Biochemical information has been crucial for the development of evolutionary biology. On the one hand, the sequence information now appearing is producing a huge increase in the amount of data available for phylogenetic analysis; on the other hand, and perhaps more fundamentally, it allows understanding of the ...
These discussions included, among others, the possible consequences of nonDNA-based inheritance—epigenetics and cultural evolution, niche construction, and developmental mechanisms on our understanding of the evolutionary process, speciation, complexity in biology, and constructing a formal evolutionary theory.
We are delighted to bring to the readers, a set of peer-reviewed papers on evolutionary biology, published as a special issue of the Journal of Genetics. These papers emanated from ruminations upon and discussions at the Foundations of. Evolutionary Theory: the Ongoing Synthesis meeting at Coorg, India, in February ...
Hindi and English. Port 1. Resonance, Vo1.7 ... they use. Of course, many evolutionary biologists do work with fossils or DNA, or both, but there are also large numbers of ... The first major division that I like to make is between studies focussed ...
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 7. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology. Renee M Borges. General Article Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2005 pp 21-33. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...
Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David
New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069
Torday, J S
Nowhere are the shortcomings of conventional descriptive biology more evident than in the literature on Quantum Biology. In the on-going effort to apply Quantum Mechanics to evolutionary biology, merging Quantum Mechanics with the fundamentals of evolution as the First Principles of Physiology-namely negentropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis-offers an authentic opportunity to understand how and why physics constitutes the basic principles of biology. Negentropy and chemiosmosis confer determinism on the unicell, whereas homeostasis constitutes Free Will because it offers a probabilistic range of physiologic set points. Similarly, on this basis several principles of Quantum Mechanics also apply directly to biology. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is both deterministic and probabilistic, whereas non-localization and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are both probabilistic, providing the long-sought after ontologic and causal continuum from physics to biology and evolution as the holistic integration recognized as consciousness for the first time. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M
New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles-cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations-provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer.
Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy
In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.
Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley
All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.
Brown, C. R.
Full Text Available The demographic processes that drive the spread of populations through environments and in turn determine the abundance of organisms are the same demographic processes that drive the spread of genes through populations and in turn determine gene frequencies and fitness. Conceptually, marked similarities exist in the dynamic processes underlying population ecology and those underlying evolutionary biology. Central to an understanding of both disciplines is life history and its component demographic rates, such as survival, fecundity, and age of first breeding, and biologists from both fields have a vested interest in good analytical machinery for the estimation and analysis of these demographic rates. In the EURING conferences, we have been striving since the mid 1980s to promote a quantitative understanding of demographic rates through interdisciplinary collaboration between ecologists and statisticians. From the ecological side, the principal impetus has come from population biology, and in particular from wildlife biology, but the importance of good quantitative insights into demographic processes has long been recognized by a number of evolutionary biologists (e.g., Nichols & Kendall, 1995; Clobert, 1995; Cooch et al., 2002. In organizing this session, we have aimed to create a forum for those committed to gaining the best possible understanding of evolutionary processes through the application of modern quantitative methods for the collection and interpretation of data on marked animal populations. Here we present a short overview of the material presented in the session on evolutionary biology and life histories. In a plenary talk, Brown & Brown (2004 explored how mark–recapture methods have allowed a better understanding of the evolution of group–living and alternative reproductive tactics in colonial cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota. By estimating the number of transient birds passing through colonies of different sizes, they
With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.
Carson, Hampton L.
Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…
Nesse, Randolph M; Bergstrom, Carl T; Ellison, Peter T; Flier, Jeffrey S; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S; Perlman, Robert L; Schwartz, Mark D; Thomas, Mark G; Stearns, Stephen C; Valle, David
New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease.
Edward B. Chuong
Full Text Available In all mammals including humans, development takes place within the protective environment of the maternal womb. Throughout gestation, nutrients and waste products are continuously exchanged between mother and fetus through the placenta. Despite the clear importance of the placenta to successful pregnancy and the health of both mother and offspring, relatively little is understood about the biology of the placenta and its role in pregnancy-related diseases. Given that pre- and peri-natal diseases involving the placenta affect millions of women and their newborns worldwide, there is an urgent need to understand placenta biology and development. Here, we suggest that the placenta is an organ under unique selective pressures that have driven its rapid diversification throughout mammalian evolution. The high divergence of the placenta complicates the use of non-human animal models and necessitates an evolutionary perspective when studying its biology and role in disease. We suggest that diversifying evolution of the placenta is primarily driven by intraspecies evolutionary conflict between mother and fetus, and that many pregnancy diseases are a consequence of this evolutionary force. Understanding how maternal–fetal conflict shapes both basic placental and reproductive biology – in all species – will provide key insights into diseases of pregnancy.
Fisher, D N; McAdam, A G
effects) provides the potential to understand how entire networks of social interactions in populations influence phenotypes and predict how these traits may evolve. By theoretical integration of social network analysis and quantitative genetics, we hope to identify areas of compatibility and incompatibility and to direct research efforts towards the most promising areas. Continuing this synthesis could provide important insights into the evolution of traits expressed in a social context and the evolutionary consequences of complex and nuanced social phenotypes. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.
Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376
The aim of this brief review article is to help to reconcile medicine with evolutionary biology, a subject that should be taught in medical school. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that contemporary ills are related to an incompatibility between the environment in which humans currently live and their genomes, which have been shaped by diferent environmental conditions during biological evolution. Human activity has recently induced acute environmental modifications that have profoundly changed the medical landscape. Evolutionary biology is an irreversible, ongoing and discontinuous process characterized by periods of stasis followed by accelerations. Evolutionary biology is determined by genetic mutations, which are selected either by Darwinian selective pressure or randomly by genetic drift. Most medical events result from a genome/environment conflict. Some may be purely genetic, as in monogenic diseases, and others purely environmental, such as traffic accidents. Nevertheless, in most common diseases the clinical landscape is determined by the conflict between these two factors, the genetic elements of which are gradually being unraveled Three examples are examined in depth:--The medical consequences of the greenhouse effect. The absence of excess mortality during recent heat waves suggests that the main determinant of mortality in the 2003 heatwave was heatstroke and old age. The projected long-term effects of global warming call for research on thermolysis, a forgotten branch of physiology.--The hygiene hypothesis postulates that the exponential rise in autoimmune and allergic diseases is linked to lesser exposure to infectious agents, possibly involving counter-regulatory factors such as IL-10.--The recent rise in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rich countries can be considered to result from a conflict between a calorie-rich environment and gene variants that control appetite. These variants are currently being identified by genome
Darriba, Diego; Flouri, Tomáš; Stamatakis, Alexandros
With Next Generation Sequencing data being routinely used, evolutionary biology is transforming into a computational science. Thus, researchers have to rely on a growing number of increasingly complex software. All widely used core tools in the field have grown considerably, in terms of the number of features as well as lines of code and consequently, also with respect to software complexity. A topic that has received little attention is the software engineering quality of widely used core analysis tools. Software developers appear to rarely assess the quality of their code, and this can have potential negative consequences for end-users. To this end, we assessed the code quality of 16 highly cited and compute-intensive tools mainly written in C/C++ (e.g., MrBayes, MAFFT, SweepFinder, etc.) and JAVA (BEAST) from the broader area of evolutionary biology that are being routinely used in current data analysis pipelines. Because, the software engineering quality of the tools we analyzed is rather unsatisfying, we provide a list of best practices for improving the quality of existing tools and list techniques that can be deployed for developing reliable, high quality scientific software from scratch. Finally, we also discuss journal as well as science policy and, more importantly, funding issues that need to be addressed for improving software engineering quality as well as ensuring support for developing new and maintaining existing software. Our intention is to raise the awareness of the community regarding software engineering quality issues and to emphasize the substantial lack of funding for scientific software development.
... and Evolutionary Dynamics of Pathogens * 21 Keith A. Crandall and Marcos Pérez-Losada II. Evolutionary Genetics of Microbial Pathogens 4. Environmental and Social Influences on Infectious Disea...
Dunn, Robert Roberdeau; Beasley, DeAnna E.
The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales. This ...
The study of evolutionary patterns of cognitive convergence would be greatly helped by a clear demarcation of cognition. Cognition is often used as an equivalent of mind, making it difficult to pin down empirically or to apply it confidently beyond the human condition. Recent developments in
Stoops, John L.
As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?
Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James
Recent education reform documents emphasize the need for students to develop a rich understanding of evolution's power to integrate knowledge of the natural world. This paper describes a nine-week high school course designed to help students understand evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using Charles Darwin's…
This second essay continues the reflection on this problem through an exploration of the extra-biological factors and how they effect human moral development—a facet which is only too obvious, but which the evolutionary approach sidelines in its desperate effort to put up purely biological accounts of morality and ethics.
Full Text Available We have accumulated a large amount of biological network data and expect even more to come. Soon, we anticipate being able to compare many different biological networks as we commonly do for molecular sequences. It has long been believed that many of these networks change, or "rewire", at different rates. It is therefore important to develop a framework to quantify the differences between networks in a unified fashion. We developed such a formalism based on analogy to simple models of sequence evolution, and used it to conduct a systematic study of network rewiring on all the currently available biological networks. We found that, similar to sequences, biological networks show a decreased rate of change at large time divergences, because of saturation in potential substitutions. However, different types of biological networks consistently rewire at different rates. Using comparative genomics and proteomics data, we found a consistent ordering of the rewiring rates: transcription regulatory, phosphorylation regulatory, genetic interaction, miRNA regulatory, protein interaction, and metabolic pathway network, from fast to slow. This ordering was found in all comparisons we did of matched networks between organisms. To gain further intuition on network rewiring, we compared our observed rewirings with those obtained from simulation. We also investigated how readily our formalism could be mapped to other network contexts; in particular, we showed how it could be applied to analyze changes in a range of "commonplace" networks such as family trees, co-authorships and linux-kernel function dependencies.
Van Hezewijk, René
Published as a chapter in Van Hezewijk, R. (2003). Psychology and evolutionary biology; Causal analysis, evidence, and nomothetic laws. In N. Stephenson, L. Radtke, R. Jorna & H. J. Stam (Eds.), Theoretical psychology; Critical contributions (pp. 405-415). Concord, Ontario: Captus Press.
S. D. Johnson
Full Text Available In the two decades after publication of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin facilitated the publication of numerous scientific papers by settler naturalists in South Africa. This helped to establish the strong tradition of natural history which has characterised evolutionary research in South African museums, herbaria and universities. Significant developments in the early 20th century included the hominid fossil discoveries of Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, and others, but there was otherwise very little South African involvement in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. Evolutionary biology developed into a distinct discipline in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s when it was dominated by mammalian palaeontology and a vigorous debate around species concepts. In the post-apartheid era, the main focus of evolutionary biology has been the construction of phylogenies for African plants and animals using molecular data, and the use of these phylogenies to answer questions about taxonomic classification and trait evolution. South African biologists have also recently contributed important evidence for some of Darwin’s ideas about plant–animal coevolution, sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in speciation. A bibliographic analysis shows that South African authors produce 2–3% of the world’s publications in the field of evolutionary biology, which is much higher than the value of about 0.5% for publications in all sciences. With its extraordinary biodiversity and well-developed research infrastructure, South Africa is an ideal laboratory from which to advance evolutionary research.
The historical approach to the sciences has undergone a sea change during recent decades. Maybe the major contribution of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger to this movement was his demonstration of the importance of experimental systems, and of their transformations, in the development of the sciences. To describe these transformations, Hans-Jörg borrows metaphors from evolutionary biology. I want to argue that evolutionary biologists can find in these recent historical studies plenty of models and concepts to address unresolved issues in their discipline. At a time when transdisciplinarity is highly praised, it is useful to provide a precise description of the obstacles that have so far prevented this exchange.
Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M
Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.
Islas Morales, Parsifal
Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell
Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.
Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak
Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning.
Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian
Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective. PMID:29312339
Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M; Bezbradica, Jelena S; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian
Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective.
The 'Modern Synthesis' (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection. Any role of physiological function in influencing genetic inheritance was excluded. The organism became a mere carrier of the real objects of selection, its genes. We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual. Molecular genetics and genome sequencing have deconstructed this unnecessarily restrictive view of evolution in a way that reintroduces physiological function and interactions with the environment as factors influencing the speed and nature of inherited change. Acquired characteristics can be inherited, and in a few but growing number of cases that inheritance has now been shown to be robust for many generations. The 21st century can look forward to a new synthesis that will reintegrate physiology with evolutionary biology.
Full Text Available Type I natural killer T (NKT cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo perspective.
Haigh, Carol A
This paper presents a discussion of the role of altruism in development of the discipline of nursing and an exploration of how nursing altruism compares with current thinking in biological evolutionary theory. There is an assumption that the role of the nurse has its foundations in altruistic behaviours; however, the source of this altruism is never analysed or debated. A search of the biological altruism, altruism and health-related literature encompassing the years 1975-2007 was performed using Google Scholar. The first element of the study is a brief overview of nursing altruism as a way of establishing the conceptual boundaries. Additionally, the major tenets of biological evolution are explored to clarify the theoretical underpinnings of the hypotheses presented. A key premise of this study is that nursing altruism is not solely a manifestation of disinterested sacrifice for the benefit of others, but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of a clearly defined social group. A re-evaluation of altruism as a motivating factor in nursing and as an element of the therapeutic relationship is long overdue. It is time that the nursing profession examined professional driving forces using more than traditional philosophical frameworks. Nursing altruism is programmed to ensure the survival of the meme rather than to act in the best interest of patients. Certainly patients reap the benefits of this selfish altruism, but that can be argued to be a side effect rather than a result.
White, Roderick E.; Thornhill, Stewart; Hampson, Elizabeth
Biological evolutionary processes select for heritable behaviors providing a survival and reproductive advantage. Accordingly, how we behave is, at least in part, affected by the evolutionary history of our species. This research uses evolutionary psychology as the theoretical perspective for exploring the relationship between a heritable…
Tavares, Gustavo Medina; Bobrowski, Vera Lucia
The integrative role that Evolutionary theory plays within Biology is recognised by most scientific authors, as well as in governmental education policies, including Brazilian policies. However, teaching and learning evolution seems problematic in many countries, and Brazil is among those. Many factors may affect teachers' and students' perceptions towards evolution, and studies can help to reveal those factors. We used a conceptual questionnaire, the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument, and a Knowledge test to assess (1) the level of acceptance and understanding of 23 undergraduate Biology students nearing the end of their course, (2) other factors that could affect these levels, including course structure, and (3) the most difficult topics regarding evolutionary biology. The results of this study showed that the students, on average, had a 'Very High Acceptance' (89.91) and a 'Very Low Knowledge' (59.42%) of Evolutionary theory, and also indicated a moderate positive correlation between the two (r = 0.66, p = .001). The most difficult topics were related to the definition of evolution and dating techniques. We believe that the present study provides evidence for policymakers to reformulate current school and university curricula in order to improve the teachers' acceptance and understanding of evolution and other biological concepts, consequently, helping students reduce their misconceptions related to evolutionary biology.
Oliver Y. Martin
Full Text Available It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments.
Grossman, G. D.
Full Text Available I discuss current issues in reviewing and editorial practices in ecology and evolutionary biology and suggest possible solutions for current problems. The reviewing crisis is unlikely to change unless steps are taken by journals to provide greater inclusiveness and incentives to reviewers. In addition, both journals and institutions should reduce their emphasis on publication numbers (least publishable units and impact factors and focus instead on article synthesis and quality which will require longer publications. Academic and research institutions should consider reviewing manuscripts and editorial positions an important part of a researcher’s professional activities and reward them accordingly. Rewarding reviewers either monetarily or via other incentives such as free journal subscriptions may encourage participation in the reviewing process for both profit and non–profit journals. Reviewer performance will likely be improved by measures that increase inclusiveness, such as sending reviews and decision letters to reviewers. Journals may be able to evaluate the efficacy of their reviewing process by comparing citations of rejected but subsequently published papers with those published within the journal at similar times. Finally, constructive reviews: 1 identify important shortcomings and suggest solutions when possible, 2 distinguish trivial from non–trivial problems, and 3 include editor’s evaluations of the reviews including identification of trivial versus substantive comments (i.e., those that must be addressed.
Full Text Available Nitrogenase, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent reduction of dinitrogen (N2 to ammonia (NH3, accounts for roughly half of the bioavailable nitrogen supporting extant life. The fundamental requirement for fixed forms of nitrogen for life on Earth, both at present and in the past, has led to broad and significant interest in the origin and evolution of this fundamental biological process. One key question is whether the limited availability of fixed nitrogen was a factor in life’s origin or whether there were ample sources of fixed nitrogen produced by abiotic processes or delivered through the weathering of bolide impact materials to support this early life. If the latter, the key questions become what were the characteristics of the environment that precipitated the evolution of this oxygen sensitive process, when did this occur, and how was its subsequent evolutionary history impacted by the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen in the Earth’s biosphere. Since the availability of fixed sources of nitrogen capable of supporting early life is difficult to glean from the geologic record, there are limited means to get direct insights into these questions. Indirect insights, however, can be gained by deep phylogenetic studies of nitrogenase structural gene products and additional gene products involved in the biosynthesis of the complex metal-containing prosthetic groups associated with this enzyme complex. Insights gained from such studies, as reviewed herein, challenge traditional models for the evolution of biological nitrogen fixation and provide the basis for the development of new conceptual models that explain the stepwise evolution of this highly complex and life sustaining process.
Vecchi, Davide; Baravalle, Lorenzo
This paper will critically assess Popper's evolutionary philosophy. There exists a rich literature on the topic with which we have many reservations. We believe that Popper's evolutionary philosophy should be assessed in light of the intriguing theoretical insights offered, during the last 10 years or so, by the philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology. We will argue that, when analysed in this manner, Popper's ideas concerning the nature of selection, Lamarckism and the theoretical limits of neo-Darwinism can be appreciated in their full biological and philosophical value.
Team, Galaxy; Goecks, Jeremy; Taylor, James
Abstract Research in population genetics and evolutionary biology has always provided a computational backbone for life sciences as a whole. Today evolutionary and population biology reasoning are essential for interpretation of large complex datasets that are characteristic of all domains of today’s life sciences ranging from cancer biology to microbial ecology. This situation makes algorithms and software tools developed by our community more important than ever before. This means that we, developers of software tool for molecular evolutionary analyses, now have a shared responsibility to make these tools accessible using modern technological developments as well as provide adequate documentation and training. PMID:29688462
Perlman, Robert L
Evolutionary biology was a poorly developed discipline at the time of the Flexner Report and was not included in Flexner's recommendations for premedical or medical education. Since that time, however, the value of an evolutionary approach to medicine has become increasingly recognized. There are several ways in which an evolutionary perspective can enrich medical education and improve medical practice. Evolutionary considerations rationalize our continued susceptibility or vulnerability to disease; they call attention to the idea that the signs and symptoms of disease may be adaptations that prevent or limit the severity of disease; they help us understand the ways in which our interventions may affect the evolution of microbial pathogens and of cancer cells; and they provide a framework for thinking about population variation and risk factors for disease. Evolutionary biology should become a foundational science for the medical education of the future.
Chen, Bor-Sen; Yeh, Chin-Hsun
We review current static and dynamic evolutionary game strategies of biological networks and discuss the lack of random genetic variations and stochastic environmental disturbances in these models. To include these factors, a population of evolving biological networks is modeled as a nonlinear stochastic biological system with Poisson-driven genetic variations and random environmental fluctuations (stimuli). To gain insight into the evolutionary game theory of stochastic biological networks under natural selection, the phenotypic robustness and network evolvability of noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies are discussed from a stochastic Nash game perspective. The noncooperative strategy can be transformed into an equivalent multi-objective optimization problem and is shown to display significantly improved network robustness to tolerate genetic variations and buffer environmental disturbances, maintaining phenotypic traits for longer than the cooperative strategy. However, the noncooperative case requires greater effort and more compromises between partly conflicting players. Global linearization is used to simplify the problem of solving nonlinear stochastic evolutionary games. Finally, a simple stochastic evolutionary model of a metabolic pathway is simulated to illustrate the procedure of solving for two evolutionary game strategies and to confirm and compare their respective characteristics in the evolutionary process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
A hundred years is but an instant in evolutionary time; however during his life that spanned a century, Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the pat- tern and process of evolution. An ornithologist and systematist by training, Mayr embraced Darwinism and championed the cause of.
Echaubard, Pierre; Sripa, Banchob; Mallory, Frank F; Wilcox, Bruce A
Stimulated largely by the availability of new technology, biomedical research at the molecular-level and chemical-based control approaches arguably dominate the field of infectious diseases. Along with this, the proximate view of disease etiology predominates to the exclusion of the ultimate, evolutionary biology-based, causation perspective. Yet, historically and up to today, research in evolutionary biology has provided much of the foundation for understanding the mechanisms underlying disease transmission dynamics, virulence, and the design of effective integrated control strategies. Here we review the state of knowledge regarding the biology of Asian liver Fluke-host relationship, parasitology, phylodynamics, drug-based interventions and liver Fluke-related cancer etiology from an evolutionary biology perspective. We consider how evolutionary principles, mechanisms and research methods could help refine our understanding of clinical disease associated with infection by Liver Flukes as well as their transmission dynamics. We identify a series of questions for an evolutionary biology research agenda for the liver Fluke that should contribute to an increased understanding of liver Fluke-associated diseases. Finally, we describe an integrative evolutionary medicine approach to liver Fluke prevention and control highlighting the need to better contextualize interventions within a broader human health and sustainable development framework. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Friedman, William E; Diggle, Pamela K
Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form.
Maria R Servedio
Full Text Available Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.
da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria
Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…
Weisstein, Anton E.
The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621
Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E
The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.
Badyaev, Alexander V
In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.
Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B
In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. © 2015 Richardson et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Chuang, Chia-Hua; Lin, Chun-Liang; Chang, Yen-Chang; Jennawasin, Tanagorn; Chen, Po-Kuei
The construction of an artificial biological logic circuit using systematic strategy is recognised as one of the most important topics for the development of synthetic biology. In this study, a real-structured genetic algorithm (RSGA), which combines general advantages of the traditional real genetic algorithm with those of the structured genetic algorithm, is proposed to deal with the biological logic circuit design problem. A general model with the cis-regulatory input function and appropriate promoter activity functions is proposed to synthesise a wide variety of fundamental logic gates such as NOT, Buffer, AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR. The results obtained can be extended to synthesise advanced combinational and sequential logic circuits by topologically distinct connections. The resulting optimal design of these logic gates and circuits are established via the RSGA. The in silico computer-based modelling technology has been verified showing its great advantages in the purpose.
Vondrasek, Joanna R.; Antonovics, Janis; Taylor, Douglas R.
We have developed a laboratory course that demonstrates how evolution can be taught as a participatory, investigative science at the undergraduate college or advanced secondary high school level. The course emphasizes the applied importance of evolution to areas such as medicine and agriculture. Because many instructors face budgetary or other…
Reti, Irene H.; Burney, Le Boeuf J; Jarrell, Randall
Burney Le Boeuf was born in southern Louisiana. He attended UC Berkeley, earning his PhD in experimental psychology in 1966. While at Berkeley, he also studied zoology and experimental biology. He arrived at UCSC in 1967 as a member of the psychology board and of Crown College. He already had a strong interest in evolutionary biology and participated in the biology board’s meetings as an outside member. He also began working with biology professor Richard Peterson on seal and sea lion researc...
Eugene V. Koonin
Full Text Available When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain ‘ribosomal Tree of Life’ that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: i pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT, in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment of the Tree of Life concept, ii Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and iii evolution of evolvability, i.e. dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary
Yaroslavsky, Leonid P.
We show that one can treat pseudo-random generators, evolutionary models of texture images, iterative local adaptive filters for image restoration and enhancement and growth models in biology and material sciences in a unified way as special cases of dynamic systems with a nonlinear feedback.
Laudel, Grit; Benninghoff, Martin; Lettkemann, Eric; Håkansson, Elias; Whitley, Richard; Gläser, Jochen
Evolutionary developmental biology is a highly variable scientific innovation because researchers can adapt their involvement in the innovation to the opportunities provided by their environment. On the basis of comparative case studies in four countries, we link epistemic properties of research
Ramirez, Aaron Robert
The unique nature of island ecosystems have fascinated generations of naturalists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists. Studying island systems led to the development of keystone biological theories including: Darwin and Wallace's theories of natural selection, Carlquist's insights into the biology of adaptive radiations, MacArthur and Wilson's theory of island biogeography, and many others. Utilizing islands as natural laboratories allows us to discover the underlying fabric of ecology a...
Caceres, M.O.; Caceres-Saez, I.
We present a perturbative formalism to deal with linear random matrix difference equations. We generalize the concept of the population growth rate when a Leslie matrix has random elements (i.e., characterizing the disorder in the vital parameters). The dominant eigenvalue of which defines the asymptotic dynamics of the mean value population vector state, is presented as the effective growth rate of a random Leslie model. This eigenvalue is calculated from the largest positive root of a secular polynomial. Analytical (exact and perturbative calculations) results are presented for several models of disorder. A 3 x 3 numerical example is applied to study the effective growth rate characterizing the long-time dynamics of a population biological case: the Tursiops sp. (author)
Michael D Barton
Full Text Available Every protein has a biosynthetic cost to the cell based on the synthesis of its constituent amino acids. In order to optimise growth and reproduction, natural selection is expected, where possible, to favour the use of proteins whose constituents are cheaper to produce, as reduced biosynthetic cost may confer a fitness advantage to the organism. Quantifying the cost of amino acid biosynthesis presents challenges, since energetic requirements may change across different cellular and environmental conditions. We developed a systems biology approach to estimate the cost of amino acid synthesis based on genome-scale metabolic models and investigated the effects of the cost of amino acid synthesis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression and protein evolution. First, we used our two new and six previously reported measures of amino acid cost in conjunction with codon usage bias, tRNA gene number and atomic composition to identify which of these factors best predict transcript and protein levels. Second, we compared amino acid cost with rates of amino acid substitution across four species in the genus Saccharomyces. Regardless of which cost measure is used, amino acid biosynthetic cost is weakly associated with transcript and protein levels. In contrast, we find that biosynthetic cost and amino acid substitution rates show a negative correlation, but for only a subset of cost measures. In the economy of the yeast cell, we find that the cost of amino acid synthesis plays a limited role in shaping transcript and protein expression levels compared to that of translational optimisation. Biosynthetic cost does, however, appear to affect rates of amino acid evolution in Saccharomyces, suggesting that expensive amino acids may only be used when they have specific structural or functional roles in protein sequences. However, as there appears to be no single currency to compute the cost of amino acid synthesis across all cellular and environmental
Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po
In the evolutionary process, the random transmission and mutation of genes provide biological diversities for natural selection. In order to preserve functional phenotypes between generations, gene networks need to evolve robustly under the influence of random perturbations. Therefore, the robustness of the phenotype, in the evolutionary process, exerts a selection force on gene networks to keep network functions. However, gene networks need to adjust, by variations in genetic content, to generate phenotypes for new challenges in the network’s evolution, ie, the evolvability. Hence, there should be some interplay between the evolvability and network robustness in evolutionary gene networks. In this study, the interplay between the evolvability and network robustness of a gene network and a biochemical network is discussed from a nonlinear stochastic system point of view. It was found that if the genetic robustness plus environmental robustness is less than the network robustness, the phenotype of the biological network is robust in evolution. The tradeoff between the genetic robustness and environmental robustness in evolution is discussed from the stochastic stability robustness and sensitivity of the nonlinear stochastic biological network, which may be relevant to the statistical tradeoff between bias and variance, the so-called bias/variance dilemma. Further, the tradeoff could be considered as an antagonistic pleiotropic action of a gene network and discussed from the systems biology perspective. PMID:22084563
O'Malley, Maureen A
Systems biology (SB) is at least a decade old now and maturing rapidly. A more recent field, evolutionary systems biology (ESB), is in the process of further developing system-level approaches through the expansion of their explanatory and potentially predictive scope. This chapter will outline the varieties of ESB existing today by tracing the diverse roots and fusions that make up this integrative project. My approach is philosophical and historical. As well as examining the recent origins of ESB, I will reflect on its central features and the different clusters of research it comprises. In its broadest interpretation, ESB consists of five overlapping approaches: comparative and correlational ESB; network architecture ESB; network property ESB; population genetics ESB; and finally, standard evolutionary questions answered with SB methods. After outlining each approach with examples, I will examine some strong general claims about ESB, particularly that it can be viewed as the next step toward a fuller modern synthesis of evolutionary biology (EB), and that it is also the way forward for evolutionary and systems medicine. I will conclude with a discussion of whether the emerging field of ESB has the capacity to combine an even broader scope of research aims and efforts than it presently does.
Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…
Summers, Gerald; Decker, Todd; Barrow, Lloyd
In spite of the importance of geological time in evolutionary biology, misconceptions about historical events in the history of life on Earth are common. Glenn (1990) has documented a decline from 1960 to 1989 in the amount of space devoted to the history of life in high school earth science textbooks, but we are aware of no similar study in…
Skene, Keith R.
This paper addresses a key issue confronting ecological and evolutionary biology, namely the challenge of a cohesive approach to these fields given significant differences in the concepts and foundations of their study. Yet these two areas of scientific research are paramount in terms addressing the spatial and temporal dynamics and distribution of diversity, an understanding of which is needed if we are to resolve the current crisis facing the biosphere. The importance of understanding how nature responds to change is now of essential rather than of metaphysical interest as our planet struggles with increasing anthropogenic damage. Ecology and evolutionary biology can no longer remain disjointed. While some progress has been made in terms of synthetic thinking across these areas, this has often been in terms of bridge building, where thinking in one aspect is extended over to the other side. We review these bridges and the success or otherwise of such efforts. This paper then suggests that in order to move from a descriptive to a mechanistic understanding of the biosphere, we may need to re-evaluate our approach to the studies of ecology and evolutionary biology, finding a common denominator that will enable us to address the critical issues facing us, particularly in terms of understanding what drives change, what determines tempo and how communities function. Common ground, we argue, is essential if we are to comprehend how resilience operates in the natural world and how diversification can counter increasing extinction rates. This paper suggests that thermodynamics may provide a bridge between ecology and evolutionary biology, and that this will enable us to move forward with otherwise intractable problems.
Islas Morales, Parsifal
Is the nucleolus a sine qua non condition of eukaryotes? The present project starts from this central question to contribute to our knowledge about the origin and the evolution of the cells. The nucleolus is a cryptic organelle that plays a central role in cell function. It is responsible for the orchestration of ribosomal RNA expression, maturation and modification in the regulatory context of cellular homeostasis. Ribosomal expression is undoubtedly the greatest transcriptional and regulatory activity of any cell. The nucleolus is not just a conventional organelle –membrane-limited-, but a magnificent transcriptional puff: a dichotomy between structure and process, form and function. What is the minimum nucleolus? Evolution should bring some light into these questions. Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell evolution underlies organismic complexity? In the post-genomic era, we have developed the potential of combining high throughput acquisition of data with functional in situ and in sillico approaches: integration understood as omics approaches. Can this provide a real consilience between evolutionary and functional approaches? The reduced number of model organisms and cultivation techniques still excludes the majority of the extant diversity of cells from the scope of experimental inquiry. Furthermore, at the conceptual level, the simplification of evolutionary processes in biosciences still limits the conformation of a successful disciplinary link between functional and evolutionary biology. This limits the formulation of questions and experiments that properly address the mechanistic nature of cellular events that underlie microbial and organismic diversity and evolution. Here we provide a critical and comparative review to the historical background of ECB. This project takes the
Malik, Aamina H.; Ziermann, Janine M.; Diogo, Rui
Textbooks on the history of biology and evolutionary thought do not mention the evolutionary ideas of Muslim scholars before Darwin's time. This is part of a trend in the West to minimise the contributions of non-Western scientists to biology, human anatomy and evolutionary biology. Therefore, this paper focuses on the contributions of…
Bonier, Frances; Martin, Paul R
An evolutionary perspective can enrich almost any endeavour in biology, providing a deeper understanding of the variation we see in nature. To this end, evolutionary endocrinologists seek to describe the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits. Much of the recent work in our field, however, follows a flawed approach to the study of how selection shapes endocrine traits. Briefly, this approach relies on among-individual correlations between endocrine phenotypes (often circulating hormone levels) and fitness metrics to estimate selection on those endocrine traits. Adaptive plasticity in both endocrine and fitness-related traits can drive these correlations, generating patterns that do not accurately reflect natural selection. We illustrate why this approach to studying selection on endocrine traits is problematic, referring to work from evolutionary biologists who, decades ago, described this problem as it relates to a variety of other plastic traits. We extend these arguments to evolutionary endocrinology, where the likelihood that this flaw generates bias in estimates of selection is unusually high due to the exceptional responsiveness of hormones to environmental conditions, and their function to induce adaptive life-history responses to environmental variation. We end with a review of productive approaches for investigating the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits that we expect will generate exciting advances in our understanding of endocrine system evolution. © 2016 The Author(s).
Klymkowsky, Michael W; Rentsch, Jeremy D; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M
Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students' ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the expense of the development of a meaningful framework within which to consider biological phenomena. About a decade ago, we began a reconsideration of what an introductory course should present to students and the skills they need to master. The original Web-based course's design presaged many of the recommendations of the Vision and Change report; in particular, a focus on social evolutionary mechanisms, stochastic (evolutionary and molecular) processes, and core ideas (cellular continuity, evolutionary homology, molecular interactions, coupled chemical reactions, and molecular machines). Inspired by insights from the Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything general chemistry project, we transformed the original Web version into a (freely available) book with a more unified narrative flow and a set of formative assessments delivered through the beSocratic system. We outline how student responses to course materials are guiding future course modifications, in particular a more concerted effort at helping students to construct logical, empirically based arguments, explanations, and models. © 2016 M. W. Klymkowsky et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Aguillard, Donald Wayne
Louisiana public school biology teachers were surveyed to investigate their attitudes toward biological evolution. A mixed method investigation was employed using a questionnaire and open-ended interviews. Results obtained from 64 percent of the sample receiving the questionnaire indicate that although teachers endorse the study of evolution as important, instructional time allocated to evolution is disproportionate with its status as a unifying concept of science. Two variables, number of college courses specifically devoted to evolution and number of semester credit hours in biology, produced a significant correlation with emphasis placed on evolution. The data suggest that teachers' knowledge base emerged as the most significant factor in determining degree of classroom emphasis on evolution. The data suggest a need for substantive changes in the training of biology teachers. Thirty-five percent of teachers reported pursuing fewer than 20 semester credit hours in biology and 68 percent reported fewer than three college courses in which evolution was specifically discussed. Fifty percent reported a willingness to undergo additional training about evolution. In spite of the fact that evolution has been identified as a major conceptual theme across all of the sciences, there is strong evidence that Louisiana biology teachers de-emphasize evolutionary theory. Even when biology teachers allocate instructional time to evolutionary theory, many avoid discussion of human evolution. The research data show that only ten percent of teachers reported allocating more than sixty minutes of instructional time to human evolution. Louisiana biology teachers were found to hold extreme views on the subject of creationism as a component of the biology curriculum. Twenty-nine percent indicated that creationism should be taught in high school biology and 25--35 percent allocated instructional time to discussions of creationism. Contributing to the de-emphasis of evolutionary theory
Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosoma mansoni is one of the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects about 237 million people worldwide. Despite recent efforts, we still lack a general understanding of the relevant host-parasite interactions, and the possible treatments are limited by the emergence of resistant strains and the absence of a vaccine. The S. mansoni genome was completely sequenced and still under continuous annotation. Nevertheless, more than 45% of the encoded proteins remain without experimental characterization or even functional prediction. To improve our knowledge regarding the biology of this parasite, we conducted a proteome-wide evolutionary analysis to provide a broad view of the S. mansoni’s proteome evolution and to improve its functional annotation. Results Using a phylogenomic approach, we reconstructed the S. mansoni phylome, which comprises the evolutionary histories of all parasite proteins and their homologs across 12 other organisms. The analysis of a total of 7,964 phylogenies allowed a deeper understanding of genomic complexity and evolutionary adaptations to a parasitic lifestyle. In particular, the identification of lineage-specific gene duplications pointed to the diversification of several protein families that are relevant for host-parasite interaction, including proteases, tetraspanins, fucosyltransferases, venom allergen-like proteins, and tegumental-allergen-like proteins. In addition to the evolutionary knowledge, the phylome data enabled us to automatically re-annotate 3,451 proteins through a phylogenetic-based approach rather than solely sequence similarity searches. To allow further exploitation of this valuable data, all information has been made available at PhylomeDB (http://www.phylomedb.org. Conclusions In this study, we used an evolutionary approach to assess S. mansoni parasite biology, improve genome/proteome functional annotation, and provide insights into
Full Text Available The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.
Abdullah, Afnizanfaizal; Deris, Safaai; Anwar, Sohail; Arjunan, Satya N V
The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.
Ma, Zhanshan (Sam)
In evolutionary computing (EC), population size is one of the critical parameters that a researcher has to deal with. Hence, it was no surprise that the pioneers of EC, such as De Jong (1975) and Holland (1975), had already studied the population sizing from the very beginning of EC. What is perhaps surprising is that more than three decades later, we still largely depend on the experience or ad-hoc trial-and-error approach to set the population size. For example, in a recent monograph, Eiben and Smith (2003) indicated: "In almost all EC applications, the population size is constant and does not change during the evolutionary search." Despite enormous research on this issue in recent years, we still lack a well accepted theory for population sizing. In this paper, I propose to develop a population dynamics theory forEC with the inspiration from the population dynamics theory of biological populations in nature. Essentially, the EC population is considered as a dynamic system over time (generations) and space (search space or fitness landscape), similar to the spatial and temporal dynamics of biological populations in nature. With this conceptual mapping, I propose to 'transplant' the biological population dynamics theory to EC via three steps: (i) experimentally test the feasibility—whether or not emulating natural population dynamics improves the EC performance; (ii) comparatively study the underlying mechanisms—why there are improvements, primarily via statistical modeling analysis; (iii) conduct theoretical analysis with theoretical models such as percolation theory and extended evolutionary game theory that are generally applicable to both EC and natural populations. This article is a summary of a series of studies we have performed to achieve the general goal -. In the following, I start with an extremely brief introduction on the theory and models of natural population dynamics (Sections 1 & 2). In Sections 4 to 6, I briefly discuss three
Francele de Abreu Carlan
Full Text Available Basic concepts of cell biology are essential for scientific literacy. However, because many aspects of cell theory and cell functioning are quite abstract, students experience difficulties understanding them. In this study, we investigated whether diverse teaching resources such as the use of replicas of Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, visualization of cells using an optical microscope, construction of three-dimensional cell models, and reading of a comic book about cells could mitigate the difficulties encountered when teaching cell biology to 8th-grade primary school students. The results suggest that these didactic activities improve students’ ability to learn concrete concepts about cell biology, such as the composition of living beings, growth, and cicatrization. Also, the development of skills was observed, as, for example, the notion of cell size. However, no significant improvements were observed in students’ ability to learn about abstract topics, such as the structures of subcellular organelles and their functions. These results suggest that many students in this age have not yet concluded Piaget’s concrete operational stage, indicating that the concepts required for the significant learning of abstract subjects need to be explored more thoroughly in the process of designing programs that introduce primary school students to cell biology.
After the inaugural Pan-American-Evo-Devo meeting (2015, Berkeley), I showed how major concerns about evo-devo (Evolutionary Developmental Biology) research were demonstrated by a simple, non-biased quantitative analysis of the titles/abstracts of that meeting's talks. Here, I apply the same methodology to the titles/abstracts of the recent Pan-American-Evo-Devo meeting (2017, Calgary). The aim is to evaluate if the concerns raised by me in that paper and by other authors have been addressed and/or if there are other types of differences between the two meetings that may reflect trends within the field of evo-devo. This analysis shows that the proportion of presentations referring to "morphology", "organism", "selection", "adaptive", "phylogeny", and their derivatives was higher in the 2017 meeting, which therefore had a more "organismal" feel. However, there was a decrease in the use of "evolution"/its derivatives and of macroevolutionary terms related to the tempo and mode of evolution in the 2017 meeting. Moreover, the disproportionately high use of genetic/genomic terms clearly shows that evo-devo continues to be mainly focused on devo, and particularly on "Geno", that is, on molecular/genetic studies. Furthermore, the vast majority of animal evo-devo studies are focused only on hard tissues, which are just a small fraction of the whole organism-for example, only 15% of the tissue mass of the human body. The lack of an integrative approach is also evidenced by the lack of studies addressing conceptual/long-standing broader questions, including the links between ecology and particularly behavior and developmental/evolutionary variability and between evo-devo and evolutionary medicine. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Jones, Sandra N; Waite, Roberta; Clements, Paul Thomas
School violence has evolved into an identifiably pervasive public health problem. Adverse consequences of school violence vary from bullying to death. In 2007, 457,700 youth (ages 12-18) were victims of serious crimes with 34% occurring on school grounds or on the way to school. A concept analysis of school violence can expand and enhance awareness of the pervasive phenomenon of school violence. Rodgers and Knafl (1993) evolutionary concept analysis method was used to provide a guiding framework for examination of school violence. Related manuscripts from the extant interdisciplinary school violence literature were obtained from relevant health science databases, the Education Resources Information Center, and various governmental and specialty websites within the contemporary time frame of 2000-2010. Analysis revealed the enormous scope and complexity of the problem of school violence including bullying, physical fighting, weapon carrying, alcohol/substance use and street gang presence on school property, school-associated violent death, safe schools legislation, and violence prevention strategies. Forensic nurses across practice settings are uniquely positioned to intervene to improve health of these youth through identification, assessment, treatment, and referral. © 2012 International Association of Forensic Nurses.
Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D
Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities.
We study the effects of demographic stochasticity on the long-term dynamics of biological coevolution models of community assembly. The noise is induced in order to check the validity of deterministic population dynamics. While mutualistic communities show little dependence on the stochastic population fluctuations, predator-prey models show strong dependence on the stochasticity, indicating the relevance of the finiteness of the populations. For a predator-prey model, the noise causes drastic decreases in diversity and total population size. The communities that emerge under influence of the noise consist of species strongly coupled with each other and have stronger linear stability around the fixed-point populations than the corresponding noiseless model. The dynamics on evolutionary time scales for the predator-prey model are also altered by the noise. Approximate 1/f fluctuations are observed with noise, while 1/ f2 fluctuations are found for the model without demographic noise. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
Murase, Yohsuke; Shimada, Takashi; Ito, Nobuyasu; Rikvold, Per Arne
We study the effects of demographic stochasticity on the long-term dynamics of biological coevolution models of community assembly. The noise is induced in order to check the validity of deterministic population dynamics. While mutualistic communities show little dependence on the stochastic population fluctuations, predator-prey models show strong dependence on the stochasticity, indicating the relevance of the finiteness of the populations. For a predator-prey model, the noise causes drastic decreases in diversity and total population size. The communities that emerge under influence of the noise consist of species strongly coupled with each other and have stronger linear stability around the fixed-point populations than the corresponding noiseless model. The dynamics on evolutionary time scales for the predator-prey model are also altered by the noise. Approximate 1/f fluctuations are observed with noise, while 1/ f2 fluctuations are found for the model without demographic noise. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
Martin, George M
What might now be referred to as the "classical" evolutionary biological theory of why we age has had a number of serious challenges in recent years. While the theory might therefore have to be modified under certain circumstances, in the author's opinion, it still provides the soundest theoretical basis for thinking about how we age. Nine modalities of gene action that have the potential to modulate processes of aging are reviewed, including the two most widely reviewed and accepted concepts ("antagonistic pleiotropy" and "mutation accumulation"). While several of these nine mechanisms can be regarded as derivatives of the antagonistic pleiotropic concept, they frame more specific questions for future research. Such research should pursue what appears to be the dominant factor in the determination of intraspecific variations in longevity-stochastic mechanisms, most likely based upon epigenetics. This contrasts with the dominant factor in the determination of interspecific variations in longevity-the constitutional genome, most likely based upon variations in regulatory loci.
Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette
A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made.
Orlander, Auli Arvola; Wickman, Per-Olof
This is a study of teaching about the human body. It is based on transcribed material from interviews with 15-year-old students and teachers about their experiences of sex education and from recordings of classroom interactions during a dissection. The analysis is focused on the relationship between what students are supposed to learn about the biological body and their expressed experiences and meaning making of bodies in the schoolwork. The results indicate that the negotiations associated with the encounters between the bodies of the classroom (student, teacher, and animal bodies) are important for what directions meaning making takes and what students are afforded to learn about bodies, biologically as well as in terms of values. We suggest that these negotiations should be taken into account at schools, be regarded as an important part of the learning processes in science education and in that way open up for new possibilities for students' meaning making.
. Consequently, research has increasingly focused on the underlying causes of disease, shaped by human evolution. Evolutionary medicine is a relatively new field, specifically bridging the gap between conventional medicine and evolutionary biology: Instead of asking how we get sick, we can apply evolutionary...... explanations for this phenomenon. This thesis demonstrates how taking an evolutionary perspective can help us to better understand important aspects of health and medicine that remain opaque, using the specific example of pregnancy-related conditions.......Medicine has made a giant leap forward over the last century when it comes to the treatment of human disease, but even the most cutting edge 21st century medicine cannot prevent new diseases arising, nor those thought to be extinct developing resistance to pharmaceuticals and returning...
of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness......Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...
Teacher Centauri High School Teacher Honored as Colorado Outstanding Biology Teacher For more information contact: e:mail: Public Affairs Golden, Colo., May 2, 1997 -- Tracy Swedlund, biology teacher at Centauri High School in LaJara, was selected as Colorado's 1997 Outstanding Biology Teacher and will be
Tavares, Gustavo Medina; Bobrowski, Vera Lucia
The integrative role that Evolutionary theory plays within Biology is recognised by most scientific authors, as well as in governmental education policies, including Brazilian policies. However, teaching and learning evolution seems problematic in many countries, and Brazil is among those. Many factors may affect teachers' and students'…
Hidaka, Brandon H; Asghar, Anila; Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M; Wolpaw, Terry M; Skursky, Nicole K; Bennett, Katelyn J; Beyrouty, Matthew W; Schwartz, Mark D
Medical and public health scientists are using evolution to devise new strategies to solve major health problems. But based on a 2003 survey, medical curricula may not adequately prepare physicians to evaluate and extend these advances. This study assessed the change in coverage of evolution in North American medical schools since 2003 and identified opportunities for enriching medical education. In 2013, curriculum deans for all North American medical schools were invited to rate curricular coverage and perceived importance of 12 core principles, the extent of anticipated controversy from adding evolution, and the usefulness of 13 teaching resources. Differences between schools were assessed by Pearson's chi-square test, Student's t-test, and Spearman's correlation. Open-ended questions sought insight into perceived barriers and benefits. Despite repeated follow-up, 60 schools (39%) responded to the survey. There was no evidence of sample bias. The three evolutionary principles rated most important were antibiotic resistance, environmental mismatch, and somatic selection in cancer. While importance and coverage of principles were correlated (r = 0.76, P evolutionary principles were covered by 4 to 74% more schools. Nearly half (48%) of responders anticipated igniting controversy at their medical school if they added evolution to their curriculum. The teaching resources ranked most useful were model test questions and answers, case studies, and model curricula for existing courses/rotations. Limited resources (faculty expertise) were cited as the major barrier to adding more evolution, but benefits included a deeper understanding and improved patient care. North American medical schools have increased the evolution content in their curricula over the past decade. However, coverage is not commensurate with importance. At a few medical schools, anticipated controversy impedes teaching more evolution. Efforts to improve evolution education in medical schools
During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca 2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca 2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H + -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in
Levin, Betty Wolder; Browner, C H
In 1946, the newly formed World Health Organization boldly sought to conceptualize "health" as wellbeing in the positive sense, "not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Yet nearly six decades later, researchers are still principally concerned with pathology and its characteristics and consequences. This special issue is the result of an effort to broaden the focus. Anthropologists working from evolutionary, biological and sociocultural perspectives and in diverse geographic regions were asked to examine meanings associated with health and/or to identify social conditions and practices that have contributed to positive physiological and psychological states in particular cultures, times, or across time. Most notable, perhaps, was discovering how difficult it is for Western social scientists to move beyond pathology-based thinking; most authors represented here regard health primarily as the absence of disease. Still, these papers articulate and address questions key to understanding health in and of itself, including: How is health conceptualized? What kinds of social conditions lead to health? And, how do social inequalities affect health? This introduction critically discusses previous work on the subject to contextualize the original research papers offered here.
Schulz, Armin W
I argue for differences in the cognitive efficiency of different psychologies underlying helping behavior, and present an account of the adaptive pressures that result from these differences. Specifically, I argue that organisms often face pressure to move away from only being egoistically motivated to help: non-egoistic organisms are often able to determine how to help other organisms more quickly and with less recourse to costly cognitive resources like concentration and attention. Furthermore, I also argue that, while these pressures away from pure egoism can lead to the evolution of altruists, they can also lead to the evolution of reciprocation-focused behaviorist helpers or even of reflex-driven helpers (who are neither altruists nor egoists). In this way, I seek to broaden the set of considerations typically taken into account when assessing the evolution of the psychology of helping behavior-which tend to be restricted to matters of reliability-and also try to make clearer the role of evolutionary biological considerations in the discussion of this apparently straightforwardly psychological phenomenon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Frossard, Frédérique; Trifonova, Anna; Barajas Frutos, Mario
The isolation of rural communities creates special necessities for teachers and students in rural schools. The present article describes "Rural Virtual School", a Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) in which Spanish teachers of rural schools share learning resources and teaching methodologies through social software applications. The article arrives to an evolutionary model, in which the use of the social software tools evolves together with the needs and the activities of the VCoP through the different stages of its lifetime. Currently, the community has reached a high level of maturity and, in order to keep its momentum, the members intentionally use appropriate technologies specially designed to enhance rich innovative educational approaches, through which they collaboratively generate creative practices.
This paper compares external motivation and job satisfaction in private and public secondary schools biology teachers in Education District IV of Lagos state. The sample for the study consists of 120 Biology teachers selected from ten private and ten public secondary schools. A 20-items Likert type questionnaire was ...
Bohlin, Gustav; Höst, Gunnar E.
The present study explores the extent and precision of evolutionary explanations for antibiotic resistance in communication directed toward the Swedish public. Bacterial resistance develops through evolutionary mechanisms and knowledge of these helps to explain causes underlying the growing prevalence of resistant strains, as well as important…
Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah
This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate…
Mavrikaki, Evangelia; Koumparou, Helen; Kyriakoudi, Margarita; Papacharalampous, Irene; Trimandili, Maria
This paper aims to give a picture of Greek students' views about biology and some of the factors that affect them. A questionnaire measuring students' intrinsic motivation to learn biology, individual interest in biology and perceived difficulty of biology, along with information about students' gender, level, parents' occupation and educational…
Gallagher, Suzanne Renick; Coon, William; Donley, Kristin; Scott, Abby; Goldberg, Debra S
Computer science has become ubiquitous in many areas of biological research, yet most high school and even college students are unaware of this. As a result, many college biology majors graduate without adequate computational skills for contemporary fields of biology. The absence of a computational element in secondary school biology classrooms is of growing concern to the computational biology community and biology teachers who would like to acquaint their students with updated approaches in the discipline. We present a first attempt to correct this absence by introducing a computational biology element to teach genetic evolution into advanced biology classes in two local high schools. Our primary goal was to show students how computation is used in biology and why a basic understanding of computation is necessary for research in many fields of biology. This curriculum is intended to be taught by a computational biologist who has worked with a high school advanced biology teacher to adapt the unit for his/her classroom, but a motivated high school teacher comfortable with mathematics and computing may be able to teach this alone. In this paper, we present our curriculum, which takes into consideration the constraints of the required curriculum, and discuss our experiences teaching it. We describe the successes and challenges we encountered while bringing this unit to high school students, discuss how we addressed these challenges, and make suggestions for future versions of this curriculum.We believe that our curriculum can be a valuable seed for further development of computational activities aimed at high school biology students. Further, our experiences may be of value to others teaching computational biology at this level. Our curriculum can be obtained at http://ecsite.cs.colorado.edu/?page_id=149#biology or by contacting the authors.
Chevalier, Robert L
Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.
List, Johann-Mattis; Pathmanathan, Jananan Sylvestre; Lopez, Philippe; Bapteste, Eric
For a long time biologists and linguists have been noticing surprising similarities between the evolution of life forms and languages. Most of the proposed analogies have been rejected. Some, however, have persisted, and some even turned out to be fruitful, inspiring the transfer of methods and models between biology and linguistics up to today. Most proposed analogies were based on a comparison of the research objects rather than the processes that shaped their evolution. Focusing on process-based analogies, however, has the advantage of minimizing the risk of overstating similarities, while at the same time reflecting the common strategy to use processes to explain the evolution of complexity in both fields. We compared important evolutionary processes in biology and linguistics and identified processes specific to only one of the two disciplines as well as processes which seem to be analogous, potentially reflecting core evolutionary processes. These new process-based analogies support novel methodological transfer, expanding the application range of biological methods to the field of historical linguistics. We illustrate this by showing (i) how methods dealing with incomplete lineage sorting offer an introgression-free framework to analyze highly mosaic word distributions across languages; (ii) how sequence similarity networks can be used to identify composite and borrowed words across different languages; (iii) how research on partial homology can inspire new methods and models in both fields; and (iv) how constructive neutral evolution provides an original framework for analyzing convergent evolution in languages resulting from common descent (Sapir's drift). Apart from new analogies between evolutionary processes, we also identified processes which are specific to either biology or linguistics. This shows that general evolution cannot be studied from within one discipline alone. In order to get a full picture of evolution, biologists and linguists need to
McComas, William F.; Penick, John E.
Summarizes 10 exemplary programs which address topics on individualized biology, a modified team approach, limnology, physical anthropology, the relevance of biology to society, ecology, and health. Provides names and addresses of contact persons for further information. Units cover a broad range of abilities and activities. (RT)
Kuo, Bor-Chen; Daud, Muslem; Yang, Chih-Wei
This paper describes a curriculum-based multidimensional computerized adaptive test that was developed for Indonesia junior high school Biology. In adherence to the Indonesian curriculum of different Biology dimensions, 300 items was constructed, and then tested to 2238 students. A multidimensional random coefficients multinomial logit model was…
Enam, Syed Faaiz; Hashmi, Shumaila
Evolutionary Medicine (EM) is a fundamental science exploring why our bodies are plagued with disease and hindered by limitations. EM views the body as an assortment of benefits, mistakes, and compromises molded over millennia. It highlights the role of evolution in numerous diseases encountered in community and family medicine clinics of developing countries. It enables us to ask informed questions and develop novel responses to global health problems. An understanding of the field is thus crucial for budding doctors, but its study is currently limited to a handful of medical schools in high-income countries. For the developing world, Pakistan's medical schools may be excellent starting posts as the country is beset with communicable and non-communicable diseases that are shaped by evolution. Remarkably, Pakistani medical students are open to studying and incorporating EM into their training. Understanding the principles of EM could empower them to tackle growing health problems in the country. Additionally, some difficulties that western medical schools face in integrating EM into their curriculum may not be a hindrance in Pakistan. We propose solutions for the remaining challenges, including obstinate religious sentiments. Herein, we make the case that incorporating EM is particularly important in developing countries such as Pakistan and that it is achievable in its medical student body.
Loehr, John Francis
The issue of student preparation for college study in science has been an ongoing concern for both college-bound students and educators of various levels. This study uses a national sample of college students enrolled in introductory biology courses to address the relationship between high school biology preparation and subsequent introductory college biology performance. Multi-Level Modeling was used to investigate the relationship between students' high school science and mathematics experiences and college biology performance. This analysis controls for student demographic and educational background factors along with factors associated with the college or university attended. The results indicated that high school course-taking and science instructional experiences have the largest impact on student achievement in the first introductory college biology course. In particular, enrollment in courses, such as high school Calculus and Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, along with biology course content that focuses on developing a deep understanding of the topics is found to be positively associated with student achievement in introductory college biology. On the other hand, experiencing high numbers of laboratory activities, demonstrations, and independent projects along with higher levels of laboratory freedom are associated with negative achievement. These findings are relevant to high school biology teachers, college students, their parents, and educators looking beyond the goal of high school graduation.
Wyner, Yael; Desalle, Rob
The influence of conservation biology can be enhanced greatly if it reaches beyond undergraduate biology to students at the middle and high school levels. If a conservation perspective were taught in secondary schools, students who are not interested in biology could be influenced to pursue careers or live lifestyles that would reduce the negative impact of humans on the world. We use what we call the ecology-disrupted approach to transform the topics of conservation biology research into environmental-issue and ecology topics, the major themes of secondary school courses in environmental science. In this model, students learn about the importance and complexity of normal ecological processes by studying what goes wrong when people disrupt them (environmental issues). Many studies published in Conservation Biology are related in some way to the ecological principles being taught in secondary schools. Describing research in conservation biology in the language of ecology curricula in secondary schools can help bring these science stories to the classroom and give them a context in which they can be understood by students. Without this context in the curriculum, a science story can devolve into just another environmental issue that has no immediate effect on the daily lives of students. Nevertheless, if the research is placed in the context of larger ecological processes that are being taught, students can gain a better understanding of ecology and a better understanding of their effect on the world.
Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Serres, Margrethe H; Romine, Margaret F; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Auchtung, Jennifer; McCue, Lee-Ann; Lipton, Mary S; Obraztsova, Anna; Giometti, Carol S; Nealson, Kenneth H; Fredrickson, James K; Tiedje, James M
To what extent genotypic differences translate to phenotypic variation remains a poorly understood issue of paramount importance for several cornerstone concepts of microbiology including the species definition. Here, we take advantage of the completed genomic sequences, expressed proteomic profiles, and physiological studies of 10 closely related Shewanella strains and species to provide quantitative insights into this issue. Our analyses revealed that, despite extensive horizontal gene transfer within these genomes, the genotypic and phenotypic similarities among the organisms were generally predictable from their evolutionary relatedness. The power of the predictions depended on the degree of ecological specialization of the organisms evaluated. Using the gradient of evolutionary relatedness formed by these genomes, we were able to partly isolate the effect of ecology from that of evolutionary divergence and to rank the different cellular functions in terms of their rates of evolution. Our ranking also revealed that whole-cell protein expression differences among these organisms, when the organisms were grown under identical conditions, were relatively larger than differences at the genome level, suggesting that similarity in gene regulation and expression should constitute another important parameter for (new) species description. Collectively, our results provide important new information toward beginning a systems-level understanding of bacterial species and genera.
Parker, William; Ollerton, Jeff
Industrialized society currently faces a wide range of non-infectious, immune-related pandemics. These pandemics include a variety of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases that are often associated with common environmental triggers and with genetic predisposition, but that do not occur in developing societies. In this review, we briefly present the idea that these pandemics are due to a limited number of evolutionary mismatches, the most damaging being 'biome depletion'. This particular mismatch involves the loss of species from the ecosystem of the human body, the human biome, many of which have traditionally been classified as parasites, although some may actually be commensal or even mutualistic. This view, evolved from the 'hygiene hypothesis', encompasses a broad ecological and evolutionary perspective that considers host-symbiont relations as plastic, changing through ecological space and evolutionary time. Fortunately, this perspective provides a blueprint, termed 'biome reconstitution', for disease treatment and especially for disease prevention. Biome reconstitution includes the controlled and population-wide reintroduction (i.e. domestication) of selected species that have been all but eradicated from the human biome in industrialized society and holds great promise for the elimination of pandemics of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Discusses how biologists use evolutionary theory and provides examples of how evolutionary biologists test hypotheses on specific modes of selection and evolution. Presents an example of the successful predictive power of one evolutionary hypothesis. Contains 38 references. (DDR)
Sergey Vitalevich Sumatokhin
Full Text Available This article describes textbooks that are used in the teaching of biology in schools in Russia. The characteristics of designing biological programme content are presented. The school textbook, as a book, consists of a system of texts, illustrations, apparatus for acquiring knowledge (methodical apparatus and elements for orientation in the presented contents. In the textbook of biology, different types of texts are distinguished: basic, additional, explanatory. In Russia, biology textbooks for the school public more than ten publishers. A set of biology textbooks, ensuring the continuity of the study of biology in grades 5-9 (10-11 is called the subject line. Authors of different subject lines of textbooks differently select and structure the content of biological education. Depending on the approach to the structuring of the educational material, all subject lines of textbooks can be divided into two groups (system-structural approach and functional approach. These approaches can have a linear or concentric content structure. Each teacher has the right to choose from the variety of subject lines of biology textbooks those that most satisfy his needs.
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General Article Volume 21 Issue 9 September 2016 pp 803- ... Keywords. Evolutionary game theory, evolutionary stable state, conflict, cooperation, biological games.
Robert L. Chevalier
Full Text Available Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as “maladaptive.” In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or from evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ∼40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons, evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (which provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff, and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension. Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout the life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo, developmental programming, and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.
Bliss, TJ; Anderson, Margery; Dillman, Adler; Yourick, Debra; Jett, Marti; Adams, Byron J.; Russell, RevaBeth
In a collaborative effort between university researchers and high school science teachers, an inquiry-based laboratory module was designed using two species of insecticidal nematodes to help students apply scientific inquiry and elements of thoughtful experimental design. The learning experience and model are described in this article. (Contains 4…
Mangahas, Ana Marie E.
This mixed method study explored Christian teachers' beliefs in religious schools on evolution, their attitudes toward evolution, and their perceptions on the effect of those beliefs on the teaching of evolutionary content. Teachers (N = 52) from Association for Christian Schools International (ACSI) accredited schools in California and Hawaii…
Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah
This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate students in response to two different evolution instruments (the EGALT-F and EGALT-P) that contained prompts that differed in various surface features (such as species and traits). We tested human-SIDE scoring correspondence under a series of different training and testing conditions, using Kappa inter-rater agreement values of greater than 0.80 as a performance benchmark. In addition, we examined the effects of response length on scoring success; that is, whether SIDE scoring models functioned with comparable success on short and long responses. We found that SIDE performance was most effective when scoring models were built and tested at the individual item level and that performance degraded when suites of items or entire instruments were used to build and test scoring models. Overall, SIDE was found to be a powerful and cost-effective tool for assessing student knowledge and performance in a complex science domain.
Verseux, Cyprien; G Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos; Chizzolini, Fabio
In 2014, an international group of scholars from various fields analysed the "societal dimensions" of synthetic biology in an interdisciplinary summer school. Here, we report and discuss the biologists' observations on the general perception of synthetic biology by non-biologists who took part...... in this event. Most attendees mainly associated synthetic biology with contributions from the best-known public figures of the field, rarely mentioning other scientists. Media extrapolations of those contributions appeared to have created unrealistic expectations and irrelevant fears that were widely...... disconnected from the current research in synthetic biology. Another observation was that when debating developments in synthetic biology, semantics strongly mattered: depending on the terms used to present an application of synthetic biology, attendees reacted in radically different ways. For example, using...
Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766
Zhou, Ming-Sheng; Wang, Aimei; Yu, Hong
Insulin resistance and hypertension are considered as prototypical "diseases of civilization" that are manifested in the modern environment as plentiful food and sedentary life. The human propensity for insulin resistance and hypertension is a product, at least in part, of our evolutionary history. Adaptation to ancient lifestyle characterized by a low sodium, low-calorie food supply and physical stress to injury response has driven our evolution to shape and preserve a thrifty genotype, which is favorite with energy-saving and sodium conservation. As our civilization evolved, a sedentary lifestyle and sodium- and energy-rich diet, the thrifty genotype is no longer advantageous, and may be maladaptive to disease phenotype, such as hypertension, obesity and insulin resistance syndrome. This article reviews human evolution and the impact of the modern environment on hypertension and insulin resistance.
Evolutionary medicine allows new insights into long standing medical problems. Are we "really stoneagers on the fast lane"? This insight might have enormous consequences and will allow new answers that could never been provided by traditional anthropology. Only now this is made possible using data from molecular medicine and systems biology. Thereby evolutionary medicine takes a leap from a merely theoretical discipline to practical fields - reproductive, nutritional and preventive medicine, as well as microbiology, immunology and psychiatry. Evolutionary medicine is not another "just so story" but a serious candidate for the medical curriculum providing a universal understanding of health and disease based on our biological origin. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
The medaka Oryzias latipes is a small egg-laying freshwater teleost, and has become an excellent model system for developmental genetics and evolutionary biology. The medaka genome is relatively small in size, approximately 800 Mb, and the genome sequencing project was recently completed by Japanese research groups, providing a high-quality draft genome sequence of the inbred Hd-rR strain of medaka. In this review, I present an overview of the medaka genome project including genome resources, followed by specific findings obtained with the medaka draft genome. In particular, I focus on the analysis that was done by taking advantage of the medaka system, such as the sex chromosome differentiation and the regional history of medaka species using single nucleotide polymorphisms as genomic markers.
Zion, Michal; Sadeh, Irit
In examining open inquiry projects among high-school biology students, we found dynamic inquiry performances expressed in two criteria: "changes occurring during inquiry" and "procedural understanding". Characterizing performances in a dynamic open inquiry project can shed light on both the procedural and epistemological…
The purpose of this study is to examine motivation of science high school students towards learning biology and their attitude towards biology lessons. The sample of the study consists of 564 high school students (308 females, 256 males) studying at two science high schools in Aksaray, Turkey. In the study, the relational scanning method, which is…
Levit, Georgy S; Hossfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart
Ivan I. Schmalhausen was one of the central figures in the Russian development of the "Modern Synthesis" in evolutionary biology. He is widely cited internationally even today. Schmalhausen developed the main principles of his theory facing the danger of death in the totalitarian Soviet Union. His great services to evolutionary and theoretical biology are indisputable. However, the received view of Schmalhausen's contributions to evolutionary biology makes an unbiased reading of his texts difficult. Here we show that taking all of his works into consideration (including those only available in Russian) paints a much more dynamic and exciting picture of what he tried to achieve. Schmalhausen pioneered the integration of a developmental perspective into evolutionary thinking. A main tool for achieving this was his approach to living objects as complex multi-level self-regulating systems. Schmalhausen put enormous effort into bringing this idea into fruition during the final stages of his career by combining evolutionary theory with cybernetics. His results and ideas remain thought-provoking, and his texts are of more than just historical interest. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
I reflect on my fifty-year history as a philosopher of biology, showing how it has taken me from rather narrow analytic studies, through the history of ideas, and now on to issues to do with science and religion. I argue that moral concerns were and still are a major motivation behind what I do and write. Copyright: © 2016 by Fabrizio Serra editore, Pisa · Roma.
Full Text Available Much of the philosophical attention directed to Kant’s intervention into biology has been directed toward Kant’s idea of a transcendental limit upon what can be understood constitutively. Kant’s own wider philosophical practice, however, was principally oriented toward solving problems and the scientific benefits of his methodology of teleology have been largely underappreciated, at least in the English language literature. This paper suggests that all basic biology has had, and continues to have, a need for some form of heuristic “bracketing” and that a renewal of some form of, albeit flexible, teleological methodological bracketing can better complement the productive assimilation into developmental biology of continuing advances in our understanding of the mesoscale physics and chemistry of soft, excitable condensed matter, than what has been the prevailing and de facto use of a form of bracketing shaped by the neoDarwinian Modern Synthesis. Further we offer a concept of biogeneric processes and a framework of physico-genetic “dynamical patterning modules”, that can begin to account for the appearance of new Kantian “stocks of Keime und Anlagen”, capable of potentiating some range of possible organismal forms, and provide grounds for moving up the teleological “goalposts”, i.e., expanding the range of what can be accounted for on a constitutive basis.
Tsai, Kuan-Yao; Wang, Feng-Sheng
Modern experimental biology is moving away from analyses of single elements to whole-organism measurements. Such measured time-course data contain a wealth of information about the structure and dynamic of the pathway or network. The dynamic modeling of the whole systems is formulated as a reverse problem that requires a well-suited mathematical model and a very efficient computational method to identify the model structure and parameters. Numerical integration for differential equations and finding global parameter values are still two major challenges in this field of the parameter estimation of nonlinear dynamic biological systems. We compare three techniques of parameter estimation for nonlinear dynamic biological systems. In the proposed scheme, the modified collocation method is applied to convert the differential equations to the system of algebraic equations. The observed time-course data are then substituted into the algebraic system equations to decouple system interactions in order to obtain the approximate model profiles. Hybrid differential evolution (HDE) with population size of five is able to find a global solution. The method is not only suited for parameter estimation but also can be applied for structure identification. The solution obtained by HDE is then used as the starting point for a local search method to yield the refined estimates.
Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.
This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.
Christy Anna Hipsley
Full Text Available Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each. Vertebrate taxa were subjects of nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each. Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of phenotypic
Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M
The ability to interpret and reason from Tree of Life (ToL) diagrams has become a vital component of science literacy in the 21st century. This article reports on the effectiveness of a research-based curriculum, including an instructional booklet, laboratory, and lectures, to teach the fundamentals of such tree thinking in an introductory biology class for science majors. We present the results of a study involving 117 undergraduates who received either our new research-based tree-thinking curriculum or business-as-usual instruction. We found greater gains in tree-thinking abilities for the experimental instruction group than for the business-as-usual group, as measured by performance on our novel assessment instrument. This was a medium size effect. These gains were observed on an unannounced test that was administered ∼5-6 weeks after the primary instruction in tree thinking. The nature of students' postinstruction difficulties with tree thinking suggests that the critical underlying concept for acquiring expert-level competence in this area is understanding that any specific phylogenetic tree is a subset of the complete, unimaginably large ToL. © 2016 L. R. Novick and K. M. Catley. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
AL-Modwahi, Ashraf Abbas M.; Kaisara, Onalenna; Parkizkar, Behrang; Habibi Lashkari, Arash
The high increase of mobile technology is leading to mobilized learning environment, thus making traditional learning to diminish slowly and become inactive and unproductive. Learners worldwide are being attracted to mobile environment more so that it promotes anytime, anywhere learning. Biology as a secondary school subject will be applicable for mobile learning for such a time and generation as this. This paper is therefore an attempt to mobile based biology edutainment system for the students who normally range from the ages of thirteen to sixteen.
Schrein, Caitlin M.
In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class enrollment, academic achievement, interest in a STEM degree program, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and socioscientific decision-making for a sample of students enrolled full-time at Arizona State University. Given a lack of a priori knowledge of these relationships, the Grounded Theory Method was used and was the foundation for a mixed-methods analysis involving qualitative and quantitative data from one-on-one interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and an online survey. Theory development and hypothesis generation were based on data from 44 students. The survey instrument, developed to test the hypotheses, was completed by 486 undergraduates, age 18--22, who graduated from U.S. public high schools. The results showed that higher exposure to HEB was correlated with greater high school science class enrollment, particularly for advanced biological science classes, and that, for some students, HEB exposure may have influenced their enrollment, because the students found the content interesting and relevant. The results also suggested that students with higher K--12 HEB exposure felt more prepared for undergraduate science coursework. There was a positive correlation between HEB exposure and interest in a STEM degree and an indirect relationship between higher HEB exposure and motivation to pursue a STEM career. Regarding a number of socioscientific issues, including but not limited to climate change, homosexuality, and stem cell research, students' behaviors and decision-making more closely reflected a scientific viewpoint---or less-closely aligned to a religion-based perspective---when students had greater HEB exposure
Cortese-Krott, Miriam M; Koning, Anne; Kuhnle, Gunter G C; Nagy, Peter; Bianco, Christopher L; Pasch, Andreas; Wink, David A; Fukuto, Jon M; Jackson, Alan A; van Goor, Harry; Olson, Kenneth R; Feelisch, Martin
Oxidative stress is thought to account for aberrant redox homeostasis and contribute to aging and disease. However, more often than not, administration of antioxidants is ineffective, suggesting that our current understanding of the underlying regulatory processes is incomplete. Recent Advances: Similar to reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, reactive sulfur species are now emerging as important signaling molecules, targeting regulatory cysteine redox switches in proteins, affecting gene regulation, ion transport, intermediary metabolism, and mitochondrial function. To rationalize the complexity of chemical interactions of reactive species with themselves and their targets and help define their role in systemic metabolic control, we here introduce a novel integrative concept defined as the reactive species interactome (RSI). The RSI is a primeval multilevel redox regulatory system whose architecture, together with the physicochemical characteristics of its constituents, allows efficient sensing and rapid adaptation to environmental changes and various other stressors to enhance fitness and resilience at the local and whole-organism level. To better characterize the RSI-related processes that determine fluxes through specific pathways and enable integration, it is necessary to disentangle the chemical biology and activity of reactive species (including precursors and reaction products), their targets, communication systems, and effects on cellular, organ, and whole-organism bioenergetics using system-level/network analyses. Understanding the mechanisms through which the RSI operates will enable a better appreciation of the possibilities to modulate the entire biological system; moreover, unveiling molecular signatures that characterize specific environmental challenges or other forms of stress will provide new prevention/intervention opportunities for personalized medicine. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.
Wellner, Karen L.
Biology textbooks are everybody's business. In accepting the view that texts are created with specific social goals in mind, I examined 127 twentieth-century high school biology textbooks for representations of animal development. Paragraphs and visual representations were coded and placed in one of four scientific literacy categories: descriptive, investigative, nature of science, and human embryos, technology, and society (HETS). I then interpreted how embryos and fetuses have been socially constructed for students. I also examined the use of Haeckel's embryo drawings to support recapitulation and evolutionary theory. Textbooks revealed that publication of Haeckel's drawings was influenced by evolutionists and anti-evolutionists in the 1930s, 1960s, and the 1990s. Haeckel's embryos continue to persist in textbooks because they "safely" illustrate similarities between embryos and are rarely discussed in enough detail to understand comparative embryology's role in the support of evolution. Certain events coincided with changes in how embryos were presented: (a) the growth of the American Medical Association (AMA) and an increase in birth rates (1950s); (b) the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and public acceptance of birth control methods (1960s); (c) Roe vs. Wade (1973); (d) in vitro fertilization and Lennart Nilsson's photographs (1970s); (e) prenatal technology and fetocentrism (1980s); and (f) genetic engineering and Science-Technology-Society (STS) curriculum (1980s and 1990s). By the end of the twentieth century, changing conceptions, research practices, and technologies all combined to transform the nature of biological development. Human embryos went from a highly descriptive, static, and private object to that of sometimes contentious public figure. I contend that an ignored source for helping move embryos into the public realm is schoolbooks. Throughout the 1900s, authors and publishers accomplished this by placing biology textbook embryos and
Shcherbakov Victor P
Full Text Available Abstract Consistent holistic view of sexual species as the highest form of biological existence is presented. The Weismann's idea that sex and recombination provide the variation for the natural selection to act upon is dominated in most discussions of the biological meaning of the sexual reproduction. Here, the idea is substantiated that the main advantage of sex is the opposite: the ability to counteract not only extinction but further evolution as well. Living systems live long owing to their ability to reproduce themselves with a high fidelity. Simple organisms (like bacteria reach the continued existence due to the high fidelity of individual genome replication. In organisms with a large genome and complex development, the achievable fidelity of DNA replication is not enough for the precise reproduction of the genome. Such species must be capable of surviving and must remain unchanged in spite of the continuous changes of their genes. This problem has no solution in the frame of asexual ("homeogenomic" lineages. They would rapidly degrade and become extinct or blurred out in the course of the reckless evolution. The core outcome of the transition to sexual reproduction was the creation of multiorganismic entity - biological species. Individual organisms forfeited their ability to reproduce autonomously. It implies that individual organisms forfeited their ability to substantive evolution. They evolve as a part of the biological species. In case of obligatory sexuality, there is no such a thing as synchronic multi-level selection. Natural selection cannot select anything that is not a unit of reproduction. Hierarchy in biology implies the functional predestination of the parts for the sake of the whole. A crucial feature of the sexual reproduction is the formation of genomes of individual organisms by random picking them over from the continuously shuffled gene pool instead of the direct replication of the ancestor's genome. A clear anti-evolutionary
Nthathakane, Malefu Christina
This study investigated how Basotho high school biology students responded to a multicultural science education (MCSE) approach. Students' home language---Sesotho---and cultural experiences were integrated into the teaching of a unit on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) abuse. The focus was on students whose cultural background is African and who are English second language users. The study was conducted in three high school biology classrooms in Lesotho where the ATOD unit was taught using MCSE. A fourth biology classroom was observed for comparison purposes. In this classroom the regular biology teacher taught ATOD using typical instructional strategies. The study was framed by the general question: How does a multicultural science education approach affect Basotho high school biology students? More specifically: How does the use of Sesotho (or code-switching between Sesotho and English) and integration of Basotho students' cultural knowledge and experiences with respect to ATOD affect students' learning? In particular how does the approach affect students' participation and academic performance? A qualitative research method was used in this study. Data were drawn from a number of different sources and analyzed inductively. The data sources included field-notes, transcripts of ATOD lessons, research assistant lesson observation notes and interviews, regular biology teachers' interviews and notes from observing a few of their lessons, students' interviews and pre and posttest scripts, and other school documents that recorded students' performance throughout the year. Using the students' home language---Sesotho---was beneficial in that it enabled them to share ideas, communicate better and understand each other, the teacher and the material that was taught. Integrating students' cultural and everyday experiences was beneficial because it enabled students to anchor the new ATOD ideas in what was familiar and helped them find the relevance of the unit by
Full Text Available The study was to develop a Biology learning evaluation model in senior high schools that referred to the research and development model by Borg & Gall and the logic model. The evaluation model included the components of input, activities, output and outcomes. The developing procedures involved a preliminary study in the form of observation and theoretical review regarding the Biology learning evaluation in senior high schools. The product development was carried out by designing an evaluation model, designing an instrument, performing instrument experiment and performing implementation. The instrument experiment involved teachers and Students from Grade XII in senior high schools located in the City of Yogyakarta. For the data gathering technique and instrument, the researchers implemented observation sheet, questionnaire and test. The questionnaire was applied in order to attain information regarding teacher performance, learning performance, classroom atmosphere and scientific attitude; on the other hand, test was applied in order to attain information regarding Biology concept mastery. Then, for the analysis of instrument construct, the researchers performed confirmatory factor analysis by means of Lisrel 0.80 software and the results of this analysis showed that the evaluation instrument valid and reliable. The construct validity was between 0.43-0.79 while the reliability of measurement model was between 0.88-0.94. Last but not the least, the model feasibility test showed that the theoretical model had been supported by the empirical data.
Full Text Available A primary goal of university instruction is the students’ demonstration of improved, highly developed critical thinking (CT skills. However, how do faculty encourage CT and its potential concomitant increase in student workload without negatively impacting student perceptions of the course? In this investigation, an advanced biology course is evaluated after structural changes (implemented in 2010 met with a poor student evaluation of the course and the instructor. This analysis first examines the steps used to transform a course to encourage CT and then explains how it can be assessed. To accomplish these goals, the instructor collaborated with an educational developer to redesign the course using a philosophy informed by SoTL. This approach, as we see it, represents a set of principles that demand transparency in the development and application of strategies whose aim is to encourage student learning. However, the SoTL approach would be insufficient to simply promote a set of strategies without some mechanism for evaluating its efficacy. Therefore, we designed a “Graded Response” (GR multiple-choice test to measure CT development and hence to properly evaluate whether the strategies embedded in our SoTL-informed course redesign have adequately met our goals.
Nesse, Randolph M; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S
Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but some major advances in evolutionary biology from the twentieth century that provide foundations for evolutionary medicine are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the need for both proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, competition between alleles, co-evolution, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are transforming evolutionary biology in ways that create even more opportunities for progress at its interfaces with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and related principles to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine.
Verseux, Cyprien; Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G.; Chizzolini, Fabio; Rothschild, Lynn J.
In 2014, an international group of scholars from various fields analysed the "societal dimensions" of synthetic biology in an interdisciplinary summer school. Here, we report and discuss the biologists' observations on the general perception of synthetic biology by non-biologists who took part in this event. Most attendees mainly associated synthetic biology with contributions from the best-known public figures of the field, rarely mentioning other scientists. Media extrapolations of those contributions appeared to have created unrealistic expectations and irrelevant fears that were widely disconnected from the current research in synthetic biology. Another observation was that when debating developments in synthetic biology, semantics strongly mattered: depending on the terms used to present an application of synthetic biology, attendees reacted in radically different ways. For example, using the term "GMOs" (genetically modified organisms) rather than the term "genetic engineering" led to very different reactions. Stimulating debates also happened with participants having unanticipated points of view, for instance biocentrist ethicists who argued that engineered microbes should not be used for human purposes. Another communication challenge emerged from the connotations and inaccuracies surrounding the word "life", which impaired constructive debates, thus leading to misconceptions about the abilities of scientists to engineer or even create living organisms. Finally, it appeared that synthetic biologists tend to overestimate the knowledge of non-biologists, further affecting communication. The motivation and ability of synthetic biologists to communicate their work outside their research field needs to be fostered, notably towards policymakers who need a more accurate and technical understanding of the field to make informed decisions. Interdisciplinary events gathering scholars working in and around synthetic biology are an effective tool in addressing those
When the "Journal of Biological Education" was first published in 1967, biology was still very much the Cinderella of the three school sciences in many countries. Most selective secondary school biology courses readily betrayed their origins as an unconvincing coalition of botany and zoology. In the non-selective secondary modern…
Nesse, Randolph M.; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T. Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S.
Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but many major advances in evolutionary biology from the 20th century are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the distinction between proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are further transforming evolutionary biology and creating yet more opportunities for progress at the interface of evolution with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and others to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine. PMID:22544168
Fürstenberg, Dr Kai
Institutions are hard to define and hard to study. Long prominent in political science have been two theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI) and Historical Institutionalism (HI). Arising from the life sciences is now a third: Evolutionary Institutionalism (EI). Comparative strengths and weaknesses of these three theories warrant review, and the value-to-be-added by expanding the third beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory deserves consideration. Should evolutionary institutionalism expand to accommodate new understanding in ecology, such as might apply to the emergence of stability, and in genetics, such as might apply to political behavior? Core arguments are reviewed for each theory with more detailed exposition of the third, EI. Particular attention is paid to EI's gene-institution analogy; to variation, selection, and retention of institutional traits; to endogeneity and exogeneity; to agency and structure; and to ecosystem effects, institutional stability, and empirical limitations in behavioral genetics. RCI, HI, and EI are distinct but complementary. Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to criticaljuncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.
Çimen, Osman; Yilmaz, Mehmet
Anxiety and self-efficacy are among the factors that impact students' performance in biology. The current study aims to investigate high school students' perception of biology anxiety and self-efficacy, in relation to gender, grade level, interest in biology, negative experience associated with biology classes, and teachers' approaches in the…
Adegboye, Motunrayo Catherine; Bello, Ganiyu; Abimbola, Isaac O.
There is a sustained public outcry against the persistent abysmal performance of students in biology and other science subjects at the Senior School Certificate Examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). Biology is a unique science discipline with peculiar philosophical…
Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from data requires the development of algorithms devoted to structure extraction. When only static data are available, gene interactions may be modelled by a Bayesian Network (BN that represents the presence of direct interactions from regulators to regulees by conditional probability distributions. We used enhanced evolutionary algorithms to stochastically evolve a set of candidate BN structures and found the model that best fits data without prior knowledge. Results We proposed various evolutionary strategies suitable for the task and tested our choices using simulated data drawn from a given bio-realistic network of 35 nodes, the so-called insulin network, which has been used in the literature for benchmarking. We assessed the inferred models against this reference to obtain statistical performance results. We then compared performances of evolutionary algorithms using two kinds of recombination operators that operate at different scales in the graphs. We introduced a niching strategy that reinforces diversity through the population and avoided trapping of the algorithm in one local minimum in the early steps of learning. We show the limited effect of the mutation operator when niching is applied. Finally, we compared our best evolutionary approach with various well known learning algorithms (MCMC, K2, greedy search, TPDA, MMHC devoted to BN structure learning. Conclusion We studied the behaviour of an evolutionary approach enhanced by niching for the learning of gene regulatory networks with BN. We show that this approach outperforms classical structure learning methods in elucidating the original model. These results were obtained for the learning of a bio-realistic network and, more importantly, on various small datasets. This is a suitable approach for learning transcriptional regulatory networks from real datasets without prior knowledge.
Nesse, Randolph M; Stearns, Stephen C
Evolutionary biology is an essential basic science for medicine, but few doctors and medical researchers are familiar with its most relevant principles. Most medical schools have geneticists who understand evolution, but few have even one evolutionary biologist to suggest other possible applications. The canyon between evolutionary biology and medicine is wide. The question is whether they offer each other enough to make bridge building worthwhile. What benefits could be expected if evolution were brought fully to bear on the problems of medicine? How would studying medical problems advance evolutionary research? Do doctors need to learn evolution, or is it valuable mainly for researchers? What practical steps will promote the application of evolutionary biology in the areas of medicine where it offers the most? To address these questions, we review current and potential applications of evolutionary biology to medicine and public health. Some evolutionary technologies, such as population genetics, serial transfer production of live vaccines, and phylogenetic analysis, have been widely applied. Other areas, such as infectious disease and aging research, illustrate the dramatic recent progress made possible by evolutionary insights. In still other areas, such as epidemiology, psychiatry, and understanding the regulation of bodily defenses, applying evolutionary principles remains an open opportunity. In addition to the utility of specific applications, an evolutionary perspective fundamentally challenges the prevalent but fundamentally incorrect metaphor of the body as a machine designed by an engineer. Bodies are vulnerable to disease - and remarkably resilient - precisely because they are not machines built from a plan. They are, instead, bundles of compromises shaped by natural selection in small increments to maximize reproduction, not health. Understanding the body as a product of natural selection, not design, offers new research questions and a framework for
PARAKH, JAL SOHRAB
A CATEGORY SYSTEM FOR SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION OF HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY LABORATORY AND LECTURE-DISCUSSION-RECITATION CLASSES WAS DEVELOPED AND USED TO QUANTIFY, ANALYZE, AND DESCRIBE OBSERVED CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR. THE CATEGORY SYSTEM WAS DEVELOPED BY OBSERVING EIGHT HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHERS ONCE EACH MONTH FOR FOUR SUCCESSIVE MONTHS. THE OBSERVER…
Diogo, Rui; Ziermann, Janine M; Linde-Medina, Marta
, or the strepsirrhines and lemurs within the Primates, for instance. This review will contribute to improving our understanding of these broad evolutionary issues and of the evolution of the vertebrate Bauplans, and hopefully will stimulate future phylogenetic, evolutionary and developmental studies of these clades. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Yustiana, I. A.; Paidi; Mercuriani, I. S.
This study aimed to determine the Biology factual knowledge at eleventh grade of senior high school students in Pacitan based on favorite schools. This research was a descriptive research by using survey method. The population in this study was all of senior high school students in Pacitan. The sampling technique used purposive sampling technique and obtained 3 favorite schools and 3 non-favorite schools. The technique of collecting data used test form which was as the instrument of the research. Data analysis technique used Mann-Whitney U test. Based on the test, it was obtained p = 0,000 (p <0,05) so there was a significant difference between the factual knowledge of the students in the favorite schools and non-favorite schools in Pacitan. The factual knowledge of students in favorite schools was higher with an average of 5.32 while non-favorite schools were obtained an average of 4.36.
Uitto, Anna; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari; Meisalo, Veijo
Interest in biology and the out-of-school experiences of Finnish secondary school pupils (n = 3626, median age 15) were surveyed in the spring of 2003 using the international ROSE questionnaire. Likert-scaled items were categorised with an explorative factor analysis. The scores of eight interest-context factors and seven out-of-school experience…
Asghar, Anila; Wiles, Jason R.; Alters, Brian
This study seeks to inform science education practitioners and researchers in the West about apparent attempts to reconcile science and religion in Pakistan's public school curriculum. We analysed the national high school science curriculum and biology textbooks (English) used in the Government schools in Pakistan, where Islamic faith is the…
Sandra Aragão de Almeida Sasamoto
Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.4025/actascihealthsci.v36i1.14976 Current research characterizes the epidemiological profile of accidents with biological material (BM that occurred in a government-run dental school and identifies the post-exposure behavior taken by the injured subjects. The cross-sectional retrospective study comprises professors, students and technical-administration personnel who worked in the laboratory from 2001 to 2008 (n = 566. An electronic questionnaire, prepared by software developed for this purpose, was sent to subjects between May and August 2008 for data collection. Ninety-one (34.2% out of 266 participants reported some type of exposure to BM. There was no difference between the occurrence of accidents according to the subjects’ category (p = 0.496 and sex (p = 0.261. Most of the subjects reported cutaneous exposure (76.9% comprising saliva (68.1% and blood (48.3%. The fingers were the body members most affected. Accidents occurred mostly during clinical (34.1% and surgical (30.8% procedures. Although the use of protection equipments was high (82.9%, only 26.4% of subjects reported the accident and only 28.6% sought immediate help. Most of the injured subjects failed to report the accidents and did not comply with the guidelines. Others trivialized basic behavior such as the interruption of the procedure to seek medical assistance.
Harbottle, Jennifer; Strangward, Patrick; Alnuamaani, Catherine; Lawes, Surita; Patel, Sanjai; Prokop, Andreas
The "droso4schools" project aims to introduce the fruit fly "Drosophila" as a powerful modern teaching tool to convey curriculum-relevant specifications in biology lessons. Flies are easy and cheap to breed and have been at the forefront of biology research for a century, providing unique conceptual understanding of biology and…
Graves, Joseph L; Reiber, Chris; Thanukos, Anna; Hurtado, Magdalena; Wolpaw, Terry
Evolutionary science is indispensable for understanding biological processes. Effective medical treatment must be anchored in sound biology. However, currently the insights available from evolutionary science are not adequately incorporated in either pre-medical or medical school curricula. To illuminate how evolution may be helpful in these areas, examples in which the insights of evolutionary science are already improving medical treatment and ways in which evolutionary reasoning can be practiced in the context of medicine are provided. In order to facilitate the learning of evolutionary principles, concepts derived from evolutionary science that medical students and professionals should understand are outlined. These concepts are designed to be authoritative and at the same time easily accessible for anyone with the general biological knowledge of a first-year medical student. Thus we conclude that medical practice informed by evolutionary principles will be more effective and lead to better patient outcomes.Furthermore, it is argued that evolutionary medicine complements general medical training because it provides an additional means by which medical students can practice the critical thinking skills that will be important in their future practice. We argue that core concepts from evolutionary science have the potential to improve critical thinking and facilitate more effective learning in medical training. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.
Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne
Evolutionary game theory has become one of the most diverse and far reaching theories in biology. Applications of this theory range from cell dynamics to social evolution. However, many applications make it clear that inherent non-linearities of natural systems need to be taken into account. One way of introducing such non-linearities into evolutionary games is by the inclusion of multiple players. An example is of social dilemmas, where group benefits could e.g.\\ increase less than linear wi...
Children and adolescents spend a large part of their day at school. Physical and mental problems result from physical inactivity, sitting positions at work and "indoor lifestyle" (WHO 2004). Therefore, health education is a major topic in school. Biology classes (scholastic) can make an important contribution in this context. Health as a…
Uitto, Anna; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari; Meisalo, Veijo
How to make learning more interesting is a basic challenge for school education. In this Finnish study, the international ROSE questionnaire was used to survey, during spring of 2003, the relationship between interest in biology and out-of-school experiences for 3626 ninth-grade pupils. Interest and experience factors were extracted by using the…
Sadeh, Irit; Zion, Michal
In teaching inquiry to high school students, educators differ on which method of teaching inquiry is more effective: Guided or open inquiry? This paper examines the influence of these two different inquiry learning approaches on the attitudes of Israeli high school biology students toward their inquiry project. The results showed significant…
Burrows, Andrea C.; Breiner, Jonathan M.; Keiner, Jennifer; Behm, Chris
This article explores the vertical alignment of two high school classes, biology and chemistry, around the core concept of biodiesel fuel production. High school teachers and university faculty members investigated biodiesel as it relates to societal impact through a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers. Using an action…
Johnson, Wendy; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G.
Using the biological and adoptive families in the Minnesota-based Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study, we investigated the associations among genetic and environmental influences on IQ, parenting, parental expectations for offspring educational attainment, engagement in school, and school grades. All variables showed substantial genetic…
Cardoso, Fernanda Serpa; Dumpel, Renata; Gomes da Silva, Luisa B.; Rodrigues, Carlos R.; Santos, Dilvani O.; Cabral, Lucio Mendes; Castro, Helena C.
Molecular biology is a difficult comprehension subject due to its high complexity, thus requiring new teaching approaches. Herein, we developed an interdisciplinary board game involving the human immune system response against a bacterial infection for teaching molecular biology at high school. Initially, we created a database with several…
Köksal, Mustafa Serdar; Yaman, Süleyman
The expectancy-value model of motivation states that individuals' choice, persistence and performances are related to their beliefs about how much they value task. Despite the importance of "task value" in learning biology, lack of the instruments on task value for high school biology courses for practical use indicated requirement to…
石井, 照久; ISHII, Teruhisa
Practical examples of the delivery class in junior high school biological education were reported. In 2006-2012, author did 13 times of delivery class in 5 junior high schools in Akita Prefecture. The contents of the delivery classes were‘‘Observation of animals in river’’, ‘‘Marine ecology’’, ‘‘Ecological problems’’ and ‘‘cells and DNA’’. In this report, these contents were discussed in regard to new course of education in Japan. Also, better delivery class in junior high school biological e...
Nelson Mandela stated that education is the tool that can be used to change the world. ... the overarching objective of the South African school's curriculum, with specific reference to ..... International journal of historical learning, teaching and.
Spurgin, C B
The majority of British medical schools now accept for their shortest courses students who have mathematics at A level in place of the former requirement of biology A level. Only a small fraction of the entry, less than one-fifth, enters this way, in spite of statements by most medical schools that they make no distinction between those with mathematics and those with biology when making conditional offers of places. There is no evidence that those without biology are at a disadvantage in the courses. If the prospects of entry without A level biology were better publicized medical schools would have a wider field of possibly abler entrants, and pupils entering sixth forms could defer for a year a choice between a medical (or dental) career and one involving physical science, engineering, or other mathematics-based university education.
Sari, T. M.; Paidi; Mercuriani, I. S.
This study was aim to determine Biology procedural knowledge of senior high school in West Lampung based on curriculum at 11th grade in even semester. This research was descriptive research. The population was all students of senior high school in West Lampung. The sampling technique in this research used purposive sampling technique, so the researcher obtained 3 schools using K13 and 3 schools using KTSP. Data collecting technique used instrument test. Data analysis technique used U-Mann Whitney test. The result showed that p=0.028 (p<0.05), so there was significant differences between school using K13 and KTSP. The procedural knowledge of schools which using K13 is higher than school which using KTSP, with the mean score K13=4.35 and KTSP=4.00
Gardiner, N.; Bjerklie, D. M.
Ongoing research into the evolution of fishes in the lower Congo River suggests a close tie between diversity and hydraulic complexity of flow in the channel. For example, fish populations on each side of the rapids at the head of the lower Congo are within 1.5 km of one another, a distance normally allowing for interbreeding in river systems of comparable size, yet these fish populations show about 5% divergence in their mitochondrial DNA signatures. The proximal reason for this divergence is hydraulic complexity: the speed and turbulence of water moving through the thalweg is a barrier to dispersal for these fishes. Further examination of fish diversity suggests additional correlations of evolutionary divergence of fish clades in association with geomorphic and hydraulic features such as deep pools, extensive systems of rapids, alternating sections of fast and slow current, and recurring whirlpools. Due to prohibitive travel costs, limited field time, and the large geographic domain (approximately 400 river km) of the study area, we undertook a nested set of remote sensing analyses to extract habitat features, geomorphic descriptors, and hydraulic parameters including channel forming velocity, depth, channel roughness, slope, and shear stress. Each of these estimated parameters is mapped for each 1 km segment of the river from the rapids described above to below Inga Falls, a massive cataract where several endemic fish species have been identified. To validate remote sensing estimates, we collected depth and velocity data within the river using gps-enabled sonar measurements from a kayak and Doppler profiling from a motor-driven dugout canoe. Observations corroborate remote sensing estimates of geomorphic parameters. Remote sensing-based estimates of channel-forming velocity and depth were less than the observed maximum channel depth but correlated well with channel properties within 1 km reach segments. This correspondence is notable. The empirical models used
M. Claire Horner-Devine
Full Text Available While the biological sciences have achieved gender parity in the undergraduate and graduate career stages, this is not the case at the faculty level. The WEBS (Women Evolving the Biological Sciences symposia go beyond traditional scientific training and professional development to address factors critical to women’s persistence in faculty careers: community and empowerment. Through a series of panel discussions, personal reflections and skills workshops, WEBS creates a community-based professional development experience and a space for participants to grapple with central issues affecting their scientific careers. Longitudinal qualitative survey data suggest that WEBS bolsters the participants’ confidence and empowerment, in addition to providing concrete skills for addressing a range of issues necessary to navigating scientific careers, leading to increased career satisfaction and career self-efficacy (i.e., the belief in one’s capacity to pursue their chosen career. These results highlight the importance and need for programs and opportunities for women in STEM that go beyond training in scientific skills and traditional professional development to include those that create a sense of community and empowerment.
Griffith, Oliver W; Blackburn, Daniel G; Brandley, Matthew C; Van Dyke, James U; Whittington, Camilla M; Thompson, Michael B
To understand evolutionary transformations it is necessary to identify the character states of extinct ancestors. Ancestral character state reconstruction is inherently difficult because it requires an accurate phylogeny, character state data, and a statistical model of transition rates and is fundamentally constrained by missing data such as extinct taxa. We argue that model based ancestral character state reconstruction should be used to generate hypotheses but should not be considered an analytical endpoint. Using the evolution of viviparity and reversals to oviparity in squamates as a case study, we show how anatomical, physiological, and ecological data can be used to evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary transitions. The evolution of squamate viviparity requires changes to the timing of reproductive events and the successive loss of features responsible for building an eggshell. A reversal to oviparity requires that those lost traits re-evolve. We argue that the re-evolution of oviparity is inherently more difficult than the reverse. We outline how the inviability of intermediate phenotypes might present physiological barriers to reversals from viviparity to oviparity. Finally, we show that ecological data supports an oviparous ancestral state for squamates and multiple transitions to viviparity. In summary, we conclude that the first squamates were oviparous, that frequent transitions to viviparity have occurred, and that reversals to oviparity in viviparous lineages either have not occurred or are exceedingly rare. As this evidence supports conclusions that differ from previous ancestral state reconstructions, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating biological evidence to evaluate model-generated hypotheses. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Van Sciver, Robert E; Lee, Michael P; Lee, Caroline Dasom; Lafever, Alex C; Svyatova, Elizaveta; Kanda, Kevin; Colliver, Amber L; Siewertsz van Reesema, Lauren L; Tang-Tan, Angela M; Zheleva, Vasilena; Bwayi, Monicah N; Bian, Minglei; Schmidt, Rebecca L; Matrisian, Lynn M; Petersen, Gloria M; Tang, Amy H
Oncogenic K-RAS mutations are found in virtually all pancreatic cancers, making K-RAS one of the most targeted oncoproteins for drug development in cancer therapies. Despite intense research efforts over the past three decades, oncogenic K-RAS has remained largely "undruggable". Rather than targeting an upstream component of the RAS signaling pathway (i.e., EGFR/HER2) and/or the midstream effector kinases (i.e., RAF/MEK/ERK/PI3K/mTOR), we propose an alternative strategy to control oncogenic K-RAS signal by targeting its most downstream signaling module, Seven-In-Absentia Homolog (SIAH). SIAH E3 ligase controls the signal output of oncogenic K-RAS hyperactivation that drives unchecked cell proliferation, uncontrolled tumor growth, and rapid cancer cell dissemination in human pancreatic cancer. Therefore, SIAH is an ideal therapeutic target as it is an extraordinarily conserved downstream signaling gatekeeper indispensable for proper RAS signaling. Guided by molecular insights and core principles obtained from developmental and evolutionary biology, we propose an anti-SIAH-centered anti-K-RAS strategy as a logical and alternative anticancer strategy to dampen uncontrolled K-RAS hyperactivation and halt tumor growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. The clinical utility of developing SIAH as both a tumor-specific and therapy-responsive biomarker, as well as a viable anti-K-RAS drug target, is logically simple and conceptually innovative. SIAH clearly constitutes a major tumor vulnerability and K-RAS signaling bottleneck in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in the K-RAS/SIAH signaling pathway, an anti-SIAH-based anti-PDAC therapy will synergize with covalent K-RAS inhibitors and direct K-RAS targeted initiatives to control and eradicate pancreatic cancer in the future.
Antonio Carlos Rodrigues de Amorim
Full Text Available Based on frameworks that propose the contextualization of science education centered in the science/technology/ society relationships, and on the belief that the teacher has a fundamental role on the curriculum innovation processes, this paper describes and analyses different elements of the pedagogical practice of teachers of the city of Campinas/SP, in the perspective of outlining an overview regarding the already existing biology and technology relationship. It focuses in a detailed way the conceptions of the relationships between biology and technology present in the instructional materials used or produced by teachers, describing and discussing the wide range spectrum of identified possibilities. It also emphasizes the approaches to biology and technology relationships identified by interviewing the teachers, being them similar or not to those found in the instructional materials. Indicators of the existence of a problematic theory and practice association, in which the theoretical elements (science are hierarchically superior to the practical elements (technology, were detected. This kind of association should constitute a focus of attention in the construction of innovative proposals for the biology curriculum, since science classroom discussions regarding technology – in their ethical, aesthetical, epistemological, and marketing aspects – represent an important path to dimension the biological knowledge in the capitalist contemporary society.
Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew
Marine pollution is ubiquitous, and is one of the key factors influencing contemporary marine biodiversity worldwide. To protect marine biodiversity, how do we surveil, document and predict the short- and long-term impacts of pollutants on at-risk species? Modern genomics tools offer high-throughput, information-rich and increasingly cost-effective approaches for characterizing biological responses to environmental stress, and are important tools within an increasing sophisticated kit for surveiling and assessing impacts of pollutants on marine species. Through the lens of recent research in marine killifish, we illustrate how genomics tools may be useful for screening chemicals and pollutants for biological activity and to reveal specific mechanisms of action. The high dimensionality of transcriptomic responses enables their usage as highly specific fingerprints of exposure, and these fingerprints can be used to diagnose environmental problems. We also emphasize that molecular pathways recruited to respond at physiological timescales are the same pathways that may be targets for natural selection during chronic exposure to pollutants. Gene complement and sequence variation in those pathways can be related to variation in sensitivity to environmental pollutants within and among species. Furthermore, allelic variation associated with evolved tolerance in those pathways could be tracked to estimate the pace of environmental health decline and recovery. We finish by integrating these paradigms into a vision of how genomics approaches could anchor a modernized framework for advancing the predictive capacity of environmental and ecotoxicological science. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebmann, Terri; Elliott, Michael B; Artman, Deborah; VanNatta, Matthew; Wakefield, Mary
School preparedness for bioevents, such as emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and pandemics, is imperative, but historically has been low. The Missouri Association of School Nurses members were sent an online survey during the 2013-2014 school year to assess current bioevent readiness. There were 15 and 35 indicators of school disaster and bioevent preparedness, respectively. Multivariate linear regressions were conducted to delineate factors associated with higher school disaster and bioevent preparedness scores. In total, 133 school nurses participated, with a 33.6% response rate. On average, schools had fewer than half of the disaster or bioevent indicators. Disaster and bioevent preparedness scores ranged from 1-12.5 (mean, 6.0) and 5-25 (mean, 13.8), respectively. The least frequently reported plan components included bioterrorism-specific psychological needs addressed (1.5%, n = 2), having a foodservice biosecurity plan (8.3%, n = 11), and having a liberal sick leave policy for bioevents (22.6%, n = 30). Determinants of better bioevent preparedness include perception that the school is well prepared for a pandemic (P = .001) or natural disaster (P nurse being on the disaster planning committee (P = .001), and school being a closed point of dispensing (P < .05). Schools are underprepared for biological events and are not on track to meet state and national biological preparedness goals. Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lesley le Grange
Full Text Available The national curriculum frameworks for school biology (Life Sciences have undergone several changes since the dismantling of apartheid. These changes have been characterised by pendulum swings between traditional academic biology and humanistic biology. In this article I discuss these pendulum swings and the reasons for them. I point out that even though we have witnessed these pendulum swings, the different curriculum frameworks for Life Sciences can be seen as iterations of the same curriculum paradigm – all according to the Tylerian mould. I also argue that productive learning of both academic and humanistic biology depends on what teachers do and think, rather than the content of a particular curriculum framework.
Do Carmo, Ricardo Santos; Nunes-Neto, Nei Freitas; El-Hani, Charbel Nino
Gaia theory proposes that a cybernetic system including the biota and the physicochemical environment regulates environmental variables at a global scale, keeping them within a range that makes Earth inhabitable by living beings. One can argue that this theory can play an important role in school science, since it bears upon current environmental…
Eijck, van M.W.; Roth, W.-M.
ABSTRACT: High school students’ images of scientists are reported as being stereotypic and narrow. We investigated in this study the potential of science textbooks to mediate the emergence of such images. We selected evidence for how ten noted scientists are represented in four widely used high
Rotbain, Yosi; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Stavy, Ruth
We present an active way to use a computer animation in secondary molecular genetics class. For this purpose we developed an activity booklet that helps students to work interactively with a computer animation which deals with abstract concepts and processes in molecular biology. The achievements of the experimental group were compared with those…
Nie, Pu-Yan; Zhang, Pei-Ai
Evolutionary graph theory (EGT) is recently proposed by Lieberman et al. in 2005. EGT is successful for explaining biological evolution and some social phenomena. It is extremely important to consider the time of fixation for EGT in many practical problems, including evolutionary theory and the evolution of cooperation. This study characterizes the time to asymptotically reach fixation.
Gangestad, S.W.; Tybur, J.M.
Functional approaches in psychology - which ask what behavior is good for - are almost as old as scientific psychology itself. Yet sophisticated, generative functional theories were not possible until developments in evolutionary biology in the mid-20th century. Arising in the last three decades,
Darja Skribe Dimec
Full Text Available Photosynthesis is the most important biochemical process on Earth. Most living beings depend on it directly or indirectly. Knowledge about photosynthesis enables us to understand how the world functions as an ecosystem and how photosynthesis acts as a bridge between the non-living and living worlds. It is, therefore, understandable that photosynthesis is included in national curricula around the world. The practice unfortunately shows that students at all school levels mostly learn about photosynthesis by rote. Consequently, they have difficulties understanding this vital process. Research also shows many misconceptions in relation to photosynthesis among students of different ages. Based on these, the main aim of our study was to explore the scientific conceptions about photosynthesis held by primary school pupils and student teachers of biology. Data were collected using a questionnaire containing seven biology content questions. The sample consisted of 634 participants, 427 primary school pupils (aged 11–14, and 207 student teachers of biology (aged 20–23. We found that the populations of primary school pupils and student teachers of biology differ greatly concerning scientific conceptions of photosynthesis. The student teachers showed good and complex understanding of photosynthesis, while pupils showed some misconceptions (location of chlorophyll and photosynthesis in a plant, transformation of energy in photosynthesis. Analysis of the development of scientific conceptions about photosynthesis with age showed that there is very little progress among primary school pupils and none among biology student teachers. More involvement of student teachers of biology in practical work at primary schools during their study was suggested to make student teachers aware of, and better understand pupils’ misconceptions.
BEDEL, Emine Ferda; ÇAKIR, Mustafa
The primary aim of this study was to describe prospective pre-school and biology teachers’ level of metacognitive awareness and epistemological beliefs and to examine differences between the groups. The total of 286 pre-school and biology teacher candidates participated in the study. Participants were asked to complete the central epistemological beliefs questionnaire which consisted of four sub-scales namely: belief in science as a source of knowledge, belief in rational society, belief in s...
Lee, Young H.
Although helping students to achieve an adequate understanding of the nature of science has been a consistent goal for science education for over half a century, current research reveals that the majority of students and teachers have naive views of the nature of science (Abd-El-khalick & Akerson, 2004; Bianchini & Colburn, 2000). This problem could be attributed not only to the complex nature of science, but also to the way the nature of science is presented to students during instruction. Thus, research must be conducted to examine how the science is taught, especially in science textbooks, which are a major instructional resource for teaching science. The aim of this study was to conduct a content analysis of the first chapter of four high school biology textbooks, which typically discusses "What is science?" and "What is biology?" This research used a content analysis technique to analyze the four high school biology textbooks, using a conceptual framework that has been used often for science textbook analysis. This conceptual framework consists of four themes of the nature of science: (a) science as a body of knowledge, (b) science as a way of thinking, (c) science as a way of investigating, and (d) the interaction of science, technology, and society. For this study, the four-theme-framework was modified to incorporate descriptors from national-level documents, such as Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1990) Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993) and the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996), as well as science education research reports. A scoring procedure was used that resulted in good to excellent intercoder agreement with Cohen's kappa (k) ranging from .63 to .96. The findings show that the patterns of presentation of the four themes of the nature of science in the four high school biology textbooks are similar across the different locations of data, text, figures, and assessments. On the other hand, the pattern of presentation of the four
Proach, John Ann
There is proof that the educational system has conveyed unrealistic role expectations and has neglected to address the changing needs of girls. Children form attitudes about themselves and others based on the communications they get over time from parents, other adults, peers, and a variety of societal influences, including school. This study focused on two groups of tenth-grade high school, female, biology students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The purpose was to compare attitude in science and academic achievement of females in a single-sex vs. a coeducational school. Data collection included three attitudinal surveys: Women in Science, Science Attitude Scale, and Perceptions of Science and Scientists, also the National Association of Biology Teachers/National Science Teachers High School Biology Examination Version B. administered as a pretest and posttest to measure academic achievement. These instruments were used to determine if the differences between attitudes and perceptions toward science and achievement in science were alike for females in a single-sex school and a coeducational school. The study also tested to see if females in a single-sex school would attain greater academic achievement in biology than girls in a coeducational school. The Chi-square statistic was used to analyze data in the three attitudinal surveys. The NABT/NSTA High School Biology Examination determined the students' initial and final competency levels in general biology. The mean science achievement of each of the two groups was tested for statistical significance using the t-test. In the two schools the t-test statistic showed significant difference between the pretest and a slight statistical difference on the posttest; the preferred analysis was an ANCOVA used to compare the posttest scores using the pretest as a covariate. The data implies that attitudes and perceptions are basically the same in both environments with minor differences. Results of these analyses suggest
Cunningham, Glennis Edge
The primary goal of schools is to promote the highest degree of learning possible. Yet teachers spend the majority of their time engaged in lecturing while students spend the majority of their time passively present (Cawelti, 1997, Grinder, 1991; Jackson & Davis, 2000; Jenkins, 1996). Helping students develop proficiency in learning, which translates into using that expertise to construct knowledge in subject domains, is a crucial goal of education. Students need exposure to teaching and learning practices that prepare them for both the classroom and their places in the future workforce (Ettinger, 1998; Longley, Goodchild, Maguire, & Rhind, 2001; NRC, 1996; Texley & Wild, 1996). The purpose of this study was to determine if achievement in high school science courses could be enhanced utilizing mindmapping. The subjects were primarily 9th and 10th graders (n = 147) at a suburban South Texas high school. A pretest-posttest control group design was selected to determine the effects of mindmapping on student achievement as measured by a teacher-developed, panel-validated instrument. Follow-up interviews were conducted with the teacher and a purposive sample of students (n = 7) to determine their perceptions of mindmapping and its effects on teaching and learning. Mindmapping is a strategy for visually displaying large amounts of conceptual, hierarchical information in a concise, organized, and accessible format. Mindmaps arrange information similar to that found on the traditional topic outline into colorful spatial displays that offer the user a view of the "forest" as well as the "trees" (Hyerle, 1996; Wandersee, 1990b). An independent samples t-test and a one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) determined no significant difference in achievement between the groups. The experimental group improved in achievement at least as much as the control group. Several factors may have played a role in the lack of statistically significant results. These factors include the
Vânia Cardoso da Silva Morais
Full Text Available This study aimed to verify the influence of a didactic sequence with experimental activities on student motivation in relation to the subject matter Biology and check the possibility of applying such a result having as input the cultural-historical perspective and the dynamic of the three pedagogical moments. The work is part of a Master Degree research developed with 70 students from a high school in Patos de Minas city. The analysis of the data collected through observation, questionnaires, reports, testimonies of students, filming and photography of biology classes, points out that the use of experimental activities in Biology classes contributed to the increase of student motivation relating to Biology classes favoring the teaching-learning process and also to promote a converge between the scientific knowledge and reality of the students besides encourage their self-esteem and investigative sense. The results also indicate that it is possible to develop at school a didactic sequence based on the complementarity of two different theoretical lines like the dynamics of the three moments and in the historical and cultural perspective. Based on above considerations, we believe that the use of experimental activities following didactics positively influences student motivation in relation to Biology, favoring the teaching and learning of Biology. However, it is the whole of this, as the theory and the posture of motivating teachers, allowed approximation between scientific knowledge and reality of the students, enabling greater learning of biological concepts.
Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E
Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660
Lazarowitz, Reuven; Bloch, Ilit
The purpose of this study was to investigate how aware high school biology teachers are of societal issues (values, moral, ethic, and legal issues) while teaching genetics, genetics engineering, molecular genetics, human heredity, and evolution. The study includes a short historical review of World War II atrocities during the Holocaust when…
Wefer, Stephen H.; Sheppard, Keith
The proliferation of bioinformatics in modern biology marks a modern revolution in science that promises to influence science education at all levels. This study analyzed secondary school science standards of 49 U.S. states (Iowa has no science framework) and the District of Columbia for content related to bioinformatics. The bioinformatics…
The 52 Zakopane School of Physics held in Zakopane from 19 to 24 May 2008. The main task of the symposium was to present the newest results of research in field of submicron structures in physics, biology and medicine. Some new technologies as well as their applications are also presented
Castera, Jeremy; Bruguiere, Catherine; Clement, Pierre
The presentation of genetic diseases in French secondary school biology textbooks is analysed to determine the major conceptions taught in the field of human genetics. References to genetic diseases, and the processes by which they are explained (monogeny, polygeny, chromosomal anomaly and environmental influence) are studied in recent French…
The 52 Zakopane School of Physics held in Zakopane from 19 to 24 May 2008. The main task of the symposium was to present the newest results of research in field of submicron structures in physics, biology and medicine. Some new technologies as well as their applications are also presented.
Do Carmo, Ricardo Santos; Nunes-Neto, Nei Freitas; El-Hani, Charbel Niño
Gaia theory proposes that a cybernetic system including the biota and the physicochemical environment regulates environmental variables at a global scale, keeping them within a range that makes Earth inhabitable by living beings. One can argue that this theory can play an important role in school science, since it bears upon current environmental problems, contributes to cross-disciplinary learning, and may help students understand the nature of science. Nevertheless, discourses about Gaia include both scientific and non-scientific ideas, and, consequently, this theory has been seen as pseudoscience, or even antiscience, as an unwarranted view, entangled with mysticism. But an informed view about the contributions and risks associated with Gaia as part of science education depends on a general analysis about the treatment of this theory in school knowledge. Here, we offer the first analysis of this sort, critically evaluating how Gaia is addressed in a representative sample of Brazilian textbooks ( n = 18). We present data about the presence or not of Gaia theory among the contents covered by the textbooks, the presence of the claim that Earth is living, whether and how they use analogies to justify this claim, the discussion of evidence for and against Gaia, and the treatment of its relevance to current issues. Gaia theory is explicitly addressed in ca. 39% of the analyzed textbooks. There is a general script that the textbooks that explicitly name the theory follow when discussing Gaia. First, they argue that life affects the environment, and support this argument by means of examples, then, explain what the Gaia theory proposes, discuss evidence in favor either of the idea that Earth is living or Gaia theory in general, introduce one or more analogies to justify the claim of a living Earth, and, finally, offer remarks on the current importance of Gaia. Three analogies used by Lovelock himself were found in the analyzed textbooks, Gaia as a superorganism, the
The demands of national educational reforms require high school biology teachers to provide high quality instruction to students with and without special needs. The reforms, however, do not provide teachers with adequate teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students in the same context. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to understand high school biology teachers' perspectives, practices, and challenges in relation to teaching students with special needs. This approach was used to develop a substantive model for high school biology teachers who are challenged with teaching students with and without special needs. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 15 high school teachers in a Midwestern school district. The data were analyzed using open coding, axial coding, and selective coding procedures in accordance with the grounded theory approach. Essential model components included skills and training for teachers, classroom management strategies, teaching strategies, and student skills. The emergent substantive theory indicated that that teacher preparation and acquired skills greatly influence the effectiveness of inclusion implementation. Key findings also indicated the importance of using of a variety of instructional strategies and classroom management strategies that address students' special needs and their learning styles. This study contributes to social change by providing a model for teaching students and effectively implementing inclusion in regular science classrooms. Following further study, this model may be used to support teacher professional development and improve teaching practices that in turn may improve science literacy supported by the national educational reforms.
Full Text Available The teacher’s skills in conducting the lesson and choice of teaching methods play an essential role in creating students’ interest in biology. The aim of the research was to study the opinion of secondary school students and biology teachers regarding the most successful teaching methods used in biology lessons and viable options to make biology lessons more interesting. The research comprised polling students and biology teachers from several schools, namely: 2 secondary schools in Jelgava, 2 in Riga and 1 in Vecumnieki. The responses revealed that 58% of students find biology lessons interesting. 56% of students indicated that their ability to focus attention during biology lessons depends on the task presented to them. Most of all they prefer watching the teacher’s presentations, listening to their teacher telling about the actual topic as well as performing laboratory work and group-work. Many students like participating in discussions, whereas a far smaller number would do various exercises, individual tasks, fill out worksheets or complete projects. Least of all students wish to work with the textbook. The methods most frequently applied by teachers are as follows: lecture, explanation, demonstration, and discussion. Teachers believe that their students prefer laboratory work and discussions as well as listening to their teacher and watching presentations or films. They also indicate at the necessity to link theory with practice and to involve information technologies. While teaching their subject biology teachers try to establish relationship between theory and real life in order to develop their students’ interest in natural processes.
Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.
Pietsch, Renée B.; Bohland, Cynthia L.; Schmale, David G., III.
Biological flight mechanics is typically taught in graduate level college classes rather than in secondary school classes. We developed an interdisciplinary unit for advanced upper-level secondary school students (ages 15-18) to teach the principles of flight and applications to biological systems. This unit capitalised on the tremendous…
Scudo, Francesco M
Since a century evolution has mostly been interpreted by two simple, "opposite" kinds of "theories" i.e. as due either to fitness differences among genotypes or to some other simple mechanism while bona fide, more complex theories were less popular throughout. In particular by far the most complete theories ever produced were suddenly, almost universally abandoned just after World War II, though not as a consequence of major breakthroughs. The causes of this situation are examined by analogy with much earlier developments and their demise by Cartesianism. The down to earth solutions these "complete" theories provide to the problems of "speciation" and the origins of cells are contrasted with the "miraculous" approaches by systemic neo-Darwinists.
Full Text Available In this paper, we present a meeting report for the 2nd Summer School in Computational Biology organized by the Queen's University of Belfast. We describe the organization of the summer school, its underlying concept and student feedback we received after the completion of the summer school.
Nash, Ulrik William
, they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...
Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.
Full Text Available The paper analyzes the comparative effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL and the traditional teaching method in biology on primary school pupils. A stratified random sample consisted of 214 pupils from two primary schools in Novi Sad. The pupils in the experimental group learned the biology content (Chordate using CAL, whereas the pupils in the control group learned the same content using traditional teaching. The research design was the pretest-posttest equivalent groups design. All instruments (the pretest, the posttest and the retest contained the questions belonging to three different cognitive domains: knowing, applying, and reasoning. Arithmetic mean, standard deviation, and standard error were analyzed using the software package SPSS 14.0, and t-test was used in order to establish the difference between the same statistical indicators. The analysis of results of the posttest and the retest showed that the pupils from the CAL group achieved significantly higher quantity and quality of knowledge in all three cognitive domains than the pupils from the traditional group. The results accomplished by the pupils from the CAL group suggest that individual CAL should be more present in biology teaching in primary schools, with the aim of raising the quality of biology education in pupils. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 179010: Quality of Educational System in Serbia in the European Perspective
Baer, B; Millar, A H
Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein
In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to ...
Distance learning provides an opportunity for students to learn valuable information through technology and interactive media. Distance learning additionally offers educational institutions the flexibility of synchronous and asynchronous instruction while increasing enrollment and lowering cost. However, distance education has not been well documented within the context of urban high schools. Distance learning may allow high school students to understand material at an individualized pace for either enrichment or remediation. A successful high school student who participates in distance learning should exhibit high self regulatory skills. However, most urban high school students have not been exposed to distance learning and should be introduced to proper self regulatory strategies that should increase the likelihood of understanding the material. To help facilitate a move into distance learning, a blended distance learning model, the combination of distance learning and traditional learning, will be used. According to O'Neil's (in preparation) revised problem solving model, self regulation is a component of problem solving. Within the Blended Biology course, urban high school students will be trained in help-seeking strategies to further their understanding of genetics and Punnett Square problem solving. This study investigated the effects of help-seeking in a blended high school Biology course. The main study consisted of a help-seeking group (n=55) and a control group (n=53). Both the help-seeking group and the control group were taught by one teacher for two weeks. The help-seeking group had access to Blended Biology with Help-Seeking while the control group only had access to Blended Biology. The main study used a pretest and posttest to measure Genetics Content Understanding, Punnett Square Problem Solving, Adaptive Help-Seeking, Maladaptive Help-Seeking, and Self Regulation. The analysis showed no significant difference in any of the measures in terms of
This study aimed to analyze the relationship between high school students' self-efficacy perceptions regarding biology, the metacognitive strategies they use in this course and their academic motivation for learn biology. The sample of the study included 286 high school students enrolled in three high schools who attended a biology course in Kars,…
Full Text Available Considering the long tradition of discussing health in the Brazilian school curriculum, it is important to investigate how this topic is addressed by the textbooks, the main resource used by most schools in the country. In particular, it is relevant to verify if this content is presented in a manner that contributes to the development of the students as active and critical members of the society. We analyze how health is treated in the textbook Biology, by Laurence (2005, which has been the high school Biology textbook most chosen by public school teachers among those certified by the National Program for High School Textbooks (PNLEM/2007, sponsored by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC. We used categorical content analysis techniques, involving the decomposition of the texts into units of analysis, the categories, which were built in this work through analogical regroupings, by using semantic criteria. In order to investigate the treatment given to health, we applied an analytical table to the units of recording, which consist of sentences, paragraphs, and sections of the textbook that discuss contents related to health and disease. This table systematizes eight health indicators, seeking to identify three health approaches: biomedical, behavioral, and socioecological. We found 267 units of recording in the textbook and, based on their analysis, it was possible to categorize the textbook as one in which the biomedical approach prevails. Our findings are consistent with other works that indicate the prevalence of this approach in Brazilian education, and Brazilian and international textbooks. Another important finding of the work is that the behavioral approach does not hold, at least for the analyzed textbook, as a view of health different from the biomedical and socioecological approaches. After all, when the book mentions behaviors and habits of life associated with health, it generally emphasizes biological dimensions, aligning with a
Mikhail A. Yakunchev
Full Text Available Introduction: the problem of development of a model of methods of forming the biological picture of the world of pupils as a multicomponent and integrative expression of the complete educational process is considered in the article. It is stated that the results of the study have theoretical and practical importance for effective subject preparation of senior pupils based on acquiring of systematic and generalized knowledge about wildlife. The correspondence of the main idea of the article to the scientific profile of the journal “Integration of Education” determines the choice of the periodical for publication. Materials and Methods: the results of the analysis of materials on modeling of the educational process, on specific models of the formation of a complete comprehension of the scientific picture of the world and its biological component make it possible to suggest a lack of elaboration of the aspect of pedagogical research under study. Therefore, the search for methods to overcome these gaps and to substantiate a particular model, relevant for its practical application by a teacher, is important. The study was based on the use of methods of theoretical level, including the analysis of pedagogical and methodological literature, modeling and generalized expression of the model of forming the biological picture of the world of secondary school senior pupils, which were of higher priority. Results: the use of models of organization of subject preparation of secondary school pupils takes a priority position, as they help to achieve the desired results of training, education and development. The model of methods of forming a biological picture of the world is represented as a theoretical construct in the unity of objective, substantive, procedural, diagnostic and effective blocks. Discussion and Conclusions: in a generalized form the article expresses the model of methods of forming the biological picture of the world of secondary school
Nurjanah, E.; Adisendjaja, Y. H.; Kusumastuti, M. N.
The learning Integrated Religious value is one of the efforts to increase the motivation of learning and building the student character. This study aims to describe the application of Biology learning integrated religion values in Integrated Islamic School. Research methods used in this research is descriptive. Participants in this study involved the headmaster, headmaster of curriculum, biology teachers, boarding school teachers, the lead of boarding schools, and students. The instruments used are interview, observation and the student questionnaire about learning biology. The results showed that learning in X school consists of two curriculums, there was the curriculum of national education and curriculum of boarding school. The curriculum of national education referred to 2013 curriculum and boarding school curriculum referred to the curriculum of Salafi boarding school (Kitab Kuning). However, in its learning process not delivered integrated. The main obstacle to implementing the learning integrated religious values are 1) the background of general teacher education did not know of any connection between biology subject and subject that are studied in boarding school; 2) schools did not form the teaching team; 3) unavailability of materials integrated religious values.
Rohayati, E.; Diana, S. W.; Priyandoko, D.
Lesson plan have important role for biology teachers in teaching and learning process. The aim of this study was intended to gain an overview of lesson plan of biology teachers’ at Senior High Schools in Subang which were the members of biology teachers association in Subang. The research method was descriptive method. Data was collected from 30 biology teachers. The result of study showed that lesson plan profile in terms of subject’s identity had good category with 83.33 % of average score. Analysis on basic competence in fair category with 74.45 % of average score. The compatibility of method/strategy was in fair category with average score 72.22 %. The compatibility of instrument, media, and learning resources in fair category with 71.11 % of average score. Learning scenario was in good category with 77.00 % of average score. The compatibility of evaluation was in low category with 56.39 % of average score. It can be concluded that biology teachers in Subang were good enough in making lesson plan, however in terms of the compatibility of evaluation needed to be fixed. Furthermore, teachers’ training for biology teachers’ association was recommended to increasing teachers’ skill to be professional teachers.
Elizabeth Bozoti Pasin
Full Text Available Despite current Brazilian educational legislation highlights Environmental Education (EE, schools usually address this issue in a fragmented manner, poorly consolidated. The initial and continuing training of teachers have much to do with this situation. Our aim was to reveal the meanings about Environmental Education, about teacher training for EE and about the actions in EE in schools in the discourses of teachers who acted on basic education institutions where Science and Biology pre-service teachers made internship. We applied semi-structured questionnaires and we adopted the theoretical and methodological framework of the French Discourse Analysis. As a result, we found little diversity of meanings in relation to EE, with a pronounced hegemony of those related to change habits to conserve resources, EE for conservation and EE restricted to biological aspects. Some participants also showed a hybridization between EE and teaching Ecology. In their discourses, actions and discussions related to the subject in schools are punctual and unsystematic, lacking interdisciplinary approaches, as occurred in the initial and continuing education of the majority. We propose the establishment of an organic relationship between schools and universities with more interactions, including collective reflections and research to foster the comprehension of elaboration and mobilization of meanings about EE and its influences on teacher actions.
Naugler, Christopher T
To review the relevance of evolutionary medicine to family practice and family physician training. Articles were located through a MEDLINE search, using the key words evolution, Darwin, and adaptation. Most references presented level III evidence (expert opinion), while a minority provided level II evidence (epidemiologic studies). Evolutionary medicine deals with the interplay of biology and the environment in the understanding of human disease. Yet medical schools have virtually ignored the need for family physicians to have more than a cursory knowledge of this topic. A review of the main trends in this field most relevant to family practice revealed that a basic knowledge of evolutionary medicine might help in explaining the causation of diseases to patients. Evolutionary medicine has also proven key to explaining the reasons for the development of antibiotic resistance and has the potential to explain cancer pathogenesis. As an organizing principle, this field also has potential in the teaching of family medicine. Evolutionary medicine should be studied further and incorporated into medical training and practice. Its practical utility will be proven through the generation of testable hypotheses and their application in relation to disease causation and possible prevention.
Kong, Yi; Anderson, Trevor; Pelaez, Nancy
Evolutionary trees are key tools for modern biology and are commonly portrayed in textbooks to promote learning about biological evolution. However, many people have difficulty in understanding what evolutionary trees are meant to portray. In fact, some ideas that current professional biologists depict with evolutionary trees are neither clearly…
Nellman, Stephen William
As growing student populations continue to tax the resources of public high schools, administrators are constantly looking for ways to address the needs of all students. One option for increasing the number of students in a classroom without sacrificing quality of instruction is to use "blended learning". Blended learning is defined by Marsh et al. (2003, p.2) as a situation where "face-to-face and distance education delivery methods and resources are merged". In such a course, students receive the benefits of classroom-based instruction, while also benefiting from several aspects of distance learning. This is especially true for science courses that rely heavily on both hands-on labs and various multimedia. The purpose of this study was a formative evaluation of a high school blended learning biology course, focusing on a genetics unit. The research question addressed by the study was "Will participants increase their domain knowledge and problem-solving skills after instruction in a high school level blended distance learning biology course? Also investigated was if higher levels of self-regulation skills were correlated to higher levels of content-understanding and problem-solving. The study was composed of a pilot study and a main study. Participants were students in an urban Southern California public high school biology course. Classroom instruction was from a single instructor, and online content was managed using the "Moodle" course management system. Participants were assessed for their gains in genetics content-understanding, genetics problem-solving skills (Punnett squares), and self-regulation. Additionally, participant reactions to the blended instruction model were surveyed. Results indicated that significant increases (pself-regulation skills were not shown to be significantly correlated to increased content-understanding, or problem-solving skills. Participants reacted positively to the blended model, suggesting that it be used more often in their
Microbiology is undergoing a quiet revolution. Techniques such as polymerase chain reaction, high throughput DNA sequencing, whole genome shotgun sequencing, DNA microarrays, and bioinformatics analyses are greatly aiding our understanding of the estimated one billion species of microbes that inhabit the Earth. Unfortunately, the rapid pace of research in microbiology stands in contrast to the much slower pace of change in educational reform. Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) hosted a two-day planning meeting to discuss whether or not a new curriculum unit on microbiology is desirable for the high school audience. Attending the meeting were microbiologists, high school biology teachers, and science educators. The consensus of the participants was that an inquiry-based unit dealing with advances in microbiology should be developed for a high school biology audience. Participants established content priorities for the unit, discussed the unit's conceptual flow, brainstormed potential student activities, and discussed the role of educational technology for the unit. As a result of the planning meeting discussions, BSCS staff sought additional funding to develop, disseminate, and evaluate the Frontiers in Microbiology curriculum unit. This unit was intended to be developed as a replacement unit suitable for an introductory biology course. The unit would feature inquiry-based student activities and provide approximately four weeks of instruction. As appropriate, activities would make use of multimedia. The development and production processes would require about two years for completion. Unfortunately, BSCS staff was not able to attract sufficient funding to develop the proposed curriculum unit. Since there were some unexpended funds left over from the planning meeting, BSCS requested and received permission from DOE to use the balance of the funds to prepare background materials about advances in microbiology that would be useful to teachers. These
Badri, Masood; Yang, Guang; Al Mazroui, Karima; Mohaidat, Jihad; Al Rashedi, Asma; Al Housani, Najwa
This study employed the international Relevance of Science Education questionnaire to survey the interest in biology and the out-of-school experiences of Abu Dhabi secondary school students (median age 17, mean age 17.53 and mode age of 16) in the third semester of 2014. It included 3100 participants. An exploratory factor analysis was used to…
Loehr, John F.; Almarode, John T.; Tai, Robert H.; Sadler, Philip M.
In a climate where increasing numbers of students are encouraged to pursue post-secondary education, the level of preparedness students have for college-level coursework is not far from the minds of all educators, especially high school teachers. Specifically within the biological sciences, introductory biology classes often serve as the…
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the application of the model of the “flipped classroom” as a complementary method to school distance education in junior high school Biology. The “flipped classroom” model attempts a different way of organizing the educational process according to which the traditional methods of learning at school and studying at home are interchanged, the learners’ active involvement is supported, their autonomy is reinforced, ICT is utilized and learning occurs partially by distance (blended learning. We performed an action research implementing flipped classroom in Biology teaching in a class of 17 students attending the1st year of junior high school. The educational platform used was the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS. The findings were evaluated qualitative rather than quantitative, and can provide evidence about the prevailing situation. During the action research, it became evident that time management in the classroom was improved. Furthermore, it was observed that students’ involvement in the educational process was also improved. Students had already familiarized themselves with the cognitive aspect of the lesson before entering the class and they considered the learning process as an individual affair which does not only depend on the teacher. The implementation of digital activities accomplished by distance led to taking action and initiative and finally to active learning. School distance education combined with the radical development of ICT can be complementary with the use of various methods, like the “flipped learning”, and give a new perspective and potential to the limited choices of conventional education in the Greek educational system which is worth further investigation.
Green, A; Peters, T J; Webster, D J
This study determined the relationships of grades in A-level biology and chemistry with examination success or failure during the medical course. By inspection of medical student records, A-level grades at entry to medical school and examination performance were obtained for 128 (91%) of the students who sat their final MBBCh examination at the University of Wales College of Medicine in June 1988. The majority, 92 (72%), completed their medical school careers with no professional examination failures; 15 failed examinations just in the period up to 2nd MB; 11 failed examinations in the clinical period only and 10 failed examinations in both periods. Whereas grade achieved in A-level chemistry was not associated with undergraduate examination performance, students with a grade A or B in A-level biology were less likely to have problems than the others (21% compared with 47%; the difference of 26% has a 95% confidence interval of 7% to 44%). Specifically, there appears to be a strong relationship between a low grade in biology and difficulties in the preclinical examinations. Moreover, for those who have difficulties at this stage, this association continues later in the course.
Human biology is a school subject whose utilitarian/pedagogical traditions enjoy support at the School Certificate level but whose academic tradition is under threat at the General Certificate of Education level. An interpretation of the issues involved are discussed in terms of the subject's historical background. (JN)
Hart, Kathy, Ed.
A series of science experiments and activities designed for secondary school students taking biology, chemistry, physics, physical science or marine science courses are outlined. Each of the three major sections--chemistry, biology, and physics--addresses concepts that are generally covered in those courses but incorporates aspects of marine…
Rodríguez, Juan Antonio; Marigorta, Urko M; Navarro, Arcadi
The application of the principles of evolutionary biology into medicine was suggested long ago and is already providing insight into the ultimate causes of disease. However, a full systematic integration of medical genomics and evolutionary medicine is still missing. Here, we briefly review some cases where the combination of the two fields has proven profitable and highlight two of the main issues hindering the development of evolutionary genomic medicine as a mature field, namely the dissociation between fitness and health and the still considerable difficulties in predicting phenotypes from genotypes. We use publicly available data to illustrate both problems and conclude that new approaches are needed for evolutionary genomic medicine to overcome these obstacles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
McManic, Janet A.
The purpose of this study was to investigate students' perceptions of motivation to achieve while participating in general level high school biology classes. In a national poll of teacher's attitudes, student's motivation was a top concern of teachers (Elam, 1989). The student's perceptions of motivation are important to understand if improvements and advancements in motivation are to be implemented in the science classroom. This qualitative study was conducted in an urban high school that is located in a major metropolitan area in the southeast of the United States. The student body of 1100 is composed of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian students. The focus question of the study was: What are students' perceptions of their motivation in biology class? From general level biology classes, purposeful sampling narrowed the participants to fifteen students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants having varying measurements of motivation on the Scale of Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom (Harter, 1980). The interviews were recorded and transcribed. After transcription, the interviews were coded by the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The coded data of students' responses were analyzed and compared to current theories of motivation. The current theories are the social-cognitive model (Bandura, 1977), attribution theory (Weiner, 1979), basic needs theory (Maslow, 1954) and choice theory (Glasser, 1986). The results of this study support the social cognitive model of motivation (Bandura, 1977) through the description of family structure and its relationship to motivation (Gonzalez, 2002). The study upheld previous research in that extrinsic orientation was shown to be prevalent in older students (Harter, 1981; Anderman & Maehr, 1994). In addition, the students' responses disclosed the difficulties encountered in studying biology. Students expressed the opinion that biology terms are
Conner, Lindsey; Gunstone, Richard
This paper reports on a qualitative case study investigation of the knowledge and use of learning strategies by 16 students in a final year high school biology class to expand their conscious knowledge of learning. Students were provided with opportunities to engage in purposeful inquiry into the biological, social and ethical aspects of cancer. A constructivist approach was implemented to access prior content and procedural knowledge in various ways. Students were encouraged to develop evaluation of their learning skills independently through activities that promoted metacognition. Those students who planned and monitored their work produced essays of higher quality. The value and difficulties of promoting metacognitive approaches in this context are discussed, as well as the idea that metacognitive processes are difficult to research, because they have to be conscious in order to be identified by the learner, thereby making them accessible to the researcher.
Full Text Available The study is aimed at finding an effective learning strategy that can increase metacognitive knowledge. Metacognitive knowledge is a standard that based on 2016-revised edition of 2013 curriculum needs to be achieved by every graduate in all level of education in Indonesia. The study is conducted in three different schools and engages 207 students, which then divided into six groups. The groups are students who study under mind mapping strategy, concept mapping, reciprocal teaching using summary notes, reciprocal teaching using mind mapping, problem-based learning, and investigation group. The results showed that those studying under problem-based learning strategy spent a significantly higher numbers in metacognitive knowledge in biology learning and followed by students who study under reciprocal teaching using mind mapping. According to the finding, it is expected that teachers of Biology will practice problem-based learning strategy in their classroom in order to increase the Metacognitive knowledge.
Against recent attempts to forge a reconciliation between constructionism and realism, I contend that, in psychology at least, stirring up conflict is a more fruitful strategy. To illustrate this thesis, I confront a school of psychology with strong realist leanings, evolutionary psychology, with
Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor
Game theory is one of the key paradigms behind many scientific disciplines from biology to behavioral sciences to economics. In its evolutionary form and especially when the interacting agents are linked in a specific social network the underlying solution concepts and methods are very similar to those applied in non-equilibrium statistical physics. This review gives a tutorial-type overview of the field for physicists. The first four sections introduce the necessary background in classical and evolutionary game theory from the basic definitions to the most important results. The fifth section surveys the topological complications implied by non-mean-field-type social network structures in general. The next three sections discuss in detail the dynamic behavior of three prominent classes of models: the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Rock-Scissors-Paper game, and Competing Associations. The major theme of the review is in what sense and how the graph structure of interactions can modify and enrich the picture of long term behavioral patterns emerging in evolutionary games.
Vd Flier-Keller, E.; Carolsfeld, C.; Bullard, T.
To increase teaching of Earth science in schools, and to reflect the interdisciplinary nature and interrelatedness of science disciplines in today's world, we are exploring opportunities for linking Earth science and Biology through engaging and innovative hands-on science activities for the classroom. Through the NSERC-funded Pacific CRYSTAL project based at the University of Victoria, scientists, science educators, and teachers at all levels in the school system are collaborating to research ways of enriching the preparation of students in math and science, and improving the quality of science education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our primary foci are building authentic, engaging science experiences for students, and fostering teacher leadership through teacher professional development and training. Interdisciplinary science activities represent an important way of making student science experiences real, engaging and relevant, and provide opportunities to highlight Earth science related topics within other disciplines, and to expand the Earth science taught in schools. The Earth science and Biology interdisciplinary project builds on results and experiences of existing Earth science education activities, and the Seaquaria project. We are developing curriculum-linked activities and resource materials, and hosting teacher workshops, around two initial areas; soils, and marine life and the fossil record. An example activity for the latter is the hands-on examination of organisms occupying the nearshore marine environment using a saltwater aquarium and touch tank or beach fieldtrip, and relating this to a suite of marine fossils to facilitate student thinking about representation of life in the fossil record e.g. which life forms are typically preserved, and how are they preserved? Literacy activities such as fossil obituaries encourage exploration of paleoenvironments and life habits of fossil organisms. Activities and resources are being tested with teachers
McCoy, Roger Wesley
Statement of the problem. Few studies in biology education have examined the underlying presuppositions which guide thinking and concept learning in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the biological world views of a variety of high school students before they take biology courses. Specifically, the study examined student world views in the domains of Classification, Relationship and Causation related to the concepts of heredity, evolution and biotechnology. The following served as guiding questions: (1) What are the personal world views of high school students entering biology classes, related to the domain of Classification, Relationship and Causality? (2) How do these student world views confound or enhance the learning of basic concepts in genetics and evolution? Methods. An interpretive method was chosen for this study. The six student participants were ninth graders and represented a wide range of world view backgrounds. A series of three interviews was conducted with each participant, with a focus group used for triangulation of data. The constant comparative method was used to categorize the data and facilitate the search for meaningful patterns. The analysis included a thick description of each student's personal views of classification, evolution and the appropriate use of biotechnology. Results. The study demonstrates that world view is the basis upon which students build knowledge in biology. The logic of their everyday thinking may not match that of scientists. The words they use are sometimes inconsistent with scientific terminology. This study provides evidence that students voice different opinions depending on the social situation, since they are strongly influenced by peers. Students classify animals based on behaviors. They largely believe that the natural world is unpredictable, and that humans are not really part of that world. Half are unlikely to accept the evolution of humans, but may accept it in other
Emerling, Christopher A
Regressive evolution of anatomical traits often corresponds with the regression of genomic loci underlying such characters. As such, studying patterns of gene loss can be instrumental in addressing questions of gene function, resolving conflicting results from anatomical studies, and understanding the evolutionary history of clades. The evolutionary origins of snakes involved the regression of a number of anatomical traits, including limbs, taste buds and the visual system, and by analyzing serpent genomes, I was able to test three hypotheses associated with the regression of these features. The first concerns two keratins that are putatively specific to claws. Both genes that encode these keratins are pseudogenized/deleted in snake genomes, providing additional evidence of claw-specificity. The second hypothesis is that snakes lack taste buds, an issue complicated by conflicting results in the literature. I found evidence that different snakes have lost one or more taste receptors, but all snakes examined retained at least one gustatory channel. The final hypothesis addressed is that the earliest snakes were adapted to a dim light niche. I found evidence of deleted and pseudogenized genes with light-associated functions in snakes, demonstrating a pattern of gene loss similar to other dim light-adapted clades. Molecular dating estimates suggest that dim light adaptation preceded the loss of limbs, providing some bearing on interpretations of the ecological origins of snakes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mating systems in caridean shrimp (Decapoda: Caridea and their evolutionary consequences for sexual dimorphism and reproductive biology Sistemas de apareamiento en camarones carideos (Decapoda: Caridea y sus consecuencias evolutivas en el dimorfismo sexual y biología reproductiva
Full Text Available In this paper we review functional and evolutionary relationships among mating systems of caridean shrimp and specific traits such as general biology/ecology, sexual systems, behavior and morphology. Four mating systems are described based on reports from available literature, and a fifth system is recognized but published information is insufficient to describe it in detail. `Monogamy' occurs in many species inhabiting monopolizable refuges or hosts, especially when environmental conditions restrict the probability of intraspecific interactions. In contrast, free-living species experience higher encounter rates and males can dominate or search. In `neighborhoods of dominance' mating systems, large males have higher reproductive success since they perform better in fights for receptive females. In `pure searching' mating systems, small and agile males do better because they search more efficiently for mates within the population. The fourth mating system is `search & attend' occurring in solitary symbionts, which experience variable ecological and demographic environments: depending on environmental conditions and ontogenetic stages it may either be profitable for males to search or to attend hosts with sexually attractive females. Sexual systems of caridean shrimp are characterized by their high diversity and intraspecific plasticity, including gonochorism and different forms of protandric or simultaneous hermaphroditism. The identified mating systems partially explained this diversity: In monogamous species, low encounter rates and lack of sexual dimorphism favors simultaneous hermaphroditism but gonochory usually occurs among these species probably because mates are not strictly faithful. Species with neighborhoods of dominance mating are gonochoristic because both sexes benefit from being large. Pure searching species have a wide opportunity for the evolution of protandry since small males benefit while the opposite is true for females. In
Full Text Available Introduction: Teaching biomedical disciplines for students with disabilities in highereducation is considered a major challenge, especially when it comes to the curriculum, themethods and the resources. In Brazil there are few reports on how the processes ofteaching and learning biomedical disciplines in higher education are conducted. In Spain,since the 70’s the School of Physiotherapy from the National Organization of Spanish blindpeople (ONCE offers exclusively for students with disabilities undergraduate degree inPhysiotherapy, as well as many post graduation courses in biomedicine. Thus, the aim ofthis study was to verify in situ what were the resources and methods used by theprofessors of biochemistry and cell biology to teach their students with visual impairments.Material and Methods: Technical visits were conducted using the following instruments tocollect the data: Unstructured interviews with teachers, students and staff (audio-recordedand later transcribed and classroom observation using photographs and reports. Thedata generated by the interviews were analyzed by the discourse analysis.Discussion and results: Reports indicated that the main methodological resources are:embossed boards made with Swell paper and with the help of an oven called Ricohfuser®; commercially sold models of cells and body structures; the technique of descriptivediscourse where the professor describes an image to be studied, individual touchtechniques where the professor shows an image using the touch of the student. It wasobserved that certain sectors inside the school are especially distinguished. Overall, theschool does not present any other routine different from a regular school, and according tothe professors, it happens intentionally, so that the future professionals are able to work inenvironments not adapted for their needs.Conclusion: The observed adjustments in the school of physiotherapy at ONCE could beseen as an example for Brazilian
This dissertation is concerned with understanding how metaphors and analogies function in biology education and whether some of the philosophical critiques of the language used in the field of biology -- and in particular its accompanying metaphors and analogies, have a basis in the educational materials used to teach the subject. This inquiry was carried out through examining the pedagogical features and content of metaphors and analogies from three high school biology textbooks. After identifying over two hundred and twenty-five verbal and pictorial metaphors and analogies, these figures of speech were coded based on prior research that establishes effective characteristics for their use. In tandem with this quantitative analysis, a philosophical analysis considers how well the content of these metaphors and analogies aligns with current scientific understanding and what misunderstandings may be engendered through the use of these metaphors and analogies. The major findings of the analysis include: 1) Textbook authors are much more likely to utilize metaphors and analogies as well as signal their presence to students compared with past analyses; 2) A number of metaphors and analogies either contain errors in analogical mapping or use source analogues that are too antiquated to support today's students; 3) The content of many metaphors and analogies is frequently outdated in reference to current scientific understanding; and 4) Many metaphors and analogies tend to reinforce tacit elements of past scientific paradigms - these are termed 'reinforcing metaphors' in the dissertation and include nature as machine, nature as blueprint or information, nature as business and nature as war. The present work submits several implications for students learning biology as well as the manner in which students come to understand the natural world. The work suggests ways to reduce ineffective metaphors and analogies as well as reliance on reinforcing metaphors. It offers new
Kyzer, Peggy Mckewen
Organizations in science and science education call for students to have a thorough understanding of the theory of evolution. Yet many high school biology teachers do not teach evolution and/or include creationism in their instruction (National Academy of Science, 1998). Historically, the controversy surrounding evolution has created tension for teachers. This case study explored the sociocultural influences related to teaching evolution in three Southern 10th-grade public high school biology classrooms. It also explored the socially and culturally embedded influences on teachers' instructional goals and personal perspectives toward evolution as well as modification of instruction when evolution is taught. Theoretically framed using symbolic interactionism and sociocultural theory, data were collected between October 2003 and April 2004 and included classroom observations two to three times per week, artifacts, and in-depth interviews of the participating teachers, their science department chairpersons, their students, and a Protestant minister. The classroom teachers were unaware of the focus of the study until after evolution was taught. The analysis used in this study was an inductive, interpretative approach that allowed exploration of the sociocultural influences that affect how teachers teach evolution. The sociocultural influences and the lived experiences of each teacher created a continuum for teaching evolution. One of the participating teachers who was heavily involved in the community and one of its fundamentalist churches elected to avoid teaching evolution. Another participating teacher at the same school integrated the theory of evolution in every unit. The third teacher who taught in another school elected to teach evolution in a superficial manner to avoid conflict. The data revealed that the participating teachers' sociocultural situatedness influenced their decisions and instruction on evolution. The influence of strong religious beliefs within
Full Text Available The article analyzes the extent to which predictions based on the theory of evolutionary aesthetics are utilized by the advertising industry. The purpose of a comprehensive content analysis of print advertising is to determine whether the items indicated by evolutionists such as animals, flowers, certain types of landscapes, beautiful humans, and some colors are part of real advertising strategies. This article has shown that many evolutionary hypotheses (although not all of them are supported by empirical data. Along with these hypotheses, some inferences from Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory were tested. It turned out that advertising uses both biological schemata and cultural patterns to make an image more likable.
Marisa Laporta Chudo; Maria Cecília Sonzogno
Objective. To analyze the teach-learning process of high school students, in the scope of Educational Biology. To plan and to develop a methodology with lesson strategies that facilitate the learning. To analyze, in the students vision, the positive and negative points in the process. Method. A research was developed -- of which had participated students of the first semester of the Pedagogy of a high school private institution in São Paulo city -- of the type action-research, with increased ...
Catley, Kefyn M.; Novick, Laura R.; Shade, Courtney K.
The authors argue that some diagrams in biology textbooks and the popular press presented as depicting evolutionary relationships suggest an inappropriate (anagenic) conception of evolutionary history. The goal of this research was to provide baseline data that begin to document how college students conceptualize the evolutionary relationships…
Ploeger, A.; van der Maas, H.L.J.; Raijmakers, M.E.J.
Evolutionary psychology has been proposed as a metatheoretical framework for psychology. We argue that evolutionary psychology should be expanded if it is to offer new insights regarding the major issues in psychology. Evolutionary developmental biology can provide valuable new insights into issues
Saputri, A. C.; Sajidan; Rinanto, Y.
Critical thinking is an important and necessary skill to confront the challenges of the 21st century. Critical thinking skills accommodate activities that can improve high-order thinking skills. This study aims to determine senior high school students' critical thinking skills in Biology learning. This research is descriptive research using instruments developed based on the core aspects of critical thinking skills according to Facione which include interpretation, analysis, evaluation, explanation, conclusion, and self-regulation. The subjects in this study were 297 students in grade 12 of a senior high school in Surakarta selected through purposive sampling technique. The results of this study showed that the students' critical thinking skills on evaluation and self-regulation are in good criterion with 78% and 66% acquisition while 52% interpretation, 56% analysis, 52% conclusion and 42% explanation indicate sufficient criteria. The conclusion from this research is that critical thinking skill of the students still was in enough category, so that needed a way to enhance it on some indicators.
Rahmawati, D.; Sajidan; Ashadi
Problem solving is a critical component of comprehensive learning in 21st century. Problem solving is defined as a process used to obtain the best answer from a problem. Someone who can solve the problem is called a problem solver. Problem solver obtains many benefits in the future and has a chance to be an innovator, such as be an innovative entrepreneur, modify behavior, improve creativity, and cognitive skills. The goal of this research is to analyze problem solving skills of students in Senior High School Surakarta in learning Biology. Participants of this research were students of grade 12 SMA (Senior High School) N Surakarta. Data is collected by using multiple choice questions base on analysis problem solving skills on Mourtus. The result of this research showed that the percentage of defining problem was 52.38%, exploring the problem was 53.28%, implementing the solution was 50.71% for 50.08% is moderate, while the percentage of designing the solution was 34.42%, and evaluating was low for 39.24%. Based on the result showed that the problem solving skills of students in SMAN Surakarta was Low.
Sadeh, Irit; Zion, Michal
In teaching inquiry to high school students, educators differ on which method of teaching inquiry is more effective: Guided or open inquiry? This paper examines the influence of these two different inquiry learning approaches on the attitudes of Israeli high school biology students toward their inquiry project. The results showed significant differences between the two groups: Open inquiry students were more satisfied and felt they gained benefits from implementing the project to a greater extent than guided inquiry students. On the other hand, regarding documentation throughout the project, guided inquiry students believed that they conducted more documentation, as compared to their open inquiry peers. No significant differences were found regarding `the investment of time', but significant differences were found in the time invested and difficulties which arose concerning the different stages of the inquiry process: Open inquiry students believed they spent more time in the first stages of the project, while guided inquiry students believed they spent more time in writing the final paper. In addition, other differences were found: Open inquiry students felt more involved in their project, and felt a greater sense of cooperation with others, in comparison to guided inquiry students. These findings may help teachers who hesitate to teach open inquiry to implement this method of inquiry; or at least provide their students with the opportunity to be more involved in inquiry projects, and ultimately provide their students with more autonomy, high-order thinking, and a deeper understanding in performing science.
Ramli, M.; Rakhmawati, E.; Hendarto, P.; Winarni
Argumentation skill can be nurtured by designing a lesson in which students are provided with the opportunity to argue. This research aims to analyse argumentation process in biology class. The participants were students of three biology classes from different high schools in Surakarta Indonesia. One of the classroom was taught by a student teacher, and the rest were instructed by the assigned teachers. Through a classroom observation, oral activities were noted, audio-recorded and video-taped. Coding was done based on the existence of claiming-reasoning-evidence (CRE) process by McNeill and Krajcik. Data was analysed qualitatively focusing on the role of teachers to initiate questioning to support argumentation process. The lesson design of three were also analysed. The result shows that pedagogical skill of teachers to support argumentation process, such as skill to ask, answer, and respond to students’ question and statements need to be trained intensively. Most of the argumentation found were only claiming, without reasoning and evidence. Teachers have to change the routine of mostly posing open-ended questions to students, and giving directly a correct answer to students’ questions. Knowledge and skills to encourage student to follow inquiry-based learning have to be acquired by teachers.
Nicácio Oliveira Freitas
Full Text Available The textbooks are the main teaching tool for students and teachers. The analysis of these books enables point out several shortcomings in relation to the contents approach. Thus, the objective of this work was to analyze the approach to the Atlantic Forest, considered one of the most degraded environments of the world. A total of seven high school biology textbooks were analyzed, following an evaluation script with general information, biotic and abiotic factors, environmental conservation and anthropic action, which were considered as satisfactory or unsatisfactory in the textbooks evaluation. In general, the Atlantic Forest theme has been addressed by all assessed books, including specific topics, however, some aspects such as the use of images was made improperly, leading to misunderstandings about Atlantic forest. In addition, ecosystem dynamics, its components and the environmental impacts have not been addressed satisfactorily in the majority of the works assessed. In general, the theme Atlantic Forest has been addressed by all assessed books, including specific topics, however, many aspects of this theme presented problems in their approach: update, concepts, definitions and importance, and also presented problems in their illustration of the current situation of Atlantic Forest. Periodic revisions of these textbooks are of great importance to assure student formation that allows them to analyze and know the effects of their actions on the environment and to reflect on ways to alleviates them. Keywords: biology textbooks; ecosystem; contents analysis.
David. A Micklos
This project achieved its goal of implementing a nationwide training program to introduce high school biology teachers to the key uses and societal implications of human DNA polymorphisms. The 2.5-day workshop introduced high school biology faculty to a laboratory-based unit on human DNA polymorphisms – which provides a uniquely personal perspective on the science and Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project. As proposed, 12 workshops were conducted at venues across the United States. The workshops were attended by 256 high school faculty, exceeding proposed attendance of 240 by 7%. Each workshop mixed theoretical, laboratory, and computer work with practical and ethical implications. Program participants learned simplified lab techniques for amplifying three types of chromosomal polymorphisms: an Alu insertion (PV92), a VNTR (pMCT118/D1S80), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the mitochondrial control region. These polymorphisms illustrate the use of DNA variations in disease diagnosis, forensic biology, and identity testing - and provide a starting point for discussing the uses and potential abuses of genetic technology. Participants also learned how to use their Alu and mitochondrial data as an entrée to human population genetics and evolution. Our work to simplify lab techniques for amplifying human DNA polymorphisms in educational settings culminated with the release in 1998 of three Advanced Technology (AT) PCR kits by Carolina Biological Supply Company, the nation’s oldest educational science supplier. The kits use a simple 30-minute method to isolate template DNA from hair sheaths or buccal cells and streamlined PCR chemistry based on Pharmacia Ready-To-Go Beads, which incorporate Taq polymerase, deoxynucleotide triphosphates, and buffer in a freeze-dried pellet. These kits have greatly simplified teacher implementation of human PCR labs, and their use is growing at a rapid pace. Sales of human polymorphism
Vera S. Županec
Full Text Available The Flipped Classroom (FC is a teaching approach in which students gain the first-exposure learning with online materials outside the classroom, and then, in the classroom, they focus on interactive or engaging exercises. Despite its considerable publicity, the studies focused on the FC in primary education are deficient. The aim of this research is to determine efficiency and students’ involvement in the flipped Biology classroom in primary school, compared to the conventional classroom (CC approach. Educational efficiency and students’ involvement are measured by combining the values of the students’ performance and mental effort on the test. Each task in the test was followed by the 5-point Likert scale for evaluation of invested mental effort. The total sample of this research included 112 students, aged from 12 to 13. The results show that the FC approach contributes to the reduction of the students’ mental effort and an increase in the students’ performance. On the basis of calculated efficiency and students’ involvement of applied teaching approaches, it was concluded that the FC represents a feasible and efficient approach to Biology primary education.
Nasution, W. R.; Sriyati, S.; Riandi, R.; Safitri, M.
The purpose of this study was to determine the mastery of Content Representation (CoRes) teachers related to the integration of technology and pedagogy in teaching Biology (TPACK). This research uses a descriptive method. The data were taken using instruments CoRes as the primary data and semi-structured interviews as supporting data. The subjects were biology teacher in class X MIA from four schools in Bandung. Teachers raised CoRes was analyzed using a scoring rubric CoRes with coding 1-3 then categorized into a group of upper, middle, or lower. The results showed that the two teachers in the lower category. This results means that the control of teachers in defining the essential concept in the CoRes has not been detailed and specific. Meanwhile, two other teachers were in the middle category. This means that the ability of teachers to determine the essential concepts in the CoRes are still inadequate so that still needs to be improved.
Micklos, David A.
This project achieved its goal of implementing a nationwide training program to introduce high school biology teachers to the key uses and societal implications of human DNA polymorphisms. The 2.5-day workshop introduced high school biology faculty to a laboratory-based unit on human DNA polymorphisms Ã¢ÂÂ which provides a uniquely personal perspective on the science and Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project. As proposed, 12 workshops were conducted at venues across the United States. The workshops were attended by 256 high school faculty, exceeding proposed attendance of 240 by 7%. Each workshop mixed theoretical, laboratory, and computer work with practical and ethical implications. Program participants learned simplified lab techniques for amplifying three types of chromosomal polymorphisms: an Alu insertion (PV92), a VNTR (pMCT118/D1S80), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the mitochondrial control region. These polymorphisms illustrate the use of DNA variations in disease diagnosis, forensic biology, and identity testing - and provide a starting point for discussing the uses and potential abuses of genetic technology. Participants also learned how to use their Alu and mitochondrial data as an entrÃÂ©e to human population genetics and evolution. Our work to simplify lab techniques for amplifying human DNA polymorphisms in educational settings culminated with the release in 1998 of three Advanced Technology (AT) PCR kits by Carolina Biological Supply Company, the nationÃ¢ÂÂs oldest educational science supplier. The kits use a simple 30-minute method to isolate template DNA from hair sheaths or buccal cells and streamlined PCR chemistry based on Pharmacia Ready-To-Go Beads, which incorporate Taq polymerase, deoxynucleotide triphosphates, and buffer in a freeze-dried pellet. These kits have greatly simplified teacher implementation of human PCR labs, and their use is growing at a rapid pace. Sales of human
Rutledge, Michael L.; Mitchell, Melissa A.
Determines teachers' conceptions of evolutionary theory using the technique of concept mapping. Discusses the methodology, the survey items, and concept map features. Makes specific recommendations for the teaching of evolution. (Contains 32 references.) (DDR)
Numerous psychological, biological, and evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain sexual orientation. For a theory to be valid it must account for the evolutionary or Darwinian paradox of how homosexual behavior seemingly blocking evolutionary fitness could have evolved. Typically it is only evolutionary based theories that attempt to address this issue. All theories proposed to date have limitations, a major one being that they tend to be specific for male or female sexual orientat...
Wilkinson, Gayle A.
This curriculum guide begins with classroom and text study of plants and develops into an individual research project that continues throughout the school year outside the regular biology or botany teaching plan and text. The project uses about one class period every 2 weeks for group discussions, evaluations, and suggestions for the individual…
Snapir, Zohar; Eberbach, Catherine; Ben-Zvi-Assaraf, Orit; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; Tripto, Jaklin
Science education today has become increasingly focused on research into complex natural, social and technological systems. In this study, we examined the development of high-school biology students' systems understanding of the human body, in a three-year longitudinal study. The development of the students' system understanding was evaluated…
Okoye, Nnamdi S.; Okechukwu, Rose N.
The study examined the effect of concept-mapping and problem-solving teaching strategies on achievement in biology among Nigerian secondary school students. The method used for the study was a quasi-experimental pre-test treatment design. One hundred and thirteen senior secondary three (S.S. 111) students randomly selected from three mixed…
Shamsuddeen, Abdulrahman; Amina, Hassan
This study investigated the Correlation between instructional methods and students end of term achievement in Biology in selected secondary schools in Sokoto Metropolis, Sokoto State Nigeria. The study addressed three Specific objectives. To examine the relationship between; Cooperative learning methods, guided discovery, Simulation Method and…
Johnson, Wendy; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G.
SES has long interested researchers investigating school achievement. Its effects are often addressed by studying predictors of achievement in economically disadvantaged samples living primarily in biological families, confounding genetic and environmental influences. Little is known about SES's purely environmental effects. We measured them in…
Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Heino, Mikko; Day, Troy; Smith, Thomas B; Fitt, Gary; Bergstrom, Carl T; Oakeshott, John; Jørgensen, Peter S; Zalucki, Myron P; Gilchrist, George; Southerton, Simon; Sih, Andrew; Strauss, Sharon; Denison, Robert F; Carroll, Scott P
Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology.
Darwin's principle of evolution by natural selection is readily casted into a mathematical formalism. Molecular biology revealed the mechanism of mutation and provides the basis for a kinetic theory of evolution that models correct reproduction and mutation as parallel chemical reaction channels. A result of the kinetic theory is the existence of a phase transition in evolution occurring at a critical mutation rate, which represents a localization threshold for the population in sequence space. Occurrence and nature of such phase transitions depend critically on fitness landscapes. The fitness landscape being tantamount to a mapping from sequence or genotype space into phenotype space is identified as the true source of complexity in evolution. Modeling evolution as a stochastic process is discussed and neutrality with respect to selection is shown to provide a major challenge for understanding evolutionary processes (author)
Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.
The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.
Kleshnina, Maria; Filar, Jerzy A; Ejov, Vladimir; McKerral, Jody C
The adaptation process of a species to a new environment is a significant area of study in biology. As part of natural selection, adaptation is a mutation process which improves survival skills and reproductive functions of species. Here, we investigate this process by combining the idea of incompetence with evolutionary game theory. In the sense of evolution, incompetence and training can be interpreted as a special learning process. With focus on the social side of the problem, we analyze the influence of incompetence on behavior of species. We introduce an incompetence parameter into a learning function in a single-population game and analyze its effect on the outcome of the replicator dynamics. Incompetence can change the outcome of the game and its dynamics, indicating its significance within what are inherently imperfect natural systems.
The aim of the study was to discover the contribution of students' interest in school biology, as well as their self-efficacy and attitudes towards different science subjects and mathematics when explaining students' orientation towards biology-related careers at upper-secondary school. The data of 321 K-11 students (49% women) were…
Ardi, A.; Fadilah, M.; Ichsani, W.
This research aimed to reveal how the relationship between metacognitive ability and the test result of biology teacher competence in Sijunjung District. The population of this descriptive research were all high school biology teachers in Sijunjung District, and sample is all teachers who are members of the population, which is 23 biology teachers. The instrument used in this research are a questionnaire of research on teacher's metacognitive ability and document about teacher competence test result. The questionnaire was validated first by two lecturers of biology and one lecturer of English. Data analysis using Pearson Product Moment's. Based on the results of research and discussion that have been described, it can generally be concluded that there is a low relationship between metacognitive ability with competence test results of high school biology teachers in Sijunjung District. Partially, the relationship of metacognitive ability with the test result of professional competence of biology teacher showed significant result, with correlation coefficient 0,46 and t table 1,72 while titung 2,37. The contribution of metacognitive ability to the competence test result of the teacher is 21.6%, while the other 78.4% have not been revealed in this research.
Bergh, van den Jeroen C.J.M.; Gowdy, John M.
We consider the microfoundations controversy from the perspective ofeconomic evolution and show that the debate can benefit from lessons learned in evolutionary biology. Although the analogy between biology and economics has been noted before, it has rarely focused on clarifying the micro-macro
regulation. We wish to ascertain whether we can identify such genes promptly in a comprehensive manner. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes and small molecular compounds that can be linked to the senescence phenotype and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Linard, Benjamin; Nguyen, Ngoc Hoan; Prosdocimi, Francisco; Poch, Olivier; Thompson, Julie D
Evolutionary systems biology aims to uncover the general trends and principles governing the evolution of biological networks. An essential part of this process is the reconstruction and analysis of the evolutionary histories of these complex, dynamic networks. Unfortunately, the methodologies for representing and exploiting such complex evolutionary histories in large scale studies are currently limited. Here, we propose a new formalism, called EvoluCode (Evolutionary barCode), which allows the integration of different evolutionary parameters (eg, sequence conservation, orthology, synteny …) in a unifying format and facilitates the multilevel analysis and visualization of complex evolutionary histories at the genome scale. The advantages of the approach are demonstrated by constructing barcodes representing the evolution of the complete human proteome. Two large-scale studies are then described: (i) the mapping and visualization of the barcodes on the human chromosomes and (ii) automatic clustering of the barcodes to highlight protein subsets sharing similar evolutionary histories and their functional analysis. The methodologies developed here open the way to the efficient application of other data mining and knowledge extraction techniques in evolutionary systems biology studies. A database containing all EvoluCode data is available at: http://lbgi.igbmc.fr/barcodes.
Alturki, Uthman T.
The goal of this research was to research, design, and develop a hypertext program for students who study biology. The Ecology Hypertext Program was developed using Research and Development (R&D) methodology. The purpose of this study was to place the final "product", a CD-ROM for learning biology concepts, in the hands of teachers and students to help them in learning and teaching process. The product was created through a cycle of literature review, needs assessment, development, and a cycle of field tests and revisions. I applied the ten steps of R&D process suggested by Borg and Gall (1989) which, consisted of: (1) Literature review, (2) Needs assessment, (3) Planning, (4) Develop preliminary product, (5) Preliminary field-testing, (6) Preliminary revision, (7) Main field-testing, (8) Main revision, (9) Final field-testing, and (10) Final product revision. The literature review and needs assessment provided a support and foundation for designing the preliminary product---the Ecology Hypertext Program. Participants in the needs assessment joined a focus group discussion. They were a group of graduate students in education who suggested the importance for designing this product. For the preliminary field test, the participants were a group of high school students studying biology. They were the potential user of the product. They reviewed the preliminary product and then filled out a questionnaire. Their feedback and suggestions were used to develop and improve the product in a step called preliminary revision. The second round of field tasting was the main field test in which the participants joined a focus group discussion. They were the same group who participated in needs assessment task. They reviewed the revised product and then provided ideas and suggestions to improve the product. Their feedback were categorized and implemented to develop the product as in the main revision task. Finally, a group of science teachers participated in this study by reviewing
Jacque, Berri; Koch-Weser, Susan; Faux, Russell; Meiri, Karina
This study reports the secondary analysis of evaluation data from an innovative high school biology curriculum focused on infectious disease (ID) to examine the health literacy implications of teaching claims evaluation, data interpretation, and risk assessment skills in the context of 21st-Century health science. The curriculum was implemented between 2010 and 2013 in Biology II classes held in four public high schools (three in Massachusetts and one in Ohio), plus a private school in Virginia. A quasi-experimental design was used in which student participants (n = 273) were compared to an age-matched, nonparticipant, peer group (N = 125). Participants in each school setting demonstrated increases in conceptual content knowledge (Cohen's d > 1.89) as well as in understanding how to apply scientific principles to health claims evaluation and risk assessment (Cohen's d > 1.76) and in self-efficacy toward learning about ID (Cohen's d > 2.27). Participants also displayed enhanced communication about ID within their social networks relative to the comparison group (p biology classrooms is effective at fostering both the skills and self-efficacy pertinent to health literacy learning in diverse populations. © 2015 Society for Public Health Education.
Dekker, Sanne; Jolles, Jelle
This study evaluated a new teaching module about "Brain and Learning" using a controlled design. The module was implemented in high school biology classes and comprised three lessons: (1) brain processes underlying learning; (2) neuropsychological development during adolescence; and (3) lifestyle factors that influence learning performance. Participants were 32 biology teachers who were interested in "Brain and Learning" and 1241 students in grades 8-9. Teachers' knowledge and students' beliefs about learning potential were examined using online questionnaires. Results indicated that before intervention, biology teachers were significantly less familiar with how the brain functions and develops than with its structure and with basic neuroscientific concepts (46 vs. 75% correct answers). After intervention, teachers' knowledge of "Brain and Learning" had significantly increased (64%), and more students believed that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory). This emphasizes the potential value of a short teaching module, both for improving biology teachers' insights into "Brain and Learning," and for changing students' beliefs about intelligence.
Full Text Available Evolutionary robotics applies the selection, variation, and heredity principles of natural evolution to the design of robots with embodied intelligence. It can be considered as a subfield of robotics that aims to create more robust and adaptive robots. A pivotal feature of the evolutionary approach is that it considers the whole robot at once, and enables the exploitation of robot features in a holistic manner. Evolutionary robotics can also be seen as an innovative approach to the study of evolution based on a new kind of experimentalism. The use of robots as a substrate can help address questions that are difficult, if not impossible, to investigate through computer simulations or biological studies. In this paper we consider the main achievements of evolutionary robotics, focusing particularly on its contributions to both engineering and biology. We briefly elaborate on methodological issues, review some of the most interesting findings, and discuss important open issues and promising avenues for future work.
Joosten, Reinoud A.M.G.; Roorda, Berend
We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary
Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E
Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further.
In this article, I argue that distinguishing 'evolutionary' from 'Darwinian' medicine will help us assess the variety of roles that evolutionary explanations can play in a number of medical contexts. Because the boundaries of evolutionary and Darwinian medicine overlap to some extent, however, they are best described as distinct 'research traditions' rather than as competing paradigms. But while evolutionary medicine does not stand out as a new scientific field of its own, Darwinian medicine is united by a number of distinctive theoretical and methodological claims. For example, evolutionary medicine and Darwinian medicine can be distinguished with respect to the styles of evolutionary explanations they employ. While the former primarily involves 'forward looking' explanations, the latter depends mostly on 'backward looking' explanations. A forward looking explanation tries to predict the effects of ongoing evolutionary processes on human health and disease in contemporary environments (e.g., hospitals). In contrast, a backward looking explanation typically applies evolutionary principles from the vantage point of humans' distant biological past in order to assess present states of health and disease. Both approaches, however, are concerned with the prevention and control of human diseases. In conclusion, I raise some concerns about the claim that 'nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution'.
Peterson, Erik L
Though a prominent British developmental biologist in his day, a close friend of Theodosius Dobzhansky, and a frequent correspondent with Ernst Mayr, C.H. Waddington did not enter the ranks of "architect" of the Modern Synthesis. By the end of his career, in fact, he recognized that other biologists reacted to his work "as though they feel obscurely uneasy"; and that the best that some philosophers of biology could say of his work was that he was not "wholly orthodox" (Waddington 1975c, 11). In this essay, I take Waddington's self-assessments at face value and explore three potential reasons why his work did not have more of a direct impact: Waddington's explicit support for the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead; a lack of institutional support; and Waddington's occasional marginalization from the core network of American neo-Darwinians. Though excluded from the Modern Synthesis in the mid-20th century, it now appears that Waddington's work does undergird the emerging evo-devo synthesis. Whether this indicates concomitant, if implicit, support for Whiteheadian philosophy is an interesting question not explored here.
Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen
Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better…
Advanced high school biology in an era of rapid change: a summary of the biology panel report from the NRC Committee on Programs for Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in American High Schools.
Wood, William B
A recently released National Research Council (NRC) report, Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools, evaluated and recommended changes in the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other advanced secondary school science programs. As part of this study, discipline-specific panels were formed to evaluate advanced programs in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Among the conclusions of the Content Panel for Biology were that AP courses in particular suffer from inadequate quality control as well as excessive pressure to fulfill their advanced placement function, which encourages teachers to attempt coverage of all areas of biology and emphasize memorization of facts rather than in-depth understanding. In this essay, the Panel's principal findings are discussed, with an emphasis on its recommendation that colleges and universities should be strongly discouraged from using performance on either the AP examination or the IB examination as the sole basis for automatic placement out of required introductory courses for biology majors and distribution requirements for nonmajors.
Nurhamidah, D.; Masykuri, M.; Dwiastuti, S.
Creative thinking is one of the most important skills of the 21st Century. Students are demanded not only be able to solve the cognitive problems but also to face the life problems. The aim of this study is to determine students’ creative thinking skills in biology class for XI grade of three Senior High Schools in Ngawi regency. The approach used to categorised the three schools into low, medium and high academic rank was a norm-referenced test. The study involved 92 students who completed a test. Guilford's alternative uses task was used to measure the level of students’ creative thinking skills. The results showed that in the school of high academic rank, 89,74% of students had low creative thinking skills and 10,25% of them are in moderate category. In the medium academic rank school, 85,71% of students had low creative thinking skills and 14,29% of them are moderate. In the school of low academic rank, 8% of students had very low creative thinking skills, 88% are low, and 4% are moderate. Based on the finding of the research, the creative thinking skills of students in the three school was categorised as low level, therefore the learning design should be developed which can improve the students’ creative thinking skills.
Nixon, Brenda Chaumont
This study evaluated the cognitive benefits and costs of incorporating biology-textbook and student-generated photographic images into the learning and assessment processes within a 10th grade biology classroom. The study implemented Wandersee's (2000) 20-Q Model of Image-Based Biology Test-Item Design (20-Q Model) to explore the use of photographic images to assess students' understanding of complex biological processes. A thorough review of the students' textbook using ScaleMaster R with PC Interface was also conducted. The photographs, diagrams, and other representations found in the textbook were measured to determine the percentage of each graphic depicted in the book and comparisons were made to the text. The theoretical framework that guided the research included Human Constructivist tenets espoused by Mintzes, Wandersee and Novak (2000). Physiological and cognitive factors of images and image-based learning as described by Robin (1992), Solso (1997) and Wandersee (2000) were examined. Qualitative case study design presented by Yin (1994), Denzin and Lincoln (1994) was applied and data were collected through interviews, observations, student activities, student and school artifacts and Scale Master IIRTM measurements. The results of the study indicate that although 24% of the high school biology textbook is devoted to photographic images which contribute significantly to textbook cost, the teacher and students paid little attention to photographic images other than as aesthetic elements for creating biological ambiance, wasting valuable opportunities for learning. The analysis of the photographs corroborated findings published by the Association American Association for the Advancement of Science that indicated "While most of the books are lavishly illustrated, these representations are rarely helpful, because they are too abstract, needlessly complicated, or inadequately explained" (Roseman, 2000, p. 2). The findings also indicate that applying the 20-Q
Masters, Roger D
Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological
Full Text Available This editorial provides insights into how informatics can attract highly trained students by involving them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM training at the high school level and continuing to provide mentorship and research opportunities through the formative years of their education. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be expert in the emergent fields in front of them requires acceleration at an early time point. Both pathology (and biomedical informatics are new disciplines which would benefit from involvement by students at an early stage of their education. In 2009, Michael T Lotze MD, Kirsten Livesey (then a medical student, now a medical resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC, Richard Hersheberger, PhD (Currently, Dean at Roswell Park, and Megan Seippel, MS (the administrator launched the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI Summer Academy to bring high school students for an 8 week summer academy focused on Cancer Biology. Initially, pathology and biomedical informatics were involved only in the classroom component of the UPCI Summer Academy. In 2011, due to popular interest, an informatics track called Computer Science, Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI was launched. CoSBBI currently acts as a feeder program for the undergraduate degree program in bioinformatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which is a joint degree offered by the Departments of Biology and Computer Science. We believe training in bioinformatics is the best foundation for students interested in future careers in pathology informatics or biomedical informatics. We describe our approach to the recruitment, training and research mentoring of high school students to create a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics. We emphasize here how mentoring of high school students in pathology informatics and biomedical
Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta; Gopalakrishnan, Vanathi; Lotze, Michael T; Becich, Michael J
This editorial provides insights into how informatics can attract highly trained students by involving them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training at the high school level and continuing to provide mentorship and research opportunities through the formative years of their education. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be expert in the emergent fields in front of them requires acceleration at an early time point. Both pathology (and biomedical) informatics are new disciplines which would benefit from involvement by students at an early stage of their education. In 2009, Michael T Lotze MD, Kirsten Livesey (then a medical student, now a medical resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)), Richard Hersheberger, PhD (Currently, Dean at Roswell Park), and Megan Seippel, MS (the administrator) launched the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Summer Academy to bring high school students for an 8 week summer academy focused on Cancer Biology. Initially, pathology and biomedical informatics were involved only in the classroom component of the UPCI Summer Academy. In 2011, due to popular interest, an informatics track called Computer Science, Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI) was launched. CoSBBI currently acts as a feeder program for the undergraduate degree program in bioinformatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which is a joint degree offered by the Departments of Biology and Computer Science. We believe training in bioinformatics is the best foundation for students interested in future careers in pathology informatics or biomedical informatics. We describe our approach to the recruitment, training and research mentoring of high school students to create a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics. We emphasize here how mentoring of high school students in pathology informatics and biomedical informatics
Maloney, Rebecca Scudari
One way to determine if all students can learn through the use of computers is to introduce a lesson taught completely via computers and compare the results with those gained when the same lesson is taught in a traditional manner. This study attempted to determine if a virtual fetal pig dissection can be used as a viable alternative for an actual dissection for females enrolled in high school biology classes by comparing the knowledge acquisition and attitudinal change between the experimental (virtual dissection) and control (actual dissection) groups. Two hundred and twenty-four students enrolled in biology classes in a suburban all-girl parochial high school participated in this study. Female students in an all-girl high school were chosen because research shows differences in science competency and computer usage between the genders that may mask the performance of females on computer-based tasks in a science laboratory exercise. Students who completed the virtual dissection scored significantly higher on practical test and objective tests that were used to measure knowledge acquisition. Attitudinal change was measured by examining the students' attitudes toward dissections, computer usage in the classroom, and toward biology both before and after the dissections using pre and post surveys. Significant results in positive gain scores were found in the virtual dissection group's attitude toward dissections, and their negative gain score toward virtual dissections. Attitudinal changes toward computers and biology were not significant. A purposefully selected sample of the students were interviewed, in addition to gathering a sample of the students' daily dissection journals, as data highlighting their thoughts and feelings about their dissection experience. Further research is suggested to determine if a virtual laboratory experience can be a substitute for actual dissections, or may serve as an enhancement to an actual dissection.
Zhu, Zhengming; Zhang, Juan; Ji, Xiaomei; Fang, Zhen; Wu, Zhimeng; Chen, Jian; Du, Guocheng
Microbial cells have been widely used in the industry to obtain various biochemical products, and evolutionary engineering is a common method in biological research to improve their traits, such as high environmental tolerance and improvement of product yield. To obtain better integrate functions of microbial cells, evolutionary engineering combined with other biotechnologies have attracted more attention in recent years. Classical laboratory evolution has been proven effective to letting more beneficial mutations occur in different genes but also has some inherent limitations such as a long evolutionary period and uncontrolled mutation frequencies. However, recent studies showed that some new strategies may gradually overcome these limitations. In this review, we summarize the evolutionary strategies commonly used in industrial microorganisms and discuss the combination of evolutionary engineering with other biotechnologies such as systems biology and inverse metabolic engineering. Finally, we prospect the importance and application prospect of evolutionary engineering as a powerful tool especially in optimization of industrial microbial cell factories.
Three studies were conducted to examine the effects of a behavioral metacognitive technique on lessening students' illusions of learning. It was proposed that students' study time strategies, and consequently, final performance on a test, in a classroom setting, could be influenced positively by having students engage in metacognitive processing via making wagers regarding their learning. A novel metacognitive paradigm was implemented in three studies during which high school Biology students made prospective (during study, prior to test) metacognitive judgments, using a "betting" paradigm. This behavioral betting paradigm asked students to select either "high confidence" or "low confidence" based on how confident they felt that they would get a Biology concept correct if they were tested later. If a student chose "high confidence" and got the answer right on a later test, then he would gain 3 points. If he chose "high confidence" and got the answer wrong, he would lose 3 points. If a student chose "low confidence," he would gain one point, regardless of accuracy. Students then made study time allocation decisions by choosing whether they needed to study a particular concept "a lot more," "a little more," or "not at all." Afterwards, students had three minutes to study whichever terms they selected for any duration during those three minutes. Finally, a performance test was administered. The results showed that people are generally good at monitoring their own knowledge, in that students performed better on items judged with high confidence bets than on items judged with low confidence bets. Data analyses compared students' Study time Intentions, Actual Study Time, and Accuracy at final test for those who were required to bet versus those who were not. Results showed that students for whom bets were required tended to select relatively longer study than for whom no bets were required. That is, the intentions of those who bet were less overconfident than those who
Otulaja, Femi Segun
The body of research work presented in this dissertation integrates critical ethnography with video and conversation analyses in order to provide ways to articulate and understand the complexities associated with social life enactment as it unfolds during cogenerative dialogues and in the science classroom as the teacher and her students engage in science teaching and learning. The primary goal is to improve the teaching and learning of science in an urban science classroom at a public high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In order to understand what is going on in the classroom and why, I worked with a female science teacher who identify as an African-American and her culturally diversified students in a biology class to examine teacher's and students' conscious and unconscious patterned actions, (i.e., classroom practices, that structure teaching and learning in the classroom. It is my belief that to improve science teaching and learning in the classroom, it is salient to improve science teacher's practices as a precursor to transforming students' practices. In order to ameliorate breaches in the fluency of encounters in the classroom, the teacher and her students need to establish and sustain critical, collaborative and collective conversations through cogen. I employ theoretical lenses of cultural sociology that I triangulate with sociology of emotions and critical pedagogy. I focus on culture as schemas and associated practices layered with the triple dialectics of agency, passivity and structure as new or hybridized/interstitial cultures that are produced get enacted in the science classroom to transform teacher's and her students' encounters with each other. The salient implication is that since encounters are imbued with emotions, teacher and her students learn to generate positive emotional energy during cogen that gets reproduced and transformed in the science classroom. Positive emotional energy creates resources that help to initiate and sustain
Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P; d'Avella, Andrea; Zelik, Karl E; Zago, Myrka
The identification of biological modules at the systems level often follows top-down decomposition of a task goal, or bottom-up decomposition of multidimensional data arrays into basic elements or patterns representing shared features. These approaches traditionally have been applied to mature, fully developed systems. Here we review some results from two other perspectives on modularity, namely the developmental and evolutionary perspective. There is growing evidence that modular units of development were highly preserved and recombined during evolution. We first consider a few examples of modules well identifiable from morphology. Next we consider the more difficult issue of identifying functional developmental modules. We dwell especially on modular control of locomotion to argue that the building blocks used to construct different locomotor behaviors are similar across several animal species, presumably related to ancestral neural networks of command. A recurrent theme from comparative studies is that the developmental addition of new premotor modules underlies the postnatal acquisition and refinement of several different motor behaviors in vertebrates.
Stearns, Stephen C
This review is aimed at readers seeking an introductory overview, teaching courses and interested in visionary ideas. It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, host-pathogen interactions and insights from comparisons with other species. It then discusses priorities for translational research, basic research and health management. Its conclusions are that evolutionary thinking should not displace other approaches to medical science, such as molecular medicine and cell and developmental biology, but that evolutionary insights can combine with and complement established approaches to reduce suffering and save lives. Because we are on the cusp of so much new research and innovative insights, it is hard to estimate how much impact evolutionary thinking will have on medicine, but it is already clear that its potential is enormous.
Hendry, A. P.; Kinnison, M. T.; Heino, M.
Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles...... are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design...... of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently...
Lankau, Richard; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Harris, David J.
As policymakers and managers work to mitigate the effects of rapid anthropogenic environmental changes, they need to consider organisms’ responses. In light of recent evidence that evolution can be quite rapid, this now includes evolutionary responses. Evolutionary principles have a long history...... in conservation biology, and the necessary next step for the field is to consider ways in which conservation policy makers and managers can proactively manipulate evolutionary processes to achieve their goals. In this review, we aim to illustrate the potential conservation benefits of an increased understanding...... of evolutionary history and prescriptive manipulation of three basic evolutionary factors: selection, variation, and gene flow. For each, we review and propose ways that policy makers and managers can use evolutionary thinking to preserve threatened species, combat pest species, or reduce undesirable evolutionary...
Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.
Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of cooperative learning methods on students’ academic achievement and laboratory proficiency in biology subject. Quasi-experimental control group interrupted time series design was employed. Data pertaining to these variables were collected from 369 students and 18 biology teachers in three schools. A series of biological tests and semistructured questionnaire were used to collect data. Multivariate analysis (two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the test scores exposed by teaching methods, and semistructured questionnaire was administered to comprehend factors that hamper the successive execution of CL. Hence, multivariate analysis revealed that there was no significant (P>0.05 difference in the pretest score of the learner academic performance; however, there were significant differences (P<0.01 in the posttest results by teaching methods, but not by schools. Correspondingly, there were significant differences in the pretest P<0.05 and posttest (P<0.01 results of the students’ laboratory proficiency by teaching methods. The results exemplify that there was significant learning gain obtained via CLAD followed by cooperative discussion group (CDG. The result from the questionnaire survey showed that the number of students, lack of laboratory equipment, and so on hamper consecutive execution of CL.
Southworth, Meghan; Mokros, Jan; Dorsey, Chad; Smith, Randy
GENIQUEST is a cyberlearning computer program that allows students to investigate biological data using a research-based instructional model. In this article, the authors make the case for using cyberlearning to teach students about the rapidly growing fields of genomics and computational biology. (Contains 2 figures and 1 online resource.)
Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.
Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.
Halpern, Diane F.
In response to a stimulating article by David C. Geary on the value of understanding the evolutionary basis of learning as a guide to instruction, I raise several objections. When evolutionary theory is used to explain everything from sex differences in math and reading to why children are bored in school, it loses its explanatory power. There is…
Diferenças de gênero no desenvolvimento sexual: integração dos paradigmas biológico, psicanalítico e evolucionista Gender differences in sexual development: biologic, psychoanalytic and evolutionary paradigms integration
Full Text Available O desenvolvimento sexual masculino e feminino tem sido fonte de incontáveis questionamentos em várias áreas do conhecimento humano ao longo da história da humanidade. Diversas especialidades têm estudado o tópico da sexualidade de forma dissociada, dificultando a sua compreensão global e a abordagem terapêutica de seus transtornos. A busca de integração de diferentes teorias oriundas, tanto dos processos fisiológicos básicos que originam a vida, quanto dos campos mais complexos da psicanálise, tem sido um dos grandes desafios da prática clínica. Propõe-se, então, um artigo com o objetivo de descrever as diferenças de gênero no desenvolvimento sexual humano, à luz dos vértices biológico, psicanalítico e evolucionista, buscando-se pontes de conexão entre estes paradigmas, para uma visão mais integrada do processo de ser masculino ou feminino.Male and female sexual development has been source of many controversies through the human history. Many specialties have studied the sexuality from a disconnected point of view, raising difficulties to its integral understanding and therapeutic approach. The search for integration between physiology and psychoanalysis has been one of the major challenges in clinical practice. In this article we describe gender differences in sexual human development under the biological, psychoanalytical and evolutionary perspectives, searching connections between these paradigms in order to find a more integrated vision of male and female development.
a promising, but still largely unexplored research niche and deserve to be included into the agenda of molecular ecologists, ..... cess involves the generation of double-strand DNA breaks in ...... 2012 Embryonic stem cell potency fluctuates.
Chela-Flores, Julian [Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Caracas (Venezuela); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy)
A major objective in solar system exploration is the insertion of appropriate biology-oriented experiments in future missions. We discuss various reasons for suggesting that this type of research be considered a high priority for feasibility studies and, subsequently, for technological development of appropriate melters and submersibles. Based on numerous examples, we argue in favour of the assumption that Darwin's theory is valid for the evolution of life anywhere in the universe. We have suggested how to obtain preliminary insights into the question of the distribution of life in the universe. Universal evolution of intelligent behaviour is at the end of an evolutionary pathway, in which evolution of ion channels in the membrane of microorganisms occurs in its early stages. Further, we have argued that a preliminary test of this conjecture is feasible with experiments on the Europan surface or ocean, involving evolutionary biosignatures (ion channels). This aspect of the exploration for life in the solar system should be viewed as a complement to the astronomical approach for the search of evidence of the later stages of the evolutionary pathways towards intelligent behaviour. (author)
Gilbert, Scott F
Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines." Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, developmental biology remains vigorous, pluripotent, and relatively undifferentiated. In many disciplines, especially in evolutionary biology and oncology, the developmental perspective is being reasserted as an important research program.
Herrmann-Abell, Cari F; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen
Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit's promise in improving students' understanding of the targeted ideas. © 2016 C. F. Herrmann-Abell et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud
We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary dynamics. For instance, each attractive evolutionarily stable strategy is an attractive evolutionarily stable equilibrium for certain barycentric ray-projection dynamics, and vice versa.
Fishman, Michael A
In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This study evaluated a new teaching module about ‘Brain&Learning’ using a controlled design. The module was implemented in high school biology classes and comprised three lessons: 1 brain processes underlying learning; 2 neuropsychological development during adolescence; and 3 lifestyle factors that influence learning performance. Participants were 32 biology teachers who were interested in ‘Brain&Learning’ and 1241 students in grades 8-9. Teachers’ knowledge and students’ beliefs about learning potential were examined using online questionnaires. Results indicated that before intervention, biology teachers were significantly less familiar with how the brain functions and develops than with its structure and with basic neuroscientific concepts (46% vs. 75% correct answers. After intervention, teachers’ knowledge of ‘Brain&Learning’ had significantly increased (64%, and more students believed that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory. This emphasizes the potential value of a short teaching module, both for improving biology teachers’ insights into ‘Brain&Learning’, and for changing students’ beliefs about intelligence.
This thesis reports on a design research project about a learning, supervising and teaching strategy to enable students in agricultural preparatory vocational secondary education (VMBO) to recognize the functionality of biological knowledge of reproduction in work placement sites. Although
Dias, Ivan A; Willemart, Rodrigo H; Marques, Antonio C
Although the theory of evolution is more than 150 years old, a substantial proportion of the world population does not mention it when explaining the origin of human beings. The usual alternative conception is offered by creationism, one of the main obstacles to full acceptance of evolution in many countries. National polls have demonstrated that schooling and religiosity are negatively correlated, with scientists being one of the least religious professionals. Herein we analyzed both (1) the profile of 1st semester undergraduate students and (2), thesis and dissertations, concerning religious and evolutionary thoughts from Biology and Veterinary Schools at the largest university of South America. We have shown that students of Biology are biased towards evolution before they enter university and also that the presence of an evolutionary-thinking academic atmosphere influences the deism/religiosity beliefs of postgraduate students.
Ivan A. Dias
Full Text Available Although the theory of evolution is more than 150 years old, a substantial proportion of the world population does not mention it when explaining the origin of human beings. The usual alternative conception is offered by creationism, one of the main obstacles to full acceptance of evolution in many countries. National polls have demonstrated that schooling and religiosity are negatively correlated, with scientists being one of the least religious professionals. Herein we analyzed both (1 the profile of 1st semester undergraduate students and (2, thesis and dissertations, concerning religious and evolutionary thoughts from Biology and Veterinary Schools at the largest university of South America. We have shown that students of Biology are biased towards evolution before they enter university and also that the presence of an evolutionary-thinking academic atmosphere influences the deism/religiosity beliefs of postgraduate students.
This paper discusses the problem of anticipation from an evolutionary and systems-theoretical perspective, developed in the context of Russian/Soviet evolutionary biological and neurophysiological schools in the early and mid-twentieth century. On this background, an outline is given of the epigenetic interpretation of anticipatory capacities formulated and substantiated by the eminent Russian neurophysiologist academician Peter K. Anokhin in the framework of functional systems theory. It is considered that several key positions of this theory are well confirmed by recent evidence on anticipation as an evolutionarily basic adaptive capacity, possibly inherent to the organization of life. In the field of neuroscience, the theory of functional systems may potentially facilitate future studies at the intersection of learning, development and evolution by representing an integrative approach to the problem of anticipation.
Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution-both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place-has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps' book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging "integral" or "evolutionary" cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps.
Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Koppal, Mary; Roseman, Jo Ellen
Modern biology has become increasingly molecular in nature, requiring students to understand basic chemical concepts. Studies show, however, that many students fail to grasp ideas about atom rearrangement and conservation during chemical reactions or the application of these ideas to biological systems. To help provide students with a better foundation, we used research-based design principles and collaborated in the development of a curricular intervention that applies chemistry ideas to living and nonliving contexts. Six eighth grade teachers and their students participated in a test of the unit during the Spring of 2013. Two of the teachers had used an earlier version of the unit the previous spring. The other four teachers were randomly assigned either to implement the unit or to continue teaching the same content using existing materials. Pre- and posttests were administered, and the data were analyzed using Rasch modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. The results showed that, when controlling for pretest score, gender, language, and ethnicity, students who used the curricular intervention performed better on the posttest than the students using existing materials. Additionally, students who participated in the intervention held fewer misconceptions. These results demonstrate the unit’s promise in improving students’ understanding of the targeted ideas. PMID:27909024
The concept of evolutionary development of structures constituted a real revolution in biology: it was possible to understand how the very complex structures of life can arise in an out-of-equilibrium system. The investigation of such systems has shown that indeed, systems under a flux of energy or matter can self-organize into complex patterns, think for instance to Rayleigh-Bernard convection, Liesegang rings, patterns formed by granular systems under shear. Following this line, one could characterize life as a state of matter, characterized by the slow, continuous process that we call evolution. In this paper we try to identify the organizational level of life, that spans several orders of magnitude from the elementary constituents to whole ecosystems. Although similar structures can be found in other contexts like ideas (memes) in neural systems and self-replicating elements (computer viruses, worms, etc.) in computer systems, we shall concentrate on biological evolutionary structure, and try to put into evidence the role and the emergence of network structure in such systems.
Snapir, Zohar; Eberbach, Catherine; Ben-Zvi-Assaraf, Orit; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; Tripto, Jaklin
Science education today has become increasingly focused on research into complex natural, social and technological systems. In this study, we examined the development of high-school biology students' systems understanding of the human body, in a three-year longitudinal study. The development of the students' system understanding was evaluated using the Components Mechanisms Phenomena (CMP) framework for conceptual representation. We coded and analysed the repertory grid personal constructs of 67 high-school biology students at 4 points throughout the study. Our data analysis builds on the assumption that systems understanding entails a perception of all the system categories, including structures within the system (its Components), specific processes and interactions at the macro and micro levels (Mechanisms), and the Phenomena that present the macro scale of processes and patterns within a system. Our findings suggest that as the learning process progressed, the systems understanding of our students became more advanced, moving forward within each of the major CMP categories. Moreover, there was an increase in the mechanism complexity presented by the students, manifested by more students describing mechanisms at the molecular level. Thus, the 'mechanism' category and the micro level are critical components that enable students to understand system-level phenomena such as homeostasis.
Cushing, Patrick Ryan
This study compared the performance of high school students on laboratory assessments. Thirty-four high school students who were enrolled in the second semester of a regular biology class or had completed the biology course the previous semester participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to examinations of two formats, performance-task and traditional multiple-choice, from two content areas, using a compound light microscope and diffusion. Students were directed to think-aloud as they performed the assessments. Additional verbal data were obtained during interviews following the assessment. The tape-recorded narrative data were analyzed for type and diversity of knowledge and skill categories, and percentage of in-depth processing demonstrated. While overall mean scores on the assessments were low, elicited statements provided additional insight into student cognition. Results indicated that a greater diversity of knowledge and skill categories was elicited by the two microscope assessments and by the two performance-task assessments. In addition, statements demonstrating in-depth processing were coded most frequently in narratives elicited during clinical interviews following the diffusion performance-task assessment. This study calls for individual teachers to design authentic assessment practices and apply them to daily classroom routines. Authentic assessment should be an integral part of the learning process and not merely an end result. In addition, teachers are encouraged to explicitly identify and model, through think-aloud methods, desired cognitive behaviors in the classroom.
Ah-King, Malin; Nylin, S?ren
It is common to refer to all sorts of clear-cut differences between the sexes as something that is biologically almost inevitable. Although this does not reflect the status of evolutionary theory on sex determination and sexual dimorphism, it is probably a common view among evolutionary biologists as well, because of the impact of sexual selection theory. To get away from thinking about biological sex and traits associated with a particular sex as something static, it should be recognized tha...
Faelt, Surasak; Samiphak, Sara; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn
Argumentation skill is an essential skill needed in students, and one of the competencies in scientific literacy. Through arguing on socioscientific issues, students may gain deeper conceptual understanding. The purpose of this research is to examine the efficacy of a socioscientific issues-based instruction compared with an inquirybased instruction. This is to determine which one is better in promoting 10th grade students' argumentation ability and biology concepts of digestive system and cellular respiration. The forty 10th grade students included in this study were from two mathematics-science program classes in a medium-sized secondary school located in a suburb of Buriram province, Thailand. The research utilizes a quasi-experimental design; pre-test post-test control group design. We developed and implemented 4 lesson plans for both socioscientific issues-based instruction and inquiry-based instruction. Ten weeks were used to collect the data. A paper-based questionnaire and informal interviews were designed to test students' argumentation ability, and the two-tier multiple-choice test was designed to test their biology concepts. This research explore qualitatively and quantitatively students' argumentation abilities and biology concepts, using arithmetic mean, mean of percentage, standard deviation and t-test. Results show that there is no significant difference between the two group regarding mean scores of the argumentation ability. However, there is significant difference between the two groups regarding mean scores of the biology concepts. This suggests that socioscientific issues-based instruction could be used to improve students' biology concepts.
Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between United States (US) preservice middle school science teacher characteristics, their attitude toward a specific animal and their belief concerning the likelihood of incorporating information about that specific animal into their future science classroom. The study participants…
Kelley, Paul; Lockley, Steven W.; Foster, Russell G.; Kelley, Jonathan
Arne Duncan, US Secretary of State for Education, tweeted in 2013: "let teens sleep, start school later". This paper examines early starts and their negative consequences in the light of key research in the last 30 years in sleep medicine and circadian neuroscience. An overview of the circadian timing system in adolescence leading to…
Riechert, Susan E.; Post, Brian K.
The national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Initiative favors a curriculum shift from the compartmentalization of math and science classes into discrete subject areas to an integrated, multidisciplinary experience. Many states are currently implementing programs in high schools that provide greater integration of math,…
Wyss, Vanessa L.; Dolenc, Nathan; Kong, Xiaoqing; Tai, Robert H.
The conflict between the amount of material to be addressed in high school science classes, the need to prepare students for standardized tests, and the amount of time available forces science educators to make difficult pedagogical decisions on a daily basis. Hands-on and inquiry-based learning offer students more authentic learning experiences…
Snakes are controversial animals emblazoned by legends, but also endangered as a result of human prejudice and fear. The author investigated gender and age-related differences in attitudes to and knowledge of snakes comparing samples of school children and pre-service teachers. It was found that although pre-service teachers had better knowledge…
Randler, Christoph; Osti, Janina; Hummel, Eberhard
A decline in biology interest has often been claimed but seldom with an empirically substantiation. This study was based on a sample of 3rd and 4th grade pupils within the same geographical area as Lowe's (1987, 1992) previous results from southwest Germany from the year 1983. We used a four-point Likert-type questionnaire to assess interest with…
Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa
The concept of natural selection serves as a foundation for understanding diverse biological concepts and has broad applicability to other domains. However, we know little about students' abilities to transfer (i.e. apply to a new context or use generatively) this concept and the relation between students' conceptual understanding and transfer…
Mar 15, 2014 ... ... of events: 'Entities that were capable of independent replication ... There have been many major evolutionary events that this definition of .... selection at level x to exclusive selection at x – will probably require a multiplicity ...
Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap
To study the evolutionary relationships among astroviruses, all available sequences for members of the family Astroviridae were collected. Phylogenetic analysis distinguished two deep-rooted groups: one comprising mammalian astroviruses, with ovine astrovirus being an outlier, and the other
Roberto Régis Ribeiro
Full Text Available Aerobic fitness is an important health-related fitness component. The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of age, growth, body composition, sexual maturation and socioeconomic status on the aerobic fitness of female school children attending public schools in Cascavel, Paraná, Brazil. Across-sectional epidemiological study was conducted in 2006 on 1,317 school children aged 8 to17 years. Body mass, height and triceps and medial calf skinfold thickness were measured and relative body fat (%BF was calculated. Sexual maturation was self-assessed using a breast development scale (M1 to M5. The questionnaire proposed by the Brazilian Association of Research Companies was used to assess socioeconomic status. Aerobic fitness was estimated by the 20-m shuttle runtest. The results were analyzed using two-way ANOVA, Tukey post hoc test, Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficients, and multiple linear regression with 95% confidence intervals. Three variables (age, %BF and socioeconomic status showed an interaction (p<0.05 in the prediction of VO2peakrel (R2=0.73. All independent variables (body mass, height, age, %BF, socioeconomic status, and sexual maturation were significant predictors (p<0.05 of VO2picoabs (R2=0.88. In conclusion, chronological age and sexual maturation were the best predictors of VO2peakabs (positive and VO2peakrel (negative.
Baldwin, Michael E.
This research investigates the challenges faced in enacting instructional models that previous research has found to foster student learning. In order to complete this study, the researcher documented, through a strategy of reflective practice, his return to teaching high school science after having served for a time as a science specialist and instructional coach. The study develops quality personal insights and questions that may be used by other educators and researchers to investigate the enactment of these different models and strategies. The research is limited to the spring of the 2010 school year and use notes, journals, and planner documents from the 2008--2009 school year. In order to appreciate complex interactions, triangulation was made through dovetailing personal observations with requested observations of the campus assistant principal, the district science specialist, and an out of district observer. Also, a short questionnaire administered to the students in these classes. Throughout this study, the researcher demonstrates that it is feasible to use these models. However, such external factors as imposed curriculum and standardized testing play a large role in everyday decision making of this particular teacher. The sheer amount of content to be covered under the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) also influenced instructional decisions that were made. Choices about what strategy to use resided mainly within the teacher/researcher and were governed and affected mostly by his interactions with students and professional judgments about what would both bolster student understanding and help students score well on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (MS) forged in the mid-twentieth century was built on a notion of heredity that excluded soft inheritance, the inheritance of the effects of developmental modifications. However, the discovery of molecular mechanisms that generate random and developmentally induced epigenetic variations is leading to a broadening of the notion of biological heredity that has consequences for ideas about evolution. After presenting some old challenges to the MS that were raised, among others, by Karl Popper, I discuss recent research on epigenetic inheritance, which provides experimental and theoretical support for these challenges. There is now good evidence that epigenetic inheritance is ubiquitous and is involved in adaptive evolution and macroevolution. I argue that the many evolutionary consequences of epigenetic inheritance open up new research areas and require the extension of the evolutionary synthesis beyond the current neo-Darwinian model.
Stein, Dan J; Hermesh, Haggai; Eilam, David; Segalas, Cosi; Zohar, Joseph; Menchon, Jose; Nesse, Randolph M
The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still lack a theory of forms. The field began, in fact, as a theory of forms in Darwin's days, and the major goal that an EES will aim for is a unification of our theories of genes and of forms. This may be achieved through an organic grafting of novel concepts onto the foundational structure of the MS, particularly evolvability, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance, complexity theory, and the theory of evolution in highly dimensional adaptive landscapes.
Annetta, Leonard A.; Cheng, Meng-Tzu; Holmes, Shawn
As twenty-first century skills become a greater focus in K-12 education, an infusion of technology that meets the needs of today's students is paramount. This study looks at the design and creation of a Multiplayer Educational Gaming Application (MEGA) for high school biology students. The quasi-experimental, qualitative design assessed the twenty-first century skills of digital age literacy, inventive thinking, high productivity, and effective communication techniques of the students exposed to a MEGA. Three factors, as they pertained to these skills, emerged from classroom observations. Interaction with the teacher, discussion with peers, and engagement/time-on-task while playing the MEGA suggested that students playing an educational video game exhibited all of the projected twenty-first century skills while being engrossed in the embedded science content.
When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as "evolutionary mismatch," or "evolutionary novelty." The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have generally been working without a clear definition of mismatch. This paper defines mismatch as deviations in the environment that render biological traits unable, or impaired in their ability, to produce their selected effects (i.e., to perform their proper functions in Neander's sense). The machinery developed by Millikan in connection with her account of proper function, and with her related teleosemantic account of representation, is used to identify four major types, and several subtypes, of evolutionary mismatch. While the taxonomy offered here does not in itself resolve any scientific debates, the hope is that it can be used to better formulate empirical hypotheses concerning the effects of mismatch. To illustrate, it is used to show that the controversial hypothesis that general intelligence evolved as an adaptation to handle evolutionary novelty can, contra some critics, be formulated in a conceptually coherent way.
Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W
Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W
Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561
Szabó, György; Borsos, István
Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.
Szabó, György, E-mail: email@example.com; Borsos, István, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.
Szabó, György; Borsos, István
Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the "equilibrium state" by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.
Daniel Alves Escodino
Full Text Available In this work we aimed to determine the level of Molecular Biology (MB science literacy of students from two Brazilian public schools which do not consider the rogerian theory for class planning and from another institution, Cap UERJ, which favours this theory. We applied semiclosed questionnaires specific to the different groups of science literacy levels. Besides, we have asked them to perform conceptual maps with MB concepts in order to observe if they have experienced meaningful learning. Finally, we prepared MB classes for students of the three schools, considering their conceptual maps and tried to evaluate, through a second map execution, if the use of alternative didactics material, which consider meaningful learning process, would have any effect over the appropriation of new concepts. We observed that most students are placed at Functional literacy level. Nonetheless, several students from CAp were also settled at the higher Conceptual and Procedural levels. We found that most students have not experienced meaningful learning and that the employment of didactic material and implementation of proposals which consider the cognitive structure of the students had a significant effect on the appropriation of several concepts.
Dorfman, Bat-Shahar; Issachar, Hagit; Zion, Michal
Educational policy bodies worldwide have argued that practicing inquiry as a part of the K-12 curriculum would help prepare students for their lives as adults in today's world. This study investigated adults who graduated high school 9 years earlier with a major in biology, to determine how they perceive the inquiry project they experienced and its contribution to their lives. We characterized dynamic inquiry performances and the retrospective perceptions of the inquiry project. Data was collected by interviews with 17 individuals—nine who engaged in open inquiry and eight who engaged in guided inquiry in high school. Both groups shared similar expressions of the affective point of view and procedural understanding criteria of dynamic inquiry, but the groups differed in the expression of the criteria changes occurring during inquiry and learning as a process. Participants from both groups described the contribution of the projects to their lives as adults, developing skills and positive attitudes towards science and remembering the content knowledge and activities in which they were involved. They also described the support they received from their teachers. Results of this study imply that inquiry, and particularly open inquiry, helps develop valuable skills and personal attributes, which may help the students in their lives as future adults. This retrospective point of view may contribute to a deeper understanding of the long-term influences of inquiry-based learning on students.
Marisa Laporta Chudo
Full Text Available Objective. To analyze the teach-learning process of high school students, in the scope of Educational Biology. To plan and to develop a methodology with lesson strategies that facilitate the learning. To analyze, in the students vision, the positive and negative points in the process. Method. A research was developed -- of which had participated students of the first semester of the Pedagogy of a high school private institution in São Paulo city -- of the type action-research, with increased qualitative character of quantitative instruments; as a way of data collect, had been used questionnaires and field diary; the results had been converted in charts; after that, the data collected by the questionnaires had been analyzed according to the technique of the collective subject analysis. Results. The results had supplied important information to high school teachers reflection about teach-learning process, showing that the used strategies allowed student envolvement and participation, proximity with personal and professional reality, bigger interaction in the interpersonal relations and critical reflection. Conclusions. The theoretical referencial about adult learning, the active methodologies and the interpersonal relationship between professor and pupils, with the analysis of the students vision about the positive and negative points in the teach-learning process, had provided subsidies to believe a methodology and specific didactic strategies for adults and that must contemplate the teachers motivation and the pedagogical communication, including elements like creativity, up to date technician content and formative content to the future profession, experiences exchange, that allow an affective relationship teacher-student, with interaction and dialogue.
Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank
Archaeogenetics is the study of exploration of ancient DNA (aDNA) of more than 70 years old. It is an important part of the wider studies of many different areas of our past, including animal, plant and pathogen evolution and domestication events. Hereby, we address specifically the impact of research in archaeogenetics in the broader field of evolutionary medicine. Studies on ancient hominid genomes help to understand even modern health patterns. Human genetic microevolution, e.g. related to abilities of post-weaning milk consumption, and specifically genetic adaptation in disease susceptibility, e.g. towards malaria and other infectious diseases, are of the upmost importance in contributions of archeogenetics on the evolutionary understanding of human health and disease. With the increase in both the understanding of modern medical genetics and the ability to deep sequence ancient genetic information, the field of archaeogenetic evolutionary medicine is blossoming.
of Computational Intelligence. First, comprehensive surveys of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, parallel evolutionary algorithms are presented, which are readable and constructive so that a large audience might find them useful and – to some extent – ready to use. Some more general...... kinds of evolutionary algorithms, have been prudently analyzed. This analysis was followed by a thorough analysis of various issues involved in stochastic local search algorithms. An interesting survey of various technological and industrial applications in mechanical engineering and design has been...... topics like the estimation of distribution algorithms, indicator-based selection, etc., are also discussed. An important problem, from a theoretical and practical point of view, of learning classifier systems is presented in depth. Multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, which constitute one of the most...
Jensen, Jens Ledet
This paper is about stochastic models for the evolution of DNA. For a set of aligned DNA sequences, connected in a phylogenetic tree, the models should be able to explain - in probabilistic terms - the differences seen in the sequences. From the estimates of the parameters in the model one can...... start to make biologically interpretations and conclusions concerning the evolutionary forces at work. In parallel with the increase in computing power, models have become more complex. Starting with Markov processes on a space with 4 states, and extended to Markov processes with 64 states, we are today...... studying models on spaces with 4n (or 64n) number of states with n well above one hundred, say. For such models it is no longer possible to calculate the transition probability analytically, and often Markov chain Monte Carlo is used in connection with likelihood analysis. This is also the approach taken...
Münch, Philipp C.; Stecher, Bärbel; McHardy, Alice C.
Abstract Summary Metagenomics revolutionized the field of microbial ecology, giving access to Gb-sized datasets of microbial communities under natural conditions. This enables fine-grained analyses of the functions of community members, studies of their association with phenotypes and environments, as well as of their microevolution and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. However, phylogenetic methods for studying adaptation and evolutionary dynamics are not able to cope with big data. EDEN is the first software for the rapid detection of protein families and regions under positive selection, as well as their associated biological processes, from meta- and pangenome data. It provides an interactive result visualization for detailed comparative analyses. Availability and implementation EDEN is available as a Docker installation under the GPL 3.0 license, allowing its use on common operating systems, at http://www.github.com/hzi-bifo/eden. Contact email@example.com Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:28637301
Saha, Gouranga Chandra
Very often a number of factors, especially time, space and money, deter many science educators from using inquiry-based, hands-on, laboratory practical tasks as alternative assessment instruments in science. A shortage of valid inquiry-based laboratory tasks for high school biology has been cited. Driven by this need, this study addressed the following three research questions: (1) How can laboratory-based performance tasks be designed and developed that are doable by students for whom they are designed/written? (2) Do student responses to the laboratory-based performance tasks validly represent at least some of the intended process skills that new biology learning goals want students to acquire? (3) Are the laboratory-based performance tasks psychometrically consistent as individual tasks and as a set? To answer these questions, three tasks were used from the six biology tasks initially designed and developed by an iterative process of trial testing. Analyses of data from 224 students showed that performance-based laboratory tasks that are doable by all students require careful and iterative process of development. Although the students demonstrated more skill in performing than planning and reasoning, their performances at the item level were very poor for some items. Possible reasons for the poor performances have been discussed and suggestions on how to remediate the deficiencies have been made. Empirical evidences for validity and reliability of the instrument have been presented both from the classical and the modern validity criteria point of view. Limitations of the study have been identified. Finally implications of the study and directions for further research have been discussed.
Gilbert, Scott F.
Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines.” Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, ...
Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene
This proposed text appears to be a good introduction to evolutionary computation for use in applied statistics research. The authors draw from a vast base of knowledge about the current literature in both the design of evolutionary algorithms and statistical techniques. Modern statistical research is on the threshold of solving increasingly complex problems in high dimensions, and the generalization of its methodology to parameters whose estimators do not follow mathematically simple distributions is underway. Many of these challenges involve optimizing functions for which analytic solutions a
Austen L. Krill
Full Text Available Cognitive neuroscience, the study of brain-behavior relationships, has long attempted to map the brain. The discipline is flourishing, with an increasing number of functional neuroimaging studies appearing in the scientific literature daily. Unlike biology and even psychology, the cognitive neurosciences have only recently begun to apply evolutionary meta-theory and methodological guidance. Approaching cognitive neuroscience from an evolutionary perspective allows scientists to apply biologically based theoretical guidance to their investigations and can be conducted in both humans and nonhuman animals. In fact, several investigations of this sort are underway in laboratories around the world. This paper and two new volumes (Platek, Keenan, and Shackelford [Eds.], 2007; Platek and Shackelford [Eds.], under contract represent the first formal attempts to document the burgeoning field of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience. Here, we briefly review the current state of the science of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience, the methods available to the evolutionary cognitive neuroscientist, and what we foresee as the future directions of the discipline.
Selli, Cigdem; Yildirim, Gokce; Kaymak, Aysegul; Karacicek, Bilge; Ogut, Deniz; Gungor, Turkan; Erem, Erdem; Ege, Mehmet; Bümen, Nilay; Tosun, Metiner
This study includes the results of a 2-day education project titled "Molecular Biology Laboratory Summer School, MoBiLYO." The project was held at a University Research Center by scientists from Department of Pharmacology and graduate students. The project was composed of introductory lectures, model construction, DNA isolation,…
Rodenhauser, Annika; Preisfeld, Angelika
Taking into account (German) students' deficiencies in scientific literacy as well as reading competence and the "mother tongue + 2" objective of the European commission, a bilingual course on molecular biology was developed. It combines CLIL fundamentals and practical experimentation in an out-of-school lab. Cognitive and affective…
Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad; Myers, John Y.; Summers, Ryan; Brunner, Jeanne; Waight, Noemi; Wahbeh, Nader; Zeineddin, Ava A.; Belarmino, Jeremy
This study assessed the (i) ways in which, and extent to which, several aspects of nature of science (NOS) are represented in high school biology and physics textbooks in the United States (U.S.); (ii) extent to which these representations have changed over the course of several decades; and (iii) relative impact of discipline, and textbook…
This study examines the issue of perception of extreme amounts of various physical quantities among 14 to 17 year old public schools students. The methods used in this investigation consisted of combined multiple-choice-open response questions and clinical interviews. The subjects in this study have relatively well defined ideas about quantitative relationships of the physical world as long as the quantities involved lie within their perceptual limits. Beyond these limits, their quantitative understanding was vague across all concepts with respect to their inability to do adequate quantitative comparisons. Very small physical quantities as well as very small changes in quantities did not seem to be present in the mental frameworks of the subjects. Most subjects were able to comprehend micro-quantities and micro-changes by relating them to those within their mesocosmical range. Analogical reasoning appeared to be central to this process. The subjects failed to perceive identical physical situations as analogical if one of them involved mesocosmical quantities and the other contained those lying beyond their mental mesocosmical range. Crossing mesocosmical boundaries in one's mind caused interruption in analogical reasoning. Very large physical quantities, namely those beyond the human range of sensual perception, were present in the subjects' mental frameworks. However, they were unable to reason adequately about quantitative differences between distinct quantities of the same concept if these quantities were beyond their sensual range. The findings of this study provide empirical support to Vollmer's (1984) theory of mesocosmical mind.
1968-01-011. This work, the first volume of a series dealing with evolutionary trends in Heteroptera, is concerned with the egg system of about 400 species. The data are presented systematically in chapters 1 and 2 with a critical review of the literature after each family.2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts
Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E.; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R.
Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these
Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Smith, Stephen L; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Jan, Mathieu; Matthias, M; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Esparcia-Alcazar, Anna I; Silva, Sara; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cotta, Carlos; De Falco, Ivanoe; Cioppa, Antonio Della; Diwold, Konrad; Ekart, Aniko; Tarantino, Ernesto; Vega, Francisco Fernandez De; Burelli, Paolo; Sim, Kevin; Cagnoni, Stefano; Simoes, Anabela; Merelo, J.J.; Urquhart, Neil; Haasdijk, Evert; Zhang, Mengjie; Squillero, Giovanni; Eiben, A E; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Glette, Kyrre; Rohlfshagen, Philipp; Schaefer, Robert; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan
The application of genetic and evolutionary computation to problems in medicine has increased rapidly over the past five years, but there are specific issues and challenges that distinguish it from other real-world applications. Obtaining reliable and coherent patient data, establishing the clinical
From an evolutionary perspective, ageing is a decrease in fitness with chronological age - expressed by an increase in mortality risk and/or decline in reproductive success and mediated by deterioration of functional performance. While this makes ageing intuitively paradoxical - detrimental to individual fitness - evolutionary theory offers answers as to why ageing has evolved. In this review, I first briefly examine the classic evolutionary theories of ageing and their empirical tests, and highlight recent findings that have advanced our understanding of the evolution of ageing (condition-dependent survival, positive pleiotropy). I then provide an overview of recent theoretical extensions and modifications that accommodate those new discoveries. I discuss the role of indeterminate (asymptotic) growth for lifetime increases in fecundity and ageing trajectories. I outline alternative views that challenge a universal existence of senescence - namely the lack of a germ-soma distinction and the ability of tissue replacement and retrogression to younger developmental stages in modular organisms. I argue that rejuvenation at the organismal level is plausible, but includes a return to a simple developmental stage. This may exempt a particular genotype from somatic defects but, correspondingly, removes any information acquired during development. A resolution of the question of whether a rejuvenated individual is the same entity is central to the recognition of whether current evolutionary theories of ageing, with their extensions and modifications, can explain the patterns of ageing across the Tree of Life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper draws on the philosophy of Karl Popper to present a descriptive evolutionary epistemology that offers philosophical solutions to the following related problems: "What happens when learning takes place?" and "What happens in human learning?" It provides a detailed analysis of how learning takes place without any direct transfer of…
Bertolini, L.; de Roo, G.; Silva, E.A.
Coping with uncertainty is a defining challenge for spatial planners. Accordingly, most spatial planning theories and methods are aimed at reducing uncertainty. However, the question is what should be done when this seems impossible? This chapter proposes an evolutionary interpretation of spatial
Wanninger, Andreas Wilhelm Georg; Koop, Damien; Moshel-Lynch, Sharon
Brought together by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, thirty-six experts on the evolution of the Mollusca provide an up-to-date review of its evolutionary history. The Mollusca are the second largest animal phylum and boast a fossil record of over 540 million years. They exhibit remarkable...
Hummert, Sabine; Bohl, Katrin; Basanta, David; Deutsch, Andreas; Werner, Sarah; Theissen, Günter; Schroeter, Anja; Schuster, Stefan
In two papers we review game theory applications in biology below the level of cognitive living beings. It can be seen that evolution and natural selection replace the rationality of the actors appropriately. Even in these micro worlds, competing situations and cooperative relationships can be found and modeled by evolutionary game theory. Also those units of the lowest levels of life show different strategies for different environmental situations or different partners. We give a wide overview of evolutionary game theory applications to microscopic units. In this first review situations on the cellular level are tackled. In particular metabolic problems are discussed, such as ATP-producing pathways, secretion of public goods and cross-feeding. Further topics are cyclic competition among more than two partners, intra- and inter-cellular signalling, the struggle between pathogens and the immune system, and the interactions of cancer cells. Moreover, we introduce the theoretical basics to encourage scientists to investigate problems in cell biology and molecular biology by evolutionary game theory.
Svensson, Erik I
might have been underestimated by critics of contemporary evolutionary biology.
Beran et al. (2015, p. 1) characterized the idea that "cooked food was integral in human evolution" as a "long-held hypothesis" favored by Darwin and Engels. In fact, however, although Darwin and Engels considered the use of cooked food to be an important influence on behavior and society, neither of them suggested that its effects were evolutionary in the sense of affecting biology. Explicit discussion of the possible evolutionary impacts of cooking did not begin until the twentieth century.
Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H
Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Winegard, Benjamin M; Winegard, Bo M; Deaner, Robert O
Evolutionary psychology has provoked controversy, especially when applied to human sex differences. We hypothesize that this is partly due to misunderstandings of evolutionary psychology that are perpetuated by undergraduate sex and gender textbooks. As an initial test of this hypothesis, we develop a catalog of eight types of errors and document their occurrence in 15 widely used sex and gender textbooks. Consistent with our hypothesis, of the 12 textbooks that discussed evolutionary psychology, all contained at least one error, and the median number of errors was five. The most common types of errors were "Straw Man," "Biological Determinism," and "Species Selection." We conclude by suggesting improvements to undergraduate sex and gender textbooks.
Several recent books have claimed to integrate literary study with evolutionary biology. All of the books here considered, except Robert Storey's, adopt conceptions of evolutionary theory that are in some way marginal to the Darwinian adaptationist program. All the works attempt to connect evolutionary study with various other disciplines or methodologies: for example, with cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, the psychology of emotion, neurobiology, chaos theory, or structuralist linguistics. No empirical paradigm has yet been established for this field, but important steps have been taken, especially by Storey, in formulating basic principles, identifying appropriate disciplinary connections, and marking out lines of inquiry. Reciprocal efforts are needed from biologists and social scientists.
Mengistu, Henok; Huizinga, Joost; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff
Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.
Huizinga, Joost; Clune, Jeff
Hierarchical organization—the recursive composition of sub-modules—is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force–the cost of connections–promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. PMID:27280881
Full Text Available Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments. Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.
sium (equivalent to a U.S. high school), my biology teacher took evolution for granted. ... evolution, either in my medical curriculum or in my pre- parations for the Ph.D. ... but entirely unsuitable as a foundation for theories dealing with biological ...
This book makes available a self-contained collection of modern research addressing the general constrained optimization problems using evolutionary algorithms. Broadly the topics covered include constraint handling for single and multi-objective optimizations; penalty function based methodology; multi-objective based methodology; new constraint handling mechanism; hybrid methodology; scaling issues in constrained optimization; design of scalable test problems; parameter adaptation in constrained optimization; handling of integer, discrete and mix variables in addition to continuous variables; application of constraint handling techniques to real-world problems; and constrained optimization in dynamic environment. There is also a separate chapter on hybrid optimization, which is gaining lots of popularity nowadays due to its capability of bridging the gap between evolutionary and classical optimization. The material in the book is useful to researchers, novice, and experts alike. The book will also be useful...
Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are becoming increasingly attractive for researchers from various disciplines, such as operations research, computer science, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, social science, economics, etc. This book presents an insightful, comprehensive, and up-to-date treatment of EAs, such as genetic algorithms, differential evolution, evolution strategy, constraint optimization, multimodal optimization, multiobjective optimization, combinatorial optimization, evolvable hardware, estimation of distribution algorithms, ant colony optimization, particle swarm opti
Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R
Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. © 2016 The Author(s).
McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph
Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326
Ein Klassiker der Padagogik in Evolutionarer Perspektive: Eduard Sprangers "Lebensformen" im Lichte der Modernen Biologie (A Classic of Pedagogics from an Evolutionary Perspective: Edward Spranger's "Forms of Life" in the Light of Modern Biology).
Interprets Edward Spranger's "Forms of Life" against the background of the findings of modern biology. Shows how far Spranger's diagnosis of different human types, which are not affected by external influences on characteristics, conform with research hypotheses of modern biological sciences. (CAJ)
Tamura, Koichiro; Peterson, Daniel; Peterson, Nicholas; Stecher, Glen; Nei, Masatoshi; Kumar, Sudhir
Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net. PMID:21546353
Nipkow, Karl Ernst
Describes a sectoral and paradigmatic approach to evolutionary research. Argues that an evolutionary paradigm does not exist. Examines the socio-biological approach and that of a system-theoretical oriented general evolutionary theory. Utilizes the topics of cooperation, delimitation, and indoctrination to explain more promising ways of adoption.…
Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael
The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas of philosophy. It looks critically across the life sciences, teasing out conceptual issues and difficulties bringing to bear the tools of philosophical analysis to achieve clarification and understanding. This essay surveys work in all of the major directions of research: evolutionary theory and the units/levels of selection; evolutionary developmental biology; reductionism; ecology; the species problem; teleology; evolutionary epistemology; evolutionary ethics; and progress. There is a comprehensive bibliography.
Yakushkina, Tatiana; Saakian, David B.; Bratus, Alexander; Hu, Chin-Kun
Evolutionary games are used in various fields stretching from economics to biology. In most of these games a constant payoff matrix is assumed, although some works also consider dynamic payoff matrices. In this article we assume a possibility of switching the system between two regimes with different sets of payoff matrices. Potentially such a model can qualitatively describe the development of bacterial or cancer cells with a mutator gene present. A finite population evolutionary game is studied. The model describes the simplest version of annealed disorder in the payoff matrix and is exactly solvable at the large population limit. We analyze the dynamics of the model, and derive the equations for both the maximum and the variance of the distribution using the Hamilton-Jacobi equation formalism.
Bickham, John W
Evolutionary Toxicology is the study of the effects of chemical pollutants on the genetics of natural populations. Research in Evolutionary Toxicology uses experimental designs familiar to the ecotoxicologist with matched reference and contaminated sites and the selection of sentinel species. It uses the methods of molecular genetics and population genetics, and is based on the theories and concepts of evolutionary biology and conservation genetics. Although it is a relatively young field, interest is rapidly growing among ecotoxicologists and more and more field studies and even controlled laboratory experiments are appearing in the literature. A number of population genetic impacts have been observed in organisms exposed to pollutants which I refer to here as the four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology. These include (1) genome-wide changes in genetic diversity, (2) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by contaminant-induced selection acting at survivorship loci, (3) changes in dispersal patterns or gene flow which alter the genetic relationships among populations, and (4) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by increased mutation rates. It is concluded that population genetic impacts of pollution exposure are emergent effects that are not necessarily predictable from the mode of toxicity of the pollutant. Thus, to attribute an effect to a particular contaminant requires a careful experimental design which includes selection of appropriate reference sites, detailed chemistry analyses of environmental samples and tissues, and the use of appropriate biomarkers to establish exposure and effect. This paper describes the field of Evolutionary Toxicology and discusses relevant field studies and their findings. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
of population performance will increase in frequency. Yield, one of the fundamental agronomic variables, is not an individual, but a population characteristic. A farmer wants a high yield per hectare; he is not interested in the performance of individual plants. When individual selection and population...... of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...
Bak, Sebastian HOlt; Rask, Nina; Risi, Sebastian
This paper presents first results from an interdisciplinary project, in which the fields of architecture, philosophy and artificial life are combined to explore possible futures of architecture. Through an interactive evolutionary installation, called EvoCurtain, we investigate aspects of how...... to the development of designs tailored to the individual preferences of inhabitants, changing the roles of architects and designers entirely. Architecture-as-it-could-be is a philosophical approach conducted through artistic methods to anticipate the technological futures of human-centered development within...
Pollycove, Ricki; Naftolin, Frederick; Simon, James A.
Contemporary human females have long life expectancy (81y US), especially relative to age at menopause (51y US). Menopause is a consequence of reproductive aging and follicular depletion (ovarian failure), yielding very low circulating estrogen* serum concentrations and biologically disadvantageous metabolic alterations. Stated in terms of antagonistic pleiotropy, the ongoing hypoestrogenic endocrine environment, beneficial during lactation, results in acceleration of several age-related health conditions following menopause (i.e. late postmenopausal osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline). In contrast, the complex hypoestrogenic hormonal milieu present during postpartum lactation provides biologic advantages to both mother and newborn. The lactational hormonal milieu causes symptoms similar to those of the late perimenopause and early postmenopause, prompting theories for their biologic selective advantage. The precepts of evolutionary medicine encourage a reassessment of hormone therapy. Based on data presented, the authors propose additional opportunities for disease prevention and morbidity reduction in postmenopausal women. PMID:21252729
Bock, Walter J
Ernst Mayr's concept of dual causality in biology with the two forms of causes (proximate and ultimate) continues to provide an essential foundation for the philosophy of biology. They are equivalent to functional (=proximate) and evolutionary (=ultimate) causes with both required for full biological explanations. The natural sciences can be classified into nomological, historical nomological and historical dual causality, the last including only biology. Because evolutionary causality is unique to biology and must be included for all complete biological explanations, biology is autonomous from the physical sciences.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relation between students' cognitive learning strategies and conceptions of learning biology. The two scales, "Cognitive Learning Strategies" and "Conceptions of Learning Biology", were revised and adapted to biology in order to measure the students' learning strategies and…
Evolutionary medicine is an emerging field of medical studies that uses evolutionary theory to explain the ultimate causes of health and disease. Educational tools, online courses, and medical school modules are being developed to help clinicians and students reconceptualize health and illness in light of our evolutionary past. Yet clinical guidelines based on our ancient life histories are epistemically weak, relying on the controversial assumptions of adaptationism and advocating a strictly biophysical account of health. To fulfill the interventionist goals of clinical practice, it seems that proximate explanations are all we need to develop successful diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines. Considering these epistemic concerns, this article argues that the clinical relevance of evolutionary medicine remains uncertain at best.
Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne
Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts.
Iordanskiĭ, N N
According to Ch. Darwin's evolutionary theory, evolutionary progress (interpreted as morpho-physiological progress or arogenesis in recent terminology) is one of logical results of natural selection. At the same time, natural selection does not hold any factors especially promoting evolutionary progress. Darwin emphasized that the pattern of evolutionary changes depends on organism nature more than on the pattern of environment changes. Arogenesis specificity is determined by organization of rigorous biological systems - integral organisms. Onward progressive development is determined by fundamental features of living organisms: metabolism and homeostasis. The concept of social Darwinism differs fundamentally from Darwin's ideas about the most important role of social instincts in progress of mankind. Competition and selection play secondary role in socio-cultural progress of human society.
Fogel, David B.
Evolutionary computation is becoming a common technique for solving difficult, real-world problems in industry, medicine, and defense. This paper reviews some of the practical advantages to using evolutionary algorithms as compared with classic methods of optimization or artificial intelligence. Specific advantages include the flexibility of the procedures, as well as their ability to self-adapt the search for optimum solutions on the fly. As desktop computers increase in speed, the application of evolutionary algorithms will become routine.
Laland, Kevin N.; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W.; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B.; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John
Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the ‘extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism–environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. PMID:26246559
Colmenares, Fernando; Hernández-Lloreda, María Victoria
In humans and other animals, the individuals' ability to adapt efficiently and effectively to the niches they have actively contributed to construct relies heavily on an evolved psychology which has been shaped by biological, social, and cultural processes over evolutionary time. As expected, although many of the behavioral and cognitive components of this evolved psychology are widely shared across species, many others are species-unique. Although many animal species are known to acquire group-specific traditions (or cultures) via social learning, human culture is unique in terms of its contents and characteristics (observable and unobservable products, cumulative effects, norm conformity, and norm enforcement) and of its cognitive underpinnings (imitation, instructed teaching, and language). Here we provide a brief overview of some of the issues that are currently tackled in the field. We also highlight some of the strengths of a biological, comparative, non-anthropocentric and evolutionarily grounded approach to the study of culture. The main contributions of this approach to the science of culture are its emphasis (a) on the integration of information on mechanisms, function, and evolution, and on mechanistic factors located at different levels of the biological hierarchy, and (b) on the search for general principles that account for commonalities and differences between species, both in the cultural products and in the processes of innovation, dissemination, and accumulation involved that operate during developmental and evolutionary timespans.
Understanding Global Change (UGC) as a Unifying Conceptual Framework for Teaching Ecology: Using UGC in a High School Biology Program to Integrate Earth Science and Biology, and to Demonstrate the Value of Modeling Global Systems in Promoting Conceptual Learning
Levine, J.; Bean, J. R.
Global change science is ideal for NGSS-informed teaching, but presents a serious challenge to K-12 educators because it is complex and interdisciplinary- combining earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. Global systems are themselves complex. Adding anthropogenic influences on those systems creates a formidable list of topics - greenhouse effect, climate change, nitrogen enrichment, introduced species, land-use change among them - which are often presented as a disconnected "laundry list" of "facts." This complexity, combined with public and mass-media scientific illiteracy, leaves global change science vulnerable to misrepresentation and politicization, creating additional challenges to teachers in public schools. Ample stand-alone, one-off, online resources, many of them excellent, are (to date) underutilized by teachers in the high school science course taken by most students: biology. The Understanding Global Change project (UGC) from the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology has created a conceptual framework that organizes, connects, and explains global systems, human and non-human drivers of change in those systems, and measurable changes in those systems. This organization and framework employ core ideas, crosscutting concepts, structure/function relationships, and system models in a unique format that facilitates authentic understanding, rather than memorization. This system serves as an organizing framework for the entire ecology unit of a forthcoming mainstream high school biology program. The UGC system model is introduced up front with its core informational graphic. The model is elaborated, step by step, by adding concepts and processes as they are introduced and explained in each chapter. The informational graphic is thus used in several ways: to organize material as it is presented, to summarize topics in each chapter and put them in perspective, and for review and critical thinking exercises that supplement the usual end-of-chapter lists of
Bapteste, Eric; Lopez, Philippe; Bouchard, Frédéric; Baquero, Fernando; McInerney, James O; Burian, Richard M
All evolutionary biologists are familiar with evolutionary units that evolve by vertical descent in a tree-like fashion in single lineages. However, many other kinds of processes contribute to evolutionary diversity. In vertical descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit is propagated by replication inside its own lineage. In what we call introgressive descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit propagates into different host structures and is replicated within these host structures. Thus, introgressive descent generates a variety of evolutionary units and leaves recognizable patterns in resemblance networks. We characterize six kinds of evolutionary units, of which five involve mosaic lineages generated by introgressive descent. To facilitate detection of these units in resemblance networks, we introduce terminology based on two notions, P3s (subgraphs of three nodes: A, B, and C) and mosaic P3s, and suggest an apparatus for systematic detection of introgressive descent. Mosaic P3s correspond to a distinct type of evolutionary bond that is orthogonal to the bonds of kinship and genealogy usually examined by evolutionary biologists. We argue that recognition of these evolutionary bonds stimulates radical rethinking of key questions in evolutionary biology (e.g., the relations among evolutionary players in very early phases of evolutionary history, the origin and emergence of novelties, and the production of new lineages). This line of research will expand the study of biological complexity beyond the usual genealogical bonds, revealing additional sources of biodiversity. It provides an important step to a more realistic pluralist treatment of evolutionary complexity.
Chela-Flores, Julian [Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Caracas (Venezuela); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy)]. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A major objective in solar system exploration has to be the insertion of appropriate biology-oriented experiments in future missions. We discuss various reasons for suggesting that this type of research be considered a high priority for feasibility studies and, subsequently, for technological development of appropriate melters and submersibles. With the assumption that Darwin's theory is valid for the evolution of life anywhere in the universe, various degrees of convergent phenomena argue in favor of the conjecture that universal evolution of intelligent behavior is just a matter of time and preservation of steady planetary conditions. A preliminary test of this conjecture is feasible with experiments involving evolutionary biosignatures on Europa. (author)
Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S
An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies.
Bolhuis, Johan J.; Brown, Gillian R.; Richardson, Robert C.; Laland, Kevin N.
Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields. PMID:21811401
Stacey, Blake C.
In a complex system, the individual components are neither so tightly coupled or correlated that they can all be treated as a single unit, nor so uncorrelated that they can be approximated as independent entities. Instead, patterns of interdependency lead to structure at multiple scales of organization. Evolution excels at producing such complex structures. In turn, the existence of these complex interrelationships within a biological system affects the evolutionary dynamics of that system. I present a mathematical formalism for multiscale structure, grounded in information theory, which makes these intuitions quantitative, and I show how dynamics defined in terms of population genetics or evolutionary game theory can lead to multiscale organization. For complex systems, "more is different," and I address this from several perspectives. Spatial host--consumer models demonstrate the importance of the structures which can arise due to dynamical pattern formation. Evolutionary game theory reveals the novel effects which can result from multiplayer games, nonlinear payoffs and ecological stochasticity. Replicator dynamics in an environment with mesoscale structure relates to generalized conditionalization rules in probability theory. The idea of natural selection "acting at multiple levels" has been mathematized in a variety of ways, not all of which are equivalent. We will face down the confusion, using the experience developed over the course of this thesis to clarify the situation.
Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.
Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772
The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.
Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D
Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne
One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.
Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.
This paper aims to provide the outlines of an evolutionary economic geography of industry location. We discuss two evolutionary explanations of industry location, that is, one that concentrates on spin-offs, and one that focuses attention on knowledge and agglomeration economies. We claim that both
Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.; Puranam, Krishna Kishore; Ravi Kumar Jain B., xx
This paper is written as the first chapter of an edited volume on evolutionary economics and economic geography (Frenken, K., editor, Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, expected publication date February 2007). The paper reviews empirical applications of
Evolutionary ethics has a long history, dating all the way back to Charles Darwin. Almost immediately after the publication of the Origin, an immense interest arose in the moral implications of Darwinism and whether the truth of Darwinism would undermine traditional ethics. Though the biological thesis was certainly exciting, nobody suspected that the impact of the Origin would be confined to the scientific arena. As one historian wrote, 'whether or not ancient populations of armadillos were transformed into the species that currently inhabit the new world was certainly a topic about which zoologists could disagree. But it was in discussing the broader implications of the theory...that tempers flared and statements were made which could transform what otherwise would have been a quiet scholarly meeting into a social scandal' (Farber 1994, 22). Some resistance to the biological thesis of Darwinism sprung from the thought that it was incompatible with traditional morality and, since one of them had to go, many thought that Darwinism should be rejected. However, some people did realize that a secular ethics was possible so, even if Darwinism did undermine traditional religious beliefs, it need not have any effects on moral thought. Before I begin my discussion of evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore, I would like to make some more general remarks about its development. There are three key events during this history of evolutionary ethics. First, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species (Darwin 1859). Since one did not have a fully developed theory of evolution until 1859, there exists little work on evolutionary ethics until then. Shortly thereafter, Herbert Spencer (1898) penned the first systematic theory of evolutionary ethics, which was promptly attacked by T.H. Huxley (Huxley 1894). Second, at about the turn of the century, moral philosophers entered the fray and attempted to demonstrate logical errors in Spencer's work; such errors were alluded
Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jgen/090/02/0187-0190. Keywords. malaria; drug resistance; dihydrofolate reductase; pyrimethamine; chlorcycloguanil; antifolates. Author Affiliations. Marna S. Costanzo1 Daniel L. Hartl1. Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, ...
Norris, Stephen P.; Macnab, John S.; Wonham, Marjorie; de Vries, Gerda
This paper promotes the use of adapted primary literature as a curriculum and instruction innovation for use in high school. Adapted primary literature is useful for promoting an understanding of scientific and mathematical reasoning and argument and for introducing modern science into the schools. We describe a prototype adapted from a published…
Full Text Available This article reviews several most important evolutionary mechanisms that underlie eating disorders. The first part clarifies evolutionary foundations of mental disorders and various mechanisms leading to their development. In the second part selective pressures and evolved adaptations causing contemporary epidemic of obesity as well as differences in dietary regimes and life-style between modern humans and their ancestors are described. Concerning eating disorders, a number of current evolutionary explanations of anorexia nervosa are presented together with their main weaknesses. Evolutionary explanations of eating disorders based on the reproductive suppression hypothesis and its variants derived from kin selection theory and the model of parental manipulation were elaborated. The sexual competition hypothesis of eating disorder, adapted to flee famine hypothesis as well as explanation based on the concept of social attention holding power and the need to belonging were also explained. The importance of evolutionary theory in modern conceptualization and research of eating disorders is emphasized.
Ferguson, Joseph Paul; Kameniar, Barbara
This paper investigates the cognitive experiences of four religious students studying evolutionary biology in an inner city government secondary school in Melbourne, Australia. The participants in the study were identified using the Religious Background and Behaviours questionnaire (Connors, Tonigan, & Miller, 1996). Participants were interviewed and asked to respond to questions about their cognitive experiences of studying evolutionary biology. Students' responses were analysed using cultural analysis of discourse to construct a cultural model of religious students of science. This cultural model suggests that these students employ a human schema and a non-human schema, which assert that humans are fundamentally different from non-humans in terms of origins and that humans have a transcendental purpose in life. For these students, these maxims seem to be challenged by their belief that evolutionary biology is dictated by metaphysical naturalism. The model suggests that because the existential foundation of these students is challenged, they employ a believing schema to classify their religious explanations and a learning schema to classify evolutionary biology. These schemas are then hierarchically arranged with the learning schema being made subordinate to the believing schema. Importantly, these students are thus able to maintain their existential foundation while fulfilling the requirements of school science. However, the quality of this "learning" is questionable.
With the unifying theme of abstract evolutionary equations, both linear and nonlinear, in a complex environment, the book presents a multidisciplinary blend of topics, spanning the fields of theoretical and applied functional analysis, partial differential equations, probability theory and numerical analysis applied to various models coming from theoretical physics, biology, engineering and complexity theory. The unique features of the book are: the first simultaneous presentation of two complementary approaches to fragmentation and coagulation problems, by weak compactness methods and by using semigroup techniques, comprehensive exposition of probabilistic methods of analysis of long term dynamics of dynamical systems, semigroup analysis of biological problems and cutting edge pattern formation theory. The book will appeal to postgraduate students and researchers specializing in applications of mathematics to problems arising in natural sciences and engineering.
Bailey, David H.
Critics of the conventional theory of biological evolution have asserted that while natural processes might result in some limited diversity, nothing fundamentally new can arise from 'random' evolution. In response, biologists such as Richard Dawkins have demonstrated that a computer program can generate a specific short phrase via evolution-like iterations starting with random gibberish. While such demonstrations are intriguing, they are flawed in that they have a fixed, pre-specified future target, whereas in real biological evolution there is no fixed future target, but only a complicated 'fitness landscape'. In this study, a significantly more sophisticated evolutionary scheme is employed to produce text segments reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel. The aggregate size of these segments is larger than the computer program and the input Dickens text, even when comparing compressed data (as a measure of information content).
Nelson, Richard R
My brand of evolutionary economics recognizes, highlights, that modern economies are always in the process of changing, never fully at rest, with much of the energy coming from innovation. This perspective obviously draws a lot from Schumpeter. Continuing innovation, and the creative destruction that innovation engenders, is driving the system. There are winners and losers in the process, but generally the changes can be regarded as progress. The processes through which economic activity and performance evolve has a lot in common with evolution in biology. In particular, at any time the economy is marked by considerable variety, there are selection forces winnowing on that variety, but also continuing emergence of new ways of doing things and often economic actors. But there also are important differences from biological evolution. In particular, both innovation and selection are to a considerable degree purposive activities, often undertaken on the basis of relatively strong knowledge.
Terrile, Richard; Fink, Wolfgang; Huntsberger, Terrance; Lee, Seugwon; Tisdale, Edwin; VonAllmen, Paul; Tinetti, Geivanna
A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational methods implemented in software. In a typical case, the solution (the information that one seeks to retrieve) consists of parameters of a mathematical model that represents one or more of the phenomena of interest. The methodology was developed for the initial purpose of retrieving the desired information from spectral image data acquired by remote-sensing instruments aimed at planets (including the Earth). Examples of information desired in such applications include trace gas concentrations, temperature profiles, surface types, day/night fractions, cloud/aerosol fractions, seasons, and viewing angles. The methodology is also potentially useful for retrieving information on chemical and/or biological hazards in terrestrial settings. In this methodology, one utilizes an iterative process that minimizes a fitness function indicative of the degree of dissimilarity between observed and synthetic spectral and angular data. The evolutionary computing methods that lie at the heart of this process yield a population of solutions (sets of the desired parameters) within an accuracy represented by a fitness-function value specified by the user. The evolutionary computing methods (ECM) used in this methodology are Genetic Algorithms and Simulated Annealing, both of which are well-established optimization techniques and have also been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. These are embedded in a conceptual framework, represented in the architecture of the implementing software, that enables automatic retrieval of spectral and angular data and analysis of the retrieved solutions for uniqueness.
Anderson Cort L
Full Text Available Abstract Background Although closely related, the alpha-proteobacteria Wolbachia and the Rickettsiacae (Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, employ different evolutionary life history strategies. Wolbachia are obligate endocellular symbionts that infect an extraordinary host range and, in contrast to the infectious and pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, profoundly influence host reproductive biology. Results Phylogenies of the Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Wolbachia were independently inferred from 16S rDNA sequences and GroEL amino acid sequences. Topologies inferred from both sets of sequence data were consistent with one another, and both indicate the genus Wolbachia shared a common ancestor most recently with Ehrlichia. These two genera are a sister group to the genus Rickettsia. Mapping biological properties onto this phylogeny reveals that manipulation of host reproduction, characteristic of Wolbachia strains, is a derived characteristic. This evolutionary novelty is accompanied by the loss of the ability to infect vertebrate hosts. Conclusions Because of the contrasting transmission strategies employed by each, Wolbachia is expected to maximize efficiency of vertical transmission, while Ehrlichia and Rickettsia will optimize horizontal transfer of infection. Wolbachia manipulation of host reproduction could thus be viewed as strategy employed by this bacterium to foster its own propagation via vertical transmission.
Aristotelous, Andreas C; Durrett, Richard
Inspired by the use of hybrid cellular automata in modeling cancer, we introduce a generalization of evolutionary games in which cells produce and absorb chemicals, and the chemical concentrations dictate the death rates of cells and their fitnesses. Our long term aim is to understand how the details of the interactions in a system with n species and m chemicals translate into the qualitative behavior of the system. Here, we study two simple 2×2 games with two chemicals and revisit the two and three species versions of the one chemical colicin system studied earlier by Durrett and Levin (1997). We find that in the 2×2 examples, the behavior of our new spatial model can be predicted from that of the mean field differential equation using ideas of Durrett and Levin (1994). However, in the three species colicin model, the system with diffusion does not have the coexistence which occurs in the lattices model in which sites interact with only their nearest neighbors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sanchez, Ernesto; Tonda, Alberto
This book is intended as a reference both for experienced users of evolutionary algorithms and for researchers that are beginning to approach these fascinating optimization techniques. Experienced users will find interesting details of real-world problems, and advice on solving issues related to fitness computation, modeling and setting appropriate parameters to reach optimal solutions. Beginners will find a thorough introduction to evolutionary computation, and a complete presentation of all evolutionary algorithms exploited to solve different problems. The book could fill the gap between the
Billinger, Michael S
Human racial classification has long been a problem for the discipline of anthropology, but much of the criticism of the race concept has focused on its social and political connotations. The central argument of this paper is that race is not a specifically human problem, but one that exists in evolutionary thought in general. This paper looks at various disciplinary approaches to racial or subspecies classification, extending its focus beyond the anthropological race concept by providing a comparative analysis of the use of racial classification in evolutionary biology, genetics, and anthropology.
Roč. 70, SI (2017), s. 99-107 ISSN 1084-9521 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-00291S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Gene-by-environment interactions * Germ-soma distinction * Intraspecific ageing rate * Modified mutation accumulation * Rejuvenation * Retrogression Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 6.614, year: 2016
DAVID JEAN R.
Full Text Available Developmental biology and evolutionary biology are both mature integrative disciplines which started in the 19th century and then followed parallel and independent scientific pathways. Recently, a genetical component has stepped into both disciplines (developmental genetics and evolutionary genetics pointing out the need for future convergent maturation. Indeed, the Evo-Devo approach is becoming popular among developmental biologists, based on the facts that distant groups share a common ancestry, that precise phylogenies can be worked out and that homologous genes often play similar roles during the development of very different organisms. In this essay, I try to show that the real future of Evo-Devo thinking is still broader. The evolutionary theory is a set of diverse concepts which can and should be used in any biological field. Evolutionary thinking trains to ask « why » questions and to provide logical and plausible answers. It can shed some light on a diversity of general problems such as how to distinguish homologies from analogies, the costs and benefits of multicellularity, the origin of novel structures (e.g. the head, or the evolution of sexual reproduction. In the next decade, we may expect a progressive convergence between developmental genetics and quantitative genetics.
Recent comparative studies have indicated the existence of a common cranial evolutionary allometric (CREA) pattern in mammals and birds, in which smaller species have relatively smaller faces and bigger braincases than larger species. In these studies, cranial allometry was tested using a multivariate regression between shape (described using landmarks coordinates) and size (i.e. centroid size), after accounting for phylogenetic relatedness. Alternatively, cranial allometry can be determined by comparing the sizes of two anatomical parts using a bivariate regression analysis. In this analysis, a slope higher or lower than one indicates the existence of positive or negative allometry, respectively. Thus, in those species that support the CREA 'rule', positive allometry is expected for the association between face size and braincase size, which would indicate that larger species have disproportionally larger faces. In this study, I applied these two approaches to explore cranial allometry in 83 Galliformes (Aves, Galloanserae), ranging in mean body weight from 30 g to 2.5 kg. The multivariate regression between shape and centroid size revealed the existence of a significant allometric pattern resembling CREA, whereas the second analysis revealed a negative allometry for beak size and braincase size (i.e. contrary to the CREA 'rule', larger galliform species have disproportionally shorter beaks than smaller galliform species). This study suggests that the presence of CREA may be overestimated when using cranium size as the standard measurement. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Gilbert, Scott F; Bosch, Thomas C G; Ledón-Rettig, Cristina
The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis.
"Biology Myth-Killers" is an activity designed to identify and correct common misconceptions for high school and college introductory biology courses. Students identify common myths, which double as biology misconceptions, and use appropriate sources to share the "truth" about the myths. This learner-centered activity is a fun…
Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.
In the last 20 years there have been dramatic advances in techniques of high-throughput DNA sequencing, most recently accelerated by the Human Genome Project, a program that has determined the three billion base pair code on which we are based. Now this tremendous capability is being directed at other genome targets that are being sampled across the broad range of life. This opens up opportunities as never before for evolutionary and organismal biologists to address questions of both processes and patterns of organismal change. We stand at the dawn of a new 'modern synthesis' period, paralleling that of the early 20th century when the fledgling field of genetics first identified the underlying basis for Darwin's theory. We must now unite the efforts of systematists, paleontologists, mathematicians, computer programmers, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and others in the pursuit of discovering what genomics can teach us about the diversity of life. Genome-level sampling for mollusks to date has mostly been limited to mitochondrial genomes and it is likely that these will continue to provide the best targets for broad phylogenetic sampling in the near future. However, we are just beginning to see an inroad into complete nuclear genome sequencing, with several mollusks and other eutrochozoans having been selected for work about to begin. Here, we provide an overview of the state of molluscan mitochondrial genomics, highlight a few of the discoveries from this research, outline the promise of broadening this dataset, describe upcoming projects to sequence whole mollusk nuclear genomes, and challenge the community to prepare for making the best use of these data.
Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A
Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.
Whiteson, S.; Wiering, M.; van Otterlo, M.
Algorithms for evolutionary computation, which simulate the process of natural selection to solve optimization problems, are an effective tool for discovering high-performing reinforcement-learning policies. Because they can automatically find good representations, handle continuous action spaces,
Evolutionary genetics straddles the two fundamental processes of life, ... of the genus Drosophila have been used extensively as model systems in experimental ... issue will prove interesting, informative and thought-provoking for both estab-.
R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22
a need for a technique by which the robot is able to acquire new behaviours automatically .... Evolutionary robotics is a comparatively new field of robotics research, which seems to ..... Technical Report: PCIA-94-04, Institute of Psychology,.
Carbon emissions which are one of the most important human sourced causes of global climate change continue to rise rapidly despite all efforts to minimize these emissions. Carbon footprint (CF) education is significant in terms of changing the present situation. The aim of this study is to determine the awareness of high school students about the…
Walsh, D M
Kant's conception of organisms as natural purposes raises a challenge to the adequacy of mechanistic explanation in biology. Certain features of organisms appear to be inexplicable by appeal to mechanical law alone. Some biological phenomena, it seems, can only be accounted for teleologically. Contemporary evolutionary biology has by and large ignored this challenge. It is widely held that Darwin's theory of natural selection gives us an adequate, wholly mechanical account of the nature of organisms. In contemporary biology, the category of the organism plays virtually no explanatory role. Contemporary evolutionary biology is a science of sub-organismal entities-replicators. I argue that recent advances in developmental biology demonstrate the inadequacy of sub-organismal mechanism. The category of the organism, construed as a 'natural purpose' should play an ineliminable role in explaining ontogenetic development and adaptive evolution. According to Kant the natural purposiveness of organisms cannot be demonstrated to be an objective principle in nature, nor can purposiveness figure in genuine explain. I attempt to argue, by appeal to recent work on self-organization, that the purposiveness of organisms is a natural phenomenon, and, by appeal to the apparatus of invariance explanation, that biological purposiveness provides genuine, ineliminable biological explanations.
Full Text Available Economic agents are not always rational or farsighted and can make decisions according to simple behavioral rules that vary according to situation and can be studied using the tools of evolutionary game theory. Furthermore, such behavioral rules are themselves subject to evolutionary forces. Paying particular attention to the work of young researchers, this essay surveys the progress made over the last decade towards understanding these phenomena, and discusses open research topics of importance to economics and the broader social sciences.
An evolutionary perspective on attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory brings these two fields together in interesting ways. Application of the evolutionary principle of parent-offspring conflict to attachment theory suggests that attachment styles represent context-sensitive, evolved (adaptive) behaviors. In addition, an emphasis on offspring counter-strategies to adult reproductive strategies leads to consideration of attachment styles as overt manifestations of psychodynamic mediating processes, including the defense mechanisms of repression and reaction formation.
Bryja, J.; Šumbera, R.; Kerbis Peterhans, J. C.; Aghová, T.; Bryjová, A.; Mikula, Ondřej; Nicolas, V.; Denys, C.; Verheyen, E.
Roč. 44, č. 1 (2017), s. 182-194 ISSN 0305-0270 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : Arvicanthini * coastal forests * late Miocene Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 4.248, year: 2016
Evolutionary medicine represents an innovative approach deriving from evolutionary biology. It includes the initial Darwin's view, its actualization in the light of progresses in genetics and also dissident theories (i.e. non gene-based) particularly epigenetics. This approach enables us to reconsider the pathophysiology of numerous diseases, as for instance, infection, and our so-called diseases of civilization especially obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergy or cancer. Evolutionary medicine may also improve our knowledge regarding inter-individual variation in susceptibility to disease or drugs. Furthermore, it points out the impact of our behaviors and environment on the genesis of a series of diseases. Copyright © 2016 Société Nationale Française de Médecine Interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Werren, John H
Genomes are vulnerable to selfish genetic elements (SGEs), which enhance their own transmission relative to the rest of an individual's genome but are neutral or harmful to the individual as a whole. As a result, genetic conflict occurs between SGEs and other genetic elements in the genome. There is growing evidence that SGEs, and the resulting genetic conflict, are an important motor for evolutionary change and innovation. In this review, the kinds of SGEs and their evolutionary consequences are described, including how these elements shape basic biological features, such as genome structure and gene regulation, evolution of new genes, origin of new species, and mechanisms of sex determination and development. The dynamics of SGEs are also considered, including possible "evolutionary functions" of SGEs.
DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.
Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.
Shendell, Derek G.; Barnett, Claire; Boese, Stephen
The US General Accounting Office (GAO) documented generally poor conditions of school facilities in the early 1990s. Previous papers examined, for time intervals ending before 2002, relationships between education facility indoor air and environmental quality (IEQ), including adequate ventilation, and occupant health and productivity. Research on…
Schneider, Christoph; Pakzad, Ursula; Schlüter, Kisten
Teachers' pedagogical beliefs are thought to play a prominent role in determining teacher behavior. In contrast to other professions, pedagogical beliefs of teachers and students in teacher education are widely influenced by personal experiences gained in school, which has been referred to as "apprenticeship of observation" (Lortie,…
Salami, Marie Onovroghene
Previous studies show that when Nigerian adolescent girls, especially those in the Niger Delta, become pregnant they drop out of school and may never go back again but become low level labourers or miscreants to the society. This study investigated the extent of teenagers involvement in sex, pre-disposition of females to pregnancy in the Niger…
Sorgo, Andrej; Hajdinjak, Zdravka; Briski, Darko
Teaching high school students about the digestive system can be a challenge for a teacher when s/he wants to overcome rote learning of facts without a deeper understanding of the physiological processes inside the alimentary tract. A series of model experiments illustrating the journey of a sandwich was introduced into teaching high school…
Thomas, Frédéric; Fisher, Daniel; Fort, Philippe; Marie, Jean-Pierre; Daoust, Simon; Roche, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Rousset, François; Lassus, Patrice; Assenat, Eric; Grégoire, Damien; Missé, Dorothée; Lorz, Alexander; Billy, Frédérique; Vainchenker, William; Delhommeau, François; Koscielny, Serge; Itzykson, Raphael; Tang, Ruoping; Fava, Fanny; Ballesta, Annabelle; Lepoutre, Thomas; Krasinska, Liliana; Dulic, Vjekoslav; Raynaud, Peggy; Blache, Philippe; Quittau-Prevostel, Corinne; Vignal, Emmanuel; Trauchessec, Hélène; Perthame, Benoit; Clairambault, Jean; Volpert, Vitali; Solary, Eric; Hibner, Urszula; Hochberg, Michael E
Since the mid 1970s, cancer has been described as a process of Darwinian evolution, with somatic cellular selection and evolution being the fundamental processes leading to malignancy and its many manifestations (neoangiogenesis, evasion of the immune system, metastasis, and resistance to therapies). Historically, little attention has been placed on applications of evolutionary biology to understanding and controlling neoplastic progression and to prevent therapeutic failures. This is now beginning to change, and there is a growing international interest in the interface between cancer and evolutionary biology. The objective of this introduction is first to describe the basic ideas and concepts linking evolutionary biology to cancer. We then present four major fronts where the evolutionary perspective is most developed, namely laboratory and clinical models, mathematical models, databases, and techniques and assays. Finally, we discuss several of the most promising challenges and future prospects in this interdisciplinary research direction in the war against cancer.
Demongeot, J; Hazgui, H
The French school of theoretical biology has been mainly initiated in Poitiers during the sixties by scientists like J. Besson, G. Bouligand, P. Gavaudan, M. P. Schützenberger and R. Thom, launching many new research domains on the fractal dimension, the combinatorial properties of the genetic code and related amino-acids as well as on the genetic regulation of the biological processes. Presently, the biological science knows that RNA molecules are often involved in the regulation of complex genetic networks as effectors, e.g., activators (small RNAs as transcription factors), inhibitors (micro-RNAs) or hybrids (circular RNAs). Examples of such networks will be given showing that (1) there exist RNA "relics" that have played an important role during evolution and have survived in many genomes, whose probability distribution of their sub-sequences is quantified by the Shannon entropy, and (2) the robustness of the dynamics of the networks they regulate can be characterized by the Kolmogorov-Sinaï dynamic entropy and attractor entropy.
Nury, Hughes; Parcy, François; Ruigrok, Rob W H; Ziegler, Christine; Cugliandolo, Leticia F; Session CII
The aim of this book is to provide new ideas for studying living matter by a simultaneous understanding of behavior from molecules to the cell, to the whole organism in the light of physical concepts. Indeed, forces guide most biological phenomena. In some cases these forces can be well-described and thus used to model a particular biological phenomenon. This is exemplified here by the study of membranes, where their shapes and curvatures can be modeled using a limited number of parameters that are measured experimentally. The growth of plants is another example where the combination of physics, biology and mathematics leads to a predictive model. The laws of thermodynamics are essential, as they dictate the behavior of proteins, or more generally biological molecules, in an aqueous environment. Integrated studies from the molecule to a larger scale need a combination of cutting-edge approaches, such as the use of new X-ray sources, in-cell NMR, cryo-electron microscopy or single-molecule microscopy. Some are...
Smith, Alva Nelson
Two instructional methods were identified and compared to determine if any significant differences could be noted on three criterion measures. Measurements were conducted in the areas of achievement in biology, science attitudes, and critical thinking ability. Student ability was measured using pre-tests and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Students…
Aruan, Susan A.; Okere, Mark I. O.; Wachanga, Samuel
The purpose of this study was to establish the extent to which biology scientific creativity skills are influenced by the students' culture and gender in Turkana County. A mixed method research design was used. This involved cross sectional survey and ethnographic study. The target population comprised all form three students in sub county schools…
Scott, Fraser J.
The "mathematics problem" is a well-known source of difficulty for students attempting numerical problem solving questions in the context of science education. This paper illuminates this problem from a biology education perspective by invoking Hogan's numeracy framework. In doing so, this study has revealed that the contextualisation of…
Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher
As part of BioMed Central's open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage a more widespread adoption of open data sharing in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology by facilitating this process for our authors. We also take this opportunity to discuss some of the wider issues that may concern researchers when making their data openly available. Although we offer a number of positive examples from different fields of biology, we also recognise that reticence to data sharing still exists, and that change must be driven from within research communities in order to create future science that is fit for purpose in the digital age. This editorial was published jointly in both BMC Ecology and BMC Evolutionary Biology.
McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne
While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.
Brodal, Gerth Sølfting; Fagerberg, Rolf; Pedersen, Christian Nørgaard Storm
Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, McMorris, and ...... unrooted evolutionary trees of n species, where all internal nodes have degree three, in time O(n log n. The previous best algorithm for the problem uses time O(n 2).......Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, Mc......Morris, and Meacham. The quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees is the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. In this paper we present an algorithm for computing the quartet distance between two...
Lauro Lopes Rodrigues
Full Text Available This work was developed with the aim to identify the perceptions of the students from a school about the mangrove ecosystem, using didactic and natural elements available to do an environmental education action. The previous perception of the students on the ecosystem was evaluated by means of a questionnaire, followed of a theoretical exposition, complemented with a visit to a conserved mangrove (Paripe River, Itamaracá and another impacted (Jiquiá River, Recife, near to the school, being applied new questionnaires to evaluate their conceptions and the academic strategies. The students demonstrated a relative previous knowledge on the mangrove and the educative action showed effectiveness in the transference of the ecological concepts about the ecosystem, using the method of incorporate their daily knowledge to stimulate them to know the scientific side of the subject, ending with the development of ecologic conscience.
Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A
Understanding the evolutionary causes of phenotypic variation among populations has long been a central theme in evolutionary biology. Several factors can influence phenotypic divergence, including geographic isolation, genetic drift, divergent natural or sexual selection, and phenotypic plasticity. But the relative importance of these factors in generating phenotypic divergence in nature is still a tantalizing and unresolved problem in evolutionary biology. The origin and maintenance of phenotypic divergence is also at the root of many ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which gene flow constrains adaptive divergence (Garant et al. 2007) and the relative importance of genetic drift, natural selection, and sexual selection in initiating reproductive isolation and speciation (Coyne & Orr 2004). In this issue, Wang & Summers (2010) test the causes of one of the most fantastic examples of phenotypic divergence in nature: colour pattern divergence among populations of the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Panama and Costa Rica (Fig. 1). This study provides a beautiful example of the use of the emerging field of landscape genetics to differentiate among hypotheses for phenotypic divergence. Using landscape genetic analyses, Wang & Summers were able to reject the hypotheses that colour pattern divergence is due to isolation-by-distance (IBD) or landscape resistance. Instead, the hypothesis left standing is that colour divergence is due to divergent selection, in turn driving reproductive isolation among populations with different colour morphs. More generally, this study provides a wonderful example of how the emerging field of landscape genetics, which has primarily been applied to questions in conservation and ecology, now plays an essential role in evolutionary research.
Sgan-Cohen, H D; Bajali, M; Eskander, L; Steinberg, D; Zini, A
There are currently inadequate data regarding the prevalence of dental caries and its associated variables, among Palestinian children. To determine the current prevalence of dental caries and related variables, among Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. A stratified sample of 286 East Jerusalem Palestinian children was selected, employing randomly chosen sixth grade clusters from three pre-selected socio-economic school groups. Dental caries was recorded according to WHO recommendations. Salivary flow, pH, buffer capacity and microbial parameters, were recorded according to previously employed methodologies. The mean level of caries experience, by DMFT, was 1.98 ± 2.05. This level was higher than those found among Israeli children, but lower than several other Middle Eastern countries. In uni-variate analysis, significant associations were revealed between caries and school categories, which indicated lower, middle and higher socio-economic position(SEP), mothers' employment, home densities, dental visits, tooth brushing, Streptococci mutans (SM), Lactobacilli (LB), and saliva pH. According to a linear logistic regression model, children learning in lower SEP schools, with higher SM levels and more acidic saliva, had a higher chance of experiencing dental caries. These findings should be considered in the planning of services and dental health care programs for Palestinian children.
Volume 100, which is the final volume of the LNBM series serves to commemorate the acievements in two decades of this influential collection of books in mathematical biology. The contributions, by the leading mathematical biologists, survey the state of the art in the subject, and offer speculative, philosophical and critical analyses of the key issues confronting the field. The papers address fundamental issues in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, evolutionary biology, population ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, and applied biology, plus the explicit and implicit mathematical challenges. Cross-cuttting issues involve the problem of variation among units in nonlinear systems, and the related problems of the interactions among phenomena across scales of space, time and organizational complexity.
Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S
Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.
De Oliveira, P M C
An evolutionary tree is a cascade of bifurcations starting from a single common root, generating a growing set of daughter species as time goes by. ‘Species’ here is a general denomination for biological species, spoken languages or any other entity which evolves through heredity. From the N currently alive species within a clade, distances are measured through pairwise comparisons made by geneticists, linguists, etc. The larger is such a distance that, for a pair of species, the older is their last common ancestor. The aim is to reconstruct the previously unknown bifurcations, i.e. the whole clade, from knowledge of the N(N − 1)/2 quoted distances, which are taken for granted. A mechanical method is presented and its applicability is discussed. (paper)
Santos, Laurie R; Rosati, Alexandra G
Humans exhibit a suite of biases when making economic decisions. We review recent research on the origins of human decision making by examining whether similar choice biases are seen in nonhuman primates, our closest phylogenetic relatives. We propose that comparative studies can provide insight into four major questions about the nature of human choice biases that cannot be addressed by studies of our species alone. First, research with other primates can address the evolution of human choice biases and identify shared versus human-unique tendencies in decision making. Second, primate studies can constrain hypotheses about the psychological mechanisms underlying such biases. Third, comparisons of closely related species can identify when distinct mechanisms underlie related biases by examining evolutionary dissociations in choice strategies. Finally, comparative work can provide insight into the biological rationality of economically irrational preferences.
Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan
Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a 'grand synthesis' is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from a symposium held by the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (University College London) in December 2008, focus on how the phylogenetic tree-building and network-based techniques used to estimate descent relationships in biology can be adapted to reconstruct cultural histories, where some degree of inter-societal diffusion will almost inevitably be superimposed on any deeper signal of a historical branching process. The disciplines represented include the three most purely 'cultural' fields from the four-field model of anthropology (cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology). In this short introduction, some context is provided from the history of anthropology, and key issues raised by the papers are highlighted.
Bernard, Larry C; Mills, Michael; Swenson, Leland; Walsh, R Patricia
The authors review psychology's historical, competing perspectives on human motivation and propose a new comprehensive theory. The new theory is based on evolutionary principles as proposed by C. Darwin (1859) and modified by W. D. Hamilton (1964, 1996), R. L. Trivers (1971, 1972), and R. Dawkins (1989). The theory unifies biological, behavioral, and cognitive approaches to motivation. The theory is neuropsychological and addresses conscious and nonconscious processes that underlie motivation, emotion, and self-control. The theory predicts a hierarchical structure of motives that are measurable as individual differences in human behavior. These motives are related to social problem domains (D. B. Bugental, 2000; D. T. Kenrick, N. P. Li, & J. Butner, 2003), and each is hypothesized to solve a particular problem of human inclusive fitness.
Weisfeld, Glenn E; Weisfeld, Carol C
Marriage is universal, and pair bonding is found in other species too with highly dependent young. So marriage functions as a reproductive social arrangement that traditionally involved the extended family. The sexes are not identical in their biological contributions to children's survival, so they seek somewhat different attributes in a mate. Men seek a young, attractive, sexually faithful bride. Women seek a man who is older, taller, and (as in many other species) socially dominant. Both sexes prefer a kind, healthy, attractive, similar mate who is emotionally attached to them. A spouse who fails to maintain sufficiently high mate value is vulnerable to divorce. Infertility and sexual dissatisfaction predict divorce, as does death of a child, but the more children, the stabler the marriage. Cross-cultural data suggest that cruel or subdominant men (e.g., poor providers) and unfaithful women are prone to divorce. Marriages in which the wife dominates the husband in economic contributions, nonverbal behavior, and decision making tend to be less satisfying. In societies in which wives are economically independent of husbands, divorce rates are high. As women's economic power has risen with industrialization, divorce rates have climbed. Economic and fitness considerations also help explain cultural differences in polygyny, age at marriage, arranged marriage, concern with the bride's sexual chastity, and marriage ceremonies. Other factors also affect marital dynamics, such as state subsidies to families, the sex ratio, and influence of the couple's parents.
An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ursem, Rasmus Kjær
Population diversity is undoubtably a key issue in the performance of evolutionary algorithms. A common hypothesis is that high diversity is important to avoid premature convergence and to escape local optima. Various diversity measures have been used to analyze algorithms, but so far few...... algorithms have used a measure to guide the search. The diversity-guided evolutionary algorithm (DGEA) uses the wellknown distance-to-average-point measure to alternate between phases of exploration (mutation) and phases of exploitation (recombination and selection). The DGEA showed remarkable results...
Full Text Available With the rapid advance in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and other types of omics technologies during the past decades, a tremendous amount of data related to molecular biology has been produced. It is becoming a big challenge for the bioinformatists to analyze and interpret these data with conventional intelligent techniques, for example, support vector machines. Recently, the hybrid intelligent methods, which integrate several standard intelligent approaches, are becoming more and more popular due to their robustness and efficiency. Specifically, the hybrid intelligent approaches based on evolutionary algorithms (EAs are widely used in various fields due to the efficiency and robustness of EAs. In this review, we give an introduction about the applications of hybrid intelligent methods, in particular those based on evolutionary algorithm, in bioinformatics. In particular, we focus on their applications to three common problems that arise in bioinformatics, that is, feature selection, parameter estimation, and reconstruction of biological networks.
Primary education in Slovenia is compulsory and lasts nine years. During this period, students acquire general knowledge that is assessed by the criteria in the curricula set by the field experts with the help of teachers. Students' success is influenced by the ever-evolving technology that is opening up a new world to them and is offering a lot of information on a daily basis. At home as well as in schools, children are constantly exposed to the new interactive devices which also contribute ...
Jensen-Ruopp, Helga Spitko
A comparison of hands-on inquiry instruction with lecture instruction was presented to 134 Patterns and Process Biology students. Students participated in seven biology lessons that were selected from Biology Survey of Living Things (1992). A pre and post paper and pencil assessment was used as the data collecting instrument. The treatment group was taught using hands-on inquiry strategies while the non-treatment group was taught in the lecture method of instruction. The team teaching model was used as the mode of presentation to the treatment group and the non-treatment group. Achievement levels using specific criterion; novice (0% to 50%), developing proficiency (51% to 69%), accomplished (70% to 84) and exceptional or mastery level (85% to 100%) were used as a guideline to tabulate the results of the pre and post assessment. Rubric tabulation was done to interpret the testing results. The raw data was plotted using percentage change in test score totals versus reading level score by gender as well as percentage change in test score totals versus auditory vocabulary score by gender. Box Whisker plot comparative descriptive of individual pre and post test scores for the treatment and non-treatment group was performed. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) using MINITAB Statistical Software version 14.11 was run on data of the seven lessons, as well as on gender (male results individual and combined, and female results individual and combined) results. Normal Probability Plots for total scores as well as individual test scores were performed. The results suggest that hands-on inquiry based instruction when presented to special needs students including; at-risk; English as a second language limited, English proficiency and special education inclusive students' learning may enhance individual student achievement.
Love, Alan C
This paper focuses on abstraction as a mode of reasoning that facilitates a productive relationship between philosophy and science. Using examples from evolutionary developmental biology, I argue that there are two areas where abstraction can be relevant to science: reasoning explication and problem clarification. The value of abstraction is characterized in terms of methodology (modeling or data gathering) and epistemology (explanatory evaluation or data interpretation).
Parsons, Peter A.
Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-nothreshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substanti...
Andrew J King
Full Text Available The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Biomedical Informatics and Division of Pathology Informatics created a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM pipeline in 2011 dedicated to providing cutting-edge informatics research and career preparatory experiences to a diverse group of highly motivated high-school students. In this third editorial installment describing the program, we provide a brief overview of the pipeline, report on achievements of the past scholars, and present results from self-reported assessments by the 2015 cohort of scholars. The pipeline continues to expand with the 2015 addition of the innovation internship, and the introduction of a program in 2016 aimed at offering first-time research experiences to undergraduates who are underrepresented in pathology and biomedical informatics. Achievements of program scholars include authorship of journal articles, symposium and summit presentations, and attendance at top 25 universities. All of our alumni matriculated into higher education and 90% remain in STEM majors. The 2015 high-school program had ten participating scholars who self-reported gains in confidence in their research abilities and understanding of what it means to be a scientist.
King, Andrew J; Fisher, Arielle M; Becich, Michael J; Boone, David N
The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Biomedical Informatics and Division of Pathology Informatics created a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) pipeline in 2011 dedicated to providing cutting-edge informatics research and career preparatory experiences to a diverse group of highly motivated high-school students. In this third editorial installment describing the program, we provide a brief overview of the pipeline, report on achievements of the past scholars, and present results from self-reported assessments by the 2015 cohort of scholars. The pipeline continues to expand with the 2015 addition of the innovation internship, and the introduction of a program in 2016 aimed at offering first-time research experiences to undergraduates who are underrepresented in pathology and biomedical informatics. Achievements of program scholars include authorship of journal articles, symposium and summit presentations, and attendance at top 25 universities. All of our alumni matriculated into higher education and 90% remain in STEM majors. The 2015 high-school program had ten participating scholars who self-reported gains in confidence in their research abilities and understanding of what it means to be a scientist.
This article seeks to unify two subfields of psychology that have hitherto stood separately: evolutionary psychology and intelligence research/differential psychology. I suggest that general intelligence may simultaneously be an evolved adaptation and an individual-difference variable. Tooby and Cosmides's (1990a) notion of random quantitative…
This paper engages with the methodological debate on the contribution of Darwinism to Veblen's (1898) evolutionary research program for economics. I argue that ontological continuity, generalized Darwinism, and multi-level selection are necessary building blocks for an explanatory framework that can
Cappellini, Enrico; Prohaska, Ana; Racimo, Fernando
Over the last decade, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, the field now stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully retrieve nucleo...
Prins, J.C.P.; Smant, G.; Jansen, R.C.
Genetical genomics combines acquired high-throughput genomic data with genetic analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the application of genetical genomics for evolutionary studies, where new high-throughput molecular technologies are combined with mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) on the genome
Carr, Catherine E; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob
Tympanic hearing is a true evolutionary novelty that arose in parallel within early tetrapods. We propose that in these tetrapods, selection for sound localization in air acted upon pre-existing directionally sensitive brainstem circuits, similar to those in fishes. Auditory circuits in birds...
Carlo Alberto Redi
Full Text Available This special volume of Cytogenetic and Genome Research (edited by Roscoe Stanyon, University of Florence and Alexander Graphodatsky, Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the fascinating long search of the forces behind the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes, revealed after the hypotonic miracle of the 1950s....
Nov 24, 2017 ... q(t) of an allele at a locus among the gametes produced at time t, to its .... the importance of disease as an evolutionary factor, which is now a ..... VII. Selection intensity as a function of mortality rate. Proc. Camb. Philos. Soc.
Dimopoulos, Christos; Papageorgis, Panagiotis; Boustras, George; Efstathiades, Christodoulos
This paper discusses the concept of ageing as this applies to the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, and examines its relationship to the concept of ageing as this is understood for human beings. Evolutionary Algorithms constitute a family of search algorithms which base their operation on an analogy from the evolution of species in nature. The paper initially provides the necessary knowledge on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms, focusing on the use of ageing strategies during the implementation of the evolutionary process. Background knowledge on the concept of ageing, as this is defined scientifically for biological systems, is subsequently presented. Based on this information, the paper provides a comparison between the two ageing concepts, and discusses the philosophical inspirations which can be drawn for human ageing based on the operation of Evolutionary Algorithms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The neoclassical theory of the firm deals with the pattern of perfect competition, within which the perfect information available to economic agents provides instant allocation of production factors and access to economic goods. The Austrian School (C. Menger, L. von Mises, Hayek, etc. supported the idea of minimal state intervention on the markets, bringing important conceptual developments on the theory of the firm. Hirschleifer (1982 put forward the model of social and institutional functioning, arguing that the game theory is able to predict the outcome of the collective behavior and the human characteristics necessary for building the respective institutions.The evolutionary theory provides the firm and the entrepreneur the recognition of the functions of innovation, of generating and exploiting information and of organizing and coordinating production. The evolutionary perspective of the firm assumes the existence of a body of knowledge that is acquired through and builds up the organizational memory, subsequently found in routines, all choices being made based on these routines (Nelson and Winter, 2002. The evolution of the firm is considered to be similar to natural selection, but unlike the classic market selection, the evolutionists suggest the existence of a plurality of selection media. The present research is structured as follows: a brief introduction into the theories of the firm, the second part of the paper analyzes the theories of the firm from an institutional, neo-institutional and evolutionary perspective. In the third part of the paper the evolutionary games are described and analyzed from the evolutionary perspective of the firm. The last part of the paper represents a study of the “hawk-dove” game dynamic replicator. The final conclusions of the paper show that the evolutionary theory brings valuable contributions to the foundation of explanations regarding economic phenomena, indicating new directions for advanced
Demetrius, Olive Joyce
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between Junior High School students' (8th and 9th grades) background variables (e.g. cognitive factors, prior knowledge, preference for science versus non-science activities, formal and informal activities) and structure of information recall of biological content. In addition, this study will illustrate how flow maps, a graphic display, designed to represent the sequential flow and cross linkage of ideas in information recalled by the learner can be used as a tool for analyzing science learning data. The participants (46 junior high school students) were taught a lesson on the human digestive system during which they were shown a model of the human torso. Their pattern of information recall was determined by using an interview technique to elicit their understanding of the functional anatomy of the human digestive system. The taped responses were later transcribed for construction of the flow map. The interview was also used to assess knowledge recall of biological content. The flow map, science interest questionnaire and the cognitive operations (based on content analysis of student's narrative) were used to analyze data from each respondent. This is a case study using individual subjects and interview techniques. The findings of this study are: (1) Based on flow map data higher academic ability students have more networking of ideas than low ability students. (2) A large percentage of 9th grade low ability students intend to pursue science/applied science course work after leaving school but they lack well organized ways of representing science knowledge in memory. (3) Content analysis of the narratives shows that students with more complex ideational networks use higher order cognitive thought processes compared to those with less networking of ideas. If students are to make a successful transition from low academic performance to high academic performance it seems that more emphasis should be placed on
Wim E Crusio
Full Text Available In this article, we describe the design and implementation of an e-internship program that BioScience Project offers high school students over the summer. Project topics are in the areas of behavioral neuroscience and brain disorders. All research, teaching, and communication is done online using open access databases and webtools, a learning management system, and Google apps. Students conduct all aspects of a research project from formulating a question to collecting and analyzing the data, to presenting their results in the form of a scientific poster. Results from a pilot study indicate that students are capable of comprehending and successfully completing such a project, and benefit both intellectually and professionally from participating in the e-internship program.
Doebeli, Michael; Ispolatov, Yaroslav; Simon, Burt
Most evolutionary thinking is based on the notion of fitness and related ideas such as fitness landscapes and evolutionary optima. Nevertheless, it is often unclear what fitness actually is, and its meaning often depends on the context. Here we argue that fitness should not be a basal ingredient in verbal or mathematical descriptions of evolution. Instead, we propose that evolutionary birth-death processes, in which individuals give birth and die at ever-changing rates, should be the basis of evolutionary theory, because such processes capture the fundamental events that generate evolutionary dynamics. In evolutionary birth-death processes, fitness is at best a derived quantity, and owing to the potential complexity of such processes, there is no guarantee that there is a simple scalar, such as fitness, that would describe long-term evolutionary outcomes. We discuss how evolutionary birth-death processes can provide useful perspectives on a number of central issues in evolution.
Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography" aims to further advance empirical methodologies in evolutionary economics, with a special emphasis on geography and firm location. It does so by bringing together a select group of leading scholars including economists, geographers and
The International Max Planck Research Schools for Molecular Biology and Neurosciences in Gttingen (Germany) as Examples for Joint Doctoral Training by a German University and Its Non-University Partners
Burkhardt, Steffen; Neher, Erwin
New concepts of higher education have recently been implemented through the MSc/PhD programmes in Molecular Biology and Neurosciences in the International Max Planck Research Schools, due to close cooperation between the University of Gttingen, three Max Planck Institutes and the German Primate Centre. The novel measures include a three stage…
Aniruddh D Patel
Full Text Available In The Descent of Man, Darwin speculated that our capacity for musical rhythm reflects basic aspects of brain function broadly shared among animals. Although this remains an appealing idea, it is being challenged by modern cross-species research. This research hints that our capacity to synchronize to a beat, i.e., to move in time with a perceived pulse in a manner that is predictive and flexible across a broad range of tempi, may be shared by only a few other species. Is this really the case? If so, it would have important implications for our understanding of the evolution of human musicality.
Patel, Aniruddh D
In The Descent of Man, Darwin speculated that our capacity for musical rhythm reflects basic aspects of brain function broadly shared among animals. Although this remains an appealing idea, it is being challenged by modern cross-species research. This research hints that our capacity to synchronize to a beat, i.e., to move in time with a perceived pulse in a manner that is predictive and flexible across a broad range of tempi, may be shared by only a few other species. Is this really the case? If so, it would have important implications for our understanding of the evolution of human musicality.
Full Text Available Annelids have had a long history in comparative embryology and morphology, which has helped to establish them in zoology textbooks as an ideal system to understand the evolution of the typical triploblastic, coelomate, protostome condition. In recent years there has been a relative upsurge in embryological data, particularly with regard to the expression and function of developmental control genes. Polychaetes, as well as other annelids such as the parasitic leech, are now also entering the age of comparative genomics. All of this comparative data has had an important impact on our views of the ancestral conditions at various levels of the animal phylogeny, including the bilaterian ancestor and the nature of the annelid ancestor. Here we review some of the recent advances made in annelid comparative development and genomics, revealing a hitherto unsuspected level of complexity in these ancestors. It is also apparent that the transition to a parasitic lifestyle leads to, or requires, extensive modifications and derivations at both the genomic and embryological levels.
of mimicry. This article is based on the .... known mathematical models of popUlation genetics, providing a useful and ..... still feel compelled to write papers entitled "The return of the ... But that his style demands counterargument is itself one of.
Safran, Rebecca J; Hauber, Mark E
A recent study has found that differences in a male trait, considered a textbook example of sexual selection, are in fact due to naturally selected variation in the aerodynamic optimum for each individual.
Schroeder, J.; Dugdale, H.L.; Radersma, R.; Hinsch, M.; Buehler, D.M.; Saul, J.; Porter, L.; Liker, A.; De Cauwer, I.; Johnson, P. J.; Santure, A. W.; Griffin, A. S.; Bolund, E.; Ross, L.; Webb, T. J.; Feulner, P. G. D.; Winney, I.; Szulkin, M.; Komdeur, J.; Versteegh, M. A.; Hemelrijk, C. K.; Svensson, E. I.; Edwards, H.; Karlsson, M.; West, S. A.; Barrett, E. L. B.; Richardson, D. S.; van den Brink, V.; Wimpenny, J. H.; Ellwood, S. A.; Rees, M.; Matson, K.D.; Charmantier, A.; dos Remedios, N.; Schneider, N. A.; Teplitsky, C.; Laurance, W. F.; Butlin, R. K.; Horrocks, Nicholas
Lower visibility of female scientists, compared to male scientists, is a potential reason for the under-representation of women among senior academic ranks. Visibility in the scientific community stems partly from presenting research as an invited speaker at organized meetings. We analysed the sex
Full Text Available This article includes a brief overview of McNamara's (2004 evolutionary model of dreaming. The strengths and weaknesses of this model are then evaluated in terms of its consonance with measurable neurological and biological properties of dreaming, its fit within the tenets of evolutionary theories of dreams, and its alignment with evolutionary concepts of cooperation and spirituality. McNamara's model focuses primarily on dreaming that occurs during rapid eye movement (REM sleep; therefore this article also focuses on REM dreaming.
Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa
Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…
Dubois, Daniel M.; Holmberg, Stig C.
This paper deals firstly with a revisiting of Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Darwin in his book never uses the word "evolution", but shows a clear position about mutability of species. Darwin's Natural Selection was mainly inspired by the anticipatory Artificial Selection by humans in domestication, and the Malthus struggle for existence. Darwin showed that the struggle for existence leads to the preservation of the most divergent offspring of any one species. He cited several times the canon of "Natura non facit saltum". He spoke about the origin of life from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. Finally, Darwin made anticipation about the future researches in psychology. This paper cites the work of Ernst Mayr who was the first, after 90 years of an intense scientific debate, to present a new and stable Darwinian paradigm as the "Evolutionary Synthesis" in 1942. To explain what is life, the Living Systems Theory (LST) by J. G. Miller is presented. It is showed that the Autopoietic Systems Theory of Varela et al is also a fundamental component of living systems. In agreement with Darwin, the natural selection is a necessary condition for transformation of biological systems, but is not a sufficient condition. Thus, in this paper we conjecture that an anticipatory evolutionary mechanism exists with the genetic code that is a self-replicating and self-modifying anticipatory program. As demonstrated by Nobel laureate McClintock, evolution in genomes is programmed. The word "program" comes from "pro-gram" meaning to write before, by anticipation, and means a plan for the programming of a mechanism, or a sequence of coded instructions that can be inserted into a mechanism, or a sequence of coded instructions, as genes of behavioural responses, that is part of an organism. For example, cell death may be programmed by what is called the apoptosis. This definitively is a great breakthrough in our understanding of biological evolution. Hence
Dolfsma, Wilfred; Leydesdorff, Loet
Evolutionary economics has developed into an academic field of its own, institutionalized around, amongst others, the Journal of Evolutionary Economics (JEE). This paper analyzes the way and extent to which evolutionary economics has become an interdisciplinary journal, as its aim was: a journal
Evolutionary game theory has been viewed as an evolutionary repair of rational actor game theory in the hope that a population of boundedly rational players may attain convergence to classic rational solutions, such as the Nash Equilibrium, via some learning or evolutionary process. In this thesis
Delisle, Richard G
The Evolutionary Synthesis is often seen as a unification process in evolutionary biology, one which provided this research area with a solid common theoretical foundation. As such, neo-Darwinism is believed to constitute from this time onward a single, coherent, and unified movement offering research guidelines for investigations. While this may be true if evolutionary biology is solely understood as centred around evolutionary mechanisms, an entirely different picture emerges once other aspects of the founding neo-Darwinists' views are taken into consideration, aspects potentially relevant to the elaboration of an evolutionary worldview: the tree of life, the ontological distinctions of the main cosmic entities (inert matter, biological organisms, mind), the inherent properties of self-organizing matter, evolutionary ethics, and so on. Profound tensions and inconsistencies are immediately revealed in the neo-Darwinian movement once this broader perspective is adopted. This pluralism is such that it is possible to identify at least three distinct and quasi-incommensurable epistemological/metaphysical frameworks as providing a proper foundation for neo-Darwinism. The analysis of the views of Theodosius Dobzhansky, Bernhard Rensch, and Ernst Mayr will illustrate this untenable pluralism, one which requires us to conceive of the neo-Darwinian research agenda as being conducted in more than one research programme or research tradition at the same time.
Lopes, Vanessa M; Sampaio, Eduardo; Roumbedakis, Katina; Tanaka, Nobuaki K; Carulla, Lucía; Gambús, Guillermo; Woo, Theodosia; Martins, Catarina P P; Penicaud, Virginie; Gibbings, Colette; Eberle, Jessica; Tedesco, Perla; Fernández, Isabel; Rodríguez-González, Tania; Imperadore, Pamela; Ponte, Giovanna; Fiorito, Graziano
Cephalopods are the sole invertebrates included in the list of regulated species following the Directive 2010/63/EU. According to the Directive, achieving competence through adequate training is a requisite for people having a role in the different functions (article 23) as such carrying out procedures on animals, designing procedures and projects, taking care of animals, killing animals. Cephalopod Biology and Care Training Program is specifically designed to comply with the requirements of the "working document on the development of a common education and training framework to fulfil the requirements under the Directive 2010/63/EU". The training event occurred at the ICM-CSIC in Barcelona (Spain) where people coming from Europe, America and Asia were instructed on how to cope with regulations for the use of cephalopod molluscs for scientific purposes. The training encompasses discussion on the guidelines for the use and care of animals and their welfare with particular reference to procedures that may be of interest for neuroscience. Intensive discussion has been carried out during the training sessions with focus on behavioural studies and paradigms, welfare assessment, levels of severity of scientific procedures, animal care, handling, transport, individual identification and marking, substance administration, anaesthesia, analgesia and humane killing.
Hendrick, C. Emily; Cohen, Alison K.; Deardorff, Julianna
BACKGROUND Lifetime educational attainment is an important predictor of health and well-being for women in the United States. In the current study, we examine the roles of socio-cultural factors in youth and an understudied biological life event, pubertal timing, in predicting women’s lifetime educational attainment. METHODS Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (N = 3889), we conducted sequential multivariate linear regression analyses to investigate the influences of macro-level and family-level socio-cultural contextual factors in youth (region of country, urbanicity, race/ethnicity, year of birth, household composition, mother’s education, mother’s age at first birth) and early menarche, a marker of early pubertal development, on women’s educational attainment after age 24. RESULTS Pubertal timing and all socio-cultural factors in youth, other than year of birth, predicted women’s lifetime educational attainment in bivariate models. Family factors had the strongest associations. When family factors were added to multivariate models, geographic region in youth and pubertal timing were no longer significant. CONCLUSION Our findings provide additional evidence that family factors should be considered when developing comprehensive and inclusive interventions in childhood and adolescence to promote lifetime educational attainment among girls. PMID:26830508
Lin, Yu; Moret, Bernard M E
Modern techniques can yield the ordering and strandedness of genes on each chromosome of a genome; such data already exists for hundreds of organisms. The evolutionary mechanisms through which the set of the genes of an organism is altered and reordered are of great interest to systematists, evolutionary biologists, comparative genomicists and biomedical researchers. Perhaps the most basic concept in this area is that of evolutionary distance between two genomes: under a given model of genomic evolution, how many events most likely took place to account for the difference between the two genomes? We present a method to estimate the true evolutionary distance between two genomes under the 'double-cut-and-join' (DCJ) model of genome rearrangement, a model under which a single multichromosomal operation accounts for all genomic rearrangement events: inversion, transposition, translocation, block interchange and chromosomal fusion and fission. Our method relies on a simple structural characterization of a genome pair and is both analytically and computationally tractable. We provide analytical results to describe the asymptotic behavior of genomes under the DCJ model, as well as experimental results on a wide variety of genome structures to exemplify the very high accuracy (and low variance) of our estimator. Our results provide a tool for accurate phylogenetic reconstruction from multichromosomal gene rearrangement data as well as a theoretical basis for refinements of the DCJ model to account for biological constraints. All of our software is available in source form under GPL at http://lcbb.epfl.ch.
Murray, B G
Scientists observe nature, search for generalizations, and provide explanations for why the world is as it is. Generalizations are of two kinds. The first are descriptive and inductive, such as Boyle's Law. They are derived from observations and therefore refer to observables (in this case, pressure and volume). The second are often imaginative and form the axioms of a deductive theory, such as Newton's Laws of Motion. They often refer to unobservables (e.g. inertia and gravitation). Biology has many inductive generalizations (e.g. Bergmann's Rule and 'all cells arise from preexisting cells') but few, if any, recognized universal laws and virtually no deductive theory. Many biologists and philosophers of biology have agreed that predictive theory is inappropriate in biology, which is said to be more complex than physics, and that one can have nonpredictive explanations, such as the neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Other philosophers dismiss nonpredictive, explanatory theories, including evolutionary 'theory', as metaphysics. Most biologists do not think of themselves as philosophers or give much thought to the philosophical basis of their research. Nevertheless, their philosophy shows in the way they do research. The plethora of ad hoc (i.e. not universal) hypotheses indicates that biologists are reluctant inductivists in that the search for generalization does not have a high priority. Biologists test their hypotheses by verification. Theoretical physicists, in contrast, are deductive unifiers and test their explanatory hypotheses by falsification. I argue that theoretical biology (concerned with unobservables, such as fitness and natural selection) is not scientific because it lacks universal laws and predictive theory. In order to make this argument, I review the differences between verificationism and falsificationism, induction and deduction, and descriptive and explanatory laws. I show how these differ with a specific example of a
First we introduce a simple model for the description of evolutionary algorithms, which is based on 2nd order partial differential equations for the distribution function of the individuals. Then we turn to the properties of Boltzmann's and Darwin's strategy. the next chapter is dedicated to the mathematical properties of Schroedinger operators. Both statements on the spectral density and their reproducibility during the simulation are summarized. The remaining of this chapter are dedicated to the analysis of the kernel as well as the dependence of the Schroedinger operator on the potential. As conclusion from the results of this chapter we obtain the classification of the strategies in dependence of the fitness. We obtain the classification of the evolutionary strategies, which are described by a 2nd order partial differential equation, in relation to their solution behaviour. Thereafter we are employed with the variation of the mutation distribution
Frederiksen, Peter; Jagtfelt, Tue
This article attempts to solve current problems of conceptual fragmentation within the field of evolutionary economics. One of the problems, as noted by a number of observers, is that the field suffers from an assemblage of fragmented and scattered concepts (Boschma and Martin 2010). A solution...... to this problem is proposed in the form of a model of exponential expansion. The model outlines the overall structure and function of the economy as exponential expansion. The pictographic model describes four axiomatic concepts and their exponential nature. The interactive, directional, emerging and expanding...... concepts are described in detail. Taken together it provides the rudimentary aspects of an economic system within an analytical perspective. It is argued that the main dynamic processes of the evolutionary perspective can be reduced to these four concepts. The model and concepts are evaluated in the light...
Hochberg, Michael E; Thomas, Frédéric; Assenat, Eric; Hibner, Urszula
Evolutionary theory predicts that once an individual reaches an age of sufficiently low Darwinian fitness, (s)he will have reduced chances of keeping cancerous lesions in check. While we clearly need to better understand the emergence of precursor states and early malignancies as well as their mitigation by the microenvironment and tissue architecture, we argue that lifestyle changes and preventive therapies based in an evolutionary framework, applied to identified high-risk populations before incipient neoplasms become clinically detectable and chemoresistant lineages emerge, are currently the most reliable way to control or eliminate early tumours. Specifically, the relatively low levels of (epi)genetic heterogeneity characteristic of many if not most incipient lesions will mean a relatively limited set of possible adaptive traits and associated costs compared to more advanced cancers, and thus a more complete and predictable understanding of treatment options and outcomes. We propose a conceptual model for preventive treatments and discuss the many associated challenges.
Pavličev, Mihaela; Wagner, Günter
The evolutionary explanation of female orgasm has been difficult to come by. The orgasm in women does not obviously contribute to the reproductive success, and surprisingly unreliably accompanies heterosexual intercourse. Two types of explanations have been proposed: one insisting on extant adaptive roles in reproduction, another explaining female orgasm as a byproduct of selection on male orgasm, which is crucial for sperm transfer. We emphasize that these explanations tend to focus on evidence from human biology and thus address the modification of a trait rather than its evolutionary origin. To trace the trait through evolution requires identifying its homologue in other species, which may have limited similarity with the human trait. Human female orgasm is associated with an endocrine surge similar to the copulatory surges in species with induced ovulation. We suggest that the homolog of human orgasm is the reflex that, ancestrally, induced ovulation. This reflex became superfluous with the evolution of spontaneous ovulation, potentially freeing female orgasm for other roles. This is supported by phylogenetic evidence showing that induced ovulation is ancestral, while spontaneous ovulation is derived within eutherians. In addition, the comparative anatomy of female reproductive tract shows that evolution of spontaneous ovulation is correlated with increasing distance of clitoris from the copulatory canal. In summary, we suggest that the female orgasm-like trait may have been adaptive, however for a different role, namely for inducing ovulation. With the evolution of spontaneous ovulation, orgasm was freed to gain secondary roles, which may explain its maintenance, but not its origin. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Park, Shinkyu; Shamma, Jeff S.; Martins, Nuno C.
This paper investigates an energy conservation and dissipation -- passivity -- aspect of dynamic models in evolutionary game theory. We define a notion of passivity using the state-space representation of the models, and we devise systematic methods to examine passivity and to identify properties of passive dynamic models. Based on the methods, we describe how passivity is connected to stability in population games and illustrate stability of passive dynamic models using numerical simulations.
This paper investigates an energy conservation and dissipation -- passivity -- aspect of dynamic models in evolutionary game theory. We define a notion of passivity using the state-space representation of the models, and we devise systematic methods to examine passivity and to identify properties of passive dynamic models. Based on the methods, we describe how passivity is connected to stability in population games and illustrate stability of passive dynamic models using numerical simulations.
Pubertal development is subject to substantial heritability, but much variation remains to be explained, including fast changes over the last 150 years, that cannot be explained by changes of gene frequency in the population. This article discusses the influence of environmental factors to adjust maturational tempo in the service of fitness goals. Utilizing evolutionary development thinking (evo-devo), the author examines adolescence as an evolutionary life-history stage in its developmental context. The transition from the preceding stage of juvenility entails adaptive plasticity in response to energy resources, social needs of adolescence and maturation toward youth and adulthood. Using Belsky's evolutionary theory of socialization, I show that familial psychosocial environment during the infancy-childhood and childhood-juvenility transitions foster a fast life-history and reproductive strategy rather than early maturation being just a risk factor for aggression and delinquency. The implications of the evo-devo framework for theory building, illuminates new directions in the understanding of precocious puberty other than a diagnosis of a disease.
David F. Bjorklund
Full Text Available Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms is introduced, defined as information processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation and are based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce continuous adaptive changes in behavior (and cognition, yielding adaptive outcomes. Examples from social learning and tool use are provided, illustrating the development of adaptations via evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms. The integration of developmental concepts into mainstream evolutionary psychology (and evolutionary concepts into mainstream developmental psychology will provide a clearer picture of what it means to be human.
Dennehy, John J
The cross-species transmission of viruses into new host populations, termed virus emergence, is a significant issue in public health, agriculture, wildlife management, and related fields. Virus emergence requires overlap between host populations, alterations in virus genetics to permit infection of new hosts, and adaptation to novel hosts such that between-host transmission is sustainable, all of which are the purview of the fields of ecology and evolution. A firm understanding of the ecology of viruses and how they evolve is required for understanding how and why viruses emerge. In this paper, I address the evolutionary mechanisms of virus emergence and how they relate to virus ecology. I argue that, while virus acquisition of the ability to infect new hosts is not difficult, limited evolutionary trajectories to sustained virus between-host transmission and the combined effects of mutational meltdown, bottlenecking, demographic stochasticity, density dependence, and genetic erosion in ecological sinks limit most emergence events to dead-end spillover infections. Despite the relative rarity of pandemic emerging viruses, the potential of viruses to search evolutionary space and find means to spread epidemically and the consequences of pandemic viruses that do emerge necessitate sustained attention to virus research, surveillance, prophylaxis, and treatment. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.