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Sample records for human evolutionary tree

  1. A Consensus Tree Approach for Reconstructing Human Evolutionary History and Detecting Population Substructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Ming-Chi; Blelloch, Guy; Ravi, R.; Schwartz, Russell

    The random accumulation of variations in the human genome over time implicitly encodes a history of how human populations have arisen, dispersed, and intermixed since we emerged as a species. Reconstructing that history is a challenging computational and statistical problem but has important applications both to basic research and to the discovery of genotype-phenotype correlations. In this study, we present a novel approach to inferring human evolutionary history from genetic variation data. Our approach uses the idea of consensus trees, a technique generally used to reconcile species trees from divergent gene trees, adapting it to the problem of finding the robust relationships within a set of intraspecies phylogenies derived from local regions of the genome. We assess the quality of the method on two large-scale genetic variation data sets: the HapMap Phase II and the Human Genome Diversity Project. Qualitative comparison to a consensus model of the evolution of modern human population groups shows that our inferences closely match our best current understanding of human evolutionary history. A further comparison with results of a leading method for the simpler problem of population substructure assignment verifies that our method provides comparable accuracy in identifying meaningful population subgroups in addition to inferring the relationships among them.

  2. Statistical Methods for Evolutionary Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, A. W. F.

    2009-01-01

    In 1963 and 1964, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and A. W. F. Edwards introduced novel methods for computing evolutionary trees from genetical data, initially for human populations from blood-group gene frequencies. The most important development was their introduction of statistical methods of estimation applied to stochastic models of evolution.

  3. Statistical methods for evolutionary trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, A W F

    2009-09-01

    In 1963 and 1964, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and A. W. F. Edwards introduced novel methods for computing evolutionary trees from genetical data, initially for human populations from blood-group gene frequencies. The most important development was their introduction of statistical methods of estimation applied to stochastic models of evolution.

  4. Behavior Trees for Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheper, Kirk Y W; Tijmons, Sjoerd; de Visser, Cornelis C; de Croon, Guido C H E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary Robotics allows robots with limited sensors and processing to tackle complex tasks by means of sensory-motor coordination. In this article we show the first application of the Behavior Tree framework on a real robotic platform using the evolutionary robotics methodology. This framework is used to improve the intelligibility of the emergent robotic behavior over that of the traditional neural network formulation. As a result, the behavior is easier to comprehend and manually adapt when crossing the reality gap from simulation to reality. This functionality is shown by performing real-world flight tests with the 20-g DelFly Explorer flapping wing micro air vehicle equipped with a 4-g onboard stereo vision system. The experiments show that the DelFly can fully autonomously search for and fly through a window with only its onboard sensors and processing. The success rate of the optimized behavior in simulation is 88%, and the corresponding real-world performance is 54% after user adaptation. Although this leaves room for improvement, it is higher than the 46% success rate from a tuned user-defined controller.

  5. Assessment of student conceptions of evolutionary trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacquiere, Luke

    Biologists use evolutionary trees to depict hypotheses about the relationships among taxa. Trees possess lines that represent lineages, internal nodes that represent where lineages become evolutionarily isolated from one another and terminal nodes that represent the taxa under consideration. Interpreting a tree (i.e., "tree-thinking") is an important skill for biologists yet many students struggle when reading evolutionary trees. Common documented misconceptions include using morphological similarity, internal node counting or terminal node proximity, instead of identifying the internal node that represents a most recent common ancestor (MRCA), to determine relationships among taxa. I developed an instrument to assess whether students were using common ancestry or another, non-scientific, strategy to determine relationships among taxa. The study is the first to explicitly test hypotheses about how students approach reading evolutionary trees. To test the hypotheses an instrument was developed. The instrument is the first reliable and valid assessment testing student understanding of how to use most recent common ancestor to interpret evolutionary relationships in tree diagrams. Instructors can use the instrument as a diagnostic tool enabling them to help students learn this challenging concept. This study shows that, contrary to the assertion that students hold misconceptions about evolutionary trees made in the literature, students do not consistently use erroneous strategies when interpreting trees. This study suggests that a constructivist perspective of cognitive structure describes students' conception of evolutionary trees more closely than a misconception perspective.

  6. QDist—Quartet Distance Between Evolutionary Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mailund; Pedersen, Christian N. Storm

    2004-01-01

    QDist is a program for computing the quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees, i.e. the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. The implementation is based on an algorithm with running...... time O(n log² n), which makes it practical to compare large trees....

  7. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    OpenAIRE

    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; Luis E. O. C. Aragão; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro

    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 amongst species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life history characteristics, provi...

  8. 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…

  9. 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 aged 7-11…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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+...

  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+...

  14. 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.

  15. Automatic design of decision-tree algorithms with evolutionary algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Rodrigo C; Basgalupp, Márcio P; de Carvalho, André C P L F; Freitas, Alex A

    2013-01-01

    This study reports the empirical analysis of a hyper-heuristic evolutionary algorithm that is capable of automatically designing top-down decision-tree induction algorithms. Top-down decision-tree algorithms are of great importance, considering their ability to provide an intuitive and accurate knowledge representation for classification problems. The automatic design of these algorithms seems timely, given the large literature accumulated over more than 40 years of research in the manual design of decision-tree induction algorithms. The proposed hyper-heuristic evolutionary algorithm, HEAD-DT, is extensively tested using 20 public UCI datasets and 10 microarray gene expression datasets. The algorithms automatically designed by HEAD-DT are compared with traditional decision-tree induction algorithms, such as C4.5 and CART. Experimental results show that HEAD-DT is capable of generating algorithms which are significantly more accurate than C4.5 and CART.

  16. Diversity, disparity, and evolutionary rate estimation for unresolved Yule trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Forrest W; Suchard, Marc A

    2013-05-01

    The branching structure of biological evolution confers statistical dependencies on phenotypic trait values in related organisms. For this reason, comparative macroevolutionary studies usually begin with an inferred phylogeny that describes the evolutionary relationships of the organisms of interest. The probability of the observed trait data can be computed by assuming a model for trait evolution, such as Brownian motion, over the branches of this fixed tree. However, the phylogenetic tree itself contributes statistical uncertainty to estimates of rates of phenotypic evolution, and many comparative evolutionary biologists regard the tree as a nuisance parameter. In this article, we present a framework for analytically integrating over unknown phylogenetic trees in comparative evolutionary studies by assuming that the tree arises from a continuous-time Markov branching model called the Yule process. To do this, we derive a closed-form expression for the distribution of phylogenetic diversity (PD), which is the sum of branch lengths connecting the species in a clade. We then present a generalization of PD which is equivalent to the expected trait disparity in a set of taxa whose evolutionary relationships are generated by a Yule process and whose traits evolve by Brownian motion. We find expressions for the distribution of expected trait disparity under a Yule tree. Given one or more observations of trait disparity in a clade, we perform fast likelihood-based estimation of the Brownian variance for unresolved clades. Our method does not require simulation or a fixed phylogenetic tree. We conclude with a brief example illustrating Brownian rate estimation for 12 families in the mammalian order Carnivora, in which the phylogenetic tree for each family is unresolved.

  17. Comparison of phylogenetic trees through alignment of embedded evolutionary distances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choi Kwangbom

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The understanding of evolutionary relationships is a fundamental aspect of modern biology, with the phylogenetic tree being a primary tool for describing these associations. However, comparison of trees for the purpose of assessing similarity and the quantification of various biological processes remains a significant challenge. Results We describe a novel approach for the comparison of phylogenetic distance information based on the alignment of representative high-dimensional embeddings (xCEED: Comparison of Embedded Evolutionary Distances. The xCEED methodology, which utilizes multidimensional scaling and Procrustes-related superimposition approaches, provides the ability to measure the global similarity between trees as well as incongruities between them. We demonstrate the application of this approach to the prediction of coevolving protein interactions and demonstrate its improved performance over the mirrortree, tol-mirrortree, phylogenetic vector projection, and partial correlation approaches. Furthermore, we show its applicability to both the detection of horizontal gene transfer events as well as its potential use in the prediction of interaction specificity between a pair of multigene families. Conclusions These approaches provide additional tools for the study of phylogenetic trees and associated evolutionary processes. Source code is available at http://gomezlab.bme.unc.edu/tools.

  18. The Complexity of Constructing Evolutionary Trees Using Experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting; Fagerberg, Rolf; Pedersen, Christian N.S.;

    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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-13

    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 paper, 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 O(r(r + s - 1) ⋅ wmax), where r, s and wmax 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.

  20. 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

    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...... 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)....

  1. Evolutionary models of human personality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haysom, H.J.; Verweij, C.J.H.; Zietsch, B.P.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral genetic studies have shown that around a third to a half of the between-individual variation in personality traits can be accounted for by genetic differences between individuals. There is rapidly growing interest in understanding the evolutionary basis of this genetic variation. In this

  2. 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

  3. Humanism and multiculturalism: an evolutionary alliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas-Diaz, Lillian

    2012-12-01

    Humanism and multiculturalism are partners in an evolutionary alliance. Humanistic and multicultural psychotherapies have historically influenced each other. Humanism represents the third force in psychotherapy, while multiculturalism embodies the fourth developmental stage. Multiculturalism embraces humanistic values grounded in collective and social justice contexts. Examples of multicultural humanistic constructs include contextualism, holism, and liberation. Certainly, the multicultural-humanistic connection is a necessary shift in the evolution of psychotherapy. Humanism and multiculturalism participate in the development of an inclusive and evolutionary psychotherapy. (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  4. Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    has not been placed in a broad evolutionary context. We quantify the rate and amount of mortality reduction by comparing a variety of human populations to the evolved human mortality profile, here estimated as the average mortality pattern for ethnographically observed hunter-gatherers. We show...

  5. Why religious human beings need evolutionary epistemology! A theological and evolutionary viewpoint of 'why humans need to embrace evolutionary epistemology'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan A. van Rooyen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available I put forward an understanding of evolutionary epistemology that rescues something of the old and venerable idea of freedom, and it means that we as theologians should grasp our very nature realistically, beyond any illusionism and utopian dreams. The author feels that scholars, especially theologians, should firstly take evolution seriously and secondly regard evolutionary epistemology as important as evolution itself, the reason being theologians should know that it is of paramount importance for their systematic-theological intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications, which is embarking on a way of thinking that regards evolutionary epistemology as a friend in their accommodation of their respective theological fields of interest. This accommodation is substantial as it will enhance their respective theological disciplines as �an exhilarating vision of God�. Evolutionary epistemology takes a pragmatic view of humans. Evolutionary epistemologists question how humans really behave and what the true origin of their behaviour is. In contrast to this programme, many conceptions of humans are based on an idealisation of our species.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Evolutionary epistemology takes a pragmatic view of humans. Evolutionary epistemologists question how humans really behave and what the true origin of their behaviour is. In contrast to this programme, many conceptions of humans are based on an idealisation of our species. I then put forward my own understanding of evolutionary epistemology and conclude that evolutionary epistemology recues something of the old and venerable idea of freedom, and it means that we should grasp our very nature realistically, beyond any illusionism and utopian dreams.Keywords: Evolutionary epistemology

  6. Human Resource Ecosystem and its evolutionary rules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Paper,based on the concept and the elements of human resource ecosystem(HR Ecosystem),studies the function and structure of HR Ecosystem,introduces the entropy theory to define the content of entropy of HR Ecosystem,constructs the corresponding distinctive model to distinguish the direction of the evolution of HR Ecosystem and the evolutionary entropy model, and applies the models to demonstrate the evolutionary rules of HR Ecosystem.The study shows that the entropy theory can be well applied to the analysis on HR Ecosystem and that it opens up a new field in the research of human resource management and provides a new effective technical method.

  7. Human nature, cultural diversity and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotkin, Henry

    2011-02-12

    Incorporating culture into an expanded theory of evolution will provide the foundation for a universal account of human diversity. Two requirements must be met. The first is to see learning as an extension of the processes of evolution. The second is to understand that there are specific components of human culture, viz. higher order knowledge structures and social constructions, which give rise to culture as invented knowledge. These components, which are products of psychological processes and mechanisms, make human culture different from the forms of shared knowledge observed in other species. One serious difficulty for such an expanded theory is that social constructions may not add to the fitness of all humans exposed to them. This may be because human culture has existed for only a relatively short time in evolutionary terms. Or it may be that, as some maintain, adaptation is a limited, even a flawed, aspect of evolutionary theory.

  8. Human nature, cultural diversity and evolutionary theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotkin, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Incorporating culture into an expanded theory of evolution will provide the foundation for a universal account of human diversity. Two requirements must be met. The first is to see learning as an extension of the processes of evolution. The second is to understand that there are specific components of human culture, viz. higher order knowledge structures and social constructions, which give rise to culture as invented knowledge. These components, which are products of psychological processes and mechanisms, make human culture different from the forms of shared knowledge observed in other species. One serious difficulty for such an expanded theory is that social constructions may not add to the fitness of all humans exposed to them. This may be because human culture has existed for only a relatively short time in evolutionary terms. Or it may be that, as some maintain, adaptation is a limited, even a flawed, aspect of evolutionary theory. PMID:21199849

  9. Using Human Evolution to Teach Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besterman, Hugo; La Velle, Linda Baggott

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Using Human Evolution to Teach Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besterman, Hugo; La Velle, Linda Baggott

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Human Sperm Competition: A Comparative Evolutionary Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N. Pham

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males within a sufficiently brief time period, resulting in sperm of the different males competing to fertilize ova. Sperm competition has been documented or inferred to occur across several species. We address the evidence for sperm competition in humans by reviewing literature indicating apparently convergent adaptations to sperm competition in humans and non-humans. We discuss future research directions, and conclude that the evidence for anatomical, biological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to human sperm competition provides compelling evidence that sperm competition has been a recurrent feature of human evolutionary history.

  12. 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.

  13. Forests, Trees and Human Health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, Kjell Svenne Bernhard; Sangster, Marcus; Konijnendijk, Cecil Cornelis

    2011-01-01

    The link between modern lifestyles and increasing levels of chronic heart disease, obesity, stress and poor mental health is a concern across the world. The cost of dealing with these conditions places a large burden on national public health budgets so that policymakers are increasingly looking...... Union’s COST Action E39 ‘Forests, Trees and Human Health and Wellbeing’, and draws together work carried out over four years by scientists from 25 countries working in the fields of forestry, health, environment and social sciences. While the focus is primarily on health priorities defined within Europe...... at prevention as a cost-effective alternative to medical treatment. Attention is turning towards interactions between the environment and lifestyles. Exploring the relationships between health, natural environments in general, and forests in particular, this groundbreaking book is the outcome of the European...

  14. Cubic time algorithms of amalgamating gene trees and building evolutionary scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyubetsky Vassily A

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A long recognized problem is the inference of the supertree S that amalgamates a given set {Gj} of trees Gj, with leaves in each Gj being assigned homologous elements. We ground on an approach to find the tree S by minimizing the total cost of mappings αj of individual gene trees Gj into S. Traditionally, this cost is defined basically as a sum of duplications and gaps in each αj. The classical problem is to minimize the total cost, where S runs over the set of all trees that contain an exhaustive non-redundant set of species from all input Gj. Results We suggest a reformulation of the classical NP-hard problem of building a supertree in terms of the global minimization of the same cost functional but only over species trees S that consist of clades belonging to a fixed set P (e.g., an exhaustive set of clades in all Gj. We developed a deterministic solving algorithm with a low degree polynomial (typically cubic time complexity with respect to the size of input data. We define an extensive set of elementary evolutionary events and suggest an original definition of mapping β of tree G into tree S. We introduce the cost functional c(G, S, f and define the mapping β as the global minimum of this functional with respect to the variable f, in which sense it is a generalization of classical mapping α. We suggest a reformulation of the classical NP-hard mapping (reconciliation problem by introducing time slices into the species tree S and present a cubic time solving algorithm to compute the mapping β. We introduce two novel definitions of the evolutionary scenario based on mapping β or a random process of gene evolution along a species tree. Conclusions Developed algorithms are mathematically proved, which justifies the following statements. The supertree building algorithm finds exactly the global minimum of the total cost if only gene duplications and losses are allowed and the given sets of gene trees satisfies a certain

  15. Human evolutionary history and contemporary evolutionary theory provide insight when assessing cultural group selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin; Kissel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Richerson et al. provide a much needed roadmap for assessing cultural group selection (CGS) theory and for applying it to understanding variation between contemporary human groups. However, the current proposal lacks connection to relevant evidence from the human evolutionary record and requires a better integration with contemporary evolutionary theory. The article also misapplies the F st statistic.

  16. 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.

  17. Evolutionary contributions to the study of human fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Demography, lacking an overarching theoretical framework of its own, has drawn on theories in many other social sciences to inform its analyses. The aim of this paper is to bring to the demographic community's attention research in the evolutionary sciences on fertility, and to demonstrate that evolutionary theory can be another useful tool in the demographer's toolkit. I first dispel some myths which impede the incorporation of evolutionary theory into demography: I make it clear that evolutionary explanations do not assume that all human behaviour is hardwired and functions to maximize genetic fitness; that they are able to explain variation in human behaviour; and that they are not necessarily alternatives to social science explanations. I then describe the diversity of work on fertility by evolutionary researchers, particularly human evolutionary ecologists and cultural evolutionists, and illustrate the usefulness of the evolutionary approach with examples of its application to age at first birth and the fertility transition.

  18. A Multi-Objective Optimal Evolutionary Algorithm Based on Tree-Ranking

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shi Chuan; Kang Li-shan; Li Yan; Yan Zhen-yu

    2003-01-01

    Multi-objective optimal evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) are a kind of new effective algorithms to solve Multi-objective optimal problem (MOP). Because ranking, a method which is used by most MOEAs to solve MOP, has some shortcoming s, in this paper, we proposed a new method using tree structure to express the relationship of solutions. Experiments prove that the method can reach the Pare to front, retain the diversity of the population, and use less time.

  19. 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.

  20. Studying Collective Human Decision Making and Creativity with Evolutionary Computation

    OpenAIRE

    Sayama, Hiroki; Dionne, Shelley D.

    2014-01-01

    We report a summary of our interdisciplinary research project "Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making" that was conducted through close collaboration between computational, organizational and social scientists at Binghamton University. We redefined collective human decision making and creativity as evolution of ecologies of ideas, where populations of ideas evolve via continual applications of evolutionary operators such as reproduction, recombination, mutation, selection, and...

  1. 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.

  2. ETEA: a Euclidean minimum spanning tree-based evolutionary algorithm for multi-objective optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Miqing; Yang, Shengxiang; Zheng, Jinhua; Liu, Xiaohui

    2014-01-01

    The Euclidean minimum spanning tree (EMST), widely used in a variety of domains, is a minimum spanning tree of a set of points in space where the edge weight between each pair of points is their Euclidean distance. Since the generation of an EMST is entirely determined by the Euclidean distance between solutions (points), the properties of EMSTs have a close relation with the distribution and position information of solutions. This paper explores the properties of EMSTs and proposes an EMST-based evolutionary algorithm (ETEA) to solve multi-objective optimization problems (MOPs). Unlike most EMO algorithms that focus on the Pareto dominance relation, the proposed algorithm mainly considers distance-based measures to evaluate and compare individuals during the evolutionary search. Specifically, in ETEA, four strategies are introduced: (1) An EMST-based crowding distance (ETCD) is presented to estimate the density of individuals in the population; (2) A distance comparison approach incorporating ETCD is used to assign the fitness value for individuals; (3) A fitness adjustment technique is designed to avoid the partial overcrowding in environmental selection; (4) Three diversity indicators-the minimum edge, degree, and ETCD-with regard to EMSTs are applied to determine the survival of individuals in archive truncation. From a series of extensive experiments on 32 test instances with different characteristics, ETEA is found to be competitive against five state-of-the-art algorithms and its predecessor in providing a good balance among convergence, uniformity, and spread.

  3. 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

  4. Evolutionary specializations of human association cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mars, R.B.; Passingham, R.E.; Neubert, F.X.; Verhagen, L.; Sallet, J.

    2017-01-01

    Is the human brain a big ape brain? We argue that the human association cortex is larger than would be expected for an equivalent ape brain, suggesting human association cortex is a unique adaptation. The internal organization of the human association cortex shows modifications of the ape plan in

  5. 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.

  6. Studying Collective Human Decision Making and Creativity with Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayama, Hiroki; Dionne, Shelley D

    2015-01-01

    We report a summary of our interdisciplinary research project "Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making" that was conducted through close collaboration between computational, organizational, and social scientists at Binghamton University. We redefined collective human decision making and creativity as evolution of ecologies of ideas, where populations of ideas evolve via continual applications of evolutionary operators such as reproduction, recombination, mutation, selection, and migration of ideas, each conducted by participating humans. Based on this evolutionary perspective, we generated hypotheses about collective human decision making, using agent-based computer simulations. The hypotheses were then tested through several experiments with real human subjects. Throughout this project, we utilized evolutionary computation (EC) in non-traditional ways-(1) as a theoretical framework for reinterpreting the dynamics of idea generation and selection, (2) as a computational simulation model of collective human decision-making processes, and (3) as a research tool for collecting high-resolution experimental data on actual collaborative design and decision making from human subjects. We believe our work demonstrates untapped potential of EC for interdisciplinary research involving human and social dynamics.

  7. Evolutionary patterns of volatile terpene emissions across 202 tropical tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtois, Elodie A; Dexter, Kyle G; Paine, Charles Eliot Timothy; Stien, Didier; Engel, Julien; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jérôme

    2016-05-01

    Plant responses to natural enemies include formation of secondary metabolites acting as direct or indirect defenses. Volatile terpenes represent one of the most diverse groups of secondary metabolites. We aimed to explore evolutionary patterns of volatile terpene emission. We measured the composition of damage-induced volatile terpenes from 202 Amazonian tree species, spanning the angiosperm phylogeny. Volatile terpenes were extracted with solid-phase micro extraction and desorbed in a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for compound identification. The chemical diversity of the terpene blend showed a strong phylogenetic signal as closely related species emitted a similar number of compounds. Closely related species also tended to have compositionally similar blends, although this relationship was weak. Meanwhile, the ability to emit a given compound showed no significant phylogenetic signal for 200 of 286 compounds, indicating a high rate of diversification in terpene synthesis and/or great variability in their expression. Three lineages (Magnoliales, Laurales, and Sapindales) showed exceptionally high rates of terpene diversification. Of the 70 compounds found in >10% of their species, 69 displayed significant correlated evolution with at least one other compound. These results provide insights into the complex evolutionary history of volatile terpenes in angiosperms, while highlighting the need for further research into this important class of compounds.

  8. Why religious human beings need evolutionary epistemology! A theological and evolutionary viewpoint of 'why humans need to embrace evolutionary epistemology'

    OpenAIRE

    Johan A. van Rooyen

    2016-01-01

    I put forward an understanding of evolutionary epistemology that rescues something of the old and venerable idea of freedom, and it means that we as theologians should grasp our very nature realistically, beyond any illusionism and utopian dreams. The author feels that scholars, especially theologians, should firstly take evolution seriously and secondly regard evolutionary epistemology as important as evolution itself, the reason being theologians should know that it is of paramount importan...

  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. Human Germline Mutation and the Erratic Evolutionary Clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przeworski, Molly

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of the chronology of human evolution relies on the “molecular clock” provided by the steady accumulation of substitutions on an evolutionary lineage. Recent analyses of human pedigrees have called this understanding into question by revealing unexpectedly low germline mutation rates, which imply that substitutions accrue more slowly than previously believed. Translating mutation rates estimated from pedigrees into substitution rates is not as straightforward as it may seem, however. We dissect the steps involved, emphasizing that dating evolutionary events requires not “a mutation rate” but a precise characterization of how mutations accumulate in development in males and females—knowledge that remains elusive. PMID:27760127

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

    CERN Document Server

    Jofre, Paula; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Foley, Robert

    2016-01-01

    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 which separate in age and kinematics and can be thus attributed to the thin disk, the thick disk, 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 disk is much higher than in the thin disk. We are also able to estimate the relative contribution of dynamical processes such as radial migration and disk heating to th...

  12. Evolutionary hallmarks of the human proteome: chasing the age and coregulation of protein-coding genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Katia de Paiva; Campos-Laborie, Francisco José; Vialle, Ricardo Assunção; Ortega, José Miguel; De Las Rivas, Javier

    2016-10-25

    The development of large-scale technologies for quantitative transcriptomics has enabled comprehensive analysis of the gene expression profiles in complete genomes. RNA-Seq allows the measurement of gene expression levels in a manner far more precise and global than previous methods. Studies using this technology are altering our view about the extent and complexity of the eukaryotic transcriptomes. In this respect, multiple efforts have been done to determine and analyse the gene expression patterns of human cell types in different conditions, either in normal or pathological states. However, until recently, little has been reported about the evolutionary marks present in human protein-coding genes, particularly from the combined perspective of gene expression and protein evolution. We present a combined analysis of human protein-coding gene expression profiling and time-scale ancestry mapping, that places the genes in taxonomy clades and reveals eight evolutionary major steps ("hallmarks"), that include clusters of functionally coherent proteins. The human expressed genes are analysed using a RNA-Seq dataset of 116 samples from 32 tissues. The evolutionary analysis of the human proteins is performed combining the information from: (i) a database of orthologous proteins (OMA), (ii) the taxonomy mapping of genes to lineage clades (from NCBI Taxonomy) and (iii) the evolution time-scale mapping provided by TimeTree (Timescale of Life). The human protein-coding genes are also placed in a relational context based in the construction of a robust gene coexpression network, that reveals tighter links between age-related protein-coding genes and finds functionally coherent gene modules. Understanding the relational landscape of the human protein-coding genes is essential for interpreting the functional elements and modules of our active genome. Moreover, decoding the evolutionary history of the human genes can provide very valuable information to reveal or uncover their

  13. Evolutionary hallmarks of the human proteome: chasing the age and coregulation of protein-coding genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katia de Paiva Lopes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development of large-scale technologies for quantitative transcriptomics has enabled comprehensive analysis of the gene expression profiles in complete genomes. RNA-Seq allows the measurement of gene expression levels in a manner far more precise and global than previous methods. Studies using this technology are altering our view about the extent and complexity of the eukaryotic transcriptomes. In this respect, multiple efforts have been done to determine and analyse the gene expression patterns of human cell types in different conditions, either in normal or pathological states. However, until recently, little has been reported about the evolutionary marks present in human protein-coding genes, particularly from the combined perspective of gene expression and protein evolution. Results We present a combined analysis of human protein-coding gene expression profiling and time-scale ancestry mapping, that places the genes in taxonomy clades and reveals eight evolutionary major steps (“hallmarks”, that include clusters of functionally coherent proteins. The human expressed genes are analysed using a RNA-Seq dataset of 116 samples from 32 tissues. The evolutionary analysis of the human proteins is performed combining the information from: (i a database of orthologous proteins (OMA, (ii the taxonomy mapping of genes to lineage clades (from NCBI Taxonomy and (iii the evolution time-scale mapping provided by TimeTree (Timescale of Life. The human protein-coding genes are also placed in a relational context based in the construction of a robust gene coexpression network, that reveals tighter links between age-related protein-coding genes and finds functionally coherent gene modules. Conclusions Understanding the relational landscape of the human protein-coding genes is essential for interpreting the functional elements and modules of our active genome. Moreover, decoding the evolutionary history of the human genes can

  14. Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, Gert; Barrett, Louise

    2016-01-01

    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, systemat

  15. The Evolutionary Origins of Human Generosity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Komter, Aafke

    2010-01-01

    This article examines how altruism and self-interest are linked in human generosity, and what social scientists can learn from this linkage. The origins of generosity are explored by combining biological, psychological, anthropological and sociological evidence. Kinship altruism, reciprocal

  16. 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.

  17. The Evolutionary Origins of Human Generosity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Komter, Aafke

    2010-01-01

    This article examines how altruism and self-interest are linked in human generosity, and what social scientists can learn from this linkage. The origins of generosity are explored by combining biological, psychological, anthropological and sociological evidence. Kinship altruism, reciprocal altruism

  18. Evolutionary approach to communication between humans and dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriella Lakatos

    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.

  19. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Nicole; Hanson, Kari L; Teffer, Kate; Schenker-Ahmed, Natalie M; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape) amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey), but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through (a) non-human hominoids and (b) non-human anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression. Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50, 37, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26 and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human evolution.

  20. "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.

  1. Evolutionary origins of human brain and spirituality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberg, Maciej; Saniotis, Arthur

    2009-12-01

    Evolving brains produce minds. Minds operate on imaginary entities. Thus they can create what does not exist in the physical world. Spirits can be deified. Perception of spiritual entities is emotional--organic. Spirituality is a part of culture while culture is an adaptive mechanism of human groups as it allows for technology and social organization to support survival and reproduction. Humans are not rational, they are emotional. Most of explanations of the world, offered by various cultures, involve an element of "fiat", a will of a higher spiritual being, or a reference to some ideal. From this the rules of behaviour are deduced. These rules are necessary to maintain social peace and allow a complex unit consisting of individuals of both sexes and all ages to function in a way ensuring their reproductive success and thus survival. There is thus a direct biological benefit of complex ideological superstructure of culture. This complex superstructure most often takes a form of religion in which logic is mixed with appeals to emotions based on images of spiritual beings. God is a consequence of natural evolution. Whether a deity is a cause of this evolution is difficult to discover, but existence of a deity cannot be questioned.

  2. Evolutionary history of redox metal-binding domains across the tree of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harel, Arye; Bromberg, Yana; Falkowski, Paul G; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2014-05-13

    Oxidoreductases mediate electron transfer (i.e., redox) reactions across the tree of life and ultimately facilitate the biologically driven fluxes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur on Earth. The core enzymes responsible for these reactions are ancient, often small in size, and highly diverse in amino acid sequence, and many require specific transition metals in their active sites. Here we reconstruct the evolution of metal-binding domains in extant oxidoreductases using a flexible network approach and permissive profile alignments based on available microbial genome data. Our results suggest there were at least 10 independent origins of redox domain families. However, we also identified multiple ancient connections between Fe2S2- (adrenodoxin-like) and heme- (cytochrome c) binding domains. Our results suggest that these two iron-containing redox families had a single common ancestor that underwent duplication and divergence. The iron-containing protein family constitutes ∼50% of all metal-containing oxidoreductases and potentially catalyzed redox reactions in the Archean oceans. Heme-binding domains seem to be derived via modular evolutionary processes that ultimately form the backbone of redox reactions in both anaerobic and aerobic respiration and photosynthesis. The empirically discovered network allows us to peer into the ancient history of microbial metabolism on our planet.

  3. Evolutionary and ecological correlates of early seedling morphology in East African trees and shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanne, Amy E; Chapman, Colin A; Kitajima, Kaoru

    2005-06-01

    Seed size and cotyledon morphology are two key juvenile traits that have evolved in response to changes in plant species life-history strategies and habitat associations. Correlations of these traits with each other and with other juvenile traits were examined for 70 species of trees and shrubs in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Although species with photosynthetic cotyledons were more abundant than in other tropical floras, both univariate and multivariate analyses supported trait associations expected from the literature. Trait values varied continuously across species, yet mean trait values differed significantly among habitat association types. Species with large seeds, large seedlings, thick storage cotyledons, slow germination, large-stature adults, and dispersal by large animals were common in forest and gap habitats. An opposite suite of traits was common in open habitats (grassland and edge). Analyses incorporating phylogeny (independent contrasts and omnibus tests) confirmed that these suites of traits showed correlated evolution. Cotyledon functional morphology yielded a strong phylogenetic signal, while seed mass was labile. Nevertheless, contingent change tests found that evolutionary change from photosynthetic to reserve cotyledons was more likely when disperser and perhaps seed size of ancestral species were already large, suggesting a strong interdependency among these traits.

  4. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole eBarger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey, but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through a nonhuman hominoids and b nonhuman anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression.Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50%, 37%, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26% and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human

  5. The natural immunity to evolutionary atavistic endotoxin for human cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moncevičiūtė-Eringienė, Elena; Rotkevič, Kristina; Grikienis, Ruta Grikienyte

    2015-11-01

    We propose a new theory of the immunological control of cancer corresponding to the hypothesis that the specific natural immunity to evolutionary atavistic endotoxin has a potential role in human cancer prevention. The results of our studies have shown that IgMNAE, i.e. endogenous or spontaneous IgM class antibodies to enterobacterial lipopolysaccharide molecules (lipid A), control the immune mechanisms responsible for the internal medium stability not only against the damaging impact of the carcinogenic factors, but also against the malignant transformation of its own degenerated cells. Among people who in 1979 and 1982 had IgMNAE in their blood serum, after 15-30years fell ill with cancer 10%, versus 15% among people who had no IgMNAE (pimmunity to endotoxin it is possible to see the formation of the respective evolutionary protective reactions which protect the damaged cells from acquiring resistance to damaging factors and thus from becoming an independent new parasitic population. Thereby the presented theory of the immunological control of cancer has a causal connection with our evolutionary resistance theory of the origin of cancer. Collectively, these data suggest that activation of natural immunity to endotoxin and production of vaccines against evolutionary atavistic endotoxin or gram-negative bacterial endotoxin can be helpful when applied in cancer prophylaxis for persons with a low level of natural immunity to endotoxin and perhaps in creating immunotherapeutic methods for stopping the endogenous parasitism of tumour cells by binding IgMNAE to atavistic endotoxin in cancer patients.

  6. Human nature and culture: an evolutionary psychological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, D M

    2001-12-01

    Personality psychology is the broadest of all psychological subdisciplines in that it seeks a conceptually integrated understanding of both human nature and important individual differences. Cultural differences pose a unique set of problems for any comprehensive theory of personality-how can they be reconciled with universals of human nature on the one hand and within-cultural variation on the other? Evolutionary psychology provides one set of conceptual tools by which this conceptual integration can be made. It requires jettisoning the false but still-pervasive dichotomy of culture versus biology, acknowledging a universal human nature, and recognizing that the human mind contains many complex psychological mechanisms that are selectively activated, depending on cultural contexts. Culture rests on a foundation of evolved psychological mechanisms and cannot be understood without those mechanisms.

  7. Incorporating characteristics of human creativity into an evolutionary art algorithm

    CERN Document Server

    DiPaola, Steve

    2010-01-01

    A perceived limitation of evolutionary art and design algorithms is that they rely on human intervention; the artist selects the most aesthetically pleasing variants of one generation to produce the next. This paper discusses how computer generated art and design can become more creatively human-like with respect to both process and outcome. As an example of a step in this direction, we present an algorithm that overcomes the above limitation by employing an automatic fitness function. The goal is to evolve abstract portraits of Darwin, using our 2nd generation fitness function which rewards genomes that not just produce a likeness of Darwin but exhibit certain strategies characteristic of human artists. We note that in human creativity, change is less choosing amongst randomly generated variants and more capitalizing on the associative structure of a conceptual network to hone in on a vision. We discuss how to achieve this fluidity algorithmically.

  8. Evolutionary origins of human handedness: evaluating contrasting hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochet, Hélène; Byrne, Richard W

    2013-07-01

    Variation in methods and measures, resulting in past dispute over the existence of population handedness in nonhuman great apes, has impeded progress into the origins of human right-handedness and how it relates to the human hallmark of language. Pooling evidence from behavioral studies, neuroimaging and neuroanatomy, we evaluate data on manual and cerebral laterality in humans and other apes engaged in a range of manipulative tasks and in gestural communication. A simplistic human/animal partition is no longer tenable, and we review four (nonexclusive) possible drivers for the origin of population-level right-handedness: skilled manipulative activity, as in tool use; communicative gestures; organizational complexity of action, in particular hierarchical structure; and the role of intentionality in goal-directed action. Fully testing these hypotheses will require developmental and evolutionary evidence as well as modern neuroimaging data.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gijsbert van den Brink

    2012-09-01

    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

  10. [Evolutionary development of human psyche in Wilber's integral psychology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koberda, Przemysław

    2008-01-01

    Darwin's evolution theory is fundamental for modern biology. But the logic of evolutionary development seems to have a wider context. Several observations and psychological investigations show convincingly that the extent of the development of human psyche is a continuation of the biological evolution. Developmental levels of consciousness, seen both from the individual and collective perspective, are discussed in the writings by the American investigator and philosopher Ken Wilber. His integral model, which has evoIved into integral psychology, forms a logical and inspiring basis for further scientific deliberations in the fields of psychology and medical sciences.

  11. An evolutionary perspective on zinc uptake by human fungal pathogens†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Duncan

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian immune system has evolved sophisticated mechanisms to withhold essential micronutrients from invading pathogens. These processes, collectively known as nutritional immunity serve to limit microbial proliferation and bolster killing of the invader. Successful pathogens, therefore, have developed strategies to counteract nutritional immunity and acquire essential micronutrients in the restrictive environment of the infected host. Here I take advantage of the now large number of sequenced fungal genomes to explore the zinc acquisition strategies of human fungal pathogens and reflect on the evolutionary context of these uptake pathways. PMID:25652414

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Seeing the wood for the trees: a minimal reference phylogeny for the human Y chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oven, Mannis; Van Geystelen, Anneleen; Kayser, Manfred; Decorte, Ronny; Larmuseau, Maarten H D

    2014-02-01

    During the last few decades, a wealth of studies dedicated to the human Y chromosome and its DNA variation, in particular Y-chromosome single-nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs), has led to the construction of a well-established Y-chromosome phylogeny. Since the recent advent of new sequencing technologies, the discovery of additional Y-SNPs is exploding and their continuous incorporation in the phylogenetic tree is leading to an ever higher resolution. However, the large and increasing amount of information included in the "complete" Y-chromosome phylogeny, which now already includes many thousands of identified Y-SNPs, can be overwhelming and complicates its understanding as well as the task of selecting suitable markers for genotyping purposes in evolutionary, demographic, anthropological, genealogical, medical, and forensic studies. As a solution, we introduce a concise reference phylogeny whereby we do not aim to provide an exhaustive tree that includes all known Y-SNPs but, rather, a quite stable reference tree aiming for optimal global discrimination capacity based on a strongly reduced set that includes only the most resolving Y-SNPs. Furthermore, with this reference tree, we wish to propose a common standard for Y-marker as well as Y-haplogroup nomenclature. The current version of our tree is based on a core set of 417 branch-defining Y-SNPs and is available online at http://www.phylotree.org/Y.

  16. Human impacts drive a global topographic signature in tree cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandel, Brody; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-01-01

    The Anthropocene is a geological epoch marked by major human influences on processes in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. One of the most dramatic features of the Anthropocene is the massive alteration of the Earth's vegetation, including forests. Here we investigate the role of topography in shaping human impacts on tree cover from local to global scales. We show that human impacts have resulted in a global tendency for tree cover to be constrained to sloped terrain and losses to be concentrated on flat terrain. This effect increases in strength with increasing human pressure and is most pronounced in countries with rapidly growing economies, limited human population stress and highly effective governments. These patterns likely reflect the relative inaccessibility of sloped topography and have important implications for conservation and modelling of future tree cover.

  17. Evolutionary Trees can be Learned in Polynomial-Time in the Two-State General Markov Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cryan, Mary; Goldberg, Leslie Ann; Goldberg, Paul Wilfred

    2001-01-01

    The j-state general Markov model of evolution (due to Steel) is a stochastic model concerned with the evolution of strings over an alphabet of size j. In particular, the two-state general Markov model of evolution generalizes the well-known Cavender-Farris-Neyman model of evolution by removing......--Farris--Neyman model provided that the target tree satisfies the additional restriction that all pairs of leaves have a sufficiently high probability of being the same. We show how to remove both restrictions and thereby obtain the first polynomial-time PAC-learning algorithm (in the sense of Kearns et al...... the symmetry restriction (which requires that the probability that a "0" turns into a "1" along an edge is the same as the probability that a "1" turns into a "0" along the edge). Farach and Kannan showed how to probably approximately correct (PAC)-learn Markov evolutionary trees in the Cavender...

  18. Evolutionary Trees can be Learned in Polynomial-Time in the Two-State General Markov Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cryan, Mary; Goldberg, Leslie Ann; Goldberg, Paul Wilfred

    2001-01-01

    The j-state general Markov model of evolution (due to Steel) is a stochastic model concerned with the evolution of strings over an alphabet of size j. In particular, the two-state general Markov model of evolution generalizes the well-known Cavender-Farris-Neyman model of evolution by removing...... the symmetry restriction (which requires that the probability that a "0" turns into a "1" along an edge is the same as the probability that a "1" turns into a "0" along the edge). Farach and Kannan showed how to probably approximately correct (PAC)-learn Markov evolutionary trees in the Cavender......--Farris--Neyman model provided that the target tree satisfies the additional restriction that all pairs of leaves have a sufficiently high probability of being the same. We show how to remove both restrictions and thereby obtain the first polynomial-time PAC-learning algorithm (in the sense of Kearns et al...

  19. 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

    and the heritability of resistance traits varies substantially among the cases. While chestnut blight wilt combined with ink disease has virtually eliminated mature Castanea dentata trees from North America, other severe emerging diseases, such as the ash dieback, have left many surviving trees and genetic variation...

  20. 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…

  1. Evolutionary conservation in genes underlying human psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Lisa M; Vallender, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    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 the protein-coding regions 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 34 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 humans to the exclusion of non-human primates was absent, however elevated dN/dS was detected in catarrhines as a whole, as well as in cetaceans, possibly as part of a more general trend. Although this may suggest that protein changes associated with schizophrenia and autism are not a cost of the higher brain function found in humans, it may also point to insufficiencies in the study of these diseases including incomplete or inaccurate gene association lists and/or a greater role of regulatory changes or copy number variation. 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.

  2. Interactive Evolutionary Computation for Analyzing Human Awareness Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki Takagi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the importance of establishing awareness science and show the idea of using interactive evolutionary computation (IEC as a tool for analyzing awareness mechanism and making awareness models. First, we describe the importance of human factors in computational intelligence and that IEC is one of approaches for the so-called humanized computational intelligence. Second, we show examples that IEC is used as an analysis tool for human science. As analyzing human awareness mechanism is in this kind of analyzing human characteristics and capabilities, IEC may be able to be used for this purpose. Based on this expectation, we express one idea for analyzing the awareness mechanism. This idea is to make an equivalent model of an IEC user using a learning model and find latent variables that connect inputs and outputs of the user model and that help to understand or explain the inputs-outputs relationship. Although there must be several definitions of awareness, this idea is based on one definition that awareness is to find out unknown variables that helps our understanding. If we establish a method for finding the latent variables automatically, we can realize an awareness model in computer.

  3. Evolutionary Developmental Biology and Human Language Evolution: Constraints on Adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2012-12-01

    A tension has long existed between those biologists who emphasize the importance of adaptation by natural selection and those who highlight the role of phylogenetic and developmental constraints on organismal form and function. This contrast has been particularly noticeable in recent debates concerning the evolution of human language. Darwin himself acknowledged the existence and importance of both of these, and a long line of biologists have followed him in seeing, in the concept of "descent with modification", a framework naturally able to incorporate both adaptation and constraint. Today, the integrated perspective of modern evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") allows a more subtle and pluralistic approach to these traditional questions, and has provided several examples where the traditional notion of "constraint" can be cashed out in specific, mechanistic terms. This integrated viewpoint is particularly relevant to the evolution of the multiple mechanisms underlying human language, because of the short time available for novel aspects of these mechanisms to evolve and be optimized. Comparative data indicate that many cognitive aspects of human language predate humans, suggesting that pre-adaptation and exaptation have played important roles in language evolution. Thus, substantial components of what many linguists call "Universal Grammar" predate language itself. However, at least some of these older mechanisms have been combined in ways that generate true novelty. I suggest that we can insightfully exploit major steps forward in our understanding of evolution and development, to gain a richer understanding of the principles that underlie human language evolution.

  4. Possible evolutionary origins of human female sexual fluidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2016-05-16

    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.

  5. Design principles of the human brain: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the brain in mammals has been accompanied by a reorganization of the brain as a result of differential growth of certain brain regions. Consequently, the geometry of the brain, and especially the size and shape of the cerebral cortex, has changed notably during evolution. Comparative studies of the cerebral cortex suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development and that the primate neocortex is uniformly organized and composed of neural processing units. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical, and energy constraints that have governed the evolution of these neuronal networks. In this review, some of the design principles and operational modes will be explored that underlie the information processing capacity of the cerebral cortex in primates, and it will be argued that with the evolution of the human brain we have nearly reached the limits of biological intelligence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27651991

  7. Remembering the Forest While Viewing the Trees: Evolutionary Thinking in the Teaching of Molecular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of…

  8. Remembering the forest while viewing the trees: evolutionary thinking in the teaching of molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of evolution in diverse contexts, including those where it is not explicitly mentioned.

  9. 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.

  10. Kinome Render: a stand-alone and web-accessible tool to annotate the human protein kinome tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartier, Matthieu; Chénard, Thierry; Barker, Jonathan; Najmanovich, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Human protein kinases play fundamental roles mediating the majority of signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells as well as a multitude of other processes involved in metabolism, cell-cycle regulation, cellular shape, motility, differentiation and apoptosis. The human protein kinome contains 518 members. Most studies that focus on the human kinome require, at some point, the visualization of large amounts of data. The visualization of such data within the framework of a phylogenetic tree may help identify key relationships between different protein kinases in view of their evolutionary distance and the information used to annotate the kinome tree. For example, studies that focus on the promiscuity of kinase inhibitors can benefit from the annotations to depict binding affinities across kinase groups. Images involving the mapping of information into the kinome tree are common. However, producing such figures manually can be a long arduous process prone to errors. To circumvent this issue, we have developed a web-based tool called Kinome Render (KR) that produces customized annotations on the human kinome tree. KR allows the creation and automatic overlay of customizable text or shape-based annotations of different sizes and colors on the human kinome tree. The web interface can be accessed at: http://bcb.med.usherbrooke.ca/kinomerender. A stand-alone version is also available and can be run locally.

  11. Evolutionary features of influenza A/H5N1 virus populations in Egypt: poultry and human health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naguib, Mahmoud M; Abdelwhab, E M; Harder, Timm C

    2016-07-01

    Since 2006, in Egypt, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) H5N1 has established endemic status in poultry. Bayesian evolutionary analysis sampling trees suggested an introduction date in the third quarter of 2005. Evolutionary dynamics using Bayesian analysis showed that H5N1 viruses of clade 2.2.1.1 evolved at higher rates than those of clade 2.2.1.2. Bayesian skyline plot analysis of the HA gene of 840 and NA gene of 401 Egyptian H5N1 viruses from 2006-2015 identified two waves of viral population expansion correlating with the stepwise emergence of the 2.2.1.1 variant lineage in 2008 and with the newly emerging 2.2.1.2 cluster in late 2014. H5N1 infections in human hosts in 2014-2015 were statistically linked to a contemporary poultry outbreak.

  12. Evolutionary history of human disease genes reveals phenotypic connections and comorbidity among genetic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Solip; Yang, Jae-Seong; Kim, Jinho; Shin, Young-Eun; Hwang, Jihye; Park, Juyong; Jang, Sung Key; Kim, Sanguk

    2012-01-01

    The extent to which evolutionary changes have impacted the phenotypic relationships among human diseases remains unclear. In this work, we report that phenotypically similar diseases are connected by the evolutionary constraints on human disease genes. Human disease groups can be classified into slowly or rapidly evolving classes, where the diseases in the slowly evolving class are enriched with morphological phenotypes and those in the rapidly evolving class are enriched with physiological phenotypes. Our findings establish a clear evolutionary connection between disease classes and disease phenotypes for the first time. Furthermore, the high comorbidity found between diseases connected by similar evolutionary constraints enables us to improve the predictability of the relative risk of human diseases. We find the evolutionary constraints on disease genes are a new layer of molecular connection in the network-based exploration of human diseases.

  13. 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

    Full Text Available Introduction: 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. Objective: To review the existing knowledge about the evolutionary origins of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates. Methods: 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. Results: 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. 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 B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old monkey human hepatitis 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

  14. Constructing a tree from homeomorphic subtrees, with applications to computational evolutionary biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henzinger, M.R. [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States); King, V. [Univ. of Victoria, British Columbia (Canada); Warnow, T. [Univ. of Pennyslvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    We are given a set T = (T{sub 1}, T{sub 2},...,T{sub k}) of rooted binary trees, each T{sub i} leaf-labeled by a subset (T{sub i}) {contained_in}(1, 2,..., n). If T is a tree on (1,2,..., n), we let TJC denote the subtree of T induced by the nodes of C and all their ancestors. The consensus tree problem asks whether there exists a tree T* such that for every i, T*{vert_bar}(T{sub i}) is homeomorphic to Ti. We present algorithms which test if a given set of trees has a consensus tree and if so, con- struct one. The deterministic algorithm takes time min (O(mn{sup 1/2}), O(m + n{sup 2} log n)), where m = {Sigma}{sub i} {vert_bar}T{sub i}{vert_bar} and uses linear space. The randomized algorithm takes time O(m log{sup 3} n) and uses linear space. The previous best for this problem was an 1981 O(mn) algorithm by Aho et al. Our faster deterministic algorithm uses a new efficient algorithm for the following interesting dynamic graph problem: Given a graph G with n nodes and m edges and a sequence of b batches of one or more edge deletions, then after each batch, either find a new component that has just been created or determine that there is no such component. For this problem, we have a simple algorithm with running time O(n{sup 2} log n + b{sub 0} min(n{sup 2}, m log n)), where b{sub 0} is the number of batches which do not result in a new component. For our particular application, b{sub 0} {le} 1. If all edges are deleted, then the best previously known deterministic algorithm requires time 0(m{radical}n) to solve this problem.

  15. Evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental psychology: understanding the evolution of human behavior and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Causey, Kayla

    2010-02-01

    This is an introduction to this special issue on evolutionary psychology (EP) and evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP). We suggest here that, contrary to some common assumptions, mainstream psychology continues to be essentially non Darwinian and that EP and EDP are new approaches that can potentially help us to change this situation. We then present the organization of the special issue (composed of six papers). We conclude that evolution is certainly not the final consideration in psychology, but emphasize its importance as the basis upon which all modern behaviors and development are built.

  16. Robust system for human airway-tree segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Michael W.; Gibbs, Jason D.; Higgins, William E.

    2008-03-01

    Robust and accurate segmentation of the human airway tree from multi-detector computed-tomography (MDCT) chest scans is vital for many pulmonary-imaging applications. As modern MDCT scanners can detect hundreds of airway tree branches, manual segmentation and semi-automatic segmentation requiring significant user intervention are impractical for producing a full global segmentation. Fully-automated methods, however, may fail to extract small peripheral airways. We propose an automatic algorithm that searches the entire lung volume for airway branches and poses segmentation as a global graph-theoretic optimization problem. The algorithm has shown strong performance on 23 human MDCT chest scans acquired by a variety of scanners and reconstruction kernels. Visual comparisons with adaptive region-growing results and quantitative comparisons with manually-defined trees indicate a high sensitivity to peripheral airways and a low false-positive rate. In addition, we propose a suite of interactive segmentation tools for cleaning and extending critical areas of the automatically segmented result. These interactive tools have potential application for image-based guidance of bronchoscopy to the periphery, where small, terminal branches can be important visual landmarks. Together, the automatic segmentation algorithm and interactive tool suite comprise a robust system for human airway-tree segmentation.

  17. Adaptation to fragmentation: evolutionary dynamics driven by human influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier; Hargreaves, Anna L; Bonte, Dries; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2017-01-19

    Fragmentation-the process by which habitats are transformed into smaller patches isolated from each other-has been identified as a major threat for biodiversity. Fragmentation has well-established demographic and population genetic consequences, eroding genetic diversity and hindering gene flow among patches. However, fragmentation should also select on life history, both predictably through increased isolation, demographic stochasticity and edge effects, and more idiosyncratically via altered biotic interactions. While species have adapted to natural fragmentation, adaptation to anthropogenic fragmentation has received little attention. In this review, we address how and whether organisms might adapt to anthropogenic fragmentation. Drawing on selected case studies and evolutionary ecology models, we show that anthropogenic fragmentation can generate selection on traits at both the patch and landscape scale, and affect the adaptive potential of populations. We suggest that dispersal traits are likely to experience especially strong selection, as dispersal both enables migration among patches and increases the risk of landing in the inhospitable matrix surrounding them. We highlight that suites of associated traits are likely to evolve together. Importantly, we show that adaptation will not necessarily rescue populations from the negative effects of fragmentation, and may even exacerbate them, endangering the entire metapopulation.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. A 2-adic approach of the human respiratory tree

    CERN Document Server

    Bernicot, Frederic; Salort, Delphine

    2010-01-01

    We propose here a general framework to address the question of trace operators on a dyadic tree. This work is motivated by the modeling of the human bronchial tree which, thanks to its regularity, can be extrapolated in a natural way to an infinite resistive tree. The space of pressure fields at bifurcation nodes of this infinite tree can be endowed with a Sobolev space structure, with a semi-norm which measures the instantaneous rate of dissipated energy. We aim at describing the behaviour of finite energy pressure fields near the end. The core of the present approach is an identification of the set of ends with the ring Z_2 of 2-adic integers. Sobolev spaces over Z_2 can be defined in a very natural way by means of Fourier transform, which allows us to establish precised trace theorems which are formally quite similar to those in standard Sobolev spaces, with a Sobolev regularity which depends on the growth rate of resistances, i.e. on geometrical properties of the tree. Furthermore, we exhibit an explicit ...

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Cubic Spline Interpolation Reveals Different Evolutionary Trends of Various Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhiqiang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Instead of being uniform in each branch of the biological evolutionary tree, the speed of evolution, measured in the number of mutations over a fixed number of years, seems to be much faster or much slower than average in some branches of the evolutionary tree. This paper describes an evolutionary trend discovery algorithm that uses cubic spline interpolation for various branches of the evolutionary tree. As shown in an example, within the vertebrate evolutionary tree, human evolution seems to be currently speeding up while the evolution of chickens is slowing down. The new algorithm can automatically identify those branches and times when something unusual has taken place, aiding data analytics of evolutionary data.

  3. An ecological and evolutionary perspective on the parallel invasion of two cross-compatible trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Guillaume; Cuneo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Invasive trees are generally seen as ecosystem-transforming plants that can have significant impacts on native vegetation, and often require management and control. Understanding their history and biology is essential to guide actions of land managers. Here, we present a summary of recent research into the ecology, phylogeography and management of invasive olives, which are now established outside of their native range as high ecological impact invasive trees. The parallel invasion of European and African olive in different climatic zones of Australia provides an interesting case study of invasion, characterized by early genetic admixture between domesticated and wild taxa. Today, the impact of the invasive olives on native vegetation and ecosystem function is of conservation concern, with European olive a declared weed in areas of South Australia, and African olive a declared weed in New South Wales and Pacific islands. Population genetics was used to trace the origins and invasion of both subspecies in Australia, indicating that both olive subspecies have hybridized early after introduction. Research also indicates that African olive populations can establish from a low number of founder individuals even after successive bottlenecks. Modelling based on distributional data from the native and invasive range identified a shift of the realized ecological niche in the Australian invasive range for both olive subspecies, which was particularly marked for African olive. As highly successful and long-lived invaders, olives offer further opportunities to understand the genetic basis of invasion, and we propose that future research examines the history of introduction and admixture, the genetic basis of adaptability and the role of biotic interactions during invasion. Advances on these questions will ultimately improve predictions on the future olive expansion and provide a solid basis for better management of invasive populations. PMID:27519914

  4. 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.

  5. Phloem Loading in the Tulip Tree. Mechanisms and Evolutionary Implications1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goggin, Fiona L.; Medville, Richard; Turgeon, Robert

    2001-01-01

    Minor vein ultrastructure and phloem loading were studied in leaves of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera; Magnoliaceae). Plasmodesmatal frequencies leading into minor vein companion cells are higher than in species known to load via the apoplast. However, these companion cells are not specialized as “intermediary cells” as they are in species in which the best evidence for symplastic phloem loading has been documented. Mesophyll cells plasmolyzed in 600 mm sorbitol, whereas sieve elements and companion cells did not plasmolyze even in 1.2 m sorbitol, indicating that solute accumulates in the phloem against a steep concentration gradient. Both [14C]sucrose and 14C-labeled photo-assimilate accumulated in the minor vein network, as demonstrated by autoradiography. [14C]sucrose accumulation was prevented by p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid, an inhibitor of sucrose-proton cotransport from the apoplast. p-Chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid largely, but not entirely, inhibited exudation of radiolabeled photoassimilate. The evidence is most consistent with the presence of an apoplastic component to phloem loading in this species, contrary to speculation that the more basal members of the angiosperms load by an entirely symplastic mechanism. PMID:11161046

  6. Evolutionary history of a widespread tree species Acer mono in East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xi-Di; Wang, Hong-Fang; Bao, Lei; Wang, Tian-Ming; Bai, Wei-Ning; Ye, Jun-Wei; Ge, Jian-Ping

    2014-11-01

    East Asia has the most diverse temperate flora in the world primarily due to the lack of Pleistocene glaciation and the geographic heterogeneity. Although increasing phylogeography studies in this region provided more proofs in this issue, discrepancies and uncertainty still exist, especially in northern temperate deciduous broad-leaved and coniferous mixed forest region (II). And a widespread plant species could reduce the complexity to infer the relationship between diversity and physiographical pattern. Hence, we studied the evolution history of a widespread temperate tree, Acer mono, populations in region II and the influence of physiographic patterns on intraspecific genetic diversity. Analyses of chloroplast sequences and nuclear microsatellites indicated high levels of genetic diversity. The diversity distribution was spatially heterogeneous and a latitudinal cline existed in both markers. The spatial distribution pattern between genetic diversity within A. mono and the diversity at species level was generally consistent. Western subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest subregion (IVb) had a unique ancient chloroplast clade (CP3) and a nuclear gene pool (GP5) with dominance indicating the critical role of this area in species diversification. Genetic data and ecological niche model results both suggested that populations in region II disappeared during the last glacial maximum (LGM) and recovered from south of Changbai Mt. and the Korean Peninsula. Two distribution centers were likely during the LGM, one in the north edge of warm temperate deciduous broad-leaved forest region (III) and another in the south edge of region III. This was reflected by the genetic pattern with two spatially independent genetic groups. This study highlights the key role of region III in sustaining genetic diversity in the northern range and connecting diversity between southern and northern range. We elucidated the diversity relationship between vegetation regions which could

  7. Genomic and Network Patterns of Schizophrenia Genetic Variation in Human Evolutionary Accelerated Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Ke; Schadt, Eric E.; Pollard, Katherine S.; Roussos, Panos; Joel T Dudley

    2015-01-01

    The population persistence of schizophrenia despite associated reductions in fitness and fecundity suggests that the genetic basis of schizophrenia has a complex evolutionary history. A recent meta-analysis of schizophrenia genome-wide association studies offers novel opportunities for assessment of the evolutionary trajectories of schizophrenia-associated loci. In this study, we hypothesize that components of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia are attributable to human lineage-specifi...

  8. Genomic and Network Patterns of Schizophrenia Genetic Variation in Human Evolutionary Accelerated Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Ke; Schadt, Eric E.; Pollard, Katherine S.; Roussos, Panos; Dudley, Joel T

    2015-01-01

    The population persistence of schizophrenia despite associated reductions in fitness and fecundity suggests that the genetic basis of schizophrenia has a complex evolutionary history. A recent meta-analysis of schizophrenia genome-wide association studies offers novel opportunities for assessment of the evolutionary trajectories of schizophrenia-associated loci. In this study, we hypothesize that components of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia are attributable to human lineage-specifi...

  9. Acceptance of evolutionary explanations as they are applied to plants, animals, and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanukos, Anastasia

    In four investigations using Likert-scale questionnaires and think-aloud protocols with 173 university students in total, the willingness to accept evolutionary explanations regarding plant, animal, and human characteristics was examined. Participants were presented with evolutionary explanations for features and behaviors and were asked to rate how much they agreed with evolution as an explanation for each scenario. Some were also asked to explain their reasoning in think-aloud protocols or to discuss item ratings with one another. Overall, participants thought evolutionary explanations appropriate, with median ratings in the upper quarter of the rating scale. They were slightly more willing to ascribe evolutionary explanations to plant than to human phenomena; however, this general effect was mediated by more specific aspects of the evolutionary scenarios in question. Participants who were generally negative regarding evolution were particularly negative towards human evolution. Those who were positive or neutral towards evolution in general were more willing to accept human evolution, but were more likely to use evolution to explain similarities between humans and other species than to explain particular human adaptations. For example, they were more likely to agree that evolution is responsible for the DNA similarities between humans and chimpanzees than that evolution is responsible for human behavioral characteristics, such as the fight or flight response. Think-aloud protocols suggest that, while people are more familiar with human evolutionary relationships than plant evolutionary relationships, they may be less likely to see human characteristics as adaptively valuable. One plausible explanation for these patterns is that an evolutionary explanation is judged jointly by its availability in an individual's memory and its plausibility (i.e., its congruence with the individual's worldview). Popular media coverage, with its focus on controversy and litigation

  10. Evolutionary tree design: An exploratory study of the influence of linear versus branching format on visitors' interpretation and understanding across age groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Teresa Elise

    This exploratory study sought to investigate the influence of tree graphic design---specifically linear versus branching depictions of taxa---on visitors in three different age groups (aged 11-13, 14-18, adults) interpretation and understanding using a multiple-case study strategy. The findings from this research indicate that linear and branched depictions elicit qualitatively different narratives and explanations about the relationships between the taxa in all age groups. Branched tree graphics support scientifically appropriate explanations of evolutionary relationships, i.e. that taxa are related via shared or common ancestry; while linear representations reinforce intuitive interpretations of ancestor-descendant or anagenic relationships. Furthermore, differences in the language used for linear and branched trees suggests that there is a spectrum within an analogy of developmental change that is thought to serve as a transitional concept between intuitive and scientific understanding--with 'evolved from' for branched depictions of taxa representing a shift towards an interpretation of shared ancestry rather than an individual transformation from one thing into another. In addition, branched graphics appear to support the correct reading and interpretation of shared or common ancestry in tree diagrams. Mixed reasoning was common and overall reasoning patterns were broadly similar among participants in all age groups, however, older youth (aged 14 to 18) and adults often provided more detail in their explanations and sometimes included references to evolutionary ideas such as variation, inheritance and selection.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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....

  14. Evolutionary dynamics of bacteria in a human host environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    . In contrast to predictions based on in vitro evolution experiments, we document limited diversification of the evolving lineage despite a highly structured and complex host environment. Notably, the lineage went through an initial period of rapid adaptation caused by a small number of mutations......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...

  15. Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Henri Epstein

    2016-01-01

    An algebraic formalism, developed with V. Glaser and R. Stora for the study of the generalized retarded functions of quantum field theory, is used to prove a factorization theorem which provides a complete description of the generalized retarded functions associated with any tree graph. Integrating over the variables associated to internal vertices to obtain the perturbative generalized retarded functions for interacting fields arising from such graphs is shown to be possible for a large cate...

  16. Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Epstein, Henri

    2016-01-01

    An algebraic formalism, developped with V. Glaser and R. Stora for the study of the generalized retarded functions of quantum field theory, is used to prove a factorization theorem which provides a complete description of the generalized retarded functions associated with any tree graph. Integrating over the variables associated to internal vertices to obtain the perturbative generalized retarded functions for interacting fields arising from such graphs is shown to be possible for a large cat...

  17. Trees

    CERN Document Server

    Epstein, Henri

    2016-01-01

    An algebraic formalism, developped with V.~Glaser and R.~Stora for the study of the generalized retarded functions of quantum field theory, is used to prove a factorization theorem which provides a complete description of the generalized retarded functions associated with any tree graph. Integrating over the variables associated to internal vertices to obtain the perturbative generalized retarded functions for interacting fields arising from such graphs is shown to be possible for a large category of space-times.

  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.

  19. Evolutionary conservation in genes underlying human psychiatric disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Michelle Ogawa; Eric Joseph Vallender

    2014-01-01

    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 the protein-coding regions of genes associated...

  20. [Tree shrews under the spot light: emerging model of human diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lin; Zhang, Yun; Liang, Bin; Lü, Long-Bao; Chen, Ce-Shi; Chen, Yong-Bin; Zhou, Ju-Min; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2013-04-01

    Animal models are indispensible in biomedical research and have made tremendous contributions to answer fundamental questions on human biology, disease mechanisms, and to the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools. Due to the limitations of rodent models in translational medicine, tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), the closest relative of primates, have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses. Here we discuss the recent progress in tree shrew biology and the development of tree shrews as human disease models including infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, neurological and psychiatric diseases, and cancers. Meanwhile, the current problems and future perspectives of the tree shrew model are explored.

  1. Does the human X contain a third evolutionary block? Origin of genes on human Xp11 and Xq28.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbridge, Margaret L; Patel, Hardip R; Waters, Paul D; McMillan, Daniel A; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2009-08-01

    Comparative gene mapping of human X-borne genes in marsupials defined an ancient conserved region and a recently added region of the eutherian X, and the separate evolutionary origins of these regions was confirmed by their locations on chicken chromosomes 4p and 1q, respectively. However, two groups of genes, from the pericentric region of the short arm of the human X (at Xp11) and a large group of genes from human Xq28, were thought to be part of a third evolutionary block, being located in a single region in fish, but mapping to chicken chromosomes other than 4p and 1q. We tested this hypothesis by comparative mapping of genes in these regions. Our gene mapping results show that human Xp11 genes are located on the marsupial X chromosome and platypus chromosome 6, indicating that the Xp11 region was part of original therian X chromosome. We investigated the evolutionary origin of genes from human Xp11 and Xq28, finding that chicken paralogs of human Xp11 and Xq28 genes had been misidentified as orthologs, and their true orthologs are represented in the chicken EST database, but not in the current chicken genome assembly. This completely undermines the evidence supporting a separate evolutionary origin for this region of the human X chromosome, and we conclude, instead, that it was part of the ancient autosome, which became the conserved region of the therian X chromosome 166 million years ago.

  2. DrawCompileEvolve: Sparking interactive evolutionary art with human creations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jinhong; Taarnby, Rasmus; Liapis, Antonios

    2015-01-01

    , 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...

  3. From natural forest to tree crops, co-domestication of forests and tree species: an overview.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersum, K.F.

    1997-01-01

    The process of domestication of tree crops has only been given limited attention. This process starts with the protection of natural forests and ends with the cultivation of domesticated tree crops. In this evolutionary process three types of human-influenced forest environments may be distinguished

  4. From natural forest to tree crops, co-domestication of forests and tree species: an overview.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersum, K.F.

    1997-01-01

    The process of domestication of tree crops has only been given limited attention. This process starts with the protection of natural forests and ends with the cultivation of domesticated tree crops. In this evolutionary process three types of human-influenced forest environments may be distinguished

  5. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzawa, Christopher W; Chugani, Harry T; Grossman, Lawrence I; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Sherwood, Chet C; Leonard, William R; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-09-09

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain's glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain-body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body's resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate.

  6. Evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertheim, Joel O; Smith, Martin D; Smith, Davey M; Scheffler, Konrad; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L

    2014-09-01

    Herpesviruses have been infecting and codiverging with their vertebrate hosts for hundreds of millions of years. The primate simplex viruses exemplify this pattern of virus-host codivergence, at a minimum, as far back as the most recent common ancestor of New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes. Humans are the only primate species known to be infected with two distinct herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Human herpes simplex viruses are ubiquitous, with over two-thirds of the human population infected by at least one virus. Here, we investigated whether the additional human simplex virus is the result of ancient viral lineage duplication or cross-species transmission. We found that standard phylogenetic models of nucleotide substitution are inadequate for distinguishing among these competing hypotheses; the extent of synonymous substitutions causes a substantial underestimation of the lengths of some of the branches in the phylogeny, consistent with observations in other viruses (e.g., avian influenza, Ebola, and coronaviruses). To more accurately estimate ancient viral divergence times, we applied a branch-site random effects likelihood model of molecular evolution that allows the strength of natural selection to vary across both the viral phylogeny and the gene alignment. This selection-informed model favored a scenario in which HSV-1 is the result of ancient codivergence and HSV-2 arose from a cross-species transmission event from the ancestor of modern chimpanzees to an extinct Homo precursor of modern humans, around 1.6 Ma. These results provide a new framework for understanding human herpes simplex virus evolution and demonstrate the importance of using selection-informed models of sequence evolution when investigating viral origin hypotheses.

  7. 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....

  8. 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.

  9. Reconstruction of human protein interolog network using evolutionary conserved network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Chung-Yen

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The recent increase in the use of high-throughput two-hybrid analysis has generated large quantities of data on protein interactions. Specifically, the availability of information about experimental protein-protein interactions and other protein features on the Internet enables human protein-protein interactions to be computationally predicted from co-evolution events (interolog. This study also considers other protein interaction features, including sub-cellular localization, tissue-specificity, the cell-cycle stage and domain-domain combination. Computational methods need to be developed to integrate these heterogeneous biological data to facilitate the maximum accuracy of the human protein interaction prediction. Results This study proposes a relative conservation score by finding maximal quasi-cliques in protein interaction networks, and considering other interaction features to formulate a scoring method. The scoring method can be adopted to discover which protein pairs are the most likely to interact among multiple protein pairs. The predicted human protein-protein interactions associated with confidence scores are derived from six eukaryotic organisms – rat, mouse, fly, worm, thale cress and baker's yeast. Conclusion Evaluation results of the proposed method using functional keyword and Gene Ontology (GO annotations indicate that some confidence is justified in the accuracy of the predicted interactions. Comparisons among existing methods also reveal that the proposed method predicts human protein-protein interactions more accurately than other interolog-based methods.

  10. Evolutionary perspectives on human personality. Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Y. Neuman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Ashton C.; Zeigler-Hill, Virgil; Shackelford, Todd K.

    2014-12-01

    Yair Neuman [6] presents many provocative ideas in his interdisciplinary approach to human personality. In this commentary, we focus on his ideas regarding (1) the evolutionary basis of personality and (2) human sperm competition.

  11. Evolutionary aspects of ABO blood group in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, Massimo; Bonfanti, Carlo

    2015-04-15

    The antigens of the ABO blood group system (A, B and H determinants) are complex carbohydrate molecules expressed on red blood cells and on a variety of other cell lines and tissues. Growing evidence is accumulating that ABO antigens, beyond their key role in transfusion medicine, may interplay with the pathogenesis of many human disorders, including infectious, cardiovascular and neoplastic diseases. In this narrative review, after succinct description of the current knowledge on the association between ABO blood groups and the most severe diseases, we aim to elucidate the particularly intriguing issue of the possible role of ABO system in successful aging. In particular, focus will be placed on studies evaluating the ABO phenotype in centenarians, the best human model of longevity.

  12. A stochastic evolutionary model for capturing human dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Fenner, Trevor; Loizou, George

    2015-01-01

    The recent interest in human dynamics has led researchers to investigate the stochastic processes that explain human behaviour in various contexts. Here we propose a generative model to capture the dynamics of survival analysis, traditionally employed in clinical trials and reliability analysis in engineering. We derive a general solution for the model in the form of a product, and then a continuous approximation to the solution via the renewal equation describing age-structured population dynamics. This enables us to model a wide rage of survival distributions, according to the choice of the mortality distribution. We provide empirical evidence for the validity of the model from a longitudinal data set of popular search engine queries over 114 months, showing that the survival function of these queries is closely matched by the solution for our model with power-law mortality.

  13. 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

  14. Human obesity: an evolutionary approach to understanding our bulging waistline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev-Ran, A

    2001-01-01

    The unique worldwide spread of the human species and the remarkably long post-reproductive survival show that our genome permits excellent adaptation to vastly different environments. Moreover, the main scourges of later age, namely malignant growths and atherosclerosis, appear in humans later than in shorter-living animals. In recent years, excess weight and obesity have become mass phenomena with a pronounced upward trend in all developed countries. However, despite the detrimental effects of being overweight, these populations live longer than ever, which in part may be explained by the availability of better medical treatment. The prevalence and predicted further spread of obesity can be understood in the light of evolution. In all animal species energy metabolism is asymmetric with energy accumulation ('thrifty genotype') being the necessary condition of survival during hard times. For humans, which are no different to other animals in this respect, this genetic programming was necessary for survival because during the course of history, including the recorded history in the more developed Middle East, Europe or China, there was never a long period of uninterrupted food abundance, whereas famines were regular and frequent. Therefore fat accumulation, when food was available, meant survival at times of shortage, while the possible detrimental effects of overindulgence in food and being overweight expressed in unrealistically old age were irrelevant. It is the central, mostly intra-abdominal fat (in both humans and animals) that is more medically important than the subcutaneous truncal fat, and the accumulation of both types of fat is conditioned by high food consumption; therefore it is a historic novelty for human populations. In contrast, lower-body fat in human females is unique in the animal kingdom: it is much less metabolically active, it is of much lower pathologic significance than central fat, and it is programmed to be mobilized mostly during

  15. Evolutionary interrogation of human biology in well-annotated genomic framework of rhesus macaque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shi-Jian; Liu, Chu-Jun; Yu, Peng; Zhong, Xiaoming; Chen, Jia-Yu; Yang, Xinzhuang; Peng, Jiguang; Yan, Shouyu; Wang, Chenqu; Zhu, Xiaotong; Xiong, Jingwei; Zhang, Yong E; Tan, Bertrand Chin-Ming; Li, Chuan-Yun

    2014-05-01

    With genome sequence and composition highly analogous to human, rhesus macaque represents a unique reference for evolutionary studies of human biology. Here, we developed a comprehensive genomic framework of rhesus macaque, the RhesusBase2, for evolutionary interrogation of human genes and the associated regulations. A total of 1,667 next-generation sequencing (NGS) data sets were processed, integrated, and evaluated, generating 51.2 million new functional annotation records. With extensive NGS annotations, RhesusBase2 refined the fine-scale structures in 30% of the macaque Ensembl transcripts, reporting an accurate, up-to-date set of macaque gene models. On the basis of these annotations and accurate macaque gene models, we further developed an NGS-oriented Molecular Evolution Gateway to access and visualize macaque annotations in reference to human orthologous genes and associated regulations (www.rhesusbase.org/molEvo). We highlighted the application of this well-annotated genomic framework in generating hypothetical link of human-biased regulations to human-specific traits, by using mechanistic characterization of the DIEXF gene as an example that provides novel clues to the understanding of digestive system reduction in human evolution. On a global scale, we also identified a catalog of 9,295 human-biased regulatory events, which may represent novel elements that have a substantial impact on shaping human transcriptome and possibly underpin recent human phenotypic evolution. Taken together, we provide an NGS data-driven, information-rich framework that will broadly benefit genomics research in general and serves as an important resource for in-depth evolutionary studies of human biology.

  16. Future Tree Effects on Air Quality and Human Health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, S.; Nowak, D.

    2014-12-01

    Trees are critical green infrastructure for mitigating adverse effects associated with human population, land use, and climate change (e.g. urban heat island, greenhouse gasses, air pollution, and floods). i-Tree (www.itreetools.org) is a suite of software tools developed by the USDA Forest Service and The Davey Institute that allows users to assess urban forest structure and the ecosystem services provided. Using i-Tree, the annual effects of trees on air quality and human health in urban and rural areas of counties across the conterminous United States have been quantified for 2010 (Nowak et al. 2014). Here, we extended the study to incorporate future forest structure scenarios using a model that accounts for tree growth, mortality and new plantings. Computer simulations using local environmental data and the possible leaf area index (LAI) for deciduous or evergreen tree covers were performed in urban and rural areas of counties across the conterminous United States. The result is a tree effects database on air pollutant removal (CO, NO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5 and SO2), biogenic emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and monetary values associated with human health quantified per unit tree cover area with deciduous or evergreen trees and LAI ranging from 0 to 18 within each modeling domain. With these data, the potential annual effects that trees have on air quality and human health under future scenarios of urban forest extent can be readily derived for anywhere in the conterminous United States. The developed database will be integrated into i-Tree's suite in 2015 to enhance its functionality in estimating tree effects under the future scenarios.

  17. Genomic imprinting and the evolutionary psychology of human kinship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haig, David

    2011-06-28

    Genomic imprinting is predicted to influence behaviors that affect individuals to whom an actor has different degrees of matrilineal and patrilineal kinship (asymmetric kin). Effects of imprinted genes are not predicted in interactions with nonrelatives or with individuals who are equally related to the actor's maternally and paternally derived genes (unless a gene also has pleiotropic effects on fitness of asymmetric kin). Long-term mating bonds are common in most human populations, but dissolution of marriage has always affected a significant proportion of mated pairs. Children born in a new union are asymmetric kin of children born in a previous union. Therefore, the innate dispositions of children toward parents and sibs are expected to be sensitive to cues of marital stability, and these dispositions may be subject to effects of imprinted genes.

  18. Emergence of human cooperation and altruism by evolutionary feedback selection

    CERN Document Server

    Darcet, D

    2006-01-01

    Strong reciprocity is a fundamental human characteristic associated with our extraordinary sociality and cooperation. Laboratory experiments on social dilemma games and many field studies have quantified well-defined levels of cooperation and propensity to punish/reward. The level of cooperation is observed to be strongly dependent on the availability of punishments and/or rewards. Here, we suggest that the propensity for altruistic punishment and reward is an emergent property that has co-evolved with cooperation by providing an efficient feedback mechanism through both biological and cultural interactions. By favoring high survival probability and large individual gains, the propensity for altruistic punishment and rewards reconciles self- and group interests. We show that a simple cost/benefit analysis at the level of a single agent, who anticipates the action of her fellows, determines an optimal level of altruistic punishment, which explains quantitatively experimental results on the third-party punishme...

  19. Fisheries bycatch as an inadvertent human-induced evolutionary mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Barbraud

    Full Text Available Selective harvesting of animals by humans can affect the sustainability and genetics of their wild populations. Bycatch - the accidental catch of non-target species - spans the spectrum of marine fauna and constitutes a harvesting pressure. Individual differences in attraction to fishing vessels and consequent susceptibility to bycatch exist, but few studies integrate this individual heterogeneity with demography. Here, we tested for the evidence and consequences of individual heterogeneity on the demography of the wandering albatross, a seabird heavily affected by fisheries bycatch. We found strong evidence for heterogeneity in survival with one group of individuals having a 5.2% lower annual survival probability than another group, and a decrease in the proportion of those individuals with the lowest survival in the population coinciding with a 7.5 fold increase in fishing effort in the foraging areas. Potential causes for the heterogeneity in survival are discussed and we suggest that bycatch removed a large proportion of individuals attracted by fishing vessels and had significant phenotypic and population consequences.

  20. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollegaard, Birgitte

    . Consequently, research has increasingly focused on the underlying causes of disease, shaped by human evolution. Evolutionary medicine is a relatively new field, specifically bridging the gap between conventional medicine and evolutionary biology: Instead of asking how we get sick, we can apply evolutionary...... by the mother's blood pressure increasing to a harmful level, but the etiology of the disease has remained unknown. Preeclampsia is detrimental to both the mother and offspring, and should in theory therefore have been removed by natural selection. I looked into evolutionary explanations for this, specifically...

  2. 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.

  3. A natural history of the human mind: tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Subiaul, Francys; Zawidzki, Tadeusz W

    2008-01-01

    Since the last common ancestor shared by modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, the lineage leading to Homo sapiens has undergone a substantial change in brain size and organization. As a result, modern humans display striking differences from the living apes in the realm of cognition and linguistic expression. In this article, we review the evolutionary changes that occurred in the descent of Homo sapiens by reconstructing the neural and cognitive traits that would have characterized the last common ancestor and comparing these with the modern human condition. The last common ancestor can be reconstructed to have had a brain of approximately 300–400 g that displayed several unique phylogenetic specializations of development, anatomical organization, and biochemical function. These neuroanatomical substrates contributed to the enhancement of behavioral flexibility and social cognition. With this evolutionary history as precursor, the modern human mind may be conceived as a mosaic of traits inherited from a common ancestry with our close relatives, along with the addition of evolutionary specializations within particular domains. These modern human-specific cognitive and linguistic adaptations appear to be correlated with enlargement of the neocortex and related structures. Accompanying this general neocortical expansion, certain higher-order unimodal and multimodal cortical areas have grown disproportionately relative to primary cortical areas. Anatomical and molecular changes have also been identified that might relate to the greater metabolic demand and enhanced synaptic plasticity of modern human brain's. Finally, the unique brain growth trajectory of modern humans has made a significant contribution to our species’ cognitive and linguistic abilities. PMID:18380864

  4. Granularity analysis of product modularization based on the evolutionary tree%基于进化树的产品模块化粒度分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    容芷君; 曹云飞; 钟鹏飞; 陈奎生

    2015-01-01

    针对产品模块化设计中的粒度问题,提出一种基于进化树的分析方法。通过综合考虑零部件之间的功能关系度、结构关系度和物理关系度,建立产品的原始矩阵,应用模糊聚类分析方法对其进行划分,得到传递闭包矩阵;根据不同分区阈值序列形成模块,得到一个聚类进化树,再以进化树的最长分支为基础,划分出不同的粒度等级,通过比较模块化指数 MI 找到其最佳粒度级别。以咖啡机产品的模块化粒度分析为例,验证了该方法的有效性。%In order to solve the granularity problem in product modularization design,an analysis meth-od based on the evolutionary tree has been proposed.The original matrix of product is first built with comprehensive consideration of the functional,structural,and physical relation degrees between the components.The fuzzy clustering analysis method is then used for partition of the original matrix to get the transitive closure matrix.Through forming modules with different partition threshold se-quences,a clustering evolutionary tree is obtained,and based on the longest branch of the evolution-ary tree,different granularity levels are determined.By comparing the modular index (MI ),the best granularity level is found.Finally,the modular granularity analysis for the coffee maker has been taken as an example to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method.

  5. 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.

  6. Primate energy input and the evolutionary transition to energy-dense diets in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmen, Bruno; Pasquet, Patrick; Masi, Shelly; Koppert, Georgius J A; Wells, Jonathan C K; Hladik, Claude Marcel

    2017-06-14

    Humans and other large-brained hominins have been proposed to increase energy turnover during their evolutionary history. Such increased energy turnover is plausible, given the evolution of energy-rich diets, but requires empirical confirmation. Framing human energetics in a phylogenetic context, our meta-analysis of 17 wild non-human primate species shows that daily metabolizable energy input follows an allometric relationship with body mass where the allometric exponent for mass is 0.75 ± 0.04, close to that reported for daily energy expenditure measured with doubly labelled water in primates. Human populations at subsistence level (n = 6) largely fall within the variation of primate species in the scaling of energy intake and therefore do not consume significantly more energy than predicted for a non-human primate of equivalent mass. By contrast, humans ingest a conspicuously lower mass of food (-64 ± 6%) compared with primates and maintain their energy intake relatively more constantly across the year. We conclude that our hominin hunter-gatherer ancestors did not increase their energy turnover beyond the allometric relationship characterizing all primate species. The reduction in digestive costs due to consumption of a lower mass of high-quality food, as well as stabilization of energy supply, may have been important evolutionary steps enabling encephalization in the absence of significantly raised energy intakes. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 78 FR 61365 - Assessment of the Risk of Human Salmonellosis Associated With the Consumption of Tree Nuts...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-03

    ... With the Consumption of Tree Nuts; Request for Comments, Scientific Data and Information; Extension of... entitled ``Assessment of the Risk of Human Salmonellosis Associated With the Consumption of Tree Nuts... of the risk of human salmonellosis associated with the consumption of tree nuts. We are taking this...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Dynamic selective environments and evolutionary traps in human-dominated landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodewald, Amanda D; Shustack, Daniel P; Jones, Todd M

    2011-09-01

    Human activities can alter selective environments in ways that can reduce the usefulness of certain ornamental traits as honest signals of individual quality and, in some cases, may create evolutionary traps, where rapid changes in selective environments result in maladaptive behavioral decisions. Using the sexually dichromatic, socially monogamous Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) as a model, we hypothesized that urbanization would erode the relationship between plumage coloration and reproductive success. Because the exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) provides carotenoids, is a preferred habitat attribute, and increases vulnerability to nest predation, we predicted the presence of an evolutionary trap, whereby the brightest males would achieve the lowest reproductive success. Working at 14 forests in Ohio, USA, 2006-2008, we measured plumage color, monitored reproduction, and quantified habitat within territories. In rural landscapes, the brightest males bred earliest in the season and secured more preferred territories; however, annual reproduction declined with plumage brightness. Coloration of urban males was not associated with territory attributes or reproduction. Female redness across all landscapes was negatively related to reproduction. Poor reproductive performance of otherwise higher-quality males probably resulted from preferences for honeysuckle, which reduces annual reproduction when used as a nesting substrate early in the season. In this way, exotic shrubs prompted an evolutionary trap that was avoided in urban forests where anthropogenic resources disassociated male color and reproductive phenology and success. Our study illustrates how modified selective environments in human-dominated landscapes might shape microevolutionary processes in wild bird populations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Are humans prone to autoimmunity? Implications from evolutionary changes in hominin sialic acid biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2017-09-01

    Given varied intrinsic and extrinsic challenges to the immune system, it is unsurprising that each evolutionary lineage evolves distinctive features of immunoreactivity, and that tolerance mechanisms fail, allowing autoimmunity. Humans appear prone to many autoimmune diseases, with mechanisms both genetic and environmental. Another rapidly evolving biological system involves sialic acids, a family of monosaccharides that are terminal caps on cell surface and secreted molecules of vertebrates, and play multifarious roles in immunity. We have explored multiple genomic changes in sialic acid biology that occurred in human ancestors (hominins), some with implications for enhanced immunoreactivity, and hence for autoimmunity. Human ancestors lost the enzyme synthesizing the common mammalian sialic acid Neu5Gc, with an accumulation of the precursor sialic acid Neu5Ac. Resulting changes include an enhanced reactivity by some immune cells and increased ability of macrophages to kill bacteria, at the cost of increased endotoxin sensitivity. There are also multiple human-specific evolutionary changes in inhibitory and activating Siglecs, immune cell receptors that recognize sialic acids as "self-associated molecular patterns" (SAMPs) to modulate immunity, but can also be hijacked by pathogen molecular mimicry of SAMPs. Altered expression patterns and fixed or polymorphic SIGLEC pseudogenization in humans has modulated both innate and adaptive immunity, sometimes favoring over-reactivity. Meanwhile, dietary intake of Neu5Gc (derived primarily from red meats) allows metabolic incorporation of this non-human molecule into human cells--apparently the first example of "xeno-autoimmunity" involving "xeno-autoantigen" interactions with circulating "xeno-autoantibodies". Taken together, some of these factors may contribute to the apparent human propensity for autoimmunity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. [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.

  2. Myopia, intelligence, and the expanding human neocortex: behavioral influences and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storfer, M

    1999-06-01

    The first two parts of this monograph document that areas of the human neocortex heavily used to cope with a complex, language-driven society have been expanding rapidly and suggest strongly that this is linked with the huge upsurge that's occurred in myopia, and with the large gradual 20th-century increase in measured intelligence. Part III proposes mechanisms capable of supporting such rapid changes, without violating the basic precepts of Darwin's thinking. Part IV discusses the social and evolutionary ramifications of our apparent proclivity for rapid, progressive, adaptive neocortical change, and suggests areas for productive research.

  3. Human creativity, evolutionary algorithms, and predictive representations: The mechanics of thought trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Arne; Haider, Hilde

    2015-08-01

    Creative thinking is arguably the pinnacle of cerebral functionality. Like no other mental faculty, it has been omnipotent in transforming human civilizations. Probing the neural basis of this most extraordinary capacity, however, has been doggedly frustrated. Despite a flurry of activity in cognitive neuroscience, recent reviews have shown that there is no coherent picture emerging from the neuroimaging work. Based on this, we take a different route and apply two well established paradigms to the problem. First is the evolutionary framework that, despite being part and parcel of creativity research, has no informed experimental work in cognitive neuroscience. Second is the emerging prediction framework that recognizes predictive representations as an integrating principle of all cognition. We show here how the prediction imperative revealingly synthesizes a host of new insights into the way brains process variation-selection thought trials and present a new neural mechanism for the partial sightedness in human creativity. Our ability to run offline simulations of expected future environments and action outcomes can account for some of the characteristic properties of cultural evolutionary algorithms running in brains, such as degrees of sightedness, the formation of scaffolds to jump over unviable intermediate forms, or how fitness criteria are set for a selection process that is necessarily hypothetical. Prospective processing in the brain also sheds light on how human creating and designing - as opposed to biological creativity - can be accompanied by intentions and foresight. This paper raises questions about the nature of creative thought that, as far as we know, have never been asked before.

  4. Size counts: evolutionary perspectives on physical activity and body size from early hominids to modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, William R

    2010-11-01

    This paper examines the evolutionary origins of human dietary and activity patterns, and their implications for understanding modern health problems. Humans have evolved distinctive nutritional characteristics associated the high metabolic costs of our large brains. The evolution of larger hominid brain size necessitated the adoption of foraging strategies that both provided high quality foods, and required larger ranges and activity budgets. Over time, human subsistence strategies have become ever more efficient in obtaining energy with minimal time and effort. Today, populations of the industrialized world live in environments characterized by low levels of energy expenditure and abundant food supplies contributing to growing rates of obesity. Analyses of trends in dietary intake and body weight in the US over the last 50 years indicate that the dramatic rise in obesity cannot be explained solely by increased energy consumption. Rather, declines in activity are also important. Further, we find that recent recommendations on physical activity have the potential to bring daily energy expenditure levels of industrialized societies surprisingly close to those observed among subsistence-level populations. These findings highlight the importance of physical activity in promoting nutritional health and show the utility of evolutionary approaches for developing public health recommendations.

  5. Genomes of cryptic chimpanzee Plasmodium species reveal key evolutionary events leading to human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Liu, Weimin; Loy, Dorothy E; Learn, Gerald H; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Peeters, Martine; Speede, Sheri; Shaw, George M; Bushman, Frederic D; Brisson, Dustin; Rayner, Julian C; Sharp, Paul M; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2016-03-22

    African apes harbour at least six Plasmodium species of the subgenus Laverania, one of which gave rise to human Plasmodium falciparum. Here we use a selective amplification strategy to sequence the genome of chimpanzee parasites classified as Plasmodium reichenowi and Plasmodium gaboni based on the subgenomic fragments. Genome-wide analyses show that these parasites indeed represent distinct species, with no evidence of cross-species mating. Both P. reichenowi and P. gaboni are 10-fold more diverse than P. falciparum, indicating a very recent origin of the human parasite. We also find a remarkable Laverania-specific expansion of a multigene family involved in erythrocyte remodelling, and show that a short region on chromosome 4, which encodes two essential invasion genes, was horizontally transferred into a recent P. falciparum ancestor. Our results validate the selective amplification strategy for characterizing cryptic pathogen species, and reveal evolutionary events that likely predisposed the precursor of P. falciparum to colonize humans.

  6. 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.

  7. Temperature and human thermal comfort effects of street trees across three contrasting street canyon environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutts, Andrew M.; White, Emma C.; Tapper, Nigel J.; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2016-04-01

    Urban street trees provide many environmental, social, and economic benefits for our cities. This research explored the role of street trees in Melbourne, Australia, in cooling the urban microclimate and improving human thermal comfort (HTC). Three east-west (E-W) oriented streets were studied in two contrasting street canyon forms (deep and shallow) and between contrasting tree canopy covers (high and low). These streets were instrumented with multiple microclimate monitoring stations to continuously measure air temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and mean radiant temperature so as to calculate the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) from May 2011 to June 2013, focusing on summertime conditions and heat events. Street trees supported average daytime cooling during heat events in the shallow canyon by around 0.2 to 0.6 °C and up to 0.9 °C during mid-morning (9:00-10:00). Maximum daytime cooling reached 1.5 °C in the shallow canyon. The influence of street tree canopies in the deep canyon was masked by the shading effect of the tall buildings. Trees were very effective at reducing daytime UTCI in summer largely through a reduction in mean radiant temperature from shade, lowering thermal stress from very strong (UTCI > 38 °C) down to strong (UTCI > 32 °C). The influence of street trees on canyon air temperature and HTC was highly localized and variable, depending on tree cover, geometry, and prevailing meteorological conditions. The cooling benefit of street tree canopies increases as street canyon geometry shallows and broadens. This should be recognized in the strategic placement, density of planting, and species selection of street trees.

  8. Evolutionary trends and functional anatomy of the human expanded autophagy network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Till, Andreas; Saito, Rintaro; Merkurjev, Daria; Liu, Jing-Jing; Syed, Gulam Hussain; Kolnik, Martin; Siddiqui, Aleem; Glas, Martin; Scheffler, Björn; Ideker, Trey; Subramani, Suresh

    2015-01-01

    All eukaryotic cells utilize autophagy for protein and organelle turnover, thus assuring subcellular quality control, homeostasis, and survival. In order to address recent advances in identification of human autophagy associated genes, and to describe autophagy on a system-wide level, we established an autophagy-centered gene interaction network by merging various primary data sets and by retrieving respective interaction data. The resulting network ('AXAN') was analyzed with respect to subnetworks, e.g. the prime gene subnetwork (including the core machinery, signaling pathways and autophagy receptors) and the transcription subnetwork. To describe aspects of evolution within this network, we assessed the presence of protein orthologs across 99 eukaryotic model organisms. We visualized evolutionary trends for prime gene categories and evolutionary tracks for selected AXAN genes. This analysis confirms the eukaryotic origin of autophagy core genes while it points to a diverse evolutionary history of autophagy receptors. Next, we used module identification to describe the functional anatomy of the network at the level of pathway modules. In addition to obvious pathways (e.g., lysosomal degradation, insulin signaling) our data unveil the existence of context-related modules such as Rho GTPase signaling. Last, we used a tripartite, image-based RNAi - screen to test candidate genes predicted to play a role in regulation of autophagy. We verified the Rho GTPase, CDC42, as a novel regulator of autophagy-related signaling. This study emphasizes the applicability of system-wide approaches to gain novel insights into a complex biological process and to describe the human autophagy pathway at a hitherto unprecedented level of detail.

  9. Genomic and network patterns of schizophrenia genetic variation in human evolutionary accelerated regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ke; Schadt, Eric E; Pollard, Katherine S; Roussos, Panos; Dudley, Joel T

    2015-05-01

    The population persistence of schizophrenia despite associated reductions in fitness and fecundity suggests that the genetic basis of schizophrenia has a complex evolutionary history. A recent meta-analysis of schizophrenia genome-wide association studies offers novel opportunities for assessment of the evolutionary trajectories of schizophrenia-associated loci. In this study, we hypothesize that components of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia are attributable to human lineage-specific evolution. Our results suggest that schizophrenia-associated loci enrich in genes near previously identified human accelerated regions (HARs). Specifically, we find that genes near HARs conserved in nonhuman primates (pHARs) are enriched for schizophrenia-associated loci, and that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes are under stronger selective pressure than other schizophrenia genes and other pHAR-associated genes. We further evaluate pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes in regulatory network contexts to investigate associated molecular functions and mechanisms. We find that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes significantly enrich in a GABA-related coexpression module that was previously found to be differentially regulated in schizophrenia affected individuals versus healthy controls. In another two independent networks constructed from gene expression profiles from prefrontal cortex samples, we find that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes are located in more central positions and their average path lengths to the other nodes are significantly shorter than those of other schizophrenia genes. Together, our results suggest that HARs are associated with potentially important functional roles in the genetic architecture of schizophrenia.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    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 forests in the conterminous United States removed 17.4 million tonnes (t) of air pollution in 2010 (range: 9.0-23.2 million t), with human health effects valued at 6.8 billion U.S. dollars (range: $1.5-13.0 billion). This pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than one percent. Most of the pollution removal occurred in rural areas, while most of the health impacts and values were within urban areas. Health impacts included the avoidance of more than 850 incidences of human mortality and 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms.

  12. CT-based geometry analysis and finite element models of the human and ovine bronchial tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawhai, Merryn H; Hunter, Peter; Tschirren, Juerg; Reinhardt, Joseph; McLennan, Geoffrey; Hoffman, Eric A

    2004-12-01

    The interpretation of experimental results from functional medical imaging is complicated by intersubject and interspecies differences in airway geometry. The application of computational models in understanding the significance of these differences requires methods for generation of subject-specific geometric models of the bronchial airway tree. In the current study, curvilinear airway centerline and diameter models have been fitted to human and ovine bronchial trees using detailed data segmented from multidetector row X-ray-computed tomography scans. The trees have been extended to model the entire conducting airway system by using a volume-filling algorithm to generate airway centerline locations within detailed volume descriptions of the lungs or lobes. Analysis of the geometry of the scan-based and model-based airways has verified their consistency with measures from previous anatomic studies and has provided new anatomic data for the ovine bronchial tree. With the use of an identical parameter set, the volume-filling algorithm has produced airway trees with branching asymmetry appropriate for the human and ovine lung, demonstrating the dependence of the method on the shape of the lung or lobe volume. The modeling approach that has been developed can be applied to any level of detail of the airway tree and into any volume shape for the lung; hence it can be used directly for different individuals or animals and for any number of scan-based airways. The resulting models are subject-specific computational meshes with anatomically consistent geometry, suitable for application in simulation studies.

  13. Resurrection of the Island Rule: Human-Driven Extinctions Have Obscured a Basic Evolutionary Pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faurby, Søren; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2016-06-01

    Islands are or have been occupied by unusual species, such as dwarf proboscideans and giant rodents. The discussion of the classical but controversial island rule-which states that mammalian body sizes converge on intermediate sizes on islands-has been stimulated by these unusual species. In this study, we use an unprecedented global data set of the distributions and body sizes of late Quaternary mammal species and a novel analytical method to analyze body size evolution on islands. The analyses produced strong support for the island rule. Islands have suffered massive human-driven losses of species, and we found that the support for the island rule was substantially stronger when the many late Quaternary extinct species were also considered (particularly the tendency for dwarfing in large taxa). The decisive support for the island rule in this study confirms that evolution plays out in a markedly different way on islands and that human impact may obscure even fundamental evolutionary patterns.

  14. The human fatty acid-binding protein family: Evolutionary divergences and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smathers Rebecca L

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs are members of the intracellular lipid-binding protein (iLBP family and are involved in reversibly binding intracellular hydrophobic ligands and trafficking them throughout cellular compartments, including the peroxisomes, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and nucleus. FABPs are small, structurally conserved cytosolic proteins consisting of a water-filled, interior-binding pocket surrounded by ten anti-parallel beta sheets, forming a beta barrel. At the superior surface, two alpha-helices cap the pocket and are thought to regulate binding. FABPs have broad specificity, including the ability to bind long-chain (C16-C20 fatty acids, eicosanoids, bile salts and peroxisome proliferators. FABPs demonstrate strong evolutionary conservation and are present in a spectrum of species including Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, mouse and human. The human genome consists of nine putatively functional protein-coding FABP genes. The most recently identified family member, FABP12, has been less studied.

  15. 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,…

  16. 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,…

  17. Evolutionary emergence of microRNAs in human embryonic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Cao

    Full Text Available Human embryonic stem (hES cells have unique abilities to divide indefinitely without differentiating and potential to differentiate into more than 200 cell types. These properties make hES cells an ideal model system for understanding early human development and for regenerative medicine. Molecular mechanisms including cellular signaling and transcriptional regulation play important roles in hES cell differentiation. However, very little information is available on posttranscriptional regulation of hES cell pluripotency, self-renewal, and early decisions about cell fate. microRNAs (miRNAs, 22-nt long non-coding small RNAs found in plants and animals, regulate gene expression by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translation repression. In hES cells we found that 276 miRNAs were expressed; of these, a set of 30 miRNAs had significantly changed expression during differentiation. Using a representative example, miR-302b, we show that miRNAs in human ES cells assemble into a bona fide RISC that contains Ago2 and can specifically cleave perfectly matched target RNA. Our results demonstrate that human ES cell differentiation is accompanied by changes in the expression of a unique set of miRNAs, providing a glimpse of a new molecular circuitry that may regulate early development in humans. Chromosomes 19 and X contained 98 and 40 miRNA genes, respectively, indicating that majority of miRNA genes in hES cells were expressed from these two chromosomes. Strikingly, distribution analysis of miRNA gene loci across six species including dog, rat, mouse, rhesus, chimpanzee, and human showed that miRNA genes encoded in chromosome 19 were drastically increased in chimpanzees and humans while miRNA gene loci on other chromosomes were decreased as compared with dog, rat, and mouse. Comparative genomic studies showed 99% conservation of chromosome 19 miRNA genes between chimpanzees and humans. Together, these findings reveal the evolutionary emergence, approximately

  18. 16s rRNA的保守字和进化树重建%Conserved Words in 16s Ribosomal RNA Deduced from Evolutionary Tree Reconstruction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗辽复; 贾孟文

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary distance is defined by oligonucleotide (n-bases) frequency difference of two sequences.Phylogenetic tree is reconstructed using a set of 16S (18S) rRNA sequences and the definition of distance.The quality of trees generally improves with increasing n and reaches a plateau of best fit at n=7 or 8.So,the 7-mer or 8-mer frequencies provides a basis to describe rRNA evolution.Then,a group of 7-mers are deduced which are correlate well with evolution.Evolution-related conservative words longer than 7 bases for Bacteria and Archaea in 16S rRNA sequences have been found.They are highly conserved in nearly all species of a kingdom (or a sub-kingdom) and are located on nearly same sites of sequences. The structural meaning of these conservative words is discussed briefly.%据寡核苷(n核苷)频数差定义进化距离,由此构成16s rRNA进化树,当n=7,8时和实验资料符合很好,在寻找出全部进化相关的7-核苷的基础上,本文进一步求得了长度大于7的保守字,它们在一个界别中的诸物种中高度保守,并出现于核糖体序列的基本相同的位置上,这些保守字对于核糖体的早期进化至关重要.

  19. A dual comparative approach: integrating lines of evidence from human evolutionary neuroanatomy and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Kari L; Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the human brain has been marked by a nearly 3-fold increase in size since our divergence from the last common ancestor shared with chimpanzees and bonobos. Despite increased interest in comparative neuroanatomy and phylogenetic methods, relatively little is known regarding the effects that this enlargement has had on its internal organization, and how certain areas of the brain have differentially expanded over evolutionary time. Analyses of the microstructure of several regions of the human cortex and subcortical structures have demonstrated subtle changes at the cellular and molecular level, suggesting that the human brain is more than simply a 'scaled-up' primate brain. Ongoing research in comparative neuroanatomy has much to offer regarding our understanding of human brain evolution. Through analysis of the neuroanatomical phenotype at the level of reorganization in cytoarchitecture and cellular morphology, new data continue to highlight changes in cell density and organization associated with volumetric changes in discrete regions. An understanding of the functional significance of variation in neural circuitry can further be approached through studies of atypical human development. Many neurodevelopmental disorders cause disruption in systems associated with uniquely human features of cognition, including language and social cognition. Understanding the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie variation in the human cognitive phenotype can help to clarify the functional significance of interspecific variation. By uniting approaches from comparative neuroanatomy and neuropathology, insights can be gained that clarify trends in human evolution. Here, we explore these lines of evidence and their significance for understanding functional variation between species as well as within neuropathological variation in the human brain.

  20. Evolutionary conservation of CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus from zebrafish to human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoh, Masuko; Katoh, Masaru

    2003-07-01

    The CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4-FGF3-FLJ10261-FADD-PPFIA1-EMS1 locus on human chromosome 11q13 is frequently amplified in esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and bladder tumors. FGF19, FGF4 and FGF3 genes are implicated in embryogenesis and carcinogenesis. We proposed in 2002 the hypothesis that mouse Fgf15 might be the ortholog of human FGF19 based on comparative genomics. Here, we identified zebrafish fgf19 and oraov1 genes by using bioinformatics to demonstrate the hypothesis. Zebrafish fgf19 gene, consisting of three exons, was located around nucleotide position 121802-124963 of zebrafish genome draft sequence AL929586.12 in the reverse orientation. Zebrafish fgf19 (209 aa) was more homologous to chicken fgf19 and human FGF19 than to rodent Fgf15. Zebrafish oraov1 gene, consisting of five exons, was located around nucleotide position 112172-115838 of AL929586.12 in the reverse orientation. Zebrafish oraov1 protein (141 aa) was more homologous to human ORAOV1 than to rodent Oraov1. The CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus was well conserved between human and zebrafish genomes in the order of genes, in the direction of genes, and in the exon-intron structure. Rat Ccnd1-Oraov1-Fgf15-Fgf4 locus was synthenic to mouse Ccnd1-Oraov1 (also known as 2210010N10Rik)-Fgf15-Fgf4 locus. Fgf15, homologous to human FGF19 and zebrafish fgf19, was located on the synthenic locus of human FGF19 and zebrafish fgf19 within rodent genomes. Based on the evolutionary conservation of the CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus from zebrafish to human, it was concluded that Fgf15 gene is the rodent ortholog of human FGF19 gene.

  1. Statistical object data analysis of taxonomic trees from human microbiome data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rosa, Patricio S; Shands, Berkley; Deych, Elena; Zhou, Yanjiao; Sodergren, Erica; Weinstock, George; Shannon, William D

    2012-01-01

    Human microbiome research characterizes the microbial content of samples from human habitats to learn how interactions between bacteria and their host might impact human health. In this work a novel parametric statistical inference method based on object-oriented data analysis (OODA) for analyzing HMP data is proposed. OODA is an emerging area of statistical inference where the goal is to apply statistical methods to objects such as functions, images, and graphs or trees. The data objects that pertain to this work are taxonomic trees of bacteria built from analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences (e.g. using RDP); there is one such object for each biological sample analyzed. Our goal is to model and formally compare a set of trees. The contribution of our work is threefold: first, a weighted tree structure to analyze RDP data is introduced; second, using a probability measure to model a set of taxonomic trees, we introduce an approximate MLE procedure for estimating model parameters and we derive LRT statistics for comparing the distributions of two metagenomic populations; and third the Jumpstart HMP data is analyzed using the proposed model providing novel insights and future directions of analysis.

  2. Statistical object data analysis of taxonomic trees from human microbiome data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricio S La Rosa

    Full Text Available Human microbiome research characterizes the microbial content of samples from human habitats to learn how interactions between bacteria and their host might impact human health. In this work a novel parametric statistical inference method based on object-oriented data analysis (OODA for analyzing HMP data is proposed. OODA is an emerging area of statistical inference where the goal is to apply statistical methods to objects such as functions, images, and graphs or trees. The data objects that pertain to this work are taxonomic trees of bacteria built from analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences (e.g. using RDP; there is one such object for each biological sample analyzed. Our goal is to model and formally compare a set of trees. The contribution of our work is threefold: first, a weighted tree structure to analyze RDP data is introduced; second, using a probability measure to model a set of taxonomic trees, we introduce an approximate MLE procedure for estimating model parameters and we derive LRT statistics for comparing the distributions of two metagenomic populations; and third the Jumpstart HMP data is analyzed using the proposed model providing novel insights and future directions of analysis.

  3. Evolutionary, neurobiological, gene-based solution of the ideological "puzzle" of human altruism and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baschetti, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    Despite hundreds of published articles about humankind's eusocial behaviours, most scholars still regard the origin of human altruism and cooperation as an enduring puzzle, because it seems incompatible with two central tenets of evolution, namely, the competition between individuals and the consequent selective advantages of selfish traits. This "puzzle", however, rather than being due to insurmountable scientific difficulties, is to be attributed to two powerful ideologies, which are politically opposite, but nevertheless concurred to prevent scholars from solving it. One ideology rejects the concept of genetic determinism, whereas the other dislikes the concept of group selection. As a consequence, these widespread ideologies, which are common in the scientific community, too, kept scholars from realising that the puzzle of human altruism and cooperation can only be solved by proposing a theoretical model that is based precisely on both genetic determinism and group selection. This model, which was never advanced in published papers, is presented here. This article also proposes to regard ancestral environments as determinants of human eusociality. By contrast, virtually all previous articles about it leave primitive habitats unmentioned. To support the hypothesis that human unselfish behaviours represent genetically conserved traits that evolved ancestrally, not products of cultural transmission, this paper also discusses six groups of arguments in the section "Genes versus culture". Finally, this article advances a purely genetic evolutionary explanation for the uniqueness of human eusociality, thereby challenging prevailing cultural explanations for the incomparably developed levels of cooperation in humankind, which are observed in no other social species.

  4. Growth habit of the late Paleozoic rhizomorphic tree-lycopsid family Diaphorodendraceae: phylogenetic, evolutionary, and paleoecological significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimichele, William A; Elrick, Scott D; Bateman, Richard M

    2013-08-01

    Rhizomorphic lycopsids evolved the tree habit independently of all other land plants. Newly discovered specimens allow radical revision of our understanding of the growth architectures of the extinct Paleozoic sister-genera Synchysidendron and Diaphorodendron. Detailed descriptions of six remarkable adpression specimens from the Pennsylvanian of the USA and three casts from the late Mississippian of Scotland are used to revise and reanalyze a previously published morphological cladistic matrix and to reinterpret their remarkable growth forms. Contrary to previous assertions, Synchysidendron resembled Diaphorodendron in having a distinct and relatively complex growth habit that emphasized serially homologous, closely spaced, deciduous lateral branches at the expense of reduced monocarpic crown branches. Lateral branches originated through several strongly anisotomous dichotomies before producing during extended periods large numbers of Achlamydocarpon strobili. The comparatively large diameter of abscission scars remaining on the main trunk and the emergence of branches above the horizontal plane suggest that the lateral branch systems were robust. Lateral branches were borne in two opposite rows on the main trunk and continued upward into an isotomously branched, determinate crown; their striking distichous arrangement caused preferred orientation of fallen trunks on bedding planes. This discovery identifies the plagiotropic growth habit, dominated by serial lateral branches, as ubiquitous in the Diaphorodendraceae and also as unequivocally primitive within Isoetales s.l., a conclusion supported by both the revised morphological cladistic analysis and relative first appearances of taxa in the fossil record. Previously assumed complete homology between crown branching in Lepidodendraceae and that of all earlier-divergent genera requires reassessment. Saltational phenotypic transitions via modification of key developmental switches remains the most credible

  5. 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

  6. Emergence and evolutionary analysis of the human DDR network: implications in comparative genomics and downstream analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcas, Aida; Fernández-Capetillo, Oscar; Cases, Ildefonso; Rojas, Ana M

    2014-04-01

    The DNA damage response (DDR) is a crucial signaling network that preserves the integrity of the genome. This network is an ensemble of distinct but often overlapping subnetworks, where different components fulfill distinct functions in precise spatial and temporal scenarios. To understand how these elements have been assembled together in humans, we performed comparative genomic analyses in 47 selected species to trace back their emergence using systematic phylogenetic analyses and estimated gene ages. The emergence of the contribution of posttranslational modifications to the complex regulation of DDR was also investigated. This is the first time a systematic analysis has focused on the evolution of DDR subnetworks as a whole. Our results indicate that a DDR core, mostly constructed around metabolic activities, appeared soon after the emergence of eukaryotes, and that additional regulatory capacities appeared later through complex evolutionary process. Potential key posttranslational modifications were also in place then, with interacting pairs preferentially appearing at the same evolutionary time, although modifications often led to the subsequent acquisition of new targets afterwards. We also found extensive gene loss in essential modules of the regulatory network in fungi, plants, and arthropods, important for their validation as model organisms for DDR studies.

  7. Evolutionary genomic remodelling of the human 4q subtelomere (4q35.2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riva Paola

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to obtain insights into the functionality of the human 4q35.2 domain harbouring the facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD locus, we investigated in African apes genomic and chromatin organisations, and the nuclear topology of orthologous regions. Results A basic block consisting of short D4Z4 arrays (10–15 repeats, 4q35.2 specific sequences, and approximately 35 kb of interspersed repeats from different LINE subfamilies was repeated at least twice in the gorilla 4qter. This genomic organisation has undergone evolutionary remodelling, leading to the single representation of both the D4Z4 array and LINE block in chimpanzee, and the loss of the LINE block in humans. The genomic remodelling has had an impact on 4qter chromatin organisation, but not its interphase nuclear topology. In comparison with humans, African apes show very low or undetectable levels of FRG1 and FRG2 histone 4 acetylation and gene transcription, although histone deacetylase inhibition restores gene transcription to levels comparable with those of human cells, thus indicating that the 4qter region is capable of acquiring a more open chromatin structure. Conversely, as in humans, the 4qter region in African apes has a very peripheral nuclear localisation. Conclusion The 4q subtelomere has undergone substantial genomic changes during evolution that have had an impact on chromatin condensation and the region's transcriptional regulation. Consequently, the 4qter genes in African apes and humans seem to be subjected to a different strategy of regulation in which LINE and D4Z4 sequences may play a pivotal role. However, the effect of peripheral nuclear anchoring of 4qter on these regulation mechanisms is still unclear. The observed differences in the regulation of 4qter gene expression between African apes and humans suggest that the human 4q35.2 locus has acquired a novel functional relevance.

  8. Evolutionary Space Communications Architectures for Human/Robotic Exploration and Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul; Hayden, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    NASA enterprises have growing needs for an advanced, integrated, communications infrastructure that will satisfy the capabilities needed for multiple human, robotic and scientific missions beyond 2015. Furthermore, the reliable, multipoint infrastructure is required to provide continuous, maximum coverage of areas of concentrated activities, such as around Earth and in the vicinity of the Moon or Mars, with access made available on demand of the human or robotic user. As a first step, the definitions of NASA's future space communications and networking architectures are underway. Architectures that describe the communications and networking needed between the nodal regions consisting of Earth, Moon, Lagrange points, Mars, and the places of interest within the inner and outer solar system have been laid out. These architectures will need the modular flexibility that must be included in the communication and networking technologies to enable the infrastructure to grow in capability with time and to transform from supporting robotic missions in the solar system to supporting human ventures to Mars, Jupiter, Jupiter's moons, and beyond. The protocol-based networking capability seamlessly connects the backbone, access, inter-spacecraft and proximity network elements of the architectures employed in the infrastructure. In this paper, we present the summary of NASA's near and long term needs and capability requirements that were gathered by participative methods. We describe an integrated architecture concept and model that will enable communications for evolutionary robotic and human science missions. We then define the communication nodes, their requirements, and various options to connect them.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorelik, Gregory; Shackelford, Todd K

    2014-08-27

    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.

  13. Comparison of galled trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Gabriel; Llabrés, Mercè; Rosselló, Francesc; Valiente, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Galled trees, directed acyclic graphs that model evolutionary histories with isolated hybridization events, have become very popular due to both their biological significance and the existence of polynomial-time algorithms for their reconstruction. In this paper, we establish to which extent several distance measures for the comparison of evolutionary networks are metrics for galled trees, and hence, when they can be safely used to evaluate galled tree reconstruction methods.

  14. Evolutionary conservation of mammalian sperm proteins associates with overall, not tyrosine, phosphorylation in human spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Julia; Ramljak, Sanja; Asif, Abdul R; Schaffrath, Michael; Zischler, Hans; Herlyn, Holger

    2013-12-06

    We investigated possible associations between sequence evolution of mammalian sperm proteins and their phosphorylation status in humans. As a reference, spermatozoa from three normozoospermic men were analyzed combining two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and mass spectrometry. We identified 99 sperm proteins (thereof 42 newly described) and determined the phosphorylation status for most of them. Sequence evolution was studied across six mammalian species using nonsynonymous/synonymous rate ratios (dN/dS) and amino acid distances. Site-specific purifying selection was assessed employing average ratios of evolutionary rates at phosphorylated versus nonphosphorylated amino acids (α). According to our data, mammalian sperm proteins do not show statistically significant sequence conservation difference, no matter if the human ortholog is a phosphoprotein with or without tyrosine (Y) phosphorylation. In contrast, overall phosphorylation of human sperm proteins, i.e., phosphorylation at serine (S), threonine (T), and/or Y residues, associates with above-average conservation of sequences. Complementary investigations suggest that numerous protein-protein interactants constrain sequence evolution of sperm phosphoproteins. Although our findings reject a special relevance of Y phosphorylation for sperm functioning, they still indicate that overall phosphorylation substantially contributes to proper functioning of sperm proteins. Hence, phosphorylated sperm proteins might be considered as prime candidates for diagnosis and treatment of reduced male fertility.

  15. Evolutionary trend of exceptionally long human core promoter short tandem repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohadi, M; Mohammadparast, S; Darvish, H

    2012-10-01

    Short tandem repeats (STRs) are variable elements that play a significant role in genome evolution by creating and maintaining quantitative genetic variation. Because of their proximity to the +1 transcription start site (TSS) and polymorphic nature, core promoter STRs may be considered a novel source of variation across species. In a genome-scale analysis of the entire human protein-coding genes annotated in the GeneCards database (19,927), we analyze the prevalence and repeat numbers of different classes of core promoter STRs in the interval between -120 and +1 to the TSS. We also analyze the evolutionary trend of exceptionally long core promoter STRs of ≥6-repeats. 133 genes (~2%) had core promoter STRs of ≥6-repeats. In the majority of those genes, the STR motifs were found to be conserved across evolution. Di-nucleotide repeats had the highest representation in the human core promoter long STRs (72 genes). Tri- (52 genes), tetra-, penta-, and hexa-nucleotide STRs (9 genes) were also present in the descending prevalence. The majority of those genes (84 genes) revealed directional expansion of core promoter STRs from mouse to human. However, in a number of genes, the difference in average allele size across species was sufficiently small that there might be a constraint on the evolution of average allele size. Random drift of STRs from mouse to human was also observed in a minority of genes. Future work on the genes listed in the current study may further our knowledge into the potential importance of core promoter STRs in human evolution.

  16. Evolutionary dynamics of human Toll-like receptors and their different contributions to host defense.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis B Barreiro

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases have been paramount among the threats to health and survival throughout human evolutionary history. Natural selection is therefore expected to act strongly on host defense genes, particularly on innate immunity genes whose products mediate the direct interaction between the host and the microbial environment. In insects and mammals, the Toll-like receptors (TLRs appear to play a major role in initiating innate immune responses against microbes. In humans, however, it has been speculated that the set of TLRs could be redundant for protective immunity. We investigated how natural selection has acted upon human TLRs, as an approach to assess their level of biological redundancy. We sequenced the ten human TLRs in a panel of 158 individuals from various populations worldwide and found that the intracellular TLRs -- activated by nucleic acids and particularly specialized in viral recognition -- have evolved under strong purifying selection, indicating their essential non-redundant role in host survival. Conversely, the selective constraints on the TLRs expressed on the cell surface -- activated by compounds other than nucleic acids -- have been much more relaxed, with higher rates of damaging nonsynonymous and stop mutations tolerated, suggesting their higher redundancy. Finally, we tested whether TLRs have experienced spatially-varying selection in human populations and found that the region encompassing TLR10-TLR1-TLR6 has been the target of recent positive selection among non-Africans. Our findings indicate that the different TLRs differ in their immunological redundancy, reflecting their distinct contributions to host defense. The insights gained in this study foster new hypotheses to be tested in clinical and epidemiological genetics of infectious disease.

  17. 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

  18. 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......, 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...

  19. A co-evolutionary arms race: trypanosomes shaping the human genome, humans shaping the trypanosome genome

    OpenAIRE

    Capewell, Paul; Cooper, Anneli; Clucas, Caroline; Weir, William; MacLeod, Annette

    2014-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in humans and one of several pathogens that cause the related veterinary disease Nagana. A complex co-evolution has occurred between these parasites and primates that led to the emergence of trypanosome-specific defences and counter-measures. The first line of defence in humans and several other catarrhine primates is the trypanolytic protein apolipoprotein-L1 (APOL1) found within two serum protein complexes, trypanosome l...

  20. Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases: structures of the human liver enzymes, functional properties and evolutionary aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörnvall, H; Hempel, J; von Bahr-Lindström, H; Höög, J O; Vallee, B L

    1987-01-01

    All three types of subunit of class I human alcohol dehydrogenase have been analyzed both at the protein and cDNA levels, and the structures of alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 1, and gamma 2 subunits are known. The same applies to class II pi subunits. Extensive protein data are also available for class III chi subunits. In the class I human isozymes, amino acid exchanges occur at 35 positions in total, with 21-28 replacements between any pair of the alpha/beta/gamma chains. These values, compared with those from species differences between the corresponding human and horse enzymes, suggest that isozyme developments in the class I enzyme resulted from separate gene duplications after the divergence of the human and equine evolutionary lines. All subunits exhibit some unique properties, with slightly closer similarity between the human gamma and horse enzyme subunits and somewhat greater deviations towards the human alpha subunit. Differences are large also in segments close to the active site zinc ligands and other functionally important positions. Species differences are distributed roughly equally between the two types of domain in the subunit, whereas isozyme differences are considerably more common in the catalytic than in the coenzyme-binding domain. These facts illustrate a functional divergence among the isozymes but otherwise similar changes during evolution. Polymorphic forms of beta and gamma subunits are characterized by single replacements at one and two positions, respectively, explaining known deviating properties. Class II and class III subunits are considerably more divergent. Their homology with class I isozymes exhibits only 60-65% positional identity. Hence, they reflect further steps towards the development of new enzymes, with variations well above the horse/human species levels, in contrast to the class I forms. Again, functionally important residues are affected, and patterns resembling those previously established for the divergently related

  1. 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.

  2. Evolutionary history and population genetic structure of the endemic tree frog Hyla tsinlingensis (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae) inferred from mitochondrial gene analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan-Hua; Zhao, Yan-Yu; Li, Xue-Ying; Li, Xiao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    The influence of topography and Pleistocenic climatic fluctuations on the population genetic structure of amphibians in the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains of China is poorly investigated. Hyla tsinlingensis is a tree frog endemic to the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains, with a restricted and patchy distribution that is currently shrinking. We speculated on the evolutionary history of amphibians in this region by studying the population genetic structure of H. tsinlingensis. Using a total of 212 samples, 32 haplotypes and four haplogroups were found in the present study. Population genetic structure showed significant differentiation (F(ST)) between most populations of H. tsinlingensis in the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) suggested that most of the observed genetic variation occurs between the two regions (the Tsinling and Dabieshan Mountains). Mantel tests indicated that the genetic divergence was induced through isolation by distance. Using Monmonier's maximum difference algorithm to predict the genetic barrier, two putative barriers in gene flow that separate lineages of H. tsinlingensis were identified. Mismatch distribution and neutrality tests found a sudden population expansion in all haplogroups except the Tsinling population and total population. This population expansion was identified between 0.5 Myr to 0.1 Myr (Quaternary) by Bayesian skyline plot (BSP). Divergence dating indicated the divergence time between the Tsinling population and Dabieshan population to be 3.26 MYA (Pliocene). In conclusion, the topography of the Tsinling and Dabieshan Mountains exerts a significant impact on the population genetic structure of H. tsinlingensis, and climatic oscillations during glacial periods in the Quaternary affected the distribution of H. tsinlingensis.

  3. 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......, 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...

  4. Sleeping in Safe Places: An Experimental Investigation of Human Sleeping Place Preferences from an Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Spörrle

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Although humans spend a third of their life asleep, their choice of sleeping places has so far been little investigated both theoretically and empirically. We address this issue from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Our basic assumption is that humans have an evolved preference for safe sleeping places, that is, those that promise protection against potential aggressors and nighttime predation. Several testable predictions were derived from this assumption concerning the preferred location of the bed in a sleeping room. Specifically, we predicted that people prefer sleeping places that allow them to view the entrances to the sleeping room (doors and windows from a distance while remaining concealed from the entrances themselves. To test these hypotheses, 138 participants were asked to arrange a bed and other pieces of furniture on floor plans that were experimentally manipulated with respect to the direction in which the door opened and the presence of a window. In agreement with predictions, participants predominantly positioned the bed in a way that (a allowed them to see the door, (b was as distant as possible from the door, and (c was on the side of the room toward which the door opened. In addition, the positioning of the bed was influenced as predicted by the presence of a window.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sleeping in safe places: an experimental investigation of human sleeping place preferences from an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spörrle, Matthias; Stich, Jennifer

    2010-08-03

    Although humans spend a third of their life asleep, their choice of sleeping places has so far been little investigated both theoretically and empirically. We address this issue from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Our basic assumption is that humans have an evolved preference for safe sleeping places, that is, those that promise protection against potential aggressors and nighttime predation. Several testable predictions were derived from this assumption concerning the preferred location of the bed in a sleeping room. Specifically, we predicted that people prefer sleeping places that allow them to view the entrances to the sleeping room (doors and windows) from a distance while remaining concealed from the entrances themselves. To test these hypotheses, 138 participants were asked to arrange a bed and other pieces of furniture on floor plans that were experimentally manipulated with respect to the direction in which the door opened and the presence of a window. In agreement with predictions, participants predominantly positioned the bed in a way that (a) allowed them to see the door, (b) was as distant as possible from the door, and (c) was on the side of the room toward which the door opened. In addition, the positioning of the bed was influenced as predicted by the presence of a window.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swynghedauw, B

    2004-04-01

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Evolutionary, or darwinian, medicine takes the view that contemporary diseases result from incompatibility between the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic endowment and the lifestyle and dietary habits in which we are currently living, including the enhanced lifespan, the changes in dietary habits and the lack of physical activity. An evolutionary trait express a genetic polymorphism which finally improve fitness, it needs million years to become functional. A limited genetic diversity is a necessary prerequisite for evolutionary medicine. Nevertheless, search for a genetic endowment would become nearly impossible if the human races were genetically different. From a genetic point of view, homo sapiens, is homogeneous, and the so-called human races have only a socio-economic definition. Historically, Heart Failure, HF, had an infectious origin and resulted from mechanical overload which triggered mechanoconversion by using phylogenically ancient pleiotropic pathways. Adaptation was mainly caused by negative inotropism. Recently, HF was caused by a complex remodelling caused by the trophic effects of mechanics, ischemia, senescence, diabetes and, neurohormones. The generally admitted hypothesis is that cancers were largely caused by a combination of modern reproductive and dietary lifestyles mismatched with genotypic traits, plus the longer time available for a confrontation. Such a concept is illustrated for skin and breast cancers, and also for the link between cancer risk and dietary habits.

  10. 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.

  11. Parent-offspring conflict theory: an evolutionary framework for understanding conflict within human families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlomer, Gabriel L; Del Giudice, Marco; Ellis, Bruce J

    2011-07-01

    Decades of research demonstrate that conflict shapes and permeates a broad range of family processes. In the current article, we argue that greater insight, integration of knowledge, and empirical achievement in the study of family conflict can be realized by utilizing a powerful theory from evolutionary biology that is barely known within psychology: parent-offspring conflict theory (POCT). In the current article, we articulate POCT for psychological scientists, extend its scope by connecting it to the broader framework of life history theory, and draw out its implications for understanding conflict within human families. We specifically apply POCT to 2 instances of early mother-offspring interaction (prenatal conflict and weaning conflict); discuss the effects of genetic relatedness on behavioral conflict between parents, children, and their siblings; review the emerging literature on parent-offspring conflict over the choice of mates and spouses; and examine parent-offspring conflict from the perspective of imprinted genes. This review demonstrates the utility of POCT, not only for explaining what is known about conflict within families but also for generating novel hypotheses, suggesting new lines of research, and moving us toward the "big picture" by integrating across biological and psychological domains of knowledge.

  12. 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...... 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

    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 (macrosymbiont), such as direct or indirect nutrition, ability to counter the defenses of plant or animal hosts, protection from natural enemies, improved development and reproduction, and communication. Benefits to the microsymbiont (including a broad range of fungi, bacteria, mites, nematodes, etc.) often include transport, protection from antagonists, and protection from environmental extremes. Symbiotic relationships may be mutualistic, commensal, competitive, or parasitic. In many cases, individual relationships may include both beneficial and detrimental effects to each partner during various phases of their life histories or as environmental conditions change. The outcomes of insect-microbial interactions are often strongly mediated by other symbionts and by features of the external and internal environment. These outcomes can also have important effects on human well being and environmental quality, by affecting agriculture, human health, natural resources, and the impacts of invasive species. We argue that, for many systems, our understanding of symbiotic relationships will advance most rapidly where context dependency and multipartite membership are integrated into existing conceptual frameworks. Furthermore, the contribution of entomological studies to overall symbiosis theory will be greatest where preoccupation with strict definitions and artificial boundaries is minimized, and integration of emerging molecular and quantitative techniques is maximized. We highlight symbiotic relations involving bark beetles to illustrate examples of the above trends.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Study of airflow during respiratory cycle in semi-realistic model of human tracheobronchial tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elcner, Jakub; Zaremba, M.; Maly, M.; Jedelsky, J.; Lizal, F.; Jicha, M.

    2016-06-01

    This article deals with study of airflow under breathing process, which is characteristic by unsteady behavior. Simulations provided by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was compared with experiments performed on similar geometry of human upper airways. This geometry was represented by mouth cavity of realistic shape connected to an idealized tracheobronchial tree up to fourth generation of branching. Commercial CFD software Star-CCM+ was used to calculate airflow inside investigated geometry and method of Reynolds averaging of Navier-Stokes equations was used for subscribing the turbulent behavior through model geometry. Conditions corresponding to resting state were considered. Comparisons with experiments were provided on several points through trachea and bronchial tree and results with respect to inspiratory and respiratory part of breathing cycle was discussed.

  17. A “Copernican” Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from its Root

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behar, Doron M.; van Oven, Mannis; Rosset, Saharon; Metspalu, Mait; Loogväli, Eva-Liis; Silva, Nuno M.; Kivisild, Toomas; Torroni, Antonio; Villems, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Mutational events along the human mtDNA phylogeny are traditionally identified relative to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence, a contemporary European sequence published in 1981. This historical choice is a continuous source of inconsistencies, misinterpretations, and errors in medical, forensic, and population genetic studies. Here, after having refined the human mtDNA phylogeny to an unprecedented level by adding information from 8,216 modern mitogenomes, we propose switching the reference to a Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence, which was identified by considering all available mitogenomes from Homo neanderthalensis. This “Copernican” reassessment of the human mtDNA tree from its deepest root should resolve previous problems and will have a substantial practical and educational influence on the scientific and public perception of human evolution by clarifying the core principles of common ancestry for extant descendants. PMID:22482806

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleinitz, Dorit; Klöting, Nora; Böttcher, Yvonne; Wolf, Sara; Dietrich, Kerstin; Tönjes, Anke; Breitfeld, Jana; Enigk, Beate; Halbritter, Jan; Körner, Antje; Schön, Michael R; Jenkner, Jost; Tseng, Yu-Hua; Lohmann, Tobias; Dressler, Miriam; Stumvoll, Michael; Blüher, Matthias; Kovacs, Peter

    2011-02-02

    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 obese (BMI>30 kg/m²) compared with 44 lean subjects (BMIobese subjects, two intronic SNPs (rs6717924, rs13426118) were associated with obesity (adjusted Pobesity. 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.

  19. Evolutionary functions of early social modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis development in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flinn, Mark V; Nepomnaschy, Pablo A; Muehlenbein, Michael P; Ponzi, Davide

    2011-06-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) is highly responsive to social challenges. Because stress hormones can have negative developmental and health consequences, this presents an evolutionary paradox: Why would natural selection have favored mechanisms that elevate stress hormone levels in response to psychosocial stimuli? Here we review the hypothesis that large brains, an extended childhood and intensive family care in humans are adaptations resulting from selective forces exerted by the increasingly complex and dynamic social and cultural environment that co-evolved with these traits. Variations in the modulation of stress responses mediated by specific HPAA characteristics (e.g., baseline cortisol levels, and changes in cortisol levels in response to challenges) are viewed as phenotypically plastic, ontogenetic responses to specific environmental signals. From this perspective, we discuss relations between physiological stress responses and life history trajectories, particularly the development of social competencies. We present brief summaries of data on hormones, indicators of morbidity and social environments from our long-term, naturalistic studies in both Guatemala and Dominica. Results indicate that difficult family environments and traumatic social events are associated with temporal elevations of cortisol, suppressed reproductive functioning and elevated morbidity. The long-term effects of traumatic early experiences on cortisol profiles are complex and indicate domain-specific effects, with normal recovery from physical stressors, but some heightened response to negative-affect social challenges. We consider these results to be consistent with the hypothesis that developmental programming of the HPAA and other neuroendocrine systems associated with stress responses may facilitate cognitive targeting of salient social challenges in specific environments. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. 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 ...

  3. Gregarine site-heterogeneous 18S rDNA trees, revision of gregarine higher classification, and the evolutionary diversification of Sporozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalier-Smith, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Gregarine 18S ribosomal DNA trees are hard to resolve because they exhibit the most disparate rates of rDNA evolution of any eukaryote group. As site-heterogeneous tree-reconstruction algorithms can give more accurate trees, especially for technically unusually challenging groups, I present the first site-heterogeneous rDNA trees for 122 gregarines and an extensive set of 452 appropriate outgroups. While some features remain poorly resolved, these trees fit morphological diversity better than most previous, evolutionarily less realistic, maximum likelihood trees. Gregarines are probably polyphyletic, with some 'eugregarines' and all 'neogregarines' (both abandoned as taxa) being more closely related to Cryptosporidium and Rhytidocystidae than to archigregarines. I establish a new subclass Orthogregarinia (new orders Vermigregarida, Arthrogregarida) for gregarines most closely related to Cryptosporidium and group Orthogregarinia, Cryptosporidiidae, and Rhytidocystidae as revised class Gregarinomorphea. Archigregarines are excluded from Gregarinomorphea and grouped with new orders Velocida (Urosporoidea superfam. n. and Veloxidium) and Stenophorida as a new sporozoan class Paragregarea. Platyproteum and Filipodium never group with Orthogregarinia or Paragregarea and are sufficiently different morphologically to merit a new order Squirmida. I revise gregarine higher-level classification generally in the light of site-heterogeneous-model trees, discuss their evolution, and also sporozoan cell structure and life-history evolution, correcting widespread misinterpretations.

  4. DrawCompileEvolve: Sparking interactive evolutionary art with human creations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jinhong; Taarnby, Rasmus; Liapis, Antonios;

    2015-01-01

    -initiative art tool. Early results in this paper show the potential of DrawCompileEvolve to jumpstart evolutionary art with meaningful drawings as well as the power of the underlying genetic representation to transform the user’s initial drawing into a different, yet potentially meaningful, artistic rendering....

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kier 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...

  7. Simulation of human behavior elements in a virtual world using decision trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Mercado Pérez

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Human behavior refers to the way an individual responds to certain events or occurrences, naturally cannot predict how an individual can act, for it the computer simulation is used. This paper presents the development of the simulation of five possible human reactions within a virtual world, as well as the steps needed to create a decision tree that supports the selection of any of any of these reactions. For that creation it proposes three types of attributes, those are the personality, the environment and the level of reaction. The virtual world Second Life was selected because of its internal programming language LSL (Linden Scripting Language which allows the execution of predefined animation sequences or creates your own.

  8. 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

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: 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. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: Combined BMPR2 genotype-phenotype-mRNA expression data as well as evolutionary aspects suggest a role of BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

  9. 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...... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The theoretical underpinnings of affective temperaments: implications for evolutionary foundations of bipolar disorder and human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akiskal, Kareen K; Akiskal, Hagop S

    2005-03-01

    We sketch out putative evolutionary roles for affective temperaments within the theoretical framework of mood disorders conceptualized as extremes in an oligogenic model of inheritance, whereby the constituent traits in their dilute phenotypes confer adaptive advantages to individuals and/or their social group. Depressive traits, among other functions, would subserve sensitivity to the suffering of other members of the species, overlapping with those of the generalized anxious temperament, thereby enhancing the survival of not only kin but also other conspecifics. The pursuit of romantic opportunities in cyclothymia suggests that it may have evolved as a mechanism in reproductive success; cyclothymics' creative bent in poetry, music, painting, cooking or fashion design (among men, in particular) also appears useful for sexual seduction. Hyperthymic traits would lend distinct advantages in leadership, exploration, territoriality and mating. These are just some of the possibilities of the rich and complex temperamental traits subserving bipolarity within an evolutionary framework. We test selected aspects of these hypotheses with the use of correlations between the constituent traits of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS) and correlations between the TEMPS and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Such data support the counterbalancing protective influence of harm avoidance on the risk-taking behavior of cyclothymic individuals, in both men and women. Finally, we outline a hypothesis on the evolutionary function of anxious-depressive traits for women.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  14. PhyloPattern: regular expressions to identify complex patterns in phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pontarotti Pierre

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To effectively apply evolutionary concepts in genome-scale studies, large numbers of phylogenetic trees have to be automatically analysed, at a level approaching human expertise. Complex architectures must be recognized within the trees, so that associated information can be extracted. Results Here, we present a new software library, PhyloPattern, for automating tree manipulations and analysis. PhyloPattern includes three main modules, which address essential tasks in high-throughput phylogenetic tree analysis: node annotation, pattern matching, and tree comparison. PhyloPattern thus allows the programmer to focus on: i the use of predefined or user defined annotation functions to perform immediate or deferred evaluation of node properties, ii the search for user-defined patterns in large phylogenetic trees, iii the pairwise comparison of trees by dynamically generating patterns from one tree and applying them to the other. Conclusion PhyloPattern greatly simplifies and accelerates the work of the computer scientist in the evolutionary biology field. The library has been used to automatically identify phylogenetic evidence for domain shuffling or gene loss events in the evolutionary histories of protein sequences. However any workflow that relies on phylogenetic tree analysis, could be automated with PhyloPattern.

  15. Project scheduling: A multi-objective evolutionary algorithm that optimizes the effectiveness of human resources and the project makespan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yannibelli, Virginia; Amandi, Analía

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the project scheduling problem is addressed in order to assist project managers at the early stage of scheduling. Thus, as part of the problem, two priority optimization objectives for managers at that stage are considered. One of these objectives is to assign the most effective set of human resources to each project activity. The effectiveness of a human resource is considered to depend on its work context. The other objective is to minimize the project makespan. To solve the problem, a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm is proposed. This algorithm designs feasible schedules for a given project and evaluates the designed schedules in relation to each objective. The algorithm generates an approximation to the Pareto set as a solution to the problem. The computational experiments carried out on nine different instance sets are reported.

  16. Influence of Human Pressure on Forest Resources and Productivity at Stand and Tree Scales: The Case Study of Yunnan Pine in SW China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinckley, Thomas M; Chi, Phillip; Hagmann, Keala; Harrell, Stevan; Schmidt, Amanda Henck; Urgenson, Lauren; Zeng, Zong-Yong

    2013-10-01

    This paper examines human impact on stands and individual trees of Pinus yunnanensis growing near the small mountain villages of Pianshui and Yangjuan in southwestern Sichuan Province, China. In an effort to assess whether use of these forests was sustainable, we examined the effects of human use in two ways. First, we directly measured the effect of cutting branches, for fuel and fodder, on tree growth. We hypothesized that branch cutting would negatively impact tree growth. We established 12 plots on four hills and compared 14 pairs of trees, one tree in each pair with an apparently full crown and the other with a considerable portion of the crown removed. Second, we assessed stand and tree properties over a 500 m elevation gradient above the villages where we hypothesized that as elevation increases, stand and tree properties should show fewer human impacts. Although extensive branch cutting reduced the live crown, tree height and diameter, compensatory processes likely enabled trees to recover and to add basal area increments (BAIs) similar to those added by trees with full crowns. Trees and stands close to villages showed less growth and lower basal areas, respectively, than stands and trees at intermediate or distant elevations from villages. Areas relatively close to the villages showed considerable effects of human-related disturbances such as branch cutting, grazing, tree and shrub removal, losses of litter, and human and animal trails. Such areas had increased soil erosion and often loss of the 'A' horizon. Stands close to villages had younger trees, lower stand basal areas, smaller basal area increments, and more stumps. Our results suggest an increasingly vulnerable interface between occupants of these two villages and their surrounding forests.

  17. Evolutionary genetics of human enterovirus 71: origin, population dynamics, natural selection, and seasonal periodicity of the VP1 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tee, Kok Keng; Lam, Tommy Tsan-Yuk; Chan, Yoke Fun; Bible, Jon M; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Tong, C Y William; Takebe, Yutaka; Pybus, Oliver G

    2010-04-01

    Human enterovirus 71 (EV-71) is one of the major etiologic causes of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) among young children worldwide, with fatal instances of neurological complications becoming increasingly common. Global VP1 capsid sequences (n = 628) sampled over 4 decades were collected and subjected to comprehensive evolutionary analysis using a suite of phylogenetic and population genetic methods. We estimated that the common ancestor of human EV-71 likely emerged around 1941 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1929 to 1952), subsequently diverging into three genogroups: B, C, and the now extinct genogroup A. Genealogical analysis revealed that diverse lineages of genogroup B and C (subgenogroups B1 to B5 and C1 to C5) have each circulated cryptically in the human population for up to 5 years before causing large HFMD outbreaks, indicating the quiescent persistence of EV-71 in human populations. Estimated phylogenies showed a complex pattern of spatial structure within well-sampled subgenogroups, suggesting endemicity with occasional lineage migration among locations, such that past HFMD epidemics are unlikely to be linked to continuous transmission of a single strain of virus. In addition, rises in genetic diversity are correlated with the onset of epidemics, driven in part by the emergence of novel EV-71 subgenogroups. Using subgenogroup C1 as a model, we observe temporal strain replacement through time, and we investigate the evidence for positive selection at VP1 immunogenic sites. We discuss the consequences of the evolutionary dynamics of EV-71 for vaccine design and compare its phylodynamic behavior with that of influenza virus.

  18. 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...

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  1. Deep divergences of human gene trees and models of human origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Michael G B; Jakobsson, Mattias

    2011-02-01

    Two competing hypotheses are at the forefront of the debate on modern human origins. In the first scenario, known as the recent Out-of-Africa hypothesis, modern humans arose in Africa about 100,000-200,000 years ago and spread throughout the world by replacing the local archaic human populations. By contrast, the second hypothesis posits substantial gene flow between archaic and emerging modern humans. In the last two decades, the young time estimates--between 100,000 and 200,000 years--of the most recent common ancestors for the mitochondrion and the Y chromosome provided evidence in favor of a recent African origin of modern humans. However, the presence of very old lineages for autosomal and X-linked genes has often been claimed to be incompatible with a simple, single origin of modern humans. Through the analysis of a public DNA sequence database, we find, similar to previous estimates, that the common ancestors of autosomal and X-linked genes are indeed very old, living, on average, respectively, 1,500,000 and 1,000,000 years ago. However, contrary to previous conclusions, we find that these deep gene genealogies are consistent with the Out-of-Africa scenario provided that the ancestral effective population size was approximately 14,000 individuals. We show that an ancient bottleneck in the Middle Pleistocene, possibly arising from an ancestral structured population, can reconcile the contradictory findings from the mitochondrion on the one hand, with the autosomes and the X chromosome on the other hand.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Fang; Duan, Ying; Jin, Shubo; Sui, Nan

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Clustering, Randomness, and Regularity: Spatial Distributions and Human Performance on the Traveling Salesperson Problem and Minimum Spanning Tree Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dry, Matthew J.; Preiss, Kym; Wagemans, Johan

    2012-01-01

    We investigated human performance on the Euclidean Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP) and Euclidean Minimum Spanning Tree Problem (MST-P) in regards to a factor that has previously received little attention within the literature: the spatial distributions of TSP and MST-P stimuli. First, we describe a method for quantifying the relative degree of…

  5. When development matters: From evolutionary psychology to evolutionary developmental psychology

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Gardiner, Amy K.; David F. Bjorklund

    2008-01-01

    This article presents evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) as an emerging field of evolutionary psychology (EP). In describing the core tenets of both approaches and the differences between them, we emphasize the important roles that evolution and development have in understanding human behaviour. We suggest that developmental psychologists should pay more attention to evolutionary issues and, conversely, evolutionary psychologists should take development seriously. Key words: evol...

  6. Molecular population genetics of human CYP3A locus: signatures of positive selection and implications for evolutionary environmental medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoping; Wang, Haijian; Zhou, Gangqiao; Zhang, Xiumei; Dong, Xiaojia; Zhi, Lianteng; Jin, Li; He, Fuchu

    2009-10-01

    The human CYP3A gene cluster codes for cytochrome P450 (CYP) subfamily enzymes that catalyze the metabolism of various exogenous and endogenous chemicals and is an obvious candidate for evolutionary and environmental genomic study. Functional variants in the CYP3A locus may have undergone a selective sweep in response to various environmental conditions. The goal of this study was to profile the allelic structure across the human CYP3A locus and investigate natural selection on that locus. From the CYP3A locus spanning 231 kb, we resequenced 54 genomic DNA fragments (a total of 43,675 bases) spanning four genes (CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, and CYP3A43) and two pseudogenes (CYP3AP1 and CYP3AP2), and randomly selected intergenic regions at the CYP3A locus in Africans (24 individuals), Caucasians (24 individuals), and Chinese (29 individuals). We comprehensively investigated the nucleotide diversity and haplotype structure and examined the possible role of natural selection in shaping the sequence variation throughout the gene cluster. Neutrality tests with Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D* and F*, and Fay and Wu's H indicated possible roles of positive selection on the entire CYP3A locus in non-Africans. Sliding-window analyses of nucleotide diversity and frequency spectrum, as well as haplotype diversity and phylogenetically inferred haplotype structure, revealed that CYP3A4 and CYP3A7 had recently undergone or were undergoing a selective sweep in all three populations, whereas CYP3A43 and CYP3A5 were undergoing a selective sweep in non-Africans and Caucasians, respectively. The refined allelic architecture and selection spectrum for the human CYP3A locus highlight that evolutionary dynamics of molecular adaptation may underlie the phenotypic variation of the xenobiotic disposition system and varied predisposition to complex disorders in which xenobiotics play a role.

  7. Segmental Duplications in Euchromatic Regions of Human Chromosome 5: A Source of Evolutionary Instability and Transcriptional Innovation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courseaux, Anouk; Richard, Florence; Grosgeorge, Josiane; Ortola, Christine; Viale, Agnes; Turc-Carel, Claude; Dutrillaux, Bernard; Gaudray, Patrick; Nahon, Jean-Louis

    2003-01-01

    Recent analyses of the structure of pericentromeric and subtelomeric regions have revealed that these particular regions of human chromosomes are often composed of blocks of duplicated genomic segments that have been associated with rapid evolutionary turnover among the genomes of closely related primates. In the present study, we show that euchromatic regions of human chromosome 5—5p14, 5p13, 5q13, 5q15–5q21—also display such an accumulation of segmental duplications. The structure, organization and evolution of those primate-specific sequences were studied in detail by combining in silico and comparative FISH analyses on human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutang, macaca, and capuchin chromosomes. Our results lend support to a two-step model of transposition duplication in the euchromatic regions, with a founder insertional event at the time of divergence between Platyrrhini and Catarrhini (25–35 million years ago) and an apparent burst of inter- and intrachromosomal duplications in the Hominidae lineage. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis suggests that the chronology and, likely, molecular mechanisms, differ regarding the region of primary insertion—euchromatic versus pericentromeric regions. Lastly, we show that as their counterparts located near the heterochromatic region, the euchromatic segmental duplications have consistently reshaped their region of insertion during primate evolution, creating putative mosaic genes, and they are obvious candidates for causing ectopic rearrangements that have contributed to evolutionary/genomic instability. [Supplemental material is available online at www.genome.org. The following individuals kindly provided reagents, samples, or unpublished information as indicated in the paper: D. Le Paslier, A. McKenzie, J. Melki, C. Sargent, J. Scharf and S. Selig.] PMID:12618367

  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. Evolutionary break point analysis between the proximal half of bovine chromosome 27 and conserved segments of the human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldammer, T; Kuehn, C; Brunner, R M; Weikard, R

    2009-01-01

    The proximal half of Bos taurus chromosome 27 (BTA27prox) delimited by microsatellite markers BM3507 and CSSM043 reveals complex rearrangements compared to its corresponding Homo sapiens chromosome (HSA) fragments. A comparative mapping approach combining somatic and radiation hybrid cell mapping techniques and related cytogenetic data resulted in an improved physical map for BTA27prox, which provides candidate genes for several important economic traits. The generated comprehensive map includes anchor loci for 103 genes and microsatellite markers. Mapping of genes proximal to BM3507 matching a region from 0.60 to 2.78 megabase pairs (Mb) of HSA8 confirmed recent sequence annotations on BTA27. Assignments of loci predicted to be on BTA27 to BTA1, BTA8, and BTA17 narrowed down evolutionary chromosome break points compared with corresponding chromosome segments in human. New physical anchors obtained in this study confirm in more detail the described evolutionary conservation between the proximal half of BTA27 and homologous segments of HSA4 and HSA8 and will contribute to the completion of the cattle DNA genome sequence.

  10. Characterization of spontaneous breast tumor in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinenesis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Hou-Jun; Wang, Chun-Yan; Zhang, Hai-Lin; He, Bao-Li; Jiao, Jian-Lin; Chen, Ce-Shi

    2012-02-01

    Breast cancer is a common malignant tumor. It is essential to develop suitable animal models for discovering novel preventive and therapeutic approaches. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have a closer evolutionary relationship with humans than do rodents, which have been widely used in laboratory research. Spontaneous breast tumors were identified in tree shrews in 1960s; however, no detailed studies about tree shrew breast tumors have been conducted to date. Here, we characterized a spontaneous breast tumor from tree shrews by Haematoxylin Eosin (H&E) staining. This tumor was identified as a papillary tumor. Immunohistochemical staining (IHC) for progesterone receptor (PR), Ki-67 and cleaved caspase-3 showed that tumor cells were positive for PR, highly proliferative, and less apoptotic compared to normal breast epithelial cells. Thus, the spontaneous tumor of tree shrew is very close to human papillary tumors in terms of morphology and pathology and we concluded that tree shrew may be a suitable animal model for breast cancer research.

  11. A novel human-infection-derived bacterium provides insights into the evolutionary origins of mutualistic insect-bacterial symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Adam L; Oakeson, Kelly F; Gutin, Maria; Pontes, Arthur; Dunn, Diane M; von Niederhausern, Andrew C; Weiss, Robert B; Fisher, Mark; Dale, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Despite extensive study, little is known about the origins of the mutualistic bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit approximately 10% of the world's insects. In this study, we characterized a novel opportunistic human pathogen, designated "strain HS," and found that it is a close relative of the insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius. Our results indicate that ancestral relatives of strain HS have served as progenitors for the independent descent of Sodalis-allied endosymbionts found in several insect hosts. Comparative analyses indicate that the gene inventories of the insect endosymbionts were independently derived from a common ancestral template through a combination of irreversible degenerative changes. Our results provide compelling support for the notion that mutualists evolve from pathogenic progenitors. They also elucidate the role of degenerative evolutionary processes in shaping the gene inventories of symbiotic bacteria at a very early stage in these mutualistic associations.

  12. A novel human-infection-derived bacterium provides insights into the evolutionary origins of mutualistic insect-bacterial symbioses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L Clayton

    Full Text Available Despite extensive study, little is known about the origins of the mutualistic bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit approximately 10% of the world's insects. In this study, we characterized a novel opportunistic human pathogen, designated "strain HS," and found that it is a close relative of the insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius. Our results indicate that ancestral relatives of strain HS have served as progenitors for the independent descent of Sodalis-allied endosymbionts found in several insect hosts. Comparative analyses indicate that the gene inventories of the insect endosymbionts were independently derived from a common ancestral template through a combination of irreversible degenerative changes. Our results provide compelling support for the notion that mutualists evolve from pathogenic progenitors. They also elucidate the role of degenerative evolutionary processes in shaping the gene inventories of symbiotic bacteria at a very early stage in these mutualistic associations.

  13. An evolutionary genomic approach to identify genes involved in human birth timing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jevon Plunkett

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Q; Kobayashi, M; Wakayama, Y; Inagaki, H; Katsumata, M; Hirata, Y; Hirata, K; Shimizu, T; Kawada, T; Park, B J; Ohira, T; Kagawa, T; Miyazaki, Y

    2009-01-01

    We previously reported that the forest environment enhanced human natural killer (NK) cell activity, the number of NK cells, and intracellular anti-cancer proteins in lymphocytes, and that the increased NK activity lasted for more than 7 days after trips to forests both in male and female subjects. To explore the factors in the forest environment that activated human NK cells, in the present study we investigate the effect of essential oils from trees on human immune function in twelve healthy male subjects, age 37-60 years, who stayed at an urban hotel for 3 nights from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 a.m. Aromatic volatile substances (phytoncides) were produced by vaporizing Chamaecyparis obtusa (hinoki cypress) stem oil with a humidifier in the hotel room during the night stay. Blood samples were taken on the last day and urine samples were analysed every day during the stay. NK activity, the percentages of NK and T cells, and granulysin, perforin, granzyme A/B-expressing lymphocytes in blood, and the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline in urine were measured. Similar control measurements were made before the stay on a normal working day. The concentrations of phytoncides in the hotel room air were measured. Phytoncide exposure significantly increased NK activity and the percentages of NK, perforin, granulysin, and granzyme A/B-expressing cells, and significantly decreased the percentage of T cells, and the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline in urine. Phytoncides, such as alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, were detected in the hotel room air. These findings indicate that phytoncide exposure and decreased stress hormone levels may partially contribute to increased NK activity.

  15. 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…

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-05-01

    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.

  18. Sex-biased evolutionary forces shape genomic patterns of human diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael F Hammer

    Full Text Available Comparisons of levels of variability on the autosomes and X chromosome can be used to test hypotheses about factors influencing patterns of genomic variation. While a tremendous amount of nucleotide sequence data from across the genome is now available for multiple human populations, there has been no systematic effort to examine relative levels of neutral polymorphism on the X chromosome versus autosomes. We analyzed approximately 210 kb of DNA sequencing data representing 40 independent noncoding regions on the autosomes and X chromosome from each of 90 humans from six geographically diverse populations. We correct for differences in mutation rates between males and females by considering the ratio of within-human diversity to human-orangutan divergence. We find that relative levels of genetic variation are higher than expected on the X chromosome in all six human populations. We test a number of alternative hypotheses to explain the excess polymorphism on the X chromosome, including models of background selection, changes in population size, and sex-specific migration in a structured population. While each of these processes may have a small effect on the relative ratio of X-linked to autosomal diversity, our results point to a systematic difference between the sexes in the variance in reproductive success; namely, the widespread effects of polygyny in human populations. We conclude that factors leading to a lower male versus female effective population size must be considered as important demographic variables in efforts to construct models of human demographic history and for understanding the forces shaping patterns of human genomic variability.

  19. Tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation: The ‘Canine Cooperation Hypothesis’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederike eRange

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available At present, beyond the fact that dogs can be easier socialized with humans than wolves, we know little about the motivational and cognitive effects of domestication. Despite this, it has been suggested that during domestication dogs have become socially more tolerant and attentive than wolves. These two characteristics are crucial for cooperation, and it has been argued that these changes allowed dogs to successfully live and work with humans. However, these domestication hypotheses have been put forward mainly based on dog-wolf differences reported in regard to their interactions with humans. Thus, it is possible that these differences reflect only an improved capability of dogs to accept humans as social partners instead of an increase of their general tolerance, attentiveness and cooperativeness.At the Wolf Science Center, in order to detangle these two explanations, we raise and keep dogs and wolves similarly socializing them with conspecifics and humans and then test them in interactions not just with humans but also conspecifics. When investigating attentiveness towards human and conspecific partners using different paradigms, we found that the wolves were at least as attentive as the dogs to their social partners and their actions. Based on these findings and the social ecology of wolves, we propose the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis suggesting that wolves are characterized with high social attentiveness and tolerance and are highly cooperative. This is in contrast with the implications of most domestication hypotheses about wolves. We argue, however, that these characteristics of wolves likely provided a good basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation.

  20. Tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation: the "Canine Cooperation Hypothesis".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Range, Friederike; Virányi, Zsófia

    2014-01-01

    At present, beyond the fact that dogs can be easier socialized with humans than wolves, we know little about the motivational and cognitive effects of domestication. Despite this, it has been suggested that during domestication dogs have become socially more tolerant and attentive than wolves. These two characteristics are crucial for cooperation, and it has been argued that these changes allowed dogs to successfully live and work with humans. However, these domestication hypotheses have been put forward mainly based on dog-wolf differences reported in regard to their interactions with humans. Thus, it is possible that these differences reflect only an improved capability of dogs to accept humans as social partners instead of an increase of their general tolerance, attentiveness and cooperativeness. At the Wolf Science Center, in order to detangle these two explanations, we raise and keep dogs and wolves similarly socializing them with conspecifics and humans and then test them in interactions not just with humans but also conspecifics. When investigating attentiveness toward human and conspecific partners using different paradigms, we found that the wolves were at least as attentive as the dogs to their social partners and their actions. Based on these findings and the social ecology of wolves, we propose the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis suggesting that wolves are characterized with high social attentiveness and tolerance and are highly cooperative. This is in contrast with the implications of most domestication hypotheses about wolves. We argue, however, that these characteristics of wolves likely provided a good basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation.

  1. Current review of genetics of human obesity: from molecular mechanisms to an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuquerque, David; Stice, Eric; Rodríguez-López, Raquel; Manco, Licíno; Nóbrega, Clévio

    2015-08-01

    It is well-known that obesity is a complex multifactorial and heterogeneous condition with an important genetic component. Recently, major advances in obesity research emerged concerning the molecular mechanisms contributing to the obese condition. This review outlines several studies and data concerning the genetics and other important factors in the susceptibility risk to develop obesity. Based in the genetic etiology three main categories of obesity are considered: monogenic, syndromic, and common obesity. For the monogenic forms of obesity, the gene causing the phenotype is clearly identified, whereas for the common obesity the loci architecture underlying the phenotype is still being characterized. Given that, in this review we focus mainly in this obesity form, reviewing loci found until now by genome-wide association studies related with the susceptibility risk to develop obesity. Moreover, we also detail the obesity-related loci identified in children and in different ethnic groups, trying to highlight the complexity of the genetics underlying the common obese phenotype. Importantly, we also focus in the evolutionary hypotheses that have been proposed trying to explain how natural selection favored the spread of genes that increase the risk for an obese phenotype and how this predisposition to obesity evolved. Other factors are important in the obesity condition, and thus, we also discuss the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the susceptibility and development of obesity. Covering all these topics we expect to provide a complete and recent perspective about the underlying mechanisms involved in the development and origin of obesity. Only with a full understanding of the factors and mechanisms contributing to obesity, it will be possible to provide and allow the development of new therapeutic approaches to this condition.

  2. Evolutionary divergence and functions of the human interleukin (IL gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brocker Chad

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cytokines play a very important role in nearly all aspects of inflammation and immunity. The term 'interleukin' (IL has been used to describe a group of cytokines with complex immunomodulatory functions -- including cell proliferation, maturation, migration and adhesion. These cytokines also play an important role in immune cell differentiation and activation. Determining the exact function of a particular cytokine is complicated by the influence of the producing cell type, the responding cell type and the phase of the immune response. ILs can also have pro- and anti-inflammatory effects, further complicating their characterisation. These molecules are under constant pressure to evolve due to continual competition between the host's immune system and infecting organisms; as such, ILs have undergone significant evolution. This has resulted in little amino acid conservation between orthologous proteins, which further complicates the gene family organisation. Within the literature there are a number of overlapping nomenclature and classification systems derived from biological function, receptor-binding properties and originating cell type. Determining evolutionary relationships between ILs therefore can be confusing. More recently, crystallographic data and the identification of common structural motifs have led to a more accurate classification system. To date, the known ILs can be divided into four major groups based on distinguishing structural features. These groups include the genes encoding the IL1-like cytokines, the class I helical cytokines (IL4-like, γ-chain and IL6/12-like, the class II helical cytokines (IL10-like and IL28-like and the IL17-like cytokines. In addition, there are a number of ILs that do not fit into any of the above groups, due either to their unique structural features or lack of structural information. This suggests that the gene family organisation may be subject to further change in the near future.

  3. Evolutionary divergence and functions of the human interleukin (IL) gene family

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Cytokines play a very important role in nearly all aspects of inflammation and immunity. The term 'interleukin' (IL) has been used to describe a group of cytokines with complex immunomodulatory functions -- including cell proliferation, maturation, migration and adhesion. These cytokines also play an important role in immune cell differentiation and activation. Determining the exact function of a particular cytokine is complicated by the influence of the producing cell type, the responding cell type and the phase of the immune response. ILs can also have pro- and anti-inflammatory effects, further complicating their characterisation. These molecules are under constant pressure to evolve due to continual competition between the host's immune system and infecting organisms; as such, ILs have undergone significant evolution. This has resulted in little amino acid conservation between orthologous proteins, which further complicates the gene family organisation. Within the literature there are a number of overlapping nomenclature and classification systems derived from biological function, receptor-binding properties and originating cell type. Determining evolutionary relationships between ILs therefore can be confusing. More recently, crystallographic data and the identification of common structural motifs have led to a more accurate classification system. To date, the known ILs can be divided into four major groups based on distinguishing structural features. These groups include the genes encoding the IL1-like cytokines, the class I helical cytokines (IL4-like, γ-chain and IL6/12-like), the class II helical cytokines (IL10-like and IL28-like) and the IL17-like cytokines. In addition, there are a number of ILs that do not fit into any of the above groups, due either to their unique structural features or lack of structural information. This suggests that the gene family organisation may be subject to further change in the near future. PMID:21106488

  4. Hot Topics and Popular Papers in Evolutionary Psychology: Analyses of Title Words and Citation Counts in Evolution and Human Behavior, 1979 – 2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory D. Webster

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available What do evolutionary psychologists study, which are their most highly cited articles, and which variables predict high citation counts? These are important questions for any emerging science. To help answer these questions, we present new empirical research on publication trends in evolutionary psychology's flagship journal, Evolution and Human Behavior (and its predecessor, Ethology and Sociobiology, from its inception in 1979 to 2008. First, analyses of 8,631 title words published in these journals between 1979 and 2008 (808 articles show an increasing interest in researching sex, sex differences, faces, and attractiveness. For example, during the Ethology and Sociobiology era (1979–1996, the most frequent title words were “evolutionary,” “human,” “behavior,” “reproductive,” “evolution,” “selection,” and “altruism,” whereas during the Evolution and Human Behavior era (1997–2008, they were “sex,” “attractiveness,” “differences,” “sexual,” “human,” “male,” and “facial.” Second, we reveal the 20 most-cited articles in these journals, which show the importance of research teams. Third, citation analyses for these journals between 1979 and 2002 (562 articles suggest articles that cite more references are in turn cited more themselves (r = .44, R2 = .19. Lastly, we summarize recent research that suggests evolutionary psychology is not only surviving, but also thriving, as a new interdisciplinary science.

  5. 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.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  6. Evolutionary mechanisms for loneliness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, John T; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2014-01-01

    Robert Weiss (1973) conceptualised loneliness as perceived social isolation, which he described as a gnawing, chronic disease without redeeming features. On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence. However, evolutionary time and evolutionary forces operate at such a different scale of organisation than we experience in everyday life that personal experience is not sufficient to understand the role of loneliness in human existence. Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats. We review evidence on the heritability of loneliness and outline an evolutionary theory of loneliness, with an emphasis on its potential adaptive value in an evolutionary timescale.

  7. How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Simon T; van Schaik, Carel P; Lehmann, Laurent

    2016-02-05

    What drove the transition from small-scale human societies centred on kinship and personal exchange, to large-scale societies comprising cooperation and division of labour among untold numbers of unrelated individuals? We propose that the unique human capacity to negotiate institutional rules that coordinate social actions was a key driver of this transition. By creating institutions, humans have been able to move from the default 'Hobbesian' rules of the 'game of life', determined by physical/environmental constraints, into self-created rules of social organization where cooperation can be individually advantageous even in large groups of unrelated individuals. Examples include rules of food sharing in hunter-gatherers, rules for the usage of irrigation systems in agriculturalists, property rights and systems for sharing reputation between mediaeval traders. Successful institutions create rules of interaction that are self-enforcing, providing direct benefits both to individuals that follow them, and to individuals that sanction rule breakers. Forming institutions requires shared intentionality, language and other cognitive abilities largely absent in other primates. We explain how cooperative breeding likely selected for these abilities early in the Homo lineage. This allowed anatomically modern humans to create institutions that transformed the self-reliance of our primate ancestors into the division of labour of large-scale human social organization.

  8. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    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...... 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastien Breurec

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Seeing the endomembrane system for the trees: Evolutionary analysis highlights the importance of plants as models for eukaryotic membrane-trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, L D; Dacks, J B

    2017-09-19

    Plant cells show many signs of a unique evolutionary history. This is seen in the system of intracellular organelles and vesicle transport pathways plants use to traffic molecular cargo. Bioinformatic and cell biological work in this area is beginning to tackle the question of how plant cells have evolved, and what this tells us about the evolution of other eukaryotes. Key protein families with membrane trafficking function, including Rabs, SNAREs, vesicle coat proteins, and ArfGAPs, show patterns of evolution that indicate both specialization and conservation in plants. These changes are accompanied by changes at the level of organelles and trafficking pathways between them. Major specializations include losses of several ancient Rabs, novel functions of many proteins, and apparent modification of trafficking in endocytosis and cytokinesis. Nevertheless, plants show extensive conservation of ancestral membrane trafficking genes, and conservation of their ancestral function in most duplicates. Moreover, plants have retained several ancient membrane trafficking genes lost in the evolution of animals and fungi. Considering this, plants such as Arabidopsis are highly valuable for investigating not only plant-specific aspects of membrane trafficking, but also general eukaryotic mechanisms. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. 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

    sequence changes at promoters, we show that dramatic changes such as the complete gain and loss (collectively turnover) of functional promoters are common. Using quantitative measures of transcription initiation in both humans and mice across 52 matched tissues we discriminate promoter sequence gains from...... the same biological systems are similarly inclined to transcriptional rewiring. The genes affected by promoter turnover show evidence of adaptive evolution. In mice, promoters are primarily lost through deletion of the promoter containing sequence; whereas in humans, many promoters appear to be gradually...

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poot, Martin; Badea, Alexandra; Williams, Robert W; Kas, Martien J

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 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 environmen

  17. 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

    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...

  18. Distribution, silencing potential and evolutionary impact of promoter DNA methylation in the human genome.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, M.; Hellmann, I.; Stadler, M.B.; Ramos, L.; Paabo, S.; Rebhan, M.; Schubeler, D.

    2007-01-01

    To gain insight into the function of DNA methylation at cis-regulatory regions and its impact on gene expression, we measured methylation, RNA polymerase occupancy and histone modifications at 16,000 promoters in primary human somatic and germline cells. We find CpG-poor promoters hypermethylated in

  19. 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 typin

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    In the last 10 years, ancient DNA research has experienced not less than a true revolution. Researchers are no longer limited to the sole characterization of short fragments of mitochondrial DNA, but can target complete genomes starting from less than a gram of osseous material. This revolution h...... work on admixture events between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans and but also suggested that the latter were organized in small family units whose members avoided inbreeding....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    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...... work on admixture events between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans and but also suggested that the latter were organized in small family units whose members avoided inbreeding....

  5. Evolutionary divergence and functions of the human acyl-CoA thioesterase gene (ACOT family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brocker Chad

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The acyl-CoA thioesterase gene (ACOT family encodes enzymes that catalyse the hydrolysis of acyl-CoA thioester compounds, also known as activated fatty acids, to their corresponding non-esterified (free fatty acid and coenzyme A (CoASH. These enzymes play a very important role in lipid metabolism by maintaining cellular levels and proper ratios of free and activated fatty acids, as well as CoASH. Within the acyl-CoA family there are two distinct subgroups, type I and type II. Despite catalysing the same reaction, the two groups are not structurally similar and do not share sequence homology, strongly suggesting convergent evolution. This suggestion is further supported if one compares the human with the mouse and rat ACOT gene families. To date, four human type I ACOTs have been identified which belong to the α/β-hydrolase fold enzyme superfamily. Type II ACOTs fall into the 'hot dog' fold superfamily. There are currently six human type II genes; however, two homologous proteins, thioesterase superfamily members 4 (THEM4 and 5 (THEM5 share common type II structural features and, in the case of THEM4, acyl-CoA thioesterase activity -- suggesting that the family may be larger than previously realised. Although recent studies have greatly expanded the current understanding of these proteins and their physiological importance, there are a number of members whose functions are relatively unexplored and which warrant further investigation.

  6. 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.

  7. Deciphering the cause of evolutionary variance within intrinsically disordered regions in human proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Sanghita; Chakraborty, Sandip; De, Rajat K

    2017-02-01

    Why the intrinsically disordered regions evolve within human proteome has became an interesting question for a decade. Till date, it remains an unsolved yet an intriguing issue to investigate why some of the disordered regions evolve rapidly while the rest are highly conserved across mammalian species. Identifying the key biological factors, responsible for the variation in the conservation rate of different disordered regions within the human proteome, may revisit the above issue. We emphasized that among the other biological features (multifunctionality, gene essentiality, protein connectivity, number of unique domains, gene expression level and expression breadth) considered in our study, the number of unique protein domains acts as a strong determinant that negatively influences the conservation of disordered regions. In this context, we justified that proteins having a fewer types of domains preferably need to conserve their disordered regions to enhance their structural flexibility which in turn will facilitate their molecular interactions. In contrast, the selection pressure acting on the stretches of disordered regions is not so strong in the case of multi-domains proteins. Therefore, we reasoned that the presence of conserved disordered stretches may compensate the functions of multiple domains within a single domain protein. Interestingly, we noticed that the influence of the unique domain number and expression level acts differently on the evolution of disordered regions from that of well-structured ones.

  8. 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.

  9. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Making Tree Ensembles Interpretable

    OpenAIRE

    Hara, Satoshi; Hayashi, Kohei

    2016-01-01

    Tree ensembles, such as random forest and boosted trees, are renowned for their high prediction performance, whereas their interpretability is critically limited. In this paper, we propose a post processing method that improves the model interpretability of tree ensembles. After learning a complex tree ensembles in a standard way, we approximate it by a simpler model that is interpretable for human. To obtain the simpler model, we derive the EM algorithm minimizing the KL divergence from the ...

  11. 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

    2012-01-01

    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 to 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.

  12. Evidence for evolutionary and nonevolutionary forces shaping the distribution of human genetic variants near transcription start sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scala, Giovanni; Affinito, Ornella; Miele, Gennaro; Monticelli, Antonella; Cocozza, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    The regions surrounding transcription start sites (TSSs) of genes play a critical role in the regulation of gene expression. At the same time, current evidence indicates that these regions are particularly stressed by transcription-related mutagenic phenomena. In this work we performed a genome-wide analysis of the distribution of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) inside the 10 kb region flanking human TSSs by dividing SNPs into four classes according to their frequency (rare, two intermediate classes, and common). We found that, in this 10 kb region, the distribution of variants depends on their frequency and on their localization relative to the TSS. We found that the distribution of variants is generally different for TSSs located inside or outside of CpG islands. We found a significant relationship between the distribution of rare variants and nucleosome occupancy scores. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that evolutionary (purifying selection) and nonevolutionary (biased gene conversion) forces both play a role in determining the relative SNP frequency around TSSs. Finally, we analyzed the potential pathogenicity of each class of variant using the Combined Annotation Dependent Depletion score. In conclusion, this study provides a novel and detailed view of the distribution of genomic variants around TSSs, providing insight into the forces that instigate and maintain variability in such critical regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Michael; Toivonen, Johanna M; Sylvester, Steven P; Kluge, Jürgen; Hertel, Dietrich

    2014-01-01

    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 m(2) 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 analyzed 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 and 3.8°C on humid vs. dry slopes) and mean growing season soil temperatures (5.1 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 to low temperatures.

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Hecht

    2012-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-05-26

    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.

  2. Evolutionary Design in Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Jon

    Evolution is one of the most interesting and creative processes we currently understand, so it should come as no surprise that artists and designers are embracing the use of evolution in problems of artistic creativity. The material in this section illustrates the diversity of approaches being used by artists and designers in relation to evolution at the boundary of art and science. While conceptualising human creativity as an evolutionary process in itself may be controversial, what is clear is that evolutionary processes can be used to complement, even enhance human creativity, as the chapters in this section aptly demonstrate.

  3. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic effects that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of adults. An evolutionary developmental perspective includes an appreciation of comparative research and we, among others, argue that contrasting the cognition of humans with that of nonhuman primates can provide a framework with which to understand how human cognitive abilities and intelligence evolved. Furthermore, we argue that several aspects of childhood (e.g., play and immature cognition) serve both as deferred adaptations as well as imparting immediate benefits. Intense selection pressure was surely exerted on childhood over human evolutionary history and, as a result, neglecting to consider the early developmental period of children when studying their later adulthood produces an incomplete picture of the evolved adaptations expressed through human behavior and cognition.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Evolutionary Dynamics and Temporal/Geographical Correlates of Recombination in the Human Enterovirus Echovirus Types 9, 11, and 30▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam Leitch, E. C.; Cabrerizo, M.; Cardosa, J.; Harvala, H.; Ivanova, O. E.; Kroes, A. C. M.; Lukashev, A.; Muir, P.; Odoom, J.; Roivainen, M.; Susi, P.; Trallero, G.; Evans, D. J.; Simmonds, P.

    2010-01-01

    The relationship between virus evolution and recombination in species B human enteroviruses was investigated through large-scale genetic analysis of echovirus type 9 (E9) and E11 isolates (n = 85 and 116) from 16 European, African, and Asian countries between 1995 and 2008. Cluster 1 E9 isolates and genotype D5 and A E11 isolates showed evidence of frequent recombination between the VP1 and 3Dpol regions, the latter falling into 23 (E9) and 43 (E11) clades interspersed phylogenetically with 46 3Dpol clades of E30 and with those of other species B serotypes. Remarkably, only 2 of the 112 3Dpol clades were shared by more than one serotype (E11 and E30), demonstrating an extremely large and genetically heterogeneous recombination pool of species B nonstructural-region variants. The likelihood of recombination increased with geographical separation and time, and both were correlated with VP1 divergence, whose substitution rates allowed recombination half-lives of 1.3, 9.8, and 3.1 years, respectively, for E9, E11, and E30 to be calculated. These marked differences in recombination dynamics matched epidemiological patterns of periodic epidemic cycles of 2 to 3 (E9) and 5 to 6 (E30) years and the longer-term endemic pattern of E11 infections. Phylotemporal analysis using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method, which placed recombination events within the evolutionary reconstruction of VP1, showed a close relationship with VP1 lineage expansion, with defined recombination events that correlated with their epidemiological periodicity. Whether recombination events contribute directly to changes in transmissibility that drive epidemic behavior or occur stochastically during periodic population bottlenecks is an unresolved issue vital to future understanding of enterovirus molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis. PMID:20610722

  11. Evolutionary dynamics and temporal/geographical correlates of recombination in the human enterovirus echovirus types 9, 11, and 30.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam Leitch, E C; Cabrerizo, M; Cardosa, J; Harvala, H; Ivanova, O E; Kroes, A C M; Lukashev, A; Muir, P; Odoom, J; Roivainen, M; Susi, P; Trallero, G; Evans, D J; Simmonds, P

    2010-09-01

    The relationship between virus evolution and recombination in species B human enteroviruses was investigated through large-scale genetic analysis of echovirus type 9 (E9) and E11 isolates (n = 85 and 116) from 16 European, African, and Asian countries between 1995 and 2008. Cluster 1 E9 isolates and genotype D5 and A E11 isolates showed evidence of frequent recombination between the VP1 and 3Dpol regions, the latter falling into 23 (E9) and 43 (E11) clades interspersed phylogenetically with 46 3Dpol clades of E30 and with those of other species B serotypes. Remarkably, only 2 of the 112 3Dpol clades were shared by more than one serotype (E11 and E30), demonstrating an extremely large and genetically heterogeneous recombination pool of species B nonstructural-region variants. The likelihood of recombination increased with geographical separation and time, and both were correlated with VP1 divergence, whose substitution rates allowed recombination half-lives of 1.3, 9.8, and 3.1 years, respectively, for E9, E11, and E30 to be calculated. These marked differences in recombination dynamics matched epidemiological patterns of periodic epidemic cycles of 2 to 3 (E9) and 5 to 6 (E30) years and the longer-term endemic pattern of E11 infections. Phylotemporal analysis using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method, which placed recombination events within the evolutionary reconstruction of VP1, showed a close relationship with VP1 lineage expansion, with defined recombination events that correlated with their epidemiological periodicity. Whether recombination events contribute directly to changes in transmissibility that drive epidemic behavior or occur stochastically during periodic population bottlenecks is an unresolved issue vital to future understanding of enterovirus molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis.

  12. Improved dating of the human/chimpanzee separation in the mitochondrial DNA tree: heterogeneity among amino acid sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, J; Hasegawa, M

    1995-06-01

    The internal branch lengths estimated by distance methods such as neighbor-joining are shown to be biased to be short when the evolutionary rate differs among sites. The variable-invariable model for site heterogeneity fits the amino acid sequence data encoded by the mitochondrial DNA from Hominoidea remarkably well. By assuming the orangutan separation to be 13 or 16 Myr old, a maximum-likelihood analysis estimates a young date of 3.6 +/- 0.6 or 4.4 +/- 0.7 Myr (+/- 1 SE) for the human/chimpanzee separation, and these estimates turn out to be robust against differences in the assumed model for amino acid substitutions. Although some uncertainties still exist in our estimates, this analysis suggests that humans separated from chimpanzees some 4-5 Myr ago.

  13. 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…

  14. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are an evolutionary adaptation to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayuk, Paul T-Y

    2006-01-01

    The aetiology of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remains unknown, despite over 30 years of research. The prevalence and natural history of these disorders and the lack of progress in identifying a cause calls for a radical new approach. It is hypothesised that these disorders arise as a consequence of abnormal maternal regulatory mechanisms. The evolution of the physical characteristics unique to humans (bi-pedal gait and a large brain) resulted in a narrow pelvis and a large head. Such a physique is not conducive to viviparity and caused difficult, prolonged and obstructed labour with post-partum haemorrhage--the commonest causes of maternal mortality in the absence of modern medical care. In such circumstances, up to 6.5% of pregnant women will die as a direct consequence of pregnancy, mainly as a result of obstructed labour and haemorrhage. The death toll would have been much higher over millions of years of evolution. These conditions exerted significant adaptive and evolutionary pressure on our species. The adaptations necessary to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique include activation of the coagulation system to reduce post-partum haemorrhage, increased blood pressure to peak after delivery and maintain cerebral perfusion in the face of post-partum blood loss and restriction of fetal growth to prevent obstructed labour. These adaptations must be regulated to guarantee their occurrence but limit their extent to prevent disease. Evidence for blood pressure regulation during pregnancy and a proposed mechanism to achieve this are presented. Regulation requires a redundant feto-placental signal and a single tightly controlled regulator. To guarantee that blood pressure rises, the feto-placental signal is predicted to be conveyed by several different molecules and to be produced in excess in all pregnancies. Normality is then maintained by a single tightly controlled regulator. This model predicts that the feto-placental factors that

  15. The adaptive value of shoot differentiation in deciduous trees and its evolutionary relevance Valor adaptativo de la diferenciación de brotes en árboles deciduos y su relevancia evolutiva

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    Veit M. Dörken

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Pronounced long shoot/short shoot differentiation is typical for deciduous angiosperm trees. It also occurs in a number of gymnosperms and very few evergreen angiosperm trees. The study of 719 angiosperm tree species (602 deciduous and 117 evergreen species demonstrated that the deciduous condition is nearly always associated with shoot differentiation. Detailed measurements in 38 angiosperms showed that the leaf area of an entire short shoot equals the leaf area of a single long shoot leaf of the same species and individual. In the few cases where the leaf area of the short shoot is slightly larger than that of a single long-shoot leaf, the short shoot leaves shade each other and the projection of the short shoot equals the area of a single long shoot leaf. Calculations of the stem biomass needed to expose a given assimilatory surface show two interesting aspects. First, the stem biomass (dry weight to expose leaf surface is about 10 times less in short shoots than in long shoots. Second, this biomass in long shoots and short shoots appears to be species independent. Regarding shoot structure efficiency, leaf size and shape do not matter. Some evergreen species resemble in all parameters more to deciduous species than to typical evergreen species. Phytogeographical data as well as morphological data suggest that these atypical evergreen species are derived from deciduous ancestors. As measured parameters differ markedly between all gymnosperms, except Ginkgo, and angiosperms, we suppose that the evolutionary pathway leading to shoot differentiation was different for gymnosperms and angiosperms.En Angiospermas arbóreas deciduas, es común encontrar un alto grado de diferenciación entre brotes largos y brotes cortos. También se presenta esta característica en un número de gimnospermas y en muy pocas angiospermas arbóreas siempreverdes. El estudio de 719 especies de angiospermas arbóreas (602 deciduas y 117 siempreverdes demostró que la

  16. Evolutionary macroecology

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    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Macroecology focuses on ecological questions at broad spatial and temporal scales, providing a statistical description of patterns in species abundance, distribution and diversity. More recently, historical components of these patterns have begun to be investigated more deeply. We tentatively refer to the practice of explicitly taking species history into account, both analytically and conceptually, as ‘evolutionary macroecology’. We discuss how the evolutionary dimension can be incorporated into macroecology through two orthogonal and complementary data types: fossils and phylogenies. Research traditions dealing with these data have developed more‐or‐less independently over the last 20–30 years, but merging them will help elucidate the historical components of diversity gradients and the evolutionary dynamics of species’ traits. Here we highlight conceptual and methodological advances in merging these two research traditions and review the viewpoints and toolboxes that can, in combination, help address patterns and unveil processes at temporal and spatial macro‐scales.

  17. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    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......, 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...... expectations emphasizes not only that causal structure changes are common in social systems but also that causal structures in social systems, and expectations about them, develop together....

  18. The Evolutionary Chromosome Translocation 4;19 in Gorilla gorilla is Associated with Microduplication of the Chromosome Fragment Syntenic to Sequences Surrounding the Human Proximal CMT1A-REP

    OpenAIRE

    Stankiewicz, Pawel; Park, Sung-Sup; Inoue, Ken; Lupski, James R.

    2001-01-01

    Many genomic disorders occur as a result of chromosome rearrangements involving low-copy repeats (LCRs). To better understand the molecular basis of chromosome rearrangements, including translocations, we have investigated the mechanism of evolutionary rearrangements. In contrast to several intrachromosomal rearrangements, only two evolutionary translocations have been identified by cytogenetic analyses of humans and greater apes. Human chromosome 2 arose as a result of a telomeric fusion bet...

  19. Dynamics of Gas Exchange through the Fractal Architecture of the Human Lung, Modeled as an Exactly Solvable Hierarchical Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Michael; Pfeifer, Peter; Gheorghiu, Stefan

    2008-03-01

    The acinar airways lie at the periphery of the human lung and are responsible for the transfer of oxygen from air to the blood during respiration. This transfer occurs by the diffusion-reaction of oxygen over the irregular surface of the alveolar membranes lining the acinar airways. We present an exactly solvable diffusion-reaction model on a hierarchically branched tree, allowing a quantitative prediction of the oxygen current over the entire system of acinar airways responsible for the gas exchange. We discuss the effect of diffusional screening, which is strongly coupled to oxygen transport in the human lung. We show that the oxygen current is insensitive to a loss of permeability of the alveolar membranes over a wide range of permeabilities, similar to a ``constant-current source'' in an electric network. Such fault tolerance has been observed in other treatments of the gas exchange in the lung and is obtained here as a fully analytical result.

  20. Gene tree correction for reconciliation and species tree inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swenson Krister M

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reconciliation is the commonly used method for inferring the evolutionary scenario for a gene family. It consists in “embedding” inferred gene trees into a known species tree, revealing the evolution of the gene family by duplications and losses. When a species tree is not known, a natural algorithmic problem is to infer a species tree from a set of gene trees, such that the corresponding reconciliation minimizes the number of duplications and/or losses. The main drawback of reconciliation is that the inferred evolutionary scenario is strongly dependent on the considered gene trees, as few misplaced leaves may lead to a completely different history, with significantly more duplications and losses. Results In this paper, we take advantage of certain gene trees’ properties in order to preprocess them for reconciliation or species tree inference. We flag certain duplication vertices of a gene tree, the “non-apparent duplication” (NAD vertices, as resulting from the misplacement of leaves. In the case of species tree inference, we develop a polynomial-time heuristic for removing the minimum number of species leading to a set of gene trees that exhibit no NAD vertices with respect to at least one species tree. In the case of reconciliation, we consider the optimization problem of removing the minimum number of leaves or species leading to a tree without any NAD vertex. We develop a polynomial-time algorithm that is exact for two special classes of gene trees, and show a good performance on simulated data sets in the general case.

  1. 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.

  2. Detection of moving human micro-Doppler signature in forest environments with swaying tree components by wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilic, Ozlem; Garcia-Rubia, Jose M.; Tran, Nghia; Dang, Vinh; Nguyen, Quang

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this paper is to investigate human motion in forest medium with swaying tree components due to time-varying wind effects and to observe the characteristics of the received Doppler signature from the scene. We provide the results of an accurate model accounting for the key contributions to the Doppler signature in this scenario. A realistic walking motion is generated using an analytical model extracted from empirical data. The swaying canopy motion is modeled by employing a spring response mechanism to the wind force. The backscattered field calculations from the scene comprise of contributions from the forest (including trunks, branches, and the ground) and human, and the interactions between them. An analytical forest scattering model, which accounts for the ground effects, is used to calculate the contribution from the forest. The attenuation effects due to the vegetation are accounted for. In order to characterize the effects of human motion accurately, a full wave technique, namely, method of moments (MOM) enhanced with fast multipole method (FMM), is employed for the human scattering calculations. A parallel version of MOM-FMM is implemented on a graphics processing unit based cluster to handle the large problem size. The human walking signatures created by the model are analyzed for different winds.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular and evolutionary characteristics of the fraction of human alpha satellite DNA associated with CENP-A at the centromeres of chromosomes 1, 5, 19, and 21

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roizès Gérard

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mode of evolution of the highly homogeneous Higher-Order-Repeat-containing alpha satellite arrays is still subject to discussion. This is also true of the CENP-A associated repeats where the centromere is formed. Results In this paper, we show that the molecular mechanisms by which these arrays evolve are identical in multiple chromosomes: i accumulation of crossovers that homogenise and expand the arrays into different domains and subdomains that are mostly unshared between homologues and ii sporadic mutations and conversion events that simultaneously differentiate them from one another. Individual arrays are affected by these mechanisms to different extents that presumably increase with time. Repeats associated with CENP-A, where the centromere is formed, are subjected to the same evolutionary mechanisms, but constitute minor subsets that exhibit subtle sequence differences from those of the bulk repeats. While the DNA sequence per se is not essential for centromere localisation along an array, it appears that certain sequences can be selected against. On chromosomes 1 and 19, which are more affected by the above evolutionary mechanisms than are chromosomes 21 and 5, CENP-A associated repeats were also recovered from a second homogeneous array present on each chromosome. This could be a way for chromosomes to sustain mitosis and meiosis when the normal centromere locus is ineluctably undermined by the above mechanisms. Conclusion We discuss, in light of these observations, possible scenarios for the normal evolutionary fates of human centromeric regions.

  5. [Schizophrenia and evolutionary psychopathology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelemen, Oguz; Kéri, Szabolcs

    2007-01-01

    Evolution can shape any characteristic appearing as a phenotype that is genetically rooted and possesses a long history. The stress-diathesis model suggests that psychiatric disorders have some genetic roots, and therefore the theory of evolution may be relevant for psychiatry. Schizophrenia is present in every human culture with approximately the same incidence. The great evolutionary paradox is: how can such illness persist despite fundamental reproductive disadvantages? Since the 1960s, several evolutionary explanations have been raised to explain the origins of schizophrenia. This article reviews all the major evolutionary theories about the possible origins of this disease. On the one hand, some researchers have proposed that schizophrenia is an evolutionary disadvantageous byproduct of human brain evolution (e.g. the evolution of hemispheric specialization, social brain or language skills). On the other hand, others have suggested that a compensatory advantage must exist either in the biological system of patients with schizophrenia (e.g. resistance against infectious diseases), or within the social domain (e.g. greater creativity of the relatives). According to some theories, shamanism and religion demonstrate some similarities to psychosis and provide clues regarding the origins of schizophrenia. At the end of this article we discuss this last theory in detail listing arguments for and against.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolutionary Phylogenetic Networks: Models and Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakhleh, Luay

    Phylogenetic networks are special graphs that generalize phylogenetic trees to allow for modeling of non-treelike evolutionary histories. The ability to sequence multiple genetic markers from a set of organisms and the conflicting evolutionary signals that these markers provide in many cases, have propelled research and interest in phylogenetic networks to the forefront in computational phylogenetics. Nonetheless, the term 'phylogenetic network' has been generically used to refer to a class of models whose core shared property is tree generalization. Several excellent surveys of the different flavors of phylogenetic networks and methods for their reconstruction have been written recently. However, unlike these surveys, this chapte focuses specifically on one type of phylogenetic networks, namely evolutionary phylogenetic networks, which explicitly model reticulate evolutionary events. Further, this chapter focuses less on surveying existing tools, and addresses in more detail issues that are central to the accurate reconstruction of phylogenetic networks.

  9. Evolutionary Characteristics of Missing Proteins: Insights into the Evolution of Human Chromosomes Related to Missing-Protein-Encoding Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Aishi; Li, Guang; Yang, Dong; Wu, Songfeng; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Xu, Ping; He, Fuchu

    2015-12-01

    Although the "missing protein" is a temporary concept in C-HPP, the biological information for their "missing" could be an important clue in evolutionary studies. Here we classified missing-protein-encoding genes into two groups, the genes encoding PE2 proteins (with transcript evidence) and the genes encoding PE3/4 proteins (with no transcript evidence). These missing-protein-encoding genes distribute unevenly among different chromosomes, chromosomal regions, or gene clusters. In the view of evolutionary features, PE3/4 genes tend to be young, spreading at the nonhomology chromosomal regions and evolving at higher rates. Interestingly, there is a higher proportion of singletons in PE3/4 genes than the proportion of singletons in all genes (background) and OTCSGs (organ, tissue, cell type-specific genes). More importantly, most of the paralogous PE3/4 genes belong to the newly duplicated members of the paralogous gene groups, which mainly contribute to special biological functions, such as "smell perception". These functions are heavily restricted into specific type of cells, tissues, or specific developmental stages, acting as the new functional requirements that facilitated the emergence of the missing-protein-encoding genes during evolution. In addition, the criteria for the extremely special physical-chemical proteins were first set up based on the properties of PE2 proteins, and the evolutionary characteristics of those proteins were explored. Overall, the evolutionary analyses of missing-protein-encoding genes are expected to be highly instructive for proteomics and functional studies in the future.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary game design

    CERN Document Server

    Browne, Cameron

    2011-01-01

    The book describes the world's first successful experiment in fully automated board game design. Evolutionary methods were used to derive new rule sets within a custom game description language, and self-play trials used to estimate each derived game's potential to interest human players. The end result is a number of new and interesting games, one of which has proved popular and gone on to be commercially published.

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary thinking

    OpenAIRE

    Hunt, Tam

    2015-01-01

    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 de...

  14. Aerosol deposition doses in the human respiratory tree of electronic cigarette smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manigrasso, Maurizio; Buonanno, Giorgio; Fuoco, Fernanda Carmen; Stabile, Luca; Avino, Pasquale

    2015-01-01

    Aerosols from eight e-cigarettes at different nicotine levels and flavoring were characterized as particle number size distributions in the range 5.6-560 nm by FMPS and CPC. Results were used to provided osimetry estimates applying the MMPD model.Particle number concentrations varied between 3.26 x 10(9) and 4.09 x 10(9) part cm(-3) for e-liquids without nicotine and between 5.08 x 10(9) and 5.29 x 10(9) part cm(-3) for e-liquids with nicotine. No flavor effects were detected on particle concentration data. Particle size distributions were unimodal with modes between 107-165 nm and 165-255 nm, for number and volume metrics, respectively. Averagely, 6.25 x 10(10) particles were deposited in respiratory tree after a single puff. Highest deposition densities and mean layer thickness of e-cigarette liquid on the lung epithelium were estimated at lobar bronchi. Our study shows that e-cigarette aerosol is source of high particle dose in respiratory system, from 23%to 35% of the daily dose of a no-smoking individual.

  15. 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...... software package for processing phylogenetic trees....

  16. Species tree estimation for the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, and close relatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    To better understand the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, an accurate estimate of the species phylogeny must be known. Traditionally, gene trees have served as a proxy for the species tree, although it was acknowledged early on that these trees represented different evolutionary process...

  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. In vitro studies on release and human skin permeation of Australian tea tree oil (TTO) from topical formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichling, Jürgen; Landvatter, Uwe; Wagner, Heike; Kostka, Karl-Heinz; Schaefer, Ulrich F

    2006-10-01

    Essential oils are widely used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations e.g. as fragrance, active ingredient or penetration enhancer. However, reports on skin absorption are rare. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate the capability of terpinen-4-ol, the main compound of Australian tea tree oil (TTO), to permeate human skin. In static Franz diffusion cells permeation experiments with heat separated human epidermis were carried out using infinite dosing conditions and compared to liberation experiments. The flux values of three different semisolid preparations with 5% TTO showed the rank order semisolid O/W emulsion (0.067 microl/cm2 h) > white petrolatum (0.051 microl/cm2 h) > ambiphilic cream (0.022 microl/cm2 h). In comparison to the flux value obtained with the native TTO (0.26 microl/cm2 h), the flux values are remarkably reduced due to the lower amount of terpinen-4-ol. P(app) values for cream (2.74+/-0.06 x 10(-7) cm/s) and native TTO (1.62+/-0.12 x 10(-7) cm/s) are comparable whereas white petrolatum (6.36+/-0.21 x 10(-7) cm/s) and semisolid O/W emulsion (8.41+/-0.15 x 10(-7) cm/s) demonstrated higher values indicating a penetration enhancement. No relationship between permeation and liberation was found.

  19. A Bending Willow Tree: A Japanese (Morita Therapy) Model of Human Nature and Client Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiyama, F. Ishu

    2003-01-01

    Japanese Morita therapy is discussed to highlight its culturally and theoretically unique perspectives on human nature and client change. Key features of this theory are: theory of the nervous trait; multiple-dimensional model of causes and treatment of nervous neurosis; theory of mental attachment; reframing anxiety into constructive desires; and…

  20. Evolutionary biology of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard; Summers, Kyle

    2005-10-01

    Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages that have escaped controls on replication and by the population-level evolution of genes that influence cancer risk. We describe here how recent evolutionary ecological studies have elucidated the roles of predation by the immune system and competition among normal and cancerous cells in the somatic evolution of cancer. Recent analyses of the evolution of cancer at the population level show how rapid changes in human environments have augmented cancer risk, how strong selection has frequently led to increased cancer risk as a byproduct, and how anticancer selection has led to tumor-suppression systems, tissue designs that slow somatic evolution, constraints on morphological evolution and even senescence itself. We discuss how applications of the tools of ecology and evolutionary biology are poised to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of this disease.

  1. Knowledge Guided Evolutionary Algorithms in Financial Investing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Hayden

    2013-01-01

    A large body of literature exists on evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, decision trees, codified knowledge, and knowledge management systems; however, the intersection of these computing topics has not been widely researched. Moving through the set of all possible solutions--or traversing the search space--at random exhibits no control…

  2. Knowledge Guided Evolutionary Algorithms in Financial Investing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Hayden

    2013-01-01

    A large body of literature exists on evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, decision trees, codified knowledge, and knowledge management systems; however, the intersection of these computing topics has not been widely researched. Moving through the set of all possible solutions--or traversing the search space--at random exhibits no control…

  3. Adult Human Biliary Tree Stem Cells Differentiate to β-Pancreatic Islet Cells by Treatment with a Recombinant Human Pdx1 Peptide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Cardinale

    Full Text Available Generation of β-pancreatic cells represents a major goal in research. The aim of this study was to explore a protein-based strategy to induce differentiation of human biliary tree stem cells (hBTSCs towards β-pancreatic cells. A plasmid containing the sequence of the human pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1 has been expressed in E. coli. Epithelial-Cell-Adhesion-Molecule positive hBTSCs or mature human hepatocyte cell line, HepG2, were grown in medium to which Pdx1 peptide was added. Differentiation toward pancreatic islet cells were evaluated by the expression of the β-cell transcription factors, Pdx1 and musculoapo-neurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog A, and of the pancreatic hormones, insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, investigated by real time polymerase chain reaction, western blot, light microscopy and immunofluorescence. C-peptide secretion in response to high glucose was also measured. Results indicated how purified Pdx1 protein corresponding to the primary structure of the human Pdx1 by mass spectroscopy was efficiently produced in bacteria, and transduced into hBTSCs. Pdx1 exposure triggered the expression of both intermediate and mature stage β-cell differentiation markers only in hBTSCs but not in HepG2 cell line. Furthermore, hBTSCs exposed to Pdx1 showed up-regulation of insulin, glucagon and somatostatin genes and formation of 3-dimensional islet-like structures intensely positive for insulin and glucagon. Finally, Pdx1-induced islet-like structures exhibited glucose-regulated C-peptide secretion. In conclusion, the human Pdx1 is highly effective in triggering hBTSC differentiation toward functional β-pancreatic cells.

  4. Emergence and transmission pathways of rapidly evolving evolutionary branch C4a strains of human enterovirus 71 in the Central Plain of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Large-scale outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD occurred repeatedly in the Central Plain of China (Shandong, Anhui, and Henan provinces from 2007 until now. These epidemics have increased in size and severity each year and are a major public health concern in mainland China. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Phylogenetic analysis was performed and a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo tree was constructed based on the complete VP1 sequences of HEV71 isolates. These analyses showed that the HFMD epidemic in the Central Plain of China was caused by at least 5 chains of HEV71 transmission and that the virus continued to circulate and evolve over the winter seasons between outbreaks. Between 1998 and 2010, there were 2 stages of HEV71 circulation in mainland China, with a shift from evolutionary branch C4b to C4a in 2003-2004. The evolution rate of C4a HEV71 was 4.99×10(-3 substitutions per site per year, faster than the mean of all HEV71 genotypes. The most recent common ancestor estimates for the Chinese clusters dated to October 1994 and November 1993 for the C4a and C4b evolutionary branches, respectively. Compared with all C4a HEV71 strains, a nucleotide substitution in all C4b HEV71 genome (A to C reversion at nt2503 in the VP1 coding region, which caused amino acid substitution of VP1-10: Gln to His had reverted. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that C4a HEV71 strains introduced into the Central Plain of China are responsible for the recent outbreaks. The relationships among HEV71 isolates determined from the combined sequence and epidemiological data reveal the underlying seasonal dynamics of HEV71 circulation. At least 5 HEV71 lineages circulated in the Central Plain of China from 2007 to 2009, and the Shandong and Anhui lineages were found to have passed through a genetic bottleneck during the low-transmission winter season.

  5. 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.

  6. Schizophrenia-an evolutionary enigma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin

    2004-03-01

    The term 'schizophrenia' refers to a group of disorders that have been described in every human culture. Two apparently well established findings have corroborated the need for an evolutionary explanation of these disorders: (1) cross-culturally stable incidence rates and (2) decreased fecundity of the affected individuals. The rationale behind this relates to the evolutionary paradox that susceptibility genes for schizophrenia are obviously preserved in the human genepool, despite fundamental reproductive disadvantages associated with the disorders. Some researchers have therefore proposed that a compensatory advantage must exist in people who are carriers of these genes or in their first-degree relatives. Such advantages were hypothesised to be outside the brain (e.g. greater resistance against toxins or infectious diseases), or within the social domain (e.g. schizotypal shamans, creativity). More specifically, T.J. Crow has suggested an evolutionary theory of schizophrenia that relates the disorders to an extreme of variation of hemispheric specialisation and the evolution of language due to a single gene mutation located on homologous regions of the sex chromosomes. None of the evolutionary scenarios does, however, fully account for the diversity of the symptomatology, nor does any one hypothesis acknowledge the objection that the mere prevalence of a disorder must not be confused with adaptation. In the present article, I therefore discuss the evolutionary hypotheses of schizophrenia, arguing that a symptom-based approach to psychotic disorders in evolutionary perspective may improve upon the existing models of schizophrenia.

  7. Enumerating Trees

    CERN Document Server

    Kucharczyk, Robert A

    2012-01-01

    In this note we discuss trees similar to the Calkin-Wilf tree, a binary tree that enumerates all positive rational numbers in a simple way. The original construction of Calkin and Wilf is reformulated in a more algebraic language, and an elementary application of methods from analytic number theory gives restrictions on possible analogues.

  8. Evolutionary Information Theory

    OpenAIRE

    Mark Burgin

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary information theory is a constructive approach that studies information in the context of evolutionary processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and society. In this paper, we develop foundations of evolutionary information theory, building several measures of evolutionary information and obtaining their properties. These measures are based on mathematical models of evolutionary computations, machines and automata. To measure evolutionary information in an invariant form, we const...

  9. A computer model for the clearance of insoluble particles from the tracheobronchial tree of the human lung.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, Robert

    2007-05-01

    A multi-compartment model for the clearance of insoluble particles from the tracheobronchial tree of the human lung was created. As a significant innovation, the model considers specific mass transfer paths that may play an important role for slow bronchial clearance. These include the accumulation of particulate mass in the periciliary sol layer, an uptake of stored particles by airway macrophages, and the endocytosis of deposited mass by epithelial cells. Besides the gel layer representing fast mucociliary clearance, all cellular and extracellular units involved into the slow clearance process are described by respective compartments which are connected by specific transfer paths. The gastrointestinal tract (GIT), lymph nodes (LN), and blood capillaries are included into the model as final accumulation compartments, to which mass is transferred via the airway route and the transepithelial path. Besides a basic version of the model describing the whole tracheobronchial region by one set of compartments, also an advanced approach is introduced which, in accordance with the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), subdivides the conducting airways into a bronchial (BB) and bronchiolar (bb) part. Preliminary results were generated with MS-Excel from deposition data of 1-mummass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) particles, calculating local slow clearance fractions according to mathematical procedures introduced in previous publications. While mucociliary clearance is completely finished within 24h after exposure, slow clearance takes place in distinct phases and needs several days to weeks. This multi-stage event is also reflected in the respective retention curves which correspond well to previously published graphs.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary developmental psychology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-01-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection...

  12. Some combinatorial problems on binary rooted trees occurring in population genetics

    CERN Document Server

    Disanto, Filippo

    2011-01-01

    Models in evolutionary biology are intimately linked to the tree paradigm. Given a direction by time, ancestry relationship between species, individuals, alleles or cells can be depicted as a rooted tree. Of particular interest are binary rooted unordered trees. These can be further classified into shape trees, phylogenetic trees, ranked trees and labelled ranked trees. In this work we want to focus on several combinatorial aspects concerning these classes of trees. We consider numerations and probabilistic properties of these trees when generated under the random coalescent process. We derive several summary statistics which serve to characterize 'typical' trees.

  13. In vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on filamentous fungi and toxicity to human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homeyer, Diane C; Sanchez, Carlos J; Mende, Katrin; Beckius, Miriam L; Murray, Clinton K; Wenke, Joseph C; Akers, Kevin S

    2015-04-01

    Invasive fungal wound infections (IFIs) are increasingly reported in trauma patients and cause considerable morbidity and mortality despite standard of care treatment in trauma centers by experienced medical personnel. Topical agents such as oil of melaleuca, also known as tea tree oil (TTO), have been proposed for adjunctive treatment of IFIs. We evaluated the activity of TTO against filamentous fungi associated with IFIs by testing 13 clinical isolates representing nine species via time-kill assay with seven concentrations of TTO (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 10%, 5%, and 1%). To ascertain the safety of topical application to wounds, cell viability assays were performed in vitro using human fibroblasts, keratinocytes, osteoblasts, and umbilical vein endothelial cells with 10 concentrations of TTO (75%, 50%, 25%, 10%, 5%, and 10-fold serial dilutions from 1 to 0.0001%) at five time points (5, 15, 30, 60, and 180 min). Compatibility of TTO with explanted porcine tissues was also assessed with eight concentrations of TTO (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 10%, 5%, 1%, and 0.1%) at the time points used for cellular assays and at 24 h. The time-kill studies showed that fungicidal activity was variable between isolates. The effect of TTO on cell viability was primarily concentration dependent with significant cytotoxicity at concentrations of ≥ 10% and ≥ 50% for cells lines and whole tissue, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that TTO possesses antifungal activity against filamentous fungi associated with IFIs; furthermore that negligible effects on whole tissues, in contrast to individual cells, were observed following exposure to TTO. Collectively, these findings indicate a potential use of TTO as topical treatment of IFIs. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Human mitochondrial complex I assembles through the combination of evolutionary conserved modules: a framework to interpret complex I deficiencies.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ugalde, C.; Vogel, R.O.; Huijbens, R.J.F.; Heuvel, L.P.W.J. van den; Smeitink, J.A.M.; Nijtmans, L.G.J.

    2004-01-01

    With 46 subunits, human mitochondrial complex I is the largest enzyme of the oxidative phosphorylation system. We have studied the assembly of complex I in cultured human cells. This will provide essential information about the nature of complex I deficiencies and will enhance our understanding of

  15. A Comprehensive Catalog of Human KRAB-associated Zinc Finger Genes: Insights into the Evolutionary History of a Large Family of Transcriptional Repressors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntley, S; Baggott, D M; Hamilton, A T; Tran-Gyamfi, M; Yang, S; Kim, J; Gordon, L; Branscomb, E; Stubbs, L

    2005-09-30

    Krueppel-type zinc finger (ZNF) motifs are prevalent components of transcription factor proteins in all eukaryotic species. In mammals, most ZNF proteins comprise a single class of transcriptional repressors in which a chromatin interaction domain, called the Krueppel-associated box (KRAB) is attached to a tandem array of DNA-binding zinc-finger motifs. KRAB-ZNF loci are specific to tetrapod vertebrates, but have expanded dramatically in numbers through repeated rounds of segmental duplication to create a gene family with hundreds of members in mammals. To define the full repertoire of human KRAB-ZNF proteins, we searched the human genome for key motifs and used them to construct and manually curate gene models. The resulting KRAB-ZNF gene catalog includes 326 known genes, 243 of which were structurally corrected by manual annotation, and 97 novel KRAB-ZNF genes; this single family therefore comprises 20% of all predicted human transcription factor genes. Many of the genes are alternatively spliced, yielding a total of 743 distinct predicted proteins. Although many human KRAB-ZNF genes are conserved in mammals, at least 136 and potentially more than 200 genes of this type are primate-specific including many recent segmental duplicates. KRAB-ZNF genes are active in a wide variety of human tissues suggesting roles in many key biological processes, but most member genes remain completely uncharacterized. Because of their sheer numbers, wide-ranging tissue-specific expression patterns, and remarkable evolutionary divergence we predict that KRAB-ZNF transcription factors have played critical roles in crafting many aspects of human biology, including both deeply conserved and primate-specific traits.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Mitochondrial DNA and morphology show independent evolutionary histories of bedbug Cimex lectularius (Heteroptera: Cimicidae) on bats and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balvín, Ondřej; Munclinger, Pavel; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Vilímová, Jitka

    2012-07-01

    The bedbug, Cimex lectularius, is a well-known human ectoparasite that is reemerging after a long absence of several decades in developed countries of North America and Western Europe. Bedbugs' original hosts were likely bats, and the bedbugs are still common in their roosts. Using morphometry and sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I and 16S genes, we showed that the populations on bats and humans are largely isolated and differ in morphology. The character of the morphological difference suggests it to be due to adaptation to different hosts, namely adaptations to different sensory, feeding, and dispersal needs. Using the molecular data, we estimated the time of splitting into bat- and human-parasitizing groups using the isolation-with-migration model. The estimate is surprisingly long ago and seems to predate the expansion of modern human from Africa. The gene flow between bat- and human-parasitizing bedbugs is limited and asymmetric with prevailing direction from human-parasitizing populations to bat-parasitizing populations. The differentiation of the populations fits the concept of host races and supports the idea of sympatric speciation. Furthermore, our findings contradict recently formulated hypotheses suggesting bat roosts as a source of bedbug's resurgence as a human pest. Also, we extend the known host range of the bedbug by two bat species.

  20. Analysis of copy number variation in the rhesus macaque genome identifies candidate loci for evolutionary and human disease studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Arthur S; Gutiérrez-Arcelus, María; Perry, George H; Vallender, Eric J; Johnson, Welkin E; Miller, Gregory M; Korbel, Jan O; Lee, Charles

    2008-04-15

    Copy number variants (CNVs) are heritable gains and losses of genomic DNA in normal individuals. While copy number variation is widely studied in humans, our knowledge of CNVs in other mammalian species is more limited. We have designed a custom array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) platform with 385 000 oligonucleotide probes based on the reference genome sequence of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), the most widely studied non-human primate in biomedical research. We used this platform to identify 123 CNVs among 10 unrelated macaque individuals, with 24% of the CNVs observed in multiple individuals. We found that segmental duplications were significantly enriched at macaque CNV loci. We also observed significant overlap between rhesus macaque and human CNVs, suggesting that certain genomic regions are prone to recurrent CNV formation and instability, even across a total of approximately 50 million years of primate evolution ( approximately 25 million years in each lineage). Furthermore, for eight of the CNVs that were observed in both humans and macaques, previous human studies have reported a relationship between copy number and gene expression or disease susceptibility. Therefore, the rhesus macaque offers an intriguing, non-human primate outbred model organism with which hypotheses concerning the specific functions of phenotypically relevant human CNVs can be tested.

  1. 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...

  2. Evolutionary Adaptations to Dietary Changes

    OpenAIRE

    De Luca, F; Perry, G. H.; Di Rienzo, A.

    2010-01-01

    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...

  3. Tree thinking cannot taken for granted: challenges for teaching phylogenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandvik, Hanno

    2008-03-01

    Tree thinking is an integral part of modern evolutionary biology, and a necessary precondition for phylogenetics and comparative analyses. Tree thinking has during the 20th century largely replaced group thinking, developmental thinking and anthropocentrism in biology. Unfortunately, however, this does not imply that tree thinking can be taken for granted. The findings reported here indicate that tree thinking is very much an acquired ability which needs extensive training. I tested a sample of undergraduate and graduate students of biology by means of questionnaires. Not a single student was able to correctly interpret a simple tree drawing. Several other findings demonstrate that tree thinking is virtually absent in students unless they are explicitly taught how to read evolutionary trees. Possible causes and implications of this mental bias are discussed. It seems that biological textbooks can be an important source of confusion for students. While group and developmental thinking have disappeared from most textual representations of evolution, they have survived in the evolutionary tree drawings of many textbooks. It is quite common for students to encounter anthropocentric trees and even trees containing stem groups and paraphyla. While these biases originate from the unconscious philosophical assumptions made by authors, the findings suggest that presenting unbiased evolutionary trees in biological publications is not merely a philosophical virtue but has also clear practical implications.

  4. Novel Rapid Molecular Modeling Method Based on Evolutional Tree for Human Adenovirus Hexon Proteins Family%进化树指导的腺病毒六邻体家族蛋白的快速建模

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁晓辉; 杨志伟; 高虹; 王迎晨; 曲章义; 任家毅; 王靖飞; 郭莹莹; 王雅贤; 华东; 吴晓敏

    2011-01-01

    Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are responsible for many infectious diseases. 54 different serotypes of HAdVs have been identified so far, and the diversity of HAdVs has brought some difficulties to clinical diagnosis and therapy. In this study, a novel rapid modeling method for proteins family was developed on the basis of evolutionary tree, and by this method 7 hexon homologous proteins from D sub-specie Human adenovi-ruses( HAdVs) were modeled. An evolutionary tree of these 7 hexon protein amino acid sequences was constructed by neighbor-joining( NJ) algorithm; based on the information from the evolutional tree, an optimal modeling route was determined to accelerate the modeling of these hexons; And then, rapid modeling of he-xons was automatically completed using homology modeling method within MODELER and CHARMM program; and the sturcures were proved to be acceptable by two assessment methods. Compared with the traditional scheme, this novel method can significantly reduce the amount of calculation. Every hexon structure model produced by this novel rapid modelling method could be reliably superimposed to the corresponding model produced by the traditional method. The rapid modeling of HAdVs hexon protein is very important to the molecular designing of HAdVs vaccines and the development of rapid HAdVs diagnostic typing agents.%为实现对人腺病毒六邻体家族蛋白进行快速准确的结构建模,发展了一种新的基于进化树的预测蛋白质家族中一系列分子三维空间结构的快速建模方法,首先利用邻接法对7株D亚属人腺病毒的六邻体序列构建了基于距离的进化树,并根据进化树所提供的信息确定最佳六邻体家族蛋白渐进式建模路径,然后利用Modeler与Charmm程序实现六邻体家族蛋白的快速建模,新的建模方法与传统方法相比,需要的计算量大大减少,经过结构评估以及与传统方法建模所得到的结构进行比较,证实基于进化树的快速建模

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. How mutation affects evolutionary games on graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin; Traulsen, Arne; Tarnita, Corina E; Nowak, Martin A

    2012-04-21

    Evolutionary dynamics are affected by population structure, mutation rates and update rules. Spatial or network structure facilitates the clustering of strategies, which represents a mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. Mutation dilutes this effect. Here we analyze how mutation influences evolutionary clustering on graphs. We introduce new mathematical methods to evolutionary game theory, specifically the analysis of coalescing random walks via generating functions. These techniques allow us to derive exact identity-by-descent (IBD) probabilities, which characterize spatial assortment on lattices and Cayley trees. From these IBD probabilities we obtain exact conditions for the evolution of cooperation and other game strategies, showing the dual effects of graph topology and mutation rate. High mutation rates diminish the clustering of cooperators, hindering their evolutionary success. Our model can represent either genetic evolution with mutation, or social imitation processes with random strategy exploration.

  8. 进化发展心理学:发展中的人类本性%Evolutionary Developmental Psychology: Developing Human Nature

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jason Grotuss; David F. Bjorklund; Adriana Csinady

    2007-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental psychology involves the study of the genetic and environmental mechanisms that underlie the universal development of social and cognitive competencies and how these processes adapt to local conditions. We present some of the central issues and concepts of evolutionary developmental psychology: (1)natural selection operates at all stages of the lifespan, but especially early in life; (2) adaptations can be functional at any time in development, but evolutionary developmental psychology is particularly concerned with adaptations associated with infancy and childhood; (3) an extended childhood is needed in which to learn the complexities of human social communities; (4) the application of a developmental contextual (epigenetic)approach to explain how evolved and inherited dispositions become expressed as adaptive behaviors in the phenotypes of adults; (5) development is constrained by both genetic and environmental factors; and (6) children show substantial plasticity of cognition and behavior, and adaptive sensitivity to context early in life.%进化发展心理学研究社会能力与认知能力发展背后的基因与环境机制,以及基因与环境机制在特定社会文化中的表现.进化发展心理学探讨的主要问题与设计到的主要概念包括:(1)自然选择在毕生发展的早期阶段发挥作用;(2)进化发展心理学特别重视适应在婴儿期及儿童期发展中的作用;(3)儿童期的延长有助于儿童学习人类社会的复杂性;(4)发展背景的方法可以用来理解成人外显行为的进化起源;(5)基因与环境因素相互影响约束个体发展;(6)认知能力与行为活动敏感于早期环境,但二者发展也具有可塑性.

  9. 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

    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. 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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Human remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition of southwest China suggest a complex evolutionary history for East Asians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Curnoe

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Final technical report: analysis of molecular data using statistical and evolutionary approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atteson, K.; Junhyong Kim

    2000-02-15

    This document describes the research and training accomplishments of Dr. Kevin Atteson during the DOE fellowship period of September 1997 to September 1999. Dr. Atteson received training in molecular evolution during this period and made progress on seven research topics including: computation of DNA pattern probability, asymptotic redundancy of Bayes rules, performance of neighbor-joining evolutionary tree estimation, convex evolutionary tree estimation, identifiability of trees under mixed rates, gene expression analysis, and population genetics of unequal crossover.

  13. Structure-function relationship and evolutionary history of the human selenoprotein M (SelM) found over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guariniello, Stefano; Colonna, Giovanni; Raucci, Raffaele; Costantini, Maria; Di Bernardo, Gianni; Bergantino, Francesca; Castello, Giuseppe; Costantini, Susan

    2014-02-01

    In humans we know 25 selenoproteins that play important roles in redox regulation, detoxification, immune-system protection and viral suppression. In particular, selenoprotein M (SelM) may function as thiol disulfide oxidoreductase that participates in the formation of disulfide bonds, and can be implicated in calcium responses. However, it presents a redox motif (CXXU), where U is a selenocysteine, and may also function as redox regulator because its decreased or increased expression regulated by dietary selenium alters redox homeostasis. No data are reported in literature about its involvement in cancer but only in neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper we evaluated the SelM expression in two hepatoma cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7, compared to normal hepatocytes. The results suggested its involvement in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as well as its possible use to follow the progression of this cancer as putative marker. The aim of this study has been to analyze the structure-function relationships of SelM. Hence, firstly we studied the evolutionary history of this protein by phylogenetic analysis and GC content of genes from various species. So, we modeled the three-dimensional structure of the human SelM evaluating its energetic stability by molecular dynamics simulations. Moreover, we modeled some of its mutants to obtain structural information helpful for structure-based drug design. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

    diameters and conduction distance are ...-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...

  15. 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

    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...

  16. Evolutionary changes in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the human genome from 9000 years BP until modern times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spigelman, Mark; Donoghue, Helen D; Abdeen, Ziad; Ereqat, Suheir; Sarie, Issa; Greenblatt, Charles L; Pap, Ildikó; Szikossy, Ildikó; Hershkovitz, Israel; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila; Matheson, Carney

    2015-06-01

    The demonstration of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in ancient skeletons gives researchers an insight into its evolution. Findings of the last two decades sketched the biological relationships between the various species of tubercle bacilli, the time scale involved, their possible origin and dispersal. This paper includes the available evidence and on-going research. In the submerged Eastern Mediterranean Neolithic village of Atlit Yam (9000 BP), a human lineage of M. tuberculosis, defined by the TbD1 deletion in its genome, was demonstrated. An infected infant at the site provides an example of active tuberculosis in a human with a naïve immune system. Over 4000 years later tuberculosis was found in Jericho. Urbanization increases population density encouraging M. tuberculosis/human co-evolution. As susceptible humans die of tuberculosis, survivors develop genetic resistance to disease. Thus in 18th century Hungarian mummies from Vác, 65% were positive for tuberculosis yet a 95-year-old woman had clearly survived a childhood Ghon lesion. Whole genome studies are in progress, to detect changes over the millennia both in bacterial virulence and also host susceptibility/resistance genes that determine the NRAMP protein and Killer Cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIRs). This paper surveys present evidence and includes initial findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. How to learn about teaching: An evolutionary framework for the study of teaching behavior in humans and other animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Michelle Ann

    2015-01-01

    The human species is more reliant on cultural adaptation than any other species, but it is unclear how observational learning can give rise to the faithful transmission of cultural adaptations. One possibility is that teaching facilitates accurate social transmission by narrowing the range of inferences that learners make. However, there is wide disagreement about how to define teaching, and how to interpret the empirical evidence for teaching across cultures and species. In this article I argue that disputes about the nature and prevalence of teaching across human societies and nonhuman animals are based on a number of deep-rooted theoretical differences between fields, as well as on important differences in how teaching is defined. To reconcile these disparate bodies of research, I review the three major approaches to the study of teaching - mentalistic, culture-based, and functionalist - and outline the research questions about teaching that each addresses. I then argue for a new, integrated framework that differentiates between teaching types according to the specific adaptive problems that each type solves, and apply this framework to restructure current empirical evidence on teaching in humans and nonhuman animals. This integrative framework generates novel insights, with broad implications for the study of the evolution of teaching, including the roles of cognitive constraints and cooperative dilemmas in how and when teaching evolves. Finally, I propose an explanation for why some types of teaching are uniquely human, and discuss new directions for research motivated by this framework.

  18. Context trees

    OpenAIRE

    Ganzinger, Harald; Nieuwenhuis, Robert; Nivela, Pilar

    2001-01-01

    Indexing data structures are well-known to be crucial for the efficiency of the current state-of-the-art theorem provers. Examples are \\emph{discrimination trees}, which are like tries where terms are seen as strings and common prefixes are shared, and \\emph{substitution trees}, where terms keep their tree structure and all common \\emph{contexts} can be shared. Here we describe a new indexing data structure, \\emph{context trees}, where, by means of a limited kind of conte...

  19. Two Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Cochrane, John. H.; Longstaff, Francis A.; Santa-Clara, Pedro

    2004-01-01

    We solve a model with two “Lucas trees.†Each tree has i.i.d. dividend growth. The investor has log utility and consumes the sum of the two trees’ dividends. This model produces interesting asset-pricing dynamics, despite its simple ingredients. Investors want to rebalance their portfolios after any change in value. Since the size of the trees is fixed, however, prices must adjust to offset this desire. As a result, expected returns, excess returns, and return volatility all vary throug...

  20. Oversimplifying Evolutionary Psychology Leads to Explanatory Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Chuck; Ledbetter, Jay N.

    2010-01-01

    Comments on Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations by Confer et al. They argued that SST cannot explain the existence of either homosexuality or suicide within the human species. We contend that a sufficiently nuanced evolutionary position has no difficulties explaining either phenomenon. Also in this…

  1. Evolutionary Information Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Burgin

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary information theory is a constructive approach that studies information in the context of evolutionary processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and society. In this paper, we develop foundations of evolutionary information theory, building several measures of evolutionary information and obtaining their properties. These measures are based on mathematical models of evolutionary computations, machines and automata. To measure evolutionary information in an invariant form, we construct and study universal evolutionary machines and automata, which form the base for evolutionary information theory. The first class of measures introduced and studied in this paper is evolutionary information size of symbolic objects relative to classes of automata or machines. In particular, it is proved that there is an invariant and optimal evolutionary information size relative to different classes of evolutionary machines. As a rule, different classes of algorithms or automata determine different information size for the same object. The more powerful classes of algorithms or automata decrease the information size of an object in comparison with the information size of an object relative to weaker4 classes of algorithms or machines. The second class of measures for evolutionary information in symbolic objects is studied by introduction of the quantity of evolutionary information about symbolic objects relative to a class of automata or machines. To give an example of applications, we briefly describe a possibility of modeling physical evolution with evolutionary machines to demonstrate applicability of evolutionary information theory to all material processes. At the end of the paper, directions for future research are suggested.

  2. Child murder by parents and evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Susan Hatters; Cavney, James; Resnick, Phillip J

    2012-12-01

    This article explores the contribution of evolutionary theory to the understanding of causation and motive in filicide cases and also reviews special issues in the forensic evaluation of alleged perpetrators of filicide. Evolutionary social psychology seeks to understand the context in which our brains evolved, to understand human behaviors. The authors propose evolutionary theory as a framework theory to meaningfully appreciate research about filicide. Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens, this article reviews the research on filicide over the past 40 years, and describes epidemiologic and typologic studies of filicide, and theoretical analyses from a range of disciplines. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Culture in great apes: using intricate complexity in feeding skills to trace the evolutionary origin of human technical prowess.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Richard W

    2007-04-29

    Geographical cataloguing of traits, as used in human ethnography, has led to the description of 'culture' in some non-human great apes. Culture, in these terms, is detected as a pattern of local ignorance resulting from environmental constraints on knowledge transmission. However, in many cases, the geographical variations may alternatively be explained by ecology. Social transmission of information can reliably be identified in many other animal species, by experiment or distinctive patterns in distribution; but the excitement of detecting culture in great apes derives from the possibility of understanding the evolution of cumulative technological culture in humans. Given this interest, I argue that great ape research should concentrate on technically complex behaviour patterns that are ubiquitous within a local population; in these cases, a wholly non-social ontogeny is highly unlikely. From this perspective, cultural transmission has an important role in the elaborate feeding skills of all species of great ape, in conveying the 'gist' or organization of skills. In contrast, social learning is unlikely to be responsible for local stylistic differences, which are apt to reflect sensitive adaptations to ecology.

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutionary neurobiology and aesthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Christopher Upham

    2005-01-01

    If aesthetics is a human universal, it should have a neurobiological basis. Although use of all the senses is, as Aristotle noted, pleasurable, the distance senses are primarily involved in aesthetics. The aesthetic response emerges from the central processing of sensory input. This occurs very rapidly, beneath the level of consciousness, and only the feeling of pleasure emerges into the conscious mind. This is exemplified by landscape appreciation, where it is suggested that a computation built into the nervous system during Paleolithic hunter-gathering is at work. Another inbuilt computation leading to an aesthetic response is the part-whole relationship. This, it is argued, may be traced to the predator-prey "arms races" of evolutionary history. Mate selection also may be responsible for part of our response to landscape and visual art. Aesthetics lies at the core of human mentality, and its study is consequently of importance not only to philosophers and art critics but also to neurobiologists.

  6. Total Integrative Evolutionary Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nedergaard Thomsen, Ole; Brier, Søren

    2014-01-01

    ) instinctual-motivational-emotional sign plays (a level which is shared with other animals and is the domain of ethology), and (3) premeditated, intentional symbol-based language games (specifically human unitary thinking-speaking-gesturing, the domain of pragmatics-based functional linguistics......). In this inclusive hierarchy language games subsume the other stages, and thus human evolutionary communication is primarily a symbolic-conventional practice. It is intertwined with the practice of living, that is, with different life forms, including other forms of semiotic behavior. Together they form a coherent......In this paper we outline a cybersemiotic foundation for the trend of pragmatics-based functional linguistics, Functional Discourse Grammar. Cybersemiotics is a substantial inter- and transdisciplinary semiotic theory which integrates, on the one hand, second-order cybernetics and autopoiesis theory...

  7. Evolutionary History of the Nesophontidae, the Last Unplaced Recent Mammal Family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brace, Selina; Thomas, Jessica A; Dalén, Love; Burger, Joachim; MacPhee, Ross D E; Barnes, Ian; Turvey, Samuel T

    2016-12-01

    The mammalian evolutionary tree has lost several major clades through recent human-caused extinctions. This process of historical biodiversity loss has particularly affected tropical island regions such as the Caribbean, an area of great evolutionary diversification but poor molecular preservation. The most enigmatic of the recently extinct endemic Caribbean mammals are the Nesophontidae, a family of morphologically plesiomorphic lipotyphlan insectivores with no consensus on their evolutionary affinities, and which constitute the only major recent mammal clade to lack any molecular information on their phylogenetic placement. Here, we use a palaeogenomic approach to place Nesophontidae within the phylogeny of recent Lipotyphla. We recovered the near-complete mitochondrial genome and sequences for 17 nuclear genes from a ∼750-year-old Hispaniolan Nesophontes specimen, and identify a divergence from their closest living relatives, the Solenodontidae, more than 40 million years ago. Nesophontidae is thus an older distinct lineage than many extant mammalian orders, highlighting not only the role of island systems as "museums" of diversity that preserve ancient lineages, but also the major human-caused loss of evolutionary history. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

    Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary processes acting on candidate cis-regulatory regions in humans inferred from patterns of polymorphism and divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara G Torgerson

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of polymorphism and divergence in the non-coding portion of the human genome yields crucial information about factors driving the evolution of gene regulation. Candidate cis-regulatory regions spanning more than 15,000 genes in 15 African Americans and 20 European Americans were re-sequenced and aligned to the chimpanzee genome in order to identify potentially functional polymorphism and to characterize and quantify departures from neutral evolution. Distortions of the site frequency spectra suggest a general pattern of selective constraint on conserved non-coding sites in the flanking regions of genes (CNCs. Moreover, there is an excess of fixed differences that cannot be explained by a Gamma model of deleterious fitness effects, suggesting the presence of positive selection on CNCs. Extensions of the McDonald-Kreitman test identified candidate cis-regulatory regions with high probabilities of positive and negative selection near many known human genes, the biological characteristics of which exhibit genome-wide trends that differ from patterns observed in protein-coding regions. Notably, there is a higher probability of positive selection in candidate cis-regulatory regions near genes expressed in the fetal brain, suggesting that a larger portion of adaptive regulatory changes has occurred in genes expressed during brain development. Overall we find that natural selection has played an important role in the evolution of candidate cis-regulatory regions throughout hominid evolution.

  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. Evolutionary Dynamics of Pandemic Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus ST398 and Its International Spread via Routes of Human Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, Paul R.; Sullivan, Sean B.; Knox, Justin R.; Khiabanian, Hossein; Rabadan, Raul; Davies, Peter R.; Fitzgerald, J. Ross; Lowy, Franklin D.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) accounts for the majority of S. aureus infections globally, and yet surprisingly little is known about its clonal evolution. We applied comparative whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analyses to epidemiologically and geographically diverse ST398-MSSA, a pandemic lineage affecting both humans and livestock. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis predicted divergence of human-associated ST398-MSSA ~40 years ago. Isolates from Midwestern pigs and veterinarians differed substantially from those in New York City (NYC). Pig ST398 strains contained a large region of recombination representing imports from multiple sequence types (STs). Phylogeographic analyses supported the spread of ST398-MSSA along local cultural and migratory links between parts of the Caribbean, North America, and France, respectively. Applying pairwise single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) distances as a measure of genetic relatedness between isolates, we observed that ST398 not only clustered in households but also frequently extended across local social networks. Isolates collected from environmental surfaces reflected the full diversity of colonizing individuals, highlighting their potentially critical role as reservoirs for transmission and diversification. Strikingly, we observed high within-host SNP variability compared to our previous studies on the dominant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone USA300. Our data indicate that the dynamics of colonization, persistence, and transmission differ substantially between USA300-MRSA and ST398-MSSA. Taken together, our study reveals local and international routes of transmission for a major MSSA clone, indicating key impacts of recombination and mutation on genetic diversification and highlighting important ecological differences from epidemic USA300. Our study demonstrates extensive local and international routes of transmission for a major MSSA clone despite the lack of substantial

  17. 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.

  18. [Evolutionary medicine: an emergent basic science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spotorno, Angel E

    2005-02-01

    Evolutionary Medicine is an emergent basic science that offers new and varied perspectives to the comprehension of human health. The application of classic evolutionary theories (descent with modification, and natural selection) to the human organism, to its pathogens, and their mutual co-evolution, provides new explanations about why we get sick, how we can prevent this, and how we can heal. Medicine has focused mainly on the proximate or immediate causes of diseases and the treatment of symptoms, and very little on its evolutionary or mediate causes. For instance, the present human genome and phenotypes are essentially paleolithic ones: they are not adapted to modern life style, thus favoring the so-called diseases of civilization (ie: ateroesclerosis, senescence, myopia, phobias, panic attacks, stress, reproductive cancers). With the evolutionary approach, post-modern medicine is detecting better the vulnerabilities, restrictions, biases, adaptations and maladaptations of human body, its actual diseases, and its preventions.

  19. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in an urbanizing planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberti, Marina

    2015-02-01

    A great challenge for ecology in the coming decades is to understand the role humans play in eco-evolutionary dynamics. If, as emerging evidence shows, rapid evolutionary change affects ecosystem functioning and stability, current rapid environmental change and its evolutionary effects might have significant implications for ecological and human wellbeing on a relatively short time scale. Humans are major selective agents with potential for unprecedented evolutionary consequences for Earth's ecosystems, especially as cities expand rapidly. In this review, I identify emerging hypotheses on how urbanization drives eco-evolutionary dynamics. Studying how human-driven micro-evolutionary changes interact with ecological processes offers us the chance to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary feedbacks and will provide new insights for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function over the long term. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Relevant phylogenetic invariants of evolutionary models

    CERN Document Server

    Casanellas, Marta

    2009-01-01

    Recently there have been several attempts to provide a whole set of generators of the ideal of the algebraic variety associated to a phylogenetic tree evolving under an algebraic model. These algebraic varieties have been proven to be useful in phylogenetics. In this paper we prove that, for phylogenetic reconstruction purposes, it is enough to consider generators coming from the edges of the tree, the so-called edge invariants. This is the algebraic analogous to Buneman's Splits Equivalence Theorem. The interest of this result relies on its potential applications in phylogenetics for the widely used evolutionary models such as Jukes-Cantor, Kimura 2 and 3 parameters, and General Markov models.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Two families with quadrupedalism, mental retardation, no speech, and infantile hypotonia (Uner Tan Syndrome Type-II; a novel theory for the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uner eTan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Two consanguineous families with Uner Tan Syndrome (UTS were analyzed in relation to self-organizing processes in complex systems, and the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism. The cases had the key symptoms of previously reported cases of UTS, such as quadrupedalism, mental retardation, and dysarthric or no speech, but the new cases also exhibited infantile hypotonia and are designated UTS Type-II. There were 10 siblings in Branch I and 12 siblings in Branch II. Of these, there were seven cases exhibiting habitual quadrupedal locomotion (QL: four deceased and three living. The infantile hypotonia in the surviving cases gradually disappeared over a period of years, so that they could sit by about 10 years, crawl on hands and knees by about 12 years. They began walking on all fours around 14 years, habitually using QL. Neurological examinations showed normal tonus in their arms and legs, no Babinski sign, brisk tendon reflexes especially in the legs, and mild tremor. The patients could not walk in a straight line, but (except in one case could stand up and maintain upright posture with truncal ataxia. Cerebello-vermial hypoplasia and mild gyral simplification were noted in their MRIs. The results of the genetic analysis were inconclusive: no genetic code could be identified as the triggering factor for the syndrome in these families. Instead, the extremely low socio-economic status of the patients was thought to play a role in the emergence of UTS, possibly by epigenetically changing the brain structure and function, with a consequent selection of ancestral neural networks for QL during locomotor development. It was suggested that UTS may be regarded as one of the unpredictable outcomes of self-organization within a complex system. It was also noted that the prominent feature of this syndrome, the diagonal-sequence habitual QL, generated an interference between ipsilateral hands and feet, as in non-human primates. It was suggested that this

  7. Identification and evolutionary analysis of novel exons and alternative splicing events using cross-species EST-to-genome comparisons in human, mouse and rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Jar-Yi

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing (AS is important for evolution and major biological functions in complex organisms. However, the extent of AS in mammals other than human and mouse is largely unknown, making it difficult to study AS evolution in mammals and its biomedical implications. Results Here we describe a cross-species EST-to-genome comparison algorithm (ENACE that can identify novel exons for EST-scanty species and distinguish conserved and lineage-specific exons. The identified exons represent not only novel exons but also evolutionarily meaningful AS events that are not previously annotated. A genome-wide AS analysis in human, mouse and rat using ENACE reveals a total of 758 novel cassette-on exons and 167 novel retained introns that have no EST evidence from the same species. RT-PCR-sequencing experiments validated ~50 ~80% of the tested exons, indicating high presence of exons predicted by ENACE. ENACE is particularly powerful when applied to closely related species. In addition, our analysis shows that the ENACE-identified AS exons tend not to pass the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratio test and not to contain protein domain, implying that such exons may be under positive selection or relaxed negative selection. These AS exons may contribute to considerable inter-species functional divergence. Our analysis further indicates that a large number of exons may have been gained or lost during mammalian evolution. Moreover, a functional analysis shows that inter-species divergence of AS events may be substantial in protein carriers and receptor proteins in mammals. These exons may be of interest to studies of AS evolution. The ENACE programs and sequences of the ENACE-identified AS events are available for download. Conclusion ENACE can identify potential novel cassette exons and retained introns between closely related species using a comparative approach. It can also provide information regarding lineage- or species

  8. 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.

  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. OCPAT: an online codon-preserved alignment tool for evolutionary genomic analysis of protein coding sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman Lawrence I

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rapidly accumulating genome sequence data from multiple species offer powerful opportunities for the detection of DNA sequence evolution. Phylogenetic tree construction and codon-based tests for natural selection are the prevailing tools used to detect functionally important evolutionary change in protein coding sequences. These analyses often require multiple DNA sequence alignments that maintain the correct reading frame for each collection of putative orthologous sequences. Since this feature is not available in most alignment tools, codon reading frames often must be checked manually before evolutionary analyses can commence. Results Here we report an online codon-preserved alignment tool (OCPAT that generates multiple sequence alignments automatically from the coding sequences of any list of human gene IDs and their putative orthologs from genomes of other vertebrate tetrapods. OCPAT is programmed to extract putative orthologous genes from genomes and to align the orthologs with the reading frame maintained in all species. OCPAT also optimizes the alignment by trimming the most variable alignment regions at the 5' and 3' ends of each gene. The resulting output of alignments is returned in several formats, which facilitates further molecular evolutionary analyses by appropriate available software. Alignments are generally robust and reliable, retaining the correct reading frame. The tool can serve as the first step for comparative genomic analyses of protein-coding gene sequences including phylogenetic tree reconstruction and detection of natural selection. We aligned 20,658 human RefSeq mRNAs using OCPAT. Most alignments are missing sequence(s from at least one species; however, functional annotation clustering of the ~1700 transcripts that were alignable to all species shows that genes involved in multi-subunit protein complexes are highly conserved. Conclusion The OCPAT program facilitates large-scale evolutionary and

  11. Two families with quadrupedalism, mental retardation, no speech, and infantile hypotonia (Uner Tan Syndrome Type-II); a novel theory for the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Uner

    2014-01-01

    Two consanguineous families with Uner Tan Syndrome (UTS) were analyzed in relation to self-organizing processes in complex systems, and the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism. The cases had the key symptoms of previously reported cases of UTS, such as quadrupedalism, mental retardation, and dysarthric or no speech, but the new cases also exhibited infantile hypotonia and are designated UTS Type-II. There were 10 siblings in Branch I and 12 siblings in Branch II. Of these, there were seven cases exhibiting habitual quadrupedal locomotion (QL): four deceased and three living. The infantile hypotonia in the surviving cases gradually disappeared over a period of years, so that they could sit by about 10 years, crawl on hands and knees by about 12 years. They began walking on all fours around 14 years, habitually using QL. Neurological examinations showed normal tonus in their arms and legs, no Babinski sign, brisk tendon reflexes especially in the legs, and mild tremor. The patients could not walk in a straight line, but (except in one case) could stand up and maintain upright posture with truncal ataxia. Cerebello-vermial hypoplasia and mild gyral simplification were noted in their MRIs. The results of the genetic analysis were inconclusive: no genetic code could be identified as the triggering factor for the syndrome in these families. Instead, the extremely low socio-economic status of the patients was thought to play a role in the emergence of UTS, possibly by epigenetically changing the brain structure and function, with a consequent selection of ancestral neural networks for QL during locomotor development. It was suggested that UTS may be regarded as one of the unpredictable outcomes of self-organization within a complex system. It was also noted that the prominent feature of this syndrome, the diagonal-sequence habitual QL, generated an interference between ipsilateral hands and feet, as in non-human primates. It was suggested that this may have been

  12. Game tree algorithms and solution trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.H.L.M. Pijls (Wim); A. de Bruin (Arie)

    1998-01-01

    textabstractIn this paper, a theory of game tree algorithms is presented, entirely based upon the concept of solution tree. Two types of solution trees are distinguished: max and min trees. Every game tree algorithm tries to prune nodes as many as possible from the game tree. A cut-off criterion in

  13. Human skin penetration of the major components of Australian tea tree oil applied in its pure form and as a 20% solution in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Sheree E; Russell, Michael; Southwell, Ian; Roberts, Michael S

    2008-05-01

    The safety of topical application of Australian tea tree Oil (TTO) is confounded by a lack of transdermal penetration data, which adequately informs opinions and recommendations. In this study we applied TTO in its pure form and as a 20% solution in ethanol in vitro to human epidermal membranes from three different donors, mounted in horizontal Franz-type diffusion cells, using normal 'in use' dosing conditions (10 mg/cm2). In addition, we examined the effect of partially occluding the application site on the penetration of TTO components. Our data showed that only a small quantity of TTO components, 1.1-1.9% and 2-4% of the applied amount following application of a 20% TTO solution and pure TTO, respectively, penetrated into or through human epidermis. The largest TTO component penetrating the skin was terpinen-4-ol. Following partial occlusion of the application site, the penetration of terpinen-4-ol increased to approximately 7% of the applied TTO. Measurement of the rate of evaporation of tea tree oil from filter paper (7.4 mg/cm2) showed that 98% of the oil evaporated in 4 hours. Overall, it is apparent that the penetration of TTO components through human skin is limited.

  14. 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....

  15. 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....

  16. Evolutionary perspective in child growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2011-07-01

    Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child's growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment.

  17. Evolutionary Perspective in Child Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ze’ev Hochberg

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child’s growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment.

  18. 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

  19. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  20. 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 ho

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Interpreting Tree Ensembles with inTrees

    OpenAIRE

    Deng, Houtao

    2014-01-01

    Tree ensembles such as random forests and boosted trees are accurate but difficult to understand, debug and deploy. In this work, we provide the inTrees (interpretable trees) framework that extracts, measures, prunes and selects rules from a tree ensemble, and calculates frequent variable interactions. An rule-based learner, referred to as the simplified tree ensemble learner (STEL), can also be formed and used for future prediction. The inTrees framework can applied to both classification an...

  4. The gene tree delusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Mark S; Gatesy, John

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level relationships among placental mammals are mostly resolved, but several polytomies remain contentious. Song et al. (2012) claimed to have resolved three of these using shortcut coalescence methods (MP-EST, STAR) and further concluded that these methods, which assume no within-locus recombination, are required to unravel deep-level phylogenetic problems that have stymied concatenation. Here, we reanalyze Song et al.'s (2012) data and leverage these re-analyses to explore key issues in systematics including the recombination ratchet, gene tree stoichiometry, the proportion of gene tree incongruence that results from deep coalescence versus other factors, and simulations that compare the performance of coalescence and concatenation methods in species tree estimation. Song et al. (2012) reported an average locus length of 3.1 kb for the 447 protein-coding genes in their phylogenomic dataset, but the true mean length of these loci (start codon to stop codon) is 139.6 kb. Empirical estimates of recombination breakpoints in primates, coupled with consideration of the recombination ratchet, suggest that individual coalescence genes (c-genes) approach ∼12 bp or less for Song et al.'s (2012) dataset, three to four orders of magnitude shorter than the c-genes reported by these authors. This result has general implications for the application of coalescence methods in species tree estimation. We contend that it is illogical to apply coalescence methods to complete protein-coding sequences. Such analyses amalgamate c-genes with different evolutionary histories (i.e., exons separated by >100,000 bp), distort true gene tree stoichiometry that is required for accurate species tree inference, and contradict the central rationale for applying coalescence methods to difficult phylogenetic problems. In addition, Song et al.'s (2012) dataset of 447 genes includes 21 loci with switched taxonomic names, eight duplicated loci, 26 loci with non-homologous sequences that are

  5. The effects of excipients for topical preparations on the human skin permeability of terpinen-4-ol contained in Tea tree oil: infrared spectroscopic investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casiraghi, Antonella; Minghetti, Paola; Cilurzo, Francesco; Selmin, Francesca; Gambaro, Veniero; Montanari, Luisa

    2010-01-01

    This work aimed to evaluate the effect induced by excipients conventionally used for topical dosage forms, namely isopropyl myristate (IPM) or oleic acid (OA) or polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG400) or Transcutol (TR), on the human skin permeability of terpinen-4-ol (T4OL) contained in the pure Tea tree oil. The effect of such excipients was determined by evaluating the absorption of T4OL using human epidermis and the perturbation of the organization of stratum corneum by ATR-FTIR. Among the tested excipients OA enhanced the absorption of T4OL by perturbing the stratum corneum lipid barrier. Other excipients caused a weak enhancement effect and their use should be carefully monitored.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.…

  9. Genome-Wide Analysis of Evolutionary Markers of Human Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) Viruses May Guide Selection of Vaccine Strain Candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belanov, Sergei S; Bychkov, Dmitrii; Benner, Christian; Ripatti, Samuli; Ojala, Teija; Kankainen, Matti; Kai Lee, Hong; Wei-Tze Tang, Julian; Kainov, Denis E

    2015-11-27

    Here we analyzed whole-genome sequences of 3,969 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 4,774 A(H3N2) strains that circulated during 2009-2015 in the world. The analysis revealed changes at 481 and 533 amino acid sites in proteins of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) strains, respectively. Many of these changes were introduced as a result of random drift. However, there were 61 and 68 changes that were present in relatively large number of A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) strains, respectively, that circulated during relatively long time. We named these amino acid substitutions evolutionary markers, as they seemed to contain valuable information regarding the viral evolution. Interestingly, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) viruses acquired non-overlapping sets of evolutionary markers. We next analyzed these characteristic markers in vaccine strains recommended by the World Health Organization for the past five years. Our analysis revealed that vaccine strains carried only few evolutionary markers at antigenic sites of viral hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The absence of these markers at antigenic sites could affect the recognition of HA and NA by human antibodies generated in response to vaccinations. This could, in part, explain moderate efficacy of influenza vaccines during 2009-2014. Finally, we identified influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) strains, which contain all the evolutionary markers of influenza A strains circulated in 2015, and which could be used as vaccine candidates for the 2015/2016 season. Thus, genome-wide analysis of evolutionary markers of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) viruses may guide selection of vaccine strain candidates.

  10. Audubon Tree Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are an illustrated student reader, "The Story of Trees," a leaders' guide, and a large tree chart with 37 colored pictures. The student reader reviews several aspects of trees: a definition of a tree; where and how trees grow; flowers, pollination and seed production; how trees make their food; how to recognize trees; seasonal changes;…

  11. 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.

  12. On the accuracy of language trees

    CERN Document Server

    Pompei, Simone; Tria, Francesca

    2011-01-01

    Historical linguistics aims at inferring the most likely language phylogenetic tree starting from information concerning the evolutionary relatedness of languages. The available information are typically lists of homologous (lexical, phonological, syntactic) features or characters for many different languages. From this perspective the reconstruction of language trees is an example of inverse problems: starting from present, incomplete and often noisy, information, one aims at inferring the most likely past evolutionary history. A fundamental issue in inverse problems is the evaluation of the inference made. A standard way of dealing with this question is to generate data with artificial models in order to have full access to the evolutionary process one is going to infer. This procedure presents an intrinsic limitation: when dealing with real data sets, one typically does not know which model of evolution is the most suitable for them. A possible way out is to compare algorithmic inference with expert classi...

  13. Evolutionary Computation for Realizing Distillation Separation Sequence Optimization Synthesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dong Hongguang; Qin Limin; Wang Kefeng; Yao Pingjing

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithm is applied for distillation separation sequence optimization synthesis problems with combination explosion. The binary tree data structure is used to describe the distillation separation sequence, and it is directly applied as the coding method. Genetic operators, which ensure to prohibit illegal filial generations completely, are designed by using the method of graph theory. The crossover operator based on a single parent or two parents is designed successfully. The example shows that the average ratio of search space from evolutionary algorithm with two-parent genetic operation is lower, whereas the rate of successful minimizations from evolutionary algorithm with single parent genetic operation is higher.

  14. Cognitive Architecture with Evolutionary Dynamics Solves Insight Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedor, Anna; Zachar, István; Szilágyi, András; Öllinger, Michael; de Vladar, Harold P.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we show that a neurally implemented a cognitive architecture with evolutionary dynamics can solve the four-tree problem. Our model, called Darwinian Neurodynamics, assumes that the unconscious mechanism of problem solving during insight tasks is a Darwinian process. It is based on the evolution of patterns that represent candidate solutions to a problem, and are stored and reproduced by a population of attractor networks. In our first experiment, we used human data as a benchmark and showed that the model behaves comparably to humans: it shows an improvement in performance if it is pretrained and primed appropriately, just like human participants in Kershaw et al. (2013)'s experiment. In the second experiment, we further investigated the effects of pretraining and priming in a two-by-two design and found a beginner's luck type of effect: solution rate was highest in the condition that was primed, but not pretrained with patterns relevant for the task. In the third experiment, we showed that deficits in computational capacity and learning abilities decreased the performance of the model, as expected. We conclude that Darwinian Neurodynamics is a promising model of human problem solving that deserves further investigation. PMID:28405191

  15. Characterization of evolutionary rates and constraints in three mammalian genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, Gregory M.; Brudno, Michael; Stone, Eric A.; Dubchak, Inna; Batzoglou, Serafim; Sidow, Arend

    2004-02-15

    We present an analysis of rates and patterns of microevolutionary phenomena that have shaped the human, mouse, and rat genomes since their last common ancestor. We find evidence for a shift in the mutational spectrum between the mouse and rat lineages, with the net effect being a relative increase in GC content in the rat genome. Our estimate for the neutral point substitution rate separating the two rodents is 0.196 substitutions per site, and 0.65 substitutions per site for the tree relating all three mammals. Small insertions and deletions of 1-10 bp in length (''microindels'') occur at approximately 5 percent of the point substitution rate. Inferred regional correlations in evolutionary rates between lineages and between types of sites support the idea that rates of evolution are influenced by local genomic or cell biological context. No substantial correlations between rates of point substitutions and rates of microindels are found, however, implying that the influences that affect these processes are distinct. Finally, we have identified those regions in the human genome that are evolving slowly, which are likely to include functional elements important to human biology. At least 5 percent of the human genome is under substantial constraint, most of which is noncoding.

  16. Hepatitis E Virus Circulation in Italy: Phylogenetic and Evolutionary Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montesano

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background Hepatitis E virus (HEV, a major cause of acute viral hepatitis in developing countries, has been classified into four main genotypes and a number of subtypes. New genotypes have been recently identified in various mammals, including HEV genotype 3, which has a worldwide distribution. It is widespread among pigs in developed countries. Objectives This study investigated the genetic diversity of HEV among humans and swine in Italy. The date of origin and the demographic history of the HEV were also estimated. Materials and Methods A total of 327 HEV sequences of swine and humans from Italy were downloaded from the national centre for biotechnology information. Three different data sets were constructed. The first and the second data set were used to confirm the genotype of the sequences analyzed. The third data set was used to estimate the mean evolutionary rate and to determine the time-scaled phylogeny and demographic history. Results The Bayesian maximum clade credibility tree and the time of the most common recent ancestor estimates showed that the root of the tree dated back to the year 1907 (95% HPD: 1811 - 1975. Two main clades were found, divided into two subclades. Skyline plot analysis, performed separately for human and swine sequences, demonstrated the presence of a bottleneck only in the skyline plot from the swine sequences. Selective pressure analysis revealed only negatively selected sites. Conclusions This study provides support for the hypothesis that humans are probably infected after contact with swine sources. The findings emphasize the importance of checking the country of origin of swine and of improving sanitary control measures from the veterinary standpoint to prevent the spread of HEV infection in Italy.

  17. Effects of lung disease on the three-dimensional structure and air flow pattern in the human airway tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Moortele, Tristan; Nemes, Andras; Wendt, Christine; Coletti, Filippo

    2016-11-01

    The morphological features of the airway tree directly affect the air flow features during breathing, which determines the gas exchange and inhaled particle transport. Lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in this study, affects the structural features of the lungs, which in turn negatively affects the air flow through the airways. Here bronchial tree air volume geometries are segmented from Computed Tomography (CT) scans of healthy and diseased subjects. Geometrical analysis of the airway centerlines and corresponding cross-sectional areas provide insight into the specific effects of COPD on the airway structure. These geometries are also used to 3D print anatomically accurate, patient specific flow models. Three-component, three-dimensional velocity fields within these models are acquired using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The three-dimensional flow fields provide insight into the change in flow patterns and features. Additionally, particle trajectories are determined using the velocity fields, to identify the fate of therapeutic and harmful inhaled aerosols. Correlation between disease-specific and patient-specific anatomical features with dysfunctional airflow patterns can be achieved by combining geometrical and flow analysis.

  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. Aspen Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canfield, Elaine

    2002-01-01

    Describes a fifth-grade art activity that offers a new approach to creating pictures of Aspen trees. Explains that the students learned about art concepts, such as line and balance, in this lesson. Discusses the process in detail for creating the pictures. (CMK)

  20. The dynamics of strangling among forest trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Kenichi W

    2015-11-01

    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.

  1. Evolutionary Psychiatry and Nosology: Prospects and Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Faucher

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I explain why evolutionary psychiatry is not where the next revolution in psychiatry will come from. I will proceed as follows. Firstly, I will review some of the problems commonly attributed to current nosologies, more specifically to the DSM. One of these problems is the lack of a clear and consensual definition of mental disorder; I will then examine specific attempts to spell out such a definition that use the evolutionary framework. One definition that deserves particular attention (for a number of reasons that I will mention later, is one put forward by Jerome Wakefield. Despite my sympathy for his position, I must indicate a few reasons why I think his attempt might not be able to resolve the problems related to current nosologies. I suggest that it might be wiser for an evolutionary psychiatrist to adopt the more integrative framework of “treatable conditions” (Cosmides and Tooby, 1999. As it is thought that an evolutionary approach can contribute to transforming the way we look at mental disorders, I will provide the reader with a brief sketch of the basic tenets of evolutionary psychology. The picture of the architecture of the human mind that emerges from evolutionary psychology is thought by some to be the crucial backdrop to identifying specific mental disorders and distinguishing them from normal conditions. I will also provide two examples of how evolutionary thinking is supposed to change our thinking about some disorders. Using the case of depression, I will then show what kind of problems evolutionary explanations of particular psychopathologies encounter. In conclusion, I will evaluate where evolutionary thinking leaves us in regard to what I identify as the main problems of our current nosologies. I’ll then argue that the prospects of evolutionary psychiatry are not good.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Maintenance of genetic variation in human personality: Testing evolutionary models by estimating heritability due to common causal variants and investigating the effect of distant inbreeding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, C.J.H.; Yang, J.; Lahti, J.; Veijola, J.; Hintsanen, M.; Pulkki-Raback, L.; Heinonen, K.; Pouta, A.; Pesonen, A.K.; Widen, E.; Taanila, A.; Isohanni, M.; Miettunen, J.; Palotie, A.; Penke, L.; Service, S.K.; Heath, A.C.; Montgomery, G.W.; Raitakari, O.; Kahonen, M.; Viikari, J.; Raikkonen, K.; Eriksson, J.G.; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, L.; Lehtimäki, T.; Martin, N.G.; Jarvelin, M.R.; Visscher, P.M.; Keller, M.C.; Zietsch, B.P.

    2012-01-01

    Personality traits are basic dimensions of behavioral variation, and twin, family, and adoption studies show that around 30% of the between-individual variation is due to genetic variation. There is rapidly growing interest in understanding the evolutionary basis of this genetic variation. Several e

  5. Unimodular trees versus Einstein trees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, Enrique; Gonzalez-Martin, Sergio [Universidad Autonoma, Instituto de Fisica Teorica, IFT-UAM/CSIC, Madrid (Spain); Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Departamento de Fisica Teorica, Madrid (Spain); Martin, Carmelo P. [Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Departamento de Fisica Teorica I Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Madrid (Spain)

    2016-10-15

    The maximally helicity violating tree-level scattering amplitudes involving three, four or five gravitons are worked out in Unimodular Gravity. They are found to coincide with the corresponding amplitudes in General Relativity. This a remarkable result, insofar as both the propagators and the vertices are quite different in the two theories. (orig.)

  6. Unimodular Trees versus Einstein Trees

    CERN Document Server

    Alvarez, Enrique; Martin, Carmelo P

    2016-01-01

    The maximally helicity violating (MHV) tree level scattering amplitudes involving three, four or five gravitons are worked out in Unimodular Gravity. They are found to coincide with the corresponding amplitudes in General Relativity. This a remarkable result, insofar as both the propagators and the vertices are quite different in both theories.

  7. Unimodular trees versus Einstein trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez, Enrique; González-Martín, Sergio; Martín, Carmelo P.

    2016-10-01

    The maximally helicity violating tree-level scattering amplitudes involving three, four or five gravitons are worked out in Unimodular Gravity. They are found to coincide with the corresponding amplitudes in General Relativity. This a remarkable result, insofar as both the propagators and the vertices are quite different in the two theories.

  8. 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

  9. Evolutionary humanoid robotics

    CERN Document Server

    Eaton, Malachy

    2015-01-01

    This book examines how two distinct strands of research on autonomous robots, evolutionary robotics and humanoid robot research, are converging. The book will be valuable for researchers and postgraduate students working in the areas of evolutionary robotics and bio-inspired computing.

  10. A study into ant colony optimisation, evolutionary computation and constraint programming on binary constraint satisfaction problems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.I. van Hemert; C. Solnon

    2004-01-01

    textabstractWe compare two heuristic approaches, evolutionary computation and ant colony optimisation, and a complete tree-search approach, constraint programming, for solving binary constraint satisfaction problems. We experimentally show that, if evolutionary computation is far from being able to

  11. GIGA: a simple, efficient algorithm for gene tree inference in the genomic age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Paul D

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic relationships between genes are not only of theoretical interest: they enable us to learn about human genes through the experimental work on their relatives in numerous model organisms from bacteria to fruit flies and mice. Yet the most commonly used computational algorithms for reconstructing gene trees can be inaccurate for numerous reasons, both algorithmic and biological. Additional information beyond gene sequence data has been shown to improve the accuracy of reconstructions, though at great computational cost. Results We describe a simple, fast algorithm for inferring gene phylogenies, which makes use of information that was not available prior to the genomic age: namely, a reliable species tree spanning much of the tree of life, and knowledge of the complete complement of genes in a species' genome. The algorithm, called GIGA, constructs trees agglomeratively from a distance matrix representation of sequences, using simple rules to incorporate this genomic age information. GIGA makes use of a novel conceptualization of gene trees as being composed of orthologous subtrees (containing only speciation events, which are joined by other evolutionary events such as gene duplication or horizontal gene transfer. An important innovation in GIGA is that, at every step in the agglomeration process, the tree is interpreted/reinterpreted in terms of the evolutionary events that created it. Remarkably, GIGA performs well even when using a very simple distance metric (pairwise sequence differences and no distance averaging over clades during the tree construction process. Conclusions GIGA is efficient, allowing phylogenetic reconstruction of very large gene families and determination of orthologs on a large scale. It is exceptionally robust to adding more gene sequences, opening up the possibility of creating stable identifiers for referring to not only extant genes, but also their common ancestors. We compared trees

  12. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of horizontal gene transfer

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Luis Boto

    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.

  13. The Evolution of Human Handedness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaers, Jeroen B; Steele, James; Case, Charleen R; Amunts, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    There is extensive evidence for an early vertebrate origin of lateralized motor behavior and of related asymmetries in underlying brain systems. We investigate human lateralized motor functioning in a broad comparative context of evolutionary neural reorganization. We quantify evolutionary trends in the fronto-cerebellar system (involved in motor learning) across 46 million years of divergent primate evolution by comparing rates of evolution of prefrontal cortex, frontal motor cortex, and posterior cerebellar hemispheres along individual branches of the primate tree of life. We provide a detailed evolutionary model of the neuroanatomical changes leading to modern human lateralized motor functioning, demonstrating an increased role for the fronto-cerebellar system in the apes dating to their evolutionary divergence from the monkeys (∼30 million years ago (Mya)), and a subsequent shift toward an increased role for prefrontal cortex over frontal motor cortex in the fronto-cerebellar system in the Homo-Pan ancestral lineage (∼10 Mya) and in the human ancestral lineage (∼6 Mya). We discuss these results in the context of cortico-cerebellar functions and their likely role in the evolution of human tool use and speech. PMID:23647442

  14. Evolutionary origins of leadership and followership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vugt, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Drawing upon evolutionary logic, leadership is reconceptualized in terms of the outcome of strategic interactions among individuals who are following different, yet complementary, decision rules to solve recurrent coordination problems. This article uses the vast psychological literature on leadership as a database to test several evolutionary hypotheses about the origins of leadership and followership in humans. As expected, leadership correlates with initiative taking, trait measures of intelligence, specific task competencies, and several indicators of generosity. The review finds no link between leadership and dominance. The evolutionary analysis accounts for reliable age, health, and sex differences in leadership emergence. In general, evolutionary theory provides a useful, integrative framework for studying leader-follower relationships and generates various novel research hypotheses.

  15. 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.

  16. Computational and evolutionary aspects of language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Komarova, Natalia L.; Niyogi, Partha

    2002-06-01

    Language is our legacy. It is the main evolutionary contribution of humans, and perhaps the most interesting trait that has emerged in the past 500 million years. Understanding how darwinian evolution gives rise to human language requires the integration of formal language theory, learning theory and evolutionary dynamics. Formal language theory provides a mathematical description of language and grammar. Learning theory formalizes the task of language acquisition-it can be shown that no procedure can learn an unrestricted set of languages. Universal grammar specifies the restricted set of languages learnable by the human brain. Evolutionary dynamics can be formulated to describe the cultural evolution of language and the biological evolution of universal grammar.

  17. Comparative evolutionary psychology of sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Goetz, Aaron T

    2006-05-01

    A comparative evolutionary psychological perspective predicts that species that recurrently faced similar adaptive problems may have evolved similar psychological mechanisms to solve these problems. Sperm competition provides an arena in which to assess the heuristic value of such a comparative evolutionary perspective. The sperm competition that results from female infidelity and polyandry presents a similar class of adaptive problems for individuals across many species. The authors first describe mechanisms of sperm competition in insects and in birds. They suggest that the adaptive problems and evolved solutions in these species provide insight into human anatomy, physiology, psychology, and behavior. The authors then review recent theoretical and empirical arguments for the existence of sperm competition in humans and discuss proposed adaptations in humans that have analogs in insects or birds. The authors conclude by highlighting the heuristic value of a comparative evolutionary psychological approach in this field.

  18. Big cat phylogenies, consensus trees, and computational thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sul, Seung-Jin; Williams, Tiffani L

    2011-07-01

    Phylogenetics seeks to deduce the pattern of relatedness between organisms by using a phylogeny or evolutionary tree. For a given set of organisms or taxa, there may be many evolutionary trees depicting how these organisms evolved from a common ancestor. As a result, consensus trees are a popular approach for summarizing the shared evolutionary relationships in a group of trees. We examine these consensus techniques by studying how the pantherine lineage of cats (clouded leopard, jaguar, leopard, lion, snow leopard, and tiger) evolved, which is hotly debated. While there are many phylogenetic resources that describe consensus trees, there is very little information, written for biologists, regarding the underlying computational techniques for building them. The pantherine cats provide us with a small, relevant example to explore the computational techniques (such as sorting numbers, hashing functions, and traversing trees) for constructing consensus trees. Our hope is that life scientists enjoy peeking under the computational hood of consensus tree construction and share their positive experiences with others in their community.

  19. The Semi-Aquatic Theory: Semi-Aquatic Evolutionary Phase and Environment, Language Development of Modern Humans. With a Short Epilog on Conceptualized Evolution, Social Ecology and the Quintuple Helix

    OpenAIRE

    George S. Campbell; David F.J. Campbell

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the semi-aquatic theory motivated to provide an explanation for why or how did language of the modern humans develop? Key propositions of this theory are early hominids went through a semi-aquatic evolutionary phase and that this semi-aquatic environment exposed the early hominids to frequent visual reflections of their own image, thus transforming a “potential sense of self†to an “active sense of self†, which supported the language development of early hominids....

  20. In vitro and in vivo activity of tea tree oil against azole-susceptible and -resistant human pathogenic yeasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondello, Francesca; De Bernardis, Flavia; Girolamo, Antonietta; Salvatore, Giuseppe; Cassone, Antonio

    2003-05-01

    A tea tree oil (TTO) preparation of defined chemical composition was studied, using a microbroth method, for its in vitro activity against 115 isolates of Candida albicans, other Candida species and Cryptococcus neoformans. The fungal strains were from HIV-seropositive subjects, or from an established type collection, including reference and quality control strains. Fourteen strains of C. albicans resistant to fluconazole and/or itraconazole were also assessed. The same preparation was also tested in an experimental vaginal infection using fluconazole-itraconazole-susceptible or -resistant strains of C. albicans. TTO was shown to be active in vitro against all tested strains, with MICs ranging from 0.03% (for C. neoformans) to 0.25% (for some strains of C. albicans and other Candida species). Fluconazole- and/or itraconazole-resistant C. albicans isolates had TTO MIC50s and MIC90s of 0.25% and 0.5%, respectively. TTO was highly efficacious in accelerating C. albicans clearance from experimentally infected rat vagina. Three post-challenge doses of TTO (5%) brought about resolution of infection regardless of whether the infecting C. albicans strain was susceptible or resistant to fluconazole. Overall, the use of a reliable animal model of infection has confirmed and extended our data on the therapeutic effectiveness of TTO against fungi, in particular against C. albicans.

  1. Efficient FPT Algorithms for (Strict) Compatibility of Unrooted Phylogenetic Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baste, Julien; Paul, Christophe; Sau, Ignasi; Scornavacca, Celine

    2017-02-28

    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.

  2. Inferring polyploid phylogenies from multiply-labeled gene trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petri Anna

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene trees that arise in the context of reconstructing the evolutionary history of polyploid species are often multiply-labeled, that is, the same leaf label can occur several times in a single tree. This property considerably complicates the task of forming a consensus of a collection of such trees compared to usual phylogenetic trees. Results We present a method for computing a consensus tree of multiply-labeled trees. As with the well-known greedy consensus tree approach for phylogenetic trees, our method first breaks the given collection of gene trees into a set of clusters. It then aims to insert these clusters one at a time into a tree, starting with the clusters that are supported by most of the gene trees. As the problem to decide whether a cluster can be inserted into a multiply-labeled tree is computationally hard, we have developed a heuristic method for solving this problem. Conclusion We illustrate the applicability of our method using two collections of trees for plants of the genus Silene, that involve several allopolyploids at different levels.

  3. 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

  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. Backbones of evolutionary history test biodiversity theory for microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dwyer, James P; Kembel, Steven W; Sharpton, Thomas J

    2015-07-07

    Identifying the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that determine biological diversity is a central question in ecology. In microbial ecology, phylogenetic diversity is an increasingly common and relevant means of quantifying community diversity, particularly given the challenges in defining unambiguous species units from environmental sequence data. We explore patterns of phylogenetic diversity across multiple bacterial communities drawn from different habitats and compare these data to evolutionary trees generated using theoretical models of biodiversity. We have two central findings. First, although on finer scales the empirical trees are highly idiosyncratic, on coarse scales the backbone of these trees is simple and robust, consistent across habitats, and displays bursts of diversification dotted throughout. Second, we find that these data demonstrate a clear departure from the predictions of standard neutral theories of biodiversity and that an alternative family of generalized models provides a qualitatively better description. Together, these results lay the groundwork for a theoretical framework to connect ecological mechanisms to observed phylogenetic patterns in microbial communities.

  6. Finite Sholander Trees, Trees, and their Betweenness

    CERN Document Server

    Chvátal, Vašek; Schäfer, Philipp Matthias

    2011-01-01

    We provide a proof of Sholander's claim (Trees, lattices, order, and betweenness, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 3, 369-381 (1952)) concerning the representability of collections of so-called segments by trees, which yields a characterization of the interval function of a tree. Furthermore, we streamline Burigana's characterization (Tree representations of betweenness relations defined by intersection and inclusion, Mathematics and Social Sciences 185, 5-36 (2009)) of tree betweenness and provide a relatively short proof.

  7. Graphical model construction based on evolutionary algorithms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Youlong YANG; Yan WU; Sanyang LIU

    2006-01-01

    Using Bayesian networks to model promising solutions from the current population of the evolutionary algorithms can ensure efficiency and intelligence search for the optimum. However, to construct a Bayesian network that fits a given dataset is a NP-hard problem, and it also needs consuming mass computational resources. This paper develops a methodology for constructing a graphical model based on Bayesian Dirichlet metric. Our approach is derived from a set of propositions and theorems by researching the local metric relationship of networks matching dataset. This paper presents the algorithm to construct a tree model from a set of potential solutions using above approach. This method is important not only for evolutionary algorithms based on graphical models, but also for machine learning and data mining.The experimental results show that the exact theoretical results and the approximations match very well.

  8. MELEC: Meta-Level Evolutionary Composer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andres Calvo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Genetic algorithms (GA’s are global search mechanisms that have been applied to many disciplines including music composition. Computer system MELEC composes music using evolutionary computation on two levels: the object and the meta. At the object-level, MELEC employs GAs to compose melodic motifs and iteratively refine them through evolving generations. At the meta-level, MELEC forms the overall musical structure by concatenating the generated motifs in an order that depends on the evolutionary process. In other words, the structure of the music is determined by a geneological traversal of the algorithm’s execution sequence. In this implementation, we introduce a new data structure that tracks the execution of the GA, the Genetic Algorithm Traversal Tree, and uses its traversal to define the musical structure. Moreover, we employ a Fibonacci-based fitness function to shape the melodic evolution.

  9. Parkinson Disease: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro J. Garcia-Ruiz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available There are two central premises to this evolutionary view of Parkinson disease (PD. First, PD is a specific human disease. Second, the prevalence of PD has increased over the course of human history. Several lines of evidence may explain why PD appears to be restricted to the human species. The major manifestations of PD are the consequence of degeneration in the dopamine-synthesizing neurons of the mesostriatal neuronal pathway. It is of note the enormous expansion of the human dopamine mesencephalic neurons onto the striatum compared with other mammals. Hence, an evolutionary bottle neck was reached with the expansion of the massive nigrostriatal axonal arborization. This peculiar nigral overload may partly explain the selective fragility of the human dopaminergic mesencephalic neurotransmission and the unique presence of PD in humans. On the other hand, several facts may explain the increasing prevalence of PD over the centuries. The apparently low prevalence of PD before the twentieth century may be related to the shorter life expectancy and survival compared to present times. In addition, changes in lifestyle over the course of human history might also account for the increasing burden of PD. Our hunter-gatherers ancestors invested large energy expenditure on a daily basis, a prototypical physical way of life for which our genome remains adapted. Technological advances have led to a dramatic reduction of physical exercise. Since the brain release of neurotrophic factors (including brain-derived neurotrophic factor is partially exercise related, the marked reduction in exercise may contribute to the increasing prevalence of PD.

  10. 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.

  11. MixtureTree annotator: a program for automatic colorization and visual annotation of MixtureTree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shu-Chuan; Ogata, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. 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...... 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...... evolutionary algorithms, such as memetic algorithms, which have emerged as a very promising tool for solving many real-world problems in a multitude of areas of science and technology. Moreover, parallel evolutionary combinatorial optimization has been presented. Search operators, which are crucial in all...

  13. Rethinking evolutionary individuality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ereshefsky, Marc; Pedroso, Makmiller

    2015-08-18

    This paper considers whether multispecies biofilms are evolutionary individuals. Numerous multispecies biofilms have characteristics associated with individuality, such as internal integrity, division of labor, coordination among parts, and heritable adaptive traits. However, such multispecies biofilms often fail standard reproductive criteria for individuality: they lack reproductive bottlenecks, are comprised of multiple species, do not form unified reproductive lineages, and fail to have a significant division of reproductive labor among their parts. If such biofilms are good candidates for evolutionary individuals, then evolutionary individuality is achieved through other means than frequently cited reproductive processes. The case of multispecies biofilms suggests that standard reproductive requirements placed on individuality should be reconsidered. More generally, the case of multispecies biofilms indicates that accounts of individuality that focus on single-species eukaryotes are too restrictive and that a pluralistic and open-ended account of evolutionary individuality is needed.

  14. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause ‘evolutionary suicide’. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called ‘evolutionary trapping’. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps. PMID:23209163

  15. 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 R Vokey 7. Social knowledge i...

  16. Language as an evolutionary system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brighton, Henry; Smith, Kenny; Kirby, Simon

    2005-09-01

    John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry argued that human language signified the eighth major transition in evolution: human language marked a new form of information transmission from one generation to another [Maynard Smith J, Szathmáry E. The major transitions in evolution. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press; 1995]. According to this view language codes cultural information and as such forms the basis for the evolution of complexity in human culture. In this article we develop the theory that language also codes information in another sense: languages code information on their own structure. As a result, languages themselves provide information that influences their own survival. To understand the consequences of this theory we discuss recent computational models of linguistic evolution. Linguistic evolution is the process by which languages themselves evolve. This article draws together this recent work on linguistic evolution and highlights the significance of this process in understanding the evolution of linguistic complexity. Our conclusions are that: (1) the process of linguistic transmission constitutes the basis for an evolutionary system, and (2), that this evolutionary system is only superficially comparable to the process of biological evolution.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Inferring Evolutionary Scenarios for Protein Domain Compositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiedenhoeft, John; Krause, Roland; Eulenstein, Oliver

    Essential cellular processes are controlled by functional interactions of protein domains, which can be inferred from their evolutionary histories. Methods to reconstruct these histories are challenged by the complexity of reconstructing macroevolutionary events. In this work we model these events using a novel network-like structure that represents the evolution of domain combinations, called plexus. We describe an algorithm to find a plexus that represents the evolution of a given collection of domain histories as phylogenetic trees with the minimum number of macroevolutionary events, and demonstrate its effectiveness in practice.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 r...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Predicting loss of evolutionary history: Where are we?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veron, Simon; Davies, T Jonathan; Cadotte, Marc W; Clergeau, Philippe; Pavoine, Sandrine

    2017-02-01

    The Earth's evolutionary history is threatened by species loss in the current sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Such extinction events not only eliminate species but also their unique evolutionary histories. Here we review the expected loss of Earth's evolutionary history quantified by phylogenetic diversity (PD) and evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) at risk. Due to the general paucity of data, global evolutionary history losses have been predicted for only a few groups, such as mammals, birds, amphibians, plants, corals and fishes. Among these groups, there is now empirical support that extinction threats are clustered on the phylogeny; however this is not always a sufficient condition to cause higher loss of phylogenetic diversity in comparison to a scenario of random extinctions. Extinctions of the most evolutionarily distinct species and the shape of phylogenetic trees are additional factors that can elevate losses of evolutionary history. Consequently, impacts of species extinctions differ among groups and regions, and even if global losses are low within large groups, losses can be high among subgroups or within some regions. Further, we show that PD and ED are poorly protected by current conservation practices. While evolutionary history can be indirectly protected by current conservation schemes, optimizing its preservation requires integrating phylogenetic indices with those that capture rarity and extinction risk. Measures based on PD and ED could bring solutions to conservation issues, however they are still rarely used in practice, probably because the reasons to protect evolutionary history are not clear for practitioners or due to a lack of data. However, important advances have been made in the availability of phylogenetic trees and methods for their construction, as well as assessments of extinction risk. Some challenges remain, and looking forward, research should prioritize the assessment of expected PD and ED loss for more taxonomic

  9. Comparison of tree-child phylogenetic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Gabriel; Rosselló, Francesc; Valiente, Gabriel

    2009-01-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that allow for the representation of nontreelike evolutionary events, like recombination, hybridization, or lateral gene transfer. While much progress has been made to find practical algorithms for reconstructing a phylogenetic network from a set of sequences, all attempts to endorse a class of phylogenetic networks (strictly extending the class of phylogenetic trees) with a well-founded distance measure have, to the best of our knowledge and with the only exception of the bipartition distance on regular networks, failed so far. In this paper, we present and study a new meaningful class of phylogenetic networks, called tree-child phylogenetic networks, and we provide an injective representation of these networks as multisets of vectors of natural numbers, their path multiplicity vectors. We then use this representation to define a distance on this class that extends the well-known Robinson-Foulds distance for phylogenetic trees and to give an alignment method for pairs of networks in this class. Simple polynomial algorithms for reconstructing a tree-child phylogenetic network from its path multiplicity vectors, for computing the distance between two tree-child phylogenetic networks and for aligning a pair of tree-child phylogenetic networks, are provided. They have been implemented as a Perl package and a Java applet, which can be found at http://bioinfo.uib.es/~recerca/phylonetworks/mudistance/.

  10. Evolutionary History of the Smyd Gene Family in Metazoans: A Framework to Identify the Orthologs of Human Smyd Genes in Drosophila and Other Animal Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calpena, Eduardo; Palau, Francesc; Espinós, Carmen; Galindo, Máximo Ibo

    2015-01-01

    The Smyd gene family code for proteins containing a conserved core consisting of a SET domain interrupted by a MYND zinc finger. Smyd proteins are important in epigenetic control of development and carcinogenesis, through posttranslational modifications in histones and other proteins. Previous reports indicated that the Smyd family is quite variable in metazoans, so a rigorous phylogenetic reconstruction of this complex gene family is of central importance to understand its evolutionary history and functional diversification or conservation. We have performed a phylogenetic analysis of Smyd protein sequences, and our results show that the extant metazoan Smyd genes can be classified in three main classes, Smyd3 (which includes chordate-specific Smyd1 and Smyd2 genes), Smyd4 and Smyd5. In addition, there is an arthropod-specific class, SmydA. While the evolutionary history of the Smyd3 and Smyd5 classes is relatively simple, the Smyd4 class has suffered several events of gene loss, gene duplication and lineage-specific expansions in the animal phyla included in our analysis. A more specific study of the four Smyd4 genes in Drosophila melanogaster shows that they are not redundant, since their patterns of expression are different and knock-down of individual genes can have dramatic phenotypes despite the presence of the other family members. PMID:26230726

  11. Evolutionary History of the Smyd Gene Family in Metazoans: A Framework to Identify the Orthologs of Human Smyd Genes in Drosophila and Other Animal Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Calpena

    Full Text Available The Smyd gene family code for proteins containing a conserved core consisting of a SET domain interrupted by a MYND zinc finger. Smyd proteins are important in epigenetic control of development and carcinogenesis, through posttranslational modifications in histones and other proteins. Previous reports indicated that the Smyd family is quite variable in metazoans, so a rigorous phylogenetic reconstruction of this complex gene family is of central importance to understand its evolutionary history and functional diversification or conservation. We have performed a phylogenetic analysis of Smyd protein sequences, and our results show that the extant metazoan Smyd genes can be classified in three main classes, Smyd3 (which includes chordate-specific Smyd1 and Smyd2 genes, Smyd4 and Smyd5. In addition, there is an arthropod-specific class, SmydA. While the evolutionary history of the Smyd3 and Smyd5 classes is relatively simple, the Smyd4 class has suffered several events of gene loss, gene duplication and lineage-specific expansions in the animal phyla included in our analysis. A more specific study of the four Smyd4 genes in Drosophila melanogaster shows that they are not redundant, since their patterns of expression are different and knock-down of individual genes can have dramatic phenotypes despite the presence of the other family members.

  12. Tree shrews at the German Primate Center

    OpenAIRE

    Fuchs, E

    2015-01-01

    For many years, Tupaia (family Tupaiidae), most commonly known as tree shrews, have been studied almost exclusively by zoologists resulting in a controversial debate on their taxonomic status among mammals. Today, tree shrews are placed in the order Scandentia; they are valuable, widely accepted and increasingly used model animals as an alternative to rodents and non-human primates in biomedical research. After a brief description on how tree shrews entered science and their...

  13. Species Tree Inference Using a Mixture Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Ikram; Parviainen, Pekka; Lagergren, Jens

    2015-09-01

    Species tree reconstruction has been a subject of substantial research due to its central role across biology and medicine. A species tree is often reconstructed using a set of gene trees or by directly using sequence data. In either of these cases, one of the main confounding phenomena is the discordance between a species tree and a gene tree due to evolutionary events such as duplications and losses. Probabilistic methods can resolve the discordance by coestimating gene trees and the species tree but this approach poses a scalability problem for larger data sets. We present MixTreEM-DLRS: A two-phase approach for reconstructing a species tree in the presence of gene duplications and losses. In the first phase, MixTreEM, a novel structural expectation maximization algorithm based on a mixture model is used to reconstruct a set of candidate species trees, given sequence data for monocopy gene families from the genomes under study. In the second phase, PrIME-DLRS, a method based on the DLRS model (Åkerborg O, Sennblad B, Arvestad L, Lagergren J. 2009. Simultaneous Bayesian gene tree reconstruction and reconciliation analysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(14):5714-5719), is used for selecting the best species tree. PrIME-DLRS can handle multicopy gene families since DLRS, apart from modeling sequence evolution, models gene duplication and loss using a gene evolution model (Arvestad L, Lagergren J, Sennblad B. 2009. The gene evolution model and computing its associated probabilities. J ACM. 56(2):1-44). We evaluate MixTreEM-DLRS using synthetic and biological data, and compare its performance with a recent genome-scale species tree reconstruction method PHYLDOG (Boussau B, Szöllősi GJ, Duret L, Gouy M, Tannier E, Daubin V. 2013. Genome-scale coestimation of species and gene trees. Genome Res. 23(2):323-330) as well as with a fast parsimony-based algorithm Duptree (Wehe A, Bansal MS, Burleigh JG, Eulenstein O. 2008. Duptree: a program for large-scale phylogenetic

  14. Autonomous Evolutionary Information Systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Traditional information systems are passive, i.e., data orknowledge is created , retrieved, modified, updated, and deleted only in response to operations issued by users or application programs, and the systems only can execute queries or t ransactions explicitly submitted by users or application programs but have no ab ility to do something actively by themselves. Unlike a traditional information system serving just as a storehouse of data or knowledge and working passively a ccording to queries or transactions explicitly issued by users and application p rograms, an autonomous evolutionary information system serves as an autonomous a nd evolutionary partner of its users that discovers new knowledge from its datab ase or knowledge-base autonomously, cooperates with its users in solving proble m s actively by providing the users with advices, and has a certain mechanism to i mprove its own state of “knowing” and ability of “working”. This paper semi nall y defines what is an autonomous evolutionary information system, explain why aut onomous evolutionary information systems are needed, and presents some new issue s, fundamental considerations, and research directions in design and development of autonomous evolutionary information systems.

  15. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  16. Evolutionary Dynamics of Digitized Organizational Routines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation explores the effects of increased digitization on the evolutionary dynamics of organizational routines. Do routines become more flexible, or more rigid, as the mix of digital technologies and human actors changes? What are the mechanisms that govern the evolution of routines? The dissertation theorizes about the effects of…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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,…