes taking place in savannas and the tree patterns found in savannas. This can lead to new hypotheses about which processes are driving savanna physiognomy. To do so tree patterns were quantified for African savannas from historical

  4. Offspring mortality was a determinant factor in the evolution of paternal investment in humans: An evolutionary game approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, Diego; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Isabel M

    2017-04-21

    Some researchers support the belief that man evolved philandering behavior because of the greater reproductive success of promiscuous males. According to this idea, deserting behavior from the man should be expected along with null paternal involvement in offspring care. Paradoxically however, the average offspring investment in the human male is far higher than that of any other male mammal, including other primates. In our work, we have addressed this conundrum by employing evolutionary game theory, using objective payoffs instead of, as are commonly used, arbitrary payoffs. Payoffs were computed as reproductive successes by a model based on trivial probabilities, implemented within the Barreto's Population Dynamics Toolbox (2014). The evolution of the parent conflict was simulated by a game with two players (the woman and the man). First, a simple game was assayed with two strategies, 'desert-unfaithful' and 'care-faithful'. Then, the game was played with a third mixed strategy, 'care-unfaithful'. The two-strategy game results were mainly determined by the offspring survival rate (s) and the non-paternity rate (z), with remaining factors playing a secondary role. Starting from two empirical estimates for both rates (s = 0.617 and z = 0.033) and decreasing the offspring mortality from near 0.4 to 0.1, the results were consistent with a win for the 'care-faithful' strategy. The 'desert-unfaithful' strategy only won at unrealistically high non-paternity rates (z>0.2). When three-strategy games were played, the mixed strategy of 'care-unfaithful' man could win the game in some less frequent cases. Regardless of the number of game strategies, 'care' fathers always won. These results strongly suggest that offspring mortality was the key factor in the evolution of paternal investment within the Homo branch. The 'care-faithful' strategy would have been the main strategy in human evolution but 'care-unfaithful' men did evolve at a lesser frequency. It can therefore be

  5. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

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

  6. Can-Evo-Ens: Classifier stacking based evolutionary ensemble system for prediction of human breast cancer using amino acid sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Safdar; Majid, Abdul

    2015-04-01

    The diagnostic of human breast cancer is an intricate process and specific indicators may produce negative results. In order to avoid misleading results, accurate and reliable diagnostic system for breast cancer is indispensable. Recently, several interesting machine-learning (ML) approaches are proposed for prediction of breast cancer. To this end, we developed a novel classifier stacking based evolutionary ensemble system "Can-Evo-Ens" for predicting amino acid sequences associated with breast cancer. In this paper, first, we selected four diverse-type of ML algorithms of Naïve Bayes, K-Nearest Neighbor, Support Vector Machines, and Random Forest as base-level classifiers. These classifiers are trained individually in different feature spaces using physicochemical properties of amino acids. In order to exploit the decision spaces, the preliminary predictions of base-level classifiers are stacked. Genetic programming (GP) is then employed to develop a meta-classifier that optimal combine the predictions of the base classifiers. The most suitable threshold value of the best-evolved predictor is computed using Particle Swarm Optimization technique. Our experiments have demonstrated the robustness of Can-Evo-Ens system for independent validation dataset. The proposed system has achieved the highest value of Area Under Curve (AUC) of ROC Curve of 99.95% for cancer prediction. The comparative results revealed that proposed approach is better than individual ML approaches and conventional ensemble approaches of AdaBoostM1, Bagging, GentleBoost, and Random Subspace. It is expected that the proposed novel system would have a major impact on the fields of Biomedical, Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics, and Drug Development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Peatland pines as a proxy for water table fluctuations: disentangling tree growth, hydrology and possible human influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiljanić, Marko; Seo, Jeong-Wook; Läänelaid, Alar; van der Maaten-Theunissen, Marieke; Stajić, Branko; Wilmking, Martin

    2014-12-01

    Dendrochronological investigations of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing on Männikjärve peatland in central Estonia showed that annual tree growth of peatland pines can be used as a proxy for past variations of water table levels. Reconstruction of past water table levels can help us to better understand the dynamics of various ecological processes in peatlands, e.g. the formation of vegetation patterns or carbon and nitrogen cycling. Männikjärve bog has one of the longest water table records in the boreal zone, continuously monitored since 1956. Common uncertainties encountered while working with peatland trees (e.g. narrow, missing and wedging rings) were in our case exacerbated with difficulties related to the instability of the relationship between tree growth and peatland environment. We hypothesized that the instable relationship was mainly due to a significant change of the limiting factor, i.e. the rise of the water table level due to human activity. To test our hypothesis we had to use several novel methods of tree-ring chronology analysis as well as to test explicitly whether undetected missing rings biased our results. Since the hypothesis that the instable relationship between tree growth and environment was caused by a change in limiting factor could not be rejected, we proceeded to find possible significant changes of past water table levels using structural analysis of the tree-ring chronologies. Our main conclusions were that peatland pines can be proxies to water table levels and that there were several shifting periods of high and low water table levels in the past 200 years. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...

  9. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Refining discordant gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górecki, Pawel; Eulenstein, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary studies are complicated by discordance between gene trees and the species tree in which they evolved. Dealing with discordant trees often relies on comparison costs between gene and species trees, including the well-established Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs. While these costs have provided credible results for binary rooted gene trees, corresponding cost definitions for non-binary unrooted gene trees, which are frequently occurring in practice, are challenged by biological realism. We propose a natural extension of the well-established costs for comparing unrooted and non-binary gene trees with rooted binary species trees using a binary refinement model. For the duplication cost we describe an efficient algorithm that is based on a linear time reduction and also computes an optimal rooted binary refinement of the given gene tree. Finally, we show that similar reductions lead to solutions for computing the deep coalescence and the Robinson-Foulds costs. Our binary refinement of Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs for unrooted and non-binary gene trees together with the linear time reductions provided here for computing these costs significantly extends the range of trees that can be incorporated into approaches dealing with discordance.

  12. The Concept of Cosmic Tree in Armenian and Iranian Cosmologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, S. V.; Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

    Cosmic Tree or Tree of Life is a common motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies. In the present study we focus on Armenian and Iranian Cosmic Tree. In ancient Armenia, the Tree of Life (Կենաց Ծառ) is a religious symbol and is drawn on walls of fortresses and carved on the armour of warriors. According to ancient Armenians the center of the Universe is located at the crown of the tree or the column, which is the closest to the sky. We explore the idea of cosmic tree in the riddles, prayers, medieval rituals and miniatures. In the riddles, the tree mostly symbolizes the celestial phenomena (Sun, Stars, and Heavens), different units of time (years, months, weeks, days, and seasons), the people, Jerusalem, the apostles and Jesus Christ. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of the tree. In pre-Islamic Persian mythology, the Gaokerena world tree is a large, sacred Haoma tree which bears all seeds. Ahriman created a frog to invade the tree and destroy it, aiming at preventing all trees from growing on the Earth. As a reaction, God (Ahura Mazda) created two kar fish staring at the frog to guard the tree. The concept of world tree in Persian Mythology is very closely related to the concept of the Tree of Life. Another related issue in ancient mythology of Iran is the myth of Mashya and Mashyane, two trees who were the ancestors of all living beings. This myth can be considered as a prototype for the creation myth where living beings are created by Gods (who have human forms). We come to the conclusion that in both cultures, no matter of the present different religions, the perception of Cosmic Tree is interconnected to the life on our planet and served as a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense.

  13. What to expect from an evolutionary hypothesis for a human disease: The case of type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watve, Milind; Diwekar-Joshi, Manawa

    2016-10-01

    Evolutionary medicine has a promise to bring in a conceptual revolution in medicine. However, as yet the field does not have the same theoretical rigour as that of many other fields in evolutionary studies. We discuss here with reference to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) what role an evolutionary hypothesis should play in the development of thinking in medicine. Starting with the thrifty gene hypothesis, evolutionary thinking in T2DM has undergone several transitions, modifications and refinements of the thrift family of hypotheses. In addition alternative hypotheses independent of thrift are also suggested. However, most hypotheses look at partial pictures; make selective use of supportive data ignoring inconvenient truths. Most hypotheses look at a superficial picture and avoid getting into the intricacies of underlying molecular, neuronal and physiological processes. Very few hypotheses have suggested clinical implications and none of them have been tested with randomized clinical trials. In the meanwhile the concepts in the pathophysiology of T2DM are undergoing radical changes and evolutionary hypotheses need to take them into account. We suggest an approach and a set of criteria to evaluate the relative merits of the alternative hypotheses. A number of hypotheses are likely to fail when critically evaluated against these criteria. It is possible that more than one selective process are at work in the evolution of propensity to T2DM, but the intercompatibility of the alternative selective forces and their relative contribution needs to be examined. The approach we describe could potentially lead to a sound evolutionary theory that is clinically useful and testable by randomized controlled clinical trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Metric Sex Determination of the Human Coxal Bone on a Virtual Sample using Decision Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savall, Frédéric; Faruch-Bilfeld, Marie; Dedouit, Fabrice; Sans, Nicolas; Rousseau, Hervé; Rougé, Daniel; Telmon, Norbert

    2015-11-01

    Decision trees provide an alternative to multivariate discriminant analysis, which is still the most commonly used in anthropometric studies. Our study analyzed the metric characterization of a recent virtual sample of 113 coxal bones using decision trees for sex determination. From 17 osteometric type I landmarks, a dataset was built with five classic distances traditionally reported in the literature and six new distances selected using the two-step ratio method. A ten-fold cross-validation was performed, and a decision tree was established on two subsamples (training and test sets). The decision tree established on the training set included three nodes and its application to the test set correctly classified 92% of individuals. This percentage was similar to the data of the literature. The usefulness of decision trees has been demonstrated in numerous fields. They have been already used in sex determination, body mass prediction, and ancestry estimation. This study shows another use of decision trees enabling simple and accurate sex determination. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  15. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper

    2017-01-01

    Characterisation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) relies on the availability of a toolbox of ligands that selectively modulate different functional states of the receptors. To uncover such molecules, we explored a unique strategy for ligand discovery that takes advantage of the evolutionary...

  17. Nonbinary tree-based phylogenetic networks

    OpenAIRE

    Jetten, Laura; van Iersel, Leo

    2016-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can for example represent gene transfer events. Such phylogenetic networks are called tree-based. Here, we consider two possible generalizations of this concept to nonbinary networks, which we call tree-based and st...

  18. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  19. Elevational patterns of Polylepis tree height (Rosaceae in the high Andes of Peru: role of human impact and climatic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eKessler

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied tree height in stands of high-Andean Polylepis forests in two cordilleras near Cuzco (Peru with respect to variations in human impact and climatic conditions, and compared air and soil temperatures between qualitatively defined dry and humid slopes. We studied 46 forest plots of 100 m2 of five Polylepis species at 3560-4680 m. We measured diameter at breast height (dbh and tree height in the stands (1229 trees in total, as well as air and soil temperatures in a subset of plots. The data was analysed combining plots of given species from different sites at the same elevation (±100 m. There was no elevational decrease of mean maximum tree height across the entire data set. On humid slopes, tree height decreased continuously with elevation, whereas on dry slopes it peaked at middle elevations. With mean maximum tree heights of 9 m at 4530 m on the humid slopes and of 13 m at 4650 m on the dry slopes, we here document the tallest high-elevation forests found so far worldwide. These highest stands grow under cold mean growing season air temperatures (3.6 °C and 3.8 °C on humid vs. dry slopes and mean growing season soil temperatures (5.1 °C vs. 4.6 °C. Mean annual air and soil temperature both decreased with elevation. Dry slopes had higher mean and maximum growing season air temperatures than humid slopes. Mean annual soil temperatures did not significantly differ and mean annual air temperatures only slightly differed between slopes. However, maximum air temperatures differed on average by 6.6 K between dry and humid slopes. This suggests that the differences in tree height between the two slopes are most likely due to differences in solar radiation as reflected by maximum air temperatures. Our study furthermore provides evidence that alpine Polylepis treelines grow under lower temperature conditions than global high-elevation treelines on average, suggesting that Polylepis species may have evolved special physiological adaptations

  20. A method and application study on holistic decision tree for human reliability analysis in nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Feng; Zhong Shan; Wu Zhiyu

    2008-01-01

    The paper introduces a human reliability analysis method mainly used in Nuclear Power Plant Safety Assessment and the Holistic Decision Tree (HDT) method and how to apply it. The focus is primarily on providing the basic framework and some background of HDT method and steps to perform it. Influence factors and quality descriptors are formed by the interview with operators in Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant and HDT analysis performed for SGTR and SLOCA based on this information. The HDT model can use a graphic tree structure to indicate that error rate is a function of influence factors. HDT method is capable of dealing with the uncertainty in HRA, and it is reliable and practical. (authors)

  1. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burr, Tom L [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  2. Phylogenetic inference with weighted codon evolutionary distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criscuolo, Alexis; Michel, Christian J

    2009-04-01

    We develop a new approach to estimate a matrix of pairwise evolutionary distances from a codon-based alignment based on a codon evolutionary model. The method first computes a standard distance matrix for each of the three codon positions. Then these three distance matrices are weighted according to an estimate of the global evolutionary rate of each codon position and averaged into a unique distance matrix. Using a large set of both real and simulated codon-based alignments of nucleotide sequences, we show that this approach leads to distance matrices that have a significantly better treelikeness compared to those obtained by standard nucleotide evolutionary distances. We also propose an alternative weighting to eliminate the part of the noise often associated with some codon positions, particularly the third position, which is known to induce a fast evolutionary rate. Simulation results show that fast distance-based tree reconstruction algorithms on distance matrices based on this codon position weighting can lead to phylogenetic trees that are at least as accurate as, if not better, than those inferred by maximum likelihood. Finally, a well-known multigene dataset composed of eight yeast species and 106 codon-based alignments is reanalyzed and shows that our codon evolutionary distances allow building a phylogenetic tree which is similar to those obtained by non-distance-based methods (e.g., maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) and also significantly improved compared to standard nucleotide evolutionary distance estimates.

  3. The Tree of Industrial Life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Esben Sloth

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to bring forth an interaction between evolutionary economics and industrial systematics. The suggested solution is to reconstruct the "family tree" of the industries. Such a tree is based on similarities, but it may also reflect the evolutionary history in industries....... For this purpose the paper shows how matrices of input-output coefficients can be transformed into binary characteristics matrices and to distance matrices, and it also discusses the possible evolutionary meaning of this translation. Then these derived matrices are used as inputs to algorithms for the heuristic...... finding of optimal industrial trees. The results are presented as taxonomic trees that can easily be compared with the hierarchical structure of existing systems of industrial classification....

  4. Locating a tree in a phylogenetic network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iersel, van L.J.J.; Semple, C.; Steel, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees and networks are leaf-labelled graphs that are used to describe evolutionary histories of species. The Tree Containment problem asks whether a given phylogenetic tree is embedded in a given phylogenetic network. Given a phylogenetic network and a cluster of species, the Cluster

  5. Building a Phylogenetic Tree of the Human and Ape Superfamily Using DNA-DNA Hybridization Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Caroline Alexander

    2004-01-01

    The study describes the process of DNA-DNA hybridization and the history of its use by Sibley and Alquist in simple, straightforward, and interesting language that students easily understand to create their own phylogenetic tree of the hominoid superfamily. They calibrate the DNA clock and use it to estimate the divergence dates of the various…

  6. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

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

  7. Reasoning about Evolution's Grand Patterns: College Students' Understanding of the Tree of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Tree thinking involves using cladograms, hierarchical diagrams depicting the evolutionary history of a set of taxa, to reason about evolutionary relationships and support inferences. Tree thinking is indispensable in modern science. College students' tree-thinking skills were investigated using tree (much more common in professional biology) and…

  8. Human figure drawings and house tree person drawings as indicators of self-esteem: a quantitative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth-Marnat, G; Roberts, L

    1998-02-01

    This study assessed the concurrent validity of Human Figure Drawings (HFD) and House-Tree-Person (HTP) drawings as measures of self-esteem. Adult subjects were requested to make HFD and HTP drawings and to complete measures of psychological adjustment which included the Coopersmith Self Esteem Inventory and Tennessee Self Concept Scale. The drawings were scored using a quantitative, composite rating scale derived from HFD and HTP empirical and theoretical literature on psychological health. Results indicated that neither the HFD nor the HTP quantitative composite ratings of psychological health related to the formal measures of self-esteem.

  9. phyloXML: XML for evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

    Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.

  10. The interaction of neutral evolutionary processes with climatically-driven adaptive changes in the 3D shape of the human os coxae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betti, Lia; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Manica, Andrea; Lycett, Stephen J

    2014-08-01

    Differences in the breadth of the pelvis among modern human populations and among extinct hominin species have often been interpreted in the light of thermoregulatory adaptation, whereby a larger pelvic girdle would help preserve body temperature in cold environments while a narrower pelvis would help dissipate heat in tropical climates. There is, however, a theoretical problem in interpreting a pattern of variation as evidence of selection without first accounting for the effects of neutral evolutionary processes (i.e., mutation, genetic drift and migration). Here, we analyse 3D configurations of 27 landmarks on the os coxae of 1494 modern human individuals representing 30 male and 23 female populations from five continents and a range of climatic conditions. We test for the effects of climate on the size and shape of the pelvic bone, while explicitly accounting for population history (i.e., geographically-mediated gene flow and genetic drift). We find that neutral processes account for a substantial proportion of shape variance in the human os coxae in both sexes. Beyond the neutral pattern due to population history, temperature is a significant predictor of shape and size variation in the os coxae, at least in males. The effect of climate on the shape of the pelvic bone, however, is comparatively limited, explaining only a small percentage of shape variation in males and females. In accordance with previous hypotheses, the size of the os coxae tends to increase with decreasing temperature, although the significance of the association is reduced when population history is taken into account. In conclusion, the shape and size of the human os coxae reflect both neutral evolutionary processes and climatically-driven adaptive changes. Neutral processes have a substantial effect on pelvic variation, suggesting such factors will need to be taken into account in future studies of human and fossil hominin coxal variation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  11. Computing Refined Buneman Trees in Cubic Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, G.S.; Fagerberg, R.; Östlin, A.

    2003-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolutionary tree for a set of n species based on pairwise distances between the species is a fundamental problem in bioinformatics. Neighbor joining is a popular distance based tree reconstruction method. It always proposes fully resolved binary trees despite missing evidence...... in the underlying distance data. Distance based methods based on the theory of Buneman trees and refined Buneman trees avoid this problem by only proposing evolutionary trees whose edges satisfy a number of constraints. These trees might not be fully resolved but there is strong combinatorial evidence for each...... proposed edge. The currently best algorithm for computing the refined Buneman tree from a given distance measure has a running time of O(n 5) and a space consumption of O(n 4). In this paper, we present an algorithm with running time O(n 3) and space consumption O(n 2). The improved complexity of our...

  12. Locating a tree in a phylogenetic network

    OpenAIRE

    van Iersel, Leo; Semple, Charles; Steel, Mike

    2010-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees and networks are leaf-labelled graphs that are used to describe evolutionary histories of species. The Tree Containment problem asks whether a given phylogenetic tree is embedded in a given phylogenetic network. Given a phylogenetic network and a cluster of species, the Cluster Containment problem asks whether the given cluster is a cluster of some phylogenetic tree embedded in the network. Both problems are known to be NP-complete in general. In this article, we consider t...

  13. Does the evolutionary conservation of microsatellite loci imply function?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shriver, M.D.; Deka, R.; Ferrell, R.E. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Microsatellites are highly polymorphic tandem arrays of short (1-6 bp) sequence motifs which have been found widely distributed in the genomes of all eukaryotes. We have analyzed allele frequency data on 16 microsatellite loci typed in the great apes (human, chimp, orangutan, and gorilla). The majority of these loci (13) were isolated from human genomic libraries; three were cloned from chimpanzee genomic DNA. Most of these loci are not only present in all apes species, but are polymorphic with comparable levels of heterozygosity and have alleles which overlap in size. The extent of divergence of allele frequencies among these four species were studies using the stepwise-weighted genetic distance (Dsw), which was previously shown to conform to linearity with evolutionary time since divergence for loci where mutations exist in a stepwise fashion. The phylogenetic tree of the great apes constructed from this distance matrix was consistent with the expected topology, with a high bootstrap confidence (82%) for the human/chimp clade. However, the allele frequency distributions of these species are 10 times more similar to each other than expected when they were calibrated with a conservative estimate of the time since separation of humans and the apes. These results are in agreement with sequence-based surveys of microsatellites which have demonstrated that they are highly (90%) conserved over short periods of evolutionary time (< 10 million years) and moderately (30%) conserved over long periods of evolutionary time (> 60-80 million years). This evolutionary conservation has prompted some authors to speculate that there are functional constraints on microsatellite loci. In contrast, the presence of directional bias of mutations with constraints and/or selection against aberrant sized alleles can explain these results.

  14. Reconciliation of Gene and Species Trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Y. Rusin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The first part of the paper briefly overviews the problem of gene and species trees reconciliation with the focus on defining and algorithmic construction of the evolutionary scenario. Basic ideas are discussed for the aspects of mapping definitions, costs of the mapping and evolutionary scenario, imposing time scales on a scenario, incorporating horizontal gene transfers, binarization and reconciliation of polytomous trees, and construction of species trees and scenarios. The review does not intend to cover the vast diversity of literature published on these subjects. Instead, the authors strived to overview the problem of the evolutionary scenario as a central concept in many areas of evolutionary research. The second part provides detailed mathematical proofs for the solutions of two problems: (i inferring a gene evolution along a species tree accounting for various types of evolutionary events and (ii trees reconciliation into a single species tree when only gene duplications and losses are allowed. All proposed algorithms have a cubic time complexity and are mathematically proved to find exact solutions. Solving algorithms for problem (ii can be naturally extended to incorporate horizontal transfers, other evolutionary events, and time scales on the species tree.

  15. Recognizing human actions by learning and matching shape-motion prototype trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhuolin; Lin, Zhe; Davis, Larry S

    2012-03-01

    A shape-motion prototype-based approach is introduced for action recognition. The approach represents an action as a sequence of prototypes for efficient and flexible action matching in long video sequences. During training, an action prototype tree is learned in a joint shape and motion space via hierarchical K-means clustering and each training sequence is represented as a labeled prototype sequence; then a look-up table of prototype-to-prototype distances is generated. During testing, based on a joint probability model of the actor location and action prototype, the actor is tracked while a frame-to-prototype correspondence is established by maximizing the joint probability, which is efficiently performed by searching the learned prototype tree; then actions are recognized using dynamic prototype sequence matching. Distance measures used for sequence matching are rapidly obtained by look-up table indexing, which is an order of magnitude faster than brute-force computation of frame-to-frame distances. Our approach enables robust action matching in challenging situations (such as moving cameras, dynamic backgrounds) and allows automatic alignment of action sequences. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach achieves recognition rates of 92.86 percent on a large gesture data set (with dynamic backgrounds), 100 percent on the Weizmann action data set, 95.77 percent on the KTH action data set, 88 percent on the UCF sports data set, and 87.27 percent on the CMU action data set.

  16. The relationship between trees and human health: evidence from the spread of the emerald ash borer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Geoffrey H; Butry, David T; Michael, Yvonne L; Prestemon, Jeffrey P; Liebhold, Andrew M; Gatziolis, Demetrios; Mao, Megan Y

    2013-02-01

    Several recent studies have identified a relationship between the natural environment and improved health outcomes. However, for practical reasons, most have been observational, cross-sectional studies. A natural experiment, which provides stronger evidence of causality, was used to test whether a major change to the natural environment-the loss of 100 million trees to the emerald ash borer, an invasive forest pest-has influenced mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory diseases. Two fixed-effects regression models were used to estimate the relationship between emerald ash borer presence and county-level mortality from 1990 to 2007 in 15 U.S. states, while controlling for a wide range of demographic covariates. Data were collected from 1990 to 2007, and the analyses were conducted in 2011 and 2012. There was an increase in mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness in counties infested with the emerald ash borer. The magnitude of this effect was greater as infestation progressed and in counties with above-average median household income. Across the 15 states in the study area, the borer was associated with an additional 6113 deaths related to illness of the lower respiratory system, and 15,080 cardiovascular-related deaths. Results suggest that loss of trees to the emerald ash borer increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness. This finding adds to the growing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefits. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Fault trees and the impact of human variability on probabilistic risk analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-01-01

    It has long been recognized that human reliability is an important factor in probabilistic risk analysis. In the field, this is true in a direct operational sense as well as in the areas of installation and maintenance. The interest in quantification arises from the desire to achieve optimum design in the human factors sense (operability-maintainability) and from the need to include human reliability considerations in probabilistic risk analysis to achieve complete and valid risk evaluation. In order to integrate human reliability into the system analysis, it is necessary to consider two questions. These relate to the way that human functions fit into the existing analytical models and methods as well as the nature of human failure mechanisms, modes and failure (error) rates

  18. Update of the human secretoglobin (SCGB gene superfamily and an example of 'evolutionary bloom' of androgen-binding protein genes within the mouse Scgb gene superfamily

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson Brian C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The secretoglobins (SCGBs comprise a family of small, secreted proteins found in animals exclusively of mammalian lineage. There are 11 human SCGB genes and five pseudogenes. Interestingly, mice have 68 Scgb genes, four of which are highly orthologous to human SCGB genes; the remainder represent an 'evolutionary bloom' and make up a large gene family represented by only six counterparts in humans. SCGBs are found in high concentrations in many mammalian secretions, including fluids of the lung, lacrimal gland, salivary gland, prostate and uterus. Whereas the biological activities of most individual SCGBs have not been fully characterised, what already has been discovered suggests that this family has an important role in the modulation of inflammation, tissue repair and tumorigenesis. In mice, the large Scgb1b and Scgb2b gene families encode the androgen-binding proteins, which have been shown to play a role in mate selection. Although much has been learned about SCGBs in recent years, clearly more research remains to be done to allow a better understanding of the roles of these proteins in human health and disease. Such information is predicted to reveal valuable novel drug targets for the treatment of inflammation, as well as designing biomarkers that might identify tissue damage or cancer.

  19. An evaluation of the ecosystem services provided by urban trees: The role of Krasiński Gardens in air quality and human health in Warsaw (Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szkop Zbigniew

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through leaf stomata. However, to date, we have rather few empirical studies on the magnitude and value of the effects of trees on air quality and human health, especially especially within the climatic conditions of Central Europe. To investigate the significance of urban trees from the point of view of air pollution removal, an i-Tree Eco model was implemented. The results indicate that the 932 trees in Krasiński Gardens (Warsaw, Poland absorb 267.12 kg of pollutants per year: 149.9 kg of O3, 94.4 kg of NO2, 11.8 kg of SO2 and 10.9 kg of PM2.5. That makes an average removal per tree (calculated by summarizing the values of all of the pollutants of 0.287 kg/year. Furthermore, health values were used to estimate their pollution removal services in monetary terms. The total benefit of air purification by trees in Krasiński Gardens is estimated at 26250 PLN/year with an average value per tree of: 28 PLN. Although PM2.5 removal is the lowest among the four air pollutants analysed, accounting for only 4% of the total mass reduction, it provides 69% of the total economic value. The benefit associated with absorption of O3 provided 28% of the value, with the absorption of NO2 and SO2 at just 3%. The results also show that large tree species (with a crown diameter of 14-15m can provide around 10 times higher benefits, than small ones (5-6m.

  20. Interpreting the universal phylogenetic tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woese, C. R.

    2000-01-01

    The universal phylogenetic tree not only spans all extant life, but its root and earliest branchings represent stages in the evolutionary process before modern cell types had come into being. The evolution of the cell is an interplay between vertically derived and horizontally acquired variation. Primitive cellular entities were necessarily simpler and more modular in design than are modern cells. Consequently, horizontal gene transfer early on was pervasive, dominating the evolutionary dynamic. The root of the universal phylogenetic tree represents the first stage in cellular evolution when the evolving cell became sufficiently integrated and stable to the erosive effects of horizontal gene transfer that true organismal lineages could exist.

  1. Nonbinary Tree-Based Phylogenetic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetten, Laura; van Iersel, Leo

    2018-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can, for example, represent gene transfer events. Such phylogenetic networks are called tree-based. Here, we consider two possible generalizations of this concept to nonbinary networks, which we call tree-based and strictly-tree-based nonbinary phylogenetic networks. We give simple graph-theoretic characterizations of tree-based and strictly-tree-based nonbinary phylogenetic networks. Moreover, we show for each of these two classes that it can be decided in polynomial time whether a given network is contained in the class. Our approach also provides a new view on tree-based binary phylogenetic networks. Finally, we discuss two examples of nonbinary phylogenetic networks in biology and show how our results can be applied to them.

  2. Genome-scale portrait and evolutionary significance of human-specific core promoter tri- and tetranucleotide short tandem repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazaripanah, N; Adelirad, F; Delbari, A; Sahaf, R; Abbasi-Asl, T; Ohadi, M

    2018-04-05

    While there is an ongoing trend to identify single nucleotide substitutions (SNSs) that are linked to inter/intra-species differences and disease phenotypes, short tandem repeats (STRs)/microsatellites may be of equal (if not more) importance in the above processes. Genes that contain STRs in their promoters have higher expression divergence compared to genes with fixed or no STRs in the gene promoters. In line with the above, recent reports indicate a role of repetitive sequences in the rise of young transcription start sites (TSSs) in human evolution. Following a comparative genomics study of all human protein-coding genes annotated in the GeneCards database, here we provide a genome-scale portrait of human-specific short- and medium-size (≥ 3-repeats) tri- and tetranucleotide STRs and STR motifs in the critical core promoter region between - 120 and + 1 to the TSS and evidence of skewing of this compartment in reference to the STRs that are not human-specific (Levene's test p human-specific transcripts was detected in the tri and tetra human-specific compartments (mid-p genome-scale skewing of STRs at a specific region of the human genome and a link between a number of these STRs and TSS selection/transcript specificity. The STRs and genes listed here may have a role in the evolution and development of characteristics and phenotypes that are unique to the human species.

  3. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

  4. Nonbinary Tree-Based Phylogenetic Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jetten, L.; van Iersel, L.J.J.

    2018-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can for example

  5. Constructive anthropomorphism: a functional evolutionary approach to the study of human-like cognitive mechanisms in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbilly, Michal; Lotem, Arnon

    2017-10-25

    Anthropomorphism, the attribution of human cognitive processes and emotional states to animals, is commonly viewed as non-scientific and potentially misleading. This is mainly because apparent similarity to humans can usually be explained by alternative, simpler mechanisms in animals, and because there is no explanatory power in analogies to human phenomena when these phenomena are not well understood. Yet, because it is also difficult to preclude real similarity and continuity in the evolution of humans' and animals' cognitive abilities, it may not be productive to completely ignore our understanding of human behaviour when thinking about animals. Here we propose that in applying a functional approach to the evolution of cognitive mechanisms, human cognition may be used to broaden our theoretical thinking and to generate testable hypotheses. Our goal is not to 'elevate' animals, but rather to find the minimal set of mechanistic principles that may explain 'advanced' cognitive abilities in humans, and consider under what conditions these mechanisms were likely to enhance fitness and to evolve in animals. We illustrate this approach, from relatively simple emotional states, to more advanced mechanisms, involved in planning and decision-making, episodic memory, metacognition, theory of mind, and consciousness. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Fault tree model of human error based on error-forcing contexts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Hyun Gook; Jang, Seung Cheol; Ha, Jae Joo

    2004-01-01

    In the safety-critical systems such as nuclear power plants, the safety-feature actuation is fully automated. In emergency case, the human operator could also play the role of a backup for automated systems. That is, the failure of safety-feature-actuation signal generation implies the concurrent failure of automated systems and that of manual actuation. The human operator's manual actuation failure is largely affected by error-forcing contexts (EFC). The failures of sensors and automated systems are most important ones. The sensors, the automated actuation system and the human operators are correlated in a complex manner and hard to develop a proper model. In this paper, we will explain the condition-based human reliability assessment (CBHRA) method in order to treat these complicated conditions in a practical way. In this study, we apply the CBHRA method to the manual actuation of safety features such as reactor trip and safety injection in Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plants

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Metabolic activity of tree saps of different origin towards cultured human cells in the light of grade correspondence analysis and multiple regression modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Wnorowski

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Tree saps are nourishing biological media commonly used for beverage and syrup production. Although the nutritional aspect of tree saps is widely acknowledged, the exact relationship between the sap composition, origin, and effect on the metabolic rate of human cells is still elusive. Thus, we collected saps from seven different tree species and conducted composition-activity analysis. Saps from trees of Betulaceae, but not from Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, nor Juglandaceae families, were increasing the metabolic rate of HepG2 cells, as measured using tetrazolium-based assay. Content of glucose, fructose, sucrose, chlorides, nitrates, sulphates, fumarates, malates, and succinates in sap samples varied across different tree species. Grade correspondence analysis clustered trees based on the saps’ chemical footprint indicating its usability in chemotaxonomy. Multiple regression modeling showed that glucose and fumarate present in saps from silver birch (Betula pendula Roth., black alder (Alnus glutinosa Gaertn., and European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L. are positively affecting the metabolic activity of HepG2 cells.

  10. Whole genome sequencing and evolutionary analysis of human respiratory syncytial virus A and B from Milwaukee, WI 1998-2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Rebuffo-Scheer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory-tract infections in infants and young children worldwide. Despite this, only six complete genome sequences of original strains have been previously published, the most recent of which dates back 35 and 26 years for RSV group A and group B respectively. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a semi-automated sequencing method allowing for the sequencing of four RSV whole genomes simultaneously. We were able to sequence the complete coding sequences of 13 RSV A and 4 RSV B strains from Milwaukee collected from 1998-2010. Another 12 RSV A and 5 RSV B strains sequenced in this study cover the majority of the genome. All RSV A and RSV B sequences were analyzed by neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony and Bayesian phylogeny methods. Genetic diversity was high among RSV A viruses in Milwaukee including the circulation of multiple genotypes (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7 with GA2 persisting throughout the 13 years of the study. However, RSV B genomes showed little variation with all belonging to the BA genotype. For RSV A, the same evolutionary patterns and clades were seen consistently across the whole genome including all intergenic, coding, and non-coding regions sequences. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The sequencing strategy presented in this work allows for RSV A and B genomes to be sequenced simultaneously in two working days and with a low cost. We have significantly increased the amount of genomic data that is available for both RSV A and B, providing the basic molecular characteristics of RSV strains circulating in Milwaukee over the last 13 years. This information can be used for comparative analysis with strains circulating in other communities around the world which should also help with the development of new strategies for control of RSV, specifically vaccine development and improvement of RSV diagnostics.

  11. A Metric on Phylogenetic Tree Shapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colijn, C; Plazzotta, G

    2018-01-01

    The shapes of evolutionary trees are influenced by the nature of the evolutionary process but comparisons of trees from different processes are hindered by the challenge of completely describing tree shape. We present a full characterization of the shapes of rooted branching trees in a form that lends itself to natural tree comparisons. We use this characterization to define a metric, in the sense of a true distance function, on tree shapes. The metric distinguishes trees from random models known to produce different tree shapes. It separates trees derived from tropical versus USA influenza A sequences, which reflect the differing epidemiology of tropical and seasonal flu. We describe several metrics based on the same core characterization, and illustrate how to extend the metric to incorporate trees' branch lengths or other features such as overall imbalance. Our approach allows us to construct addition and multiplication on trees, and to create a convex metric on tree shapes which formally allows computation of average tree shapes. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  12. Evolutionary modifications of human milk composition: evidence from long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of anthropoid milks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milligan, Lauren A; Bazinet, Richard P

    2008-12-01

    Brain growth in mammals is associated with increased accretion of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in brain phospholipids. The period of maximum accumulation is during the brain growth spurt. Humans have a perinatal brain growth spurt, selectively accumulating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other LCPUFA from the third trimester through the second year of life. The emphasis on rapid postnatal brain growth and LCPUFA transfer during lactation has led to the suggestion that human milk LCPUFA composition may be unique. Our study tests this hypothesis by determining fatty acid composition for 11 species of captive anthropoids (n=53; Callithrix jacchus, Cebus apella, Gorilla gorilla, Hylobates lar, Leontopithecus rosalia, Macaca mulatta, Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, Pongo pygmaeus, Saimiri boliviensis, and Symphalangus syndactylus). Results are compared to previously published data on five species of wild anthropoids (n=28; Alouatta paliatta, Callithrix jacchus, Gorilla beringei, Leontopithecus rosalia, and Macaca sinica) and human milk fatty acid profiles. Milk LCPUFA profiles of captive anthropoids (consuming diets with a preformed source of DHA) are similar to milk from women on a Western diet, and those of wild anthropoids are similar to milk from vegan women. Collectively, the range of DHA percent composition values from nonhuman anthropoid milks (0.03-1.1) is nearly identical to that from a cross-cultural analysis of human milk (0.06-1.4). Humans do not appear to be unique in their ability to secrete LCPUFA in milk but may be unique in their access to dietary LCPUFA.

  13. Haplotypes in the Dystrophin DNA Segment Point to a Mosaic Origin of Modern Human Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Ziętkiewicz, Ewa; Yotova, Vania; Gehl, Dominik; Wambach, Tina; Arrieta, Isabel; Batzer, Mark; Cole, David E.C.; Hechtman, Peter; Kaplan, Feige; Modiano, David; Moisan, Jean-Paul; Michalski, Roman; Labuda, Damian

    2003-01-01

    Although Africa has played a central role in human evolutionary history, certain studies have suggested that not all contemporary human genetic diversity is of recent African origin. We investigated 35 simple polymorphic sites and one Tn microsatellite in an 8-kb segment of the dystrophin gene. We found 86 haplotypes in 1,343 chromosomes from around the world. Although a classical out-of-Africa topology was observed in trees based on the variant frequencies, the tree of haplotype sequences re...

  14. Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curnoe, Darren; Xueping, Ji; Herries, Andy I. R.; Kanning, Bai; Taçon, Paul S. C.; Zhende, Bao; Fink, David; Yunsheng, Zhu; Hellstrom, John; Yun, Luo; Cassis, Gerasimos; Bing, Su; Wroe, Stephen; Shi, Hong; Parr, William C. H.; Shengmin, Huang; Rogers, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Background Later Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia remains poorly understood owing to a scarcity of well described, reliably classified and accurately dated fossils. Southwest China has been identified from genetic research as a hotspot of human diversity, containing ancient mtDNA and Y-DNA lineages, and has yielded a number of human remains thought to derive from Pleistocene deposits. We have prepared, reconstructed, described and dated a new partial skull from a consolidated sediment block collected in 1979 from the site of Longlin Cave (Guangxi Province). We also undertook new excavations at Maludong (Yunnan Province) to clarify the stratigraphy and dating of a large sample of mostly undescribed human remains from the site. Methodology/Principal Findings We undertook a detailed comparison of cranial, including a virtual endocast for the Maludong calotte, mandibular and dental remains from these two localities. Both samples probably derive from the same population, exhibiting an unusual mixture of modern human traits, characters probably plesiomorphic for later Homo, and some unusual features. We dated charcoal with AMS radiocarbon dating and speleothem with the Uranium-series technique and the results show both samples to be from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: ∼14.3-11.5 ka. Conclusions/Significance Our analysis suggests two plausible explanations for the morphology sampled at Longlin Cave and Maludong. First, it may represent a late-surviving archaic population, perhaps paralleling the situation seen in North Africa as indicated by remains from Dar-es-Soltane and Temara, and maybe also in southern China at Zhirendong. Alternatively, East Asia may have been colonised during multiple waves during the Pleistocene, with the Longlin-Maludong morphology possibly reflecting deep population substructure in Africa prior to modern humans dispersing into Eurasia. PMID:22431968

  15. From prediction to function using evolutionary genomics: human-specific ecotypes of Lactobacillus reuteri have diverse probiotic functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinler, Jennifer K; Sontakke, Amrita; Hollister, Emily B; Venable, Susan F; Oh, Phaik Lyn; Balderas, Miriam A; Saulnier, Delphine M A; Mistretta, Toni-Ann; Devaraj, Sridevi; Walter, Jens; Versalovic, James; Highlander, Sarah K

    2014-06-19

    The vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri has diversified into separate clades reflecting host origin. Strains show evidence of host adaptation, but how host-microbe coevolution influences microbial-derived effects on hosts is poorly understood. Emphasizing human-derived strains of L. reuteri, we combined comparative genomic analyses with functional assays to examine variations in host interaction among genetically distinct ecotypes. Within clade II or VI, the genomes of human-derived L. reuteri strains are highly conserved in gene content and at the nucleotide level. Nevertheless, they share only 70-90% of total gene content, indicating differences in functional capacity. Human-associated lineages are distinguished by genes related to bacteriophages, vitamin biosynthesis, antimicrobial production, and immunomodulation. Differential production of reuterin, histamine, and folate by 23 clade II and VI strains was demonstrated. These strains also differed with respect to their ability to modulate human cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12, and IL-13) by myeloid cells. Microarray analysis of representative clade II and clade VI strains revealed global regulation of genes within the reuterin, vitamin B12, folate, and arginine catabolism gene clusters by the AraC family transcriptional regulator, PocR. Thus, human-derived L. reuteri clade II and VI strains are genetically distinct and their differences affect their functional repertoires and probiotic features. These findings highlight the biological impact of microbe:host coevolution and illustrate the functional significance of subspecies differences in the human microbiome. Consideration of host origin and functional differences at the subspecies level may have major impacts on probiotic strain selection and considerations of microbial ecology in mammalian species. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on

  16. Encoding phylogenetic trees in terms of weighted quartets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Stefan; Huber, Katharina T; Moulton, Vincent; Semple, Charles

    2008-04-01

    One of the main problems in phylogenetics is to develop systematic methods for constructing evolutionary or phylogenetic trees. For a set of species X, an edge-weighted phylogenetic X-tree or phylogenetic tree is a (graph theoretical) tree with leaf set X and no degree 2 vertices, together with a map assigning a non-negative length to each edge of the tree. Within phylogenetics, several methods have been proposed for constructing such trees that work by trying to piece together quartet trees on X, i.e. phylogenetic trees each having four leaves in X. Hence, it is of interest to characterise when a collection of quartet trees corresponds to a (unique) phylogenetic tree. Recently, Dress and Erdös provided such a characterisation for binary phylogenetic trees, that is, phylogenetic trees all of whose internal vertices have degree 3. Here we provide a new characterisation for arbitrary phylogenetic trees.

  17. Quantitative analysis of basal dendritic tree of layer III pyramidal neurons in different areas of adult human frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeba, Martina; Jovanov-Milosević, Natasa; Petanjek, Zdravko

    2008-01-01

    Large long projecting (cortico-cortical) layer IIIc pyramidal neurons were recently disclosed to be in the basis of cognitive processing in primates. Therefore, we quantitatively examined the basal dendritic morphology of these neurons by using rapid Golgi and Golgi Cox impregnation methods among three distinct Brodmann areas (BA) of an adult human frontal cortex: the primary motor BA4 and the associative magnopyramidal BA9 from left hemisphere and the Broca's speech BA45 from both hemispheres. There was no statistically significant difference in basal dendritic length or complexity, as dendritic spine number or their density between analyzed BA's. In addition, we analyzed each of these BA's immunocytochemically for distribution of SMI-32, a marker of largest long distance projecting neurons. Within layer IIIc, the highest density of SMI-32 immunopositive pyramidal neurons was observed in associative BA9, while in primary BA4 they were sparse. Taken together, these data suggest that an increase in the complexity of cortico-cortical network within human frontal areas of different functional order may be principally based on the increase in density of large, SMI-32 immunopositive layer IIIc neurons, rather than by further increase in complexity of their dendritic tree and synaptic network.

  18. TreeFam: a curated database of phylogenetic trees of animal gene families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Heng; Coghlan, Avril; Ruan, Jue

    2006-01-01

    TreeFam is a database of phylogenetic trees of gene families found in animals. It aims to develop a curated resource that presents the accurate evolutionary history of all animal gene families, as well as reliable ortholog and paralog assignments. Curated families are being added progressively......, based on seed alignments and trees in a similar fashion to Pfam. Release 1.1 of TreeFam contains curated trees for 690 families and automatically generated trees for another 11 646 families. These represent over 128 000 genes from nine fully sequenced animal genomes and over 45 000 other animal proteins...

  19. The evolutionary interplay of intergroup conflict and altruism in humans: a review of parochial altruism theory and prospects for its extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusch, Hannes

    2014-11-07

    Drawing on an idea proposed by Darwin, it has recently been hypothesized that violent intergroup conflict might have played a substantial role in the evolution of human cooperativeness and altruism. The central notion of this argument, dubbed 'parochial altruism', is that the two genetic or cultural traits, aggressiveness against the out-groups and cooperativeness towards the in-group, including self-sacrificial altruistic behaviour, might have coevolved in humans. This review assesses the explanatory power of current theories of 'parochial altruism'. After a brief synopsis of the existing literature, two pitfalls in the interpretation of the most widely used models are discussed: potential direct benefits and high relatedness between group members implicitly induced by assumptions about conflict structure and frequency. Then, a number of simplifying assumptions made in the construction of these models are pointed out which currently limit their explanatory power. Next, relevant empirical evidence from several disciplines which could guide future theoretical extensions is reviewed. Finally, selected alternative accounts of evolutionary links between intergroup conflict and intragroup cooperation are briefly discussed which could be integrated with parochial altruism in the future. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  20. The evolutionary interplay of intergroup conflict and altruism in humans: a review of parochial altruism theory and prospects for its extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusch, Hannes

    2014-01-01

    Drawing on an idea proposed by Darwin, it has recently been hypothesized that violent intergroup conflict might have played a substantial role in the evolution of human cooperativeness and altruism. The central notion of this argument, dubbed ‘parochial altruism’, is that the two genetic or cultural traits, aggressiveness against the out-groups and cooperativeness towards the in-group, including self-sacrificial altruistic behaviour, might have coevolved in humans. This review assesses the explanatory power of current theories of ‘parochial altruism’. After a brief synopsis of the existing literature, two pitfalls in the interpretation of the most widely used models are discussed: potential direct benefits and high relatedness between group members implicitly induced by assumptions about conflict structure and frequency. Then, a number of simplifying assumptions made in the construction of these models are pointed out which currently limit their explanatory power. Next, relevant empirical evidence from several disciplines which could guide future theoretical extensions is reviewed. Finally, selected alternative accounts of evolutionary links between intergroup conflict and intragroup cooperation are briefly discussed which could be integrated with parochial altruism in the future. PMID:25253457

  1. Attenuation by a Human Body and Trees as well as Material Penetration Loss in 26 and 39 GHz Millimeter Wave Bands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the attenuation by a human body and trees as well as material penetration loss at 26 and 39 GHz by measurements and theoretical modeling work. The measurements were carried out at a large restaurant and a university campus by using a time domain channel sounder. Meanwhile, the knife-edge (KE model and one-cylinder and two-cylinder models based on uniform theory of diffraction (UTD are applied to model the shape of a human body and predict its attenuation in theory. The ITU (International Telecommunication Union and its modified models are used to predict the attenuation by trees. The results show that the upper bound of the KE model is better to predict the attenuation by a human body compared with UTD one-cylinder and two-cylinder models at both 26 and 39 GHz. ITU model overestimates the attenuation by willow trees, and a modified attenuation model by trees is proposed based on our measurements at 26 GHz. Penetration loss for materials such as wood and glass with different types and thicknesses is measured as well. The measurement and modeling results in this paper are significant and necessary for simulation and planning of fifth-generation (5G mm-wave radio systems in ITU recommended frequency bands at 26 and 39 GHz.

  2. Computational Biophysical, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Signature of Human R-Spondin Family Proteins, the Member of Canonical Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashish Ranjan Sharma

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In human, Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a significant role in cell growth, cell development, and disease pathogenesis. Four human (Rspos are known to activate canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Presently, (Rspos serve as therapeutic target for several human diseases. Henceforth, basic understanding about the molecular properties of (Rspos is essential. We approached this issue by interpreting the biochemical and biophysical properties along with molecular evolution of (Rspos thorough computational algorithm methods. Our analysis shows that signal peptide length is roughly similar in (Rspos family along with similarity in aa distribution pattern. In Rspo3, four N-glycosylation sites were noted. All members are hydrophilic in nature and showed alike GRAVY values, approximately. Conversely, Rspo3 contains the maximum positively charged residues while Rspo4 includes the lowest. Four highly aligned blocks were recorded through Gblocks. Phylogenetic analysis shows Rspo4 is being rooted with Rspo2 and similarly Rspo3 and Rspo1 have the common point of origin. Through phylogenomics study, we developed a phylogenetic tree of sixty proteins (n=60 with the orthologs and paralogs seed sequences. Protein-protein network was also illustrated. Results demonstrated in our study may help the future researchers to unfold significant physiological and therapeutic properties of (Rspos in various disease models.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Human platelet antigens (HPAs) are polymorphisms in platelet membrane glycoproteins (GPs) that can stimulate production of alloantibodies once exposed to foreign platelets (PLTs) with different HPAs. These antibodies can cause neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, posttransfusion purpura, and PLT transfusion refractoriness. Most HPAs are localized on the main PLT receptors: 1) integrin αIIbβ3, known as the fibrinogen receptor; 2) the GPIb-IX-V complex that functions as the recepto...

  4. The Crossed Projection to the Striatum in Two Species of Monkey and in Humans: Behavioral and Evolutionary Significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innocenti, Giorgio M; Dyrby, Tim B; Andersen, Kasper Winther; Rouiller, Eric M; Caminiti, Roberto

    2017-06-01

    The corpus callosum establishes the anatomical continuity between the 2 hemispheres and coordinates their activity. Using histological tracing, single axon reconstructions, and diffusion tractography, we describe a callosal projection to n caudatus and putamen in monkeys and humans. In both species, the origin of this projection is more restricted than that of the ipsilateral projection. In monkeys, it consists of thin axons (0.4-0.6 µm), appropriate for spatial and temporal dispersion of subliminal inputs. For prefrontal cortex, contralateral minus ipsilateral delays to striatum calculated from axon diameters and conduction distance are <2 ms in the monkey and, by extrapolation, <4 ms in humans. This delay corresponds to the performance in Poffenberger's paradigm, a classical attempt to estimate central conduction delays, with a neuropsychological task. In both species, callosal cortico-striatal projections originate from prefrontal, premotor, and motor areas. In humans, we discovered a new projection originating from superior parietal lobule, supramarginal, and superior temporal gyrus, regions engaged in language processing. This projection crosses in the isthmus the lesion of which was reported to dissociate syntax and prosody. The projection might originate from an overproduction of callosal projections in development, differentially pruned depending on species. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Extensive evolutionary changes in regulatory element activity during human origins are associated with altered gene expression and positive selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoichiro Shibata

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the molecular basis for phenotypic differences between humans and other primates remains an outstanding challenge. Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA that alter gene expression have been hypothesized as a key driver of these phenotypic differences. This has been supported by differential gene expression analyses in general, but not by the identification of specific regulatory elements responsible for changes in transcription and phenotype. To identify the genetic source of regulatory differences, we mapped DNaseI hypersensitive (DHS sites, which mark all types of active gene regulatory elements, genome-wide in the same cell type isolated from human, chimpanzee, and macaque. Most DHS sites were conserved among all three species, as expected based on their central role in regulating transcription. However, we found evidence that several hundred DHS sites were gained or lost on the lineages leading to modern human and chimpanzee. Species-specific DHS site gains are enriched near differentially expressed genes, are positively correlated with increased transcription, show evidence of branch-specific positive selection, and overlap with active chromatin marks. Species-specific sequence differences in transcription factor motifs found within these DHS sites are linked with species-specific changes in chromatin accessibility. Together, these indicate that the regulatory elements identified here are genetic contributors to transcriptional and phenotypic differences among primate species.

  6. "Small size" in the Philippine human fossil record: is it meaningful for a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the negritos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Détroit, Florent; Corny, Julien; Dizon, Eusebio Z; Mijares, Armand S

    2013-01-01

    "Pygmy populations" are recognized in several places over the world, especially in Western Africa and in Southeast Asia (Philippine "negritos," for instance). Broadly defined as "small-bodied Homo sapiens" (compared with neighboring populations), their origins and the nature of the processes involved in the maintenance of their phenotype over time are highly debated. Major results have been recently obtained from population genetics on present-day negrito populations, but their evolutionary history remains largely unresolved. We present and discuss the Upper Pleistocene human remains recovered from Tabon Cave and Callao Cave in the Philippines, which are potentially highly relevant to these research questions. Human fossils have been recovered in large numbers from Tabon Cave (Palawan Island) but mainly from reworked and mixed sediments from several archaeological layers. We review and synthesize the long and meticulous collaborative work done on the archives left from the 1960s excavations and on the field. The results demonstrate the long history of human occupations in the cave, since at least ~30,000 BP. The examination of the Tabon human remains shows a large variability: large and robust for one part of the sample, and small and gracile for the other part. The latter would fit quite comfortably within the range of variation of Philippine negritos. Farther north, on Luzon Island, the human third metatarsal recently recovered from Callao Cave and dated to ~66,000 BP is now the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines. Previous data show that, compared with H. sapiens (including Philippine negritos), this bone presents a very small size and several unusual morphological characteristics. We present a new analytical approach using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics for comparing the Callao fossil to a wide array of extant Asian mammals, including nonhuman primates and H. sapiens. The results demonstrate that the shape of the Callao

  7. Reconstruction of the mouse extrahepatic biliary tree using primary human extrahepatic cholangiocyte organoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sampaziotis, Fotios; Justin, Alexander W; Tysoe, Olivia C

    2017-01-01

    The treatment of common bile duct (CBD) disorders, such as biliary atresia or ischemic strictures, is restricted by the lack of biliary tissue from healthy donors suitable for surgical reconstruction. Here we report a new method for the isolation and propagation of human cholangiocytes from....... The resulting bioengineered tissue can reconstruct the gallbladder wall and repair the biliary epithelium following transplantation into a mouse model of injury. Furthermore, bioengineered artificial ducts can replace the native CBD, with no evidence of cholestasis or occlusion of the lumen. In conclusion, ECOs...

  8. Relative size of the eye and orbit: an evolutionary and craniofacial constraint model for examining the etiology and disparate incidence of juvenile-onset myopia in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Michael P

    2012-05-01

    The principal aim of this research is to provide a new model for investigating myopia in humans, and contribute to an understanding of the degree to which modern variation and evolutionary change in orbital and overall craniofacial morphology may help explain the common eye form association with this condition. Recent research into long and short-term evolution of the human orbit reveals a number of changes in this feature, and particularly since the Upper Paleolithic. These include a reduction in orbital depth, a decrease in anterior projection of the upper and lower orbital margins, and most notably, a reduction in orbital volume since the Holocene in East Asia. Reduced orbital volume in this geographic region could exacerbate an existing trend in recent hominin evolution toward larger eyes in smaller orbits, and may help explain the unusually high frequency of myopia in East Asian populations. The objective of the current study is to test a null hypothesis of no relationship between a ratio of orbit to eye volume and spherical equivalent refractive error (SER) in a sample of Chinese adults, and examine how relative size of the eye within the orbit relates to SER between the sexes and across the sample population. Analysis of the orbit, eye, and SER reveals a strong relationship between relative size of the eye within the orbit and the severity of myopic refractive error. An orbit/eye ratio of 3 for females and 3.5 for males (or an eye that occupies approximately 34% and 29% of the orbit, respectively), designates a clear threshold at which myopia develops, and becomes progressively worse as the eye continues to occupy a greater proportion of the orbital cavity. These results indicate that relative size of the eye within the orbit is an important factor in the development of myopia, and suggests that individuals with large eyes in small orbits lack space for adequate development of ocular tissues, leading to compression and distortion of the lithesome globe

  9. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  10. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofmann Alan F

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense. Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites

  11. The Crossed Projection to the Striatum in Two Species of Monkey and in Humans: Behavioral and Evolutionary Significance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Innocenti, Giorgio M.; Dyrby, Tim Bjørn; Andersen, Kasper Winther

    2017-01-01

    The corpus callosum establishes the anatomical continuity between the 2 hemispheres and coordinates their activity. Using histological tracing, single axon reconstructions, and diffusion tractography, we describe a callosal projection to n caudatus and putamen in monkeys and humans. In both species......, the origin of this projection is more restricted than that of the ipsilateral projection. In monkeys, it consists of thin axons (0.4–0.6 µm), appropriate for spatial and temporal dispersion of subliminal inputs. For prefrontal cortex, contralateral minus ipsilateral delays to striatum calculated from axon...... diameters and conduction distance are monkey and, by extrapolation,

  12. The Brown Tree Snake on Guam: How the Arrival of One Invasive Species Damaged the Ecology, Commerce, Electrical Systems and Human Health on Guam: A Comprehensive Information Source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, Thomas H.; Leasman-Tanner, Dawn

    2001-01-01

    Synopsis -- Shortly after World War II, and before 1952, the brown tree snake was accidentally transported from its native range in the South Pacific to Guam, probably as a stowaway in ship cargo. As a result of abnormally abundant prey resources on Guam and the absence of natural predators and other population controls, brown tree snake populations reached unprecedented numbers. Snakes caused the extirpation of most of the native forest vertebrate species; thousands of power outages affecting private, commercial, and military activities; widespread loss of domestic birds and pets; and considerable emotional trauma to residents and visitors alike when snakes invaded human habitats with the potential for severe envenomation of small children. Since Guam is a major transportation hub in the Pacific, numerous opportunities exist for the brown tree snakes on Guam to be introduced accidentally to other Pacific islands as passive stowaways in ship and air traffic from Guam. Numerous sightings of this species have been reported on other islands, and an incipient population is probably established on Saipan. It is important that people who may come in contact with the brown tree snake, particularly on neighboring islands and other high-risk sites, understand the scope of this problem and how to identify the snake so proper action can be taken. This resource has been developed to provide source materials on the history of the invasion, continuing threats, research results, and containment and management of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) in Guam and its relevance to other islands and mild continental environments.

  13. Identification of a truncated splice variant of IL-18 receptor alpha in the human and rat, with evidence of wider evolutionary conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris S. Booker

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Interleukin-18 (IL-18 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which stimulates activation of the nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB pathway via interaction with the IL-18 receptor. The receptor itself is formed from a dimer of two subunits, with the ligand-binding IL-18Rα subunit being encoded by the IL18R1 gene. A splice variant of murine IL18r1, which has been previously described, is formed by transcription of an unspliced intron (forming a ‘type II’ IL18r1 transcript and is predicted to encode a receptor with a truncated intracellular domain lacking the capacity to generate downstream signalling. In order to examine the relevance of this finding to human IL-18 function, we assessed the presence of a homologous transcript by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR in the human and rat as another common laboratory animal. We present evidence for type II IL18R1 transcripts in both species. While the mouse and rat transcripts are predicted to encode a truncated receptor with a novel 5 amino acid C-terminal domain, the human sequence is predicted to encode a truncated protein with a novel 22 amino acid sequence bearing resemblance to the ‘Box 1’ motif of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR domain, in a similar fashion to the inhibitory interleukin-1 receptor 2. Given that transcripts from these three species are all formed by inclusion of homologous unspliced intronic regions, an analysis of homologous introns across a wider array of 33 species with available IL18R1 gene records was performed, which suggests similar transcripts may encode truncated type II IL-18Rα subunits in other species. This splice variant may represent a conserved evolutionary mechanism for regulating IL-18 activity.

  14. Evolutionary Aesthetics and Print Advertising

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Luczaj

    2015-06-01

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

  15. RNA interference: a new strategy in the evolutionary arms race between human control strategies and insect pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Vilmar; Rodríguez-García, María Juliana; Sánchez-García, Francisco Javier; Galan, Jose

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between humans and the insect pests of cultivated plants may be considered to be an indirect coevolutionary process, i.e., an arms race. Over time, humans have developed several strategies to minimize the negative impacts of insects on agricultural production. However, insects have made adaptive responses via the evolution of resistance to insecticides, and more recently against Bacillus thuriengiensis. Thus, we need to continuously invest resources in the development of new strategies for crop protection. Recent advances in genomics have demonstrated the possibility of a new weapon or strategy in this war, i.e., gene silencing, which involves blocking the expression of specific genes via mRNA inactivation. In the last decade, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this strategy in the control of different species of insects. However, several technical difficulties need to be overcome to transform this potential into reality, such as the selection of target genes, the concentration of dsRNA, the nucleotide sequence of the dsRNA, the length of dsRNA, persistence in the insect body, and the life stage of the target species where gene silencing is most efficient. This study analyzes several aspects related to the use of gene silencing in pest control and it includes an overview of the inactivation process, as well as the problems that need to be resolved to transform gene silencing into an effective pest control method.

  16. Visualizing phylogenetic tree landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilgenbusch, James C; Huang, Wen; Gallivan, Kyle A

    2017-02-02

    Genomic-scale sequence alignments are increasingly used to infer phylogenies in order to better understand the processes and patterns of evolution. Different partitions within these new alignments (e.g., genes, codon positions, and structural features) often favor hundreds if not thousands of competing phylogenies. Summarizing and comparing phylogenies obtained from multi-source data sets using current consensus tree methods discards valuable information and can disguise potential methodological problems. Discovery of efficient and accurate dimensionality reduction methods used to display at once in 2- or 3- dimensions the relationship among these competing phylogenies will help practitioners diagnose the limits of current evolutionary models and potential problems with phylogenetic reconstruction methods when analyzing large multi-source data sets. We introduce several dimensionality reduction methods to visualize in 2- and 3-dimensions the relationship among competing phylogenies obtained from gene partitions found in three mid- to large-size mitochondrial genome alignments. We test the performance of these dimensionality reduction methods by applying several goodness-of-fit measures. The intrinsic dimensionality of each data set is also estimated to determine whether projections in 2- and 3-dimensions can be expected to reveal meaningful relationships among trees from different data partitions. Several new approaches to aid in the comparison of different phylogenetic landscapes are presented. Curvilinear Components Analysis (CCA) and a stochastic gradient decent (SGD) optimization method give the best representation of the original tree-to-tree distance matrix for each of the three- mitochondrial genome alignments and greatly outperformed the method currently used to visualize tree landscapes. The CCA + SGD method converged at least as fast as previously applied methods for visualizing tree landscapes. We demonstrate for all three mtDNA alignments that 3D

  17. The odyssey of a young gene: structure-function studies in human glutamate dehydrogenases reveal evolutionary-acquired complex allosteric regulation mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaganas, Ioannis V; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Borompokas, Nikolas; Arianoglou, Giovanna; Dimovasili, Christina; Latsoudis, Helen; Vlassi, Metaxia; Mastorodemos, Vasileios

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) catalyzes the reversible inter-conversion of glutamate to α-ketoglutarate and ammonia, interconnecting carbon skeleton and nitrogen metabolism. In addition, it functions as an energy switch by its ability to fuel the Krebs cycle depending on the energy status of the cell. As GDH lies at the intersection of several metabolic pathways, its activity is tightly regulated by several allosteric compounds that are metabolic intermediates. In contrast to other mammals that have a single GDH-encoding gene, humans and great apes possess two isoforms of GDH (hGDH1 and hGDH2, encoded by the GLUD1 and GLUD2 genes, respectively) with distinct regulation pattern, but remarkable sequence similarity (they differ, in their mature form, in only 15 of their 505 amino-acids). The GLUD2 gene is considered a very young gene, emerging from the GLUD1 gene through retro-position only recently (<23 million years ago). The new hGDH2 iso-enzyme, through random mutations and natural selection, is thought to have conferred an evolutionary advantage that helped its persistence through primate evolution. The properties of the two highly homologous human GDHs have been studied using purified recombinant hGDH1 and hGDH2 proteins obtained by expression of the corresponding cDNAs in Sf21 cells. According to these studies, in contrast to hGDH1 that maintains basal activity at 35-40 % of its maximal, hGDH2 displays low basal activity that is highly responsive to activation by rising levels of ADP and/or L-leucine which can also act synergistically. While hGDH1 is inhibited potently by GTP, hGDH2 shows remarkable GTP resistance. Furthermore, the two iso-enzymes are differentially inhibited by estrogens, polyamines and neuroleptics, and also differ in heat-lability. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie these different regulation patterns of the two iso-enzymes (and consequently the evolutionary adaptation of hGDH2 to a new functional role), we have

  18. Identifying the rooted species tree from the distribution of unrooted gene trees under the coalescent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allman, Elizabeth S; Degnan, James H; Rhodes, John A

    2011-06-01

    Gene trees are evolutionary trees representing the ancestry of genes sampled from multiple populations. Species trees represent populations of individuals-each with many genes-splitting into new populations or species. The coalescent process, which models ancestry of gene copies within populations, is often used to model the probability distribution of gene trees given a fixed species tree. This multispecies coalescent model provides a framework for phylogeneticists to infer species trees from gene trees using maximum likelihood or Bayesian approaches. Because the coalescent models a branching process over time, all trees are typically assumed to be rooted in this setting. Often, however, gene trees inferred by traditional phylogenetic methods are unrooted. We investigate probabilities of unrooted gene trees under the multispecies coalescent model. We show that when there are four species with one gene sampled per species, the distribution of unrooted gene tree topologies identifies the unrooted species tree topology and some, but not all, information in the species tree edges (branch lengths). The location of the root on the species tree is not identifiable in this situation. However, for 5 or more species with one gene sampled per species, we show that the distribution of unrooted gene tree topologies identifies the rooted species tree topology and all its internal branch lengths. The length of any pendant branch leading to a leaf of the species tree is also identifiable for any species from which more than one gene is sampled.

  19. Decision tree analysis as a supplementary tool to enhance histomorphological differentiation when distinguishing human from non-human cranial bone in both burnt and unburnt states: A feasibility study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, T; Goodburn, B; Singhrao, S K

    2016-01-01

    This feasibility study was undertaken to describe and record the histological characteristics of burnt and unburnt cranial bone fragments from human and non-human bones. Reference series of fully mineralized, transverse sections of cranial bone, from all variables and specimen states, were prepared by manual cutting and semi-automated grinding and polishing methods. A photomicrograph catalogue reflecting differences in burnt and unburnt bone from human and non-humans was recorded and qualitative analysis was performed using an established classification system based on primary bone characteristics. The histomorphology associated with human and non-human samples was, for the main part, preserved following burning at high temperature. Clearly, fibro-lamellar complex tissue subtypes, such as plexiform or laminar primary bone, were only present in non-human bones. A decision tree analysis based on histological features provided a definitive identification key for distinguishing human from non-human bone, with an accuracy of 100%. The decision tree for samples where burning was unknown was 96% accurate, and multi-step classification to taxon was possible with 100% accuracy. The results of this feasibility study strongly suggest that histology remains a viable alternative technique if fragments of cranial bone require forensic examination in both burnt and unburnt states. The decision tree analysis may provide an additional but vital tool to enhance data interpretation. Further studies are needed to assess variation in histomorphology taking into account other cranial bones, ontogeny, species and burning conditions. © The Author(s) 2015.

  20. Research traditions and evolutionary explanations in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier

    2011-02-01

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

  1. Human Influences on Tree Diversity and Composition of a Coastal Forest Ecosystem: The Case of Ngumburuni Forest Reserve, Rufiji, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kimaro

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on the findings of an ecological survey conducted in Ngumburuni Forest Reserve, a biodiversity rich forest reserve within the coastal forests of Tanzania. The main goal of this study was to determine the influence of uncontrolled anthropogenic activities on tree species diversity and composition within the forest ecosystem. It was revealed that economic activities including logging, charcoaling, and shifting cultivation were the most important disturbing activities affecting ecological functioning and biodiversity integrity of the forest. Further to this, we noted that the values of species diversity, composition, and regeneration potential within the undisturbed forest areas were significantly different from those in heavily disturbed areas. These observations confirm that the ongoing human activities have already caused size quality degradation of useful plants, enhanced species diversification impacts to the forest ecosystem, and possibly negatively affected the livelihoods of the adjacent local communities. Despite these disturbances, Ngumburuni forest reserve still holds important proportions of both endemic and threatened animal and plant species. The study suggests urgent implementation of several conservation measures in order to limit accessibility to the forest resources so as to safeguard the richness and abundance of useful biodiversity stocks in the reserve.

  2. An evolutionary conserved region (ECR in the human dopamine receptor D4 gene supports reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from the rat cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detecting functional variants contributing to diversity of behaviour is crucial for dissecting genetics of complex behaviours. At a molecular level, characterisation of variation in exons has been studied as they are easily identified in the current genome annotation although the functional consequences are less well understood; however, it has been difficult to prioritise regions of non-coding DNA in which genetic variation could also have significant functional consequences. Comparison of multiple vertebrate genomes has allowed the identification of non-coding evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs, in which the degree of conservation can be comparable with exonic regions suggesting functional significance. Results We identified ECRs at the dopamine receptor D4 gene locus, an important gene for human behaviours. The most conserved non-coding ECR (D4ECR1 supported high reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from neonate rat frontal cortex. Computer aided analysis of the sequence of the D4ECR1 indicated the potential transcription factors that could modulate its function. D4ECR1 contained multiple consensus sequences for binding the transcription factor Sp1, a factor previously implicated in DRD4 expression. Co-transfection experiments demonstrated that overexpression of Sp1 significantly decreased the activity of the D4ECR1 in vitro. Conclusion Bioinformatic analysis complemented by functional analysis of the DRD4 gene locus has identified a a strong enhancer that functions in neurons and b a transcription factor that may modulate the function of that enhancer.

  3. Sex differences in motor and cognitive abilities predicted from human evolutionary history with some implications for models of the visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Geoff

    2013-01-01

    This article expands the knowledge base available to sex researchers by reviewing recent evidence for sex differences in coincidence-anticipation timing (CAT), motor control with the hand and arm, and visual processing of stimuli in near and far space. In CAT, the differences are between sex and, therefore, typical of other widely reported sex differences. Men perform CAT tasks with greater accuracy and precision than women, who tend to underestimate time to arrival. Null findings arise because significant sex differences are found with easy but not with difficult tasks. The differences in motor control and visual processing are within sex, and they underlie reciprocal patterns of performance in women and men. Motor control is exerted better by women with the hand than the arm. In contrast, men showed the reverse pattern. Visual processing is performed better by women with stimuli within hand reach (near space) as opposed to beyond hand reach (far space); men showed the reverse pattern. The sex differences seen in each of these three abilities are consistent with the evolutionary selection of men for hunting-related skills and women for gathering-related skills. The implications of the sex differences in visual processing for two visual system models of human vision are discussed.

  4. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Adaptive consequences of human-mediated introgression for indigenous tree species: the case of a relict Pinus pinaster population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Valiente, José Alberto; Robledo-Arnuncio, Juan José

    2014-12-01

    Human-induced gene movement via afforestation and restoration programs is a widespread phenomenon throughout the world. However, its effects on the genetic composition of native populations have received relatively little attention, particularly in forest trees. Here, we examine to what extent gene flow from allochthonous plantations of Pinus pinaster Aiton impacts offspring performance in a neighboring relict natural population and discuss the potential consequences for the long-term genetic composition of the latter. Specifically, we conducted a greenhouse experiment involving two contrasting watering treatments to test for differences in a set of functional traits and mortality rates between P. pinaster progenies from three different parental origins: (i) local native parents, (ii) exotic parents and (iii) intercrosses between local mothers and exotic fathers (intraspecific hybrids). Our results showed differences among crosses in cumulative mortality over time: seedlings of exotic parents exhibited the lowest mortality rates and seedlings of local origin the highest, while intraspecific hybrids exhibited an intermediate response. Linear regressions showed that seedlings with higher water-use efficiency (WUE, δ(13)C) were more likely to survive under drought stress, consistent with previous findings suggesting that WUE has an important role under dry conditions in this species. However, differences in mortality among crosses were only partially explained by WUE. Other non-measured traits and factors such as inbreeding depression in the relict population are more likely to explain the lower performance of native progenies. Overall, our results indicated that intraspecific hybrids and exotic individuals are more likely to survive under stressful conditions than local native individuals, at least during the first year of development. Since summer drought is the most important demographic and selective filter affecting tree establishment in Mediterranean ecosystems

  6. Evolutionary and network analysis of virus sequences from infants infected with an Australian recombinant strain of human parechovirus type 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandersen, Soren; Nelson, Tiffanie M; Hodge, Jason; Druce, Julian

    2017-06-20

    We present the near complete virus genome sequences with phylogenetic and network analyses of potential transmission networks of a total of 18 Australian cases of human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) infection in infants in the period from 2012-2015. Overall the results support our previous finding that the Australian outbreak strain/lineage is a result of a major recombination event that took place between March 2012 and November 2013 followed by further virus evolution and possibly recombination. While the nonstructural coding region of unknown provenance appears to evolve significantly both at the nucleotide and amino acid level, the capsid encoding region derived from the Yamagata 2011 lineage of HPeV3 appears to be very stable, particularly at the amino acid level. The phylogenetic and network analyses performed support a temporal evolution from the first Australian recombinant virus sequence from November 2013 to March/April 2014, onto the 2015 outbreak. The 2015 outbreak samples fall into two separate clusters with a possible common ancestor between March/April 2014 and September 2015, with each cluster further evolving in the period from September to November/December 2015.

  7. The genetics of human running: ACTN3 polymorphism as an evolutionary tool improving the energy economy during locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqua, Leonardo A; Bueno, Salomão; Matsuda, Monique; Marquezini, Mônica V; Lima-Silva, Adriano E; Saldiva, Paulo H N; Bertuzzi, Rômulo

    2016-05-01

    Covering long distances was an important trait to human evolution and continues to be highlighted for health and athletic status. This ability is benefitted by a low cost of locomotion (CoL), meaning that the individuals who are able to expend less energy would be able to cover longer distances. The CoL has been shown to be influenced by distinct and even 'opposite' factors, such as physiological and muscular characteristics, which are genetically inherited. In this way, DNA alterations could be important determinants of the characteristics associated with the CoL. A polymorphism in the ACTN3 gene (R577X) has been related to physical performance, associating the X allele with endurance and the R allele with strength/power abilities. To investigate the influence of ACTN3 genotypes on the CoL. One hundred and fifty healthy male individuals performed two constant speed tests (at 10 and 12 km/h) to determine the CoL. Interestingly, the results showed that heterozygous individuals (RX genotype) presented significantly lower CoL compared to RR and XX individuals. It is argued that RX genotype might generate an intermediate strength-to-endurance phenotype, leading to a better phenotypic profile for energy economy during running and, consequently, for long-term locomotion.

  8. Using tree diversity to compare phylogenetic heuristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sul, Seung-Jin; Matthews, Suzanne; Williams, Tiffani L

    2009-04-29

    Evolutionary trees are family trees that represent the relationships between a group of organisms. Phylogenetic heuristics are used to search stochastically for the best-scoring trees in tree space. Given that better tree scores are believed to be better approximations of the true phylogeny, traditional evaluation techniques have used tree scores to determine the heuristics that find the best scores in the fastest time. We develop new techniques to evaluate phylogenetic heuristics based on both tree scores and topologies to compare Pauprat and Rec-I-DCM3, two popular Maximum Parsimony search algorithms. Our results show that although Pauprat and Rec-I-DCM3 find the trees with the same best scores, topologically these trees are quite different. Furthermore, the Rec-I-DCM3 trees cluster distinctly from the Pauprat trees. In addition to our heatmap visualizations of using parsimony scores and the Robinson-Foulds distance to compare best-scoring trees found by the two heuristics, we also develop entropy-based methods to show the diversity of the trees found. Overall, Pauprat identifies more diverse trees than Rec-I-DCM3. Overall, our work shows that there is value to comparing heuristics beyond the parsimony scores that they find. Pauprat is a slower heuristic than Rec-I-DCM3. However, our work shows that there is tremendous value in using Pauprat to reconstruct trees-especially since it finds identical scoring but topologically distinct trees. Hence, instead of discounting Pauprat, effort should go in improving its implementation. Ultimately, improved performance measures lead to better phylogenetic heuristics and will result in better approximations of the true evolutionary history of the organisms of interest.

  9. From where to what: a neuroanatomically based evolutionary model of the emergence of speech in humans [version 2; referees: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oren Poliva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the brain of primates, the auditory cortex connects with the frontal lobe via the temporal pole (auditory ventral stream; AVS and via the inferior parietal lobe (auditory dorsal stream; ADS. The AVS is responsible for sound recognition, and the ADS for sound-localization, voice detection and integration of calls with faces. I propose that the primary role of the ADS in non-human primates is the detection and response to contact calls. These calls are exchanged between tribe members (e.g., mother-offspring and are used for monitoring location. Detection of contact calls occurs by the ADS identifying a voice, localizing it, and verifying that the corresponding face is out of sight. Once a contact call is detected, the primate produces a contact call in return via descending connections from the frontal lobe to a network of limbic and brainstem regions. Because the ADS of present day humans also performs speech production, I further propose an evolutionary course for the transition from contact call exchange to an early form of speech. In accordance with this model, structural changes to the ADS endowed early members of the genus Homo with partial vocal control. This development was beneficial as it enabled offspring to modify their contact calls with intonations for signaling high or low levels of distress to their mother. Eventually, individuals were capable of participating in yes-no question-answer conversations. In these conversations the offspring emitted a low-level distress call for inquiring about the safety of objects (e.g., food, and his/her mother responded with a high- or low-level distress call to signal approval or disapproval of the interaction. Gradually, the ADS and its connections with brainstem motor regions became more robust and vocal control became more volitional. Speech emerged once vocal control was sufficient for inventing novel calls.

  10. From where to what: a neuroanatomically based evolutionary model of the emergence of speech in humans [version 3; referees: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oren Poliva

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In the brain of primates, the auditory cortex connects with the frontal lobe via the temporal pole (auditory ventral stream; AVS and via the inferior parietal lobe (auditory dorsal stream; ADS. The AVS is responsible for sound recognition, and the ADS for sound-localization, voice detection and integration of calls with faces. I propose that the primary role of the ADS in non-human primates is the detection and response to contact calls. These calls are exchanged between tribe members (e.g., mother-offspring and are used for monitoring location. Detection of contact calls occurs by the ADS identifying a voice, localizing it, and verifying that the corresponding face is out of sight. Once a contact call is detected, the primate produces a contact call in return via descending connections from the frontal lobe to a network of limbic and brainstem regions. Because the ADS of present day humans also performs speech production, I further propose an evolutionary course for the transition from contact call exchange to an early form of speech. In accordance with this model, structural changes to the ADS endowed early members of the genus Homo with partial vocal control. This development was beneficial as it enabled offspring to modify their contact calls with intonations for signaling high or low levels of distress to their mother. Eventually, individuals were capable of participating in yes-no question-answer conversations. In these conversations the offspring emitted a low-level distress call for inquiring about the safety of objects (e.g., food, and his/her mother responded with a high- or low-level distress call to signal approval or disapproval of the interaction. Gradually, the ADS and its connections with brainstem motor regions became more robust and vocal control became more volitional. Speech emerged once vocal control was sufficient for inventing novel calls.

  11. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  12. Gender Inequality in Interaction--An Evolutionary Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopcroft, Rosemary L.

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Temporal knowledge and autobiographical memory: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Skowronski, John J.; Sedikides, Constantine

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Review of cause-based decision tree approach for the development of domestic standard human reliability analysis procedure in low power/shutdown operation probabilistic safety assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, D. I.; Jung, W. D.

    2003-01-01

    We review the Cause-Based Decision Tree (CBDT) approach to decide whether we incorporate it or not for the development of domestic standard Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) procedure in low power/shutdown operation Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA). In this paper, we introduce the cause based decision tree approach, quantify human errors using it, and identify merits and demerits of it in comparision with previously used THERP. The review results show that it is difficult to incorporate the CBDT method for the development of domestic standard HRA procedure in low power/shutdown PSA because the CBDT method need for the subjective judgment of HRA analyst like as THERP. However, it is expected that the incorporation of the CBDT method into the development of domestic standard HRA procedure only for the comparision of quantitative HRA results will relieve the burden of development of detailed HRA procedure and will help maintain consistent quantitative HRA results

  15. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex Colebr. (Indian Frankincense tree) of Burseraceae is a large-sized deciduous tree that is native to India. Bark is thin, greenish-ash-coloured that exfoliates into smooth papery flakes. Stem exudes pinkish resin ... Fruit is a three-valved capsule. A green gum-resin exudes from the ...

  16. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Flowering Trees. Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. (INDIAN TREE OF. HEAVEN) of Simaroubaceae is a lofty tree with large pinnately compound alternate leaves, which are ... inflorescences, unisexual and greenish-yellow. Fruits are winged, wings many-nerved. Wood is used in making match sticks. 1. Male flower; 2. Female flower.

  17. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Gyrocarpus americanus Jacq. (Helicopter Tree) of Hernandiaceae is a moderate size deciduous tree that grows to about 12 m in height with a smooth, shining, greenish-white bark. The leaves are ovate, rarely irregularly ... flowers which are unpleasant smelling. Fruit is a woody nut with two long thin wings.

  18. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 8 August 2003 pp 112-112 Flowering Trees. Zizyphus jujuba Lam. of Rhamnaceae · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 9 September 2003 pp 97-97 Flowering Trees. Moringa oleifera · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 10 October 2003 pp 100-100 Flowering Trees.

  19. The evolutionary rate dynamically tracks changes in HIV-1 epidemics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maljkovic-berry, Irina [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Athreya, Gayathri [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Daniels, Marcus [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bruno, William [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Korber, Bette [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kuiken, Carla [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ribeiro, Ruy M [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Large-sequence datasets provide an opportunity to investigate the dynamics of pathogen epidemics. Thus, a fast method to estimate the evolutionary rate from large and numerous phylogenetic trees becomes necessary. Based on minimizing tip height variances, we optimize the root in a given phylogenetic tree to estimate the most homogenous evolutionary rate between samples from at least two different time points. Simulations showed that the method had no bias in the estimation of evolutionary rates and that it was robust to tree rooting and topological errors. We show that the evolutionary rates of HIV-1 subtype B and C epidemics have changed over time, with the rate of evolution inversely correlated to the rate of virus spread. For subtype B, the evolutionary rate slowed down and tracked the start of the HAART era in 1996. Subtype C in Ethiopia showed an increase in the evolutionary rate when the prevalence increase markedly slowed down in 1995. Thus, we show that the evolutionary rate of HIV-1 on the population level dynamically tracks epidemic events.

  20. Undergraduate Students’ Difficulties in Reading and Constructing Phylogenetic Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'adah, S.; Tapilouw, F. S.; Hidayat, T.

    2017-02-01

    Representation is a very important communication tool to communicate scientific concepts. Biologists produce phylogenetic representation to express their understanding of evolutionary relationships. The phylogenetic tree is visual representation depict a hypothesis about the evolutionary relationship and widely used in the biological sciences. Phylogenetic tree currently growing for many disciplines in biology. Consequently, learning about phylogenetic tree become an important part of biological education and an interesting area for biology education research. However, research showed many students often struggle with interpreting the information that phylogenetic trees depict. The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate students’ difficulties in reading and constructing a phylogenetic tree. The method of this study is a descriptive method. In this study, we used questionnaires, interviews, multiple choice and open-ended questions, reflective journals and observations. The findings showed students experiencing difficulties, especially in constructing a phylogenetic tree. The students’ responds indicated that main reasons for difficulties in constructing a phylogenetic tree are difficult to placing taxa in a phylogenetic tree based on the data provided so that the phylogenetic tree constructed does not describe the actual evolutionary relationship (incorrect relatedness). Students also have difficulties in determining the sister group, character synapomorphy, autapomorphy from data provided (character table) and comparing among phylogenetic tree. According to them building the phylogenetic tree is more difficult than reading the phylogenetic tree. Finding this studies provide information to undergraduate instructor and students to overcome learning difficulties of reading and constructing phylogenetic tree.

  1. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  2. ExpTreeDB: web-based query and visualization of manually annotated gene expression profiling experiments of human and mouse from GEO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Ming; Ye, Fuqiang; Zhu, Juanjuan; Li, Zongwei; Yang, Shuai; Yang, Bite; Han, Lu; Wu, Yongge; Chen, Ying; Li, Fei; Wang, Shengqi; Bo, Xiaochen

    2014-12-01

    Numerous public microarray datasets are valuable resources for the scientific communities. Several online tools have made great steps to use these data by querying related datasets with users' own gene signatures or expression profiles. However, dataset annotation and result exhibition still need to be improved. ExpTreeDB is a database that allows for queries on human and mouse microarray experiments from Gene Expression Omnibus with gene signatures or profiles. Compared with similar applications, ExpTreeDB pays more attention to dataset annotations and result visualization. We introduced a multiple-level annotation system to depict and organize original experiments. For example, a tamoxifen-treated cell line experiment is hierarchically annotated as 'agent→drug→estrogen receptor antagonist→tamoxifen'. Consequently, retrieved results are exhibited by an interactive tree-structured graphics, which provide an overview for related experiments and might enlighten users on key items of interest. The database is freely available at http://biotech.bmi.ac.cn/ExpTreeDB. Web site is implemented in Perl, PHP, R, MySQL and Apache. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Evolutionary relevance facilitates visual information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Russell E; Calvillo, Dusti P

    2013-11-03

    Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  4. Evolutionary Relevance Facilitates Visual Information Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell E. Jackson

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  5. Chapter 2. Fasciola, lymnaeids and human fascioliasis, with a global overview on disease transmission, epidemiology, evolutionary genetics, molecular epidemiology and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mas-Coma, Santiago; Valero, María Adela; Bargues, María Dolores

    2009-01-01

    Fascioliasis, caused by liver fluke species of the genus Fasciola, has always been well recognized because of its high veterinary impact but it has been among the most neglected diseases for decades with regard to human infection. However, the increasing importance of human fascioliasis worldwide has re-launched interest in fascioliasis. From the 1990s, many new concepts have been developed regarding human fascioliasis and these have furnished a new baseline for the human disease that is very different to a simple extrapolation from fascioliasis in livestock. Studies have shown that human fascioliasis presents marked heterogeneity, including different epidemiological situations and transmission patterns in different endemic areas. This heterogeneity, added to the present emergence/re-emergence of the disease both in humans and animals in many regions, confirms a worrying global scenario. The huge negative impact of fascioliasis on human communities demands rapid action. When analyzing how better to define control measures for endemic areas differing at such a level, it would be useful to have genetic markers that could distinguish each type of transmission pattern and epidemiological situation. Accordingly, this chapter covers aspects of aetiology, geographical distribution, epidemiology, transmission and control in order to obtain a solid baseline for the interpretation of future results. The origins and geographical spread of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in both the ruminant pre-domestication times and the livestock post-domestication period are analyzed. Paleontological, archaeological and historical records, as well as genetic data on recent dispersal of livestock species, are taken into account to establish an evolutionary framework for the two fasciolids across all continents. Emphasis is given to the distributional overlap of both species and the roles of transportation, transhumance and trade in the different overlap situations. Areas with only one Fasciola

  6. SILVA tree viewer: interactive web browsing of the SILVA phylogenetic guide trees

    OpenAIRE

    Beccati, Alan; Gerken, Jan; Quast, Christian; Yilmaz, Pelin; Glöckner, Frank Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic trees are an important tool to study the evolutionary relationships among organisms. The huge amount of available taxa poses difficulties in their interactive visualization. This hampers the interaction with the users to provide feedback for the further improvement of the taxonomic framework. Results The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application designed for visualizing large phylogenetic trees without requiring the download of any software tool or data files. The SILVA T...

  7. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees [3]. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  8. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  9. iPhos-PseEvo: Identifying Human Phosphorylated Proteins by Incorporating Evolutionary Information into General PseAAC via Grey System Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wang-Ren; Sun, Bi-Qian; Xiao, Xuan; Xu, Dong; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2017-05-01

    Protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in human body by altering the structural conformation of a protein, causing it to become activated/deactivated, or functional modification. Given an uncharacterized protein sequence, can we predict whether it may be phosphorylated or may not? This is no doubt a very meaningful problem for both basic research and drug development. Unfortunately, to our best knowledge, so far no high throughput bioinformatics tool whatsoever has been developed to address such a very basic but important problem due to its extremely complexity and lacking sufficient training data. Here we proposed a predictor called iPhos-PseEvo by (1) incorporating the protein sequence evolutionary information into the general pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC) via the grey system theory, (2) balancing out the skewed training datasets by the asymmetric bootstrap approach, and (3) constructing an ensemble predictor by fusing an array of individual random forest classifiers thru a voting system. Rigorous jackknife tests have indicated that very promising success rates have been achieved by iPhos-PseEvo even for such a difficult problem. A user-friendly web-server for iPhos-PseEvo has been established at http://www.jci-bioinfo.cn/iPhos-PseEvo, by which users can easily obtain their desired results without the need to go through the complicated mathematical equations involved. It has not escaped our notice that the formulation and approach presented here can be used to analyze many other problems in protein science as well. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. The ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindenmayer, David B; Laurance, William F

    2017-08-01

    Large old trees are some of the most iconic biota on earth and are integral parts of many terrestrial ecosystems including those in tropical, temperate and boreal forests, deserts, savannas, agro-ecological areas, and urban environments. In this review, we provide new insights into the ecology, function, evolution and management of large old trees through broad cross-disciplinary perspectives from literatures in plant physiology, growth and development, evolution, habitat value for fauna and flora, and conservation management. Our review reveals that the diameter, height and longevity of large old trees varies greatly on an inter-specific basis, thereby creating serious challenges in defining large old trees and demanding an ecosystem- and species-specific definition that will only rarely be readily transferable to other species or ecosystems. Such variation is also manifested by marked inter-specific differences in the key attributes of large old trees (beyond diameter and height) such as the extent of buttressing, canopy architecture, the extent of bark micro-environments and the prevalence of cavities. We found that large old trees play an extraordinary range of critical ecological roles including in hydrological regimes, nutrient cycles and numerous ecosystem processes. Large old trees strongly influence the spatial and temporal distribution and abundance of individuals of the same species and populations of numerous other plant and animal species. We suggest many key characteristics of large old trees such as extreme height, prolonged lifespans, and the presence of cavities - which confer competitive and evolutionary advantages in undisturbed environments - can render such trees highly susceptible to a range of human influences. Large old trees are vulnerable to threats ranging from droughts, fire, pests and pathogens, to logging, land clearing, landscape fragmentation and climate change. Tackling such diverse threats is challenging because they often

  11. An Evolutionary Perspective on War Heroism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusch, Hannes; Störmer, C.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Toward an evolutionary-predictive foundation for creativity : Commentary on "Human creativity, evolutionary algorithms, and predictive representations: The mechanics of thought trials" by Arne Dietrich and Hilde Haider, 2014 (Accepted pending minor revisions for publication in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabora, Liane; Kauffman, Stuart

    2016-04-01

    Dietrich and Haider (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21 (5), 897-915, 2014) justify their integrative framework for creativity founded on evolutionary theory and prediction research on the grounds that "theories and approaches guiding empirical research on creativity have not been supported by the neuroimaging evidence." Although this justification is controversial, the general direction holds promise. This commentary clarifies points of disagreement and unresolved issues, and addresses mis-applications of evolutionary theory that lead the authors to adopt a Darwinian (versus Lamarckian) approach. To say that creativity is Darwinian is not to say that it consists of variation plus selection - in the everyday sense of the term - as the authors imply; it is to say that evolution is occurring because selection is affecting the distribution of randomly generated heritable variation across generations. In creative thought the distribution of variants is not key, i.e., one is not inclined toward idea A because 60 % of one's candidate ideas are variants of A while only 40 % are variants of B; one is inclined toward whichever seems best. The authors concede that creative variation is partly directed; however, the greater the extent to which variants are generated non-randomly, the greater the extent to which the distribution of variants can reflect not selection but the initial generation bias. Since each thought in a creative process can alter the selective criteria against which the next is evaluated, there is no demarcation into generations as assumed in a Darwinian model. We address the authors' claim that reduced variability and individuality are more characteristic of Lamarckism than Darwinian evolution, and note that a Lamarckian approach to creativity has addressed the challenge of modeling the emergent features associated with insight.

  13. Phylogenetic impoverishment of Amazonian tree communities in an experimentally fragmented forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Bráulio A; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Melo, Felipe P L; Camargo, José L C; Andrade, Ana; Laurance, Susan G; Laurance, William F

    2014-01-01

    Amazonian rainforests sustain some of the richest tree communities on Earth, but their ecological and evolutionary responses to human threats remain poorly known. We used one of the largest experimental datasets currently available on tree dynamics in fragmented tropical forests and a recent phylogeny of angiosperms to test whether tree communities have lost phylogenetic diversity since their isolation about two decades previously. Our findings revealed an overall trend toward phylogenetic impoverishment across the experimentally fragmented landscape, irrespective of whether tree communities were in 1-ha, 10-ha, or 100-ha forest fragments, near forest edges, or in continuous forest. The magnitude of the phylogenetic diversity loss was low (phylogenetic diversity, we observed a significant decrease of 50% in phylogenetic dispersion since forest isolation, irrespective of plot location. Analyses based on tree genera that have significantly increased (28 genera) or declined (31 genera) in abundance and basal area in the landscape revealed that increasing genera are more phylogenetically related than decreasing ones. Also, the loss of phylogenetic diversity was greater in tree communities where increasing genera proliferated and decreasing genera reduced their importance values, suggesting that this taxonomic replacement is partially underlying the phylogenetic impoverishment at the landscape scale. This finding has clear implications for the current debate about the role human-modified landscapes play in sustaining biodiversity persistence and key ecosystem services, such as carbon storage. Although the generalization of our findings to other fragmented tropical forests is uncertain, it could negatively affect ecosystem productivity and stability and have broader impacts on coevolved organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

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

  15. Role of Geologic Framework, Paleotopography, Sediment Supply, and Human Modification in the Evolutionary Development of the Northeastern North Carolina Barrier Island System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, S. R.; Thieler, E. R.; Mallinson, D. A.; Culver, S. J.; Corbett, D. R.; Hoffman, C. W.

    2002-12-01

    The NE North Carolina coastal system contains an exceptionally thick and well preserved Quaternary stratigraphic record that is the focus of a five-year Cooperative Coastal Geology Program between the USGS, several academic institutions, and state agencies. The major goal is to map this Quaternary section on the inner continental shelf, Outer Banks barrier islands, Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system, and adjacent land areas. The program objectives are to define the geologic framework, develop the detailed evolutionary history, and understand the ongoing process dynamics driving this large, complex, and rapidly changing, high-energy coastal system. Preliminary data synthesis demonstrates that the major controls dictating the present health and future evolution of this coastal system include the following. 1) The regional late Pleistocene morphology constitutes the underlying geologic framework that the Holocene system has inherited. 2) The controlling paleotopography is a series of lowstand drainage basins consisting of trunk and tributary streams and associated interstream divides that are being drowned. 3) Three major sediment sources dictate the highly variable sand resources available to specific barrier segments and include riverine channel and deltaic deposits associated with lowstand trunk streams, the large cross-shelf cape shoal sand deposits, and sand-rich units occurring within the adjacent shoreface and inner-self strata. 4) Wherever large sand supplies have historically been available, the barrier segments occur as complex islands with large sand volumes producing high and wide barriers, whereas barrier segments without adequate sand supplies are sediment starved and occur as simple overwash barriers. 5) Human modification of the barrier islands over the past seven decades represents a major force that has significantly changed the barrier island dynamics and evolution. 6) The Albemarle Embayment appears to have a slightly higher rate of sea-level rise

  16. Context dependent DNA evolutionary models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Ledet

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

  17. Tree Nut Allergies

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Blog Vision Awards Common Allergens Tree Nut Allergy Tree Nut Allergy Learn about tree nut allergy, how ... a Tree Nut Label card . Allergic Reactions to Tree Nuts Tree nuts can cause a severe and ...

  18. Algorithms for Regular Tree Grammar Network Search and Their Application to Mining Human-viral Infection Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smoly, Ilan; Carmel, Amir; Shemer-Avni, Yonat; Yeger-Lotem, Esti; Ziv-Ukelson, Michal

    2016-03-01

    Network querying is a powerful approach to mine molecular interaction networks. Most state-of-the-art network querying tools either confine the search to a prespecified topology in the form of some template subnetwork, or do not specify any topological constraints at all. Another approach is grammar-based queries, which are more flexible and expressive as they allow for expressing the topology of the sought pattern according to some grammar-based logic. Previous grammar-based network querying tools were confined to the identification of paths. In this article, we extend the patterns identified by grammar-based query approaches from paths to trees. For this, we adopt a higher order query descriptor in the form of a regular tree grammar (RTG). We introduce a novel problem and propose an algorithm to search a given graph for the k highest scoring subgraphs matching a tree accepted by an RTG. Our algorithm is based on the combination of dynamic programming with color coding, and includes an extension of previous k-best parsing optimization approaches to avoid isomorphic trees in the output. We implement the new algorithm and exemplify its application to mining viral infection patterns within molecular interaction networks. Our code is available online.

  19. Constructing phylogenetic trees using interacting pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Peng; Che, Dongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are used to represent evolutionary relationships among biological species or organisms. The construction of phylogenetic trees is based on the similarities or differences of their physical or genetic features. Traditional approaches of constructing phylogenetic trees mainly focus on physical features. The recent advancement of high-throughput technologies has led to accumulation of huge amounts of biological data, which in turn changed the way of biological studies in various aspects. In this paper, we report our approach of building phylogenetic trees using the information of interacting pathways. We have applied hierarchical clustering on two domains of organisms-eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Our preliminary results have shown the effectiveness of using the interacting pathways in revealing evolutionary relationships.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    medium-sized handsome tree with a straight bole that branches at the top. Leaves are once pinnate, with two to three pairs of leaflets. Young parts of the tree are velvety. Inflorescence is a branched raceme borne at the branch ends. Flowers are large, white, attractive, and fragrant. Corolla is funnel-shaped. Fruit is an ...

  4. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cassia siamia Lamk. (Siamese tree senna) of Caesalpiniaceae is a small or medium size handsome tree. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound and glandular, upto 18 cm long with 8–12 pairs of leaflets. Inflorescence is axillary or terminal and branched. Flowering lasts for a long period from March to February. Fruit is ...

  5. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Cerbera manghasL. (SEA MANGO) of Apocynaceae is a medium-sized evergreen coastal tree with milky latex. The bark is grey-brown, thick and ... Fruit is large. (5–10 cm long), oval containing two flattened seeds and resembles a mango, hence the name Mangas or. Manghas. Leaves and fruits contain ...

  6. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    user

    Flowering Trees. Gliricidia sepium(Jacq.) Kunta ex Walp. (Quickstick) of Fabaceae is a small deciduous tree with. Pinnately compound leaves. Flower are prroduced in large number in early summer on terminal racemes. They are attractive, pinkish-white and typically like bean flowers. Fruit is a few-seeded flat pod.

  7. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Acrocarpus fraxinifolius Wight & Arn. (PINK CEDAR, AUSTRALIAN ASH) of. Caesalpiniaceae is a lofty unarmed deciduous native tree that attains a height of 30–60m with buttresses. Bark is thin and light grey. Leaves are compound and bright red when young. Flowers in dense, erect, axillary racemes.

  8. Talking Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolman, Marvin

    2005-01-01

    Students love outdoor activities and will love them even more when they build confidence in their tree identification and measurement skills. Through these activities, students will learn to identify the major characteristics of trees and discover how the pace--a nonstandard measuring unit--can be used to estimate not only distances but also the…

  9. Drawing Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halkjær From, Andreas; Schlichtkrull, Anders; Villadsen, Jørgen

    2018-01-01

    We formally prove in Isabelle/HOL two properties of an algorithm for laying out trees visually. The first property states that removing layout annotations recovers the original tree. The second property states that nodes are placed at least a unit of distance apart. We have yet to formalize three...

  10. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srimath

    Grevillea robusta A. Cunn. ex R. Br. (Sil- ver Oak) of Proteaceae is a daintily lacy ornamental tree while young and growing into a mighty tree (45 m). Young shoots are silvery grey and the leaves are fern- like. Flowers are golden-yellow in one- sided racemes (10 cm). Fruit is a boat- shaped, woody follicle.

  11. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    OpenAIRE

    Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud

    2011-01-01

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

  12. In vitro safety assessment of the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.) water leaf extract and arbutin in human peripheral blood lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurica, K; Brčić Karačonji, I; Mikolić, A; Milojković-Opsenica, D; Benković, V; Kopjar, N

    2018-04-25

    Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.) leaves have long been used in the traditional medicine of the Mediterranean region. One of their most bioactive constituents is the glycoside arbutin, whose presence makes A. unedo suitable as a potential substitute for bearberry [Arctostaphylos uva ursi (L.) Spreng] leaves, an herbal preparation widely used for treating urinary tract infections. The safety and biocompatibility of strawberry tree water leaf extract have not yet been documented well. This study estimated arbutin content in strawberry tree water leaf extract (STE) using high performance liquid chromatography. Furthermore, we performed an in vitro safety assessment of the 24 h exposure to three presumably non-toxic concentrations of standardized STE and arbutin in human peripheral blood lymphocytes using the apoptosis/necrosis assay, the alkaline comet assay, and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay. The STE was also tested for total antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation. At a concentration corresponding to the maximum allowable daily intake of arbutin, the tested extract was not cytotoxic, had a negligible potential for causing primary DNA damage and even hindered micronuclei formation in lymphocytes. It also showed a valuable antioxidant capacity, and did not exert marked lipid peroxidation. These promising results represent a solid frame for further development of STE-based herbal preparations. Although arbutin generally had a low DNA damaging potential, the slowing down of lymphocyte proliferation observed after 24 h of exposure points to a cytostatic effect, which merits further research.

  13. Structural Analysis Of CD59 Of Chinese Tree Shrew: A New Reference Molecule For Human Immune System Specific CD59 Drug Discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, Subhamay; Kumari, Leena; Panda, Santamay

    2017-11-17

    Chinese tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) bear several characteristics that are considered to be very crucial for utilizing in animal experimental models in biomedical research. Subsequent to the identification of key aspects and signaling pathways in nervous and immune systems, it is revealed that tree shrews acquires shared common as well as unique characteristics, and hence offers a genetic basis for employing this animal as a prospective model for biomedical research. CD59 glycoprotein, commonly referred to as MAC-inhibitory protein (MAC-IP), membrane inhibitor of reactive lysis (MIRL), or protectin, is encoded by the CD59 gene in human beings. It is the member of the LY6/uPAR/alpha-neurotoxin protein family. With this initial point the objective of this study was to determine a comparative composite based structure of CD59 of Chinese tree shrew. The additional objective of this study was to examine the distribution of negatively and positively charged amino acid over molecular modeled structure, distribution of secondary structural elements, hydrophobicity molecular surface analysis and electrostatic potential analysis with the assistance of several bioinformatical analytical tools. CD59 Amino acid sequence of Chinese tree shrew collected from the online database system of National Centre for Biotechnology Information. SignalP 4.0 online server was employed for detection of signal peptide instance within the protein sequence of CD59. Molecular model structure of CD59 protein was generated by the Iterative Threading ASSEmbly Refinement (I-TASSER) suite. The confirmation for three-dimensional structural model was evaluated by structure validation tools. Location of negatively and positively charged amino acid over molecular modeled structure, distribution of secondary structural elements, and hydrophobicity molecular surface analysis was performed with the help of Chimera tool. Electrostatic potential analysis was carried out with the adaptive Poisson

  14. An Evolutionary Psychology Approach to Consumer Choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZURINA BT MOHAIDIN

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human behaviour can be explained not only through experience and environments but also by incorporating evolutionary explanation. Consumer behaviour could not be understood accurately without infusing Darwinian evolutionary theory which has contributed in the knowledge of human nature. Evolutionary psychology revolves around the human’s evolved mental and the impact on human’s traits and behaviour where the influence of the environment to our genes would determine our individual behaviour and traits, resulting in variation among us. Foraging which is a part of behavioural ecology involves many sequences or repetitions of animals’ activities and decision making which is useful to relate these patterns of activities to the decisions made in human consumption. The aim of this research is to investigate the similarities of human consumption and ecological behaviour by employing interpretative and comparative approach. It is hoped that by applying the evolutionary theory in explaining consumer choice, this study is able to contribute to the development of behavioural ecology in human consumption. The analysis of the data is done aggregately for 200 consumers and individually for 20 consumers, who have purchased four product categories over a year. This study concludes that the theories of evolutionary psychology can fit to the consumers’ buying behaviour implicating its usefulness in explaining the consumers’ choice.

  15. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

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

  16. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

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

  17. Inferring species trees from incongruent multi-copy gene trees using the Robinson-Foulds distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Constructing species trees from multi-copy gene trees remains a challenging problem in phylogenetics. One difficulty is that the underlying genes can be incongruent due to evolutionary processes such as gene duplication and loss, deep coalescence, or lateral gene transfer. Gene tree estimation errors may further exacerbate the difficulties of species tree estimation. Results We present a new approach for inferring species trees from incongruent multi-copy gene trees that is based on a generalization of the Robinson-Foulds (RF) distance measure to multi-labeled trees (mul-trees). We prove that it is NP-hard to compute the RF distance between two mul-trees; however, it is easy to calculate this distance between a mul-tree and a singly-labeled species tree. Motivated by this, we formulate the RF problem for mul-trees (MulRF) as follows: Given a collection of multi-copy gene trees, find a singly-labeled species tree that minimizes the total RF distance from the input mul-trees. We develop and implement a fast SPR-based heuristic algorithm for the NP-hard MulRF problem. We compare the performance of the MulRF method (available at http://genome.cs.iastate.edu/CBL/MulRF/) with several gene tree parsimony approaches using gene tree simulations that incorporate gene tree error, gene duplications and losses, and/or lateral transfer. The MulRF method produces more accurate species trees than gene tree parsimony approaches. We also demonstrate that the MulRF method infers in minutes a credible plant species tree from a collection of nearly 2,000 gene trees. Conclusions Our new phylogenetic inference method, based on a generalized RF distance, makes it possible to quickly estimate species trees from large genomic data sets. Since the MulRF method, unlike gene tree parsimony, is based on a generic tree distance measure, it is appealing for analyses of genomic data sets, in which many processes such as deep coalescence, recombination, gene duplication and losses as

  18. Neurochemical characterization of the tree shrew dorsal striatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MATTHEW W RICE

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The striatum is a major component of the basal ganglia and is associated with motor and cognitive functions. Striatal pathologies have been linked to several disorders, including Huntington's, Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders and schizophrenia. For the study of these striatal pathologies different animal models have been used, including rodents and non-human primates. Rodents lack on morphological complexity (for example, the lack of well defined caudate and putamen nuclei, which makes it difficult to translate data to the human paradigm. Primates, and especially higher primates, are the closest model to humans, but there are ever-increasing restrictions to the use of these animals for research. In our search for a non-primate animal model with a striatum that anatomically (and perhaps functionally can resemble that of humans, we turned our attention to the tree shrew. Evolutionary genetic studies have provided strong data supporting that the tree shrews (Scadentia are one of the closest groups to primates, although their brain anatomy has only been studied in detail for specific brain areas. Morphologically, the tree shrew striatum resembles the primate striatum with the presence of an internal capsule separating the caudate and putamen, but little is known about its neurochemical composition. Here we analyzed the expression of calcium-binding proteins, the presence and distribution of the striosome and matrix compartments (by the use of calbindin, tyrosine hydroxylase and acetylcholinesterase immunohistochemistry, and the GABAergic system by immunohistochemistry against glutamic acid decarboxylase and Golgi impregnation. In summary, our results show that when compared to primates, the tree shrew dorsal striatum presents striking similarities in the distribution of most of the markers studied, while presenting some marked divergences when compared to the rodent striatum.

  19. Phylogenetic trees

    OpenAIRE

    Baños, Hector; Bushek, Nathaniel; Davidson, Ruth; Gross, Elizabeth; Harris, Pamela E.; Krone, Robert; Long, Colby; Stewart, Allen; Walker, Robert

    2016-01-01

    We introduce the package PhylogeneticTrees for Macaulay2 which allows users to compute phylogenetic invariants for group-based tree models. We provide some background information on phylogenetic algebraic geometry and show how the package PhylogeneticTrees can be used to calculate a generating set for a phylogenetic ideal as well as a lower bound for its dimension. Finally, we show how methods within the package can be used to compute a generating set for the join of any two ideals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, Stephen C

    2012-11-07

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

  1. Insights into the Impact of CD8+ Immune Modulation on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Evolutionary Dynamics in Distinct Anatomical Compartments by Using Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Macaque Models of AIDS Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rife Magalis, Brittany; Nolan, David J; Autissier, Patrick; Burdo, Tricia H; Williams, Kenneth C; Salemi, Marco

    2017-12-01

    A thorough understanding of the role of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution in AIDS pathogenesis has been limited by the need for longitudinally sampled viral sequences from the vast target space within the host, which are often difficult to obtain from human subjects. CD8 + lymphocyte-depleted macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) provide an increasingly utilized model of pathogenesis due to clinical manifestations similar to those for HIV-1 infection and AIDS progression, as well as a characteristic rapid disease onset. Comparison of this model with SIV-infected non-CD8 + lymphocyte-depleted macaques also provides a unique opportunity to investigate the role of CD8 + cells in viral evolution and population dynamics throughout the duration of infection. Using several different phylogenetic methods, we analyzed viral gp120 sequences obtained from extensive longitudinal sampling of multiple tissues and enriched leukocyte populations from SIVmac251-infected macaques with or without CD8 + lymphocyte depletion. SIV evolutionary and selection patterns in non-CD8 + lymphocyte-depleted animals were characterized by sequential population turnover and continual viral adaptation, a scenario readily comparable to intrahost evolutionary patterns during human HIV infection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Alternatively, animals that were depleted of CD8 + lymphocytes exhibited greater variation in population dynamics among tissues and cell populations over the course of infection. Our findings highlight the major role for CD8 + lymphocytes in prolonging disease progression through continual control of SIV subpopulations from various anatomical compartments and the potential for greater independent viral evolutionary behavior among these compartments in response to immune modulation. IMPORTANCE Although developments in combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) strategies have successfully prolonged the time to AIDS onset in HIV-1

  2. Electron Tree

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Appelt, Ane L; Rønde, Heidi S

    2013-01-01

    The photo shows a close-up of a Lichtenberg figure – popularly called an “electron tree” – produced in a cylinder of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Electron trees are created by irradiating a suitable insulating material, in this case PMMA, with an intense high energy electron beam. Upon discharge......, during dielectric breakdown in the material, the electrons generate branching chains of fractures on leaving the PMMA, producing the tree pattern seen. To be able to create electron trees with a clinical linear accelerator, one needs to access the primary electron beam used for photon treatments. We...... appropriated a linac that was being decommissioned in our department and dismantled the head to circumvent the target and ion chambers. This is one of 24 electron trees produced before we had to stop the fun and allow the rest of the accelerator to be disassembled....

  3. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srimath

    shaped corolla. Fruit is large, ellipsoidal, green with a hard and smooth shell containing numerous flattened seeds, which are embedded in fleshy pulp. Calabash tree is commonly grown in the tropical gardens of the world as a botanical oddity.

  4. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of horizontal gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boto, Luis

    2015-06-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has, over the past 25 years, become a part of evolutionary thinking. In the present paper I discuss horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in relation to contingency, natural selection, evolutionary change speed and the Tree-of-Life endeavour, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the role of HGT in evolutionary processes. In addition, the challenges that HGT imposes on the current view of evolution are emphasized.

  6. Physiology and Genetics of Tree-Phytophage Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frances Lieutier; William J. Mattson; Michael R. Wagner

    1999-01-01

    Interactions between trees and phytophagous organisms represent an important fundamental process in the evolution of forest ecosystems. Through evolutionary time, the special traits of trees have lead the herbivore populations to differentiate and evolve in order to cope with the variability in natural resistance mechanisms of their hosts. Conversely, damage by...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

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

  9. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Evolutionary Multiplayer Games

    OpenAIRE

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Constructing Student Problems in Phylogenetic Tree Construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Steven D.

    Evolution is often equated with natural selection and is taught from a primarily functional perspective while comparative and historical approaches, which are critical for developing an appreciation of the power of evolutionary theory, are often neglected. This report describes a study of expert problem-solving in phylogenetic tree construction.…

  12. Efficient Computation of Popular Phylogenetic Tree Measures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tsirogiannis, Constantinos; Sandel, Brody Steven; Cheliotis, Dimitris

    2012-01-01

    Given a phylogenetic tree $\\mathcal{T}$ of n nodes, and a sample R of its tips (leaf nodes) a very common problem in ecological and evolutionary research is to evaluate a distance measure for the elements in R. Two of the most common measures of this kind are the Mean Pairwise Distance ($\\ensurem...

  13. Expert-guided evolutionary algorithm for layout design of complex space stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Zhiqin; Bi, Zhuming; Cao, Qun; Ju, Weiguo; Teng, Hongfei; Zheng, Yang; Zheng, Siyu

    2017-08-01

    The layout of a space station should be designed in such a way that different equipment and instruments are placed for the station as a whole to achieve the best overall performance. The station layout design is a typical nondeterministic polynomial problem. In particular, how to manage the design complexity to achieve an acceptable solution within a reasonable timeframe poses a great challenge. In this article, a new evolutionary algorithm has been proposed to meet such a challenge. It is called as the expert-guided evolutionary algorithm with a tree-like structure decomposition (EGEA-TSD). Two innovations in EGEA-TSD are (i) to deal with the design complexity, the entire design space is divided into subspaces with a tree-like structure; it reduces the computation and facilitates experts' involvement in the solving process. (ii) A human-intervention interface is developed to allow experts' involvement in avoiding local optimums and accelerating convergence. To validate the proposed algorithm, the layout design of one-space station is formulated as a multi-disciplinary design problem, the developed algorithm is programmed and executed, and the result is compared with those from other two algorithms; it has illustrated the superior performance of the proposed EGEA-TSD.

  14. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area.

  15. Transient Dynamics Simulation of Airflow in a CT-Scanned Human Airway Tree: More or Fewer Terminal Bronchi?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shouliang Qi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD method, the feasibility of simulating transient airflow in a CT-based airway tree with more than 100 outlets for a whole respiratory period is studied, and the influence of truncations of terminal bronchi on CFD characteristics is investigated. After an airway model with 122 outlets is extracted from CT images, the transient airflow is simulated. Spatial and temporal variations of flow velocity, wall pressure, and wall shear stress are presented; the flow pattern and lobar distribution of air are gotten as well. All results are compared with those of a truncated model with 22 outlets. It is found that the flow pattern shows lobar heterogeneity that the near-wall air in the trachea is inhaled into the upper lobe while the center flow enters the other lobes, and the lobar distribution of air is significantly correlated with the outlet area ratio. The truncation decreases airflow to right and left upper lobes and increases the deviation of airflow distributions between inspiration and expiration. Simulating the transient airflow in an airway tree model with 122 bronchi using CFD is feasible. The model with more terminal bronchi decreases the difference between the lobar distributions at inspiration and at expiration.

  16. Undergraduate Students’ Initial Ability in Understanding Phylogenetic Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'adah, S.; Hidayat, T.; Sudargo, Fransisca

    2017-04-01

    The Phylogenetic tree is a visual representation depicts a hypothesis about the evolutionary relationship among taxa. Evolutionary experts use this representation to evaluate the evidence for evolution. The phylogenetic tree is currently growing for many disciplines in biology. Consequently, learning about the phylogenetic tree has become an important part of biological education and an interesting area of biology education research. Skill to understanding and reasoning of the phylogenetic tree, (called tree thinking) is an important skill for biology students. However, research showed many students have difficulty in interpreting, constructing, and comparing among the phylogenetic tree, as well as experiencing a misconception in the understanding of the phylogenetic tree. Students are often not taught how to reason about evolutionary relationship depicted in the diagram. Students are also not provided with information about the underlying theory and process of phylogenetic. This study aims to investigate the initial ability of undergraduate students in understanding and reasoning of the phylogenetic tree. The research method is the descriptive method. Students are given multiple choice questions and an essay that representative by tree thinking elements. Each correct answer made percentages. Each student is also given questionnaires. The results showed that the undergraduate students’ initial ability in understanding and reasoning phylogenetic tree is low. Many students are not able to answer questions about the phylogenetic tree. Only 19 % undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator evaluate the evolutionary relationship among taxa, 25% undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator applying concepts of the clade, 17% undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator determines the character evolution, and only a few undergraduate student who can construct the phylogenetic tree.

  17. Molluscan Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

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

  18. The Effect of Polyhexanide, Octenidine Dihydrochloride, and Tea Tree Oil as Topical Antiseptic Agents on In Vivo Microcirculation of the Human Skin: A Noninvasive Quantitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberger, Jens; Krauss, Sabrina; Tschumi, Christian; Rahmanian-Schwarz, Afshin; Schaller, Hans-Eberhard; Held, Manuel

    2016-10-01

    Antiseptics are indispensable for wound management and should focus not only on the efficacy in reducing the bacterial burden but also on how much they interfere in wound healing. In this study, the authors analyzed the direct effect of topical antiseptic agents on the microcirculation of intact human skin. The perfusion dynamics were assessed before, and 10 minutes after, the volunteers' fingers of the right hand (n = 20) were immersed in the following solutions - octenidine dihydrochloride, polyhexanide, tea tree oil, and saline solution. The authors used the Oxygen to See (LEA Medizintechnik GmbH, Giessen, Germany) diagnostic device for noninvasive determination of oxygen supply in microcirculation of blood perfused tissues, which combines a laser light to determine blood flow, as well as white light to determine hemoglobin oxygenation and the relative amount of hemoglobin. Tea tree oil (÷19.0%) (B. Braun Melsungen AG, Melsungen, Germany) and polyhexanide (÷12.4%) (Lavanid, Serag Wiessner GmbH, Naila, Germany) caused a significant increase in blood flow compared to the negative control (-25.6%). Octenidine (Octenisept, Schülke & Mayr GmbH, Norderstedt, Germany) showed a nonsignificant trend towards an increase in blood flow (÷7.2%). There were alterations in the values of hemoglobin oxygenation and the relative amount of hemoglobin, but these were not significant. Perfusion is an important factor for wound healing. Therefore, it might be advantageous if antiseptic agents would increase blood flow. Tea tree oil and polyhexanide have a positive effect on skin blood flow and can therefore be used especially in critically perfused wounds, provided the adverse reactions and the antimicrobial efficacy are comparable.

  19. Evolutionary primacy of sodium bioenergetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The F- and V-type ATPases are rotary molecular machines that couple translocation of protons or sodium ions across the membrane to the synthesis or hydrolysis of ATP. Both the F-type (found in most bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria and chloroplasts and V-type (found in archaea, some bacteria, and eukaryotic vacuoles ATPases can translocate either protons or sodium ions. The prevalent proton-dependent ATPases are generally viewed as the primary form of the enzyme whereas the sodium-translocating ATPases of some prokaryotes are usually construed as an exotic adaptation to survival in extreme environments. Results We combine structural and phylogenetic analyses to clarify the evolutionary relation between the proton- and sodium-translocating ATPases. A comparison of the structures of the membrane-embedded oligomeric proteolipid rings of sodium-dependent F- and V-ATPases reveals nearly identical sets of amino acids involved in sodium binding. We show that the sodium-dependent ATPases are scattered among proton-dependent ATPases in both the F- and the V-branches of the phylogenetic tree. Conclusion Barring convergent emergence of the same set of ligands in several lineages, these findings indicate that the use of sodium gradient for ATP synthesis is the ancestral modality of membrane bioenergetics. Thus, a primitive, sodium-impermeable but proton-permeable cell membrane that harboured a set of sodium-transporting enzymes appears to have been the evolutionary predecessor of the more structurally demanding proton-tight membranes. The use of proton as the coupling ion appears to be a later innovation that emerged on several independent occasions. Reviewers This article was reviewed by J. Peter Gogarten, Martijn A. Huynen, and Igor B. Zhulin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  20. Teaching Tree-Thinking to Undergraduate Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisel, Richard P

    2010-07-27

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

  1. Mapping Phylogenetic Trees to Reveal Distinct Patterns of Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Michelle; Colijn, Caroline

    2016-10-01

    Evolutionary relationships are frequently described by phylogenetic trees, but a central barrier in many fields is the difficulty of interpreting data containing conflicting phylogenetic signals. We present a metric-based method for comparing trees which extracts distinct alternative evolutionary relationships embedded in data. We demonstrate detection and resolution of phylogenetic uncertainty in a recent study of anole lizards, leading to alternate hypotheses about their evolutionary relationships. We use our approach to compare trees derived from different genes of Ebolavirus and find that the VP30 gene has a distinct phylogenetic signature composed of three alternatives that differ in the deep branching structure. phylogenetics, evolution, tree metrics, genetics, sequencing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Human factors analysis and design methods for nuclear waste retrieval systems. Volume III. User's guide for the computerized event-tree analysis technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casey, S.M.; Deretsky, Z.

    1980-08-01

    This document provides detailed instructions for using the Computerized Event-Tree Analysis Technique (CETAT), a program designed to assist a human factors analyst in predicting event probabilities in complex man-machine configurations found in waste retrieval systems. The instructions contained herein describe how to (a) identify the scope of a CETAT analysis, (b) develop operator performance data, (c) enter an event-tree structure, (d) modify a data base, and (e) analyze event paths and man-machine system configurations. Designed to serve as a tool for developing, organizing, and analyzing operator-initiated event probabilities, CETAT simplifies the tasks of the experienced systems analyst by organizing large amounts of data and performing cumbersome and time consuming arithmetic calculations. The principal uses of CETAT in the waste retrieval development project will be to develop models of system reliability and evaluate alternative equipment designs and operator tasks. As with any automated technique, however, the value of the output will be a function of the knowledge and skill of the analyst using the program

  3. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  4. Molecular phylogeny of the higher and lower taxonomy of the Fusarium genus and differences in the evolutionary histories of multiple genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Species of the Fusarium genus are important fungi which is associated with health hazards in human and animals. The taxonomy of this genus has been a subject of controversy for many years. Although many researchers have applied molecular phylogenetic analysis to examine the taxonomy of Fusarium species, their phylogenetic relationships remain unclear only few comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of the Fusarium genus and a lack of suitable nucleotides and amino acid substitution rates. A previous stugy with whole genome comparison among Fusairum species revealed the possibility that each gene in Fusarium genomes has a unique evolutionary history, and such gene may bring difficulty to the reconstruction of phylogenetic tree of Fusarium. There is a need not only to check substitution rates of genes but also to perform the exact evaluation of each gene-evolution. Results We performed phylogenetic analyses based on the nucleotide sequences of the rDNA cluster region (rDNA cluster), and the β-tubulin gene (β-tub), the elongation factor 1α gene (EF-1α), and the aminoadipate reductase gene (lys2). Although incongruence of the tree topologies between lys2 and the other genes was detected, all genes supported the classification of Fusarium species into 7 major clades, I to VII. To obtain a reliable phylogeny for Fusarium species, we excluded the lys2 sequences from our dataset, and re-constructed a maximum likelihood (ML) tree based on the combined data of the rDNA cluster, β-tub, and EF-1α. Our ML tree indicated some interesting relationships in the higher and lower taxa of Fusarium species and related genera. Moreover, we observed a novel evolutionary history of lys2. We suggest that the unique tree topologies of lys2 are not due to an analytical artefact, but due to differences in the evolutionary history of genomes caused by positive selection of particular lineages. Conclusion This study showed the reliable species tree of the higher and lower taxonomy

  5. Visual exploration of parameter influence on phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Martin; Bremm, Sebastian; Weissgraeber, Stephanie; Hamacher, Kay; Goesele, Michael; Wiemeyer, Josef; von Landesberger, Tatiana

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary relationships between organisms are frequently derived as phylogenetic trees inferred from multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). The MSA parameter space is exponentially large, so tens of thousands of potential trees can emerge for each dataset. A proposed visual-analytics approach can reveal the parameters' impact on the trees. Given input trees created with different parameter settings, it hierarchically clusters the trees according to their structural similarity. The most important clusters of similar trees are shown together with their parameters. This view offers interactive parameter exploration and automatic identification of relevant parameters. Biologists applied this approach to real data of 16S ribosomal RNA and protein sequences of ion channels. It revealed which parameters affected the tree structures. This led to a more reliable selection of the best trees.

  6. Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-29

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

  7. The dynamics of strangling among forest trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Kenichi W

    2015-11-07

    Strangler trees germinate and grow on other trees, eventually enveloping and potentially even girdling their hosts. This allows them to mitigate fitness costs otherwise incurred by germinating and competing with other trees on the forest floor, as well as minimize risks associated with host tree-fall. If stranglers can themselves host other strangler trees, they may not even seem to need non-stranglers to persist. Yet despite their high fitness potential, strangler trees neither dominate the communities in which they occur nor is the strategy particularly common outside of figs (genus Ficus). Here we analyze how dynamic interactions between strangling and non-strangling trees can shape the adaptive landscape for strangling mutants and mutant trees that have lost the ability to strangle. We find a threshold which strangler germination rates must exceed for selection to favor the evolution of strangling, regardless of how effectively hemiepiphytic stranglers may subsequently replace their hosts. This condition describes the magnitude of the phenotypic displacement in the ability to germinate on other trees necessary for invasion by a mutant tree that could potentially strangle its host following establishment as an epiphyte. We show how the relative abilities of strangling and non-strangling trees to occupy empty sites can govern whether strangling is an evolutionarily stable strategy, and obtain the conditions for strangler coexistence with non-stranglers. We then elucidate when the evolution of strangling can disrupt stable coexistence between commensal epiphytic ancestors and their non-strangling host trees. This allows us to highlight parallels between the invasion fitness of strangler trees arising from commensalist ancestors, and cases where strangling can arise in concert with the evolution of hemiepiphytism among free-standing ancestors. Finally, we discuss how our results can inform the evolutionary ecology of antagonistic interactions more generally

  8. The space of ultrametric phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavryushkin, Alex; Drummond, Alexei J

    2016-08-21

    The reliability of a phylogenetic inference method from genomic sequence data is ensured by its statistical consistency. Bayesian inference methods produce a sample of phylogenetic trees from the posterior distribution given sequence data. Hence the question of statistical consistency of such methods is equivalent to the consistency of the summary of the sample. More generally, statistical consistency is ensured by the tree space used to analyse the sample. In this paper, we consider two standard parameterisations of phylogenetic time-trees used in evolutionary models: inter-coalescent interval lengths and absolute times of divergence events. For each of these parameterisations we introduce a natural metric space on ultrametric phylogenetic trees. We compare the introduced spaces with existing models of tree space and formulate several formal requirements that a metric space on phylogenetic trees must possess in order to be a satisfactory space for statistical analysis, and justify them. We show that only a few known constructions of the space of phylogenetic trees satisfy these requirements. However, our results suggest that these basic requirements are not enough to distinguish between the two metric spaces we introduce and that the choice between metric spaces requires additional properties to be considered. Particularly, that the summary tree minimising the square distance to the trees from the sample might be different for different parameterisations. This suggests that further fundamental insight is needed into the problem of statistical consistency of phylogenetic inference methods. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Evolutionary convergence and biologically embodied cognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keijzer, Franciscus

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  12. On the Evolutionary Bases of Consumer Reinforcement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Michael; Xiao, Sarah Hong

    2010-01-01

    This article locates consumer behavior analysis within the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis, seeking to establish an interface between the ultimate-level theorizing of human evolutionary psychology and the proximate level of inquiry typically favored by operant learning theorists. Following an initial overview of the central tenets of neo-Darwinism,…

  13. PANTHER-PSEP: predicting disease-causing genetic variants using position-specific evolutionary preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Haiming; Thomas, Paul D

    2016-07-15

    PANTHER-PSEP is a new software tool for predicting non-synonymous genetic variants that may play a causal role in human disease. Several previous variant pathogenicity prediction methods have been proposed that quantify evolutionary conservation among homologous proteins from different organisms. PANTHER-PSEP employs a related but distinct metric based on 'evolutionary preservation': homologous proteins are used to reconstruct the likely sequences of ancestral proteins at nodes in a phylogenetic tree, and the history of each amino acid can be traced back in time from its current state to estimate how long that state has been preserved in its ancestors. Here, we describe the PSEP tool, and assess its performance on standard benchmarks for distinguishing disease-associated from neutral variation in humans. On these benchmarks, PSEP outperforms not only previous tools that utilize evolutionary conservation, but also several highly used tools that include multiple other sources of information as well. For predicting pathogenic human variants, the trace back of course starts with a human 'reference' protein sequence, but the PSEP tool can also be applied to predicting deleterious or pathogenic variants in reference proteins from any of the ∼100 other species in the PANTHER database. PANTHER-PSEP is freely available on the web at http://pantherdb.org/tools/csnpScoreForm.jsp Users can also download the command-line based tool at ftp://ftp.pantherdb.org/cSNP_analysis/PSEP/ CONTACT: pdthomas@usc.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    deciduous tree with irregularly-shaped trunk, greyish-white scaly bark and milky latex. Leaves in opposite pairs are simple, oblong and whitish beneath. Flowers that occur in branched inflorescence are white, 2–. 3cm across and fragrant. Calyx is glandular inside. Petals bear numerous linear white scales, the corollary.

  15. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Berrya cordifolia (Willd.) Burret (Syn. B. ammonilla Roxb.) – Trincomali Wood of Tiliaceae is a tall evergreen tree with straight trunk, smooth brownish-grey bark and simple broad leaves. Inflorescence is much branched with white flowers. Stamens are many with golden yellow anthers. Fruit is a capsule with six spreading ...

  16. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Canthium parviflorum Lam. of Rubiaceae is a large shrub that often grows into a small tree with conspicuous spines. Leaves are simple, in pairs at each node and are shiny. Inflorescence is an axillary few-flowered cymose fascicle. Flowers are small (less than 1 cm across), 4-merous and greenish-white. Fruit is ellipsoid ...

  17. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    sriranga

    Hook.f. ex Brandis (Yellow. Cadamba) of Rubiaceae is a large and handsome deciduous tree. Leaves are simple, large, orbicular, and drawn abruptly at the apex. Flowers are small, yellowish and aggregate into small spherical heads. The corolla is funnel-shaped with five stamens inserted at its mouth. Fruit is a capsule.

  18. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Celtis tetrandra Roxb. of Ulmaceae is a moderately large handsome deciduous tree with green branchlets and grayish-brown bark. Leaves are simple with three to four secondary veins running parallel to the mid vein. Flowers are solitary, male, female and bisexual and inconspicuous. Fruit is berry-like, small and globose ...

  19. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Aglaia elaeagnoidea (A.Juss.) Benth. of Meliaceae is a small-sized evergreen tree of both moist and dry deciduous forests. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, terminating in a single leaflet. Leaflets are more or less elliptic with entire margin. Flowers are small on branched inflorescence. Fruit is a globose ...

  20. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    user

    Flowers are borne on stiff bunches terminally on short shoots. They are 2-3 cm across, white, sweet-scented with light-brown hairy sepals and many stamens. Loquat fruits are round or pear-shaped, 3-5 cm long and are edible. A native of China, Loquat tree is grown in parks as an ornamental and also for its fruits.

  1. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    mid-sized slow-growing evergreen tree with spreading branches that form a dense crown. The bark is smooth, thick, dark and flakes off in large shreds. Leaves are thick, oblong, leathery and bright red when young. The female flowers are drooping and are larger than male flowers. Fruit is large, red in color and velvety.

  2. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Andira inermis (wright) DC. , Dog Almond of Fabaceae is a handsome lofty evergreen tree. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with 4–7 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are fragrant and are borne on compact branched inflorescences. Fruit is ellipsoidal one-seeded drupe that is peculiar to members of this family.

  3. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    narrow towards base. Flowers are large and attrac- tive, but emit unpleasant foetid smell. They appear in small numbers on erect terminal clusters and open at night. Stamens are numerous, pink or white. Style is slender and long, terminating in a small stigma. Fruit is green, ovoid and indistinctly lobed. Flowering Trees.

  4. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Muntingia calabura L. (Singapore cherry) of. Elaeocarpaceae is a medium size handsome ever- green tree. Leaves are simple and alternate with sticky hairs. Flowers are bisexual, bear numerous stamens, white in colour and arise in the leaf axils. Fruit is a berry, edible with several small seeds embedded in a fleshy pulp ...

  5. ~{owering 'Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    . Stamens are fused into a purple staminal tube that is toothed. Fruit is about 0.5 in. across, nearly globose, generally 5-seeded, green but yellow when ripe, quite smooth at first but wrinkled in drying, remaining long on the tree ajier ripening.

  6. Tree Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark J. Ambrose

    2012-01-01

    Tree mortality is a natural process in all forest ecosystems. However, extremely high mortality also can be an indicator of forest health issues. On a regional scale, high mortality levels may indicate widespread insect or disease problems. High mortality may also occur if a large proportion of the forest in a particular region is made up of older, senescent stands....

  7. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Guaiacum officinale L. (LIGNUM-VITAE) of Zygophyllaceae is a dense-crowned, squat, knobbly, rough and twisted medium-sized ev- ergreen tree with mottled bark. The wood is very hard and resinous. Leaves are compound. The leaflets are smooth, leathery, ovate-ellipti- cal and appear in two pairs. Flowers (about 1.5.

  8. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-04-12

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of 'natural pedagogy' in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species.

  10. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-01-01

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of ‘natural pedagogy’ in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species. PMID:21357237

  11. Tree-Based Unrooted Phylogenetic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, A; Huber, K T; Moulton, V

    2018-02-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that are used to represent non-tree-like evolutionary histories that arise in organisms such as plants and bacteria, or uncertainty in evolutionary histories. An unrooted phylogenetic network on a non-empty, finite set X of taxa, or network, is a connected, simple graph in which every vertex has degree 1 or 3 and whose leaf set is X. It is called a phylogenetic tree if the underlying graph is a tree. In this paper we consider properties of tree-based networks, that is, networks that can be constructed by adding edges into a phylogenetic tree. We show that although they have some properties in common with their rooted analogues which have recently drawn much attention in the literature, they have some striking differences in terms of both their structural and computational properties. We expect that our results could eventually have applications to, for example, detecting horizontal gene transfer or hybridization which are important factors in the evolution of many organisms.

  12. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  13. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, R.H.

    1968-01-01

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

    2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts

  15. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Applications of Evolutionary Computation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biochemical information has been crucial for the development of evolutionary biology. On the one hand, the sequence information now appearing is producing a huge increase in the amount of data available for phylogenetic analysis; on the other hand, and perhaps more fundamentally, it allows understanding of the ...

  19. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  20. Complex systems, evolutionary planning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Distribution of Marburg virus in Africa: An evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehender, Gianguglielmo; Sorrentino, Chiara; Veo, Carla; Fiaschi, Lisa; Gioffrè, Sonia; Ebranati, Erika; Tanzi, Elisabetta; Ciccozzi, Massimo; Lai, Alessia; Galli, Massimo

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the origin and geographical dispersion of Marburg virus, the first member of the Filoviridae family to be discovered. Seventy-three complete genome sequences of Marburg virus isolated from animals and humans were retrieved from public databases and analysed using a Bayesian phylogeographical framework. The phylogenetic tree of the Marburg virus data set showed two significant evolutionary lineages: Ravn virus (RAVV) and Marburg virus (MARV). MARV divided into two main clades; clade A included isolates from Uganda (five from the European epidemic in 1967), Kenya (1980) and Angola (from the epidemic of 2004-2005); clade B included most of the isolates obtained during the 1999-2000 epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a group of Ugandan isolates obtained in 2007-2009. The estimated mean evolutionary rate of the whole genome was 3.3×10(-4) substitutions/site/year (credibility interval 2.0-4.8). The MARV strain had a mean root time of the most recent common ancestor of 177.9years ago (YA) (95% highest posterior density 87-284), thus indicating that it probably originated in the mid-XIX century, whereas the RAVV strain had a later origin dating back to a mean 33.8 YA. The most probable location of the MARV ancestor was Uganda (state posterior probability, spp=0.41), whereas that of the RAVV ancestor was Kenya (spp=0.71). There were significant migration rates from Uganda to the DRC (Bayes Factor, BF=42.0) and in the opposite direction (BF=5.7). Our data suggest that Uganda may have been the cradle of Marburg virus in Africa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Evolutionary inference via the Poisson Indel Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard-Côté, Alexandre; Jordan, Michael I

    2013-01-22

    We address the problem of the joint statistical inference of phylogenetic trees and multiple sequence alignments from unaligned molecular sequences. This problem is generally formulated in terms of string-valued evolutionary processes along the branches of a phylogenetic tree. The classic evolutionary process, the TKF91 model [Thorne JL, Kishino H, Felsenstein J (1991) J Mol Evol 33(2):114-124] is a continuous-time Markov chain model composed of insertion, deletion, and substitution events. Unfortunately, this model gives rise to an intractable computational problem: The computation of the marginal likelihood under the TKF91 model is exponential in the number of taxa. In this work, we present a stochastic process, the Poisson Indel Process (PIP), in which the complexity of this computation is reduced to linear. The Poisson Indel Process is closely related to the TKF91 model, differing only in its treatment of insertions, but it has a global characterization as a Poisson process on the phylogeny. Standard results for Poisson processes allow key computations to be decoupled, which yields the favorable computational profile of inference under the PIP model. We present illustrative experiments in which Bayesian inference under the PIP model is compared with separate inference of phylogenies and alignments.

  4. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-05

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

  6. The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri-Jean Aubin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent—Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a “suicidal” feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory.

  7. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Nomenclature of the finer branches of the biliary tree : Canals, ductules, and ductular reactions in human livers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roskams, TA; Theise, ND; Balabaud, C; Bhagat, G; Bhathal, PS; Bioulac-Sage, P; Brunt, EM; Crawford, JM; Crosby, HA; Desmet, [No Value; Finegold, MJ; Geller, SA; Gouw, ASH; Hytiroglou, P; Knisely, AS; Kojiro, M; Letkowitch, JH; Nakanuma, Y; Olynyk, JK; Park, YN; Portmann, B; Saxena, R; Scheuer, PJ; Strain, AJ; Thung, SN; Wanless, IR; West, AB

    The work of liver stem cell biologists, largely carried out in rodent models, has now started to manifest in human investigations and applications. We can now recognize complex regenerative processes in tissue specimens that had only been suspected for decades, but we also struggle to describe what

  9. Different evolutionary pathways underlie the morphology of wrist bones in hominoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kivell, Tracy L; Barros, Anna P; Smaers, Jeroen B

    2013-10-23

    The hominoid wrist has been a focus of numerous morphological analyses that aim to better understand long-standing questions about the evolution of human and hominoid hand use. However, these same analyses also suggest various scenarios of complex and mosaic patterns of morphological evolution within the wrist and potentially multiple instances of homoplasy that would benefit from require formal analysis within a phylogenetic context.We identify morphological features that principally characterize primate - and, in particular, hominoid (apes, including humans) - wrist evolution and reveal the rate, process and evolutionary timing of patterns of morphological change on individual branches of the primate tree of life. Linear morphological variables of five wrist bones - the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, capitate and hamate - are analyzed in a diverse sample of extant hominoids (12 species, 332 specimens), Old World (8 species, 43 specimens) and New World (4 species, 26 specimens) monkeys, fossil Miocene apes (8 species, 20 specimens) and Plio-Pleistocene hominins (8 species, 18 specimens). Results reveal a combination of parallel and synapomorphic morphology within haplorrhines, and especially within hominoids, across individual wrist bones. Similar morphology of some wrist bones reflects locomotor behaviour shared between clades (scaphoid, triquetrum and capitate) while others (lunate and hamate) indicate clade-specific synapomorphic morphology. Overall, hominoids show increased variation in wrist bone morphology compared with other primate clades, supporting previous analyses, and demonstrate several occurrences of parallel evolution, particularly between orangutans and hylobatids, and among hominines (extant African apes, humans and fossil hominins). Our analyses indicate that different evolutionary processes can underlie the evolution of a single anatomical unit (the wrist) to produce diversity in functional and morphological adaptations across individual wrist

  10. Efficient FPT Algorithms for (Strict) Compatibility of Unrooted Phylogenetic Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baste, Julien; Paul, Christophe; Sau, Ignasi; Scornavacca, Celine

    2017-04-01

    In phylogenetics, a central problem is to infer the evolutionary relationships between a set of species X; these relationships are often depicted via a phylogenetic tree-a tree having its leaves labeled bijectively by elements of X and without degree-2 nodes-called the "species tree." One common approach for reconstructing a species tree consists in first constructing several phylogenetic trees from primary data (e.g., DNA sequences originating from some species in X), and then constructing a single phylogenetic tree maximizing the "concordance" with the input trees. The obtained tree is our estimation of the species tree and, when the input trees are defined on overlapping-but not identical-sets of labels, is called "supertree." In this paper, we focus on two problems that are central when combining phylogenetic trees into a supertree: the compatibility and the strict compatibility problems for unrooted phylogenetic trees. These problems are strongly related, respectively, to the notions of "containing as a minor" and "containing as a topological minor" in the graph community. Both problems are known to be fixed parameter tractable in the number of input trees k, by using their expressibility in monadic second-order logic and a reduction to graphs of bounded treewidth. Motivated by the fact that the dependency on k of these algorithms is prohibitively large, we give the first explicit dynamic programming algorithms for solving these problems, both running in time [Formula: see text], where n is the total size of the input.

  11. An Evolutionary Upgrade of Cognitive Load Theory: Using the Human Motor System and Collaboration to Support the Learning of Complex Cognitive Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.W.C. Paas (Fred); J. Sweller (John)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractCognitive load theory is intended to provide instructional strategies derived from experimental, cognitive load effects. Each effect is based on our knowledge of human cognitive architecture, primarily the limited capacity and duration of a human working memory. These limitations are

  12. An Evolutionary Upgrade of Cognitive Load Theory: Using the Human Motor System and Collaboration to Support the Learning of Complex Cognitive Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paas, Fred; Sweller, John

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive load theory is intended to provide instructional strategies derived from experimental, cognitive load effects. Each effect is based on our knowledge of human cognitive architecture, primarily the limited capacity and duration of a human working memory. These limitations are ameliorated by changes in long-term memory associated with…

  13. Is Exercise Really Medicine? An Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Daniel E

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

  15. Surface tree languages and parallel derivation trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelfriet, Joost

    1976-01-01

    The surface tree languages obtained by top-down finite state transformation of monadic trees are exactly the frontier-preserving homomorphic images of sets of derivation trees of ETOL systems. The corresponding class of tree transformation languages is therefore equal to the class of ETOL languages.

  16. Make Your Own Phylogenetic Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Gerald

    2012-01-01

    Molecular similarity is one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution--and one of the most difficult for students to grasp. That is because the underlying observations--that identical mutations are found in closely related species and the degree of similarity decreases with evolutionary distance--are not visible to the human eye. And it's…

  17. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa L. S. Scholte

    2018-04-01

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

  19. An Evolutionary Perspective on Toxic Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Ovidia VREJA

    2016-12-01

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

  20. Evolutionary constrained optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Introduction to Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Xinjie

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?

  3. Genome-wide comparative analysis of phylogenetic trees: the prokaryotic forest of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puigbò, Pere; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide comparison of phylogenetic trees is becoming an increasingly common approach in evolutionary genomics, and a variety of approaches for such comparison have been developed. In this article, we present several methods for comparative analysis of large numbers of phylogenetic trees. To compare phylogenetic trees taking into account the bootstrap support for each internal branch, the Boot-Split Distance (BSD) method is introduced as an extension of the previously developed Split Distance method for tree comparison. The BSD method implements the straightforward idea that comparison of phylogenetic trees can be made more robust by treating tree splits differentially depending on the bootstrap support. Approaches are also introduced for detecting tree-like and net-like evolutionary trends in the phylogenetic Forest of Life (FOL), i.e., the entirety of the phylogenetic trees for conserved genes of prokaryotes. The principal method employed for this purpose includes mapping quartets of species onto trees to calculate the support of each quartet topology and so to quantify the tree and net contributions to the distances between species. We describe the application of these methods to analyze the FOL and the results obtained with these methods. These results support the concept of the Tree of Life (TOL) as a central evolutionary trend in the FOL as opposed to the traditional view of the TOL as a "species tree."

  4. Evolutionary games on graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor

    2007-07-01

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

  5. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-19

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

  6. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Trees are good, but…

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.G. McPherson; F. Ferrini

    2010-01-01

    We know that “trees are good,” and most people believe this to be true. But if this is so, why are so many trees neglected, and so many tree wells empty? An individual’s attitude toward trees may result from their firsthand encounters with specific trees. Understanding how attitudes about trees are shaped, particularly aversion to trees, is critical to the business of...

  8. MixtureTree annotator: a program for automatic colorization and visual annotation of MixtureTree.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Chuan Chen

    Full Text Available The MixtureTree Annotator, written in JAVA, allows the user to automatically color any phylogenetic tree in Newick format generated from any phylogeny reconstruction program and output the Nexus file. By providing the ability to automatically color the tree by sequence name, the MixtureTree Annotator provides a unique advantage over any other programs which perform a similar function. In addition, the MixtureTree Annotator is the only package that can efficiently annotate the output produced by MixtureTree with mutation information and coalescent time information. In order to visualize the resulting output file, a modified version of FigTree is used. Certain popular methods, which lack good built-in visualization tools, for example, MEGA, Mesquite, PHY-FI, TreeView, treeGraph and Geneious, may give results with human errors due to either manually adding colors to each node or with other limitations, for example only using color based on a number, such as branch length, or by taxonomy. In addition to allowing the user to automatically color any given Newick tree by sequence name, the MixtureTree Annotator is the only method that allows the user to automatically annotate the resulting tree created by the MixtureTree program. The MixtureTree Annotator is fast and easy-to-use, while still allowing the user full control over the coloring and annotating process.

  9. The gastrointestinal-brain axis in humans as an evolutionary advance of the root-leaf axis in plants: A hypothesis linking quantum effects of light on serotonin and auxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonello, Lucio; Gashi, Bekim; Scuotto, Alessandro; Cappello, Glenda; Cocchi, Massimo; Gabrielli, Fabio; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2018-01-01

    Living organisms tend to find viable strategies under ambient conditions that optimize their search for, and utilization of, life-sustaining resources. For plants, a leading role in this process is performed by auxin, a plant hormone that drives morphological development, dynamics, and movement to optimize the absorption of light (through branches and leaves) and chemical "food" (through roots). Similarly to auxin in plants, serotonin seems to play an important role in higher animals, especially humans. Here, it is proposed that morphological and functional similarities between (i) plant leaves and the animal/human brain and (ii) plant roots and the animal/human gastro-intestinal tract have general features in common. Plants interact with light and use it for biological energy, whereas, neurons in the central nervous system seem to interact with bio-photons and use them for proper brain function. Further, as auxin drives roots "arborescence" within the soil, similarly serotonin seems to facilitate enteric nervous system connectivity within the human gastro-intestinal tract. This auxin/serotonin parallel suggests the root-branches axis in plants may be an evolutionary precursor to the gastro-intestinal-brain axis in humans. Finally, we hypothesize that light might be an important factor, both in gastro-intestinal dynamics and brain function. Such a comparison may indicate a key role for the interaction of light and serotonin in neuronal physiology (possibly in both the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system), and according to recent work, mind and consciousness.

  10. A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The increased use of multi-locus data sets for phylogenetic reconstruction has increased the need to determine whether a set of gene trees significantly deviate from the phylogenetic patterns of other genes. Such unusual gene trees may have been influenced by other evolutionary processes such as selection, gene duplication, or horizontal gene transfer. Results Motivated by this problem we propose a nonparametric goodness-of-fit test for two empirical distributions of gene trees, and we developed the software GeneOut to estimate a p-value for the test. Our approach maps trees into a multi-dimensional vector space and then applies support vector machines (SVMs) to measure the separation between two sets of pre-defined trees. We use a permutation test to assess the significance of the SVM separation. To demonstrate the performance of GeneOut, we applied it to the comparison of gene trees simulated within different species trees across a range of species tree depths. Applied directly to sets of simulated gene trees with large sample sizes, GeneOut was able to detect very small differences between two set of gene trees generated under different species trees. Our statistical test can also include tree reconstruction into its test framework through a variety of phylogenetic optimality criteria. When applied to DNA sequence data simulated from different sets of gene trees, results in the form of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves indicated that GeneOut performed well in the detection of differences between sets of trees with different distributions in a multi-dimensional space. Furthermore, it controlled false positive and false negative rates very well, indicating a high degree of accuracy. Conclusions The non-parametric nature of our statistical test provides fast and efficient analyses, and makes it an applicable test for any scenario where evolutionary or other factors can lead to trees with different multi-dimensional distributions. The

  11. Evolution in Mind: Evolutionary Dynamics, Cognitive Processes, and Bayesian Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchow, Jordan W; Bourgin, David D; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2017-07-01

    Evolutionary theory describes the dynamics of population change in settings affected by reproduction, selection, mutation, and drift. In the context of human cognition, evolutionary theory is most often invoked to explain the origins of capacities such as language, metacognition, and spatial reasoning, framing them as functional adaptations to an ancestral environment. However, evolutionary theory is useful for understanding the mind in a second way: as a mathematical framework for describing evolving populations of thoughts, ideas, and memories within a single mind. In fact, deep correspondences exist between the mathematics of evolution and of learning, with perhaps the deepest being an equivalence between certain evolutionary dynamics and Bayesian inference. This equivalence permits reinterpretation of evolutionary processes as algorithms for Bayesian inference and has relevance for understanding diverse cognitive capacities, including memory and creativity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Strawberry-Tree Honey Induces Growth Inhibition of Human Colon Cancer Cells and Increases ROS Generation: A Comparison with Manuka Honey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afrin, Sadia; Forbes-Hernandez, Tamara Y; Gasparrini, Massimiliano; Bompadre, Stefano; Quiles, José L; Sanna, Gavino; Spano, Nadia; Giampieri, Francesca; Battino, Maurizio

    2017-03-11

    Honey is a natural product known to modulate several biological activities including cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity of Strawberry tree ( Arbutus unedo ) honey (STH) and its cytotoxic properties against human colon adenocarcinoma (HCT-116) and metastatic (LoVo) cell lines in comparison with Manuka ( Leptospermum scoparium ) honey (MH). Several unifloral STH and MH were analyzed for their phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein contents, as well as their radical scavenging activities. STH from the Berchidda area showed the highest amount of phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein content, and antioxidant capacity compared to MH. Both STH and MH induced cytotoxicity and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner in HCT-116 and LoVo cells, with less toxicity on non-cancer cells. Compared to MH, STH showed more effect at lower concentrations on HCT-116 and LoVo cells. In addition, both honeys increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In HCT-116 cells, STH and MH induced similar ROS production but in LoVo cells STH induced a higher percentage of ROS compared to MH. Our results indicate that STH and MH can induce cell growth inhibition and ROS generation in colon adenocarcinoma and metastatic cells, which could be due to the presence of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. These preliminary results are interesting and suggest a potential chemopreventive action which could be useful for further studies in order to develop chemopreventive agents for colon cancer.

  13. Assessment of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Safety Using the Self-Controlled Tree-Temporal Scan Statistic Signal-Detection Method in the Sentinel System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yih, W Katherine; Maro, Judith C; Nguyen, Michael; Baker, Meghan A; Balsbaugh, Carolyn; Cole, David V; Dashevsky, Inna; Mba-Jonas, Adamma; Kulldorff, Martin

    2018-06-01

    The self-controlled tree-temporal scan statistic-a new signal-detection method-can evaluate whether any of a wide variety of health outcomes are temporally associated with receipt of a specific vaccine, while adjusting for multiple testing. Neither health outcomes nor postvaccination potential periods of increased risk need be prespecified. Using US medical claims data in the Food and Drug Administration's Sentinel system, we employed the method to evaluate adverse events occurring after receipt of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (4vHPV). Incident outcomes recorded in emergency department or inpatient settings within 56 days after first doses of 4vHPV received by 9- through 26.9-year-olds in 2006-2014 were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, diagnosis codes and analyzed by pairing the new method with a standard hierarchical classification of diagnoses. On scanning diagnoses of 1.9 million 4vHPV recipients, 2 statistically significant categories of adverse events were found: cellulitis on days 2-3 after vaccination and "other complications of surgical and medical procedures" on days 1-3 after vaccination. Cellulitis is a known adverse event. Clinically informed investigation of electronic claims records of the patients with "other complications" did not suggest any previously unknown vaccine safety problem. Considering that thousands of potential short-term adverse events and hundreds of potential risk intervals were evaluated, these findings add significantly to the growing safety record of 4vHPV.

  14. Modular tree automata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bahr, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Tree automata are traditionally used to study properties of tree languages and tree transformations. In this paper, we consider tree automata as the basis for modular and extensible recursion schemes. We show, using well-known techniques, how to derive from standard tree automata highly modular...

  15. Simple street tree sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Jeffrey T. Walton; James Baldwin; Jerry. Bond

    2015-01-01

    Information on street trees is critical for management of this important resource. Sampling of street tree populations provides an efficient means to obtain street tree population information. Long-term repeat measures of street tree samples supply additional information on street tree changes and can be used to report damages from catastrophic events. Analyses of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-06

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

  17. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A; Whipple, Clinton J; Jensen, Jamie L

    2016-12-01

    Darwin described evolution as "descent with modification." Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as "tree thinking." We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic ( reading the tips and node counting ) were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory ( ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness ) proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses.

  18. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.; Whipple, Clinton J.; Jensen, Jamie L.

    2016-01-01

    Darwin described evolution as “descent with modification.” Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as “tree thinking.” We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic (reading the tips and node counting) were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory (ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness) proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses. PMID:28101265

  19. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler A. Kummer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Darwin described evolution as “descent with modification.” Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as “tree thinking.” We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic (reading the tips and node counting were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory (ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses.

  20. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

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

  1. EVOLUTIONARY ASPECTS OF LOVE AND EMPATHY

    OpenAIRE

    Allott, Robin

    1992-01-01

    Love has always been a central preoccupation in individual human lives, but there has been little consideration of it by psychologists or other scientists and little attempt to explain it as an evolutionary phenomenon. There are various possible behavioral precursors of love: animal "love", empathy, group feeling, sexuality, the mother/infant bond. The principal candidates are sexuality and the mother/infant bond. Sexuality has been favored as an origin by those few writers who have discussed...

  2. A new fast method for inferring multiple consensus trees using k-medoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Nadia; Willems, Matthieu; Makarenkov, Vladimir

    2018-04-05

    Gene trees carry important information about specific evolutionary patterns which characterize the evolution of the corresponding gene families. However, a reliable species consensus tree cannot be inferred from a multiple sequence alignment of a single gene family or from the concatenation of alignments corresponding to gene families having different evolutionary histories. These evolutionary histories can be quite different due to horizontal transfer events or to ancient gene duplications which cause the emergence of paralogs within a genome. Many methods have been proposed to infer a single consensus tree from a collection of gene trees. Still, the application of these tree merging methods can lead to the loss of specific evolutionary patterns which characterize some gene families or some groups of gene families. Thus, the problem of inferring multiple consensus trees from a given set of gene trees becomes relevant. We describe a new fast method for inferring multiple consensus trees from a given set of phylogenetic trees (i.e. additive trees or X-trees) defined on the same set of species (i.e. objects or taxa). The traditional consensus approach yields a single consensus tree. We use the popular k-medoids partitioning algorithm to divide a given set of trees into several clusters of trees. We propose novel versions of the well-known Silhouette and Caliński-Harabasz cluster validity indices that are adapted for tree clustering with k-medoids. The efficiency of the new method was assessed using both synthetic and real data, such as a well-known phylogenetic dataset consisting of 47 gene trees inferred for 14 archaeal organisms. The method described here allows inference of multiple consensus trees from a given set of gene trees. It can be used to identify groups of gene trees having similar intragroup and different intergroup evolutionary histories. The main advantage of our method is that it is much faster than the existing tree clustering approaches, while

  3. City of Pittsburgh Trees

    Data.gov (United States)

    Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh / Western PA Regional Data Center — Trees cared for and managed by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Forestry Division. Tree Benefits are calculated using the National Tree Benefit...

  4. Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. SILVA tree viewer: interactive web browsing of the SILVA phylogenetic guide trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccati, Alan; Gerken, Jan; Quast, Christian; Yilmaz, Pelin; Glöckner, Frank Oliver

    2017-09-30

    Phylogenetic trees are an important tool to study the evolutionary relationships among organisms. The huge amount of available taxa poses difficulties in their interactive visualization. This hampers the interaction with the users to provide feedback for the further improvement of the taxonomic framework. The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application designed for visualizing large phylogenetic trees without requiring the download of any software tool or data files. The SILVA Tree Viewer is based on Web Geographic Information Systems (Web-GIS) technology with a PostgreSQL backend. It enables zoom and pan functionalities similar to Google Maps. The SILVA Tree Viewer enables access to two phylogenetic (guide) trees provided by the SILVA database: the SSU Ref NR99 inferred from high-quality, full-length small subunit sequences, clustered at 99% sequence identity and the LSU Ref inferred from high-quality, full-length large subunit sequences. The Tree Viewer provides tree navigation, search and browse tools as well as an interactive feedback system to collect any kinds of requests ranging from taxonomy to data curation and improving the tool itself.

  6. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660

  7. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

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

  8. HERV-W group evolutionary history in non-human primates: characterization of ERV-W orthologs in Catarrhini and related ERV groups in Platyrrhini.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandi, Nicole; Cadeddu, Marta; Blomberg, Jonas; Mayer, Jens; Tramontano, Enzo

    2018-01-19

    The genomes of all vertebrates harbor remnants of ancient retroviral infections, having affected the germ line cells during the last 100 million years. These sequences, named Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), have been transmitted to the offspring in a Mendelian way, being relatively stable components of the host genome even long after their exogenous counterparts went extinct. Among human ERVs (HERVs), the HERV-W group is of particular interest for our physiology and pathology. A HERV-W provirus in locus 7q21.2 has been coopted during evolution to exert an essential role in placenta, and the group expression has been tentatively linked to Multiple Sclerosis and other diseases. Following up on a detailed analysis of 213 HERV-W insertions in the human genome, we now investigated the ERV-W group genomic spread within primate lineages. We analyzed HERV-W orthologous loci in the genome sequences of 12 non-human primate species belonging to Simiiformes (parvorders Catarrhini and Platyrrhini), Tarsiiformes and to the most primitive Prosimians. Analysis of HERV-W orthologous loci in non-human Catarrhini primates revealed species-specific insertions in the genomes of Chimpanzee (3), Gorilla (4), Orangutan (6), Gibbon (2) and especially Rhesus Macaque (66). Such sequences were acquired in a retroviral fashion and, in the majority of cases, by L1-mediated formation of processed pseudogenes. There were also a number of LTR-LTR homologous recombination events that occurred subsequent to separation of Catarrhini sub-lineages. Moreover, we retrieved 130 sequences in Marmoset and Squirrel Monkeys (family Cebidae, Platyrrhini parvorder), identified as ERV1-1_CJa based on RepBase annotations, which appear closely related to the ERV-W group. Such sequences were also identified in Atelidae and Pitheciidae, representative of the other Platyrrhini families. In contrast, no ERV-W-related sequences were found in genome sequence assemblies of Tarsiiformes and Prosimians. Overall, our

  9. Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan

    2010-12-12

    Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a 'grand synthesis' is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from a symposium held by the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (University College London) in December 2008, focus on how the phylogenetic tree-building and network-based techniques used to estimate descent relationships in biology can be adapted to reconstruct cultural histories, where some degree of inter-societal diffusion will almost inevitably be superimposed on any deeper signal of a historical branching process. The disciplines represented include the three most purely 'cultural' fields from the four-field model of anthropology (cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology). In this short introduction, some context is provided from the history of anthropology, and key issues raised by the papers are highlighted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austen L. Krill

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Tree agency and urban forest governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konijnendijk, Cecil Cornelis

    2016-01-01

    governance also involving businesses and civic society. However, governance theory usually does not consider the role of non-human agency, which can be considered problematic due to, for example, the important role of urban trees in place making. The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight...... into the importance of considering tree agency in governance. Design/methodology/approach – Taking an environmental governance and actor network theory perspective, the paper presents a critical view of current urban forest governance, extending the perspective to include not only a wide range of human actors......, but also trees as important non-human actors. Findings – Urban forest governance has become more complex and involves a greater range of actors and actor networks. However, the agency of trees in urban forest governance is seldom well developed. Trees, in close association with local residents, create...

  13. Snakes and Eels and Dogs! Oh, My! Evaluating High School Students' Tree-Thinking Skills: An Entry Point to Understanding Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catley, Kefyn M.; Phillips, Brenda C.; Novick, Laura R.

    2013-12-01

    The biological community is currently undertaking one its greatest scientific endeavours, that of constructing the Tree of Life, a phylogeny intended to be an evidenced-based, predictive road map of evolutionary relationships among Earth's biota. Unfortunately, we know very little about how such diagrams are understood, interpreted, or used as inferential tools by students—collectively referred to as tree thinking. The present study provides the first in-depth look at US high school students' competence at tree thinking and reports how they engage cognitively with tree representations as a precursor to developing curricula that will provide an entry point into macroevolution. Sixty tenth graders completed a 12-question instrument that assessed five basic tree-thinking skills. We present data that show patterns of misunderstandings are largely congruent between tenth graders and undergraduates and identify competences that are pivotal to address during instruction. Two general principles that emerge from this study are: (a) Students need to be taught that cladograms are an authoritative source of evidence that should be weighted more than other superficial or ecological similarities; (b) students need to understand the vital importance and critical difference between most recent common ancestry and common ancestry. Further, we show how the objectives of this study are closely aligned with US and International Standards and argue that scientifically-literate citizens need at least a basic understanding of the science behind the Tree of Life to understand and engage in twenty-first century societal issues such as human health, agriculture, and biotechnology.

  14. VCFtoTree: a user-friendly tool to construct locus-specific alignments and phylogenies from thousands of anthropologically relevant genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Duo; Jaber, Yousef; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Gokcumen, Omer

    2017-09-26

    Constructing alignments and phylogenies for a given locus from large genome sequencing studies with relevant outgroups allow novel evolutionary and anthropological insights. However, no user-friendly tool has been developed to integrate thousands of recently available and anthropologically relevant genome sequences to construct complete sequence alignments and phylogenies. Here, we provide VCFtoTree, a user friendly tool with a graphical user interface that directly accesses online databases to download, parse and analyze genome variation data for regions of interest. Our pipeline combines popular sequence datasets and tree building algorithms with custom data parsing to generate accurate alignments and phylogenies using all the individuals from the 1000 Genomes Project, Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes, as well as reference genomes of Chimpanzee and Rhesus Macaque. It can also be applied to other phased human genomes, as well as genomes from other species. The output of our pipeline includes an alignment in FASTA format and a tree file in newick format. VCFtoTree fulfills the increasing demand for constructing alignments and phylogenies for a given loci from thousands of available genomes. Our software provides a user friendly interface for a wider audience without prerequisite knowledge in programming. VCFtoTree can be accessed from https://github.com/duoduoo/VCFtoTree_3.0.0 .

  15. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In its parallel pursuit of an increased competitivity for design offices and more pleasurable and easier workflows for designers, artificial design intelligence is a technical, intellectual, and political challenge. While human-machine cooperation has become commonplace through Computer Aided Design (CAD tools, a more improved collaboration and better support appear possible only through an endeavor into a kind of artificial design intelligence, which is more sensitive to the human perception of affairs. Considered as part of the broader Computational Design studies, the research program of this quest can be called Artificial / Autonomous / Automated Design (AD. The current available level of Artificial Intelligence (AI for design is limited and a viable aim for current AD would be to develop design assistants that are capable of producing drafts for various design tasks. Thus, the overall aim of this thesis is the development of approaches, techniques, and tools towards artificial design assistants that offer a capability for generating drafts for sub-tasks within design processes. The main technology explored for this aim is Evolutionary Computation (EC, and the target design domain is architecture. The two connected research questions of the study concern, first, the investigation of the ways to develop an architectural design assistant, and secondly, the utilization of EC for the development of such assistants. While developing approaches, techniques, and computational tools for such an assistant, the study also carries out a broad theoretical investigation into the main problems, challenges, and requirements towards such assistants on a rather overall level. Therefore, the research is shaped as a parallel investigation of three main threads interwoven along several levels, moving from a more general level to specific applications. The three research threads comprise, first, theoretical discussions and speculations with regard to both

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrangham, R

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.

    2016-12-15

    The degree to which offspring remain near their parents or disperse widely is critical for understanding population dynamics, evolution, and biogeography, and for designing conservation actions. In the ocean, most estimates suggesting short-distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing perspectives on dispersal has been a major challenge. Here we show for the first time that evolutionary and ecological measures of larval dispersal can closely agree by using both to estimate the distribution of dispersal distances. In orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) populations in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, we found that evolutionary dispersal kernels were 17 km (95% confidence interval: 12–24 km) wide, while an exhaustive set of direct larval dispersal observations suggested kernel widths of 27 km (19–36 km) or 19 km (15–27 km) across two years. The similarity between these two approaches suggests that ecological and evolutionary dispersal kernels can be equivalent, and that the apparent disagreement between direct and indirect measurements can be overcome. Our results suggest that carefully applied evolutionary methods, which are often less expensive, can be broadly relevant for understanding ecological dispersal across the tree of life.

  18. Evolutionary origins of mechanosensitive ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinac, Boris; Kloda, Anna

    2003-01-01

    According to the recent revision, the universal phylogenetic tree is composed of three domains: Eukarya (eukaryotes), Bacteria (eubacteria) and Archaea (archaebacteria). Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels have been documented in cells belonging to all three domains suggesting their very early appearance during evolution of life on Earth. The channels show great diversity in conductance, selectivity and voltage dependence, while sharing the property of being gated by mechanical stimuli exerted on cell membranes. In prokaryotes, MS channels were first documented in Bacteria followed by their discovery in Archaea. The finding of MS channels in archaeal cells helped to recognize and establish the evolutionary relationship between bacterial and archaeal MS channels and to show that this relationship extends to eukaryotic Fungi (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) and Plants (Arabidopsis thaliana). Similar to their bacterial and archaeal homologues, MS channels in eukaryotic cell-walled Fungi and Plants may serve in protecting the cellular plasma membrane from excessive dilation and rupture that may occur during osmotic stress. This review summarizes briefly some of the recent developments in the MS channel research field that may ultimately lead to elucidation of the biophysical and evolutionary principles underlying the mechanosensory transduction in living cells.

  19. Occult hepatitis B infection: an evolutionary scenario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukashov Vladimir V

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Occult or latent hepatitis B virus (HBV infection is defined as infection with detectable HBV DNA and undetectable surface antigen (HBsAg in patients' blood. The cause of an overt HBV infection becoming an occult one is unknown. To gain insight into the mechanism of the development of occult infection, we compared the full-length HBV genome from a blood donor carrying an occult infection (d4 with global genotype D genomes. Results The phylogenetic analysis of polymerase, core and X protein sequences did not distinguish d4 from other genotype D strains. Yet, d4 surface protein formed the evolutionary outgroup relative to all other genotype D strains. Its evolutionary branch was the only one where accumulation of substitutions suggests positive selection (dN/dS = 1.3787. Many of these substitutiions accumulated specifically in regions encoding the core/surface protein interface, as revealed in a 3D-modeled protein complex. We identified a novel RNA splicing event (deleting nucleotides 2986-202 that abolishes surface protein gene expression without affecting polymerase, core and X-protein related functions. Genotype D strains differ in their ability to perform this 2986-202 splicing. Strains prone to 2986-202 splicing constitute a separate clade in a phylogenetic tree of genotype D HBVs. A single substitution (G173T that is associated with clade membership alters the local RNA secondary structure and is proposed to affect splicing efficiency at the 202 acceptor site. Conclusion We propose an evolutionary scenario for occult HBV infection, in which 2986-202 splicing generates intracellular virus particles devoid of surface protein, which subsequently accumulates mutations due to relaxation of coding constraints. Such viruses are deficient of autonomous propagation and cannot leave the host cell until it is lysed.

  20. Strawberry-Tree Honey Induces Growth Inhibition of Human Colon Cancer Cells and Increases ROS Generation: A Comparison with Manuka Honey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadia Afrin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Honey is a natural product known to modulate several biological activities including cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the phytochemical content and the antioxidant activity of Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo honey (STH and its cytotoxic properties against human colon adenocarcinoma (HCT-116 and metastatic (LoVo cell lines in comparison with Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium honey (MH. Several unifloral STH and MH were analyzed for their phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein contents, as well as their radical scavenging activities. STH from the Berchidda area showed the highest amount of phenolic, flavonoid, amino acid and protein content, and antioxidant capacity compared to MH. Both STH and MH induced cytotoxicity and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner in HCT-116 and LoVo cells, with less toxicity on non-cancer cells. Compared to MH, STH showed more effect at lower concentrations on HCT-116 and LoVo cells. In addition, both honeys increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS generation. In HCT-116 cells, STH and MH induced similar ROS production but in LoVo cells STH induced a higher percentage of ROS compared to MH. Our results indicate that STH and MH can induce cell growth inhibition and ROS generation in colon adenocarcinoma and metastatic cells, which could be due to the presence of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. These preliminary results are interesting and suggest a potential chemopreventive action which could be useful for further studies in order to develop chemopreventive agents for colon cancer.