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Sample records for human parechovirus evolution

  1. Rooting human parechovirus evolution in time

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    Benschop Kimberley

    2009-07-01

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

  2. Rooting human parechovirus evolution in time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Human Parechoviruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischer, Thea Kølsen; Harvala, Heli; Midgley, Sofie

    2017-01-01

    Infections with human parechoviruses (HPeV) are highly prevalent, particularly in neonates, where they may cause substantial morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation of HPeV infection is often indistinguishable from that of enterovirus (EV) infection and may vary from mild disease...

  4. Fourth human parechovirus serotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benschop, Kimberley S. M.; Schinkel, Janke; Luken, Manon E.; van den Broek, Peter J. M.; Beersma, Matthias F. C.; Menelik, Negassi; van Eijk, Hetty W. M.; Zaaijer, Hans L.; Vandenbroucke-Grauls, Christina M. J. E.; Beld, Marcel G. H. M.; Wolthers, Katja C.

    2006-01-01

    We identified a novel human parechovirus (HPeV) type (K251176-02) from a neonate with fever. Analysis of the complete genome showed K251176-02 to be a new HPeV genotype. Since K251176-02 could not be neutralized with antibodies against known HPeV serotypes 1-3, it should be classified as a fourth

  5. Human Parechovirus and Neonatal Encephalitis

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    J Gordon Millichap

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Clinical presentation, cranial ultrasound (cUS and MRi findings, and neurodevelopmental outcome of 10 neonates (70% term with human parechovirus (HPeV encephalitis are described by researchers at University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands; University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Universitaire de Quebec, Canada.

  6. Structural Basis of Human Parechovirus Neutralization by Human Monoclonal Antibodies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shakeel, Shabih; Westerhuis, Brenda M.; Ora, Ari; Koen, Gerrit; Bakker, Arjen Q.; Claassen, Yvonne; Wagner, Koen; Beaumont, Tim; Wolthers, Katja C.; Butcher, Sarah J.

    2015-01-01

    Since it was first recognized in 2004 that human parechoviruses (HPeV) are a significant cause of central nervous system and neonatal sepsis, their clinical importance, primarily in children, has started to emerge. Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment is the only treatment available in such

  7. Human parechovirus causes encephalitis with white matter injury in Neonates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verboon-Maciolek, Malgorzata A.; Groenendaal, Floris; Hahn, Cecil D.; Hellmann, Jonathan; van Loon, Anton M.; Boivin, Guy; de Vries, Linda S.

    Objective: To assess the role of human parechoviruses (HPeVs) as a cause of neonatal cerebral infection and to report neuroimaging findings of newborn infants with encephalitis caused by HPeVs. Methods: Clinical presentation, cranial ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and

  8. Genome Sequence of Novel Human Parechovirus Type 17

    OpenAIRE

    B?ttcher, Sindy; Obermeier, Patrick E.; Diedrich, Sabine; Kabor?, Yolande; D?Alfonso, Rossella; Pfister, Herbert; Kaiser, Rolf; Di Cristanziano, Veronica

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human parechoviruses (HPeV) circulate worldwide, causing a broad variety of symptoms, preferentially in early childhood. We report here the nearly complete genome sequence of a novel HPeV type, consisting of 7,062 nucleotides and encoding 2,179?amino acids. M36/CI/2014 was taxonomically classified as HPeV-17 by the picornavirus study group.

  9. Human Parechovirus Meningitis with Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcome: A Case Report.

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    Berk, Mylene C; Bruning, Andrea Hl; van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, Aleid G; Wolthers, Katja C; Pajkrt, Dasja

    2018-03-14

    Human parechovirus (HPeV) infections usually cause mild symptoms in children. Although their contribution to severe disease in young children - such as neonatal sepsis and meningo-encephalitis - is increasingly recognized, data on long-term consequences are scarce. Here we present the case of a five-year old boy with severe long-term neurodevelopmental sequelae following HPeV-3 meningitis.

  10. Environmental Surveillance of Human Parechoviruses in Sewage in the Netherlands

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    Wuite, M.; de Roda Husman, A. M.; Rutjes, S. A.

    2013-01-01

    The circulation of human parechoviruses (HPeVs) in the population was studied by environmental surveillance comprising of molecular analyses of sewage samples (n = 89) that were collected from 15 different locations in the Netherlands. Samples were taken from sewage originating from schools (n = 9) or from parts of municipalities (n = 6) during the Dutch school year 2010-2011. At 13/15 locations HPeV1, HPeV3, or HPeV6 RNA was detected at least once; however, sequence diversity did not reflect associations in time or place. A higher percentage of positives was observed in the samples originating from the municipalities. It was demonstrated that HPeV circulated in the studied population to a higher extent than would be expected from the current knowledge on infections predominating in young children. PMID:23934500

  11. Human parechovirus type 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 detection in picornavirus cultures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Michel; Pyrc, Krzysztof; Berkhout, Ron; Vermeulen-Oost, Wilma; Dijkman, Ronald; Jebbink, Maarten F.; Bruisten, Sylvia; Berkhout, Ben; van der Hoek, Lia

    2008-01-01

    Picornavirus cultures that could not be typed in neutralization assays were analyzed by VP1 reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and a virus discovery tool (VIDISCA). Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) were frequently identified, among which were the uncommon isolates HPeV-4, HPeV-5, and HPeV-6. The HPeV-5

  12. Prolonged Shedding of Human Parechovirus in Feces of Young Children after Symptomatic Infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wildenbeest, Joanne G; Benschop, Kimberley S M; Bouma-de Jongh, Saskia; Wolthers, Katja C; Pajkrt, Dasja

    2016-01-01

    After symptomatic human parechovirus (HPeV) infection in infants, the duration of (mostly asymptomatic) shedding in feces was 2-24 weeks (median 58 days). HPeV cycle threshold value could neither differentiate between symptomatic disease and asymptomatic shedding nor between severe and mild disease

  13. Human parechovirus infections in Dutch children and the association between serotype and disease severity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benschop, K. S. M.; Schinkel, J.; Minnaar, R. P.; Pajkrt, D.; Spanjerberg, L.; Kraakman, H. C.; Berkhout, B.; Zaaijer, H. L.; Beld, M. G. H. M.; Wolthers, K. C.

    2006-01-01

    Background. Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) are members of the family Picornaviridae and are classified into 3 known serotypes: HPeV1, HPeV2, and the recently identified HPeV3. HPeV1 and HPeV2 infections are most commonly associated with mild respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms and occasionally

  14. Epidemiology of Sepsis-like Illness in Young Infants Major Role of Enterovirus and Human Parechovirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Eveline P.; van den Beuken, Monique G. A.; van Elzakker, Erika P. M.; Wolthers, Katja C.; Sprij, Arwen J.; Lopriore, Enrico; Walther, Frans J.; Brus, Frank

    2018-01-01

    Background: Sepsis-like illness is a main cause for hospital admission in young infants. Our aim was to investigate incidence, epidemiology and clinical characteristics of enterovirus (EV) and human parechovirus (HPeV) infections in young infants with sepsis-like illness. Methods: This is a

  15. Human parechovirus type 3 infection: Cause of apnea in infants born prematurely.

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    Nirei, Jun; Aizawa, Yuta; Okazaki, Minoru; Kobayashi, Akira; Onozuka, Junya; Numata, Osamu; Oishi, Tomohiro; Saitoh, Akihiko

    2016-05-01

    Four infants born prematurely presented with multiple apnea episodes caused by human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) infection. All patients required oxygen supplementation, and one patient required mechanical ventilation. HPeV3 infection might be included in the differential diagnosis of apnea in neonates and young infants, especially those born prematurely. © 2016 Japan Pediatric Society.

  16. Rapid detection of human parechoviruses in clinical samples by real-time PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benschop, Kimberley; Molenkamp, Richard; van der Ham, Alwin; Wolthers, Katja; Beld, Marcel

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) have been associated with severe conditions such as neonatal sepsis and meningitis in young children. Rapid identification of an infectious agent in such serious conditions in these patients is essential for adequate decision making regarding treatment and

  17. Human parechoviruses as an important viral cause of sepsislike illness and meningitis in young children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolthers, Katja C.; Benschop, Kimberley S. M.; Schinkel, Janke; Molenkamp, Richard; Bergevoet, Rosemarijn M.; Spijkerman, Ingrid J. B.; Kraakman, H. Carlijn; Pajkrt, Dasja

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Enteroviruses (EVs) belong to the family Picornaviridae and are a well-known cause of neonatal sepsis and viral meningitis. Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) type 1 and 2, previously named echovirus 22 and 23, have been associated with mild gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms in young

  18. Identification of a contemporary human parechovirus type 1 by VIDISCA and characterisation of its full genome

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    Drexler Jan

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enteritis is caused by a spectrum of viruses that is most likely not fully characterised. When testing stool samples by cell culture, virus isolates are sometimes obtained which cannot be typed by current methods. In this study we used VIDISCA, a virus identification method which has not yet been widely applied, on such an untyped virus isolate. Results We found a human parechovirus (HPeV type 1 (strain designation: BNI-788st. Because genomes of contemporary HPeV1 were not available, we determined its complete genome sequence. We found that the novel strain was likely the result of recombination between structural protein genes of an ancestor of contemporary HPeV1 strains and nonstructural protein genes from an unknown ancestor, most closely related to HPeV3. In contrast to the non-structural protein genes of other HPeV prototype strains, the non-structural protein genes of BNI-788st and HPeV3 prototype strains did not co-segregate in bootscan analysis with that of other prototype strains. Conclusion HPeV3 nonstructural protein genes may form a distinct element in a pool of circulating HPeV non-structural protein genes. More research into the complex HPeV evolution is required to connect virus ecology with disease patterns in humans.

  19. [Human parechovirus-3 infection in a neonate with fever and suspected sepsis].

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    Calvo, C; García-García, M L; Arroyas, M; Trallero, G; Cabrerizo, M

    2014-07-01

    The human parechovirus (HPeV) are viruses of the recently described Picornaviridae family and are causing several infections in young children. The pathology associated with these viruses is beginning to emerge. The HPeV type 3, has been described particularly in association with sepsis-like febrile syndromes, meningitis and encephalitis in very young infants and neonates. We report the case of a 14-day-old girl with a fever and clinical sepsis that required hospitalization and in which HPeV-3 was identified in the cerebrospinal fluid. The blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid bacterial cultures were negative, and the patient improved. This case illustrates the usefulness of investigating parechovirus infection in neonates with fever or suspected sepsis. Copyright © 2013 Asociación Española de Pediatría. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  20. Intracranial hemorrhage and other symptoms in infants associated with human parechovirus in Vienna, Austria.

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    Kurz, Herbert; Prammer, Ruth; Bock, Wolfgang; Ollerieth, Robert; Bernert, Günther; Zwiauer, Karl; Aberle, Judith H; Aberle, Stephan W; Fazekas, Tamas; Holter, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    The human parechovirus (HPeV), mainly genotype 3, may cause severe illness in young infants and neonates, including sepsis-like illness and central nervous system (CNS) infection. We lack data concerning the impact and symptoms of HPeV infection in infants in Austria. The aim of the study is to evaluate the spectrum of symptoms and findings in infants with the parechovirus in Vienna and its environs. Patients younger than 3 months of age, with clinically suspected sepsis-like illness or CNS infection and a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HPeV, were included in the study. Medical records were analyzed retrospectively. Twenty patients were included in the study from 2009 to 2013. The most frequent manifestations were fever and neurological symptoms (89 and 80 %, respectively). Fifty percent of the infants had white blood cell counts out of range. The most notable aspect was cerebral hemorrhage in three neonates, which has not been reported earlier in association with HPeV infection. In Austria, HPeV is a relevant pathogen in sepsis-like disease in infants. The clinical presentation is similar to that described in other studies; cerebral hemorrhage is a new aspect. • Parechovirus infection can cause severe illness in infants. • Symptoms have been described to involve all organs; sepsis-like signs, fever, and irritability are most frequent. • Also in Austria, HPeV plays an important role in severe illnesses in infants. • Severe intracranial hemorrhage is described as a new finding.

  1. Severe Human Parechovirus Infections in Infants and the Role of Older Siblings.

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    Nielsen, Nete Munk; Midgley, Sofie Elisabeth; Nielsen, Alex Christian Yde; Christiansen, Claus Bohn; Fischer, Thea Kølsen

    2016-04-01

    Human parechovirus (HPeV) is a cause of severe morbidity among infants and young children. To evaluate the associations between early environmental risk factors and HPeV infections, we carried out a nationwide cohort study linking registry data on birth and sibship characteristics with a laboratory surveillance database, covering all HPeV infections detected in Denmark during 2009-2012 among children sibling, the higher the risk of HPeV-3 as well as non-HPeV-3 infections, although the trend was strongest for HPeV-3 infections. Our study is the first to suggest that having a slightly older sibling increases the risk for severe neonatal HPeV infections. This new knowledge might lead to new preventive measures. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Severe Human Parechovirus Infections in Infants and the Role of Older Siblings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Nete Munk; Midgley, Sofie Elisabeth; Nielsen, Alex Christian Yde

    2016-01-01

    Human parechovirus (HPeV) is a cause of severe morbidity among infants and young children. To evaluate the associations between early environmental risk factors and HPeV infections, we carried out a nationwide cohort study linking registry data on birth and sibship characteristics with a laborato...... for HPeV-3 infections. Our study is the first to suggest that having a slightly older sibling increases the risk for severe neonatal HPeV infections. This new knowledge might lead to new preventive measures........68, 95% confidence interval: 3.85, 19.53) of contracting HPeV-3 infections, but at no increased risk of contracting non-HPeV-3 infections. However, the shorter the age gap to the nearest older sibling, the higher the risk of HPeV-3 as well as non-HPeV-3 infections, although the trend was strongest...

  3. Severe human parechovirus type 3 myocarditis and encephalitis in an adolescent with hypogammaglobulinemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey K. Mardekian

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Human parechovirus (HPeV belongs to the Picornaviridae family of RNA viruses. HPeV infections can be asymptomatic, lead to mild respiratory and/or gastrointestinal symptoms, or less frequently cause severe diseases such as sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis, and myocarditis. Severe neurological HPeV infections occur most commonly in infants and neonates. There are currently 16 recognized types of HPeV. HPeV type 3 (HPeV3 has been the predominant type associated with severe central nervous system disease in neonates and newborns since its discovery in 1999. Although HPeV-related infections have been reported in adults, symptomatic HPeV3 infections in adolescents and adults are uncommon. A case of severe HPeV3 myocarditis and encephalitis in an adolescent is described.

  4. Complete genome sequence of the first human parechovirus type 3 isolated in Taiwan

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    Jenn-Tzong Chang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The first human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3 VGHKS-2007 in Taiwan was identified from a clinical specimen from a male infant. The entire genome of the HPeV3 isolate was sequenced and compared to known HPeV3 sequences. Genome alignment data showed that HPeV3 VGHKS-2007 shares the highest nucleotide identity, 99%, with the Japanese strain of HPeV3 1361K-162589-Yamagata-2008. All HPeV3 isolates possess at least 97% amino acid identity. The analysis of the genome sequence of HPeV3 VGHKS-2007 will facilitate future investigations of the epidemiology and pathogenicity of HPeV3 infection.

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

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

    2017-06-20

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

  6. Cerebral imaging and neurodevelopmental outcome after entero- and human parechovirus sepsis in young infants.

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    de Jong, Eveline P; Holscher, Herma C; Steggerda, Sylke J; Van Klink, Jeanine M M; van Elzakker, Erika P M; Lopriore, Enrico; Walther, Frans J; Brus, Frank

    2017-12-01

    Enterovirus (EV) and human parechovirus (HPeV) are major causes of sepsis-like illness in infants under 90 days of age and have been identified as neurotropic. Studies about acute and long-term neurodevelopment in infants with sepsis-like illness without the need for intensive care are few. This study investigates cerebral imaging and neurodevelopmental outcome following EV and HPeV infection in these infants. We studied infants under 90 days of age who were admitted to a medium care unit with proven EV- or HPeV-induced sepsis-like illness. In addition to standard care, we did a cerebral ultrasound and cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as neurodevelopmental follow-up at 6 weeks and 6 months and Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd edition (BSID-III) investigation at 1 year of age. Twenty-six infants, 22 with EV and 4 with HPeV, were analysed. No abnormalities were detected at cerebral imaging. At 1 year of age, two infants had a moderate delay on both the motor and cognitive scale, one on the cognitive scale only and three others on the gross motor scale only. Although our study population, especially the number of HPeV positive infants is small, our study shows that these infants do not seem to develop severe neurodevelopmental delay and neurologic sequelae more often than the normal Dutch population. Follow-up to school age allows for more reliable assessments of developmental outcome and is recommended for further studies to better assess outcome. What is known: • Enterovirus and Human Parechovirus infections are a major cause of sepsis-like illness in young infants. • After intensive care treatment for EV or HPeV infection, white matter abnormalities and neurodevelopmental delay have been described. What is new: • In our 'medium care' population, no abnormalities at cerebral imaging after EV- or HPeV-induced sepsis-like illness have been found. • At 1 year of age, infants who had EV- or HPeV-induced sepsis

  7. Human parechovirus genotypes -10, -13 and -15 in Pakistani children with acute dehydrating gastroenteritis.

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    Muhammad Masroor Alam

    Full Text Available Human parechoviruses are known to cause asymptomatic to severe clinical illness predominantly respiratory and gastroenetric infections. Despite their global prevalence, epidemiological studies have not been performed in Pakistan. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed 110 fecal specimen and found 26 (24% positive for viral RNA with HPeV-10 (n = 3, 23%, HPeV-13 (n = 4, 31% and HPeV-15 (n = 6, 46% genotypes. Clinical features of patients with different HPeV genotypes were compared. All HPeV positive children were aged ≤4 years (mean 13.92 months. The male-to-female ratio was 1: 1.17 (46.2 vs 53.8% with significant association (p = .031 to HPeV infectivity. HPeV-10 and -13 were found during summer while HPeV-15 was only detected during late winter season. Disease symptoms were more severe in children infected with HPeV-10 and -13 as compared to HPeV-15. Fever and vomiting were observed in 100% cases of HPeV-10 and -13 while only 17% patients of HPeV-15 had these complaints. Phylogenetic analyses showed that HPeV-10, -13 and -15 strains found in this study have 9-13%, 16.8% and 21.8% nucleotide divergence respectively from the prototype strains and were clustered to distinct genetic lineages. This is the first report of HPeV-15 infection in humans although first identified in rhesus macaques. The arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD motif present at the C-terminal of VP1 responsible for the viral attachment to cellular integrins was not found in all of these strains. In conclusion, these findings enhance our knowledge related to the epidemiology and genetic diversity of the HPeV in Pakistan and support the need for continued laboratory based surveillance programs especially in infants and neonatal clinical settings. Further, the parechovirus pathogenesis, cross-species transmission and disease reservoirs must be ascertained to adopt better prevention measures.

  8. First report of human parechovirus type 3 infection in a pregnant woman

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    Makiko Shinomoto

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3 can cause serious conditions in neonates, such as sepsis and encephalitis, but data for adults are lacking. The case of a pregnant woman with HPeV3 infection is reported herein. A 28-year-old woman at 36 weeks of pregnancy was admitted because of myalgia and muscle weakness. Her grip strength was 6.0 kg for her right hand and 2.5 kg for her left hand. The patient’s symptoms, probably due to fasciitis and not myositis, improved gradually with conservative treatment, however labor pains with genital bleeding developed unexpectedly 3 days after admission. An obstetric consultation was obtained and a cesarean section was performed, with no complications. A real-time PCR assay for the detection of viral genomic ribonucleic acid against HPeV showed positive results for pharyngeal swabs, feces, and blood, and negative results for the placenta, umbilical cord, umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, and breast milk. The HPeV3 was genotyped by sequencing of the VP1 region. The woman made a full recovery and was discharged with her infant in a stable condition.

  9. Human parechovirus as a minor cause of acute otitis media in children.

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    Sillanpää, Saara; Oikarinen, Sami; Sipilä, Markku; Seppälä, Elina; Nurminen, Noora; Rautiainen, Markus; Laranne, Jussi; Hyöty, Heikki

    2015-01-01

    Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) cause mild upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal symptoms, central nervous system infections and some studies have linked them with acute otitis media (AOM). The aim of the present study was to study further the role of HPeV infections in AOM by detecting these viruses directly from middle ear fluid (MEF), respiratory and stool samples collected from children during AOM episodes. A total of 91 MEF samples, 98 nasal swab (NS) samples and 92 stool samples were collected during 100 AOM episodes in a total of 87 children aged between five to 42 months. All specimens were analyzed by real time RT-PCR for the presence of HPeV RNA. HPeV infection was diagnosed in 12 (14%) patients. HPeV RNA was detected in altogether 13 samples, including four MEF samples, three NS samples and six stool samples. One patient was positive in both stool and MEF samples. The results suggest that HPeV may play a role in some AOM cases, but it is not a major cause of AOM in children. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Prospective comparison of the detection rates of human enterovirus and parechovirus RT-qPCR and viral culture in different pediatric specimens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Crom, S C M; Obihara, C C; de Moor, R A; Veldkamp, E J M; van Furth, A M; Rossen, J W A

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Reverse-transcriptase quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) has become the gold standard for the diagnosis of human enterovirus (EV) and parechovirus (HPeV) infections. The detection rate of RT-qPCR in different pediatric body specimens has not been compared

  11. High prevalence of Human Parechovirus (HPeV) genotypes in the Amsterdam region and the identification of specific HPeV variants by direct genotyping of stool samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benschop, K.; Thomas, X.; Serpenti, C.; Molenkamp, R.; Wolthers, K.

    2008-01-01

    Human Parechoviruses (HPeV) are widespread pathogens belonging to the Picornavirus family. Six genotypes are known which have predominantly been isolated from children. Data on prevalence of HPeV genotypes are generally based on cell culture, which may underestimate the prevalence of certain HPeV

  12. Human Parechovirus 1 Infection Occurs via αVβ1 Integrin.

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    Pirjo Merilahti

    Full Text Available Human parechovirus 1 (HPeV-1 (family Picornaviridae is a global cause of pediatric respiratory and CNS infections for which there is no treatment. Although biochemical and in vitro studies have suggested that HPeV-1 binds to αVβ1, αVβ3 and αVβ6 integrin receptor(s, the actual cellular receptors required for infectious entry of HPeV-1 remain unknown. In this paper we analyzed the expression profiles of αVβ1, αVβ3, αVβ6 and α5β1 in susceptible cell lines (A549, HeLa and SW480 to identify which integrin receptors support HPeV-1 internalization and/or replication cycle. We demonstrate by antibody blocking assay, immunofluorescence microscopy and RT-qPCR that HPeV-1 internalizes and replicates in cell lines that express αVβ1 integrin but not αVβ3 or αVβ6 integrins. To further study the role of β1 integrin, we used a mouse cell line, GE11-KO, which is deficient in β1 expression, and its derivate GE11-β1 in which human integrin β1 subunit is overexpressed. HPeV-1 (Harris strain and three clinical HPeV-1 isolates did not internalize into GE11-KO whereas GE11-β1 supported the internalization process. An integrin β1-activating antibody, TS2/16, enhanced HPeV-1 infectivity, but infection occurred in the absence of visible receptor clustering. HPeV-1 also co-localized with β1 integrin on the cell surface, and HPeV-1 and β1 integrin co-endocytosed into the cells. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that in some cell lines the cellular entry of HPeV-1 is primarily mediated by the active form of αVβ1 integrin without visible receptor clustering.

  13. An outbreak of severe infections among Australian infants caused by a novel recombinant strain of human parechovirus type 3.

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    Nelson, Tiffanie M; Vuillermin, Peter; Hodge, Jason; Druce, Julian; Williams, David T; Jasrotia, Rekha; Alexandersen, Soren

    2017-03-14

    Human parechovirus types 1-16 (HPeV1-16) are positive strand RNA viruses in the family Picornaviridae. We investigated a 2015 outbreak of HPeV3 causing illness in infants in Victoria, Australia. Virus genome was extracted from clinical material and isolates and sequenced using a combination of next generation and Sanger sequencing. The HPeV3 outbreak genome was 98.7% similar to the HPeV3 Yamagata 2011 lineage for the region encoding the structural proteins up to nucleotide position 3115, but downstream of that the genome varied from known HPeV sequences with a similarity of 85% or less. Analysis indicated that recombination had occurred, may have involved multiple types of HPeV and that the recombination event/s occurred between March 2012 and November 2013. However the origin of the genome downstream of the recombination site is unknown. Overall, the capsid of this virus is highly conserved, but recombination provided a different non-structural protein coding region that may convey an evolutionary advantage. The indication that the capsid encoding region is highly conserved at the amino acid level may be helpful in directing energy towards the development of a preventive vaccine for expecting mothers or antibody treatment of young infants with severe disease.

  14. Genome and infection characteristics of human parechovirus type 1: the interplay between viral infection and type I interferon antiviral system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenn-Tzong Chang

    Full Text Available Human parechoviruses (HPeVs, members of the family Picornaviridae, are associated with severe human clinical conditions such as gastrointestinal disease, encephalitis, meningitis, respiratory disease and neonatal sepsis. A new contemporary strain of HPeV1, KVP6 (accession no. KC769584, was isolated from a clinical specimen. Full-genome alignment revealed that HPeV1 KVP6 shares high genome homology with the German strain of HPeV1, 7555312 (accession no. FM178558 and could be classified in the clade 1B group. An intertypic recombination was shown within the P2-P3 genome regions of HPeV1. Cell-type tropism test showed that T84 cells (colon carcinoma cells, A549 cells (lung carcinoma cells and DBTRG-5MG cells (glioblastoma cells were susceptible to HPeV1 infection, which might be relevant clinically. A facilitated cytopathic effect and increased viral titers were reached after serial viral passages in Vero cells, with viral genome mutation found in later passages. HPeV1 is sensitive to elevated temperature because 39C incubation impaired virion production. HPeV1 induced innate immunity with phosphorylation of interferon (IFN regulatory transcription factor 3 and production of type I IFN in A549 but not T84 cells. Furthermore, type I IFN inhibited HPeV1 production in A549 cells but not T84 cells; T84 cells may be less responsive to type I IFN stimulation. Moreover, HPeV1-infected cells showed downregulated type I IFN activation, which indicated a type I IFN evasion mechanism. The characterization of the complete genome and infection features of HPeV1 provide comprehensive information about this newly isolated HPeV1 for further diagnosis, prevention or treatment strategies.

  15. Sepsis-like disease in infants due to human parechovirus type 3 during an outbreak in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatami, Ameneh; McMullan, Brendan J; Webber, Murray; Stewart, Phoebe; Francis, Stephanie; Timmers, Karin J; Rodas, Elicia; Druce, Julian; Mehta, Bhavesh; Sloggett, Nichola A; Cumming, Germaine; Papadakis, Georgina; Kesson, Alison M

    2015-01-15

    Infections with human parechoviruses (HPeVs) are associated with a wide range of clinical presentations in children, ranging from mild or asymptomatic infections to severe sepsis-like presentations or meningoencephalitis. We reviewed medical records of infants admitted to 5 hospitals in New South Wales, Australia, during an outbreak of HPeV-3 infection. Data were collected on clinical presentation, laboratory markers, and outcome of infants with HPeV infection confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. We identified 118 infected infants. Most presented with an acute sepsis-like syndrome with high fever, tachycardia, poor perfusion, and severe irritability. Other common features were erythrodermic rash, abdominal distension, edema, and hepatitis. The age range of infants was 4 days to 9.5 months; 75% were <2 months old, including all but 1 of the 30 infants (25%) admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), who as a group, were significantly younger than infants not admitted to ICUs. Only 4% of evaluable cerebrospinal fluid samples had pleocytosis, but HPeV was detected in 95%. Brain magnetic resonance imaging on a small number of children demonstrated white matter changes and diffusion restriction. Sequencing of the VP1 gene confirmed HPeV-3 in all samples tested. All children recovered without ongoing complications at last follow-up. We report the largest series of HPeV-3 infection in infants, and the first outbreak in Australia. Infants presented with a severe sepsis-like syndrome with a high rate of ICU admissions, but all recovered from the acute infection without complications. Long-term sequelae are unknown. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Changes in human parechovirus profiles in hospitalized children with acute gastroenteritis after a three-year interval in Lanzhou, China.

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    Ying Guo

    Full Text Available The changing profile of infection over time for Human Parechoviruses (HPeVs is not well known and no detailed study has been reported to date in China. This investigation on HPeV infection in hospitalized children in Lanzhou, China revealed variations in epidemiological characteristics after a three-year interval. To assess the changes that had occurred, epidemiological and clinical characteristics of HPeVs were characterized and compared with previously reported data by our group. A comparable positivity rate (25.3%, 73/289 was revealed after the three-year interval with the majority of the infected children (95.9%, 70/73 being younger than two years of age. While a temporal change in the seasonal distribution was noted in the current study, HPeVs were more frequently detected during July to November compared to September to December in the previous study. Changes in HPeV genotypes patterns, a temporal change in the prevalence of HPeV1, a younger susceptible age to HPeV3 compared with HPeV1 and a tendency of older children to be infected with HPeV4 are in contrast to our previous report. HPeV2, a rarely reported genotype, was identified for the first time in China. In addition, an exclusive trinucleotide (GAT insertion in the HPeV4 nucleotide sequence was identified. However, the profiles of co-infection with other enteric related viruses were similar to our previous findings. In summary, these data suggest temporal variation in the seasonal distribution of HPeV and changing patterns of HPeV genotypes over time in the study region.

  17. [Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of infants admitted to hospital due to human parechovirus infections: A prospective study in Spain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín Del Valle, Fernando; Calvo, Cristina; Martinez-Rienda, Inés; Cilla, Amaia; Romero, María P; Menasalvas, Ana Isabel; Reis-Iglesias, Leticia; Roda, Diana; Pena, María J; Rabella, Nuria; Portugués de la Red, María Del Mar; Megías, Gregoria; Moreno-Docón, Antonio; Otero, Almudena; Cabrerizo, María

    2018-02-01

    Human parechovirus (HPeV) is one of the recently described picornaviridae viruses that have been associated with fever of unknown origin (FUO), clinical sepsis, gastroenteritis, meningitis, or encephalitis in very young infants. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology and clinical features of these viruses. A prospective multicentre 3-year study was conducted in 12 hospitals in Spain. Out of 850 specimens examined, 47 were positive (5.52%), with HPeV-3 being the most frequent (29 cases). Infections occurred throughout the year, but mainly in May and July, and a biennial distribution was observed. More than half (57%) were neonates, and only 2 children were older than 3 months. Fever was present in all children, with irritability in 45%, rash in 18.6%, and diarrhoea in 14%. The results of biochemical tests were all in normal range. The most common final diagnosis was FUO (61%), followed by clinical sepsis (29%). Up to 29% of infants were admitted to the intensive care unit, but only one patient had sequelae. Out of 850 specimens examined, 47 were positive (5.52%) for HPeV, with HPeV-3 being the most frequent (29 cases). Infections occurred throughout the year, but mainly in May and July, and a biennial distribution was observed. More than half (57%) were neonates, and only 2 children were older than 3 months. Fever was present in all children, with irritability in 45%, rash in 18.6%, and diarrhoea in 14%. The results of biochemical tests were all in normal range. The most common final diagnosis was FUO (61%), followed by clinical sepsis (29%). Up to 29% of infants were admitted to the intensive care unit, but only one patient had sequelae CONCLUSIONS: HPeV circulates in our country, mainly during spring and summer, and affects young infants with a FUO and clinical sepsis. Molecular diagnostic techniques in all hospitals could help in improving the management of patients with these infections. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Española de Pediatr

  18. Role of Heparan Sulfate in Cellular Infection of Integrin-Binding Coxsackievirus A9 and Human Parechovirus 1 Isolates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pirjo Merilahti

    Full Text Available Heparan sulfate/heparin class of proteoglycans (HSPG have been shown to function in cellular attachment and infection of numerous viruses including picornaviruses. Coxsackievirus A9 (CV-A9 and human parechovirus 1 (HPeV-1 are integrin-binding members in the family Picornaviridae. CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris (prototype strains have been reported not to bind to heparin, but it was recently shown that some CV-A9 isolates interact with heparin in vitro via VP1 protein with a specific T132R/K mutation. We found that the infectivity of both CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris was reduced by sodium chlorate and heparinase suggestive of HSPG interactions. We analyzed the T132 site in fifty-four (54 CV-A9 clinical isolates and found that only one of them possessed T132/R mutation while the other nine (9 had T132K. We then treated CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris and eight CV-A9 and six HPeV-1 clinical isolates with heparin and protamine. Although infectivity of Griggs strain was slightly reduced (by 25%, heparin treatment did not affect the infectivity of the CV-A9 isolates that do not possess the T132R/K mutation, which is in line with the previous findings. Some of the HPeV-1 isolates were also affected by heparin treatment, which suggested that there may be a specific heparin binding site in HPeV-1. In contrast, protamine (a specific inhibitor of heparin completely inhibited the infection of both prototypes and clinical CV-A9 and HPeV-1 isolates. We conclude that T132R/K mutation has a role in heparin binding of CV-A9, but we also show data, which suggest that there are other HSPG binding sites in CV-A9. In all, we suggest that HSPGs play a general role in both CV-A9 and HPeV-1 infections.

  19. Epidemiology of Human Parechovirus Type1 in Clinical Samples from Children with Gastroenteritis Using RT-PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dabirmanesh B

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Human parechovirus type-1 (HPeV-1 is a genus of picornaviridea with a single stranded positive sense RNA genome. In general it seems to be responsible for more gastrointestinal and respiratory syndromes and less responsible for central nervous system (CNS symptoms. Since there is no accurate information about diagnosis and epidemiology of HPeV-1 in Iran and it is very important to distinguish between viral and bacterial diarrhea to decrease the unnecessary use of antibiotics, this study aimed at rapid detection and epidemiology of HPeV-1 in stool samples from children with gastroenteritis using specific RT-PCR. Methods: Viral RNA was isolated from 472 stool samples from children (under 4 years old with diarrhea; CDNA was prepared and amplified using specific primers from 5′untranslated region (5′ UTR of HPeV-1 genome by nested RT-PCR. Amplified DNA product was electrophoresed on 1% agarose gel and a single band of 265 bp was obtained. Data were analyzed by SPSS software. We also performed a comparison between the cell culture (Vero and RT-PCR method for HPeV1 detection.Results: Out of 472 samples examined during two years, 112 samples were HpeV-1 positive (23.7%. The results showed that the prevalence of this virus was in children under one year (6-12 months old with diarrhea (p=0.036 in spring and autumn (p<0.001. Boys had more positive cases than the girls (p<0.001. Out of 20 samples which were found positive by HPeV1 RT-PCR only three of them showed CPE on Vero Cells after a week.Conclusion: The results revealed that RT-PCR is a more practical and sensitive technique for HPeV-1 detection directly from clinical samples, which is valuable for epidemiology. Also, the rapid detection of HPeV1 by RT-PCR can decrease both the unnecessary use of antibiotics and the costs in clinical practice

  20. Epidemiology of Human Parechovirus Type1 in Clinical Samples from Children with Gastroenteritis Using RT-PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Ghazi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available

    Background and Objectives: Human parechovirus type-1 (HPeV-1 is a genus of picornaviridea with a single stranded positive sense RNA genome. In general it seems to be responsible for more gastrointestinal and respiratory syndromes and less responsible for central nervous system (CNS symptoms. Since there is no accurate information about diagnosis and epidemiology of HPeV-1 in Iran and it is very important to distinguish between viral and bacterial diarrhea to decrease the unnecessary use of antibiotics, this study aimed at rapid detection and epidemiology of HPeV-1 in stool samples from children with gastroenteritis using specific RT-PCR.

     

    Methods: Viral RNA was isolated from 472 stool samples from children (under 4 years old with diarrhea; CDNA was prepared and amplified using specific primers from 5untranslated region (5 UTR of HPeV-1 genome by nested RT-PCR. Amplified DNA product was electrophoresed on 1% agarose gel and a single band of 265 bp was obtained. Data were analyzed by SPSS software. We also performed a comparison between the cell culture (Vero and RT-PCR method for HPeV1 detection.

     

    Results: Out of 472 samples examined during two years, 112 samples were HpeV-1 positive (23.7%. The results showed that the prevalence of this virus was in children under one year (6-12 months old with diarrhea (p=0.036 in spring and autumn (p<0.001. Boys had more positive cases than the girls (p<0.001. Out of 20 samples which were found positive by HPeV1 RT-PCR only three of them showed CPE on Vero Cells after a week.

     

    Conclusion: The results revealed that RT-PCR is a more practical and sensitive technique for HPeV-1 detection directly from clinical samples, which is valuable for epidemiology. Also, the rapid

  1. Comparison of epidemiology and clinical characteristics of infections by human parechovirus vs. those by enterovirus during the first month of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrerizo, María; Trallero, Gloria; Pena, María José; Cilla, Amaia; Megias, Gregoria; Muñoz-Almagro, Carmen; Del Amo, Eva; Roda, Diana; Mensalvas, Ana Isabel; Moreno-Docón, Antonio; García-Costa, Juan; Rabella, Nuria; Omeñaca, Manuel; Romero, María Pilar; Sanbonmatsu-Gámez, Sara; Pérez-Ruiz, Mercedes; Santos-Muñoz, María José; Calvo, Cristina

    2015-11-01

    Human parechoviruses (HPeV) have been recently recognized as important viral agents in paediatric infections. The aims of this study were to investigate the HPeV infection prevalence in infants enterovirus (EV). Infants <1 month with neurological or systemic symptoms were included in a multicentre prospective study. EV and HPeV detection by RT-PCR and genotyping were performed in cerebrospinal fluids (CSF), sera or throat swabs. Out of the total of 84 infants studied during 2013, 32 were EV positive (38 %) and 9 HPeV positive (11 %). HPeV-3 was identified in eight cases and HPeV-5 in one. Mean age of HPeV-positive patients was 18 days. Diagnoses were fever without source (FWS) (67 %), clinical sepsis (22 %) and encephalitis (11 %). Leukocytes in blood and CSF were normal. Pleocytosis (p = 0.03) and meningitis (p = 0.001) were significantly more frequent in patients with EV infections than with HPeV. Although HPeV-3 infections were detected less frequently than EV, they still account for approximately 10 % of the cases analysed in infants younger than 1 month. HPeV-3 was mainly associated with FWS and without leukocytosis and pleocytosis in CSF. In these cases, HPeV screening is desirable to identify the aetiologic agent and prevent unnecessary treatment and prolonged hospitalization.

  2. Epidemic myalgia and myositis associated with human parechovirus type 3 infections occur not only in adults but also in children: findings in Yamagata, Japan, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuta, K; Yamakawa, T; Kurokawa, K; Chikaoka, S; Shimizu, Y; Itagaki, T; Katsushima, F; Katsushima, Y; Ito, S; Aoki, Y; Matoba, Y; Tanaka, S; Yahagi, K

    2016-04-01

    We previously reported an association between human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) and epidemic myalgia with myositis in adults during summers in which an HPeV3 outbreak occurred in children. However, this disease association has not yet been reported elsewhere. We have since continued our surveillance to accumulate data on this disease association and to confirm whether myalgia occurs in children as well as adults. Between June and August 2014, we collected 380 specimens from children with infectious diseases. We also collected clinical specimens from two adult and three paediatric patients suspected of myalgia. We then performed virus isolation and reverse-transcription-PCR using the collected specimens. We detected HPeV3 in 26 children with infectious diseases, which we regarded as indicating an outbreak. We also confirmed HPeV3 infection in all patients suspected of myalgia. In particular the symptoms in two boys, complaining of myalgia and fever, closely matched the criteria for adult myalgia. Based on our findings from 2008, 2011 and 2014, we again urge that clinical consideration be given to the relationship between myalgia and HPeV3 infections during HPeV3 outbreaks in children. Furthermore, our observations from 2014 suggest that epidemic myalgia and myositis occur not only in adults but also in children.

  3. Replication and Inhibitors of Enteroviruses and Parechoviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lonneke van der Linden

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Enterovirus (EV and Parechovirus genera of the picornavirus family include many important human pathogens, including poliovirus, rhinovirus, EV-A71, EV-D68, and human parechoviruses (HPeV. They cause a wide variety of diseases, ranging from a simple common cold to life-threatening diseases such as encephalitis and myocarditis. At the moment, no antiviral therapy is available against these viruses and it is not feasible to develop vaccines against all EVs and HPeVs due to the great number of serotypes. Therefore, a lot of effort is being invested in the development of antiviral drugs. Both viral proteins and host proteins essential for virus replication can be used as targets for virus inhibitors. As such, a good understanding of the complex process of virus replication is pivotal in the design of antiviral strategies goes hand in hand with a good understanding of the complex process of virus replication. In this review, we will give an overview of the current state of knowledge of EV and HPeV replication and how this can be inhibited by small-molecule inhibitors.

  4. Lipopolysaccharide attenuates induction of pro-allergic cytokines, thymic stromal lymphopoietin and interleukin 33, in respiratory epithelial cells stimulated with polyI:C and human parechovirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsang-Hsiung Lin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological studies based on the hygiene hypothesis declare that the level of childhood exposure to environmental microbial products is inversely related to the incidence of allergic diseases in later life. Multiple types of immune cell-mediated immune regulation networks support the hygiene hypothesis. Epithelial cells are the first line of response to microbial products in the environment and bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems; however, their role in the hygiene hypothesis is unknown. To demonstrate the hygiene hypothesis in airway epithelial cells, we examined the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; Toll-like receptor 4 ligand on the expression of the proallergic cytokines thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP and interleukin 33 (IL33 in H292 cells (pulmonary mucoepidermoid carcinoma cells. Stimulation with the TLR ligand polyI:C and human parechovirus type 1 (HPeV1 but not LPS induced TSLP and IL33 through interferon (IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3 and NFB activity, which was further validated by using inhibitors (dexamethasone and Bay 11-7082 and shRNA-mediated gene knockdown. Importantly, polyI:C and HPeV1-stimulated TSLP and IL33 induction was reduced by LPS treatment by attenuating TANK-binding kinase 1, IRF3 and NFB activation. Interestingly, the basal mRNA levels of TLR signaling proteins were downregulated with long-term LPS treatment of H292 cells, which suggests that such long-term exposure modulates the expression of innate immunity signaling molecules in airway epithelial cells to mitigate the allergic response. In contrast to the effects of LPS treatment, the alarmin HMBG1 (high mobility group protein B1 acts in synergy with polyI:C to promote TSLP and IL33 expression. Our data support part of the hygiene hypothesis in airway epithelia cells in vitro. In addition to therapeutic targeting of TSLP and IL33, local application of non-pathogenic LPS may be a rational strategy to prevent allergies.

  5. A novel enterovirus and parechovirus multiplex one-step real-time PCR-validation and clinical experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Alex Christian Yde; Böttiger, Blenda; Midgley, Sofie Elisabeth; Nielsen, Lars Peter

    2013-11-01

    As the number of new enteroviruses and human parechoviruses seems ever growing, the necessity for updated diagnostics is relevant. We have updated an enterovirus assay and combined it with a previously published assay for human parechovirus resulting in a multiplex one-step RT-PCR assay. The multiplex assay was validated by analysing the sensitivity and specificity of the assay compared to the respective monoplex assays, and a good concordance was found. Furthermore, the enterovirus assay was able to detect 42 reference strains from all 4 species, and an additional 9 genotypes during panel testing and routine usage. During 15 months of routine use, from October 2008 to December 2009, we received and analysed 2187 samples (stool samples, cerebrospinal fluids, blood samples, respiratory samples and autopsy samples) were tested, from 1546 patients and detected enteroviruses and parechoviruses in 171 (8%) and 66 (3%) of the samples, respectively. 180 of the positive samples could be genotyped by PCR and sequencing and the most common genotypes found were human parechovirus type 3, echovirus 9, enterovirus 71, Coxsackievirus A16, and echovirus 25. During 2009 in Denmark, both enterovirus and human parechovirus type 3 had a similar seasonal pattern with a peak during the summer and autumn. Human parechovirus type 3 was almost invariably found in children less than 4 months of age. In conclusion, a multiplex assay was developed allowing simultaneous detection of 2 viruses, which can cause similar clinical symptoms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan R. Templeton

    2010-07-01

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

  8. Viral Etiologies of Acute Dehydrating Gastroenteritis in Pakistani Children: Confounding Role of Parechoviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Masroor Alam

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial interventions in the understanding and case management of acute gastroenteritis, diarrheal diseases are still responsible for a notable amount of childhood deaths. Although the rotavirus is known to cause a considerable burden of pediatric diarrheal cases, the roles of other viruses remain undefined for the Pakistani population. This study was based on tertiary care hospital surveillance, from January 2009 to December 2010, including the detection of rotavirus, norovirus, astrovirus, and human parechovirus in children under the age of five using serological or molecular assays. Rotavirus, human parechovirus, norovirus, and astrovirus were detected in 66%, 21%, 19.5%, and 8.5% subjects, respectively. Human parechovirus genotypes, determined through analysis of VP1 gene sequences, showed a great diversity among co-circulating strains. Eighty percent of hospitalized children had dual or multiple viral infections, while 98% parechovirus positive cases were co-infected with rotavirus. The remarkable diversity of viruses associated with the childhood diarrhea in Pakistan calls for large-scale epidemiological surveys, coupled with case control studies, to ascertain their role in clinical manifestations. In addition, these findings also highlight the need for the implementation of up-to-date health interventions, such as the inclusion of a rotavirus vaccine in routine immunization programs for the improvement of quality in child health care.

  9. Enterovirus and Parechovirus Surveillance - United States, 2014-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedi, Glen R; Watson, John T; Nix, W Allan; Oberste, M Steven; Gerber, Susan I

    2018-05-11

    Infections caused by enteroviruses (EV) and parechoviruses (PeV), members of the Picornaviridae family, are associated with various clinical manifestations, including hand, foot, and mouth disease; respiratory illness; myocarditis; meningitis; and sepsis; and can result in death. The genus Enterovirus includes four species of enterovirus (A-D) known to infect humans, and the genus Parechovirus includes one species (A) that infects humans. These species are further divided into types, some of which are associated with specific clinical manifestations. During 2014-2016, a total of 2,967 U.S. cases of EV and PeV infections were reported to the National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS). The largest number of reports during that time (2,051) occurred in 2014, when a large nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) occurred, accounting for 68% of cases reported to NESS that year (1). Reports to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) during 2014-2016 indicated that circulation of EV peaks annually in the summer and early fall. Because the predominant types of EV and PeV circulating from year to year tend to vary, tracking these trends requires consistent and complete reports from laboratories with the capacity to perform typing.

  10. A novel enterovirus and parechovirus multiplex one-step real-time PCR-validation and clinical experience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, A. C. Y.; Bottiger, B.; Midgley, S. E.

    2013-01-01

    As the number of new enteroviruses and human parechoviruses seems ever growing, the necessity for updated diagnostics is relevant. We have updated an enterovirus assay and combined it with a previously published assay for human parechovirus resulting in a multiplex one-step RT-PCR assay....... The multiplex assay was validated by analysing the sensitivity and specificity of the assay compared to the respective monoplex assays, and a good concordance was found. Furthermore, the enterovirus assay was able to detect 42 reference strains from all 4 species, and an additional 9 genotypes during panel...... testing and routine usage. During 15 months of routine use, from October 2008 to December 2009, we received and analysed 2187 samples (stool samples, cerebrospinal fluids, blood samples, respiratory samples and autopsy samples) were tested, from 1546 patients and detected enteroviruses and parechoviruses...

  11. Prospective assessment of clinical symptoms associated with enterovirus and parechovirus genotypes in a multicenter study in Dutch children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Crom, S. C. M.; Rossen, J. W. A.; de Moor, R. A.; Veldkamp, E. J. M.; van Furth, A. M.; Obihara, C. C.

    Background: Human non-polio enterovirus (EV) and human parechovirus (HPeV) are important pathogens viral infection and aseptic meningitis in children. The aim of this study is to prospectively compare the incidence, clinical signs, blood and cerebrospinal fluid in EV and HPeV infected children.

  12. Enterovirus and parechovirus infection in children : a brief overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Crom, S. C. M.; Rossen, J. W. A.; van Furth, A. M.; Obihara, C. C.

    Enterovirus and parechovirus are a frequent cause of infection in children. This review is an overview of what is known from enterovirus and parechovirus infection in children and contains information about the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of

  13. Kinship and Human Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergendorff, Steen

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

  14. Reconstructing human evolution

    CERN Multimedia

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2074069

    1999-01-01

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

  15. Severe neonatal parechovirus infection and similarity with enterovirus infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verboon-Maciolek, Malgorzata A.; Krediet, Tannette G.; Gerards, Leo J.; de Vries, Linda S.; Groenendaal, Floris; van Loon, Anton M.

    Background: Enteroviruses (EV) are an important cause of neonatal disease including hepatitis, meningoencephalitis, and myocarditis that can lead to death or severe long-term sequelae. Less is known about severe neonatal infection caused by the parechoviruses (PeV) of which type 1 (PeV1) and type 2

  16. Climatic Change and Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, John R.

    1995-01-01

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

  17. Enterovirus and parechovirus infection in children: a brief overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Crom, S C M; Rossen, J W A; van Furth, A M; Obihara, C C

    2016-08-01

    Enterovirus and parechovirus are a frequent cause of infection in children. This review is an overview of what is known from enterovirus and parechovirus infection in children and contains information about the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of enterovirus and parechovirus infection in children. EV and HPeV infections are a frequent cause of infection in childhood. The clinical presentation is diverse. RT-qPCR is the best way to detect an EV or HPeV. Cerebrospinal fluid, blood and feces have the highest sensitivity for detecting an EV or HPeV. There is no treatment for EV and HPeV infections. Two vaccines against EV 71 are just licensed in China and will be available on the private market. Little is known about the prognosis of EV and HPeV infections. •EV and HPeV are a frequent cause of infection in children. What is new: •This review gives a brief overview over EV and HPeV infection in children.

  18. Viral diseases and human evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leal Élcio de Souza

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Encefalite neonatal a Parechovirus – um agente pouco suspeito

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noémia Rosado da Silva

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A encefalite neonatal a parechovirus é uma situação potencialmente grave e que pode originar sequelas neurológicas irreversíveis. Descreve-se o caso de um recém-nascido com encefalite a parechovirus, cuja sintomatologia inicial foi irritabilidade e recusa alimentar. Posteriormente apresentou convulsões, de difícil cedência à terapêutica farmacológica. O eletroencefalograma e a ressonância magnética crânio-encefálica mostraram-se alterados, as análises séricas não revelaram parâmetros de infeção, assim como os exames citológico e bacteriológico do líquido cefalorraquidiano. O diagnóstico foi efetuado por método Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR do líquido cefalorraquidiano. O recém-nascido apresentou boa evolução clínica. A propósito deste caso alerta-se para a variabilidade clínica desta infeção, dependendo do serotipo viral, e para a sintomatologia inespecífica, gravidade clínica e evolução célere da doença no período neonatal. Realçamos a necessidade da caracterização epidemiológica nacional, quanto à prevalência dos vários subtipos de parechovirus, e da realização de mais estudos sobre esquemas de imunização e terapêutica antiviral eficazes, face ao risco elevado de doença neurológica grave.

  20. Can IVF influence human evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Spatial Evolution of Human Dialects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burridge, James

    2017-07-01

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

  2. Human failure evolution process and prevention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Zhenwen

    2006-01-01

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

  3. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-08-05

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

  4. Distinctively human motivation and another view on human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Prudkov, Pavel N.

    2006-01-01

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

  5. The impact of 'anthropotechnology’ on human evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blad, S.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. On the Evolution of Human Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richman, Nicole

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewens, Tim

    2017-10-06

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

  9. Language evolution and human-computer interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grudin, Jonathan; Norman, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. Evolution, lineages and human language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cowley, Stephen; Markos, Anton

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Humanities I: Man and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton School District, Wilmington, DE.

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

  12. Palaeoproteomics for human evolution studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, Frido

    2018-06-01

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

  13. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Clinical features and seasonality of parechovirus infection in an Asian subtropical city, Hong Kong.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace P K Chiang

    Full Text Available The epidemiology of human parechovirus (HPeV in Asia remains obscure. We elucidated the prevalence, seasonality, type distribution and clinical presentation of HPeV among children in Hong Kong.A 24-month prospective study to detect HPeV in children ≤36 months hospitalized for acute viral illnesses.2.3% of the 3911 children examined had HPeV infection, with most (87.5% concentrated in September-January (autumn-winter. 81.3% were HPeV1 and 12.5% were HPeV4, while HPeV3 was rare (2.5%. HPeV was a probable cause of the disease in 47.7% (42/88, mostly self-limiting including acute gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infection and maculopapular rash. A neonate developed severe sepsis-like illness with HPeV3 as the only pathogen detected. A high proportion (60.0% of children coinfected with HPeV and other respiratory virus(es had acute bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Six children with HPeV coinfections developed convulsion / pallid attack. Most rash illnesses exhibited a generalized maculopapular pattern involving the trunk and limbs, and were more likely associated with HPeV4 compared to other syndrome groups (36.4% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.011.In Hong Kong, HPeV exhibits a clear seasonality (autumn-winter and was found in a small proportion (2.3% of young children (≤36 months admitted with features of acute viral illnesses. The clinical presentation ranged from mild gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infection and febrile rash to convulsion and severe sepsis-like illness. HPeV3, which is reported to associate with more severe disease in neonates, is rare in Hong Kong. HPeV coinfection might associate with convulsion and aggravate other respiratory tract infections.

  15. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

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

  16. Environment and Climate of Early Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Naomi E.

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Tempo and mode in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHenry, H M

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Epistatic adaptive evolution of human color vision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shozo Yokoyama

    2014-12-01

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

  19. The evolution of human artistic creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morriss-Kay, Gillian M

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Neuron-Based Heredity and Human Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Marshall Gash

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Prospective assessment of clinical symptoms associated with enterovirus and parechovirus genotypes in a multicenter study in Dutch children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Crom, S C M; Rossen, J W A; de Moor, R A; Veldkamp, E J M; van Furth, A M; Obihara, C C

    2016-04-01

    Human non-polio enterovirus (EV) and human parechovirus (HPeV) are important pathogens of viral infection and aseptic meningitis in children. The aim of this study is to prospectively compare the incidence, clinical signs, blood and cerebrospinal fluid in EV and HPeV infected children. To compare the clinical symptoms and laboratory data of children with different EV and HPeV genotypes. This study is part of a multicenter prospective cohort study. Children were included in 3 different hospitals in The Netherlands from 2008 to 2011. Of 285 included patients, 140 (49%) had EV and 44 (15%) HPeV infection. Of children with EV infection 9 (6%) had EV-A, 109 (78%) EV-B, 12 (9%) had a non-type able EV and in 10 (7%) no genotyping was performed. Of children with HPeV infection, 24 (55%) had HPeV-3, 6 (14%) HPeV-1, 2 (5%) HPeV-4 and 1 (2%) HPeV-6. Meningitis was more frequent in EV than in HPeV infected children (54% vs. 36%, p=0.046), and in EV-B than EV-A infected children (60 vs. 33%). In contrast gastroenteritis was more frequent in HPeV than EV infected children (30% vs. 15%, p=0.030), and significantly more in HPeV-1 than HPeV-3 infected children (p<0.001). EV infection is more often associated with meningitis and HPeV infection more often with a gastro-enteritis. EV genotype B infection is more often associated with meningitis than EV genotype A infection. HPeV-1 infection was more often associated with gastroenteritis than HPeV-3 infection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krsiak, Miloslav

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serhat Yalcin

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-04

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

  5. New dates reignite human evolution debate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nolch, G.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-19

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

  7. Evolution of human-driven fire regimes in Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali

    2012-05-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Within-Host Evolution of Human Influenza Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warinner, Christina

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gipps, John

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenti Boero, Daniela

    2014-12-01

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

  15. The evolution of religious belief in humans

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. The evolution of modern human brain shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  17. The evolution of modern human brain shape

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marian, Constantin V

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Prevalence and evolution of human parvoviruses

    OpenAIRE

    Norja, Päivi

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Human altruism, evolution and moral philosophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  1. The Importance of Dietary Carbohydrate in Human Evolution

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  3. Seven Billion Microcosms: Evolution within Human Microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Tami D

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tintino, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  7. The interactive evolution of human communication systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  8. Risk and the evolution of human exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-07

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

  10. Evidence for widespread convergent evolution around human microsatellites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Vowles

    2004-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  12. Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Human Sex Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C. Geary

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Simon T

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Wentzel Van Huyssteen

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Mutation of miRNA target sequences during human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gardner, Paul P; Vinther, Jeppe

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasello, Michael; Gonzalez-Cabrera, Ivan

    2017-09-01

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

  17. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwon, Misook

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, Miles; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-12-01

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

  19. THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Genetic Markers of Human Evolution Are Enriched in Schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Srinivasan, Saurabh; Bettella, Francesco; Mattingsdal, Morten

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoyles, John R

    2006-01-01

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

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

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    Hugo Escobar-Melo

    2008-05-01

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

  6. Human evolution and osteoporosis-related spinal fractures.

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    Meghan M Cotter

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

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

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    İzzet DUYAR

    2009-06-01

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

  8. Retrocopy contributions to the evolution of the human genome

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    Haussler David

    2008-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nooren, C.A.M.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  11. The 3-dimensional play of human parechovirus infection; Cell, virus and antibody

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerhuis, B.M.

    2014-01-01

    HPeV3 has been shown to be the ‘odd one out’ compared to the other genotypes; HPeV3 is more often associated with severe disease, infects significantly younger infants, seems to be more difficult to culture, and does not recombine with other HPeV types. The aim of this thesis is to study whether

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

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    Yuko Seko

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

  13. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Shripad D Tuljapurkar

    2007-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetz, Frank J.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, John R

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-05

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

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

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    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Katherine R

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  4. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Roffman

    2010-07-01

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

  5. The Evolution of Trypanosomes Infecting Humans and Primates

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    Stevens Jamie

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2004-06-01

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

  7. Endocytosis of Integrin-Binding Human Picornaviruses

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    Pirjo Merilahti

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Picornaviruses that infect humans form one of the largest virus groups with almost three hundred virus types. They include significant enteroviral pathogens such as rhino-, polio-, echo-, and coxsackieviruses and human parechoviruses that cause wide range of disease symptoms. Despite the economic importance of picornaviruses, there are no antivirals. More than ten cellular receptors are known to participate in picornavirus infection, but experimental evidence of their role in cellular infection has been shown for only about twenty picornavirus types. Three enterovirus types and one parechovirus have experimentally been shown to bind and use integrin receptors in cellular infection. These include coxsackievirus A9 (CV-A9, echovirus 9, and human parechovirus 1 that are among the most common and epidemic human picornaviruses and bind to αV-integrins via RGD motif that resides on virus capsid. In contrast, echovirus 1 (E-1 has no RGD and uses integrin α2β1 as cellular receptor. Endocytosis of CV-A9 has recently been shown to occur via a novel Arf6- and dynamin-dependent pathways, while, contrary to collagen binding, E-1 binds inactive β1 integrin and enters via macropinocytosis. In this paper, we review what is known about receptors and endocytosis of integrin-binding human picornaviruses.

  8. Molecular epidemiology of enterovirus and parechovirus infections according to patient age over a 4-year period in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrerizo, María; Díaz-Cerio, María; Muñoz-Almagro, Carmen; Rabella, Núria; Tarragó, David; Romero, María Pilar; Pena, María José; Calvo, Cristina; Rey-Cao, Sonia; Moreno-Docón, Antonio; Martínez-Rienda, Inés; Otero, Almudena; Trallero, Gloria

    2017-03-01

    The epidemiology and clinical association of enterovirus (EV) and parechovirus (HPeV) infections, as well as the type-distribution-according-to-age, were determined during a 4-year study period in Spain. During 2010-2013, a total of 21,832 clinical samples were screened for EV and the detection frequency was 6.5% (1,430). Of the total EV-negative samples, only 1,873 samples from 2011 to 2013 were available for HPeV testing. HPeV was detected in 42 (2%) of them. Positive samples were genotyped using PCR and sequencing. EV infections occurred in all age groups of patients: neonates (17%), children 28 days to 2 years (29%), children 2-14 years (40%), and adults (14%). Thirty-four different EV types were identified. HPeV infections were detected exclusively in infants 2 years and adults (P < 0.05). Clinically, meningitis was associated with EV (P < 0.01) whereas, encephalitis was more frequent in HPeV-infected patients. CV-B types were associated with myocarditis (90%; P < 0.05) and EV species A with hand-foot-mouth-disease/atypical exanthema (88%; P < 0.05). J. Med. Virol. 89:435-442, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapais, Bernard

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaergaard, Peter C

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Peter J.

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-04-04

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jeppe Sinding

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnorr, Stephanie Laurel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-18

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærgaard, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PW Bateman

    2006-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrew, William C

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Localizing recent adaptive evolution in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour, John A L

    2009-09-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubens Sotero

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Ravignani

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zihlman, Adrienne L; Bolter, Debra R

    2015-06-16

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurng-Yi Wang

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru eMiyagawa

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eDeFelipe

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Katharine

    2007-12-01

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

  14. Anthropomorphism in Human-Robot Co-evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damiano, Luisa; Dumouchel, Paul

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Dose Calculation Evolution for Internal Organ Irradiation in Humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez V, Reina A.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogervorst, Tom; Vereecke, Evie E

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asit Ranjan Ghosh

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseman, Charles C

    2016-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Baiocchini

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanza, Paola; Parmigiani, Stefano

    2016-06-20

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckingham, Hugh W; Christman, Sarah S

    2010-04-08

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

  4. Supraorbital morphology and social dynamics in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enquist, Magnus; Ghirlanda, Stefano

    2007-05-07

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tăbușcă Silvia

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Chromatin structure and evolution in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop Malcolm G

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yeung Chung

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sugiyama, Masaaki; Fujii, Noriko; Morimoto, Yukio

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Hernando-Herraez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogura, Atsushi; Ikeo, Kazuho; Gojobori, Takashi

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-23

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

  18. Evolution of the Sinus Venosus from Fish to Human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjarke Jensen

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peric, Mikael; Murrieta, Rui Sérgio Sereni

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Samuel

    2009-06-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pievani, Telmo; Serrelli, Emanuele

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rangel B, Nelson

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, John L; Bogin, Barry

    2006-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian C Williams

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Smaldino

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verpooten, Jan; Nelissen, Mark

    2010-09-01

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

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

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    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Cassandra C

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2010-05-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick P. Winder

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Denis, Gilles

    2018-04-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Fujita

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shiqing

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Kostović, Ivica

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazkani-Covo, Einat; Martin, William F

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, A V

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George

    2017-07-05

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

  18. Accelerated Evolution of Conserved Noncoding Sequences in theHuman Genome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-07-06

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

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Moran, Gary P

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Zhe; Whitman, William B

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alianda Maira Cornélio

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye Reed

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Nicole

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yehudit Hasin

    2008-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandel, Aaron A

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Matloob

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. Buckeridge

    2010-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Christopher

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fomsgaard Anders

    2008-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scheffzek Klaus

    2005-10-01

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

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

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    Nelle Lambert

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2003-10-15

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

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

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    Nir Oksenberg

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

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

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    Satne Glenda

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

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    Erick J R Silva

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

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    Cagliani Rachele

    2008-03-01

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

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

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    Piotr Podlipniak

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlipniak, Piotr

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Chris N Bayer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Chris N; Luberda, Michael

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, V. V.; Goudsmit, J.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeoni, Umberto; Corbau, Corinne

    2009-06-01

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

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

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    Naoki Morimoto

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

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

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    Elia Psouni

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Marianne

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    R Vahdati, Ali; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-08-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwight W. Read

    2008-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Daniel W; Szpara, Moriah L

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Daniel W.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    József Poór

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liem Alexis

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    CERN Multimedia

    Carroll, Sean; Hauser, Marc D

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Lesecque

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCulloch Alan

    2006-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, R.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T G Holden

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L. David; Barber-Meyer, Shannon

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formenti, Federico; Minetti, Alberto E

    2007-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biju Joseph

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-10-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Xun; Wang, Yufeng; Gu, Jianying

    2002-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, L.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Paulina; Cofré, Hernán

    2016-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Huang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Matt

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    DHAIRYYA SINGH

    2017-07-07

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslin, Mark A; Christensen, Beth

    2007-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Systems Biology Investigations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Evolution in Association with Human Airway Infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Damkiær

    Most knowledge about evolutionary adaptation has been gained from experimental evolution studies, in which organisms have been allowed to evolve under simple, well-defined conditions in the laboratory. While these studies have provided novel insight into the fundamental processes of evolutionary....... aeruginosa DK2 clone lineage during 200,000 generations of evolution in the CF airways from its entrance in the clinic in the 1970’ies until the end of 2010. Genetic analysis showed that the DK2 lineage between 1973 and 2007 accumulated mutations in a near-linear manner with an overall genomic signature...... included fixation of mutations in the rpoD gene encoding the principle sigma factor σ70. The findings presented in this thesis provide insight into the genetic mechanisms and evolutionary processes that shape the adaptation of bacteria colonizing complex natural environments. Increased knowledge...

  18. Associative learning alone is insufficient for the evolution and maintenance of the human mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberman, Lindsay M; Hubbard, Edward M; McCleery, Joseph P

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate from associative learning processes, without evolutionary influence from social-cognitive mechanisms. We disagree with this claim and present arguments based upon cross-species comparisons, EEG findings, and developmental neuroscience that the evolution of mirror neurons is most likely driven simultaneously and interactively by evolutionarily adaptive psychological mechanisms and lower-level biological mechanisms that support them.

  19. From fish to modern humans--comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the head and neck musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2008-10-01

    In a recent paper Diogo (2008) reported the results of the first part of an investigation of the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the head and neck muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish + tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish, but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. The present paper focuses mainly on sarcopterygians, and particularly on how the head and neck muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals, including modern humans. The data obtained from our dissections of the head and neck muscles of representative members of sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals, such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including modern humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons indicate that the number of mandibular and true branchial muscles (sensu this work) present in modern humans is smaller than that found in mammals such as tree-shrews, rats and monotremes, as well as in reptiles such as lizards. Regarding the pharyngeal musculature, there is an increase in the number of muscles at the time of the evolutionary transition leading to therian mammals, but there was no significant increase during the transition leading to the emergence of higher primates and modern humans. The number of hypobranchial muscles is relatively constant within the therian mammals we examined, although in this case modern humans have more muscles than other mammals. The number of laryngeal and facial muscles in modern humans is greater than that found in most other therian taxa. Interestingly, modern humans possess peculiar laryngeal and facial muscles that are not present in the majority of the other mammalian taxa; this seems to corroborate the crucial role played by vocal communication and by facial expressions in primate and especially in

  20. ASPECTS OF THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NICOLAE PURDĂ

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Human rights protection within the European Community and the European Union has developed judicially, the human rights being protected by the Community Courts as general principles of Community law. The Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Amsterdam have codified the Community law within the area of human rights. The codification of European Union’s concept of human rights in a single document was realized by adopting the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, on 7 December 2000 in Nice, whose provisions acquired legally binding under the Treaty of Lisbon.

  1. Chew Bahir, southern Ethiopia: an archive of environmental history during the evolution and dispersal of anatomically modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaebitz, F.; Asrat, A.; Lamb, H. F.; Trauth, M. H.; Junginger, A.; Foerster, V. E.; Guenter, C.; Viehberg, F. A.; Just, J.; Roberts, H. M.; Chapot, M. S.; Leng, M. J.; Dean, J.; Cohen, A. S.

    2016-12-01

    Chew Bahir is a tectonic basin in the southern Ethiopian Rift, close to the Lower Omo valley, site of earliest known fossil of anatomically modern humans. It was drilled in Nov-Dec 2014 as part of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) and the Collaborative Research Center (CRC806) "Our Way to Europe". Two overlapping cores of mostly clayey silts, reaching a composite depths of 280m, were collected and may cover the last 500,000 years, thus providing a potential record of environmental history during the evolution and spread of anatomically modern humans. Here we present the lithology and stratigraphy of the composite core as well as results of high resolution MSCL and XRF scanning data. Initial sedimentological and geochemical results show that the Chew Bahir deposits are a sensitive record of changes in moisture, sediment influx, provenance, transport and diagenetic processes, evident from mineralogy, elemental concentration and physical properties. The potassium record is highly sensitive to changes in moisture balance (Foerster et al. 2015). XRF and XRD data suggest that the process linking climate with potassium concentrations is the diagenetic illitization of smectites during dry episodes with high alkalinity and salinity in the closed-basin lake. The core records will allow tests of the various hypotheses about the influence of environmental change on the evolution and dispersal of anatomically modern humans. Foerster, V., Vogelsang, R., Junginger, A., Asrat, A., Lamb, H.F., Schaebitz, F., Trauth, M.H. (2015): Environmental Change and Human Occupation of Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya during the last 20,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 129: 333-340. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.10.026.

  2. Epidemiology, Phylogeny, and Evolution of Emerging Enteric Picobirnaviruses of Animal Origin and Their Relationship to Human Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yashpal S. Malik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Picobirnavirus (PBV which has been included in the list of viruses causing enteric infection in animals is highly versatile because of its broad host range and genetic diversity. PBVs are among the most recent and emerging small, nonenveloped viruses with a bisegmented double-stranded RNA genome, classified under a new family “Picobirnaviridae.” PBVs have also been detected from respiratory tract of pigs, but needs further close investigation for their inhabitant behavior. Though, accretion of genomic data of PBVs from different mammalian species resolved some of the ambiguity, quite a few questions and hypotheses regarding pathogenesis, persistence location, and evolution of PBVs remain unreciprocated. Evolutionary analysis reveals association of PBVs with partitiviruses especially fungi partitiviruses. Although, PBVs may have an ambiguous clinical implication, they do pose a potential public health concern in humans and control of PBVs mainly relies on nonvaccinal approach. Based upon the published data, from 1988 to date, generated from animal PBVs across the globe, this review provides information and discussion with respect to genetic analysis as well as evolution of PBVs of animal origin in relation to human strains.

  3. Socio-hydrologic perspectives of the co-evolution of humans and groundwater in Cangzhou, North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, S.; Tian, F.; Liu, Y.

    2017-12-01

    This study presents a historical analysis from socio-hydrologic perspectives of the coupled human-groundwater system of the Cangzhou region in the North China Plain. The history of the "pendulum swing" for water allocation between the economic development and aquifer environmental health of the system is divided into five eras (i.e., natural, exploitation, degradation and restoration, drought-triggered deterioration, and returning to the balance). The system evolution was interpreted using the Taiji-Tire model. Over-exploitation was considered as the main cause of aquifer depletion and the groundwater utilization pattern was affected by the varying groundwater table. The aquifer depletion enhanced the community sensitivity of humans toward environmental issues, and upgraded the social productive force for restoration. The evolution of the system was substantially impacted by two droughts. The drought in 1965 induced the system from natural condition to groundwater exploiting. The drought from 1997 to 2002 resulted a pulse in further groundwater abstraction and dramatic aquifer deterioration, and the community sensitivity increased rapidly and induced the social productive force to a tipping point. From then on, the system is returning the balance through new policies and water-saving technologies. Along with the establishment of a strict water resource management strategy and the launch of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, further restorations of groundwater environment would be implemented. However, a comprehensive and coordinated drought management plan should be devised to avoid the irreversible change of the system.

  4. Human intronless genes: Functional groups, associated diseases, evolution, and mRNA processing in absence of splicing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grzybowska, Ewa A.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Functional characteristics of intronless genes (IGs). ► Diseases associated with IGs. ► Origin and evolution of IGs. ► mRNA processing without splicing. -- Abstract: Intronless genes (IGs) constitute approximately 3% of the human genome. Human IGs are essentially different in evolution and functionality from the IGs of unicellular eukaryotes, which represent the majority in their genomes. Functional analysis of IGs has revealed a massive over-representation of signal transduction genes and genes encoding regulatory proteins important for growth, proliferation, and development. IGs also often display tissue-specific expression, usually in the nervous system and testis. These characteristics translate into IG-associated diseases, mainly neuropathies, developmental disorders, and cancer. IGs represent recent additions to the genome, created mostly by retroposition of processed mRNAs with retained functionality. Processing, nuclear export, and translation of these mRNAs should be hampered dramatically by the lack of splice factors, which normally tightly cover mature transcripts and govern their fate. However, natural IGs manage to maintain satisfactory expression levels. Different mechanisms by which IGs solve the problem of mRNA processing and nuclear export are discussed here, along with their possible impact on reporter studies.

  5. The evolution of human rights in World Health Organization policy and the future of human rights through global health governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, B M; Onzivu, W

    2014-02-01

    The World Health Organization (WHO) was intended to serve at the forefront of efforts to realize human rights to advance global health, and yet this promise of a rights-based approach to health has long been threatened by political constraints in international relations, organizational resistance to legal discourses, and medical ambivalence toward human rights. Through legal research on international treaty obligations, historical research in the WHO organizational archives, and interview research with global health stakeholders, this research examines WHO's contributions to (and, in many cases, negligence of) the rights-based approach to health. Based upon such research, this article analyzes the evolving role of WHO in the development and implementation of human rights for global health, reviews the current state of human rights leadership in the WHO Secretariat, and looks to future institutions to reclaim the mantle of human rights as a normative framework for global health governance. Copyright © 2013 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, Ann-Marie; Cereser, Biancastella; Melton, Samuel; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Rodriguez-Justo, Manuel; Tadrous, Paul J.; Humphries, Adam; Elia, George; McDonald, Stuart A. C.; Wright, Nicholas A.; Simons, Benjamin D.; Jansen, Marnix; Graham, Trevor A.

    2014-01-01

    Human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics remain poorly characterized because transgenic lineage-tracing methods are impractical in humans. Here, we have circumvented this problem by quantitatively using somatic mtDNA mutations to trace clonal lineages. By analyzing clonal imprints on the walls

  7. Centromere Destiny in Dicentric Chromosomes: New Insights from the Evolution of Human Chromosome 2 Ancestral Centromeric Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiatante, Giorgia; Giannuzzi, Giuliana; Calabrese, Francesco Maria; Eichler, Evan E; Ventura, Mario

    2017-07-01

    Dicentric chromosomes are products of genomic rearrangements that place two centromeres on the same chromosome. Due to the presence of two primary constrictions, they are inherently unstable and overcome their instability by epigenetically inactivating and/or deleting one of the two centromeres, thus resulting in functionally monocentric chromosomes that segregate normally during cell division. Our understanding to date of dicentric chromosome formation, behavior and fate has been largely inferred from observational studies in plants and humans as well as artificially produced de novo dicentrics in yeast and in human cells. We investigate the most recent product of a chromosome fusion event fixed in the human lineage, human chromosome 2, whose stability was acquired by the suppression of one centromere, resulting in a unique difference in chromosome number between humans (46 chromosomes) and our most closely related ape relatives (48 chromosomes). Using molecular cytogenetics, sequencing, and comparative sequence data, we deeply characterize the relicts of the chromosome 2q ancestral centromere and its flanking regions, gaining insight into the ancestral organization that can be easily broadened to all acrocentric chromosome centromeres. Moreover, our analyses offered the opportunity to trace the evolutionary history of rDNA and satellite III sequences among great apes, thus suggesting a new hypothesis for the preferential inactivation of some human centromeres, including IIq. Our results suggest two possible centromere inactivation models to explain the evolutionarily stabilization of human chromosome 2 over the last 5-6 million years. Our results strongly favor centromere excision through a one-step process. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Methodological evolutions in human-machine cooperative problem solving with applications to nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kitamura, Masaharu; Takahashi, Makoto

    2002-01-01

    A new framework for attaining higher safety of nuclear plants through introducing machine intelligence and robots has been proposed in this paper. The main emphasis of the framework is placed on user-centered human-machine cooperation in solving problems experienced during conducting operation, monitoring and maintenance activities in nuclear plants. In this framework, human operator is supposed to take initiative of actions at any moment of operation. No attempt has been made to replace human experts by machine intelligence and robots. Efforts have been paid to clarify the expertise and behavioral model of human experts so that the developed techniques are consistent with human mental activities in solving highly complicated operational and maintenance problems. Several techniques essential to the functioning of the framework have also been introduced. Modification of environment to provide support information has also been pursued to realize the concept of ubiquitous computing. (author)

  9. Evolution of two distinct phylogenetic lineages of the emerging human pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Portaels Francoise

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics has greatly improved our understanding of the evolution of pathogenic mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here we have used data from a genome microarray analysis to explore insertion-deletion (InDel polymorphism among a diverse strain collection of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of the devastating skin disease, Buruli ulcer. Detailed analysis of large sequence polymorphisms in twelve regions of difference (RDs, comprising irreversible genetic markers, enabled us to refine the phylogenetic succession within M. ulcerans, to define features of a hypothetical M. ulcerans most recent common ancestor and to confirm its origin from Mycobacterium marinum. Results M. ulcerans has evolved into five InDel haplotypes that separate into two distinct lineages: (i the "classical" lineage including the most pathogenic genotypes – those that come from Africa, Australia and South East Asia; and (ii an "ancestral" M. ulcerans lineage comprising strains from Asia (China/Japan, South America and Mexico. The ancestral lineage is genetically closer to the progenitor M. marinum in both RD composition and DNA sequence identity, whereas the classical lineage has undergone major genomic rearrangements. Conclusion Results of the InDel analysis are in complete accord with recent multi-locus sequence analysis and indicate that M. ulcerans has passed through at least two major evolutionary bottlenecks since divergence from M. marinum. The classical lineage shows more pronounced reductive evolution than the ancestral lineage, suggesting that there may be differences in the ecology between the two lineages. These findings improve the understanding of the adaptive evolution and virulence of M. ulcerans and pathogenic mycobacteria in general and will facilitate the development of new tools for improved diagnostics and molecular epidemiology.

  10. Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasawa, Miho; Mitsui, Shouhei; En, Shiori; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Ohta, Mitsuaki; Sakuma, Yasuo; Onaka, Tatsushi; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2015-04-17

    Human-like modes of communication, including mutual gaze, in dogs may have been acquired during domestication with humans. We show that gazing behavior from dogs, but not wolves, increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners, which consequently facilitated owners' affiliation and increased oxytocin concentration in dogs. Further, nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners. These findings support the existence of an interspecies oxytocin-mediated positive loop facilitated and modulated by gazing, which may have supported the coevolution of human-dog bonding by engaging common modes of communicating social attachment. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. Human resource management outsourcing in Spanish firms: Evolution over time and implication for devolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora Gottardello

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The paper aim to explore the evolution in the use of HRO in Spanish firms, and determine the differences in the degree of implementation of HRO since 1999 until 2014, and also analyze the relationship between HR outsourcing and devolution of HR responsibilities to line managers in Spanish organizations. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Namely the article is based on international Cranet HRM survey data collected from private and public organizations and also interviews with HR external providers. Findings: The analysis of developments, based on the Cranet surveys and interviews with HR external providers shows that during the past few years there has been an increasing use of HRO in parallel with the tendency to devolve more HR responsibility to line managers. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this research is the limitation of data about reasons for devolution that the CRANET questionnaire provides. However, the interviews carried out enrich the survey data with qualitative results. Practical implications: The findings can be used to guide management teams in outsourcing and devolution decisions to maximize benefits to their organizations. Originality/value: This paper is about the evolution of HRO in Spain as a European Union country where published research on HRO and also its implications is relatively limited. The originality of this paper is mainly the involvement of line manager in the outsourcing process which have been poorly analyzed until now.

  12. Cultural transmission and the evolution of human behaviour: a general approach based on the Price equation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Mouden, C; André, J-B; Morin, O; Nettle, D

    2014-02-01

    Transmitted culture can be viewed as an inheritance system somewhat independent of genes that is subject to processes of descent with modification in its own right. Although many authors have conceptualized cultural change as a Darwinian process, there is no generally agreed formal framework for defining key concepts such as natural selection, fitness, relatedness and altruism for the cultural case. Here, we present and explore such a framework using the Price equation. Assuming an isolated, independently measurable culturally transmitted trait, we show that cultural natural selection maximizes cultural fitness, a distinct quantity from genetic fitness, and also that cultural relatedness and cultural altruism are not reducible to or necessarily related to their genetic counterparts. We show that antagonistic coevolution will occur between genes and culture whenever cultural fitness is not perfectly aligned with genetic fitness, as genetic selection will shape psychological mechanisms to avoid susceptibility to cultural traits that bear a genetic fitness cost. We discuss the difficulties with conceptualizing cultural change using the framework of evolutionary theory, the degree to which cultural evolution is autonomous from genetic evolution, and the extent to which cultural change should be seen as a Darwinian process. We argue that the nonselection components of evolutionary change are much more important for culture than for genes, and that this and other important differences from the genetic case mean that different approaches and emphases are needed for cultural than genetic processes. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Felicia; Hirbo, Jibril; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Because modern humans originated in Africa and have adapted to diverse environments, African populations have high levels of genetic and phenotypic diversity. Thus, genomic studies of diverse African ethnic groups are essential for understanding human evolutionary history and how this leads to differential disease risk in all humans. Comparative studies of genetic diversity within and between African ethnic groups creates an opportunity to reconstruct some of the earliest events in human population history and are useful for identifying patterns of genetic variation that have been influenced by recent natural selection. Here we describe what is currently known about genetic variation and evolutionary history of diverse African ethnic groups. We also describe examples of recent natural selection in African genomes and how these data are informative for understanding the frequency of many genetic traits, including those that cause disease susceptibility in African populations and populations of recent African descent. PMID:24984772

  14. Human evolution out of Africa: the role of refugia and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, J R; Stringer, C B

    2012-03-16

    Although an African origin of the modern human species is generally accepted, the evolutionary processes involved in the speciation, geographical spread, and eventual extinction of archaic humans outside of Africa are much debated. An additional complexity has been the recent evidence of limited interbreeding between modern humans and the Neandertals and Denisovans. Modern human migrations and interactions began during the buildup to the Last Glacial Maximum, starting about 100,000 years ago. By examining the history of other organisms through glacial cycles, valuable models for evolutionary biogeography can be formulated. According to one such model, the adoption of a new refugium by a subgroup of a species may lead to important evolutionary changes.

  15. The Evolution of the Right of Individuals to Seise the European Court of Human Rights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Astrid

    2010-01-01

    The year 2009 was a milestone for the European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR" or "the Court") in at least two ways. On the bright side, the Court can celebrate its 50th anniversary and its continuous role as principal promoter of human rights in the now 47 Member States of the Council of Europe...... ("CoE" or "the Council"). However, 2009 was also the year in which the number of pending cases before the Court passed the disturbing 100,000 benchmark. Paradoxically, the main reason for both the Court's success and its current crisis is the right of petition of individuals. The present article...... contains a detailed inquiry into the coming into existence of this central feature of the control machinery of European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("ECHR" or "the Convention") that was labelled a breakthrough in the field of human rights as well as in general...

  16. Mining spatial information to investigate the evolution of karst rocky desertification and its human driving forces in Changshun, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Erqi; Zhang, Hongqi; Li, Mengxian

    2013-08-01

    The processes of karst rocky desertification (KRD) have been found to cause the most severe environmental degradation in southwestern China. Understanding the driving forces that cause KRD is essential for managing and restoring the areas that it impacts. Studies of the human driving forces of KRD are limited to the county level, a specific administrative unit in China; census data are acquired at this scale, which can lead to scale biases. Changshun County is studied here as a representative area and anthropogenic influences in the county are accounted for by using Euclidean distances for the proximity to roads and settlements. We propose a standard coefficient of human influence (SOI) that standardizes the Euclidean distances for different KRD transformations to compare the effects of human activities in different areas. In Changshun County, the individual influences of roads and settlements share similar characteristics. The SOIs of improved KRD transformation types are almost negative, but the SOIs of deteriorated types are nearly positive except for one form of KRD turning to the extremely severe KRD. The results indicated that the distribution and evolution of the KRD areas from 2000 to 2010 in Changshun were affected positively by human activities (e.g., KRD restoration projects) and also negatively (e.g., by intense and irrational land use). Our results demonstrate that the spatial techniques and SOI used in this study can effectively incorporate information concerning human influences and internal KRD transformations. This provides a suitable approach for studying the relationships between human activities and KRD processes at fine scales. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Shared regulatory sites are abundant in the human genome and shed light on genome evolution and disease pleiotropy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Pin; Monahan, Jack; Prendergast, James G D

    2017-03-01

    Large-scale gene expression datasets are providing an increasing understanding of the location of cis-eQTLs in the human genome and their role in disease. However, little is currently known regarding the extent of regulatory site-sharing between genes. This is despite it having potentially wide-ranging implications, from the determination of the way in which genetic variants may shape multiple phenotypes to the understanding of the evolution of human gene order. By first identifying the location of non-redundant cis-eQTLs, we show that regulatory site-sharing is a relatively common phenomenon in the human genome, with over 10% of non-redundant regulatory variants linked to the expression of multiple nearby genes. We show that these shared, local regulatory sites are linked to high levels of chromatin looping between the regulatory sites and their associated genes. In addition, these co-regulated gene modules are found to be strongly conserved across mammalian species, suggesting that shared regulatory sites have played an important role in shaping human gene order. The association of these shared cis-eQTLs with multiple genes means they also appear to be unusually important in understanding the genetics of human phenotypes and pleiotropy, with shared regulatory sites more often linked to multiple human phenotypes than other regulatory variants. This study shows that regulatory site-sharing is likely an underappreciated aspect of gene regulation and has important implications for the understanding of various biological phenomena, including how the two and three dimensional structures of the genome have been shaped and the potential causes of disease pleiotropy outside coding regions.

  18. Evolution of the NANOG pseudogene family in the human and chimpanzee genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maughan Peter J

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The NANOG gene is expressed in mammalian embryonic stem cells where it maintains cellular pluripotency. An unusually large family of pseudogenes arose from it with one unprocessed and ten processed pseudogenes in the human genome. This article compares the NANOG gene and its pseudogenes in the human and chimpanzee genomes and derives an evolutionary history of this pseudogene family. Results The NANOG gene and all pseudogenes except NANOGP8 are present at their expected orthologous chromosomal positions in the chimpanzee genome when compared to the human genome, indicating that their origins predate the human-chimpanzee divergence. Analysis of flanking DNA sequences demonstrates that NANOGP8 is absent from the chimpanzee genome. Conclusion Based on the most parsimonious ordering of inferred source-gene mutations, the deduced evolutionary origins for the NANOG pseudogene family in the human and chimpanzee genomes, in order of most ancient to most recent, are NANOGP6, NANOGP5, NANOGP3, NANOGP10, NANOGP2, NANOGP9, NANOGP7, NANOGP1, and NANOGP4. All of these pseudogenes were fixed in the genome of the human-chimpanzee common ancestor. NANOGP8 is the most recent pseudogene and it originated exclusively in the human lineage after the human-chimpanzee divergence. NANOGP1 is apparently an unprocessed pseudogene. Comparison of its sequence to the functional NANOG gene's reading frame suggests that this apparent pseudogene remained functional after duplication and, therefore, was subject to selection-driven conservation of its reading frame, and that it may retain some functionality or that its loss of function may be evolutionarily recent.

  19. Human fertility variation, size-related obstetrical performance and the evolution of sexual stature dimorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Guégan, Jean-François; Teriokhin, A.T.; Thomas, F.

    2000-01-01

    In several animal species, change in sexual size dimorphism is a correlated response to selection on fecundity. In humans, different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the variation of sexual dimorphism in stature, but no consensus has yet emerged. In this paper, we evaluate from a theoretical and an empirical point of view the hypothesis that the extent of sexual dimorphism in human populations results from the interaction between fertility and size-related obstetric complications. We ...

  20. The Evolution of a Connectionist Model of Situated Human Language Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayberry, Marshall R.; Crocker, Matthew W.

    The Adaptive Mechanisms in Human Language Processing (ALPHA) project features both experimental and computational tracks designed to complement each other in the investigation of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie situated human utterance processing. The models developed in the computational track replicate results obtained in the experimental track and, in turn, suggest further experiments by virtue of behavior that arises as a by-product of their operation.

  1. On the classification and evolution of endogenous retrovirus: human endogenous retroviruses may not be 'human' after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escalera-Zamudio, Marina; Greenwood, Alex D

    2016-01-01

    Retroviruses, as part of their replication cycle, become integrated into the genome of their host. When this occurs in the germline the integrated proviruses can become an endogenous retrovirus (ERV) which may eventually become fixed in the population. ERVs are present in the genomes of all vertebrates including humans, where more than 50 groups of human endogenous retrovirus (HERVs) have been described within the last 30 years. Despite state-of-the-art genomic tools available for retroviral discovery and the large number of retroviral sequences described to date, there are still gaps in understanding retroviral macroevolutionary patterns and host-retrovirus interactions and a lack of a coherent systematic classification particularly for HERVs. Here, we discuss the current knowledge on ERV (and HERV) classification, distribution and origins focusing on the role of cross-species transmission in retroviral diversity. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Evolution of Biotechnology and Information Technology and Its Impact on Human Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena S. Zinovieva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The development of post-industrial society initiates profound economic, technological and cultural change in the way of life of all mankind. The revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of new technologies such as biotechnology and information technology are reflected in all spheres of human activity, directly affecting the human security. The article analyzes the consequences of widespread usage biotechnology and information technology in the foreign policy practice on the basis of the human security theory. The detailed description of the main directions of the use of biometric technology in the foreign policy and consular practices is provided, the challenges and threats to information security associated with biometrics are analyzed, arising from widespread biotechnology are the main challenges and threats to as well as human security threats arising at the present stage of development and application of these technologies. Human security threats associated with the use of biotechnology are placed in the broader context of global trends in scientific and technological development. The recommendations are formulated in the field of foreign policy and international cooperation, which would neutralize new threats to international and personal safety arising at the present stage of development of biotechnology. The authors conclude that in order to ensure ethical regulation of new technologies that address issues of human security, it is necessary to organize multi-stakeholder partnerships at national and international level with the participation of states, representatives of civil society, business and the research community.

  3. Comparative studies of placentation and immunology in non-human primates suggest a scenario for the evolution of deep trophoblast invasion and an explanation for human pregnancy disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Anthony M

    2011-04-01

    Deep trophoblast invasion in the placental bed has been considered the hallmark of human pregnancy. It occurs by two routes, interstitial and endovascular, and results in transformation of the walls of the spiral arteries as they traverse the decidua and the inner third of the myometrium. Disturbances in this process are associated with reproductive disorders such preeclampsia. In contrast, trophoblast invasion in Old World monkeys occurs only by the endovascular route and seldom reaches the myometrium. Recently, it was shown that this pattern is maintained in gibbons, but that the human arrangement also occurs in chimpanzee and gorilla. There is an interesting parallel with results from placental immunology regarding the evolution of the major histocompatability complex class I antigen HLA-C and its cognate receptors. HLA-C is not present in Old World monkeys or gibbons. It emerged in the orangutan and became polymorphic in the lineage leading to gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, and human. Interaction between HLA-C1 and HLA-C2 on the surface of trophoblast and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) expressed by uterine natural killer cells are important regulators of trophoblast invasion. Evolution of this system in great apes may have been one prerequisite for deep trophoblast invasion but seems to have come at a price. The evidence now suggests that certain combinations of maternal genotype for KIRs and fetal genotype for HLA-C imply an increased risk of preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, and recurrent abortion. The fetal genotype is in part derived from the father providing an explanation for the paternal contribution to reproductive disorders.

  4. Evolution of the auditory ossicles in extant hominids: metric variation in African apes and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quam, Rolf M; Coleman, Mark N; Martínez, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    The auditory ossicles in primates have proven to be a reliable source of phylogenetic information. Nevertheless, to date, very little data have been published on the metric dimensions of the ear ossicles in African apes and humans. The present study relies on the largest samples of African ape ear ossicles studied to date to address questions of taxonomic differences and the evolutionary transformation of the ossicles in gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. Both African ape taxa show a malleus that is characterized by a long and slender manubrium and relatively short corpus, whereas humans show the opposite constellation of a short and thick manubrium and relatively long corpus. These changes in the manubrium are plausibly linked with changes in the size of the tympanic membrane. The main difference between the incus in African apes and humans seems to be related to changes in the functional length. Compared with chimpanzees, human incudes are larger in nearly all dimensions, except articular facet height, and show a more open angle between the axes. The gorilla incus resembles humans more closely in its metric dimensions, including functional length, perhaps as a result of the dramatically larger body size compared with chimpanzees. The differences between the stapedes of humans and African apes are primarily size-related, with humans being larger in nearly all dimensions. Nevertheless, some distinctions between the African apes were found in the obturator foramen and head height. Although correlations between metric variables in different ossicles were generally lower than those between variables in the same bone, variables of the malleus/incus complex appear to be more strongly correlated than those of the incus/stapes complex, perhaps reflecting the different embryological and evolutionary origins of the ossicles. The middle ear lever ratio for the African apes is similar to other haplorhines, but humans show the lowest lever ratio within primates. Very low levels

  5. 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

  6. The evolution of human phenotypic plasticity: age and nutritional status at maturity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Timothy B

    2003-08-01

    Several evolutionary optimal models of human plasticity in age and nutritional status at reproductive maturation are proposed and their dynamics examined. These models differ from previously published models because fertility is not assumed to be a function of body size or nutritional status. Further, the models are based on explicitly human demographic patterns, that is, model human life-tables, model human fertility tables, and, a nutrient flow-based model of maternal nutritional status. Infant survival (instead of fertility as in previous models) is assumed to be a function of maternal nutritional status. Two basic models are examined. In the first the cost of reproduction is assumed to be a constant proportion of total nutrient flow. In the second the cost of reproduction is constant for each birth. The constant proportion model predicts a negative slope of age and nutritional status at maturation. The constant cost per birth model predicts a positive slope of age and nutritional status at maturation. Either model can account for the secular decline in menarche observed over the last several centuries in Europe. A search of the growth literature failed to find definitive empirical documentation of human phenotypic plasticity in age and nutritional status at maturation. Most research strategies confound genetics with phenotypic plasticity. The one study that reports secular trends suggests a marginally insignificant, but positive slope. This view tends to support the constant cost per birth model.

  7. Haemophilus influenzae genome evolution during persistence in the human airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melinda M; Ahearn, Christian P; Gent, Janneane F; Kong, Yong; Gallo, Mary C; Munro, James B; D'Mello, Adonis; Sethi, Sanjay; Tettelin, Hervé; Murphy, Timothy F

    2018-04-03

    Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) exclusively colonize and infect humans and are critical to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In vitro and animal models do not accurately capture the complex environments encountered by NTHi during human infection. We conducted whole-genome sequencing of 269 longitudinally collected cleared and persistent NTHi from a 15-y prospective study of adults with COPD. Genome sequences were used to elucidate the phylogeny of NTHi isolates, identify genomic changes that occur with persistence in the human airways, and evaluate the effect of selective pressure on 12 candidate vaccine antigens. Strains persisted in individuals with COPD for as long as 1,422 d. Slipped-strand mispairing, mediated by changes in simple sequence repeats in multiple genes during persistence, regulates expression of critical virulence functions, including adherence, nutrient uptake, and modification of surface molecules, and is a major mechanism for survival in the hostile environment of the human airways. A subset of strains underwent a large 400-kb inversion during persistence. NTHi does not undergo significant gene gain or loss during persistence, in contrast to other persistent respiratory tract pathogens. Amino acid sequence changes occurred in 8 of 12 candidate vaccine antigens during persistence, an observation with important implications for vaccine development. These results indicate that NTHi alters its genome during persistence by regulation of critical virulence functions primarily by slipped-strand mispairing, advancing our understanding of how a bacterial pathogen that plays a critical role in COPD adapts to survival in the human respiratory tract.

  8. The evolution of the Constitutional Protection of Women’s Human Rights in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra MORENO FLÓREZ

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Human rights were first acknowledged in Colombia in the 1991 Constitution, bringing up a catalogue of specific rights in favour of the female population whose implementation has been possible thanks to the Constitutional Court’s decisive compromise on the struggle against gender discrimination. This way, since the incorporation of the gender perspective in the Colombian Law, great progress has been obtained in the effectiveness of the constitutional normative framework and in the consequent effective protection of women’s human rights in legally relevant different ambits of life.

  9. Evolution of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Pseudomonas aeruginosa During Long Time Growth in Human Hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Eva Kammer

    extent these observations relate to natural microbial populations. The focus of this thesis has been to study how regulatory networks evolve in natural systems. By using a particular infectious disease scenario (human associated persistent airway infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa...... in global regulator genes facilitate the generation of novel phenotypes which again facilitate the shift in life-style of the bacterium from an environmental opportunistic pathogen to a human airway specific pathogen. These findings are not only applicable to P. aeruginosa specific studies, but suggest that...

  10. Evolution of R5 and X4 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gag sequences in vivo: evidence for recombination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rij, Ronald P. van; Worobey, Michael; Visser, Janny A.; Schuitemaker, Hanneke

    2003-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is in general established by CCR5-utilizing (R5) virus variants, which persist throughout the course of infection. R5 HIV-1 variants evolve into CXCR4-utilizing (X4) HIV-1 variants in approximately half of the infected individuals. We have previously observed an ongoing genetic evolution with a continuous divergence of envelope gp120 sequences of coexisting R5 and X4 virus variants over time. Here, we studied evolution of gag p17 sequences in two patients who developed X4 variants in the course of infection. In contrast to the envelope gp120 sequences, gag p17 sequences of R5 and X4 virus populations intermingled in phylogenetic trees and did not diverge from each other over time. Statistical evaluation using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test indicated that the different genomic regions evolved along different topologies, supporting the hypothesis of recombination. Therefore, our data imply that recombination between R5 and X4 HIV-1 variants occurs in vivo

  11. Interactions between sedimentary evolution and prehistoric human occupation in the south-central coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo César Fonseca Giannini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the human occupation in the south-central coast of Santa Catarina State, in Brazil, the articulation between natural and anthropic processes modeled a strongly domesticated landscape, shaped by the massive construction of shell mounds of monumental dimensions and millenarian permanence. In the coastal plain between Passagem da Barra (Laguna District and Figueirinha Lake (Jaguaruna District, 76 sambaquis were mapped, 48 of which have been dated. Systematic site surveys and radiocarbon datings allowed identifying patterns of spatial distribution in sambaquis according to the sedimentary context at the time of construction, stratigraphy and age. Based on these criteria, the following groups were recognized: five geological-geomorphological contexts of location; three stratigraphic patterns; and four phases of sambaqui occupation in the area, based on site number and type of constructive pattern. The model for sedimentary evolution and time-space distribution of sambaquis shows that sites were built in already emerged areas and that inland sites, away from the lagoons, may have not be preserved or they are not exposed due to the continuous sedimentary filling that characterized this region after the maximum Holocene transgression. The crossing of data, here proposed, shows the importance of integral approaches between archaeology and geosciences for the study of landscape evolution.

  12. Network Structure and Community Evolution on Twitter: Human Behavior Change in Response to the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xin; Brelsford, Christa

    2014-10-01

    To investigate the dynamics of social networks and the formation and evolution of online communities in response to extreme events, we collected three datasets from Twitter shortly before and after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We find that while almost all users increased their online activity after the earthquake, Japanese speakers, who are assumed to be more directly affected by the event, expanded the network of people they interact with to a much higher degree than English speakers or the global average. By investigating the evolution of communities, we find that the behavior of joining or quitting a community is far from random: users tend to stay in their current status and are less likely to join new communities from solitary or shift to other communities from their current community. While non-Japanese speakers did not change their conversation topics significantly after the earthquake, nearly all Japanese users changed their conversations to earthquake-related content. This study builds a systematic framework for investigating human behaviors under extreme events with online social network data and our findings on the dynamics of networks and communities may provide useful insight for understanding how patterns of social interaction are influenced by extreme events.

  13. Socio-hydrological perspectives of the co-evolution of humans and groundwater in Cangzhou, North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Songjun; Tian, Fuqiang; Liu, Ye; Duan, Xianhui

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents a historical analysis from socio-hydrological perspectives of the coupled human-groundwater system of the Cangzhou region in the North China Plain (NCP). The history of the pendulum swing for water allocation between the economic development and aquifer environmental health of the system is divided into five eras (i.e., natural, exploitation, degradation and restoration, drought-triggered deterioration, and returning to equilibrium). The system's evolution was interpreted using the Taiji-Tire model. Over-exploitation was considered as the main cause of aquifer depletion, and the groundwater utilization pattern was affected by the varying groundwater table. The aquifer depletion enhanced community sensitivity toward environmental issues, and upgraded the social productive force for restoration. The evolution of the system was substantially impacted by two droughts. The drought in 1965 induced the system from natural conditions to groundwater exploiting. The drought from 1997 to 2002 resulted in a surge in further groundwater abstraction and dramatic aquifer deterioration, and community sensitivity increased rapidly and induced the social productive force to a tipping point. From then on, the system returns to equilibrium through new policies and water-saving technologies. Along with the establishment of a strict water resource management strategy and the launch of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, further restoration of groundwater environment was implemented. However, a comprehensive and coordinated drought management plan should be devised to avoid irreversible change in the system.

  14. "Pollical palmar interosseous muscle" (musculus adductor pollicis accessorius): attachments, innervation, variations, phylogeny, and implications for human evolution and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello-Hellegouarch, Gaelle; Aziz, M Ashraf; Ferrero, Eva M; Kern, Michael; Francis, Nadia; Diogo, Rui

    2013-03-01

    Most atlases and textbooks dealing with human anatomy do not refer to the "pollical palmar interosseous" (PPI) muscle of Henle. In order to undertake a fresh and detailed study of this muscle and to thus better understand human comparative anatomy and evolution, we: 1) analyze the frequency of the PPI in a large sample of human hands; 2) describe the attachments, innervation and varieties of the PPI in these hands; 3) compare the data obtained with the information available in the literature; and 4) discuss the phylogenetic origin of the PPI and the implications of our observations and comparisons for medicine and for the understanding of human evolutionary history. Within the 72 hands dissected by us, the PPI is present in 67 hands (93%), commonly having a single muscular branch, originating from the medial side of the base of metacarpal I only, inserting onto the medial side of the base of the pollical proximal phalanx and/or surrounding structures (e.g., ulnar sesamoid bone, wing tendon of extensor apparatus), and passing at least partially, and usually mainly, medial to the princeps pollicis artery. A careful study of the human PPI, as well as a detailed comparison with other mammals, strongly suggest that the muscle is evolutionarily derived from the adductor pollicis, and namely from its oblique head. Therefore, we propose that PPI should be designated by the name musculus adductor pollicis accessorius, which indicates that the muscle is most likely a de novo structure derived from the adductor pollicis. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. A perspective on the history and evolution of an Oceans and Human Health "metadiscipline" in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandifer, Paul A; Trtanj, Juli M; Collier, Tracy K

    2013-05-01

    We review recent history and evolution of Oceans and Human Health programs and related activities in the USA from a perspective within the Federal government. As a result of about a decade of support by the US Congress and through a few Federal agencies, notably the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, robust Oceans and Human Health (OHH) research and application activities are now relatively widespread, although still small, in a number of agencies and academic institutions. OHH themes and issues have been incorporated into comprehensive federal ocean research plans and are reflected in the new National Ocean Policy enunciated by Executive Order 13547. In just a decade, OHH has matured into a recognized "metadiscipline," with development of a small, but robust and diverse community of science and practice, incorporation into academic educational programs, regular participation in ocean and coastal science and public health societies, and active engagement with public health decision makers. In addition to substantial increases in scientific information, the OHH community has demonstrated ability to respond rapidly and effectively to emergency situations such as those associated with extreme weather events (e.g., hurricanes, floods) and human-caused disasters (e.g., the Deep Water Horizon oil spill). Among many other things, next steps include development and implementation of agency health strategies and provision of specific services, such as ecological forecasts to provide routine early warnings for ocean health threats and opportunities for prevention and mitigation of these risks.

  16. The socio-hydrologic evolution of human-flood interactions on the Charles and Mystic River, eastern Massachusetts, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Socio-hydrology is an emerging subdiscipline for identifying the emergent properties of human-flood interactions. The Charles and the Mystic Rivers, in eastern Massachusetts, have been the subject of such interactions for hundreds of years. Over time, human dependency and settlement have altered the natural conditions of the rivers, and changed the potential for flood occurrence and property damage. As a result, flood management strategies have been enacted to counter this potential. Before we can assess how human vulnerability and actions related to river flooding will change under future climate conditions, we must first document the evolution of flooding and flood management and understand the motivations and thresholds of response that describe how the system has evolved in the past. We have mined historical data from traditional and non-traditional sources and have developed "mental models" from in-depth interviews of key personnel. We will present the socio-hydrological history of the Charles and Mystic Rivers and recommend how this information can inform future flood management strategies in the face of climate change.

  17. Evolution of pH buffers and water homeostasis in eukaryotes: homology between humans and Acanthamoeba proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baig, Abdul M; Zohaib, R; Tariq, S; Ahmad, H R

    2018-02-01

    This study intended to trace the evolution of acid-base buffers and water homeostasis in eukaryotes. Acanthamoeba castellanii  was selected as a model unicellular eukaryote for this purpose. Homologies of proteins involved in pH and water regulatory mechanisms at cellular levels were compared between humans and A. castellanii. Amino acid sequence homology, structural homology, 3D modeling and docking prediction were done to show the extent of similarities between carbonic anhydrase 1 (CA1), aquaporin (AQP), band-3 protein and H + pump. Experimental assays were done with acetazolamide (AZM), brinzolamide and mannitol to observe their effects on the trophozoites of  A. castellanii.  The human CA1, AQP, band-3 protein and H + -transport proteins revealed similar proteins in Acanthamoeba. Docking showed the binding of AZM on amoebal AQP-like proteins.  Acanthamoeba showed transient shape changes and encystation at differential doses of brinzolamide, mannitol and AZM.  Conclusion: Water and pH regulating adapter proteins in Acanthamoeba and humans show significant homology, these mechanisms evolved early in the primitive unicellular eukaryotes and have remained conserved in multicellular eukaryotes.

  18. From fish to modern humans--comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Aziz, M A; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2009-05-01

    In a recent study Diogo & Abdala [(2007) J Morphol 268, 504-517] reported the results of the first part of a research project on the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish and tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. This study, which reports the second part of the research project, focuses mainly on sarcopterygians and particularly on how the pectoral and forelimb muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals and humans. The data obtained by our own dissections of all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of groups as diverse as sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons clearly stress that, with regard to the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles, the most striking transition within sarcopterygian evolutionary history was that leading to the origin of tetrapods. Whereas extant sarcopterygian fish have an abductor and adductor of the fin and a largely undifferentiated hypaxial and epaxial musculature, extant salamanders such as Ambystoma have more than 40 pectoral and forelimb muscles. There is no clear increase in the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles within the evolutionary transition that led to the origin of mammals and surely not to that leading to the origin of primates and humans.

  19. Life is getting better: Societal evolution and fit with human nature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Veenhoven (Ruut)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractHuman society has changed much over the last centuries and this process of 'modernization' has profoundly affected the lives of individuals; currently we live quite different lives from those forefathers lived only five generations ago. There is difference of opinion as to whether we

  20. Evolution of human factors research and studies of health information technologies: the role of patient safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beuscart-Zéphir, M. C.; Borycki, E.; Carayon, P.; Jaspers, M. W. M.; Pelayo, S.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this survey paper is to present and explain the impact of recent regulations and patient safety initiatives (EU, US and Canada) on Human Factors (HF)/Usability studies and research focusing on Health Information Technology (HIT). The authors have selected the most prominent of these

  1. Quantification of Crypt and Stem Cell Evolution in the Normal and Neoplastic Human Colon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann-Marie Baker

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics remain poorly characterized because transgenic lineage-tracing methods are impractical in humans. Here, we have circumvented this problem by quantitatively using somatic mtDNA mutations to trace clonal lineages. By analyzing clonal imprints on the walls of colonic crypts, we show that human intestinal stem cells conform to one-dimensional neutral drift dynamics with a “functional” stem cell number of five to six in both normal patients and individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis (germline APC−/+. Furthermore, we show that, in adenomatous crypts (APC−/−, there is a proportionate increase in both functional stem cell number and the loss/replacement rate. Finally, by analyzing fields of mtDNA mutant crypts, we show that a normal colon crypt divides around once every 30–40 years, and the division rate is increased in adenomas by at least an order of magnitude. These data provide in vivo quantification of human intestinal stem cell and crypt dynamics.

  2. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Nicolas; Ellison, T Mark

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both), and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity), but harder to learn (identification accuracy) for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs) is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  3. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 evolution in vivo tracked by DNA heteroduplex mobility assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delwart, E. L.; Sheppard, H. W.; Walker, B. D.; Goudsmit, J.; Mullins, J. I.

    1994-01-01

    High mutation rates and strong selective pressures imposed on human immunodeficiency viruses in vivo result in the formation of pools of genetic variants known as quasispecies. DNA heteroduplex mobility and tracking analyses were used to monitor the generation of HIV sequence diversity, to estimate

  4. Colloquium paper: adaptive specializations, social exchange, and the evolution of human intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosmides, Leda; Barrett, H Clark; Tooby, John

    2010-05-11

    Blank-slate theories of human intelligence propose that reasoning is carried out by general-purpose operations applied uniformly across contents. An evolutionary approach implies a radically different model of human intelligence. The task demands of different adaptive problems select for functionally specialized problem-solving strategies, unleashing massive increases in problem-solving power for ancestrally recurrent adaptive problems. Because exchange can evolve only if cooperators can detect cheaters, we hypothesized that the human mind would be equipped with a neurocognitive system specialized for reasoning about social exchange. Whereas humans perform poorly when asked to detect violations of most conditional rules, we predicted and found a dramatic spike in performance when the rule specifies an exchange and violations correspond to cheating. According to critics, people's uncanny accuracy at detecting violations of social exchange rules does not reflect a cheater detection mechanism, but extends instead to all rules regulating when actions are permitted (deontic conditionals). Here we report experimental tests that falsify these theories by demonstrating that deontic rules as a class do not elicit the search for violations. We show that the cheater detection system functions with pinpoint accuracy, searching for violations of social exchange rules only when these are likely to reveal the presence of someone who intends to cheat. It does not search for violations of social exchange rules when these are accidental, when they do not benefit the violator, or when the situation would make cheating difficult.

  5. Human Evolution, Movement, and Intelligence: Why Playing Games Counts as Smart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kretchmar, R. Scott

    2018-01-01

    The article investigates several ways in which creating, entering, and playing games requires uniquely human levels of intelligence. It examines an element of our evolutionary heritage and the possibility that games (particularly in the form of sport) were among the first elements of culture. It describes sport as a "way of knowing," a…

  6. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Fay

    Full Text Available This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both, and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity, but harder to learn (identification accuracy for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  7. Genome-wide comparative analysis reveals human-mouse regulatory landscape and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denas, Olgert; Sandstrom, Richard; Cheng, Yong; Beal, Kathryn; Herrero, Javier; Hardison, Ross C; Taylor, James

    2015-02-14

    Because species-specific gene expression is driven by species-specific regulation, understanding the relationship between sequence and function of the regulatory regions in different species will help elucidate how differences among species arise. Despite active experimental and computational research, relationships among sequence, conservation, and function are still poorly understood. We compared transcription factor occupied segments (TFos) for 116 human and 35 mouse TFs in 546 human and 125 mouse cell types and tissues from the Human and the Mouse ENCODE projects. We based the map between human and mouse TFos on a one-to-one nucleotide cross-species mapper, bnMapper, that utilizes whole genome alignments (WGA). Our analysis shows that TFos are under evolutionary constraint, but a substantial portion (25.1% of mouse and 25.85% of human on average) of the TFos does not have a homologous sequence on the other species; this portion varies among cell types and TFs. Furthermore, 47.67% and 57.01% of the homologous TFos sequence shows binding activity on the other species for human and mouse respectively. However, 79.87% and 69.22% is repurposed such that it binds the same TF in different cells or different TFs in the same cells. Remarkably, within the set of repurposed TFos, the corresponding genome regions in the other species are preferred locations of novel TFos. These events suggest exaptation of some functional regulatory sequences into new function. Despite TFos repurposing, we did not find substantial changes in their predicted target genes, suggesting that CRMs buffer evolutionary events allowing little or no change in the TFos - target gene associations. Thus, the small portion of TFos with strictly conserved occupancy underestimates the degree of conservation of regulatory interactions. We mapped regulatory sequences from an extensive number of TFs and cell types between human and mouse using WGA. A comparative analysis of this correspondence unveiled the

  8. Homeotic evolution in the mammalia: diversification of therian axial seriation and the morphogenetic basis of human origins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron G Filler

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the rising interest in homeotic genes, little has been known about the course and pattern of evolution of homeotic traits across the mammalian radiation. An array of emerging and diversifying homeotic gradients revealed by this study appear to generate new body plans and drive evolution at a large scale.This study identifies and evaluates a set of homeotic gradients across 250 extant and fossil mammalian species and their antecedents over a period of 220 million years. These traits are generally expressed as co-linear gradients along the body axis rather than as distinct segmental identities. Relative position or occurrence sequence vary independently and are subject to polarity reversal and mirroring. Five major gradient modification sets are identified: (1--quantitative changes of primary segmental identity pattern that appeared at the origin of the tetrapods ; (2--frame shift relation of costal and vertebral identity which diversifies from the time of amniote origins; (3--duplication, mirroring, splitting and diversification of the neomorphic laminar process first commencing at the dawn of mammals; (4--emergence of homologically variable lumbar lateral processes upon commencement of the radiation of therian mammals and ; (5--inflexions and transpositions of the relative position of the horizontal septum of the body and the neuraxis at the emergence of various orders of therian mammals. Convergent functional changes under homeotic control include laminar articular engagement with septo-neural transposition and ventrally arrayed lumbar transverse process support systems.Clusters of homeotic transformations mark the emergence point of mammals in the Triassic and the radiation of therians in the Cretaceous. A cluster of homeotic changes in the Miocene hominoid Morotopithecus that are still seen in humans supports establishment of a new "hominiform" clade and suggests a homeotic origin for the human upright body plan.

  9. Chlamydiaceae Genomics Reveals Interspecies Admixture and the Recent Evolution of Chlamydia abortus Infecting Lower Mammalian Species and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Sandeep J; Marti, Hanna; Didelot, Xavier; Castillo-Ramirez, Santiago; Read, Timothy D; Dean, Deborah

    2015-10-27

    Chlamydiaceae are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause a diversity of severe infections among humans and livestock on a global scale. Identification of new species since 1989 and emergence of zoonotic infections, including abortion in women, underscore the need for genome sequencing of multiple strains of each species to advance our knowledge of evolutionary dynamics across Chlamydiaceae. Here, we genome sequenced isolates from avian, lower mammalian and human hosts. Based on core gene phylogeny, five isolates previously classified as Chlamydia abortus were identified as members of Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia pecorum. Chlamydia abortus is the most recently emerged species and is a highly monomorphic group that lacks the conserved virulence-associated plasmid. Low-level recombination and evidence for adaptation to the placenta echo evolutionary processes seen in recently emerged, highly virulent niche-restricted pathogens, such as Bacillus anthracis. In contrast, gene flow occurred within C. psittaci and other Chlamydiaceae species. The C. psittaci strain RTH, isolated from a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), is an outlying strain with admixture of C. abortus, C. psittaci, and its own population markers. An average nucleotide identity of less than 94% compared with other Chlamydiaceae species suggests that RTH belongs to a new species intermediary between C. psittaci and C. abortus. Hawks, as scavengers and predators, have extensive opportunities to acquire multiple species in their intestinal tract. This could facilitate transformation and homologous recombination with the potential for new species emergence. Our findings indicate that incubator hosts such as birds-of-prey likely promote Chlamydiaceae evolution resulting in novel pathogenic lineages. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE LINE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION IS THE ONSET OF NUTRITIONAL METABOLIC DISEASES, EPIDEMIC OF CANCER AND THE INFECTIOUS DISEASES

    OpenAIRE

    Soroush Niknamian

    2017-01-01

    This study goes deeply through the nutrition of the first primate and analyses the nutrition in the line of human evolution. Simply dividing the shifts in the nutrition through the human evolution, it is obvious that some elements in the diet are more important than the others. Since the beginning of the Neolithic, the ratio of plant-to-animal foods in the diet has sharply increased from an average of probably 65% to 35% during Paleolithic times to as high as 90% to 10% since the advent of ag...

  11. AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE LINE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION IS THE ONSET OF NUTRITIONAL METABOLIC DISEASES, EPIDEMIC OF CANCER AND THE INFECTIOUS DISEASES - Somayeh Zaminpira - Sorush Niknamian

    OpenAIRE

    Somayeh Zaminpira; Sorush Niknamian

    2017-01-01

    This study goes deeply through the nutrition of the first primate and analyses the nutrition in the line of human evolution. Simply dividing the shifts in the nutrition through the human evolution, it is obvious that some elements in the diet are more important than the others. Since the beginning of the Neolithic, the ratio of plant-to-animal foods in the diet has sharply increased from an average of probably 65% to 35% during Paleolithic times to as high as 90% to 10% since the advent of ag...

  12. Comparative studies of placentation and immunology in non-human primates suggest a scenario for the evolution of deep trophoblast invasion and an explanation for human pregnancy disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael

    2011-01-01

    in the orangutan and became polymorphic in the lineage leading to gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, and human. Interaction between HLA-C1 and HLA-C2 on the surface of trophoblast and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) expressed by uterine natural killer cells are important regulators of trophoblast invasion....... Evolution of this system in great apes may have been one prerequisite for deep trophoblast invasion but seems to have come at a price. The evidence now suggests that certain combinations of maternal genotype for KIRs and fetal genotype for HLA-C imply an increased risk of preeclampsia, fetal growth...... restriction, and recurrent abortion. The fetal genotype is in part derived from the father providing an explanation for the paternal contribution to reproductive disorders....

  13. Bipedality and hair loss in human evolution revisited: The impact of altitude and activity scheduling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dávid-Barrett, Tamás; Dunbar, Robin I M

    2016-05-01

    Bipedality evolved early in hominin evolution, and at some point was associated with hair loss over most of the body. One classic explanation (Wheeler 1984: J. Hum. Evol. 13, 91-98) was that these traits evolved to reduce heat overload when australopiths were foraging in more open tropical habitats where they were exposed to the direct effects of sunlight at midday. A recent critique of this model (Ruxton & Wilkinson 2011a: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 20965-20969) argued that it ignored the endogenous costs of heat generated by locomotion, and concluded that only hair loss provided a significant reduction in heat load. We add two crucial corrections to this model (the altitude at which australopiths actually lived and activity scheduling) and show that when these are included there are substantial reductions in heat load for bipedal locomotion even for furred animals. In addition, we add one further consideration to the model: we extend the analysis across the full 24 h day, and show that fur loss could not have evolved until much later because of the thermoregulatory costs this would have incurred at the altitudes where australopiths actually lived. Fur loss is most likely associated with the exploitation of open habitats at much lower altitudes at a much later date by the genus Homo. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Evolution of feline immunodeficiency virus in Felidae: implications for human health and wildlife ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecon-Slattery, Jill; Troyer, Jennifer L; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2008-05-15

    Genetic analyses of feline immunodeficiency viruses provide significant insights on the worldwide distribution and evolutionary history of this emerging pathogen. Large-scale screening of over 3000 samples from all species of Felidae indicates that at least some individuals from most species possess antibodies that cross react to FIV. Phylogenetic analyses of genetic variation in the pol-RT gene demonstrate that FIV lineages are species-specific and suggest that there has been a prolonged period of viral-host co-evolution. The clinical effects of FIV specific to species other than domestic cat are controversial. Comparative genomic analyses of all full-length FIV genomes confirmed that FIV is host specific. Recently sequenced lion subtype E is marginally more similar to Pallas cat FIV though env is more similar to that of domestic cat FIV, indicating a possible recombination between two divergent strains in the wild. Here we review global patterns of FIV seroprevalence and endemnicity, assess genetic differences within and between species-specific FIV strains, and interpret these with patterns of felid speciation to propose an ancestral origin of FIV in Africa followed by interspecies transmission and global dissemination to Eurasia and the Americas. Continued comparative genomic analyses of full-length FIV from all seropositive animals, along with whole genome sequence of host species, will greatly advance our understanding of the role of recombination, selection and adaptation in retroviral emergence.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The Ethics of Human Life Extension: The Second Argument from Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyngell, Chris

    2015-12-01

    One argument that is sometimes made against pursuing radical forms of human life extension is that such interventions will make the species less evolvable, which would be morally undesirable. In this article, I discuss the empirical and evaluative claims of this argument. I argue that radical increases in life expectancy could, in principle, reduce the evolutionary potential of human populations through both biological and cultural mechanisms. I further argue that if life extension did reduce the evolvability of the species, this will be undesirable for three reasons: (1) it may increase the species' susceptibility to extinction risks, (2) it may adversely affect institutions and practices that promote well-being, and (3) it may impede moral progress. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. A new viewpoint on the evolution of sexually dimorphic human faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Darren; Sulikowski, Danielle

    2010-10-21

    Human faces show marked sexual shape dimorphism, and this affects their attractiveness. Humans also show marked height dimorphism, which means that men typically view women's faces from slightly above and women typically view men's faces from slightly below. We tested the idea that this perspective difference may be the evolutionary origin of the face shape dimorphism by having males and females rate the masculinity/femininity and attractiveness of male and female faces that had been manipulated in pitch (forward or backward tilt), simulating viewing the face from slightly above or below. As predicted, tilting female faces upwards decreased their perceived femininity and attractiveness, whereas tilting them downwards increased their perceived femininity and attractiveness. Male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine, and tilted down judged to be less masculine. This suggests that sexual selection may have embodied this viewpoint difference into the actual facial proportions of men and women.

  18. A New Viewpoint on the Evolution of Sexually Dimorphic Human Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Burke

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Human faces show marked sexual shape dimorphism, and this affects their attractiveness. Humans also show marked height dimorphism, which means that men typically view women's faces from slightly above and women typically view men's faces from slightly below. We tested the idea that this perspective difference may be the evolutionary origin of the face shape dimorphism by having males and females rate the masculinity/femininity and attractiveness of male and female faces that had been manipulated in pitch (forward or backward tilt, simulating viewing the face from slightly above or below. As predicted, tilting female faces upwards decreased their perceived femininity and attractiveness, whereas tilting them downwards increased their perceived femininity and attractiveness. Male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine, and tilted down judged to be less masculine. This suggests that sexual selection may have embodied this viewpoint difference into the actual facial proportions of men and women.

  19. THE AGE OF FREE WILL AND HUMAN VALUES : Sex Tourisms Evolution and Its Impact

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Mahfuz; Baghdasaryan, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    This thesis discussed about sex tourism which refers to how sex tourism works and its history. Human trafficking and sex trafficking was discussed as well as sex tourism which is involved directly to tourism industry was explained. The main goal of this thesis was to raise awareness of sex tourism violations. This thesis is about sex tourism and discussed the definition of rules and regulations from different international organizations and international newspapers and magazines as well a...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Vahdati, Ali R; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Background Genotype networks are representations of genetic variation data that are complementary to phylogenetic trees. A genotype network is a graph whose nodes are genotypes (DNA sequences) with the same broadly defined phenotype. Two nodes are connected if they differ in some minimal way, e.g., in a single nucleotide. Results We analyze human genome variation data from the 1,000 genomes project, and construct haploid genotype (haplotype) networks for 12,235 protein coding genes. The struc...

  1. Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era

    OpenAIRE

    Antoci, Angelo; Sabatini, Fabio; Sodini, Mauro

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to theoretically analyze how human interaction may evolve in a world characterized by the explosion of online networking and other Web-mediated ways of building and nurturing relationships. The analysis shows that online networking yields a storage mechanism through which any individual contribution - e.g. a blog post, a comment, or a photo - is stored within a particular network and ready for virtual access by each member who connects to the network. When someo...

  2. Drift, admixture, and selection in human evolution: a study with DNA polymorphisms.

    OpenAIRE

    Bowcock, A M; Kidd, J R; Mountain, J L; Hebert, J M; Carotenuto, L; Kidd, K K; Cavalli-Sforza, L L

    1991-01-01

    Accuracy of evolutionary analysis of populations within a species requires the testing of a large number of genetic polymorphisms belonging to many loci. We report here a reconstruction of human differentiation based on 100 DNA polymorphisms tested in five populations from four continents. The results agree with earlier conclusions based on other classes of genetic markers but reveal that Europeans do not fit a simple model of independently evolving populations with equal evolutionary rates. ...

  3. Rapid Evolution from the First Episode of Acute Pancreatitis to Chronic Pancreatitis in Human Subjects

    OpenAIRE

    Elie Aoun; Adam Slivka; Dionysios J Papachristou; David C Whitcomb; Ferga C Gleeson; Georgios I Papachristou

    2007-01-01

    Context Growing evidence suggests that recurrent acute pancreatitis leads to chronic pancreatitis, but this sequence is seldom reported in human subjects. The sentinel acute pancreatitis event hypothesis suggests that an initial episode of acute pancreatitis is the first step in a complicated series of events ultimately leading to chronic pancreatitis. Objective To identify patients who evolved from recurrent acute pancreatitis to chronic pancreatitis. Setting The Severity of Acute Pancreatit...

  4. Organization and evolution of Drosophila terminin: similarities and differences between Drosophila and human telomeres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazia Daniela Raffa

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila lacks telomerase and fly telomeres are elongated by occasional transposition of three specialized retroelements. Drosophila telomeres do not terminate with GC-rich repeats and are assembled independently of the sequence of chromosome ends. Recent work has shown that Drosophila telomeres are capped by the terminin complex, which includes the fast-evolving proteins HOAP, HipHop, Moi and Ver. These proteins are not conserves outside Drosophilidae and localize and function exclusively at telomeres, protecting them from fusion events. Other proteins required to prevent end-to-end fusion in flies include HP1, Eff/UbcD1, ATM, the components of the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs (MRN complex, and the Woc transcription factor. These proteins do not share the terminin properties; they are evolutionarily conserved non-fast-evolving proteins that do not accumulate only telomeres and do not serve telomere-specific functions. We propose that following telomerase loss, Drosophila rapidly evolved terminin to bind chromosome ends in a sequence-independent manner. This hypothesis suggests that terminin is the functional analog of the shelterin complex that protects human telomeres. The non-terminin proteins are instead likely to correspond to ancestral telomere-associated proteins that did not evolve as rapidly as terminin because of the functional constraints imposed by their involvement in diverse cellular processes. Thus, it appears that the main difference between Drosophila and human telomeres is in the protective complexes that specifically associate with the DNA termini. We believe that Drosophila telomeres offer excellent opportunities for investigations on human telomere biology. The identification of additional Drosophila genes encoding non-terminin proteins involved in telomere protection might lead to the discovery of novel components of human telomeres.

  5. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Gillings

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  6. Evolution of the clonogenic potential of human epidermal stem/progenitor cells with age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zobiri O

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Olivia Zobiri, Nathalie Deshayes, Michelle Rathman-JosserandDepartment of Biological Research, L'Oréal Advanced Research, Clichy Cedex, FranceAbstract: A number of clinical observations have indicated that the regenerative potential and overall function of the epidermis is modified with age. The epidermis becomes thinner, repairs itself less efficiently after wounding, and presents modified barrier function recovery. In addition, the dermal papillae flatten out with increasing age, suggesting a modification in the interaction between epidermal and dermal compartments. As the epidermal regenerative capacity is dependent upon stem and progenitor cell function, it is naturally of interest to identify and understand age-related changes in these particular keratinocyte populations. Previous studies have indicated that the number of stem cells does not decrease with age in mouse models but little solid evidence is currently available concerning human skin. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clonogenic potential of keratinocyte populations isolated from the epidermis of over 50 human donors ranging from 18 to 71 years old. The data indicate that the number of epidermal cells presenting high regenerative potential does not dramatically decline with age in human skin. The authors believe that changes in the microenvironment controlling epidermal basal cell activity are more likely to explain the differences in epidermal function observed with increasing age.Keywords: skin, epidermal stem cells, aging, colony-forming efficiency test

  7. Evolution in a Contemporary Human Population: Intersexual Constraints and Costs of Reproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stearns, Stephen [Yale University

    2012-03-14

    In this talk I will use an analysis of the population described in the Framingham Heart Study to make three points: (1) Contemporary humans are still evolving, and we can in part predict how they are responding to selection. (2) Selection on males and females differs, and its interaction with intersexual genetic correlations constrains the responses of each sex to selection. In other words, males are constrained by processes occurring in females, and females are constrained by processes occurring in males. (3) There are costs of reproduction in humans that are paid in lifespan, but it is likely that these costs were deferred to a point at which our ancestors would already have died for other reasons. When we detect those costs today, we find evidence that the versions of some genes that make us susceptible to cancer also increase reproductive success early in life. This confirms in humans a central assumption of the evolutionary theory of aging – the existence of genes that mediate a tradeoff between reproduction and survival - that had previously only been confirmed in model organisms like fruit flies and worms.

  8. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Paulsen, Ian T; Tetu, Sasha G

    2015-09-08

    Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  9. Evolution of life history and behavior in Hominidae: towards phylogenetic reconstruction of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Pavel; Zrzavý, Jan

    2013-10-01

    The origin of the fundamental behavioral differences between humans and our closest living relatives is one of the central issues of evolutionary anthropology. The prominent, chimpanzee-based referential model of early hominin behavior has recently been challenged on the basis of broad multispecies comparisons and newly discovered fossil evidence. Here, we argue that while behavioral data on extant great apes are extremely relevant for reconstruction of ancestral behaviors, these behaviors should be reconstructed trait by trait using formal phylogenetic methods. Using the widely accepted hominoid phylogenetic tree, we perform a series of character optimization analyses using 65 selected life-history and behavioral characters for all extant hominid species. This analysis allows us to reconstruct the character states of the last common ancestors of Hominoidea, Hominidae, and the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Our analyses demonstrate that many fundamental behavioral and life-history attributes of hominids (including humans) are evidently ancient and likely inherited from the common ancestor of all hominids. However, numerous behaviors present in extant great apes represent their own terminal autapomorphies (both uniquely derived and homoplastic). Any evolutionary model that uses a single extant species to explain behavioral evolution of early hominins is therefore of limited use. In contrast, phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states is able to provide a detailed suite of behavioral, ecological and life-history characters for each hypothetical ancestor. The living great apes therefore play an important role for the confident identification of the traits found in the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor, some of which are likely to represent behaviors of the fossil hominins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Signatures of environmental genetic adaptation pinpoint pathogens as the main selective pressure through human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Fumagalli

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Previous genome-wide scans of positive natural selection in humans have identified a number of non-neutrally evolving genes that play important roles in skin pigmentation, metabolism, or immune function. Recent studies have also shown that a genome-wide pattern of local adaptation can be detected by identifying correlations between patterns of allele frequencies and environmental variables. Despite these observations, the degree to which natural selection is primarily driven by adaptation to local environments, and the role of pathogens or other ecological factors as selective agents, is still under debate. To address this issue, we correlated the spatial allele frequency distribution of a large sample of SNPs from 55 distinct human populations to a set of environmental factors that describe local geographical features such as climate, diet regimes, and pathogen loads. In concordance with previous studies, we detected a significant enrichment of genic SNPs, and particularly non-synonymous SNPs associated with local adaptation. Furthermore, we show that the diversity of the local pathogenic environment is the predominant driver of local adaptation, and that climate, at least as measured here, only plays a relatively minor role. While background demography by far makes the strongest contribution in explaining the genetic variance among populations, we detected about 100 genes which show an unexpectedly strong correlation between allele frequencies and pathogenic environment, after correcting for demography. Conversely, for diet regimes and climatic conditions, no genes show a similar correlation between the environmental factor and allele frequencies. This result is validated using low-coverage sequencing data for multiple populations. Among the loci targeted by pathogen-driven selection, we found an enrichment of genes associated to autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiples sclerosis, which lends credence to the

  11. Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Russell D; Atkinson, Quentin D; Greenhill, Simon J

    2011-04-12

    Historical inference is at its most powerful when independent lines of evidence can be integrated into a coherent account. Dating linguistic and cultural lineages can potentially play a vital role in the integration of evidence from linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and genetics. Unfortunately, although the comparative method in historical linguistics can provide a relative chronology, it cannot provide absolute date estimates and an alternative approach, called glottochronology, is fundamentally flawed. In this paper we outline how computational phylogenetic methods can reliably estimate language divergence dates and thus help resolve long-standing debates about human prehistory ranging from the origin of the Indo-European language family to the peopling of the Pacific.

  12. Structural and Sequence Similarities of Hydra Xeroderma Pigmentosum A Protein to Human Homolog Suggest Early Evolution and Conservation

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    Apurva Barve

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA is a protein that binds to damaged DNA, verifies presence of a lesion, and recruits other proteins of the nucleotide excision repair (NER pathway to the site. Though its homologs from yeast, Drosophila, humans, and so forth are well studied, XPA has not so far been reported from protozoa and lower animal phyla. Hydra is a fresh-water cnidarian with a remarkable capacity for regeneration and apparent lack of organismal ageing. Cnidarians are among the first metazoa with a defined body axis, tissue grade organisation, and nervous system. We report here for the first time presence of XPA gene in hydra. Putative protein sequence of hydra XPA contains nuclear localization signal and bears the zinc-finger motif. It contains two conserved Pfam domains and various characterized features of XPA proteins like regions for binding to excision repair cross-complementing protein-1 (ERCC1 and replication protein A 70 kDa subunit (RPA70 proteins. Hydra XPA shows a high degree of similarity with vertebrate homologs and clusters with deuterostomes in phylogenetic analysis. Homology modelling corroborates the very close similarity between hydra and human XPA. The protein thus most likely functions in hydra in the same manner as in other animals, indicating that it arose early in evolution and has been conserved across animal phyla.

  13. High adult mortality among Hiwi hunter-gatherers: implications for human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Kim; Hurtado, A M; Walker, R S

    2007-04-01

    Extant apes experience early sexual maturity and short life spans relative to modern humans. Both of these traits and others are linked by life-history theory to mortality rates experienced at different ages by our hominin ancestors. However, currently there is a great deal of debate concerning hominin mortality profiles at different periods of evolutionary history. Observed rates and causes of mortality in modern hunter-gatherers may provide information about Upper Paleolithic mortality that can be compared to indirect evidence from the fossil record, yet little is published about causes and rates of mortality in foraging societies around the world. To our knowledge, interview-based life tables for recent hunter-gatherers are published for only four societies (Ache, Agta, Hadza, and Ju/'hoansi). Here, we present mortality data for a fifth group, the Hiwi hunter-gatherers of Venezuela. The results show comparatively high death rates among the Hiwi and highlight differences in mortality rates among hunter-gatherer societies. The high levels of conspecific violence and adult mortality in the Hiwi may better represent Paleolithic human demographics than do the lower, disease-based death rates reported in the most frequently cited forager studies.

  14. Evolution of optimal Lévy-flight strategies in human mental searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radicchi, Filippo; Baronchelli, Andrea

    2012-06-01

    Recent analysis of empirical data [Radicchi, Baronchelli, and Amaral, PloS ONE1932-620310.1371/journal.pone.0029910 7, e029910 (2012)] showed that humans adopt Lévy-flight strategies when exploring the bid space in online auctions. A game theoretical model proved that the observed Lévy exponents are nearly optimal, being close to the exponent value that guarantees the maximal economical return to players. Here, we rationalize these findings by adopting an evolutionary perspective. We show that a simple evolutionary process is able to account for the empirical measurements with the only assumption that the reproductive fitness of the players is proportional to their search ability. Contrary to previous modeling, our approach describes the emergence of the observed exponent without resorting to any strong assumptions on the initial searching strategies. Our results generalize earlier research, and open novel questions in cognitive, behavioral, and evolutionary sciences.

  15. Cytogenetic Evolution of Human Ovarian Cell Lines Associated with Chemoresistance and Loss of Tumorigenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Struski

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to identify genomic changes associated with a resistant phenotype acquisition, we used comparative genomic hybridization (CGH to compare a human ovarian cell line, Igrov1, and four derived subcell lines, resistant to vincristine and presenting a reversion of malignant properties. Multicolor FISH (Multiplex‐FISH and Spectral Karyotype and conventional FISH are also used to elucidate the karyotype of parental cell line. The drug‐resistant subcell lines displayed many chromosomal abnormalities suggesting the implication of different pathways leading to a multidrug resistance phenotype. However, these cell lines shared two common rearrangements: an unbalanced translocation der(8t(8;13(p22;q? and a deletion of the 11p. These chromosomal imbalances could reflected the acquisition of the chemoresistance (der(8 or the loss of tumorigenicity properties (del(11p. Colour figure can be viewed on http://www.esacp.org/acp/2003/25‐3/struski.htm.

  16. Elementary and Advanced Mathematic thinking as human activity in permanent evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Penagos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this text is to present a reflection and analysis about the processes in the development of fundamental and advanced mathematical thinking as a human activity. Traditionally, mathematics education has had two barriers to overcome: First, advanced mathematical thinking is only shown at a determined age and therefore it must be addressed in university level courses. Second, the teachers of this discipline regularly introduce mathematics to students as a body of complete and irrefutable knowledge shared by a scientific community. The task of the student is to learn it, do demonstrations and reproduce this knowledge in a given period of time. Mathematical entities or objects that in occasions have taken centuries to build. In contrast with the true sense of education of this discipline that must be to empower in the students the development of mathematical thinking.

  17. Evolution of Flexible Multibody Dynamics for Simulation Applications Supporting Human Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, An; Brain, Thomas A.; MacLean, John R.; Quiocho, Leslie J.

    2016-01-01

    During the course of transition from the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs to the Orion and Journey to Mars exploration programs, a generic flexible multibody dynamics formulation and associated software implementation has evolved to meet an ever changing set of requirements at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Challenging problems related to large transitional topologies and robotic free-flyer vehicle capture/ release, contact dynamics, and exploration missions concept evaluation through simulation (e.g., asteroid surface operations) have driven this continued development. Coupled with this need is the requirement to oftentimes support human spaceflight operations in real-time. Moreover, it has been desirable to allow even more rapid prototyping of on-orbit manipulator and spacecraft systems, to support less complex infrastructure software for massively integrated simulations, to yield further computational efficiencies, and to take advantage of recent advances and availability of multi-core computing platforms. Since engineering analysis, procedures development, and crew familiarity/training for human spaceflight is fundamental to JSC's charter, there is also a strong desire to share and reuse models in both the non-realtime and real-time domains, with the goal of retaining as much multibody dynamics fidelity as possible. Three specific enhancements are reviewed here: (1) linked list organization to address large transitional topologies, (2) body level model order reduction, and (3) parallel formulation/implementation. This paper provides a detailed overview of these primary updates to JSC's flexible multibody dynamics algorithms as well as a comparison of numerical results to previous formulations and associated software.

  18. Reassortment and evolution of current human influenza A and B viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiyan; Lindstrom, Stephen E; Shaw, Michael W; Smith, Catherine B; Hall, Henrietta E; Mungall, Bruce A; Subbarao, Kanta; Cox, Nancy J; Klimov, Alexander

    2004-07-01

    During the 2001-2002 influenza season, human influenza A (H1N2) reassortant viruses were detected globally. The hemagglutinin (HA) of these H1N2 viruses was similar to that of the A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) vaccine strain both antigenically and genetically, while their neuraminidase (NA) was antigenically and genetically related to that of recent human influenza H3N2 reference viruses such as A/Moscow/10/99. All six internal genes of the H1N2 reassortants originated from an H3N2 virus. After being detected only in eastern Asia during the past 10 years, Influenza B/Victoria/2/87 lineage viruses reappeared in many countries outside of Asia in 2001. Additionally, reassortant influenza B viruses possessing an HA similar to that of B/Shandong/7/97, a recent B/Victoria/2/87 lineage reference strain, and an NA closely related to that of B/Sichuan/379/99, a recent B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage reference strain, were isolated globally and became the predominant influenza B epidemic strain. The current influenza vaccine is expected to provide good protection against H1N2 viruses because it contains A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) and A/Panama/2007/99 (H3N2) like viruses whose H1 HA or N2 NA are antigenically similar to those of recent circulating H1N2 viruses. On the other hand, widespread circulation of influenza B Victoria lineage viruses required inclusion of a strain from this lineage in influenza vaccines for the 2002-2003 season.

  19. Percussive technology in human evolution: an introduction to a comparative approach in fossil and living primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Torre, Ignacio; Hirata, Satoshi

    2015-11-19

    Percussive technology is part of the behavioural suite of several fossil and living primates. Stone Age ancestors used lithic artefacts in pounding activities, which could have been most important in the earliest stages of stone working. This has relevant evolutionary implications, as other primates such as chimpanzees and some monkeys use stone hammer-and-anvil combinations to crack hard-shelled foodstuffs. Parallels between primate percussive technologies and early archaeological sites need to be further explored in order to assess the emergence of technological behaviour in our evolutionary line, and firmly establish bridges between Primatology and Archaeology. What are the anatomical, cognitive and ecological constraints of percussive technology? How common are percussive activities in the Stone Age and among living primates? What is their functional significance? How similar are archaeological percussive tools and those made by non-human primates? This issue of Phil. Trans. addresses some of these questions by presenting case studies with a wide chronological, geographical and disciplinary coverage. The studies presented here cover studies of Brazilian capuchins, captive chimpanzees and chimpanzees in the wild, research on the use of percussive technology among modern humans and recent hunter-gatherers in Australia, the Near East and Europe, and archaeological examples of this behaviour from a million years ago to the Holocene. In summary, the breadth and depth of research compiled here should make this issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, a landmark step forward towards a better understanding of percussive technology, a unique behaviour shared by some modern and fossil primates. © 2015 The Author(s).

  20. From fish to modern humans – comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Abdala, V; Aziz, M A; Lonergan, N; Wood, B A

    2009-01-01

    In a recent study Diogo & Abdala [(2007) JMorphol268, 504–517] reported the results of the first part of a research project on the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral muscles of osteichthyans (bony fish and tetrapods). That report mainly focused on actinopterygian fish but also compared these fish with certain non-mammalian sarcopterygians. This study, which reports the second part of the research project, focuses mainly on sarcopterygians and particularly on how the pectoral and forelimb muscles have evolved during the transitions from sarcopterygian fish and non-mammalian tetrapods to monotreme and therian mammals and humans. The data obtained by our own dissections of all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of groups as diverse as sarcopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes and therian mammals such as rodents, tree-shrews, colugos and primates, including humans, are compared with the information available in the literature. Our observations and comparisons clearly stress that, with regard to the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles, the most striking transition within sarcopterygian evolutionary history was that leading to the origin of tetrapods. Whereas extant sarcopterygian fish have an abductor and adductor of the fin and a largely undifferentiated hypaxial and epaxial musculature, extant salamanders such as Ambystoma have more than 40 pectoral and forelimb muscles. There is no clear increase in the number of pectoral and forelimb muscles within the evolutionary transition that led to the origin of mammals and surely not to that leading to the origin of primates and humans. PMID:19438764

  1. Divergent evolution of human p53 binding sites: cell cycle versus apoptosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica M Horvath

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The p53 tumor suppressor is a sequence-specific pleiotropic transcription factor that coordinates cellular responses to DNA damage and stress, initiating cell-cycle arrest or triggering apoptosis. Although the human p53 binding site sequence (or response element [RE] is well characterized, some genes have consensus-poor REs that are nevertheless both necessary and sufficient for transactivation by p53. Identification of new functional gene regulatory elements under these conditions is problematic, and evolutionary conservation is often employed. We evaluated the comparative genomics approach for assessing evolutionary conservation of putative binding sites by examining conservation of 83 experimentally validated human p53 REs against mouse, rat, rabbit, and dog genomes and detected pronounced conservation differences among p53 REs and p53-regulated pathways. Bona fide NRF2 (nuclear factor [erythroid-derived 2]-like 2 nuclear factor and NFkappaB (nuclear factor of kappa light chain gene enhancer in B cells binding sites, which direct oxidative stress and innate immunity responses, were used as controls, and both exhibited high interspecific conservation. Surprisingly, the average p53 RE was not significantly more conserved than background genomic sequence, and p53 REs in apoptosis genes as a group showed very little conservation. The common bioinformatics practice of filtering RE predictions by 80% rodent sequence identity would not only give a false positive rate of approximately 19%, but miss up to 57% of true p53 REs. Examination of interspecific DNA base substitutions as a function of position in the p53 consensus sequence reveals an unexpected excess of diversity in apoptosis-regulating REs versus cell-cycle controlling REs (rodent comparisons: p < 1.0 e-12. While some p53 REs show relatively high levels of conservation, REs in many genes such as BAX, FAS, PCNA, CASP6, SIVA1, and P53AIP1 show little if any homology to rodent sequences. This

  2. Evolution and behavioural responses to human-induced rapid environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Andrew; Ferrari, Maud C O; Harris, David J

    2011-03-01

    Almost all organisms live in environments that have been altered, to some degree, by human activities. Because behaviour mediates interactions between an individual and its environment, the ability of organisms to behave appropriately under these new conditions is crucial for determining their immediate success or failure in these modified environments. While hundreds of species are suffering dramatically from these environmental changes, others, such as urbanized and pest species, are doing better than ever. Our goal is to provide insights into explaining such variation. We first summarize the responses of some species to novel situations, including novel risks and resources, habitat loss/fragmentation, pollutants and climate change. Using a sensory ecology approach, we present a mechanistic framework for predicting variation in behavioural responses to environmental change, drawing from models of decision-making processes and an understanding of the selective background against which they evolved. Where immediate behavioural responses are inadequate, learning or evolutionary adaptation may prove useful, although these mechanisms are also constrained by evolutionary history. Although predicting the responses of species to environmental change is difficult, we highlight the need for a better understanding of the role of evolutionary history in shaping individuals' responses to their environment and provide suggestion for future work.

  3. The North African Middle Stone Age and its place in recent human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scerri, Eleanor M L

    2017-05-01

    The North African Middle Stone Age (NAMSA, ∼300-24 thousand years ago, or ka) features what may be the oldest fossils of our species as well as extremely early examples of technological regionalization and 'symbolic' material culture (d'Errico, Vanhaeren, Barton, Bouzouggar, Mienis, Richter, Hublin, McPherron, Louzouet, & Klein, ; Scerri, ; Richter, Grün, Joannes-Boyau, Steele, Amani, Rué, Fernandes, Raynal, Geraads, Ben-Ncer Hublin, McPherron, ). The geographic situation of North Africa and an increased understanding of the wet-dry climatic pulses of the Sahara Desert also show that North Africa played a strategic role in continental-scale evolutionary processes by modulating human dispersal and demographic structure (Drake, Blench, Armitage, Bristow, & White, ; Blome, Cohen, Tryon, Brooks, & Russell, ). However, current understanding of the NAMSA remains patchy and subject to a bewildering array of industrial nomenclatures that mask underlying variability. These issues are compounded by a geographic research bias skewed toward non-desert regions. As a result, it has been difficult to test long-established narratives of behavioral and evolutionary change in North Africa and to resolve debates on their wider significance. In order to evaluate existing data and identify future research directions, this paper provides a critical overview of the component elements of the NAMSA and shows that the timing of many key behaviors has close parallels with others in sub-Saharan Africa and Southwest Asia. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. The Difference Between Ice Cream and Nazis: Moral Externalization and the Evolution of Human Cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, P Kyle

    2017-07-06

    A range of empirical findings are first used to more precisely characterize our distinctive tendency to objectify or externalize moral demands, and it is then argued that this salient feature of our moral cognition represents a profound puzzle for evolutionary approaches to human moral psychology that existing proposals do not help to resolve. It is then proposed that such externalization facilitated a broader shift to a vastly more cooperative form of social life by establishing and maintaining a connection between the extent to which an agent is herself motivated by a given moral norm and the extent to which she uses conformity to that same norm as a criterion in evaluating candidate partners in social interaction generally. This connection ensures the correlated interaction necessary to protect those prepared to adopt increasingly cooperative, altruistic, and other prosocial norms of interaction from exploitation, especially as such norms were applied in novel ways and/or to novel circumstances and as the rapid establishment of new norms allowed us to reap still greater rewards from hypercooperation. A wide range of empirical findings are then used to support this hypothesis, showing why the status we ascribe to moral demands and considerations exhibits the otherwise puzzling combination of objective and subjective elements that it does as well as showing how the need to effectively advertise our externalization of particular moral commitments generates features of our social interaction so familiar that they rarely strike us as standing in need of any explanation in the first place.

  5. The human cytochrome P450 3A locus. Gene evolution by capture of downstream exons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finta, C; Zaphiropoulos, P G

    2000-12-30

    Using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone, we have mapped the human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) locus containing the genes encoding for CYP3A4, CYP3A5 and CYP3A7. The genes lie in a head-to-tail orientation in the order of 3A4, 3A7 and 3A5. In both intergenic regions (3A4-3A7 and 3A7-3A5), we have detected several additional cytochrome P450 3A exons, forming two CYP3A pseudogenes. These pseudogenes have the same orientation as the CYP3A genes. To our surprise, a 3A7 mRNA species has been detected in which the exons 2 and 13 of one of the pseudogenes (the one that is downstream of 3A7) are spliced after the 3A7 terminal exon. This results in an mRNA molecule that consists of the 13 3A7 exons and two additional exons at the 3' end. The additional two exons originating from the pseudogene are in an altered reading frame and consequently have the capability to code a completely different amino acid sequence than the canonical CYP3A exons 2 and 13. These findings may represent a generalized evolutionary process with genes having the potential to capture neighboring sequences and use them as functional exons.

  6. Fungal spore germination into yeast or mycelium: possible implications of dimorphism in evolution and human pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghormade, Vandana; Deshpande, M. V.

    The ability of dimorphism in fungi is conventionally regarded as a reversible change between the two vegetative forms, yeast and mycelium, in response to environmental change. A zygomycetous isolate, Benjaminiella poitrasii, exhibited yeast-mycelium transition in response to the change in temperature (37-28 °C) and decrease in glucose concentration. For the first time the presence of dimorphic response during asexual and sexual spore germination is reported under the dimorphism-triggering conditions in B. poitrasii. The zygospores germinated into budding yeast when subjected to yeast-form supporting conditions. The mycelium-form favoring conditions gave rise to true mycelium. Similarly, the asexual spores displayed a dimorphic response during germination. Our observations suggest that dimorphism is an intrinsic ability present in the vegetative, asexual, and sexual forms of the fungus. As dimorphic fungi are intermediate to the unicellular yeast and the filamentous forms, understanding of the dimorphic character could be useful to trace the evolutionary relationships among taxonomically different fungi. Moreover, the implications of spore germination during the onset of pathogenesis and in drug development for human health care are discussed.

  7. The evolution of the natriuretic peptides - Current applications in human and animal medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Kimmenade, Roland R J; Januzzi, James L

    2009-05-01

    Although natriuretic peptides have played an important role in the fluid homeostasis of vertebrates for over several million years, their importance has only been noticed in the last few decades. Yet, the family of natriuretic peptides have since their discovery, drawn the attention of a broad spectrum of physicians and researchers involved in the maintenance of fluid homeostasis, including marine biologists, basic scientists, physicians and veterinarians. While all natriuretic peptides share a common phylogenetic background, due to differences in receptor-binding affinities, they have evolved into different hormones with clear distinct functions. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is the most studied member of the natriuretic peptide family, and together with its cleavage equivalent amino-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) these peptides have emerged as important cardiovascular serum markers. However, since their introduction, physicians involved in human or animal medicine have faced common but also different challenges in order to optimally interpret the diagnostic and prognostic value of these novel cardiovascular biomarkers.

  8. The evolution of human adiposity and obesity: where did it all go wrong?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan C. K. Wells

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Because obesity is associated with diverse chronic diseases, little attention has been directed to the multiple beneficial functions of adipose tissue. Adipose tissue not only provides energy for growth, reproduction and immune function, but also secretes and receives diverse signaling molecules that coordinate energy allocation between these functions in response to ecological conditions. Importantly, many relevant ecological cues act on growth and physique, with adiposity responding as a counterbalancing risk management strategy. The large number of individual alleles associated with adipose tissue illustrates its integration with diverse metabolic pathways. However, phenotypic variation in age, sex, ethnicity and social status is further associated with different strategies for storing and using energy. Adiposity therefore represents a key means of phenotypic flexibility within and across generations, enabling a coherent life-history strategy in the face of ecological stochasticity. The sensitivity of numerous metabolic pathways to ecological cues makes our species vulnerable to manipulative globalized economic forces. The aim of this article is to understand how human adipose tissue biology interacts with modern environmental pressures to generate excess weight gain and obesity. The disease component of obesity might lie not in adipose tissue itself, but in its perturbation by our modern industrialized niche. Efforts to combat obesity could be more effective if they prioritized ‘external’ environmental change rather than attempting to manipulate ‘internal’ biology through pharmaceutical or behavioral means.

  9. The future (r)evolution of preimplantation genetic diagnosis/human leukocyte antigen testing: ethical reflections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wert, Guido; Liebaers, Inge; Van de Velde, Hilde

    2007-09-01

    There has been increasing support for combining preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for specific diseases with a test for human leukocyte antigens (HLA) because the generation of HLA-matched umbilical cord blood cells may save the life of a diseased sibling. To date, this procedure has taken place in the context of conceiving another child--PGD/HLA testing type 1. However, it may well become possible to perform PGD/HLA testing outside this context, that is, to select matched embryos from which embryonic stem cells could be derived and used in cell therapy--PGD/HLA testing type 2. A proactive ethical analysis is needed and is presented in this article. Although PGD/HLA testing type 1 can be morally justified, the risks, pitfalls, and practical limitations of this procedure make it necessary to develop alternative strategies. PGD/HLA testing type 2 may provide an alternative strategy. From an ethical point of view, the controversial issue is that this procedure creates embryos purely for instrumental use. However, given the dominant view that the preimplantation embryo has only limited moral value, this alternative may be as morally justified as PGD/HLA testing type 1.

  10. Phylogenetic reconstruction of Bantu kinship challenges Main Sequence Theory of human social evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opie, Christopher; Shultz, Susanne; Atkinson, Quentin D; Currie, Thomas; Mace, Ruth

    2014-12-09

    Kinship provides the fundamental structure of human society: descent determines the inheritance pattern between generations, whereas residence rules govern the location a couple moves to after they marry. In turn, descent and residence patterns determine other key relationships such as alliance, trade, and marriage partners. Hunter-gatherer kinship patterns are viewed as flexible, whereas agricultural societies are thought to have developed much more stable kinship patterns as they expanded during the Holocene. Among the Bantu farmers of sub-Saharan Africa, the ancestral kinship patterns present at the beginning of the expansion are hotly contested, with some arguing for matrilineal and matrilocal patterns, whereas others maintain that any kind of lineality or sex-biased dispersal only emerged much later. Here, we use Bayesian phylogenetic methods to uncover the history of Bantu kinship patterns and trace the interplay between descent and residence systems. The results suggest a number of switches in both descent and residence patterns as Bantu farming spread, but that the first Bantu populations were patrilocal with patrilineal descent. Across the phylogeny, a change in descent triggered a switch away from patrifocal kinship, whereas a change in residence triggered a switch back from matrifocal kinship. These results challenge "Main Sequence Theory," which maintains that changes in residence rules precede change in other social structures. We also indicate the trajectory of kinship change, shedding new light on how this fundamental structure of society developed as farming spread across the globe during the Neolithic.

  11. Structure, functional characterization, and evolution of the dihydroorotase domain of human CAD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grande-García, Araceli; Lallous, Nada; Díaz-Tejada, Celsa; Ramón-Maiques, Santiago

    2014-02-04

    Upregulation of CAD, the multifunctional protein that initiates and controls the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines in animals, is essential for cell proliferation. Deciphering the architecture and functioning of CAD is of interest for its potential usage as an antitumoral target. However, there is no detailed structural information about CAD other than that it self-assembles into hexamers of ∼1.5 MDa. Here we report the crystal structure and functional characterization of the dihydroorotase domain of human CAD. Contradicting all assumptions, the structure reveals an active site enclosed by a flexible loop with two Zn²⁺ ions bridged by a carboxylated lysine and a third Zn coordinating a rare histidinate ion. Site-directed mutagenesis and functional assays prove the involvement of the Zn and flexible loop in catalysis. Comparison with homologous bacterial enzymes supports a reclassification of the DHOase family and provides strong evidence against current models of the architecture of CAD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Clonal evolution of pre-leukemic hematopoietic stem cells precedes human acute myeloid leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majeti, Ravindra

    2014-01-01

    Massively parallel DNA sequencing has uncovered recurrent mutations in many human cancers. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), cancer genome/exome resequencing has identified numerous recurrently mutated genes with an average of 5 mutations in each case of de novo AML. In order for these multiple mutations to accumulate in a single lineage of cells, they are serially acquired in clones of self-renewing hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), termed pre-leukemic HSC. Isolation and characterization of pre-leukemic HSC have shown that their mutations are enriched in genes involved in regulating DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and the cohesin complex. On the other hand, genes involved in regulating activated signaling are generally absent. Pre-leukemic HSC have been found to persist in clinical remission and may ultimately give rise to relapsed disease through the acquisition of novel mutations. Thus, pre-leukemic HSC may constitute a key cellular reservoir that must be eradicated for long-term cures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The evolution of human adiposity and obesity: where did it all go wrong?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K

    2012-09-01

    Because obesity is associated with diverse chronic diseases, little attention has been directed to the multiple beneficial functions of adipose tissue. Adipose tissue not only provides energy for growth, reproduction and immune function, but also secretes and receives diverse signaling molecules that coordinate energy allocation between these functions in response to ecological conditions. Importantly, many relevant ecological cues act on growth and physique, with adiposity responding as a counterbalancing risk management strategy. The large number of individual alleles associated with adipose tissue illustrates its integration with diverse metabolic pathways. However, phenotypic variation in age, sex, ethnicity and social status is further associated with different strategies for storing and using energy. Adiposity therefore represents a key means of phenotypic flexibility within and across generations, enabling a coherent life-history strategy in the face of ecological stochasticity. The sensitivity of numerous metabolic pathways to ecological cues makes our species vulnerable to manipulative globalized economic forces. The aim of this article is to understand how human adipose tissue biology interacts with modern environmental pressures to generate excess weight gain and obesity. The disease component of obesity might lie not in adipose tissue itself, but in its perturbation by our modern industrialized niche. Efforts to combat obesity could be more effective if they prioritized 'external' environmental change rather than attempting to manipulate 'internal' biology through pharmaceutical or behavioral means.

  14. A dynamic evolution model of human opinion as affected by advertising

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Gui-Xun; Liu, Yun; Zeng, Qing-An; Diao, Su-Meng; Xiong, Fei

    2014-11-01

    We propose a new model to investigate the dynamics of human opinion as affected by advertising, based on the main idea of the CODA model and taking into account two practical factors: one is that the marginal influence of an additional friend will decrease with an increasing number of friends; the other is the decline of memory over time. Simulations show several significant conclusions for both advertising agencies and the general public. A small difference of advertising’s influence on individuals or advertising coverage will result in significantly different advertising effectiveness within a certain interval of value. Compared to the value of advertising’s influence on individuals, the advertising coverage plays a more important role due to the exponential decay of memory. Meanwhile, some of the obtained results are in accordance with people’s daily cognition about advertising. The real key factor in determining the success of advertising is the intensity of exchanging opinions, and people’s external actions always follow their internal opinions. Negative opinions also play an important role.

  15. First comparative study of primate morphological and molecular evolutionary rates including muscle data: implications for the tempo and mode of primate and human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Peng, Zuogang; Wood, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Here we provide the first report about the rates of muscle evolution derived from Bayesian and parsimony cladistic analyses of primate higher-level phylogeny, and compare these rates with published rates of molecular evolution. It is commonly accepted that there is a ‘general molecular slow-down of hominoids’, but interestingly the rates of muscle evolution in the nodes leading and within the hominoid clade are higher than those in the vast majority of other primate clades. The rate of muscle evolution at the node leading to Homo (1.77) is higher than that at the nodes leading to Pan (0.89) and particularly to Gorilla (0.28). Notably, the rates of muscle evolution at the major euarchontan and primate nodes are different, but within each major primate clade (Strepsirrhini, Platyrrhini, Cercopithecidae and Hominoidea) the rates at the various nodes, and particularly at the nodes leading to the higher groups (i.e. including more than one genera), are strikingly similar. We explore the implications of these new data for the tempo and mode of primate and human evolution. PMID:23320764

  16. Impact of Alu repeats on the evolution of human p53 binding sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirotin Michael V

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The p53 tumor suppressor protein is involved in a complicated regulatory network, mediating expression of ~1000 human genes. Recent studies have shown that many p53 in vivo binding sites (BSs reside in transposable repeats. The relationship between these BSs and functional p53 response elements (REs remains unknown, however. We sought to understand whether the p53 REs also reside in transposable elements and particularly in the most-abundant Alu repeats. Results We have analyzed ~160 functional p53 REs identified so far and found that 24 of them occur in repeats. More than half of these repeat-associated REs reside in Alu elements. In addition, using a position weight matrix approach, we found ~400,000 potential p53 BSs in Alu elements genome-wide. Importantly, these putative BSs are located in the same regions of Alu repeats as the functional p53 REs - namely, in the vicinity of Boxes A/A' and B of the internal RNA polymerase III promoter. Earlier nucleosome-mapping experiments showed that the Boxes A/A' and B have a different chromatin environment, which is critical for the binding of p53 to DNA. Here, we compare the Alu-residing p53 sites with the corresponding Alu consensus sequences and conclude that the p53 sites likely evolved through two different mechanisms - the sites overlapping with the Boxes A/A' were generated by CG → TG mutations; the other sites apparently pre-existed in the progenitors of several Alu subfamilies, such as AluJo and AluSq. The binding affinity of p53 to the Alu-residing sites generally correlates with the age of Alu subfamilies, so that the strongest sites are embedded in the 'relatively young' Alu repeats. Conclusions The primate-specific Alu repeats play an important role in shaping the p53 regulatory network in the context of chromatin. One of the selective factors responsible for the frequent occurrence of Alu repeats in introns may be related to the p53-mediated regulation of Alu

  17. Inability of recombinant human thyrotropin to predict the evolution from subclinical hypothyroidism to overt disease. A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafon, C; Rodríguez, B; Montoro, J B; Cabo, D; Mesa, J

    2012-01-01

    The use of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) is indicated to evaluate thyroid carcinoma patients. In recent years, some authors have reported that rhTSH could serve as a dynamic test of thyroid reserve. The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not rhTSH can predict the evolution from subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) to overt hypothyroidism. Twenty-one women who met the diagnostic criteria of SH were enrolled. All patients received a single dose of rhTSH (0.1 mg). Basal blood samples for TSH, free T4 (fT4), thyroglobulin (Tg), and anti-thyoperoxidase and anti-Tg antibodies were obtained before and 1 day after rhTSH administration. All patients were followed for 2 yr, and blood samples were obtained every 6 months. Twenty-four hours after rhTSH administration, the TSH level increased to >20 mU/l in 14 patients; the serum peak TSH levels remained 10 mlU/l. None of the parameters analyzed differed significantly between patients who developed overt hypothyroidism from those who had persistent SH. The response of thyroid function tests to a single low dose of rhTSH is not useful in identifying those patients with SH who will develop overt hypothyroidism over a 2-yr period.

  18. Cooperative Learning Groups and the Evolution of Human Adaptability : (Another Reason) Why Hermits Are Rare in Tonga and Elsewhere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Adrian Viliami; Hernandez, Daniel

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the prevalence of adaptive culture in part requires understanding the dynamics of learning. Here we explore the adaptive value of social learning in groups and how formal social groups function as effective mediums of information exchange. We discuss the education literature on Cooperative Learning Groups (CLGs), which outlines the potential of group learning for enhancing learning outcomes. Four qualities appear essential for CLGs to enhance learning: (1) extended conversations, (2) regular interactions, (3) gathering of experts, and (4) incentives for sharing knowledge. We analyze these four qualities within the context of a small-scale agricultural society using data we collected in 2010 and 2012. Through an analysis of surveys, interviews, and observations in the Tongan islands, we describe the role CLGs likely plays in facilitating individuals' learning of adaptive information. Our analysis of group affiliation, membership, and topics of conversation suggest that the first three CLG qualities reflect conditions for adaptive learning in groups. We utilize ethnographic anecdotes to suggest the fourth quality is also conducive to adaptive group learning. Using an evolutionary model, we further explore the scope for CLGs outside the Tongan socioecological context. Model analysis shows that environmental volatility and migration rates among human groups mediate the scope for CLGs. We call for wider attention to how group structure facilitates learning in informal settings, which may be key to assessing the contribution of groups to the evolution of complex, adaptive culture.

  19. Experimental Evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Human Macrophages Results in Low-Frequency Mutations Not Associated with Selective Advantage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Guerrini

    Full Text Available Isolates of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis recovered from clinical samples exhibit genetic heterogeneity. Such variation may result from the stressful environment encountered by the pathogen inside the macrophage, which is the host cell tubercle bacilli parasitize. To study the evolution of the M. tuberculosis genome during growth inside macrophages, we developed a model of intracellular culture in which bacteria were serially passaged in macrophage-like THP-1 cells for about 80 bacterial generations. Genome sequencing of single bacterial colonies isolated before and after the infection cycles revealed that M. tuberculosis developed mutations at a rate of about 5.7 × 10-9 / bp/ generation, consistent with mutation rates calculated during in vivo infection. Analysis of mutant growth in macrophages and in mice showed that the mutations identified after the cyclic infection conferred no advantage to the mutants relative to wild-type. Furthermore, activity testing of the recombinant protein harboring one of these mutations showed that the presence of the mutation did not affect the enzymatic activity. The serial infection protocol developed in this work to study M. tuberculosis genome microevolution can be applied to exposure to stressors to determine their effect on genome remodeling during intra-macrophage growth.

  20. Mechanistically Distinct Pathways of Divergent Regulatory DNA Creation Contribute to Evolution of Human-Specific Genomic Regulatory Networks Driving Phenotypic Divergence of Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinsky, Gennadi V

    2016-09-19

    Thousands of candidate human-specific regulatory sequences (HSRS) have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that unique to human phenotypes result from human-specific alterations of genomic regulatory networks. Collectively, a compendium of multiple diverse families of HSRS that are functionally and structurally divergent from Great Apes could be defined as the backbone of human-specific genomic regulatory networks. Here, the conservation patterns analysis of 18,364 candidate HSRS was carried out requiring that 100% of bases must remap during the alignments of human, chimpanzee, and bonobo sequences. A total of 5,535 candidate HSRS were identified that are: (i) highly conserved in Great Apes; (ii) evolved by the exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA; (iii) defined by either the acceleration of mutation rates on the human lineage or the functional divergence from non-human primates. The exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA pathway seems mechanistically distinct from the evolution of regulatory DNA segments driven by the species-specific expansion of transposable elements. Genome-wide proximity placement analysis of HSRS revealed that a small fraction of topologically associating domains (TADs) contain more than half of HSRS from four distinct families. TADs that are enriched for HSRS and termed rapidly evolving in humans TADs (revTADs) comprise 0.8-10.3% of 3,127 TADs in the hESC genome. RevTADs manifest distinct correlation patterns between placements of human accelerated regions, human-specific transcription factor-binding sites, and recombination rates. There is a significant enrichment within revTAD boundaries of hESC-enhancers, primate-specific CTCF-binding sites, human-specific RNAPII-binding sites, hCONDELs, and H3K4me3 peaks with human-specific enrichment at TSS in prefrontal cortex neurons (P sapiens is driven by the evolution of human-specific genomic regulatory networks via at least two mechanistically distinct pathways of creation of

  1. Modeling human-water-systems: towards a comprehensive and spatially distributed assessment of co-evolutions for river basins in Central Europe

    OpenAIRE

    P. Krahe; E. Nilson; M. Knoche; A.-D. Ebner von Eschenbach

    2016-01-01

    In the context of river basin and flood risk management there is a growing need to improve the understanding of and the feedbacks between the driving forces “climate and socio-economy” and water systems. We make use of a variety of data resources to illustrate interrelationships between different constituents of the human-water-systems. Taking water storage for energy production as an example we present a first analysis on the co-evolution of socio-economic and hydrological ...

  2. Evidence of molecular evolution driven by recombination events influencing tropism in a novel human adenovirus that causes epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Walsh

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available In 2005, a human adenovirus strain (formerly known as HAdV-D22/H8 but renamed here HAdV-D53 was isolated from an outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctititis (EKC, a disease that is usually caused by HAdV-D8, -D19, or -D37, not HAdV-D22. To date, a complete change of tropism compared to the prototype has never been observed, although apparent recombinant strains of other viruses from species Human adenovirus D (HAdV-D have been described. The complete genome of HAdV-D53 was sequenced to elucidate recombination events that lead to the emergence of a viable and highly virulent virus with a modified tropism. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses of this genome demonstrate that this adenovirus is a recombinant of HAdV-D8 (including the fiber gene encoding the primary cellular receptor binding site, HAdV-D22, (the epsilon determinant of the hexon gene, HAdV-D37 (including the penton base gene encoding the secondary cellular receptor binding site, and at least one unknown or unsequenced HAdV-D strain. Bootscanning analysis of the complete genomic sequence of this novel adenovirus, which we have re-named HAdV-D53, indicated at least five recombination events between the aforementioned adenoviruses. Intrahexon recombination sites perfectly framed the epsilon neutralization determinant that was almost identical to the HAdV-D22 prototype. Additional bootscan analysis of all HAdV-D hexon genes revealed recombinations in identical locations in several other adenoviruses. In addition, HAdV-D53 but not HAdV-D22 induced corneal inflammation in a mouse model. Serological analysis confirmed previous results and demonstrated that HAdV-D53 has a neutralization profile representative of the epsilon determinant of its hexon (HAdV-D22 and the fiber (HAdV-D8 proteins. Our recombinant hexon sequence is almost identical to the hexon sequences of the HAdV-D strain causing EKC outbreaks in Japan, suggesting that HAdV-D53 is pandemic as an emerging EKC agent. This documents

  3. The evolution of human skin and the thousands of species it sustains, with ten hypothesis of relevance to doctors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dunn, Robert Roberdeau

    2016-01-01

    The entire skin is covered in microscopic life. The composition of this life—which species are present—has great importance for many aspects of dermatology. Little about this composition makes sense, except in light of evolution.......The entire skin is covered in microscopic life. The composition of this life—which species are present—has great importance for many aspects of dermatology. Little about this composition makes sense, except in light of evolution....

  4. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  5. Determinism and randomness in the evolution of introns and sine inserts in mouse and human mitochondrial solute carrier and cytokine receptor genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cianciulli, Antonia; Calvello, Rosa; Panaro, Maria A

    2015-04-01

    In the homologous genes studied, the exons and introns alternated in the same order in mouse and human. We studied, in both species: corresponding short segments of introns, whole corresponding introns and complete homologous genes. We considered the total number of nucleotides and the number and orientation of the SINE inserts. Comparisons of mouse and human data series showed that at the level of individual relatively short segments of intronic sequences the stochastic variability prevails in the local structuring, but at higher levels of organization a deterministic component emerges, conserved in mouse and human during the divergent evolution, despite the ample re-editing of the intronic sequences and the fact that processes such as SINE spread had taken place in an independent way in the two species. Intron conservation is negatively correlated with the SINE occupancy, suggesting that virus inserts interfere with the conservation of the sequences inherited from the common ancestor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Biologist Edwin Grant Conklin and the idea of the religious direction of human evolution in the early 1920s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavuk, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Edwin Grant Conklin, renowned US embryologist and evolutionary popularizer, publicly advocated a social vision of evolution that intertwined science and modernist Protestant theology in the early 1920s. The moral prestige of professional science in American culture - along with Conklin's own elite scientific status - diverted attention from the frequency with which his work crossed boundaries between natural science, religion and philosophy. Writing for broad audiences, Conklin was one of the most significant of the religious and modernist biological scientists whose rhetoric went well beyond simply claiming that certain kinds of religion were amenable to evolutionary science; he instead incorporated religion itself into evolution's broadest workings. A sampling of Conklin's widely-resonant discourse suggests that there was substantially more to the religion-evolution story in the 1920s US than many creationist-centred narratives of the era imply.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haldiman, T.; Kim, C.; Cohen, Y.; Chen, W.; Blevins, J.; Qing, L.; Cohen, M.L.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Telling, G.C.; Kong, Q.; Safar, J.G.

    2013-01-01

    The unique phenotypic characteristics of mammalian prions are thought to be encoded in the conformation of pathogenic prion proteins (PrPSc). The molecular mechanism responsible for the adaptation, mutation, and evolution of prions observed in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    related species as outgroup, it is difficult to identify human-lineage-specific changes, which is critical in delineating the biological uniqueness of humans. In this study, we conducted phylogeny-based analyses of 2633 human brain-expressed genes using rhesus macaque as the outgroup. We identified 47...... candidate genes showing strong evidence of positive selection in the human lineage. Genes with maximal expression in the brain showed a higher evolutionary rate in human than in chimpanzee. We observed that many immune-defense-related genes were under strong positive selection, and this trend was more...

  9. American Muslim Undergraduates' Views on Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouad, Khadija Engelbrecht

    2016-01-01

    A qualitative investigation into American Muslim undergraduates' views on evolution revealed three main positions on evolution: theistic evolution, a belief in special creation of all species, and a belief in special creation of humans with evolution for all non-human species. One can conceive of the manner in which respondents chose their…

  10. Co-Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, Robert

    2002-01-01

    Discusses the role of techniques of DNA analysis in assessing the genetic relationships between various species. Focuses on wolf-dog evolution using DNA evidence and historical data about human/wolf-dog relationships. (DDR)

  11. Tracing Cultural Evolution Through Memetics

    OpenAIRE

    Tiktik Dewi Sartika

    2004-01-01

    Viewing human being, as a part of evolution process is still a controversial issue for some people, in fact the evolution runs. As a sociocultural entity, human being has distinctive characters in its evolution process. A Theory inherited from Darwin may have only been able to answer how a simple unit such genes evolve to such complex animal like human. Yet, how among those complex animals interact, communicate, and replicate idea in so forth formed a such self-organized sociocultural complex...

  12. The role of docosahexaenoic and the marine food web as determinants of evolution and hominid brain development: the challenge for human sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Michael A; Broadhurst, C Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Life originated on this planet about 3 billion years ago. For the first 2.5 billion years of life there was ample opportunity for DNA modification. Yet there is no evidence of significant change in life forms during that time. It was not until about 600 million years ago, when the oxygen tension rose to a point where air-breathing life forms became thermodynamically possible, that a major change can be abruptly seen in the fossil record. The sudden appearance of the 32 phyla in the Cambrian fossil record was also associated with the appearance of intracellular detail not seen in previous life forms. That detail was provided by cell membranes made with lipids (membrane fats) as structural essentials. Lipids thus played a major, as yet unrecognised, role as determinants in evolution. The compartmentalisation of intracellular, specialist functions as in the nucleus, mitochondria, reticulo-endothelial system and plasma membrane led to cellular specialisation and then speciation. Thus, not only oxygen but also the marine lipids were drivers in the Cambrian explosion. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid, C22:6ω3 or C22:6, n-3, DHA) is a major feature of marine lipids. It requires six oxygen atoms to insert its six double bonds, so it would not have been abundant before oxidative metabolism became plentiful. DHA provided the membrane backbone for the emergence of new photoreceptors that converted photons into electricity, laying the foundation for the evolution of other signalling systems, the nervous system and the brain. Hence, the ω3 DHA from the marine food web must have played a critical role in human evolution. There is also clear evidence from molecular biology that DHA is a determinant of neuronal migration, neurogenesis and the expression of several genes involved in brain growth and function. That same process was essential to the ultimate cerebral expansion in human evolution. There is now incontrovertible support of this

  13. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional models used for teaching Human Evolution in Secondary Schools. Learning proficiency assessment. A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulisses Dardon

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of the human species is a topic of extreme importance reported in the “Parâmetros Curriculares Nacionais do Ensino Médio – PCNEM” (National Curriculum Standards of Secondary Education, although it is not often taught as part of basic education. This work presents the results of an experimental work performed with 31 students of a religious high school of State of Rio de Janeiro. Learning proficiency was assessed by using two-dimensional (2D and three-dimensional (3D illustration techniques of hominids skulls and a Pongidae for teaching Human Evolution. The teaching-learning process using these methodologies was more effective with the application of three-dimensional (3D illustration techniques. The group of students that used 3D illustrations were able to observe similarities and differences between the presented taxonomic models, and formulate hypotheses about their palaeobiology more consistently than the students that used 2D models. Results of this work indicate that the use of three-dimensional techniques (3D provides an excellent support to teaching-learning process in basic education, captivating and stimulating new interests of students during the educational process.

  14. First Detailed Anatomical Study of Bonobos Reveals Intra-Specific Variations and Exposes Just-So Stories of Human Evolution, Bipedalism, and Tool Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Diogo

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Just-so stories are prominent in human evolution literature because of our tendency to create simple progressionist narratives about our “special” place in nature, despite the fact that these stories are almost exclusively based on hard tissue data. How can we be so certain about the evolution of human facial communication, bipedalism, tool use, or speech without detailed knowledge of the internal anatomy of for instance, one of the two extant species more closely related to us, the bonobos? Here I show how many of these stories now become obsolete, after such a comprehensive knowledge on the anatomy of bonobos and other primates is finally put together. Each and every muscle that has been long accepted to be “uniquely human” and to provide “crucial singular functional adaptations” for our bipedalism, tool use and/or vocal/facial communication, is actually present as an intra-specific variant or even as normal phenotype in bonobos and/or other apes.

  15. How comparative psychology can shed light on human evolution: Response to Beran et al.'s discussion of "Cognitive capacities for cooking in chimpanzees".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Warneken, Felix

    2016-06-01

    We recently reported a study (Warneken & Rosati Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20150229, 2015) examining whether chimpanzees possess several cognitive capacities that are critical to engage in cooking. In a subsequent commentary, Beran, Hopper, de Waal, Sayers, and Brosnan Learning & Behavior (2015) asserted that our paper has several flaws. Their commentary (1) critiques some aspects of our methodology and argues that our work does not constitute evidence that chimpanzees can actually cook; (2) claims that these results are old news, as previous work had already demonstrated that chimpanzees possess most or all of these capacities; and, finally, (3) argues that comparative psychological studies of chimpanzees cannot adequately address questions about human evolution, anyway. However, their critique of the premise of our study simply reiterates several points we made in the original paper. To quote ourselves: "As chimpanzees neither control fire nor cook food in their natural behavior, these experiments therefore focus not on whether chimpanzees can actually cook food, but rather whether they can apply their cognitive skills to novel problems that emulate cooking" (Warneken & Rosati Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20150229, 2015, p. 2). Furthermore, the methodological issues they raise are standard points about psychological research with animals-many of which were addressed synthetically across our 9 experiments, or else are orthogonal to our claims. Finally, we argue that comparative studies of extant apes (and other nonhuman species) are a powerful and indispensable method for understanding human cognitive evolution.

  16. The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lovert : on the evolution of the human reproductive strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuiling, GA

    2003-01-01

    Human reproductive strategy differs from that of most other mammals, including Apes such as the closely related chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). For example, humans, although basically polygamic, exhibit a strong tendency to (serial) monogamy and-very rare for a

  17. Evolution of Gender Differences in Post-Secondary Human Capital Investments: College Majors. Working Paper #03-11

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemici, Ahu; Wiswall, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Over the past 40 years, the level of human capital investments has changed substantially for men and women. Changes in the intensive margin of college major selection have been also been substantial, as the number of graduates in humanities, social science, and teaching has declined, and the number in science, engineering, and business has…

  18. Tongue contractions during speech may have led to the development of the bony geometry of the chin following the evolution of human language: a mechanobiological hypothesis for the development of the human chin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichim, Ionut; Kieser, Jules; Swain, Michael

    2007-01-01

    One of the most fundamental yet unanswered questions of human evolution is that of the development of the chin. Whereas it is known that the chin, or mentum osseum, is an unique anatomical feature of modern humans that emerged during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, its origin and biomechanical significance are the subjects of intense controversy. Theories range from the suggestion that the chin evolved as a result of progressive reduction of the dental arch, which left it as a protrusion, to the hypothesis that it provided resistance to mandibular bending during mastication. Until now however, no accepted functional explanation of the human chin has emerged. Here, we develop the hypothesis that the actions of the tongue and non-masticatory orofacial muscles may have played a significant role on the development of the human chin. We report numerical simulations of the forces and resultant stresses developed in hypothetical chinned and non-chinned mandibles. Using empirical data and estimates of the forces generated by the human tongue during speech, our hypothesis suggests that the chin might in fact have developed as a result of the actions of the tongue and perioral muscles, rather than as a buttress to withstand masticatory induced stress. This provides a new perspective on the generation of the chin and importantly, suggests that its appearance may be causally related to the development of the human language.

  19. How does a high school biology teacher interact with his 10th grade students?: Examining science talk in evolution and human genetics instruction from a sociolinguistics perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avsar Erumit, Banu

    This qualitative study employed a case study design (Creswell, 2014) with a high school biology teacher to examine a) the types of discourse patterns that a high school teacher was using in evolution and human genetics units, b) the purposes and cognitive features of the teacher's questions, their impact on students' subsequent responses, and the types of teacher follow ups occurred in these two units, and c) the factors that I thought might be somehow influencing the teaching and learning of these two topics in this classroom. The findings showed that lecture and recitation were the two most frequently used discourse types in the two units. Guided discussion and guided small group work in which students' ideas and questions were more welcomed than in lecture and recitation, were used only in the evolution unit, which was also unit in which the teacher used hands-on activities. In the human genetics unit, he only used worksheet-based activities, which he called paper and pencil labs. Teacher questions were posed mainly to assess the correctness of students' factual knowledge, remind them of previously covered information, and check with students to clarify the meaning of their utterances or their progress on a task. The two primary types of cognitive processes associated with students' responses were recall information and evaluate teacher's questions, mostly with a short response. The most frequently heard voice in the classroom was teacher's. Whole class interactions did not feature equal participation as some much more engaged students dominated. The results of the teacher questionnaires. teacher interviews, teacher debriefings, and lesson observations showed that Evan had an informed understanding of NOS, a high level of acceptance of evolution, and adequate understanding of evolution. The factors that seemed to negatively influence his teaching and students' engagement in that classroom included but not limited to the teacher's lack of experience in teaching

  20. Chlamydiaceae Genomics Reveals Interspecies Admixture and the Recent Evolution of Chlamydia abortus Infecting Lower Mammalian Species and Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Joseph, Sandeep J.; Marti, Hanna; Didelot, Xavier; Castillo-Ramirez, Santiago; Read, Timothy D.; Dean, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    Chlamydiaceae are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause a diversity of severe infections among humans and livestock on a global scale. Identification of new species since 1989 and emergence of zoonotic infections, including abortion in women, underscore the need for genome sequencing of multiple strains of each species to advance our knowledge of evolutionary dynamics across Chlamydiaceae. Here, we genome sequenced isolates from avian, lower mammalian and human hosts. Based on core gene ...

  1. New Insights into the Evolution of the Human Diet from Faecal Biomarker Analysis in Wild Chimpanzee and Gorilla Faeces

    OpenAIRE

    Sistiaga, Ainara; Wrangham, Richard; Rothman, Jessica M.; Summons, Roger E.

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of early human diets is based on reconstructed biomechanics of hominin jaws, bone and teeth isotopic data, tooth wear patterns, lithic, taphonomic and zooarchaeological data, which do not provide information about the relative amounts of different types of foods that contributed most to early human diets. Faecal biomarkers are proving to be a valuable tool in identifying relative proportions of plant and animal tissues in Palaeolithic diets. A limiting factor in the applicat...

  2. Signatures of pleiotropy, economy and convergent evolution in a domain-resolved map of human-virus protein-protein interaction networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Garamszegi

    Full Text Available A central challenge in host-pathogen systems biology is the elucidation of general, systems-level principles that distinguish host-pathogen interactions from within-host interactions. Current analyses of host-pathogen and within-host protein-protein interaction networks are largely limited by their resolution, treating proteins as nodes and interactions as edges. Here, we construct a domain-resolved map of human-virus and within-human protein-protein interaction networks by annotating protein interactions with high-coverage, high-accuracy, domain-centric interaction mechanisms: (1 domain-domain interactions, in which a domain in one protein binds to a domain in a second protein, and (2 domain-motif interactions, in which a domain in one protein binds to a short, linear peptide motif in a second protein. Analysis of these domain-resolved networks reveals, for the first time, significant mechanistic differences between virus-human and within-human interactions at the resolution of single domains. While human proteins tend to compete with each other for domain binding sites by means of sequence similarity, viral proteins tend to compete with human proteins for domain binding sites in the absence of sequence similarity. Independent of their previously established preference for targeting human protein hubs, viral proteins also preferentially target human proteins containing linear motif-binding domains. Compared to human proteins, viral proteins participate in more domain-motif interactions, target more unique linear motif-binding domains per residue, and contain more unique linear motifs per residue. Together, these results suggest that viruses surmount genome size constraints by convergently evolving multiple short linear motifs in order to effectively mimic, hijack, and manipulate complex host processes for their survival. Our domain-resolved analyses reveal unique signatures of pleiotropy, economy, and convergent evolution in viral

  3. Signatures of pleiotropy, economy and convergent evolution in a domain-resolved map of human-virus protein-protein interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garamszegi, Sara; Franzosa, Eric A; Xia, Yu

    2013-01-01

    A central challenge in host-pathogen systems biology is the elucidation of general, systems-level principles that distinguish host-pathogen interactions from within-host interactions. Current analyses of host-pathogen and within-host protein-protein interaction networks are largely limited by their resolution, treating proteins as nodes and interactions as edges. Here, we construct a domain-resolved map of human-virus and within-human protein-protein interaction networks by annotating protein interactions with high-coverage, high-accuracy, domain-centric interaction mechanisms: (1) domain-domain interactions, in which a domain in one protein binds to a domain in a second protein, and (2) domain-motif interactions, in which a domain in one protein binds to a short, linear peptide motif in a second protein. Analysis of these domain-resolved networks reveals, for the first time, significant mechanistic differences between virus-human and within-human interactions at the resolution of single domains. While human proteins tend to compete with each other for domain binding sites by means of sequence similarity, viral proteins tend to compete with human proteins for domain binding sites in the absence of sequence similarity. Independent of their previously established preference for targeting human protein hubs, viral proteins also preferentially target human proteins containing linear motif-binding domains. Compared to human proteins, viral proteins participate in more domain-motif interactions, target more unique linear motif-binding domains per residue, and contain more unique linear motifs per residue. Together, these results suggest that viruses surmount genome size constraints by convergently evolving multiple short linear motifs in order to effectively mimic, hijack, and manipulate complex host processes for their survival. Our domain-resolved analyses reveal unique signatures of pleiotropy, economy, and convergent evolution in viral-host interactions that are

  4. New Insights into the Evolution of the Human Diet from Faecal Biomarker Analysis in Wild Chimpanzee and Gorilla Faeces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ainara Sistiaga

    Full Text Available Our understanding of early human diets is based on reconstructed biomechanics of hominin jaws, bone and teeth isotopic data, tooth wear patterns, lithic, taphonomic and zooarchaeological data, which do not provide information about the relative amounts of different types of foods that contributed most to early human diets. Faecal biomarkers are proving to be a valuable tool in identifying relative proportions of plant and animal tissues in Palaeolithic diets. A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces. In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives. This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei. Our results suggest that the chemometric analysis of faecal biomarkers is a useful tool for distinguishing between NHP and human faecal matter, and hence, it could provide information for palaeodietary research and early human diets.

  5. New Insights into the Evolution of the Human Diet from Faecal Biomarker Analysis in Wild Chimpanzee and Gorilla Faeces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sistiaga, Ainara; Wrangham, Richard; Rothman, Jessica M; Summons, Roger E

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of early human diets is based on reconstructed biomechanics of hominin jaws, bone and teeth isotopic data, tooth wear patterns, lithic, taphonomic and zooarchaeological data, which do not provide information about the relative amounts of different types of foods that contributed most to early human diets. Faecal biomarkers are proving to be a valuable tool in identifying relative proportions of plant and animal tissues in Palaeolithic diets. A limiting factor in the application of the faecal biomarker approach is the striking absence of data related to the occurrence of faecal biomarkers in non-human primate faeces. In this study we explored the nature and proportions of sterols and stanols excreted by our closest living relatives. This investigation reports the first faecal biomarker data for wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei). Our results suggest that the chemometric analysis of faecal biomarkers is a useful tool for distinguishing between NHP and human faecal matter, and hence, it could provide information for palaeodietary research and early human diets.

  6. Fractal dimension of the middle meningeal vessels: variation and evolution in Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Mantini, Simone; Perna, Agostino; Maffei, Carlotta; Manzi, Giorgio

    2005-01-01

    The middle meningeal vascular network leaves its traces on the endocranial surface because of the tight relationship between neurocranial development and brain growth. Analysing the endocast of fossil specimens, it is therefore possible to describe the morphology of these structures, leading inferences on the cerebral physiology and metabolism in extinct human groups. In this paper, general features of the meningeal vascular traces are described for specimens included in the Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens hypodigms. The complexity of the arterial network is quantified by its fractal dimension, calculated through the box-counting method. Modern humans show significant differences from the other two taxa because of the anterior vascular dominance and the larger fractal dimension. Neither the fractal dimension nor the anterior development are merely associated with cranial size increase. Considering the differences between Neanderthals and modern humans, these results may be interpreted in terms of phylogeny, cerebral functions, or cranial structural network.

  7. The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover: on the evolution of the human reproductive strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuiling, G A

    2003-12-01

    Human reproductive strategy differs from that of most other mammals, including Apes such as the closely related chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). For example, humans, although basically polygamic, exhibit a strong tendency to (serial) monogamy and--very rare for a mammal--provide biparental care. Moreover, humans are (almost) permanently willing to mate but, in contrast to other species, do so only in private. Unlike chimpanzees and bonobos, the human female exhibits no external signs of ovulation; rather a number of bodily features, e.g. permanently swollen milk glands and the quality of skin and hair, indicate fitness to breed. Human males also exhibit qualities that are rare among mammals: fertile males can be in the company of fertile females without sex being an imperative--although the awareness of sexuality is generally omnipresent. Moreover, unlike most other Apes, human males can cooperate in large groups, in spite of their polygynic inclination and their tendency to compete with each other for access to females. This capacity probably evolved in response to the necessity to acquire food, in particular meat, which was difficult to obtain by a single man. But life in large, complex, multi-male, multi-female groups places great demands on the members' social skills and, to be able to meet these demands, a large, sophisticated brain (neocortex) is needed. Food (and in its wake, cooking) probably forced man to live in ever-larger groups and to evolve the capacity to cooperate. This, in its turn, drove man's present-days psychosocial (emotional and intellectual) make-up. But for this to evolve, an adaptation of reproductive strategy was a conditio sine qua non.

  8. Modeling human-water-systems: towards a comprehensive and spatially distributed assessment of co-evolutions for river basins in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Krahe

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In the context of river basin and flood risk management there is a growing need to improve the understanding of and the feedbacks between the driving forces “climate and socio-economy” and water systems. We make use of a variety of data resources to illustrate interrelationships between different constituents of the human-water-systems. Taking water storage for energy production as an example we present a first analysis on the co-evolution of socio-economic and hydrological indicators. The findings will serve as for the development of conceptual, but fully coupled socio-hydrological models for selected sectors and regions. These models will be used to generate integrated scenarios of the climate and socio-economic change.

  9. Evaluating the relationship between spermatogenic silencing of the X chromosome and evolution of the Y chromosome in chimpanzee and human

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Mulugeta (Eskeatnaf); W.M. Baarends (Willy); J.H. Gribnau (Joost); J.A. Grootegoed (Anton)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractChimpanzees and humans are genetically very similar, with the striking exception of their Y chromosomes, which have diverged tremendously. The male-specific region (MSY), representing the greater part of the Y chromosome, is inherited from father to son in a clonal fashion, with natural

  10. Insights into the Evolution of Host Association through the Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Human Periodontal Pathobiont, Desulfobulbus oralis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karissa L. Cross

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The human oral microbiota encompasses representatives of many bacterial lineages that have not yet been cultured. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of previously uncultured Desulfobulbus oralis, the first human-associated representative of its genus. As mammalian-associated microbes rarely have free-living close relatives, D. oralis provides opportunities to study how bacteria adapt and evolve within a host. This sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacterium has adapted to the human oral subgingival niche by curtailing its physiological repertoire, losing some biosynthetic abilities and metabolic independence, and by dramatically reducing environmental sensing and signaling capabilities. The genes that enable free-living Desulfobulbus to synthesize the potent neurotoxin methylmercury were also lost by D. oralis, a notably positive outcome of host association. However, horizontal gene acquisitions from other members of the microbiota provided novel mechanisms of interaction with the human host, including toxins like leukotoxin and hemolysins. Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that most of those factors are actively expressed, including in the subgingival environment, and some are secreted. Similar to other known oral pathobionts, D. oralis can trigger a proinflammatory response in oral epithelial cells, suggesting a direct role in the development of periodontal disease.

  11. Humanities Guides: Man and Evolution, Vol. 1; Man and Revolution, Vol. 2; The Future of Man, Vol. 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton School District, Wilmington, DE.

    These three humanities course guides for grades 10, 11, and 12 have been designed to deal with social, ethical, and educational problems while maintaining the essentials of the traditional social studies and English programs, such as the development of writing and speaking skills, aesthetic values, and historical knowledge. The program enables the…

  12. Conversational Scholarship in Cyberspace: The Evolution and Activities of H-Net, the Online Network for the Humanities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Paul

    1996-01-01

    The origins and current use of H-Net, an online humanities network on the World Wide Web, are examined. H-Net currently sponsors 73 electronic discussion lists that reach subscribers in 68 countries. Discussion groups have not met expectations for scholarly exchange, possibly because of plagiarism and copyright concerns. New ventures include book…

  13. Insights into the Evolution of Host Association through the Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Human Periodontal Pathobiont, Desulfobulbus oralis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Karissa L.; Chirania, Payal; Xiong, Weili; Elkins, James G.; Giannone, Richard J.; Griffen, Ann L.; Hettich, Robert L.; Joshi, Snehal S.; Mokrzan, Elaine M.; Martin, Roman K.; Leys, Eugene J.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human oral microbiota encompasses representatives of many bacterial lineages that have not yet been cultured. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of previously uncultured Desulfobulbus oralis, the first human-associated representative of its genus. As mammalian-associated microbes rarely have free-living close relatives, D. oralis provides opportunities to study how bacteria adapt and evolve within a host. This sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacterium has adapted to the human oral subgingival niche by curtailing its physiological repertoire, losing some biosynthetic abilities and metabolic independence, and by dramatically reducing environmental sensing and signaling capabilities. The genes that enable free-living Desulfobulbus to synthesize the potent neurotoxin methylmercury were also lost by D. oralis, a notably positive outcome of host association. However, horizontal gene acquisitions from other members of the microbiota provided novel mechanisms of interaction with the human host, including toxins like leukotoxin and hemolysins. Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that most of those factors are actively expressed, including in the subgingival environment, and some are secreted. Similar to other known oral pathobionts, D. oralis can trigger a proinflammatory response in oral epithelial cells, suggesting a direct role in the development of periodontal disease. PMID:29535201

  14. Impact of MLH1 expression on tumor evolution after curative surgical tumor resection in a murine orthotopic xenograft model for human MSI colon cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Katy; Ferron, Marianne; Calmel, Claire; Fléjou, Jean-François; Pocard, Marc; Praz, Françoise

    2017-09-01

    Colorectal cancers (CRCs) displaying microsatellite instability (MSI) most often result from MLH1 deficiency. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of MLH1 expression per se on tumor evolution after curative surgical resection using a xenograft tumor model. Transplantable tumors established with the human MLH1-deficient HCT116 cell line and its MLH1-complemented isogenic clone, mlh1-3, were implanted onto the caecum of NOD/SCID mice. Curative surgical resection was performed at day 10 in half of the animals. The HCT116-derived tumors were more voluminous compared to the mlh1-3 ones (P = .001). Lymph node metastases and peritoneal carcinomatosis occurred significantly more often in the group of mice grafted with HCT116 (P = .007 and P = .035, respectively). Mlh1-3-grafted mice did not develop peritoneal carcinomatosis or liver metastasis. After surgical resection, lymph node metastases only arose in the group of mice implanted with HCT116 and the rate of cure was significantly lower than in the mlh1-3 group (P = .047). The murine orthotopic xenograft model based on isogenic human CRC cell lines allowed us to reveal the impact of MLH1 expression on tumor evolution in mice who underwent curative surgical resection and in mice whose tumor was left in situ. Our data indicate that the behavior of MLH1-deficient CRC is not only governed by mutations arising in genes harboring microsatellite repeated sequences but also from their defect in MLH1 as such. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Analysis of the effects of human activities on the hydromorphological evolution channel of the Saint-Maurice River downstream from La Gabelle dam (Quebec, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadnais, Marie-Ève; Assani, Ali A.; Landry, Raphaëlle; Leroux, Denis; Gratton, Denis

    2012-11-01

    During the first half of the twentieth century, many hydroelectric facilities were built in the Saint-Maurice River watershed, followed by other human activities in the second half of the century (pleasure boating, boom dismantling, urbanization, etc.). The goal of the study is to constrain the effects of these various types of human activities, particularly those of the many dams in the watershed, on the hydromorphological evolution of the Saint-Maurice River downstream from the La Gabelle (dam) power plant (43,000 km2). Comparison of specific discharge in this river with streamflow measured in a natural river setting reveals a significant decrease in seasonal maximum flows, aside from winter, when daily maximum flows increased significantly. Also, unlike natural rivers, the long-term trend in spring flows is not characterized by a significant change in mean downstream from the La Gabelle plant. These hydrological changes are linked to the inversion-type management mode of the reservoirs built downstream from the plant. As for the morphological evolution, the longitudinal variability of bankfull width downstream from the plant shows two significant shifts in mean: the first, which was quasi-abrupt, took place downstream of the des Forges rapid; and the second, which was gradual, occurred upstream from the confluence of the Saint-Maurice River with the St. Lawrence River, above the point where the Saint-Maurice splits into two branches. Comparison of aerial photographs taken at various times (1948, 1964, 1975, 1996, and 2008) reveals no significant change in the mean of bankfull width over time. However, a significant increase in the surface area of islets located at the confluence was observed, which is caused by sediment accumulation. These sediments were likely derived from local bank erosion resulting from anthropogenic changes.

  16. 4000 years of human dietary evolution in central Germany, from the first farmers to the first elites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knipper, Corina; Oelze, Vicky M.; Nicklisch, Nicole; Stecher, Marcus; Schlenker, Björn; Ganslmeier, Robert; Fragata, Matthias; Friederich, Susanne; Dresely, Veit; Hubensack, Vera; Brandt, Guido; Döhle, Hans-Jürgen; Vach, Werner; Schwarz, Ralf; Metzner-Nebelsick, Carola; Meller, Harald; Alt, Kurt W.

    2018-01-01

    Investigation of human diet during the Neolithic has often been limited to a few archaeological cultures or single sites. In order to provide insight into the development of human food consumption and husbandry strategies, our study explores bone collagen carbon and nitrogen isotope data from 466 human and 105 faunal individuals from 26 sites in central Germany. It is the most extensive data set to date from an enclosed geographic microregion, covering 4,000 years of agricultural history from the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The animal data show that a variety of pastures and dietary resources were explored, but that these changed remarkably little over time. In the human δ15N however we found a significant increase with time across the different archaeological cultures. This trend could be observed in all time periods and archaeological cultures (Bell Beaker phenomenon excluded), even on continuously populated sites. Since there was no such trend in faunal isotope values, we were able largely to exclude manuring as the cause of this effect. Based on the rich interdisciplinary data from this region and archaeological period we can argue that meat consumption increased with the increasing duration of farming subsistence. In δ13C, we could not observe any clear increasing or decreasing trends during the archaeological time periods, either for humans or for animals, which would have suggested significant changes in the environment and landscape use. We discovered sex-related dietary differences, with males of all archaeological periods having higher δ15N values than females, and an age-related increasing consumption of animal protein. An initial decrease of δ15N-values at the age of 1–2 years reveals partial weaning, while complete weaning took place at the age of 3–4 years. PMID:29584767

  17. Spatial-temporal evolution of the eastern Nanhui mudflat in the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Estuary under intensified human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Yexin; Zhu, Longhai; Chi, Wanqing; Yang, Zuosheng; Wang, Biying; Lv, Kai; Wang, Hongmin; Lu, Zhiyong

    2018-05-01

    The eastern Nanhui mudflat (ENM), located in the southern flank of the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Estuary, plays a key role in storm protection, defense against sea level rise, and land resource provision for Shanghai, China's largest city. Recently, there has been a great deal of concern for its evolutionary fate, since a drastic reduction in the Changjiang sediment discharge rate and an increased number of estuarine enclosures might negatively impact the environmental protection functions that this mudflat provides. In this paper, a novel method, which employed the envelope lines of instantaneous shoreline positions identified in 436 Landsat satellite images from 1975 to 2016, was used to demonstrate the evolution of the mudflat high and low tide lines in a detailed, quantitative way. Our study reveals the southeast progradation rate of the mudflat doubled from 24 m/yr in 713-1974 CE to 49 m/yr in 1975-1995 CE, probably due to the influence of the estuarine turbidity maximum zone shifting to the ENM. Under the ample sediment input directly from the turbidity maximum zone, the spatial evolution of the ENM was governed predominantly by the changing morphology of the South Passage due to the quick progradation of the ENM, which narrowed the South Passage by pushing the South Passage Trumpet southeastward. Therefore, the ENM experienced rapid accretion during 1975-2016. The accretion rate of the high tide line increased 2-13 times due to vegetation and intertidal enclosures, resulting in the rapid reduction of the intertidal area. The area decreased from 97 km2 in 1976 to 66 km2 in 1995, mainly due to vegetation, and continued decreasing to 12 km2 in 2006 due to the intertidal enclosures. In contrast, the accretion rate of the low tide line increased by 25 times due to subtidal enclosures and caused the intertidal area increased to 78 km2 in 2015. The almost disappeared intertidal zones in 2006 reappeared. However, this reappearance might be a temporary transitional

  18. Genome and gene alterations by insertions and deletions in the evolution of human and chimpanzee chromosome 22

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volfovsky Natalia

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding structure and function of human genome requires knowledge of genomes of our closest living relatives, the primates. Nucleotide insertions and deletions (indels play a significant role in differentiation that underlies phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees. In this study, we evaluated distribution, evolutionary history, and function of indels found by comparing syntenic regions of the human and chimpanzee genomes. Results Specifically, we identified 6,279 indels of 10 bp or greater in a ~33 Mb alignment between human and chimpanzee chromosome 22. After the exclusion of those in repetitive DNA, 1,429 or 23% of indels still remained. This group was characterized according to the local or genome-wide repetitive nature, size, location relative to genes, and other genomic features. We defined three major classes of these indels, using local structure analysis: (i those indels found uniquely without additional copies of indel sequence in the surrounding (10 Kb region, (ii those with at least one exact copy found nearby, and (iii those with similar but not identical copies found locally. Among these classes, we encountered a high number of exactly repeated indel sequences, most likely due to recent duplications. Many of these indels (683 of 1,429 were in proximity of known human genes. Coding sequences and splice sites contained significantly fewer of these indels than expected from random expectations, suggesting that selection is a factor in limiting their persistence. A subset of indels from coding regions was experimentally validated and their impacts were predicted based on direct sequencing in several human populations as well as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and two subspecies of orangutans. Conclusion Our analysis demonstrates that while indels are distributed essentially randomly in intergenic and intronic genomic regions, they are significantly under-represented in coding sequences. There are

  19. On the Immortality of Television Sets: ?Function? in the Human Genome According to the Evolution-Free Gospel of ENCODE

    OpenAIRE

    Graur, Dan; Zheng, Yichen; Price, Nicholas; Azevedo, Ricardo B.R.; Zufall, Rebecca A.; Elhaik, Eran

    2013-01-01

    A recent slew of ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium publications, specifically the article signed by all Consortium members, put forward the idea that more than 80% of the human genome is functional. This claim flies in the face of current estimates according to which the fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection is less than 10%. Thus, according to the ENCODE Consortium, a biological function can be maintained indefinitely without selec...

  20. Modeling Evolution of Hydrogen Bonding and Stabilization of Transition States in the Process of Cocaine Hydrolysis Catalyzed by Human Butyrylcholinesterase

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Daquan; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2006-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were performed on the prereactive enzyme-substrate complex, transition states, intermediates, and product involved in the process of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)-catalyzed hydrolysis of (−)-cocaine. The computational results consistently reveal a unique role of the oxyanion hole (consisting of G116, G117, and A199) in BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of cocaine, as compared to acetylcholinester...

  1. Evolution of Things

    OpenAIRE

    Eiben, A. E.; Ferreira, N.; Schut, M.; Kernbach, S.

    2011-01-01

    Evolution is one of the major omnipresent powers in the universe that has been studied for about two centuries. Recent scientific and technical developments make it possible to make the transition from passively understanding to actively mastering evolution. As of today, the only area where human experimenters can design and manipulate evolutionary processes in full is that of Evolutionary Computing, where evolutionary processes are carried out in a digital space, inside computers, in simulat...

  2. Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Evolution of Humanities : Reviewing The History of Translation Movement in the Context of Public Policy-making

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    M. M. Shah Abadi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available It is about forty years that some of Iran’s policy makers and experts in social and human sciences are of the opinion that there should be an evolution in humanities. They are of the view that principles and basic assumptions of current humanities are in conflict with Islamic framework and consequently these doctrines are not appropriate to address local issues of Islamic countries. Since the Islamic Revolution of Iran of 1979, any change in these doctrines has been a matter of debate. But we need a new plan for making a change in our policies. Applying interdisciplinary approach permit us to find a new way for policy making in society. History is full of lessons to guide us in our present situations. Therefore, by taking into account, the sociology of science and issues of policy-making, we study the Translation Movement. This article shows the transfer and transformation of Greek philosophy to Islamic philosophy in 7- 10 A.D. in Islamic civilization and also proposes an alternative approach for the policy makers. We identify actors of transferring knowledge, scientific translators and the Abbasid State. Research model of this paper has been chosen from the sociology of science and also makes use of "Implication Research Methodology” with regard to history. Our suggestion is "Transformational Translation (Transforlation " that includes selecting best texts, translations, correction, explanation, criticism and innovation. Accordingly, policies should be revised after identifying discipline on Transforlation Chain and structures and human resources have to be formalized on the basis of revised policies.

  3. Different patterns of evolution in the centromeric and telomeric regions of group A and B haplotypes of the human killer cell Ig-like receptor locus.

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    Chul-Woo Pyo

    Full Text Available The fast evolving human KIR gene family encodes variable lymphocyte receptors specific for polymorphic HLA class I determinants. Nucleotide sequences for 24 representative human KIR haplotypes were determined. With three previously defined haplotypes, this gave a set of 12 group A and 15 group B haplotypes for assessment of KIR variation. The seven gene-content haplotypes are all combinations of four centromeric and two telomeric motifs. 2DL5, 2DS5 and 2DS3 can be present in centromeric and telomeric locations. With one exception, haplotypes having identical gene content differed in their combinations of KIR alleles. Sequence diversity varied between haplotype groups and between centromeric and telomeric halves of the KIR locus. The most variable A haplotype genes are in the telomeric half, whereas the most variable genes characterizing B haplotypes are in the centromeric half. Of the highly polymorphic genes, only the 3DL3 framework gene exhibits a similar diversity when carried by A and B haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis and divergence time estimates, point to the centromeric gene-content motifs that distinguish A and B haplotypes having emerged ~6 million years ago, contemporaneously with the separation of human and chimpanzee ancestors. In contrast, the telomeric motifs that distinguish A and B haplotypes emerged more recently, ~1.7 million years ago, before the emergence of Homo sapiens. Thus the centromeric and telomeric motifs that typify A and B haplotypes have likely been present throughout human evolution. The results suggest the common ancestor of A and B haplotypes combined a B-like centromeric region with an A-like telomeric region.

  4. Functional Evolution of Influenza Virus NS1 Protein in Currently Circulating Human 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Viruses.

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    Clark, Amelia M; Nogales, Aitor; Martinez-Sobrido, Luis; Topham, David J; DeDiego, Marta L

    2017-09-01

    In 2009, a novel H1N1 influenza virus emerged in humans, causing a global pandemic. It was previously shown that the NS1 protein from this human 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus was an effective interferon (IFN) antagonist but could not inhibit general host gene expression, unlike other NS1 proteins from seasonal human H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Here we show that the NS1 protein from currently circulating pH1N1 viruses has evolved to encode 6 amino acid changes (E55K, L90I, I123V, E125D, K131E, and N205S) with respect to the original protein. Notably, these 6 residue changes restore the ability of pH1N1 NS1 to inhibit general host gene expression, mainly by their ability to restore binding to the cellular factor CPSF30. This is the first report describing the ability of the pH1N1 NS1 protein to naturally acquire mutations that restore this function. Importantly, a recombinant pH1N1 virus containing these 6 amino acid changes in the NS1 protein (pH1N1/NSs-6mut) inhibited host IFN and proinflammatory responses to a greater extent than that with the parental virus (pH1N1/NS1-wt), yet virus titers were not significantly increased in cell cultures or in mouse lungs, and the disease was partially attenuated. The pH1N1/NSs-6mut virus grew similarly to pH1N1/NSs-wt in mouse lungs, but infection with pH1N1/NSs-6mut induced lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines, likely due to a general inhibition of gene expression mediated by the mutated NS1 protein. This lower level of inflammation induced by the pH1N1/NSs-6mut virus likely accounts for the attenuated disease phenotype and may represent a host-virus adaptation affecting influenza virus pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE Seasonal influenza A viruses (IAVs) are among the most common causes of respiratory infections in humans. In addition, occasional pandemics are caused when IAVs circulating in other species emerge in the human population. In 2009, a swine-origin H1N1 IAV (pH1N1) was transmitted to humans, infecting people then and up

  5. Edentulation alters material properties of cortical bone in the human craniofacial skeleton: functional implications for craniofacial structure in primate evolution

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    Dechow, Paul C.; Wang, Qian; Peterson, Jill

    2011-01-01

    Skeletal adaptations to reduced function are an important source of skeletal variation and may be indicative of environmental pressures that lead to evolutionary changes. Humans serve as a model animal to investigate the effects of loss of craniofacial function through edentulation. In the human maxilla, it is known that edentulation leads to significant changes in skeletal structure such as residual ridge resorption and loss of cortical thickness. However, little is known about changes in bone tissue structure and material properties, which are also important for understanding skeletal mechanics but are often ignored. The aims of this study were to determine cortical material properties in edentulous crania and to evaluate differences with dentate crania and thus examine the effects of loss of function on craniofacial structure. Cortical bone samples from fifteen edentulous human skulls were measured for thickness and density. Elastic properties and directions of maximum stiffness were determined by using ultrasonic techniques. These data were compared to those from dentate crania reported in a previous investigation. Cortical bone from all regions of the facial skeleton of edentulous individuals is thinner than in dentate skulls. Elastic and shear moduli, and density are similar or greater in the zygoma and cranial vault of edentulous individuals, while these properties are less in the maxilla. Most cortical bone, especially in edentulous maxillae, has reduced directional orientation. The loss of significant occlusal loads following edentulation may contribute to the change in material properties and the loss of orientation over time during the normal process of bone remodeling. These results suggest that area-specific cortical microstructural changes accompany bone resorption following edentulation. They also suggest that functional forces are important for maintaining bone mass throughout the craniofacial skeleton, even in areas such as the browridges, which

  6. Molecular epidemiology and genetic evolution of the whole genome of G3P[8] human rotavirus in Wuhan, China, from 2000 through 2013.

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    Yuan-Hong Wang

    Full Text Available Rotaviruses are a major etiologic agent of gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Since the latter of the 1990s, G3 human rotaviruses referred to as "new variant G3" have emerged and spread in China, being a dominant genotype until 2010, although their genomic evolution has not yet been well investigated.The complete genomes of 33 G3P[8] human rotavirus strains detected in Wuhan, China, from 2000 through 2013 were analyzed. Phylogenetic trees of concatenated sequences of all the RNA segments and individual genes were constructed together with published rotavirus sequences.Genotypes of 11 gene segments of all the 33 strains were assigned to G3-P[8]-I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1, belonging to Wa genogroup. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated full genome sequences indicated that all the modern G3P[8] strains were assigned to Cluster 2 containing only one clade of G3P[8] strains in the US detected in the 1970s, which was distinct from Cluster 1 comprising most of old G3P[8] strains. While main lineages of all the 11 gene segments persisted during the study period, different lineages appeared occasionally in RNA segments encoding VP1, VP4, VP6, and NSP1-NSP5, exhibiting various allele constellations. In contrast, only a single lineage was detected for VP7, VP2, and VP3 genes. Remarkable lineage shift was observed for NSP1 gene; lineage A1-2 emerged in 2007 and became dominant in 2008-2009 epidemic season, while lineage A1-1 persisted throughout the study period.Chinese G3P[8] rotavirus strains have evolved since 2000 by intra-genogroup reassortment with co-circulating strains, accumulating more reassorted genes over the years. This is the first large-scale whole genome-based study to assess the long-term evolution of common human rotaviruses (G3P[8] in an Asian country.

  7. Establishment and evolution of the radiation risk concept for the man and human population in the 20th century

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vassilev, G.; Hadjieva

    2003-01-01

    The concept of radiation risk (RR) is the main basis for human protection from the harmful effect of ionizing radiation. It concerns the expected unfavorable health effects upon the irradiated person and probably upon his/her progeny. The early period of the history of RR evaluation was grounded on the assessment of acute skin reactions (erythema, epilation, dermatitis, ulceration) and on the measures (erythema dose) taken to diminish them. The second period covers the appraisal, based on estimation of different somatic effects and expected heredity ( genetic effects). They could be avoided if irradiation does not exceed the maximum permissible dose - the concept of zero RR. The current (third) period estimates both irradiation effects: deterministic effects that have a dose-related threshold and stochastic non-threshold effects. The ultimate goal of radiation protection is to exclude all deterministic effects and to diminish probability of stochastic effects (carcinogenesis and heredity effects) down to an acceptable level. Seven postulates describe the modern concept of RR for the man and human population: globalization irreversibility, accumulation, non-threshold harm, stochastic, non-specificity and acceptance of the risk

  8. On the immortality of television sets: "function" in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graur, Dan; Zheng, Yichen; Price, Nicholas; Azevedo, Ricardo B R; Zufall, Rebecca A; Elhaik, Eran

    2013-01-01

    A recent slew of ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium publications, specifically the article signed by all Consortium members, put forward the idea that more than 80% of the human genome is functional. This claim flies in the face of current estimates according to which the fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection is less than 10%. Thus, according to the ENCODE Consortium, a biological function can be maintained indefinitely without selection, which implies that at least 80 - 10 = 70% of the genome is perfectly invulnerable to deleterious mutations, either because no mutation can ever occur in these "functional" regions or because no mutation in these regions can ever be deleterious. This absurd conclusion was reached through various means, chiefly by employing the seldom used "causal role" definition of biological function and then applying it inconsistently to different biochemical properties, by committing a logical fallacy known as "affirming the consequent," by failing to appreciate the crucial difference between "junk DNA" and "garbage DNA," by using analytical methods that yield biased errors and inflate estimates of functionality, by favoring statistical sensitivity over specificity, and by emphasizing statistical significance rather than the magnitude of the effect. Here, we detail the many logical and methodological transgressions involved in assigning functionality to almost every nucleotide in the human genome. The ENCODE results were predicted by one of its authors to necessitate the rewriting of textbooks. We agree, many textbooks dealing with marketing, mass-media hype, and public relations may well have to be rewritten.

  9. A wider pelvis does not increase locomotor cost in humans, with implications for the evolution of childbirth.

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    Anna G Warrener

    Full Text Available The shape of the human female pelvis is thought to reflect an evolutionary trade-off between two competing demands: a pelvis wide enough to permit the birth of large-brained infants, and narrow enough for efficient bipedal locomotion. This trade-off, known as the obstetrical dilemma, is invoked to explain the relative difficulty of human childbirth and differences in locomotor performance between men and women. The basis for the obstetrical dilemma is a standard static biomechanical model that predicts wider pelves in females increase the metabolic cost of locomotion by decreasing the effective mechanical advantage of the hip abductor muscles for pelvic stabilization during the single-leg support phase of walking and running, requiring these muscles to produce more force. Here we experimentally test this model against a more accurate dynamic model of hip abductor mechanics in men and women. The results show that pelvic width does not predict hip abductor mechanics or locomotor cost in either women or men, and that women and men are equally efficient at both walking and running. Since a wider birth canal does not increase a woman's locomotor cost, and because selection for successful birthing must be strong, other factors affecting maternal pelvic and fetal size should be investigated in order to help explain the prevalence of birth complications caused by a neonate too large to fit through the birth canal.

  10. Microfluidic PCR Amplification and MiSeq Amplicon Sequencing Techniques for High-Throughput Detection and Genotyping of Human Pathogenic RNA Viruses in Human Feces, Sewage, and Oysters

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    Mamoru Oshiki

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Detection and genotyping of pathogenic RNA viruses in human and environmental samples are useful for monitoring the circulation and prevalence of these pathogens, whereas a conventional PCR assay followed by Sanger sequencing is time-consuming and laborious. The present study aimed to develop a high-throughput detection-and-genotyping tool for 11 human RNA viruses [Aichi virus; astrovirus; enterovirus; norovirus genogroup I (GI, GII, and GIV; hepatitis A virus; hepatitis E virus; rotavirus; sapovirus; and human parechovirus] using a microfluidic device and next-generation sequencer. Microfluidic nested PCR was carried out on a 48.48 Access Array chip, and the amplicons were recovered and used for MiSeq sequencing (Illumina, Tokyo, Japan; genotyping was conducted by homology searching and phylogenetic analysis of the obtained sequence reads. The detection limit of the 11 tested viruses ranged from 100 to 103 copies/μL in cDNA sample, corresponding to 101–104 copies/mL-sewage, 105–108 copies/g-human feces, and 102–105 copies/g-digestive tissues of oyster. The developed assay was successfully applied for simultaneous detection and genotyping of RNA viruses to samples of human feces, sewage, and artificially contaminated oysters. Microfluidic nested PCR followed by MiSeq sequencing enables efficient tracking of the fate of multiple RNA viruses in various environments, which is essential for a better understanding of the circulation of human pathogenic RNA viruses in the human population.

  11. Ancient, independent evolution and distinct molecular features of the novel human T-lymphotropic virus type 4

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    Wolfe Nathan D

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human T-lymphotropic virus type 4 (HTLV-4 is a new deltaretrovirus recently identified in a primate hunter in Cameroon. Limited sequence analysis previously showed that HTLV-4 may be distinct from HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and HTLV-3, and their simian counterparts, STLV-1, STLV-2, and STLV-3, respectively. Analysis of full-length genomes can provide basic information on the evolutionary history and replication and pathogenic potential of new viruses. Results We report here the first complete HTLV-4 sequence obtained by PCR-based genome walking using uncultured peripheral blood lymphocyte DNA from an HTLV-4-infected person. The HTLV-4(1863LE genome is 8791-bp long and is equidistant from HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and HTLV-3 sharing only 62–71% nucleotide identity. HTLV-4 has a prototypic genomic structure with all enzymatic, regulatory, and structural proteins preserved. Like STLV-2, STLV-3, and HTLV-3, HTLV-4 is missing a third 21-bp transcription element found in the long terminal repeats of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 but instead contains unique c-Myb and pre B-cell leukemic transcription factor binding sites. Like HTLV-2, the PDZ motif important for cellular signal transduction and transformation in HTLV-1 and HTLV-3 is missing in the C-terminus of the HTLV-4 Tax protein. A basic leucine zipper (b-ZIP region located in the antisense strand of HTLV-1 and believed to play a role in viral replication and oncogenesis, was also found in the complementary strand of HTLV-4. Detailed phylogenetic analysis shows that HTLV-4 is clearly a monophyletic viral group. Dating using a relaxed molecular clock inferred that the most recent common ancestor of HTLV-4 and HTLV-2/STLV-2 occurred 49,800 to 378,000 years ago making this the oldest known PTLV lineage. Interestingly, this period coincides with the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens during the Middle Pleistocene suggesting that early humans may have been susceptible hosts for the ancestral HTLV-4. Conclusion The

  12. Human polyomavirus JC variants in Papua New Guinea and Guam reflect ancient population settlement and viral evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryschkewitsch, C F; Friedlaender, J S; Mgone, C S; Jobes, D V; Agostini, H T; Chima, S C; Alpers, M P; Koki, G; Yanagihara, R; Stoner, G L

    2000-07-01

    The peopling of the Pacific was a complex sequence of events that is best reconstructed by reconciling insights from various disciplines. Here we analyze the human polyomavirus JC (JCV) in Highlanders of Papua New Guinea (PNG), in Austronesian-speaking Tolai people on the island of New Britain, and in nearby non-Austronesian-speaking Baining people. We also characterize JCV from the Chamorro of Guam, a Micronesian population. All JCV strains from PNG and Guam fall within the broad Asian group previously defined in the VP1 gene as Type 2 or Type 7, but the PNG strains were distinct from both genotypes. Among the Chamorro JCV samples, 8 strains (Guam-1) were like the Type 7 strains found in Southeast Asia, while nine strains (Guam-2) were distinct from both the mainland strains and most PNG strains. We identified three JCV variants within Papua New Guinea (PNG-1, PNG-2 and PNG-3), but none of the Southeast Asian (Type 7) strains. PNG-1 strains were present in all three populations (Highlanders and the Baining and Tolai of New Britain), but PNG-2 strains were restricted to the Highlanders. Their relative lack of DNA sequence variation suggests that they arose comparatively recently. The single PNG-3 strain, identified in an Austronesian-speaking Tolai individual, was closely related to the Chamorro variants (Guam-2), consistent with a common Austronesian ancestor. In PNG-2 variants a complex regulatory region mutation inserts a duplication into a nearby deletion, a change reminiscent of those seen in the brains of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy patients. This is the first instance of a complex JCV rearrangement circulating in a human population.

  13. Insights from Earth Sciences into Human Evolution studies: The example of prehistoric landscape use in Africa and the Levant

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    Devès, Maud H.; Reynolds, Sally; King, Geoffrey C. P.; Kuebler, Simon; Sturdy, Derek; Godet, Nan

    2015-07-01

    Fossil remains are embedded in a continually evolving landscape. Earth scientists have the methods and approaches to study the processes that shape the landscape at various temporal and spatial scales. Some of these methods can generate insights that are of potential use for researchers in other fields, such as archaeology and palaeoanthropology. Here we present two case studies to illustrate how a broader landscape perspective can provide new insights into the land use by Pliocene hominins in southern Africa, and more recently, by Palaeolithic hominins in the southern Levant. Key landscape attributes can help explain why humans, hominins and the wider animal community exploit certain types of landscapes in predictable ways. Our first case study examines how active tectonics or volcanism appears to be important in creating fertile regions with reliable water sources and complex topography. While relatively easy for agile primates such as hominins to negotiate, zones of complex topography are harder for certain predators and prey animals to traverse. In the second case study, we consider that differences in soil edaphics can exert a major control on animals by supplying or failing to supply necessary trace elements, such as selenium, copper, phosphate and potassium (Henkin et al., 1995). We show that the pattern of trace element distribution can accurately map animal movements between areas of suitable grazing. This predictability could have enabled Levantine humans to ambush megafauna during these seasonal migrations. By studying the landscape attributes around fossil site locations, Earth scientists can offer new insights and perspectives into the past, particularly on the ways in which the inhabitants would have used their landscapes.

  14. The Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption: New Data on Volcanic Ash Dispersal and Its Potential Impact on Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimmons, Kathryn E.; Hambach, Ulrich; Veres, Daniel; Iovita, Radu

    2013-01-01

    The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) volcanic eruption was the most explosive in Europe in the last 200,000 years. The event coincided with the onset of an extremely cold climatic phase known as Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) approximately 40,000 years ago. Their combined effect may have exacerbated the severity of the climate through positive feedbacks across Europe and possibly globally. The CI event is of particular interest not only to investigate the role of volcanism on climate forcing and palaeoenvironments, but also because its timing coincides with the arrival into Europe of anatomically modern humans, the demise of Neanderthals, and an associated major shift in lithic technology. At this stage, however, the degree of interaction between these factors is poorly known, based on fragmentary and widely dispersed data points. In this study we provide important new data from Eastern Europe which indicate that the magnitude of the CI eruption and impact of associated distal ash (tephra) deposits may have been substantially greater than existing models suggest. The scale of the eruption is modelled by tephra distribution and thickness, supported by local data points. CI ashfall extends as far as the Russian Plain, Eastern Mediterranean and northern Africa. However, modelling input is limited by very few data points in Eastern Europe. Here we investigate an unexpectedly thick CI tephra deposit in the southeast Romanian loess steppe, positively identified using geochemical and geochronological analyses. We establish the tephra as a widespread primary deposit, which blanketed the topography both thickly and rapidly, with potentially catastrophic impacts on local ecosystems. Our discovery not only highlights the need to reassess models for the magnitude of the eruption and its role in climatic transition, but also suggests that it may have substantially influenced hominin population and subsistence dynamics in a region strategic for human migration into Europe. PMID:23799050

  15. Natural and human controls of the Holocene evolution of the beach, aeolian sand and dunes of Caesarea (Israel)

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    Roskin, J.; Sivan, D.; Shtienberg, G.; Roskin, E.; Porat, N.; Bookman, R.

    2015-12-01

    The study focuses on the Holocene appearance, chronology and drivers of beach sand deposition and inland aeolian sand transport around the Roman-Byzantine ruins of Caesarea, Israel. Beach sand, sand sheets, nebkha, linear and transverse dunes as well as parabolic and transverse interdunes along two transects were sampled in the current study down to their substrate. Sixteen new optically stimulated luminescence ages cluster at ∼5.9-3.3 ka, ∼1.2-1.1 ka (800-900 AD) and ∼190-120 years ago (1825-1895 AD) indicating times of middle and late Holocene sand sheet depositions and historical dune stabilization. The first age cluster indicates that beach sand accumulated when rates of global sea level rise declined around 6-5 ka. Until ∼4 ka sand sheets encroached up to 2.5 km inland. Historical and archaeological evidence points to sand mobilization since the first century AD. Sand sheets dating to 1.2-1.1 ka, coevally found throughout the dunefield represent sand stabilization due to vegetation reestablishment attributed to gradual and fluctuating decline in human activity from the middle Early Islamic period until the 10th century. Historical and chronological evidence of the existence of transverse and coppice dunes from the 19th century suggest that dunes only formed in the last few centuries. The study illustrates the initial role of natural processes, in this case decline in global sea level rise and the primary and later role of fluctuating human activity upon coastal sand mobility. The study distinguishes between sand sheets and dunes and portrays them as sensors of environmental changes.

  16. A conceptual socio-hydrological model of the co-evolution of humans and water: case study of the Tarim River basin, western China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Tian, F.; Lin, M.; Sivapalan, M.

    2015-02-01

    The complex interactions and feedbacks between humans and water are critically important issues but remain poorly understood in the newly proposed discipline of socio-hydrology (Sivapalan et al., 2012). An exploratory model with the appropriate level of simplification can be valuable for improving our understanding of the co-evolution and self-organization of socio-hydrological systems driven by interactions and feedbacks operating at different scales. In this study, a simplified conceptual socio-hydrological model based on logistic growth curves is developed for the Tarim River basin in western China and is used to illustrate the explanatory power of such a co-evolutionary model. The study area is the main stream of the Tarim River, which is divided into two modeling units. The socio-hydrological system is composed of four sub-systems, i.e., the hydrological, ecological, economic, and social sub-systems. In each modeling unit, the hydrological equation focusing on water balance is coupled to the other three evolutionary equations to represent the dynamics of the social sub-system (denoted by population), the economic sub-system (denoted by irrigated crop area ratio), and the ecological sub-system (denoted by natural vegetation cover), each of which is expressed in terms of a logistic growth curve. Four feedback loops are identified to represent the complex interactions among different sub-systems and different spatial units, of which two are inner loops occurring within each separate unit and the other two are outer loops linking the two modeling units. The feedback mechanisms are incorporated into the constitutive relations for model parameters, i.e., the colonization and mortality rates in the logistic growth curves that are jointly determined by the state variables of all sub-systems. The co-evolution of the Tarim socio-hydrological system is then analyzed with this conceptual model to gain insights into the overall system dynamics and its sensitivity to the

  17. Immunophenotyping reveals the diversity of human dental pulp mesenchymal stromal cells in vivo and their evolution upon in vitro amplification

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    Maxime DUCRET

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs from human dental pulp (DP can be expanded in vitro for cell-based and regenerative dentistry therapeutic purposes. However, their heterogeneity may be a hurdle to the achievement of reproducible and predictable therapeutic outcomes. To get a better knowledge about this heterogeneity, we designed a flow cytometric strategy to analyze the phenotype of DP cells in vivo and upon in vitro expansion with stem cell markers. We focused on the CD31- cell population to exclude endothelial and leukocytic cells. Results showed that the in vivo CD31- DP cell population contained 1.4% of CD56+, 1.5% of CD146+, 2.4% of CD271+ and 6.3% of MSCA-1+ cells but very few Stro-1+ cells (≤1%. CD56+, CD146+, CD271+ and MSCA-1+ cell subpopulations expressed various levels of these markers. CD146+MSCA-1+, CD271+MSCA-1+ and CD146+CD271+ cells were the most abundant DP-MSC populations. Analysis of DP-MSCs expanded in vitro with a medicinal manufacturing approach showed that CD146 was expressed by about 50% of CD56+, CD271+, MSCA-1+ and Stro-1+ cells, and MSCA-1 by 15-30% of CD56+, CD146+, CD271+ and Stro-1+ cells. These ratios remained stable with passages. CD271 and Stro-1 were expressed by less than 1% of the expanded cell populations. Interestingly, the percentage of CD56+ cells strongly increased from P1 (25% to P4 (80% both in all sub-populations studied. CD146+CD56+, MSCA-1+CD56+ and CD146+MSCA-1+ cells were the most abundant DP-MSCs at the end of P4. These results established that DP-MSCs constitute a heterogeneous mixture of cells in pulp tissue in vivo and in culture, and that their phenotype is modified upon in vitro expansion. Further studies are needed to determine whether co-expression of specific MSC markers confers DP cells specific properties that could be used for the regeneration of human tissues, including the dental pulp, with standardized cell-based medicinal products.

  18. Periodic isolation of the southern coastal plain of South Africa and the evolution of modern humans over late Quaternary glacial to interglacial cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compton, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    Humans evolved in Africa, but where in Africa and by what mechanisms remain unclear. The evolution of modern humans over the last million years is associated with the onset of major global climate fluctuations, glacial to interglacial cycles, related to the build up and melting of large ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. During interglacial periods, such as today, warm and wet climates favored human expansion but during cold and dry glacial periods conditions were harsh and habitats fragmented. These large climate fluctuations periodically expanded and contracted African ecosystems and led to human migrations to more hospitable glacial refugia. Periodic isolation of relatively small numbers of humans may have allowed for their rapid evolutionary divergence from the rest of Africa. During climate transitions these divergent groups may have then dispersed and interbred with other groups (hybridization). Two areas at the opposite ends of Africa stand out as regions that were periodically isolated from the rest of Africa: North Africa (the Maghreb) and the southern coastal plain (SCP) of South Africa. The Maghreb is isolated by the Sahara Desert which periodically greens and is reconnected to the rest of Africa during the transition from glacial to interglacial periods. The SCP of South Africa is isolated from the rest of Africa by the rugged mountains of the Cape Fold Belt associated with inedible vegetation and dry climates to the north. The SCP is periodically opened when sea level falls by up to 130 m during glacial maxima to expose the present day submerged inner continental shelf. A five-fold expansion of the SCP receiving more rainfall in glacial periods may have served as a refuge to humans and large migratory herds. The expansive glacial SCP habitat abruptly contracts, by as much as one-third in 300 yr, during the rapid rise in sea level associated with glacial terminations. Rapid flooding may have increased population density and competition on the SCP to

  19. The 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa highlights no evidence of rapid evolution or adaptation to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xingguang; Zai, Junjie; Liu, Haizhou; Feng, Yi; Li, Fan; Wei, Jing; Zou, Sen; Yuan, Zhiming; Shao, Yiming

    2016-10-21

    Following its immergence in December 2013, the recent Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa has spread and persisted for more than two years, making it the largest EBOV epidemic in both scale and geographical region to date. In this study, a total of 726 glycoprotein (GP) gene sequences of the EBOV full-length genome obtained from West Africa from the 2014 outbreak, combined with 30 from earlier outbreaks between 1976 and 2008 were used to investigate the genetic divergence, evolutionary history, population dynamics, and selection pressure of EBOV among distinct epidemic waves. Results from our dataset showed that no non-synonymous substitutions occurred on the GP gene coding sequences of EBOV that were likely to have affected protein structure or function in any way. Furthermore, the significantly different dN/dS ratios observed between the 2014 West African outbreak and earlier outbreaks were more likely due to the confounding presence of segregating polymorphisms. Our results highlight no robust evidence that the 2014 EBOV outbreak is fast-evolving and adapting to humans. Therefore, the unprecedented nature of the 2014 EBOV outbreak might be more likely related to non-virological elements, such as environmental and sociological factors.

  20. Evolution and development of laws, regulations, criteria and human resources to ensure the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Thailand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keinmeesuke, S.

    2006-01-01

    The Research Reactor, TRR-1 (renamed TRR-1/M1 after core replacement) in Thailand has been operated for more than 43 years. This ageing reactor will be facing shutdown in the near future. Laws and Regulations have been continually developed to assure the safe operation of nuclear facilities, particularly of the research reactor, and to ensure the safe decommissioning of the reactor after its operational life. However, the Thai nuclear legislation is still not applicable to a number of areas. Office of Atoms for Peace is working toward development of a new consolidated Act. In addition, the licensing steps for modification and decommissioning are added to the new Ministerial Regulation and to the new guidance documents on the licensing process for research reactors. Regulations, guidance and criteria for approval of decommissioning are being developed using the IAEA Safety Standards Series as the main basis for drafting. Human resource development is considered as one of the key important factor to ensure safe decommissioning of the installation. Staffing and training of the operating organization and the regulatory body personnel have been addressed to ensure the achievement of competency level. Simple methods and technologies are the best means for implementation while learning from experience of others will help and support us in our attempt to be the 'second First'. IAEA advice and assistance on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities in countries with limited resources is desirable. (author)

  1. Structural alterations in a component of cytochrome c oxidase and molecular evolution of pathogenic Neisseria in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Aspholm

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Three closely related bacterial species within the genus Neisseria are of importance to human disease and health. Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of meningitis, while Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea and Neisseria lactamica is a common, harmless commensal of children. Comparative genomics have yet to yield clear insights into which factors dictate the unique host-parasite relationships exhibited by each since, as a group, they display remarkable conservation at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene content and synteny. Here, we discovered two rare alterations in the gene encoding the CcoP protein component of cytochrome cbb(3 oxidase that are phylogenetically informative. One is a single nucleotide polymorphism resulting in CcoP truncation that acts as a molecular signature for the species N. meningitidis. We go on to show that the ancestral ccoP gene arose by a unique gene duplication and fusion event and is specifically and completely distributed within species of the genus Neisseria. Surprisingly, we found that strains engineered to express either of the two CcoP forms conditionally differed in their capacity to support nitrite-dependent, microaerobic growth mediated by NirK, a nitrite reductase. Thus, we propose that changes in CcoP domain architecture and ensuing alterations in function are key traits in successive, adaptive radiations within these metapopulations. These findings provide a dramatic example of how rare changes in core metabolic proteins can be connected to significant macroevolutionary shifts. They also show how evolutionary change at the molecular level can be linked to metabolic innovation and its reversal as well as demonstrating how genotype can be used to infer alterations of the fitness landscape within a single host.

  2. Modeling evolution of hydrogen bonding and stabilization of transition states in the process of cocaine hydrolysis catalyzed by human butyrylcholinesterase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Daquan; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2006-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were performed on the prereactive enzyme-substrate complex, transition states, intermediates, and product involved in the process of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)-catalyzed hydrolysis of (-)-cocaine. The computational results consistently reveal a unique role of the oxyanion hole (consisting of G116, G117, and A199) in BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of cocaine, compared to acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-catalyzed hydrolysis of acetylcholine. During BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of cocaine, only G117 has a hydrogen bond with the carbonyl oxygen (O31) of the cocaine benzoyl ester in the prereactive BChE-cocaine complex, and the NH groups of G117 and A199 are hydrogen-bonded with O31 of cocaine in all of the transition states and intermediates. Surprisingly, the NH hydrogen of G116 forms an unexpected hydrogen bond with the carboxyl group of E197 side chain and, therefore, is not available to form a hydrogen bond with O31 of cocaine in the acylation. The NH hydrogen of G116 is only partially available to form a weak hydrogen bond with O31 of cocaine in some structures involved in the deacylation. The change of the estimated hydrogen-bonding energy between the oxyanion hole and O31 of cocaine during the reaction process demonstrates how the protein environment can affect the energy barrier for each step of the BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of cocaine. These insights concerning the effects of the oxyanion hole on the energy barriers provide valuable clues on how to rationally design BChE mutants with a higher catalytic activity for the hydrolysis of (-)-cocaine. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Molecular Evolution of the VP1 Gene in Human Norovirus GII.4 Variants in 1974–2015

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    Takumi Motoya

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Human norovirus (HuNoV is a leading cause of viral gastroenteritis worldwide, of which GII.4 is the most predominant genotype. Unlike other genotypes, GII.4 has created various variants that escaped from previously acquired immunity of the host and caused repeated epidemics. However, the molecular evolutionary differences among all GII.4 variants, including recently discovered strains, have not been elucidated. Thus, we conducted a series of bioinformatic analyses using numerous, globally collected, full-length GII.4 major capsid (VP1 gene sequences (466 strains to compare the evolutionary patterns among GII.4 variants. The time-scaled phylogenetic tree constructed using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC method showed that the common ancestor of the GII.4 VP1 gene diverged from GII.20 in 1840. The GII.4 genotype emerged in 1932, and then formed seven clusters including 14 known variants after 1980. The evolutionary rate of GII.4 strains was estimated to be 7.68 × 10−3 substitutions/site/year. The evolutionary rates probably differed among variants as well as domains [protruding 1 (P1, shell, and P2 domains]. The Osaka 2007 variant strains probably contained more nucleotide substitutions than any other variant. Few conformational epitopes were located in the shell and P1 domains, although most were contained in the P2 domain, which, as previously established, is associated with attachment to host factors and antigenicity. We found that positive selection sites for the whole GII.4 genotype existed in the shell and P1 domains, while Den Haag 2006b, New Orleans 2009, and Sydney 2012 variants were under positive selection in the P2 domain. Amino acid substitutions overlapped with putative epitopes or were located around the epitopes in the P2 domain. The effective population sizes of the present strains increased stepwise for Den Haag 2006b, New Orleans 2009, and Sydney 2012 variants. These results suggest that HuNoV GII.4 rapidly

  4. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

    Fundamental aspects of mammalian brain evolution occurred in the context of viviparity and placentation brought about by the epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes. Since the fetal placenta hormonally primes the maternal brain, two genomes in one individual are transgenerationally co-adapted to ensure maternal care and nurturing. Advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution has shown very few genetic changes between monkeys and humans. Although these lineages diverged at approximately the same time as the rat and mouse (20 million years ago), synonymous sequence divergence between the rat and mouse is double that when comparing monkey with human sequences. Paradoxically, encephalization of rat and mouse are remarkably similar, while comparison of the human and monkey shows the human cortex to be three times the size of the monkey. This suggests an element of genetic stability between the brains of monkey and man with a greater emphasis on epigenetics providing adaptable variability.

  5. Evolution of the TOR Pathway.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, T.J.P. van; Zwartkruis, F.J.; Bos, J.L.; Snel, B.

    2011-01-01

    The TOR kinase is a major regulator of growth in eukaryotes. Many components of the TOR pathway are implicated in cancer and metabolic diseases in humans. Analysis of the evolution of TOR and its pathway may provide fundamental insight into the evolution of growth regulation in eukaryotes and

  6. Schumpeter's Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Esben Sloth

    reworking of his basic theory of economic evolution in Development from 1934, and this reworking was continued in Cycles from 1939. Here Schumpeter also tried to handle the statistical and historical evidence on the waveform evolution of the capitalist economy. Capitalism from 1942 modified the model...

  7. Galactic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pagel, B.

    1979-01-01

    Ideas are considered concerning the evolution of galaxies which are closely related to those of stellar evolution and the origin of elements. Using information obtained from stellar spectra, astronomers are now able to consider an underlying process to explain the distribution of various elements in the stars, gas and dust clouds of the galaxies. (U.K.)

  8. Darwinian evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jagers op Akkerhuis, Gerard A.J.M.; Spijkerboer, Hendrik Pieter; Koelewijn, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Darwinian evolution is a central tenet in biology. Conventionally, the defi nition of Darwinian evolution is linked to a population-based process that can be measured by focusing on changes in DNA/allele frequencies. However, in some publications it has been suggested that selection represents a

  9. Altered Ca2+ kinetics associated with α-actinin-3 deficiency may explain positive selection for ACTN3 null allele in human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stewart I Head

    Full Text Available Over 1.5 billion people lack the skeletal muscle fast-twitch fibre protein α-actinin-3 due to homozygosity for a common null polymorphism (R577X in the ACTN3 gene. α-Actinin-3 deficiency is detrimental to sprint performance in elite athletes and beneficial to endurance activities. In the human genome, it is very difficult to find single-gene loss-of-function variants that bear signatures of positive selection, yet intriguingly, the ACTN3 null variant has undergone strong positive selection during recent evolution, appearing to provide a survival advantage where food resources are scarce and climate is cold. We have previously demonstrated that α-actinin-3 deficiency in the Actn3 KO mouse results in a shift in fast-twitch fibres towards oxidative metabolism, which would be more "energy efficient" in famine, and beneficial to endurance performance. Prolonged exposure to cold can also induce changes in skeletal muscle similar to those observed with endurance training, and changes in Ca2+ handling by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR are a key factor underlying these adaptations. On this basis, we explored the effects of α-actinin-3 deficiency on Ca2+ kinetics in single flexor digitorum brevis muscle fibres from Actn3 KO mice, using the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2. Compared to wild-type, fibres of Actn3 KO mice showed: (i an increased rate of decay of the twitch transient; (ii a fourfold increase in the rate of SR Ca2+ leak; (iii a threefold increase in the rate of SR Ca2+ pumping; and (iv enhanced maintenance of tetanic Ca2+ during fatigue. The SR Ca2+ pump, SERCA1, and the Ca2+-binding proteins, calsequestrin and sarcalumenin, showed markedly increased expression in muscles of KO mice. Together, these changes in Ca2+ handling in the absence of α-actinin-3 are consistent with cold acclimatisation and thermogenesis, and offer an additional explanation for the positive selection of the ACTN3 577X null allele in populations living in cold environments

  10. Evolution, religions and global Bioethics

    OpenAIRE

    Perbal, Laurence

    2007-01-01

    Creationist theories are still present in the United States and in Europe. The Darwinian theory of evolution is often considered as the starting point of important debates between religions and evolutionists. In this paper, we are principally interested in evolutionary creationism (or theistic evolutionism). The existence of a divine design in nature, the spiritual status of human beings and the emergence of human species as the purpose of evolution are some of those debates. The post-Darwini...

  11. Stellar evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Meadows, A J

    2013-01-01

    Stellar Evolution, Second Edition covers the significant advances in the understanding of birth, life, and death of stars.This book is divided into nine chapters and begins with a description of the characteristics of stars according to their brightness, distance, size, mass, age, and chemical composition. The next chapters deal with the families, structure, and birth of stars. These topics are followed by discussions of the chemical composition and the evolution of main-sequence stars. A chapter focuses on the unique features of the sun as a star, including its evolution, magnetic fields, act

  12. Intron-exon organization of the active human protein S gene PS. alpha. and its pseudogene PS. beta. : Duplication and silencing during primate evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ploos van Amstel, H.; Reitsma, P.H.; van der Logt, C.P.; Bertina, R.M. (University Hospital, Leiden (Netherlands))

    1990-08-28

    The human protein S locus on chromosome 3 consists of two protein S genes, PS{alpha} and PS{beta}. Here the authors report the cloning and characterization of both genes. Fifteen exons of the PS{alpha} gene were identified that together code for protein S mRNA as derived from the reported protein S cDNAs. Analysis by primer extension of liver protein S mRNA, however, reveals the presence of two mRNA forms that differ in the length of their 5{prime}-noncoding region. Both transcripts contain a 5{prime}-noncoding region longer than found in the protein S cDNAs. The two products may arise from alternative splicing of an additional intron in this region or from the usage of two start sites for transcription. The intron-exon organization of the PS{alpha} gene fully supports the hypothesis that the protein S gene is the product of an evolutional assembling process in which gene modules coding for structural/functional protein units also found in other coagulation proteins have been put upstream of the ancestral gene of a steroid hormone binding protein. The PS{beta} gene is identified as a pseudogene. It contains a large variety of detrimental aberrations, viz., the absence of exon I, a splice site mutation, three stop codons, and a frame shift mutation. Overall the two genes PS{alpha} and PS{beta} show between their exonic sequences 96.5% homology. Southern analysis of primate DNA showed that the duplication of the ancestral protein S gene has occurred after the branching of the orangutan from the African apes. A nonsense mutation that is present in the pseudogene of man also could be identified in one of the two protein S genes of both chimpanzee and gorilla. This implicates that silencing of one of the two protein S genes must have taken place before the divergence of the three African apes.

  13. Co-evolution of soil and water conservation policy and human-environment linkages in the Yellow River Basin since 1949.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Mu, Xingmin; Li, Rui; Fleskens, Luuk; Stringer, Lindsay C; Ritsema, Coen J

    2015-03-01

    Policy plays a very important role in natural resource management as it lays out a government framework for guiding long-term decisions, and evolves in light of the interactions between human and environment. This paper focuses on soil and water conservation (SWC) policy in the Yellow River Basin (YRB), China. The problems, rural poverty, severe soil erosion, great sediment loads and high flood risks, are analyzed over the period of 1949-present using the Driving force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework as a way to organize analysis of the evolution of SWC policy. Three stages are identified in which SWC policy interacts differently with institutional, financial and technology support. In Stage 1 (1949-1979), SWC policy focused on rural development in eroded areas and on reducing sediment loads. Local farmers were mainly responsible for SWC. The aim of Stage 2 (1980-1990) was the overall development of rural industry and SWC. A more integrated management perspective was implemented taking a small watershed as a geographic interactional unit. This approach greatly improved the efficiency of SWC activities. In Stage 3 (1991 till now), SWC has been treated as the main measure for natural resource conservation, environmental protection, disaster mitigation and agriculture development. Prevention of new degradation became a priority. The government began to be responsible for SWC, using administrative, legal and financial approaches and various technologies that made large-scale SWC engineering possible. Over the historical period considered, with the implementation of the various SWC policies, the rural economic and ecological system improved continuously while the sediment load and flood risk decreased dramatically. The findings assist in providing a historical perspective that could inform more rational, scientific and effective natural resource management going forward. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Student Visual Communication of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Cook, Kristin

    2017-06-01

    Despite growing recognition of the importance of visual representations to science education, previous research has given attention mostly to verbal modalities of evolution instruction. Visual aspects of classroom learning of evolution are yet to be systematically examined by science educators. The present study attends to this issue by exploring the types of evolutionary imagery deployed by secondary students. Our visual design analysis revealed that students resorted to two larger categories of images when visually communicating evolution: spatial metaphors (images that provided a spatio-temporal account of human evolution as a metaphorical "walk" across time and space) and symbolic representations ("icons of evolution" such as personal portraits of Charles Darwin that simply evoked evolutionary theory rather than metaphorically conveying its conceptual contents). It is argued that students need opportunities to collaboratively critique evolutionary imagery and to extend their visual perception of evolution beyond dominant images.

  15. Adaptive Evolution Coupled with Retrotransposon Exaptation Allowed for the Generation of a Human-Protein-Specific Coding Gene That Promotes Cancer Cell Proliferation and Metastasis in Both Haematological Malignancies and Solid Tumours: The Extraordinary Case of MYEOV Gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spyros I. Papamichos

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of cancer in human is high as compared to chimpanzee. However previous analysis has documented that numerous human cancer-related genes are highly conserved in chimpanzee. Till date whether human genome includes species-specific cancer-related genes that could potentially contribute to a higher cancer susceptibility remains obscure. This study focuses on MYEOV, an oncogene encoding for two protein isoforms, reported as causally involved in promoting cancer cell proliferation and metastasis in both haematological malignancies and solid tumours. First we document, via stringent in silico analysis, that MYEOV arose de novo in Catarrhini. We show that MYEOV short-isoform start codon was evolutionarily acquired after Catarrhini/Platyrrhini divergence. Throughout the course of Catarrhini evolution MYEOV acquired a gradually elongated translatable open reading frame (ORF, a gradually shortened translation-regulatory upstream ORF, and alternatively spliced mRNA variants. A point mutation introduced in human allowed for the acquisition of MYEOV long-isoform start codon. Second, we demonstrate the precious impact of exonized transposable elements on the creation of MYEOV gene structure. Third, we highlight that the initial part of MYEOV long-isoform coding DNA sequence was under positive selection pressure during Catarrhini evolution. MYEOV represents a Primate Orphan Gene that acquired, via ORF expansion, a human-protein-specific coding potential.

  16. "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"– an Alternative Concept for Understanding the Evolution of Dance and Music in Human Beings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Richter

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The functions of dance and music in human evolution are a mystery. Current research on the evolution of music has mainly focused on its melodic attribute which would have evolved alongside proto-language. Instead, we propose an alternative conceptual framework which focuses on the co-evolution of rhythm and dance (R&D as intertwined aspects of a multimodal phenomenon characterized by the unity of action and perception. Reviewing the current literature from this viewpoint we propose the hypothesis that R&D have co-evolved long before other musical attributes and (proto-language. Our view is supported by increasing experimental evidence particularly in infants and children: beat is perceived and anticipated already by newborns and rhythm perception depends on body movement. Infants and toddlers spontaneously move to a rhythm irrespective of their cultural background. If this behavior is universal, R&D must have an essential function in human evolution. Conceivable evolutionary functions of R&D include sexual attraction, transmission of mating signals, synchronization of many individuals, social bonding, appeasement of hostile individuals, pre- and extra-verbal communication, improvement of body coordination, as well as pain killing, anti-depressive, and anti-boredom functions. The impulse to dance may have been prepared by the susceptibility of infants to be soothed by rocking. Dance enables embodied individual and collective memorizing; in many cultures R&D are used for entering trance, a base for shamanism and early religions. Rhythm is necessary to codify human speech and dance encompasses gesture. In future studies attention should be paid to which attribute of music is focused and that the close mutual relation between R&D is taken into account. The possible evolutionary functions of dance deserve more attention.

  17. Grainsize Patterns and Bed Evolution of the Rhone River (France): A Present-day S