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Sample records for evolutionary developmental biology

  1. Michael Akam and the rise of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Stern, David L; Dawes-Hoang, Rachel E

    2010-01-01

    Michael Akam has been awarded the 2007 Kowalevsky medal for his many research accomplishments in the area of evolutionary developmental biology. We highlight three tributaries of Michaels contribution to evolutionary developmental biology. First, he has made major contributions to our understanding of development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Second, he has maintained a consistent focus on several key problems in evolutionary developmental biology, including the evolving role of Hox genes in arthropods and, more recently, the evolution of segmentation mechanisms. Third, Michael has written a series of influential reviews that have integrated progress in developmental biology into an evolutionary perspective. Michael has also made a large impact on the field through his effective mentorship style, his selfless promotion of younger colleagues, and his leadership of the University Museum of Zoology at Cambridge and the European community of evolutionary developmental biologists. PMID:20209429

  2. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: annelids.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, David E K

    2012-08-01

    Annelids (the segmented worms) have a long history in studies of animal developmental biology, particularly with regards to their cleavage patterns during early development and their neurobiology. With the relatively recent reorganisation of the phylogeny of the animal kingdom, and the distinction of the super-phyla Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa, an extra stimulus for studying this phylum has arisen. As one of the major phyla within Lophotrochozoa, Annelida are playing an important role in deducing the developmental biology of the last common ancestor of the protostomes and deuterostomes, an animal from which >98% of all described animal species evolved. PMID:22782719

  3. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    McClay, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Embryos of the echinoderms, especially those of sea urchins and sea stars, have been studied as model organisms for over 100 years. The simplicity of their early development, and the ease of experimentally perturbing this development, provides an excellent platform for mechanistic studies of cell specification and morphogenesis. As a result, echinoderms have contributed significantly to our understanding of many developmental mechanisms, including those that govern the structure and design of gene regulatory networks, those that direct cell lineage specification, and those that regulate the dynamic morphogenetic events that shape the early embryo. PMID:21652646

  4. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Cnidaria

    PubMed Central

    Technau, Ulrich; Steele, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    There is growing interest in the use of cnidarians (corals, sea anemones, jellyfish and hydroids) to investigate the evolution of key aspects of animal development, such as the formation of the third germ layer (mesoderm), the nervous system and the generation of bilaterality. The recent sequencing of the Nematostella and Hydra genomes, and the establishment of methods for manipulating gene expression, have inspired new research efforts using cnidarians. Here, we present the main features of cnidarian models and their advantages for research, and summarize key recent findings using these models that have informed our understanding of the evolution of the developmental processes underlying metazoan body plan formation. PMID:21389047

  5. Phylo-evo-devo: combining phylogenetics with evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

    As a result of the integration of molecular and morphological approaches for the reconstruction of phylogenies, and of the intertwining of developmental and evolutionary biology, further prospects are open for a fruitful interaction between these two fields in what we may call a phylo-evo-devo approach.Wiegmann et al.'s molecular phylogeny of the holometabolous insect orders, recently published in BMC Biology, offers a good opportunity to revisit the inverted positions of wings and halteres in the Diptera and the Strepsiptera in terms of a putative homeotic mutation in the Hox gene Ultrabithorax. The main finding of this paper is that Strepsiptera are closely related to the Coleoptera rather than Diptera, as recently claimed. Through this exemplary case, the paper demonstrates the value of the reciprocal illumination we can expect from the integration of a good phylogeny and a sound knowledge of the evolvability of developmental mechanisms. PMID:19558647

  6. Bridging the gap between developmental systems theory and evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Robert, J S; Hall, B K; Olson, W M

    2001-10-01

    Many scientists and philosophers of science are troubled by the relative isolation of developmental from evolutionary biology. Reconciling the science of development with the science of heredity preoccupied a minority of biologists for much of the twentieth century, but these efforts were not corporately successful. Mainly in the past fifteen years, however, these previously dispersed integrating programmes have been themselves synthesized and so reinvigorated. Two of these more recent synthesizing endeavours are evolutionary developmental biology (EDB, or "evo-devo") and developmental systems theory (DST). While the former is a bourgeoning and scientifically well-respected biological discipline, the same cannot be said of DST, which is virtually unknown among biologists. In this review, we provide overviews of DST and EDB, summarize their key tenets, examine how they relate to one another and to the study of epigenetics, and survey the impact that DST and EDB have had (and in future should have) on biological theory and practice. PMID:11598962

  7. Biological and evolutionary contributions to developmental sex differences.

    PubMed

    Byrd-Craven, Jennifer; Geary, David C

    2007-12-01

    Boys and girls, and men and women show consistent differences, on average, in interests, activity preferences, and social styles. This article summarizes sex differences in human development from infancy through the childhood years and considers how these differences in developmental patterns relate to human evolutionary history. Evidence is reviewed suggesting that the psychological traits that were advantageous differed consistently for men and women during human evolution, consistent with Darwin's (1871) sexual selection as a mechanism through which cognitive and behavioural sex differences evolve and develop during lifetimes. The result is that some sex differences are found very early in development in predispositions to engage in different activities, to attend to different social information, and in methods of social influence. These early differences, in turn, prepare children for somewhat different tasks and roles in adulthood. Although these differences have strong biological origins, developmental experiences serve to flesh out and elaborate on these differences, or to minimize them, depending on the demands of the culture in which the child is situated. PMID:18088516

  8. Charles Darwin and the Origins of Plant Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, William E.; Diggle, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21515816

  9. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  10. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish. PMID:26970636

  11. Goldfish morphology as a model for evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kinya G; Abe, Gembu

    2016-01-01

    Morphological variation of the goldfish is known to have been established by artificial selection for ornamental purposes during the domestication process. Chinese texts that date to the Song dynasty contain descriptions of goldfish breeding for ornamental purposes, indicating that the practice originated over one thousand years ago. Such a well-documented goldfish breeding process, combined with the phylogenetic and embryological proximities of this species with zebrafish, would appear to make the morphologically diverse goldfish strains suitable models for evolutionary developmental (evodevo) studies. However, few modern evodevo studies of goldfish have been conducted. In this review, we provide an overview of the historical background of goldfish breeding, and the differences between this teleost and zebrafish from an evolutionary perspective. We also summarize recent progress in the field of molecular developmental genetics, with a particular focus on the twin-tail goldfish morphology. Furthermore, we discuss unanswered questions relating to the evolution of the genome, developmental robustness, and morphologies in the goldfish lineage, with the goal of blazing a path toward an evodevo study paradigm using this teleost species as a new model species. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26952007

  12. The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Moczek, Armin P; Sears, Karen E; Stollewerk, Angelika; Wittkopp, Patricia J; Diggle, Pamela; Dworkin, Ian; Ledon-Rettig, Cristina; Matus, David Q; Roth, Siegfried; Abouheif, Ehab; Brown, Federico D; Chiu, Chi-Hua; Cohen, C Sarah; Tomaso, Anthony W De; Gilbert, Scott F; Hall, Brian; Love, Alan C; Lyons, Deirdre C; Sanger, Thomas J; Smith, Joel; Specht, Chelsea; Vallejo-Marin, Mario; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution, Development, Paleontology, and Neurobiology to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Human Diseases, Ecology, Agriculture and Science Education, and lastly, Evolutionary Developmental Biology itself-and discuss why evo-devo is uniquely situated to substantially improve our ability to find meaningful answers to these fundamental questions. We posit that the tools, concepts, and ways of thinking developed by evo-devo have profound potential to advance, integrate, and unify biological sciences as well as inform policy decisions and illuminate science education. We look to the next generation of evolutionary developmental biologists to help shape this process as we confront the scientific challenges of the 21st century. PMID:25963198

  13. Incorporating tree-thinking and evolutionary time scale into developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Feiner, Nathalie; Keeley, Sean D; Hara, Yuichiro

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic approaches are indispensable in any comparative molecular study involving multiple species. These approaches are in increasing demand as the amount and availability of DNA sequence information continues to increase exponentially, even for organisms that were previously not extensively studied. Without the sound application of phylogenetic concepts and knowledge, one can be misled when attempting to infer ancestral character states as well as the timing and order of evolutionary events, both of which are frequently exerted in evolutionary developmental biology. The ignorance of phylogenetic approaches can also impact non-evolutionary studies and cause misidentification of the target gene or protein to be examined in functional characterization. This review aims to promote tree-thinking in evolutionary conjecture and stress the importance of a sense of time scale in cross-species comparisons, in order to enhance the understanding of phylogenetics in all biological fields including developmental biology. To this end, molecular phylogenies of several developmental regulatory genes, including those denoted as "cryptic pan-vertebrate genes", are introduced as examples. PMID:26818824

  14. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S; Hossfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a "universal acid" (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research--evolutionary developmental biology--has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin's Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the "Jena school" of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about "biometabolic modi" are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research--heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the synthetic theory of

  15. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S.; Hoßfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a “universal acid” (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research—evolutionary developmental biology—has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin’s Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the “Jena school” of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about “biometabolic modi” are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research—heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the

  16. Toward a synthesis of developmental biology with evolutionary theory and ecology.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms is a truism in biology, but few attempts have been made to integrate development with evolutionary theory and ecology. To work toward such a synthesis, we summarize studies in the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus, focusing on the development of the dauer, a stress-resistant, alternative larval stage. Integrative approaches combining molecular and genetic principles of development with natural variation and ecological studies in wild populations have identified a key role for a developmental switch mechanism in dauer development and evolution, one that involves the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12. DAF-12 is a crucial regulator and convergence point for different signaling inputs, and its function is conserved among free-living and parasitic nematodes. Furthermore, DAF-12 is the target of regulatory loops that rely on novel or fast-evolving components to control the intraspecific competition of dauer larvae. We propose developmental switches as paradigms for understanding the integration of development, evolution, and ecology at the molecular level. PMID:26566116

  17. Developmental evolutionary biology of the vertebrate ear: conserving mechanoelectric transduction and developmental pathways in diverging morphologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.

    2000-01-01

    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'.

  18. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F.; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right. PMID:26579190

  19. Rupert Riedl and the re-synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology: body plans and evolvability.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Günter P; Laubichler, Manfred D

    2004-01-15

    This paper reviews the scientific career of Rupert Riedl and his contributions to evolutionary biology. Rupert Riedl, a native of Vienna, Austria, began his career as a marine biologist who made important contributions to the systematics and anatomy of major invertebrate groups, as well as to marine ecology. When he assumed a professorship at the University of North Carolina in 1968, the predominant thinking in evolutionary biology focused on population genetics, to the virtual exclusion of most of the rest of biology. In this atmosphere Riedl developed his "systems theory" of evolution, which emphasizes the role of functional and developmental integration in limiting and enabling adaptive evolution by natural selection. The main objective of this theory is to account for the observed patterns of morphological evolution, such as the conservation of body plans. In contrast to other "alternative" theories of evolution, Riedl never denied the importance of natural selection as the driving force of evolution, but thought it necessary to contextualize natural selection with the organismal boundary conditions of adaptation. In Riedl's view development is the most important factor besides natural selection in shaping the pattern and processes of morphological evolution. PMID:14760655

  20. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  1. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we…

  2. Chordate betagamma-crystallins and the evolutionary developmental biology of the vertebrate lens.

    PubMed

    Riyahi, Kumars; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2007-07-01

    Several animal lineages, including the vertebrates, have evolved sophisticated eyes with lenses that refract light to generate an image. The nearest invertebrate relatives of the vertebrates, such as the ascidians (sea squirts) and amphioxus, have only basic light detecting organs, leading to the widely-held view that the vertebrate lens is an innovation that evolved in early vertebrates. From an embryological perspective the lens is different from the rest of the eye, in that the eye is primarily of neural origin while the lens derives from a non-neural ectodermal placode which invaginates into the developing eye. How such an organ could have evolved has attracted much speculation. Recently, however, molecular developmental studies of sea squirts have started to suggest a possible evolutionary origin for the lens. First, studies of the Pax, Six, Eya and other gene families have indicated that sea squirts have areas of non-neural ectoderm homologous to placodes, suggesting an origin for the embryological characteristics of the lens. Second, the evolution and regulation of the betagamma-crystallins has been studied. These form one of the key crystallin gene families responsible for the transparency of the lens, and regulatory conservation between the betagamma-crystallin gene in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis and the vertebrate visual system has been experimentally demonstrated. These data, together with knowledge of the morphological, physiological and gene expression similarities between the C. intestinalis ocellus and vertebrate retina, have led us to propose a hypothesis for the evolution of the vertebrate lens and integrated vertebrate eye via the co-option and combination of ancient gene regulatory networks; one controlling morphogenetic aspects of lens development and one controlling the expression of a gene family responsible for the biophysical properties of the lens, with the components of the retina having evolved from an ancestral photoreceptive organ

  3. Biological sensitivity to context: I. An evolutionary-developmental theory of the origins and functions of stress reactivity.

    PubMed

    Boyce, W Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J

    2005-01-01

    Biological reactivity to psychological stressors comprises a complex, integrated, and highly conserved repertoire of central neural and peripheral neuroendocrine responses designed to prepare the organism for challenge or threat. Developmental experience plays a role, along with heritable, polygenic variation, in calibrating the response dynamics of these systems, with early adversity biasing their combined effects toward a profile of heightened or prolonged reactivity. Conventional views of such high reactivity suggest that it is an atavistic and pathogenic legacy of an evolutionary past in which threats to survival were more prevalent and severe. Recent evidence, however, indicates that (a) stress reactivity is not a unitary process, but rather incorporates counterregulatory circuits serving to modify or temper physiological arousal, and (b) the effects of high reactivity phenotypes on psychiatric and biomedical outcomes are bivalent, rather than univalent, in character, exerting both risk-augmenting and risk-protective effects in a context-dependent manner. These observations suggest that heightened stress reactivity may reflect, not simply exaggerated arousal under challenge, but rather an increased biological sensitivity to context, with potential for negative health effects under conditions of adversity and positive effects under conditions of support and protection. From an evolutionary perspective, the developmental plasticity of the stress response systems, along with their structured, context-dependent effects, suggests that these systems may constitute conditional adaptations: evolved psychobiological mechanisms that monitor specific features of childhood environments as a basis for calibrating the development of stress response systems to adaptively match those environments. Taken together, these theoretical perspectives generate a novel hypothesis: that there is a curvilinear, U-shaped relation between early exposures to adversity and the development

  4. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  5. Evo-Devo: evolutionary developmental mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) as a discipline is concerned, among other things, with discovering and understanding the role of changes in developmental mechanisms in the evolutionary origin of aspects of the phenotype. In a very real sense, Evo-Devo opens the black box between genotype and phenotype, or more properly, phenotypes as multiple life history stages arise in many organisms from a single genotype. Changes in the timing or positioning of an aspect of development in a descendant relative to an ancestor (heterochrony and heterotopy) were two evolutionary developmental mechanisms identified by Ernst Haeckel in the 1870s. Many more have since been identified, in large part because of our enhanced understanding of development and because new mechanisms emerge as development proceeds: the transfer from maternal to zygotic genomic control; cell-to-cell interactions; cell differentiation and cell migration; embryonic inductions; functional interactions at the tissue and organ levels; growth. Within these emergent processes, gene networks and gene cascades (genetic modules) link the genotype with morphogenetic units (cellular modules, namely germ layers, embryonic fields or cellular condensations), while epigenetic processes such as embryonic inductions, tissue interactions and functional integration, link morphogenetic units to the phenotype. Evolutionary developmental mechanisms also include interactions between individuals of the same species, individuals of different species, and species and their biotic and/or abiotic environment. Such interactions link ecological communities. Importantly, there is little to distinguish the causality that underlies these interactions from that which underlies inductive interactions within embryos. PMID:14756324

  6. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, “niche construction”. This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. PMID:21572912

  7. Evolutionary quantitative genetics of nonlinear developmental systems.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Michael B

    2015-08-01

    In quantitative genetics, the effects of developmental relationships among traits on microevolution are generally represented by the contribution of pleiotropy to additive genetic covariances. Pleiotropic additive genetic covariances arise only from the average effects of alleles on multiple traits, and therefore the evolutionary importance of nonlinearities in development is generally neglected in quantitative genetic views on evolution. However, nonlinearities in relationships among traits at the level of whole organisms are undeniably important to biology in general, and therefore critical to understanding evolution. I outline a system for characterizing key quantitative parameters in nonlinear developmental systems, which yields expressions for quantities such as trait means and phenotypic and genetic covariance matrices. I then develop a system for quantitative prediction of evolution in nonlinear developmental systems. I apply the system to generating a new hypothesis for why direct stabilizing selection is rarely observed. Other uses will include separation of purely correlative from direct and indirect causal effects in studying mechanisms of selection, generation of predictions of medium-term evolutionary trajectories rather than immediate predictions of evolutionary change over single generation time-steps, and the development of efficient and biologically motivated models for separating additive from epistatic genetic variances and covariances. PMID:26174586

  8. Evolutionary biology of language.

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, M A

    2000-01-01

    Language is the most important evolutionary invention of the last few million years. It was an adaptation that helped our species to exchange information, make plans, express new ideas and totally change the appearance of the planet. How human language evolved from animal communication is one of the most challenging questions for evolutionary biology The aim of this paper is to outline the major principles that guided language evolution in terms of mathematical models of evolutionary dynamics and game theory. I will discuss how natural selection can lead to the emergence of arbitrary signs, the formation of words and syntactic communication. PMID:11127907

  9. Bridging developmental systems theory and evolutionary psychology using dynamic optimization.

    PubMed

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H

    2013-07-01

    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. PMID:23786476

  10. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology: Contributions from Comparative Research with Nonhuman Primates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maestripieri, Dario; Roney, James R.

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental psychology is a discipline that has the potential to integrate conceptual approaches to the study of behavioral development derived from psychology and biology as well as empirical data from humans and animals. Comparative research with animals, and especially with nonhuman primates, can provide evidence of adaptation in…

  11. Bridging Developmental Systems Theory and Evolutionary Psychology Using Dynamic Optimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankenhuis, Willem E.; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  12. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2002-01-01

    Arabidopsis thaliana is now widely used as a model system in molecular and developmental biology, as well as in physiology and cell biology. However, ecologists and evolutionary biologists have turned their attention to the mouse ear cress only much more recently and almost reluctantly. The reason for this is the perception that A. thaliana is not particularly interesting ecologically and that it represents an oddity from an evolutionary standpoint. While there is some truth in both these attitudes, similar criticisms apply to other model systems such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which has been extensively studied from an organismal perspective. Furthermore, the shortcomings of A. thaliana in terms of its restricted ecological niche are counterbalanced by the wealth of information on the molecular and developmental biology of this species, which makes possible to address evolutionary questions that can rarely be pursued in other species. This chapter reviews the history of the use of A. thaliana in organismal biology and discusses some of the recent work and future perspectives of research on a variety of field including life history evolution, phenotypic plasticity, natural selection and quantitative genetics. I suggest that the future of both molecular and especially organismal biology lies into expanding our knowledge from limited and idiosyncratic model systems to their phylogenetic neighborhood, which is bound to be more varied and biologically interesting. PMID:22303188

  13. Ecology and evolutionary biology of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2002-01-01

    Arabidopsis thaliana is now widely used as a model system in molecular and developmental biology, as well as in physiology and cell biology. However, ecologists and evolutionary biologists have turned their attention to the mouse ear cress only much more recently and almost reluctantly. The reason for this is the perception that A. thaliana is not particularly interesting ecologically and that it represents an oddity from an evolutionary standpoint. While there is some truth in both these attitudes, similar criticisms apply to other model systems such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which has been extensively studied from an organismal perspective. Furthermore, the shortcomings of A. thaliana in terms of its restricted ecological niche are counterbalanced by the wealth of information on the molecular and developmental biology of this species, which makes possible to address evolutionary questions that can rarely be pursued in other species. This chapter reviews the history of the use of A. thaliana in organismal biology and discusses some of the recent work and future perspectives of research on a variety of field including life history evolution, phenotypic plasticity, natural selection and quantitative genetics. I suggest that the future of both molecular and especially organismal biology lies into expanding our knowledge from limited and idiosyncratic model systems to their phylogenetic neighborhood, which is bound to be more varied and biologically interesting. PMID:22303188

  14. Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P

    2015-01-01

    Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data. PMID:25341103

  15. Evolution of the vertebrate jaw: comparative embryology and molecular developmental biology reveal the factors behind evolutionary novelty

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru

    2004-01-01

    It is generally believed that the jaw arose through the simple transformation of an ancestral rostral gill arch. The gnathostome jaw differentiates from Hox-free crest cells in the mandibular arch, and this is also apparent in the lamprey. The basic Hox code, including the Hox-free default state in the mandibular arch, may have been present in the common ancestor, and jaw patterning appears to have been secondarily constructed in the gnathostomes. The distribution of the cephalic neural crest cells is similar in the early pharyngula of gnathostomes and lampreys, but different cell subsets form the oral apparatus in each group through epithelial–mesenchymal interactions: and this heterotopy is likely to have been an important evolutionary change that permitted jaw differentiation. This theory implies that the premandibular crest cells differentiate into the upper lip, or the dorsal subdivision of the oral apparatus in the lamprey, whereas the equivalent cell population forms the trabecula of the skull base in gnathostomes. Because the gnathostome oral apparatus is derived exclusively from the mandibular arch, the concepts ‘oral’ and ‘mandibular’ must be dissociated. The ‘lamprey trabecula’ develops from mandibular mesoderm, and is not homologous with the gnathostome trabecula, which develops from premandibular crest cells. Thus the jaw evolved as an evolutionary novelty through tissue rearrangements and topographical changes in tissue interactions. PMID:15575882

  16. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ioannidis, Stavros

    2013-01-01

    The "cis"-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for "cis"-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current…

  17. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization. PMID:26250386

  18. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics.

    PubMed

    Paaby, Annalise B; Gibson, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes-processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits. PMID:27304973

  19. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Paaby, Annalise B.; Gibson, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes—processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits. PMID:27304973

  20. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

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

  1. Deconstructing Pancreas Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Benitez, Cecil M.; Goodyer, William R.

    2012-01-01

    The relentless nature and increasing prevalence of human pancreatic diseases, in particular, diabetes mellitus and adenocarcinoma, has motivated further understanding of pancreas organogenesis. The pancreas is a multifunctional organ whose epithelial cells govern a diversity of physiologically vital endocrine and exocrine functions. The mechanisms governing the birth, differentiation, morphogenesis, growth, maturation, and maintenance of the endocrine and exocrine components in the pancreas have been discovered recently with increasing tempo. This includes recent studies unveiling mechanisms permitting unexpected flexibility in the developmental potential of immature and mature pancreatic cell subsets, including the ability to interconvert fates. In this article, we describe how classical cell biology, genetic analysis, lineage tracing, and embryological investigations are being complemented by powerful modern methods including epigenetic analysis, time-lapse imaging, and flow cytometry-based cell purification to dissect fundamental processes of pancreas development. PMID:22587935

  2. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

  3. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Scott P; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T; Bergstrom, Carl T; Denison, R Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B; Strauss, Sharon Y; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2014-10-17

    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

  4. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology

    PubMed Central

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23396885

  5. Transformationalism, taxism, and developmental biology in systematics.

    PubMed

    Bang, R; DeSalle, R; Wheeler, W

    2000-03-01

    Issues concerning transformational and taxic comparisons are central to understanding the impact of the recent proliferation of molecular developmental data on evolutionary biology. More importantly, an understanding of taxism and transformationalism in comparative biology is critical to assessing the impact of the recent developmental data on systematic theory and practice. We examine the philosophical and practical aspects of the transformational approach and the relevance of this approach to recent molecular-based developmental data. We also examine the theoretical basis of the taxic approach to molecular developmental data and suggest that developmental data are perfectly amenable to the taxic approach. Two recent examples from the molecular developmental biology literature--the evolution of insect wings and the evolution of dorsal ventral inversion in vertebrates and invertebrates--are used to compare the taxic and transformational approaches. We conclude that the transformational approach is entirely appropriate for ontogenetic studies and furthermore can serve as an excellent source of hypotheses about the evolution of characters. However, the taxic approach is the ultimate arbiter of these hypotheses. PMID:12116480

  6. The Renaissance of Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    St Johnston, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Since its heyday in the 1980s and 90s, the field of developmental biology has gone into decline; in part because it has been eclipsed by the rise of genomics and stem cell biology, and in part because it has seemed less pertinent in an era with so much focus on translational impact. In this essay, I argue that recent progress in genome-wide analyses and stem cell research, coupled with technological advances in imaging and genome editing, have created the conditions for the renaissance of a new wave of developmental biology with greater translational relevance. PMID:25946596

  7. The diversification of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Crowe, Nathan; Dietrich, Michael R; Alomepe, Beverly S; Antrim, Amelia F; ByrneSim, Bay Lauris; He, Yi

    2015-10-01

    In the 1960s, "developmental biology" became the dominant term to describe some of the research that had previously been included under the rubrics of embryology, growth, morphology, and physiology. As scientific societies formed under this new label, a new discipline took shape. Historians, however, have a number of different perspectives on what changes led to this new field of developmental biology and how the field itself was constituted during this period. Using the General Embryological Information Service, a global index of post-World War II development-related research, we have documented and visualized significant changes in the kinds of research that occurred as this new field formed. In particular, our analysis supports the claim that the transition toward developmental biology was marked by a growth in new topics and forms of research. Although many historians privilege the role of molecular biology and/or the molecularization of biology in general during this formative period, we have found that the influence of molecular biology is not sufficient to account for the wide range of new research that constituted developmental biology at the time. Overall, our work creates a robust characterization of the changes that occurred with regard to research on growth and development in the decades following World War II and provides a context for future work on the specific drivers of those changes. PMID:26056745

  8. Developmental biology of the leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    WEISBLAT, DAVID A.; KUO, DIAN-HAN

    2015-01-01

    Glossiphoniid leeches of the genus Helobdella provide experimentally tractable models for studies in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo). Here, after a brief rationale, we will summarize our current understanding of Helobdella development and highlight the near term prospects for future investigations, with respect to the issues of: D quadrant specification; the transition from spiral to bilaterally symmetric cleavage; segmentation, and the connections between segmental and non-segmental tissues; modifications of BMP signaling in dorsoventral patterning and the O-P equivalence group; germ line specification and genome rearrangements. The goal of this contribution is to serve as a summary of, and guide to, published work. PMID:25690960

  9. Evolutionary cell biology: Two origins, one objective

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C.; Goodson, Holly V.; Malik, Harmit S.; Pereira-Leal, José B.; Roos, David S.; Turkewitz, Aaron P.; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25404324

  10. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-01

    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. PMID:25404324

  11. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Soyer, Orkun S.; Siegal, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB’s progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology. PMID:26085823

  12. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  13. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and the 150th jubilee of his masterpiece, the Origin of Species. Darwin developed the first coherent and compelling narrative of biological evolution and thus founded evolutionary biology—and modern biology in general, remembering the famous dictum of Dobzhansky. It is, however, counter-productive, and ultimately, a disservice to Darwin’s legacy, to define modern evolutionary biology as neo-Darwinism. The current picture of evolution, informed, in particular, by results of comparative genomics and systems biology, is by far more complex than that presented in the Origin of Species, so that Darwinian principles, including natural selection, are incorporated into the evolving new synthesis as important but certainly not all-embracing tenets. This expansion of evolutionary biology does not denigrate Darwin in the least but rather emphasizes the fertility of his ideas. PMID:19242109

  14. Evolutionary Biology Instruction: What Students Gain from Learning through Inquiry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dremock, Fae, Ed.

    2002-01-01

    This bulletin features articles on real world evolutionary biology, revolutionary classroom science, a review of new curricula in evolutionary biology, and the use of case studies to illustrate points in evolutionary biology. The articles are: (1) "'Real World' Evolutionary Biology: A Pragmatic Quest. Interview with BioQUEST's John Jungck" (Harvey…

  15. Attachment in Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Middle childhood is a key transitional stage in the development of attachment processes and representations. Here I discuss the middle childhood transition from an evolutionary-developmental perspective and show how this approach offers fresh insight into the function and organization of attachment in this life stage. I begin by presenting an…

  16. Developmental and Evolutionary History Affect Survival in Stressful Environments

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Gareth R.; Brodie, Edmund D.; French, Susannah S.

    2014-01-01

    The world is increasingly impacted by a variety of stressors that have the potential to differentially influence life history stages of organisms. Organisms have evolved to cope with some stressors, while with others they have little capacity. It is thus important to understand the effects of both developmental and evolutionary history on survival in stressful environments. We present evidence of the effects of both developmental and evolutionary history on survival of a freshwater vertebrate, the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) in an osmotically stressful environment. We compared the survival of larvae in either NaCl or MgCl2 that were exposed to salinity either as larvae only or as embryos as well. Embryonic exposure to salinity led to greater mortality of newt larvae than larval exposure alone, and this reduced survival probability was strongly linked to the carry-over effect of stunted embryonic growth in salts. Larval survival was also dependent on the type of salt (NaCl or MgCl2) the larvae were exposed to, and was lowest in MgCl2, a widely-used chemical deicer that, unlike NaCl, amphibian larvae do not have an evolutionary history of regulating at high levels. Both developmental and evolutionary history are critical factors in determining survival in this stressful environment, a pattern that may have widespread implications for the survival of animals increasingly impacted by substances with which they have little evolutionary history. PMID:24748021

  17. The generation of variation and the developmental basis for evolutionary novelty.

    PubMed

    Hallgrímsson, Benedikt; Jamniczky, Heather A; Young, Nathan M; Rolian, Campbell; Schmidt-Ott, Urs; Marcucio, Ralph S

    2012-09-01

    Organisms exhibit an incredible diversity of form, a fact that makes the evolution of novelty seemingly self-evident. However, despite the "obvious" case for novelty, defining this concept in evolutionary terms is highly problematic, so much so that some have suggested discarding it altogether. Approaches to this problem tend to take either an adaptation- or development-based perspective, but we argue here that an exclusive focus on either of these misses the original intent of the novelty concept and undermines its practical utility. We propose instead that for a feature to be novel, it must have evolved both by a transition between adaptive peaks on the fitness landscape and that this transition must have overcome a previous developmental constraint. This definition focuses novelty on the explanation of apparently difficult or low-probability evolutionary transitions and highlights how the integration of developmental and functional considerations are necessary to evolutionary explanation. It further reinforces that novelty is a central concern not just of evolutionary developmental biology (i.e., "evo-devo") but of evolutionary biology more generally. We explore this definition of novelty in light of four examples that range from the obvious to subtle. PMID:22649039

  18. Evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation within the Solanaceae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Li, Jing; Zhao, Jing; He, Chaoying

    2015-01-01

    Morphological variations of fruits such as shape and size, and color are a result of adaptive evolution. The evolution of morphological novelties is particularly intriguing. An understanding of these evolutionary processes calls for the elucidation of the developmental and genetic mechanisms that result in particular fruit morphological characteristics, which determine seed dispersal. The genetic and developmental basis for fruit morphological variation was established at a microevolutionary time scale. Here, we summarize the progress on the evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit size, shape and color in the Solanaceae. Studies suggest that the recruitment of a pre-existing gene and subsequent modification of its interaction and regulatory networks are frequently involved in the evolution of morphological diversity. The basic mechanisms underlying changes in plant morphology are alterations in gene expression and/or gene function. We also deliberate on the future direction in evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation such as fruit type. These studies will provide insights into plant developmental processes and will help to improve the productivity and fruit quality of crops. PMID:25918515

  19. A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Recent advances in developmental biology have yielded detailed models of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) involved in cell specification and other processes in embryonic differentiation. Such networks form the bedrock on which a systems biology approach to developme...

  20. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  1. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies.

    PubMed

    Han, Jing-Dong J; Liu, Yi; Xue, Huiling; Xia, Kai; Yu, Hong; Zhu, Shanshan; Chen, Zhang; Zhang, Wei; Huang, Zheng; Jin, Chunyu; Xian, Bo; Li, Jing; Hou, Lei; Han, Yixing; Niu, Chaoqun; Alcon, Timothy C

    2008-10-01

    Organism development is a systems level process. It has benefited greatly from the recent technological advances in the field of systems biology. DNA microarray, phenome, interactome and transcriptome mapping, the new generation of deep sequencing technologies, and faster and better computational and modeling approaches have opened new frontiers for both systems biologists and developmental biologists to reexamine the old developmental biology questions, such as pattern formation, and to tackle new problems, such as stem cell reprogramming. As showcased in the International Developmental Systems Biology Symposium organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, developmental systems biology is flourishing in many perspectives, from the evolution of developmental systems, to the underlying genetic and molecular pathways and networks, to the genomic, epigenomic and noncoding levels, to the computational analysis and modeling. We believe that the field will continue to reap rewards into the future with these new approaches. PMID:18937914

  2. EVOLUTIONARY BIOSCIENCE AS REGULATORY SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Eric H.

    2011-01-01

    At present several entirely different explanatory approaches compete to illuminate the mechanisms by which animal body plans have evolved. Their respective relevance is briefly considered here in the light of modern knowledge of genomes and the regulatory processes by which development is controlled. Just as development is a system property of the regulatory genome, so causal explanation of evolutionary change in developmental process must be considered at a system level. Here I enumerate some mechanistic consequences that follow from the conclusion that evolution of the body plan has occurred by alteration of the structure of developmental gene regulatory networks. The hierarchy and multiple additional design features of these networks act to produce Boolean regulatory state specification functions at upstream phases of development of the body plan. These are created by the logic outputs of network subcircuits, and in modern animals these outputs are impervious to continuous adaptive variation unlike genes operating more peripherally in the network. PMID:21320483

  3. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology. PMID:25191292

  4. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity.

    PubMed

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology. PMID:25191292

  5. Latent developmental and evolutionary shapes embedded within the grapevine leaf.

    PubMed

    Chitwood, Daniel H; Klein, Laura L; O'Hanlon, Regan; Chacko, Steven; Greg, Matthew; Kitchen, Cassandra; Miller, Allison J; Londo, Jason P

    2016-04-01

    Across plants, leaves exhibit profound diversity in shape. As a single leaf expands, its shape is in constant flux. Plants may also produce leaves with different shapes at successive nodes. In addition, leaf shape varies among individuals, populations and species as a result of evolutionary processes and environmental influences. Because leaf shape can vary in many different ways, theoretically, the effects of distinct developmental and evolutionary processes are separable, even within the shape of a single leaf. Here, we measured the shapes of > 3200 leaves representing > 270 vines from wild relatives of domesticated grape (Vitis spp.) to determine whether leaf shapes attributable to genetics and development are separable from each other. We isolated latent shapes (multivariate signatures that vary independently from each other) embedded within the overall shape of leaves. These latent shapes can predict developmental stages independent from species identity and vice versa. Shapes predictive of development were then used to stage leaves from 1200 varieties of domesticated grape (Vitis vinifera), revealing that changes in timing underlie leaf shape diversity. Our results indicate that distinct latent shapes combine to produce a composite morphology in leaves, and that developmental and evolutionary contributions to shape vary independently from each other. PMID:26580864

  6. Adaptive Developmental Delay in Chagas Disease Vectors: An Evolutionary Ecology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Menu, Frédéric; Ginoux, Marine; Rajon, Etienne; Lazzari, Claudio R.; Rabinovich, Jorge E.

    2010-01-01

    Background The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae), vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability. Methodology We applied four methods: (1) an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2) a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3) a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4) a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause). Principal Findings 85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of “bad” environmental conditions are sufficiently high. Conclusions/Significance Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging) strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test

  7. An extended synthesis for evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2009-06-01

    Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual framework containing among others evo-devo, an expanded theory of heredity, elements of complexity theory, ideas about evolvability, and a reevaluation of levels of selection. I argue that evolutionary biology has never seen a paradigm shift, in the philosophical sense of the term, except when it moved from natural theology to empirical science in the middle of the 19th century. The Extended Synthesis, accordingly, is an expansion of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and one that--like its predecessor--will probably take decades to complete. PMID:19566710

  8. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-01

    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. PMID:21490021

  9. The Best and the Worst of Times for Evolutionary Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses opportunities and challenges for the field of evolutionary biology, particularly in areas related to molecular genetic technologies, the environment, biodiversity, and public education. (Author/KHR)

  10. A Brunswikian evolutionary-developmental theory of adolescent sex offending.

    PubMed

    Figueredo, A J; Sales, B D; Russell, K P; Becker, J V; Kaplan, M

    2000-01-01

    A Brunswikian Evolutionary-Developmental model was developed to relate the sex offending behavior of adolescents to other forms of social deviance, tracing a history of repeated frustration and failure in various competitive sexual strategies and escalation to more extreme means of obtaining sexual gratification. Four hypothetical constructs were proposed as stages in the development of sexual criminality: (1) Psycho-Social Deficiency (PSD); (2) Non-Criminal Sexuality (NCS); (3) Non-Sexual Criminality (NSC); and (4) Sexual Criminality (SC). Significant direct and indirect pathways led from PSD to SC through both NCS and NSC, each time facilitated by an interaction with PSD. Although the causal orders between stages remain equivocal, the current results are consistent with our theory and establish the heuristic value of our theoretical approach, providing empirical support for otherwise counterintuitive predictions. This interpretation also offers hope for focusing preventative intervention at one major root cause of this unfortunate cascade of consequences, Psycho-Social Deficiency. PMID:10874291

  11. NASA Developmental Biology Workshop: A summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A. (Editor); Halstead, T. W. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    The Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of its continuing assessment of its research program, convened a workshop on Developmental Biology to determine whether there are important scientific studies in this area which warrant continued or expanded NASA support. The workshop consisted of six panels, each of which focused on a single major phylogenetic group. The objectives of each panel were to determine whether gravity plays a role in the ontogeny of their subject group, to determine whether the microgravity of spaceflight can be used to help understand fundamental problems in developmental biology, to develop the rationale and hypotheses for conducting NASA-relevant research in development biology both on the ground and in space, and to identify any unique equipment and facilities that would be required to support both ground-based and spaceflight experiments.

  12. Individual variation in cognitive performance: developmental and evolutionary perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Alex; Lukas, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    Animal cognition experiments frequently reveal striking individual variation but rarely consider its causes and largely ignore its potential consequences. Studies often focus on a subset of high-performing subjects, sometimes viewing evidence from a single individual as sufficient to demonstrate the cognitive capacity of a species. We argue that the emphasis on demonstrating species-level cognitive capacities detracts from the value of individual variation in understanding cognitive development and evolution. We consider developmental and evolutionary interpretations of individual variation and use meta-analyses of data from published studies to examine predictors of individual performance. We show that reliance on small sample sizes precludes robust conclusions about individual abilities as well as inter- and intraspecific differences. We advocate standardization of experimental protocols and pooling of data between laboratories to improve statistical rigour. Our analyses show that cognitive performance is influenced by age, sex, rearing conditions and previous experience. These effects limit the validity of comparative analyses unless developmental histories are taken into account, and complicate attempts to understand how cognitive traits are expressed and selected under natural conditions. Further understanding of cognitive evolution requires efforts to elucidate the heritability of cognitive traits and establish whether elevated cognitive performance confers fitness advantages in nature. PMID:22927576

  13. Developmental biology in marine invertebrate symbioses.

    PubMed

    McFall-Ngai, M J; Ruby, E G

    2000-12-01

    Associations between marine invertebrates and their cooperative bacterial symbionts offer access to an understanding of the roots of host-microbe interaction; for example, several symbioses like the squid-vibrio light organ association serve as models for investigating how each partner affects the developmental biology of the other. Previous results have identified a program of specific developmental events that unfolds as the association is initiated. In the past year, published studies have focused primarily on describing the mechanisms underlying the signaling processes that occur between the juvenile squid and the luminous bacteria that colonize it. PMID:11121780

  14. Gravitational studies in cellular and developmental biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spooner, B. S.

    1992-01-01

    The paucity of data on the role of gravity in cellular and developmental biology has been examined, and a hypothesis has been generated that unifies potential gravity sensitivity in both plant and animal systems. This hypothesis considers the macromolecular order and functional importance of the extracellular matrix compartment, the intracellular cytoskeleton compartment, and the connecting plasma membrane-signal transduction compartment of plant and animal systems as potentially sensitive to alterations in the unit gravity environment in which they evolved.

  15. Developmental influences on fertility decisions by women: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Coall, D A; Tickner, M; McAllister, L S; Sheppard, P

    2016-04-19

    Developmental environments are crucial for shaping our life course. Elements of the early social and biological environments have been consistently associated with reproduction in humans. To date, a strong focus has been on the relationship between early stress, earlier menarche and first child birth in women. These associations, found predominately in high-income countries, have been usefully interpreted within life-history theory frameworks. Fertility, on the other hand--a missing link between an individual's early environment, reproductive strategy and fitness--has received little attention. Here, we synthesize this literature by examining the associations between early adversity, age at menarche and fertility and fecundity in women. We examine the evidence that potential mechanisms such as birth weight, childhood body composition, risky health behaviours and developmental influences on attractiveness link the early environment and fecundity and fertility. The evidence that menarche is associated with fertility and fecundity is good. Currently, owing to the small number of correlational studies and mixed methodologies, the evidence that early adversity predicts fecundity and fertility is not conclusive. This area of research is in its infancy; studies examining early adversity and adult fertility decisions that can also examine likely biological, social and psychological pathways present opportunities for future fertility research. PMID:27022073

  16. The relationship between evolutionary biology and religion.

    PubMed

    Reiss, Michael J

    2009-07-01

    Belief in creationism and intelligent design is widespread and gaining significance in a number of countries. This article examines the characteristics of science and of religions and the possible relationship between science and religion. I argue that creationism is sometimes best seen not as a misconception but as a worldview. In such instances, the most to which a science educator (whether in school, college or university) can normally aspire is to ensure that students with creationist beliefs understand the scientific position. In the short term, the scientific worldview is unlikely to supplant a creationist one for students who are firm creationists. We can help students to find their evolutionary biology courses interesting and intellectually challenging without their being threatening. Effective teaching in this area can help students not only learn about the theory of evolution but better appreciate the way science is done, the procedures by which scientific knowledge accumulates, the limitations of science, and the ways in which scientific knowledge differs from other forms of knowledge. PMID:19473393

  17. 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.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    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. PMID:24757163

  18. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Sanchez, Elena; Toboso-Navasa, Amparo; Romero-Camarero, Isabel; Barajas-Diego, Marcos

    2011-01-01

    The latest scientific findings in the field of cancer research are redefining our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, moving the emphasis toward the study of the mechanisms underlying the alteration of the normal processes of cellular differentiation. The concepts best exemplifying this new vision are those of cancer stem cells and tumoral reprogramming. The study of the biology of acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) has provided seminal experimental evidence supporting these new points of view. Furthermore, in the case of B cells, it has been shown that all the stages of their normal development show a tremendous degree of plasticity, allowing them to be reprogrammed to other cellular types, either normal or leukemic. Here we revise the most recent discoveries in the fields of B-cell developmental plasticity and B-ALL research and discuss their interrelationships and their implications for our understanding of the biology of the disease. PMID:22031225

  19. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?

  20. Emerging from the fog: hypotheses and paradigms in developmental biology--the Society for Developmental Biology 2005 Annual Meeting Report.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xin; Barolo, Scott; Bilder, David; Montgomery, Mary; Sinha, Neelima

    2006-01-15

    The Society for Developmental Biology 64th annual meeting took place by the beautiful San Francisco Bay from July 27th to August 1st, 2005. Organized under the leadership of Judith Kimble (SDB President, U. Wisconsin-Madison), the meeting attracted over one thousand developmental biologists from all over the world. They gathered to present data, exchange ideas and enjoy basking in the warm sun on the piers. Strong themes emerged from the diverse subjects discussed at the meeting, demonstrating exciting trends towards the unifying goal of understanding the progression from a single cell to an adult organism. Cell and Tissue Polarity was a recurring topic at the meeting. Questions like "is there polarity", "how is it achieved" and "how is it linked to stem cell maintenance" were discussed. Post-transcriptional regulation involving protein degradation and microRNA (miRNA) modulation of gene expression was featured in the context of transition between meiosis to mitosis and asymmetries in the embryo. It is apparent that Evolutionary Developmental Biology, once a major driving influence in the early days of the field, continues to enjoy a renaissance as researchers familiar with traditional model organisms are increasingly attracted to the field and as modern genetic and molecular approaches are applied to an increasingly varied assortment of organisms. The attention is beginning to pay off as laboratories are starting to generate significant results shedding light into how developmental programs are altered to generate morphological diversity. In the Satellite Symposium on Plant Development held on July 27th, 2005, the overriding theme was on the identity and maintenance of Stem Cells in Plants. Finally, researchers working on diverse organisms have shown a strong effort to address Developmental Coordination: on the subcellular, cellular and tissue levels. Advanced imaging techniques are combined with traditional genetic methods to scrutinize and compare dynamic

  1. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Renda, Brian A.; Hammerling, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales. PMID:24556867

  2. Growth protocols for model plants in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Hennig, Lars

    2010-01-01

    Arabidopsis is the dominating model species for plant developmental biology, but other species serve as models for processes that cannot be studied in Arabidopsis, such as compound leaf or wood formation, or to test the universality of developmental mechanisms initially identified in Arabidopsis. Research in plant developmental biology depends critically on robust growth protocols that will support reproducible development. Here, protocols are given to grow Antirrhinum, Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, maize, Medicago, Petunia, rice, and tomato in the laboratory. PMID:20734250

  3. Women in evolution - highlighting the changing face of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The face of science has changed. Women now feature alongside men at the forefront of many fields, and this is particularly true in evolutionary biology. This special issue celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in evolutionary biology, by highlighting a sample of their research and accomplishments. In addition to original research contributions, this collection of articles contains personal reflections to provide perspective and advice on succeeding as a woman in science. By showcasing the diversity and research excellence of women and drawing on their experiences, we wish to enhance the visibility of female scientists and provide inspiration as well as role models. These are exciting times for evolutionary biology, and the field is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices contributing to the field. PMID:27087836

  4. Rheumatoid arthritis: an evolutionary force in biologics.

    PubMed

    Brown, Philip M; Isaacs, John D

    2015-01-01

    The advent of biologic therapy has transformed the outcomes of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), but has also highlighted important issues for their development. Early attempts at T-cell driven therapies gave mixed results with difficulties extrapolating from non-human models to first in man trials. There is currently one T-cell modulating therapy - abatacept - licenced for use in RA. Cytokine inhibition has proven to be more fruitful with a number of anti-TNF and IL6 agents either licenced for use in RA or in development. The B-cell depleting therapy rituximab has also shown good efficacy as a chemotherapy agent repurposed for RA treatment. Overall the biologics show good efficacy in RA and have been shown to retard progression of radiographic joint damage. However, this benefit comes with a burden of increased infection risk and a financial cost significantly higher than conventional disease modifying therapies. As a result current UK licencing holds the biologics in reserve following failure of a conventional therapy and the presence of moderate to severely active disease. The long term use of the biologics in RA has highlighted the risk of immunogenicity, with significant proportions of patients developing anti-drug antibodies and losing therapeutic effect. The side effect profile and cost also raise the question around duration of therapy and trials of drug tapering following disease remission are now taking place with several biologic agents. Our inability to stratify patients to the most appropriate biologic drug (stratified or precision medicine) has also catalysed a large and critically important research agenda. Beyond identifying new biologic targets, the development of biosimilar agents will likely drive the future shape of the RA biologics market as lower cost alternatives are developed, thereby improving access to these therapies. PMID:25760301

  5. Measuring the evolutionary rewiring of biological networks.

    PubMed

    Shou, Chong; Bhardwaj, Nitin; Lam, Hugo Y K; Yan, Koon-Kiu; Kim, Philip M; Snyder, Michael; Gerstein, Mark B

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21253555

  6. Teaching Evolutionary Biology: Pressures, Stress, and Coping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffith, Joyce A.; Brem, Sarah K.

    2004-01-01

    Understanding what teachers need to be more comfortable and confident in their profession is crucial to the future of effective teachers and scientific literacy in public schools. This study focuses on the experiences of Arizona biology teachers in teaching evolution, using a clinical model of stress to identify sources of pressure, the resulting…

  7. Regeneration in spiralians: evolutionary patterns and developmental processes.

    PubMed

    Bely, Alexandra E; Zattara, Eduardo E; Sikes, James M

    2014-01-01

    Animals differ markedly in their ability to regenerate, yet still little is known about how regeneration evolves. In recent years, important advances have been made in our understanding of animal phylogeny and these provide new insights into the phylogenetic distribution of regeneration. The developmental basis of regeneration is also being investigated in an increasing number of groups, allowing commonalities and differences across groups to become evident. Here, we focus on regeneration in the Spiralia, a group that includes several champions of animal regeneration, as well as many groups with more limited abilities. We review the phylogenetic distribution and developmental processes of regeneration in four major spiralian groups: annelids, nemerteans, platyhelminths, and molluscs. Although comparative data are still limited, this review highlights phylogenetic and developmental patterns that are emerging regarding regeneration in spiralians and identifies important avenues for future research. PMID:25690976

  8. Nomothetics and idiography in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Beloussov, Lev V

    2011-01-01

    Successions of space-temporal structures arisen during development of multicellular organisms are the most regular, complex and reproducible ones among all taking place in the entire nature without a human's intervention. Therefore, the question whether it would be possible to embrace them by a common physicalistic law (nomothetic approach) or they can be only enumerated and described one after another (idiography) is of an overall importance for the natural sciences in general. We review several nomothetic attempts performed in XX century biology and suggest that such laws may have a structure of feedback contours between the active and passive mechanical stresses generated in developing embryos. We trace several steps towards creating such contours and show that they couple mechanics with geometry providing thus a progressive complication of embryonic structure. Then we discuss, in what way genome can influence these morphomechanical laws. We speculate that the main developmental function of genome is to set up the values of the parameters, introduced in these laws. We emphasize that these parameters values acquire a definite meaning only within the context of the laws into which they are introduced. PMID:22220352

  9. Teaching evolutionary biology: Pressures, stress, and coping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffith, Joyce A.; Brem, Sarah K.

    2004-10-01

    Understanding what teachers need to be more comfortable and confident in their profession is crucial to the future of effective teachers and scientific literacy in public schools. This study focuses on the experiences of Arizona biology teachers in teaching evolution, using a clinical model of stress to identify sources of pressure, the resulting stresses, and coping strategies they employ to alleviate these stresses. We conducted focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and written surveys with 15 biology teachers from the Phoenix area. On the basis of their responses, teachers were clustered into three categories: Conflicted, who struggle with their own beliefs and the possible impact of their teaching, Selective, who carefully avoid difficult topics and situations, and Scientists, who see no place for controversial social issues in their science classroom. Teachers from each group felt that they could be more effective in teaching evolution if they possessed the most up-to-date information about evolution and genomics, a safe space in which to reflect on the possible social and personal implications with their peers, and access to richer lesson plans for teaching evolution that include not only science but personal stories regarding how the lessons arose, and what problems and opportunities they created.

  10. Embryonic development of goldfish (Carassius auratus): A model for the study of evolutionary change in developmental mechanisms by artificial selection

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Hsin-Yuan; Chang, Mariann; Liu, Shih-Chieh; Abe, Gembu; Ota, Kinya G

    2013-01-01

    Background: Highly divergent morphology among the different goldfish strains (Carassius auratus) may make it a suitable model for investigating how artificial selection has altered developmental mechanisms. Here we describe the embryological development of the common goldfish (the single fin Wakin), which retains the ancestral morphology of this species. Results: We divided goldfish embryonic development into seven periods consisting of 34 stages, using previously reported developmental indices of zebrafish and goldfish. Although several differences were identified in terms of their yolk size, epiboly process, pigmentation patterns, and development rate, our results indicate that the embryonic features of these two teleost species are highly similar in their overall morphology from the zygote to hatching stage. Conclusions: These results provide an opportunity for further study of the evolutionary relationship between domestication and development, through applying well-established zebrafish molecular biological resources to goldfish embryos. Developmental Dynamics 242:1262–1283, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Key findings This study provides the first reliable descriptions of normal embryonic stages of wild-type goldfish. The embryonic features of goldfish and zebrafish are almost directly comparable. Goldfish embryos provide a novel model for the investigation of the evolutionary relationship between domestication and development. PMID:23913853

  11. Four decades of teaching developmental biology in Germany.

    PubMed

    Grunz, Horst

    2003-01-01

    I have taught developmental biology in Essen for 30 years. Since my department is named Zoophysiologie (Zoophysiology), besides Developmental Biology, I also have to teach General Animal Physiology. This explains why the time for teaching developmental biology is restricted to a lecture course, a laboratory course and several seminar courses. However, I also try to demonstrate in the lecture courses on General Physiology the close relationship between developmental biology, physiology, morphology, anatomy, teratology, carcinogenesis, evolution and ecology (importance of environmental factors on embryogenesis). Students are informed that developmental biology is a core discipline of biology. In the last decade, knowledge about molecular mechanisms in different organisms has exponentially increased. The students are trained to understand the close relationship between conserved gene structure, gene function and signaling pathways, in addition to or as an extension of, classical concepts. Public reports about the human genome project and stem cell research (especially therapeutic and reproductive cloning) have shown that developmental biology, both in traditional view and at the molecular level, is essential for the understanding of these complex topics and for serious and non-emotional debate. PMID:12705670

  12. Evolution, Science and Society: Evolutionary Biology and the National Research Agenda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Meagher, Thomas R.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses ways of advancing understanding of evolutionary biology which seeks to explain all the characteristics of organisms. Describes the goals of evolutionary biology, why it is important, and how it contributes to society and basic science. (ASK)

  13. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology: two disciplines that need each other?

    PubMed

    Cornish-Bowden, Athel; Pereto, Juli; Cardenas, Maria Luz

    2014-03-01

    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 mechanisms that make evolution possible. Less well recognized, but just as important, understanding evolutionary biology is essential for understanding many details of biochemistry that would otherwise be mysterious, such as why the structures of NAD and other coenzymes are far more complicated than their functions would seem to require. Courses of biochemistry should thus pay attention to the essential role of evolution in selecting the molecules of life. PMID:24499786

  14. Evolutionary Developmental Linguistics: Naturalization of the Faculty of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, John L.

    2009-01-01

    Since language is a biological trait, it is necessary to investigate its evolution, development, and functions, along with the mechanisms that have been set aside, and are now recruited, for its acquisition and use. It is argued here that progress toward each of these goals can be facilitated by new programs of research, carried out within a new…

  15. Developmental Dyslexia: A Review of Biological Interactions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galaburda, Albert M.

    1985-01-01

    The author considers cerebral dominance and brain asymmetry, the development of the cerebral cortex and examples of aberrancy, and diseases of the immune system, all of which relate to recent anatomical and epidemiological findings in developmental dyslexia. These discoveries have led to testable hypotheses which may enhance current understandings…

  16. The Fin to Limb Transition: New Data, Interpretations, and Hypotheses from Paleontology and Developmental Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clack, Jennifer A.

    2009-05-01

    After a brief historical review of the fin to limb transition and consideration of a theoretical “prototetrapod,” this article considers new ideas generated from recent fossil finds and from developmental biology that bear on the question of how limbs, digits, limb joints, and pentadactyly evolved. Among the first changes to take place were those to the humerus, in concert with those to the breathing apparatus, and these adaptations were acquired while the animals were still basically aquatic with the evolution of digits occurring during this phase. Studies from developmental biology of modern taxa can be integrated with information from fossils to produce a fuller picture. The acquisition of pentadactyly was among the last changes to occur in the modification of a fin into a limb. This vision differs radically from older theoretical ideas which perceived land locomotion as the prime evolutionary force driving the transition.

  17. The Growth of Developmental Thought: Implications for a New Evolutionary Psychology

    PubMed Central

    Lickliter, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Evolution has come to be increasingly discussed in terms of changes in developmental processes rather than simply in terms of changes in gene frequencies. This shift is based in large part on the recognition that since all phenotypic traits arise during ontogeny as products of individual development, a primary basis for evolutionary change must be variations in the patterns and processes of development. Further, the products of development are epigenetic, not just genetic, and this is the case even when considering the evolutionary process. These insights have led investigators to reconsider the established notion of genes as the primary cause of development, opening the door to research programs focused on identifying how genetic and non-genetic factors coact to guide and constrain the process of development and its outcomes. I explore this growth of developmental thought and its implications for the achievement of a unified theory of heredity, development, and evolution and consider its implications for the realization of a new, developmentally-based evolutionary psychology. PMID:19956346

  18. The evolutionary origin of biological function and complexity.

    PubMed

    Pross, Addy

    2013-04-01

    The identification of dynamic kinetic stability (DKS) as a stability kind that governs the evolutionary process for both chemical and biological replicators, opens up new avenues for uncovering the chemical basis of biological phenomena. In this paper, we utilize the DKS concept to explore the chemical roots of two of biology's central concepts--function and complexity. It is found that the selection rule in the world of persistent replicating systems--from DKS less stable to DKS more stable--is the operational law whose very existence leads to the creation of function from of a world initially devoid of function. The origin of biological complexity is found to be directly related to the origin of function through an underlying connection between the two phenomena. Thus the emergence of both function and complexity during abiogenesis, and their growing expression during biological evolution, are found to be governed by the same single driving force, the drive toward greater DKS. It is reaffirmed that the essence of biological phenomena can be best revealed by uncovering biology's chemical roots, by elucidating the physicochemical principles that governed the process by which life on earth emerged from inanimate matter. PMID:23512244

  19. Developmental plasticity as a cohesive evolutionary process between sympatric alternate-year insect cohorts

    PubMed Central

    Watts, P C; Thompson, D J

    2012-01-01

    Many species, particularly insects, pass through a series of distinct phases during their life history, with the developmental timing directed towards appropriate resources. Any factor that creates variation in developmental timing may partition a population into discrete populations—or ‘cohorts'. Where there is continued failure to recruit outside the natal cohort then alternate cohorts will have their own internal dynamics, eventually leading to independent demographic and evolutionary trajectories. By contrast, continued variation in development rates within a cohort–cohort splitting—may homogenise otherwise independent demographic units. Using a panel of 14 microsatellite loci, we quantify the genetic signature of apparent demographic isolation between coexisting, but alternate, semivoltine cohorts of the damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale at locations that span its distribution in the UK. We find consistently low levels of genetic divergence between sympatric cohorts of C. mercuriale, indicative of developmental plasticity during the larval stage (unregulated development) whereby some individuals complete their development outside the predominant 2-year (semivoltine) period. Thus, individuals that alter their developmental rate successfully recruit to a different cohort. Despite maintaining contrasting population sizes, gene flow between alternate cohorts broadly is sufficient to place them on a similar evolutionary trajectory and also buffers against loss of genetic diversity. Such flexible larval development permits a response to local conditions and may facilitate response to environmental change. PMID:21792228

  20. Evolutionary and developmental contributions for understanding the organization of the basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    Medina, Loreta; Abellán, Antonio; Vicario, Alba; Desfilis, Ester

    2014-01-01

    Herein we take advantage of the evolutionary developmental biology approach in order to improve our understanding of both the functional organization and the evolution of the basal ganglia, with a particular focus on the globus pallidus. Therefore, we review data on the expression of developmental regulatory genes (that play key roles in patterning, regional specification and/or morphogenesis), gene function and fate mapping available in different vertebrate species, which are useful to (a) understand the embryonic origin and basic features of each neuron subtype of the basal ganglia (including neurotransmitter/neuropeptide expression and connectivity patterns); (b) identify the same (homologous) subpopulations in different species and the degree of variation or conservation throughout phylogeny, and (c) identify possible mechanisms that may explain the evolution of the basal ganglia. These data show that the globus pallidus of rodents contains two major subpopulations of GABAergic projection neurons: (1) neurons containing parvalbumin and neurotensin-related hexapetide (LANT6), with descending projections to the subthalamus and substantia nigra, which originate from progenitors expressing Nkx2.1, primarily located in the pallidal embryonic domain (medial ganglionic eminence), and (2) neurons containing preproenkephalin (and possibly calbindin), with ascending projections to the striatum, which appear to originate from progenitors expressing Islet1 in the striatal embryonic domain (lateral ganglionic eminence). Based on data on Nkx2.1, Islet1, LANT6 and proenkephalin, it appears that both cell types are also present in the globus pallidus/dorsal pallidum of chicken, frog and lungfish. In chicken, the globus pallidus also contains neurons expressing substance P (SP), perhaps originating in the striatal embryonic domain. In ray-finned and cartilaginous fishes, the pallidum contains at least the Nkx2.1 lineage cell population (likely representing the neurons

  1. Cognitive Developmental Biology: History, Process and Fortune's Wheel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

    Biological contributions to cognitive development continue to be conceived predominantly along deterministic lines, with proponents of different positions arguing about the preponderance of gene-based versus experience-based influences that organize brain circuits irreversibly during prenatal or early postnatal life, and evolutionary influences…

  2. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Matthew E.; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell-surface glycans are a diverse class of macromolecules that participate in many key biological processes, including cell-cell communication, development, and disease progression. Thus, the ability to modulate the structures of glycans on cell surfaces provides a powerful means not only to understand fundamental processes but also to direct activity and elicit desired cellular responses. Here, we describe methods to sculpt glycans on cell surfaces and highlight recent successes in which artificially engineered glycans have been employed to control biological outcomes such as the immune response and stem cell fate. PMID:26933739

  3. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales

    PubMed Central

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27113916

  4. Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia

    PubMed Central

    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, N P C

    2013-01-01

    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 ratio of presenters at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) Congress 2011, where all abstract submissions were accepted for presentation. Women were under-represented among invited speakers at symposia (15% women) compared to all presenters (46%), regular oral presenters (41%) and plenary speakers (25%). At the ESEB congresses in 2001–2011, 9–23% of invited speakers were women. This under-representation of women is partly attributable to a larger proportion of women, than men, declining invitations: in 2011, 50% of women declined an invitation to speak compared to 26% of men. We expect invited speakers to be scientists from top ranked institutions or authors of recent papers in high-impact journals. Considering all invited speakers (including declined invitations), 23% were women. This was lower than the baseline sex ratios of early-mid career stage scientists, but was similar to senior scientists and authors that have published in high-impact journals. High-quality science by women therefore has low exposure at international meetings, which will constrain Evolutionary Biology from reaching its full potential. We wish to highlight the wider implications of turning down invitations to speak, and encourage conference organizers to implement steps to increase acceptance rates of invited talks. PMID:23786459

  5. Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia.

    PubMed

    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, N P C

    2013-09-01

    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 ratio of presenters at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) Congress 2011, where all abstract submissions were accepted for presentation. Women were under-represented among invited speakers at symposia (15% women) compared to all presenters (46%), regular oral presenters (41%) and plenary speakers (25%). At the ESEB congresses in 2001-2011, 9-23% of invited speakers were women. This under-representation of women is partly attributable to a larger proportion of women, than men, declining invitations: in 2011, 50% of women declined an invitation to speak compared to 26% of men. We expect invited speakers to be scientists from top ranked institutions or authors of recent papers in high-impact journals. Considering all invited speakers (including declined invitations), 23% were women. This was lower than the baseline sex ratios of early-mid career stage scientists, but was similar to senior scientists and authors that have published in high-impact journals. High-quality science by women therefore has low exposure at international meetings, which will constrain Evolutionary Biology from reaching its full potential. We wish to highlight the wider implications of turning down invitations to speak, and encourage conference organizers to implement steps to increase acceptance rates of invited talks. PMID:23786459

  6. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales.

    PubMed

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27113916

  7. Generating new blood flow: integrating developmental biology and tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Krenning, Guido; Moonen, Jan-Renier A J; van Luyn, Marja J A; Harmsen, Martin C

    2008-11-01

    Vascular tissue engineering aims to restore blood flow by seeding artificial tubular scaffolds with endothelial and smooth muscle cells, thus creating bioartificial blood vessels. Herein, the progenitors of smooth muscle and endothelial cells hold great promise because they efficiently differentiate and harbor longevity. In this review, we describe a novel tissue engineering approach that uses current insights from developmental biology, that is, progenitor cell plasticity, and the latest advances in biomaterial design. We focus specifically on developmental processes that regulate progenitor cell (trans)differentiation and offer a platform for the integration of these molecular clues into biomaterial design. We propose a novel engineering paradigm for the creation of a small-diameter blood vessel wherein progenitor cell differentiation and tissue organization are instructed by the biomaterial solely. With this review, we emphasize the power of integrating developmental biology and material science for vascular tissue engineering. PMID:19345319

  8. The extracellular matrix of plants: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    A symposium entitled ``The Extracellular Matrix of Plants: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology was held in Tamarron, Colorado, March 15--21, 1996. The following topics were explored in addresses by 43 speakers: structure and biochemistry of cell walls; biochemistry, molecular biology and biosynthesis of lignin; secretory pathway and synthesis of glycoproteins; biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides, callose and cellulose; role of the extracellular matrix in plant growth and development; plant cell walls in symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  9. Modeling Radial Holoblastic Cleavage: A Laboratory Activity for Developmental Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Linda K.

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a laboratory activity designed for an undergraduate developmental biology course. Uses Play-Doh (plastic modeling clay) to build a multicellular embryo in order to provide a 3-D demonstration of cleavage. Includes notes for the instructor and student directions. (YDS)

  10. Eco-Evolutionary Feedback and the Tuning of Proto-Developmental Life Cycles

    PubMed Central

    Libby, Eric; Rainey, Paul B.

    2013-01-01

    Multicellular organisms depend on developmental programs to coordinate growth and differentiation from single cells, but the origins of development are unclear. A possible starting point is stochastic phenotypic variation generated by molecular noise. Given appropriate environmental conditions, noise-driven differentiation could conceivably evolve so as to come under regulatory control; however, abiotic conditions are likely to be restrictive. Drawing from an experimental system, we present a model in which environmental fluctuations are coupled to population growth. We show that this coupling generates stable selection for a single optimal strategy that is largely insensitive to environmental conditions, including the number of competitors, carrying capacity of the environment, difference in growth rates among phenotypic variants, and population density. We argue that this optimal strategy establishes stabilizing conditions likely to improve the quality and reliability of information experienced by evolving organisms, thus increasing opportunity for the evolutionary emergence of developmental programs. PMID:24367511

  11. Developmental and Evolutionary Lexicon Acquisition in Cognitive Agents/Robots with Grounding Principle: A Short Review.

    PubMed

    Rasheed, Nadia; Amin, Shamsudin H M

    2016-01-01

    Grounded language acquisition is an important issue, particularly to facilitate human-robot interactions in an intelligent and effective way. The evolutionary and developmental language acquisition are two innovative and important methodologies for the grounding of language in cognitive agents or robots, the aim of which is to address current limitations in robot design. This paper concentrates on these two main modelling methods with the grounding principle for the acquisition of linguistic ability in cognitive agents or robots. This review not only presents a survey of the methodologies and relevant computational cognitive agents or robotic models, but also highlights the advantages and progress of these approaches for the language grounding issue. PMID:27069470

  12. Developmental and Evolutionary Lexicon Acquisition in Cognitive Agents/Robots with Grounding Principle: A Short Review

    PubMed Central

    Rasheed, Nadia; Amin, Shamsudin H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Grounded language acquisition is an important issue, particularly to facilitate human-robot interactions in an intelligent and effective way. The evolutionary and developmental language acquisition are two innovative and important methodologies for the grounding of language in cognitive agents or robots, the aim of which is to address current limitations in robot design. This paper concentrates on these two main modelling methods with the grounding principle for the acquisition of linguistic ability in cognitive agents or robots. This review not only presents a survey of the methodologies and relevant computational cognitive agents or robotic models, but also highlights the advantages and progress of these approaches for the language grounding issue. PMID:27069470

  13. Inference of Evolutionary Forces Acting on Human Biological Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Daub, Josephine T.; Dupanloup, Isabelle; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; Excoffier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Because natural selection is likely to act on multiple genes underlying a given phenotypic trait, we study here the potential effect of ongoing and past selection on the genetic diversity of human biological pathways. We first show that genes included in gene sets are generally under stronger selective constraints than other genes and that their evolutionary response is correlated. We then introduce a new procedure to detect selection at the pathway level based on a decomposition of the classical McDonald–Kreitman test extended to multiple genes. This new test, called 2DNS, detects outlier gene sets and takes into account past demographic effects and evolutionary constraints specific to gene sets. Selective forces acting on gene sets can be easily identified by a mere visual inspection of the position of the gene sets relative to their two-dimensional null distribution. We thus find several outlier gene sets that show signals of positive, balancing, or purifying selection but also others showing an ancient relaxation of selective constraints. The principle of the 2DNS test can also be applied to other genomic contrasts. For instance, the comparison of patterns of polymorphisms private to African and non-African populations reveals that most pathways show a higher proportion of nonsynonymous mutations in non-Africans than in Africans, potentially due to different demographic histories and selective pressures. PMID:25971280

  14. Entrepreneurs and Evolutionary Biology: The Relationship between Testosterone and New Venture Creation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Roderick E.; Thornhill, Stewart; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2006-01-01

    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…

  15. Using Nonlinear Stochastic Evolutionary Game Strategy to Model an Evolutionary Biological Network of Organ Carcinogenesis Under a Natural Selection Scheme

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Tsai, Kun-Wei; Li, Cheng-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biologists have long recognized carcinogenesis as an evolutionary process that involves natural selection. Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages. In this study, the evolution of somatic cancer cell lineages during carcinogenesis was modeled as an equilibrium point (ie, phenotype of attractor) shifting, the process of a nonlinear stochastic evolutionary biological network. This process is subject to intrinsic random fluctuations because of somatic genetic and epigenetic variations, as well as extrinsic disturbances because of carcinogens and stressors. In order to maintain the normal function (ie, phenotype) of an evolutionary biological network subjected to random intrinsic fluctuations and extrinsic disturbances, a network robustness scheme that incorporates natural selection needs to be developed. This can be accomplished by selecting certain genetic and epigenetic variations to modify the network structure to attenuate intrinsic fluctuations efficiently and to resist extrinsic disturbances in order to maintain the phenotype of the evolutionary biological network at an equilibrium point (attractor). However, during carcinogenesis, the remaining (or neutral) genetic and epigenetic variations accumulate, and the extrinsic disturbances become too large to maintain the normal phenotype at the desired equilibrium point for the nonlinear evolutionary biological network. Thus, the network is shifted to a cancer phenotype at a new equilibrium point that begins a new evolutionary process. In this study, the natural selection scheme of an evolutionary biological network of carcinogenesis was derived from a robust negative feedback scheme based on the nonlinear stochastic Nash game strategy. The evolvability and phenotypic robustness criteria of the evolutionary cancer network were also estimated by solving a Hamilton–Jacobi inequality – constrained optimization problem. The simulation revealed that the phenotypic shift of the lung cancer

  16. Using Nonlinear Stochastic Evolutionary Game Strategy to Model an Evolutionary Biological Network of Organ Carcinogenesis Under a Natural Selection Scheme.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Tsai, Kun-Wei; Li, Cheng-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biologists have long recognized carcinogenesis as an evolutionary process that involves natural selection. Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages. In this study, the evolution of somatic cancer cell lineages during carcinogenesis was modeled as an equilibrium point (ie, phenotype of attractor) shifting, the process of a nonlinear stochastic evolutionary biological network. This process is subject to intrinsic random fluctuations because of somatic genetic and epigenetic variations, as well as extrinsic disturbances because of carcinogens and stressors. In order to maintain the normal function (ie, phenotype) of an evolutionary biological network subjected to random intrinsic fluctuations and extrinsic disturbances, a network robustness scheme that incorporates natural selection needs to be developed. This can be accomplished by selecting certain genetic and epigenetic variations to modify the network structure to attenuate intrinsic fluctuations efficiently and to resist extrinsic disturbances in order to maintain the phenotype of the evolutionary biological network at an equilibrium point (attractor). However, during carcinogenesis, the remaining (or neutral) genetic and epigenetic variations accumulate, and the extrinsic disturbances become too large to maintain the normal phenotype at the desired equilibrium point for the nonlinear evolutionary biological network. Thus, the network is shifted to a cancer phenotype at a new equilibrium point that begins a new evolutionary process. In this study, the natural selection scheme of an evolutionary biological network of carcinogenesis was derived from a robust negative feedback scheme based on the nonlinear stochastic Nash game strategy. The evolvability and phenotypic robustness criteria of the evolutionary cancer network were also estimated by solving a Hamilton-Jacobi inequality - constrained optimization problem. The simulation revealed that the phenotypic shift of the lung cancer

  17. Social defense: an evolutionary-developmental model of children's strategies for coping with threat in the peer group.

    PubMed

    Martin, Meredith J; Davies, Patrick T; MacNeill, Leigha A

    2014-01-01

    Navigating the ubiquitous conflict, competition, and complex group dynamics of the peer group is a pivotal developmental task of childhood. Difficulty negotiating these challenges represents a substantial source of risk for psychopathology. Evolutionary developmental psychology offers a unique perspective with the potential to reorganize the way we think about the role of peer relationships in shaping how children cope with the everyday challenges of establishing a social niche. To address this gap, we utilize the ethological reformulation of the emotional security theory as a guide to developing an evolutionary framework for advancing an understanding of the defense strategies children use to manage antagonistic peer relationships and protect themselves from interpersonal threat (Davies and Sturge-Apple, 2007). In this way, we hope to illustrate the value of an evolutionary developmental lens in generating unique theoretical insight and novel research directions into the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology. PMID:25299884

  18. Evolutionary and Political Economic Influences on Biological Diversity in African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

    Examines existing data on biological diversity among Americans of African descent within the contexts of their evolutionary backgrounds and political and economic realities. Explores the origins of the diversity, and provides an evolutionary and political economy synthesis for evaluating the biological distinctions apparent among African…

  19. THALIACEANS, THE NEGLECTED PELAGIC RELATIVES OF ASCIDIANS: A DEVELOPMENTAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ENIGMA.

    PubMed

    Piette, Jacques; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-06-01

    Most developmental biologists equate tunicates to the sessile ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis, and the pelagic appendicularians, in particular Oikopleura dioica. However, there exists a third group of tunicates with a pelagic lifestyle, the thaliaceans, which include salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids. Although thaliaceans have raised the curiosity offamous zoologists since the 18th century, the difficulty of observing and experimentally manipulating them has led to many controversies and speculations about their life cycles and developmental strategies, the phylogenetic relationship within the group and with other tunicates, and the drivers of speciation in these widely distributed animals living in a seemingly uniform environment. Here, we take a historical perspective to summarize 250 years of work on this intriguing group of animals, and explore how modern genomics and imaging approaches are starting to solve fascinating evolutionary and developmental riddles. Recent molecular analyses support previous morphological evidence that ascidians are not monophyletic and that thaliaceans evolved from a sessile ascidian-like ancestor. In parallel, preliminary live-imaging and gene-expression data offer exciting entry points to understand how the adoption of a pelagic lifestyle led to drastic modifications in the morphology, embryology, and life cycle of these tunicates, compared to their sessile ancestor. PMID:26285352

  20. Bioinformatics approaches to single-cell analysis in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Yalcin, Dicle; Hakguder, Zeynep M; Otu, Hasan H

    2016-03-01

    Individual cells within the same population show various degrees of heterogeneity, which may be better handled with single-cell analysis to address biological and clinical questions. Single-cell analysis is especially important in developmental biology as subtle spatial and temporal differences in cells have significant associations with cell fate decisions during differentiation and with the description of a particular state of a cell exhibiting an aberrant phenotype. Biotechnological advances, especially in the area of microfluidics, have led to a robust, massively parallel and multi-dimensional capturing, sorting, and lysis of single-cells and amplification of related macromolecules, which have enabled the use of imaging and omics techniques on single cells. There have been improvements in computational single-cell image analysis in developmental biology regarding feature extraction, segmentation, image enhancement and machine learning, handling limitations of optical resolution to gain new perspectives from the raw microscopy images. Omics approaches, such as transcriptomics, genomics and epigenomics, targeting gene and small RNA expression, single nucleotide and structural variations and methylation and histone modifications, rely heavily on high-throughput sequencing technologies. Although there are well-established bioinformatics methods for analysis of sequence data, there are limited bioinformatics approaches which address experimental design, sample size considerations, amplification bias, normalization, differential expression, coverage, clustering and classification issues, specifically applied at the single-cell level. In this review, we summarize biological and technological advancements, discuss challenges faced in the aforementioned data acquisition and analysis issues and present future prospects for application of single-cell analyses to developmental biology. PMID:26358759

  1. New insights into the evolutionary history of biological nitrogen fixation

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Peters, John W.

    2013-01-01

    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 biological N2 fixation. 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 through 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 life sustaining process. PMID:23935594

  2. The Evolutionary Biology and Population Genetics Underlying Fungal Strain Typing

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, John W.; Geiser, David M.; Burt, Austin; Koufopanou, Vassiliki

    1999-01-01

    Strain typing of medically important fungi and fungal population genetics have been stimulated by new methods of tapping DNA variation. The aim of this contribution is to show how awareness of fungal population genetics can increase the utility of strain typing to better serve the interests of medical mycology. Knowing two basic features of fungal population biology, the mode of reproduction and genetic differentiation or isolation, can give medical mycologists information about the intraspecific groups that are worth identifying and the number and type of markers that would be needed to do so. The same evolutionary information can be just as valuable for the selection of fungi for development and testing of pharmaceuticals or vaccines. The many methods of analyzing DNA variation are evaluated in light of the need for polymorphic loci that are well characterized, simple, independent, and stable. Traditional population genetic and new phylogenetic methods for analyzing mode of reproduction, genetic differentiation, and isolation are reviewed. Strain typing and population genetic reports are examined for six medically important species: Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and A. flavus. Research opportunities in the areas of genomics, correlation of clinical variation with genetic variation, amount of recombination, and standardization of approach are suggested. PMID:9880478

  3. Investigating Climate Change and Reproduction: Experimental Tools from Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Grazer, Vera M.; Martin, Oliver Y.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:24832232

  4. Evolutionary biology and genetic techniques for insect control.

    PubMed

    Leftwich, Philip T; Bolton, Michael; Chapman, Tracey

    2016-01-01

    The requirement to develop new techniques for insect control that minimize negative environmental impacts has never been more pressing. Here we discuss population suppression and population replacement technologies. These include sterile insect technique, genetic elimination methods such as the release of insects carrying a dominant lethal (RIDL), and gene driving mechanisms offered by intracellular bacteria and homing endonucleases. We also review the potential of newer or underutilized methods such as reproductive interference, CRISPR technology, RNA interference (RNAi), and genetic underdominance. We focus on understanding principles and potential effectiveness from the perspective of evolutionary biology. This offers useful insights into mechanisms through which potential problems may be minimized, in much the same way that an understanding of how resistance evolves is key to slowing the spread of antibiotic and insecticide resistance. We conclude that there is much to gain from applying principles from the study of resistance in these other scenarios - specifically, the adoption of combinatorial approaches to minimize the spread of resistance evolution. We conclude by discussing the focused use of GM for insect pest control in the context of modern conservation planning under land-sparing scenarios. PMID:27087849

  5. Developmental biology of Cystoisospora (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) monozoic tissue cysts.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, David S; Houk, Alice E; Mitchell, Sheila M; Dubey, J P

    2014-08-01

    Tissue cyst stages are an intriguing aspect of the developmental cycle and transmission of species of Sarcocystidae. Tissue-cyst stages of Toxoplasma, Hammondia, Neospora, Besnoitia, and Sarcocystis contain many infectious stages (bradyzoites). The tissue cyst stage of Cystoisospora (syn. Isospora) possesses only 1 infectious stage (zoite), and is therefore referred to as a monozoic tissue cyst (MZTC). No tissue cyst stages are presently known for members of Nephroisospora. The present report examines the developmental biology of MZTC stages of Cystoisospora Frenkel, 1977 . These parasites cause intestinal coccidiosis in cats, dogs, pigs, and humans. The MZTC stages of C. belli are believed to be associated with reoccurrence of clinical disease in humans. PMID:24841928

  6. Developmental biology teaching - the importance of a practical approach

    PubMed Central

    Mulley, John F

    2015-01-01

    The huge growth in knowledge in many areas of biological sciences over the past few decades has created a major dilemma for those of us in higher education, for not only must we adequately and efficiently convey these new facts and concepts to our students, we must also ensure that they understand and appreciate them. The field of developmental biology has witnessed such a massive growth in knowledge since the mid-1980s, driven mainly by advances in cell and molecular biology, and the development of new imaging techniques and tools. Ensuring that students fully appreciate the four-dimensional nature of embryonic development and morphogenesis is a particular issue, and one that I argue can only be properly learned via direct exposure to embryos via laboratory practicals. PMID:26167273

  7. In search of evolutionary developmental mechanisms: the 30-year gap between 1944 and 1974.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K

    2004-01-15

    The approach I have elected in this retrospective of how I became a student of evo-devo is both biographical and historical, a case study along the lines of Waddington's The Evolution of an Evolutionist ('75), although in my case it is the Evolution of an Evo-devoist. What were the major events that brought me to developmental biology and from there to evo-devo? They were, of course, specific to my generation, to the state of knowledge at the time, and to my own particular circumstances. Although exposed to evolution and embryology as an undergraduate in the 1960s, my PhD and post-PhD research programme lay within developmental biology until the early 1970s. An important formative influence on my studies as an undergraduate was the work of Conrad Hal Waddington (1905-1975), whose writings made me aware of genetic assimilation and gave me an epigenetic approach to my developmental studies. The switch to evo-devo (and my discovery of the existence of the neural crest), I owe to an ASZ (now SICB) symposium held in 1973. PMID:14760651

  8. Evolutionary and developmental implications of asymmetric brain folding in a large primate pedigree.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Elizabeth G; Rogers, Jeffrey; Cheverud, James M

    2016-03-01

    Bilateral symmetry is a fundamental property of the vertebrate central nervous system. Local deviations from symmetry provide various types of information about the development, evolution, and function of elements within the CNS, especially the cerebral hemispheres. Here, we quantify the pattern and extent of asymmetry in cortical folding within the cerebrum of Papio baboons and assess the evolutionary and developmental implications of the findings. Analyses of directional asymmetry show a population-level trend in length measurements indicating that baboons are genetically predisposed to be asymmetrical, with the right side longer than the left in the anterior cerebrum while the left side is longer than the right posteriorly. We also find a corresponding bias to display a right frontal petalia (overgrowth of the anterior pole of the cerebral cortex on the right side). By quantifying fluctuating asymmetry, we assess canalization of brain features and the susceptibility of the baboon brain to developmental perturbations. We find that features are differentially canalized depending on their ontogenetic timing. We further deduce that development of the two hemispheres is to some degree independent. This independence has important implications for the evolution of cerebral hemispheres and their separate specialization. Asymmetry is a major feature of primate brains and is characteristic of both brain structure and function. PMID:26813679

  9. The Zebrafish Models to Explore Genetic and Epigenetic Impacts on Evolutionary Developmental Origins of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Kishi, Shuji

    2014-01-01

    hand, unexpected senescence-related genes might also be involved in the early developmental process and its regulation. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes/genotypes and epigenotype that can be linked to the senescence phenotype, and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. PMID:24239812

  10. Developmental “Roots” in Mature Biological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Robert F.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2009-01-01

    Young children tend to claim that moving artifacts and nonliving natural kinds are alive, but neglect to ascribe life to plants. This research tested whether adults exhibit similar confusions when verifying life status in a speeded classification task. Experiment 1 showed that undergraduates encounter greater difficulty (reduced accuracy and increased response times) in determining life status for plants, relative to animals, and for natural and moving nonliving things, relative to artifacts and non-moving things. Experiment 2 replicated these effects in university biology professors. The professors showed a significantly reduced effect size for living things, as compared with the students, but still showed greater difficulty for plants than animals, even as no differences from the students were apparent in their responses to nonliving things. These results suggest that mature biological knowledge relies on a developmental foundation that is not radically overwritten or erased with the profound conceptual changes that accompany mastery of the domain. PMID:19399979

  11. Proposal for Teaching Evolutionary Biology: A Bridge between Research and Educational Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez Pérez, Eréndira; Ruiz Gutiérrez, Rosaura

    2016-01-01

    We present quantitative results for the doctoral thesis of the first-named author of this article. The objective was to recommend and test a teaching proposal for core knowledge of evolutionary biology in secondary education. The focus of the study is "Problem cores in teaching". The "Weaving evolutionary thinking" teaching…

  12. In silico Evolutionary Developmental Neurobiology and the Origin of Natural Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szathmáry, Eörs; Szathmáry, Zoltán; Ittzés, Péter; Orbaán, Geroő; Zachár, István; Huszár, Ferenc; Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Számadó, Szabolcs

    It is justified to assume that part of our genetic endowment contributes to our language skills, yet it is impossible to tell at this moment exactly how genes affect the language faculty. We complement experimental biological studies by an in silico approach in that we simulate the evolution of neuronal networks under selection for language-related skills. At the heart of this project is the Evolutionary Neurogenetic Algorithm (ENGA) that is deliberately biomimetic. The design of the system was inspired by important biological phenomena such as brain ontogenesis, neuron morphologies, and indirect genetic encoding. Neuronal networks were selected and were allowed to reproduce as a function of their performance in the given task. The selected neuronal networks in all scenarios were able to solve the communication problem they had to face. The most striking feature of the model is that it works with highly indirect genetic encoding--just as brains do.

  13. Inherit the policy: A sociocultural approach to understanding evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.

  14. Evolutionary Theory, the Nature of Science and High School Biology Teachers: Critical Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rutledge, Michael L.; Warden, Melissa A.

    2000-01-01

    Describes a study on establishing the current status of and exploring the relationships among the variables of high school biology teachers' acceptance of evolutionary theory and teacher understanding of the nature of science. (Contains 23 references.) (ASK)

  15. The integration of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology: Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) and the developmental basis of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Levit, George S; Hossfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-07-15

    The growth of evolutionary morphology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was inspired by the work of Carl Gegenbaur (1826-1903) and his protégé and friend Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). However, neither of them succeeded in creating and applying a strictly Darwinian (selectionist) methodology. This task was left to the next generation of evolutionary morphologists. In this paper we present a relatively unknown researcher, Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) who made important contributions towards a synthesis of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology. PMID:15287099

  16. Fluid dynamics in developmental biology: moving fluids that shape ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Julyan H.E.; Piro, Oreste; Tuval, Idan

    2009-01-01

    Human conception, indeed fertilization in general, takes place in a fluid, but what role does fluid dynamics have during the subsequent development of an organism? It is becoming increasingly clear that the number of genes in the genome of a typical organism is not sufficient to specify the minutiae of all features of its ontogeny. Instead, genetics often acts as a choreographer, guiding development but leaving some aspects to be controlled by physical and chemical means. Fluids are ubiquitous in biological systems, so it is not surprising that fluid dynamics should play an important role in the physical and chemical processes shaping ontogeny. However, only in a few cases have the strands been teased apart to see exactly how fluid forces operate to guide development. Here, we review instances in which the hand of fluid dynamics in developmental biology is acknowledged, both in human development and within a wider biological context, together with some in which fluid dynamics is notable but whose workings have yet to be understood, and we provide a fluid dynamicist’s perspective on possible avenues for future research. PMID:19794816

  17. [Volvox (Chlorophyta, Volvocales) as a model organism in developmental biology].

    PubMed

    Desnitskiĭ, A G

    2009-01-01

    Model systems based on two or more related species with different types of development are finding increasing use in current comparative embryology. Green algae of the genus Volvox offer an interesting opportunity to study sex pheromones, morphogenesis as well as the formation of a somatic cell line undergoing terminal differentiation, senescence, and death as well as a line of reproductive cells, which at first grow and then undergo a series of consecutive divisions that give rise to new organisms. However, almost all studies of the recent years were conducted on a single species, Volvox carteri f. nagariensis. The goal of this publication was to advertise the cosmopolitan alga V. aureus as a model species in developmental biology. Published data on V. aureus are briefly reviewed in comparison with the development of V. carteri and outlooks of further studies are specified. In particular, the expediency of collecting new V. aureus strains from nature to study their development in clonal culture is outlined. PMID:19705761

  18. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Luke G., II; Scully, Erik P.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary processes can be studied in nature and in the laboratory, but time and financial constraints result in few opportunities for undergraduate and high school students to explore the agents of genetic change in populations. One alternative to time consuming and expensive teaching laboratories is the use of computer simulations. We…

  19. Evolutionary and developmental analysis reveals KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development.

    PubMed

    Hensley, Monica R; Cui, Zhibin; Chua, Rhys F M; Simpson, Stefanie; Shammas, Nicole L; Yang, Jer-Yen; Leung, Yuk Fai; Zhang, GuangJun

    2016-01-01

    Gene co-option, usually after gene duplication, in the evolution of development is found to contribute to vertebrate morphological innovations, including the endothelium-based vascular system. Recently, a zebrafish kank gene was found expressed in the vascular vessel primordium, suggesting KANK genes are a component of the developmental tool kit for the vertebrate vascular system. However, how the KANK gene family is involved in vascular vessel development during evolution remains largely unknown. First, we analyzed the molecular evolution of the KANK genes in metazoan, and found that KANK1, KANK2, KANK3 and KANK4 emerged in the lineage of vertebrate, consistent with the two rounds of vertebrate whole-genome duplications (WGD). Moreover, KANK genes were further duplicated in teleosts through the bony-fish specific WGD, while only kank1 and kank4 duplicates were retained in some of the examined fish species. We also found all zebrafish kank genes, except kank1b, are primarily expressed during embryonic vascular development. Compared to invertebrate KANK gene expression in the central nervous system, the vascular expression of zebrafish kank genes suggested KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development. Given the cellular roles of KANK genes, our results suggest that this co-option may facilitate the evolutionary origin of vertebrate vascular vessels. PMID:27292017

  20. Evolutionary and developmental analysis reveals KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development

    PubMed Central

    Hensley, Monica R.; Cui, Zhibin; Chua, Rhys F. M.; Simpson, Stefanie; Shammas, Nicole L.; Yang, Jer-Yen; Leung, Yuk Fai; Zhang, GuangJun

    2016-01-01

    Gene co-option, usually after gene duplication, in the evolution of development is found to contribute to vertebrate morphological innovations, including the endothelium-based vascular system. Recently, a zebrafish kank gene was found expressed in the vascular vessel primordium, suggesting KANK genes are a component of the developmental tool kit for the vertebrate vascular system. However, how the KANK gene family is involved in vascular vessel development during evolution remains largely unknown. First, we analyzed the molecular evolution of the KANK genes in metazoan, and found that KANK1, KANK2, KANK3 and KANK4 emerged in the lineage of vertebrate, consistent with the two rounds of vertebrate whole-genome duplications (WGD). Moreover, KANK genes were further duplicated in teleosts through the bony-fish specific WGD, while only kank1 and kank4 duplicates were retained in some of the examined fish species. We also found all zebrafish kank genes, except kank1b, are primarily expressed during embryonic vascular development. Compared to invertebrate KANK gene expression in the central nervous system, the vascular expression of zebrafish kank genes suggested KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development. Given the cellular roles of KANK genes, our results suggest that this co-option may facilitate the evolutionary origin of vertebrate vascular vessels. PMID:27292017

  1. Variation in the volume of zebra finch song control nuclei is heritable: developmental and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed Central

    Airey, D C; Castillo-Juarez, H; Casella, G; Pollak, E J; DeVoogd, T J

    2000-01-01

    In many songbird species, females prefer males that sing a larger repertoire of syllables. Males with more elaborate songs have a larger high vocal centre (HVC) nucleus, the highest structure in the song production pathway. HVC size is thus a potential target of sexual selection. Here we provide evidence that the size of the HVC and other song production nuclei are heritable across individual males within a species. In contrast, we find that heritabilities of other nuclei in a song-learning pathway are lower, suggesting that variation in the sizes of these structures is more closely tied to developmental and environmental differences between individuals. We find that evolvability, a statistical measure that predicts response to selection, is higher for the HVC and its target for song production, the robustus archistriatalis (RA), than for all other brain volumes measured. This suggests that selection based on the functions of these two structures would result in rapid major shifts in their anatomy. We also show that the size of each song control nucleus is significantly correlated with the song related nuclei to which it is monosynaptically connected. Finally, we find that the volume of the telencephalon is larger in males than in females. These findings begin to join theoretical analyses of the role of female choice in the evolution of bird song to neurobiological mechanisms by which the evolutionary changes in behaviour are expressed. PMID:11416915

  2. Vertebral anatomy in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: a developmental and evolutionary analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Booth, Amy C; Webbink, Katherine E

    2007-06-01

    The vertebral column of the Florida manatee presents an unusual suite of morphological traits. Key among these are a small precaudal count, elongate thoracic vertebrae, extremely short neural spines, lack of a sacral series, high lumbar variability, and the presence of six instead of seven cervical vertebrae. This study documents vertebral morphology, size, and lumbar variation in 71 skeletons of Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee) and uses the skeletons of Trichechus senegalensis (west African manatee) and Dugong dugon (dugong) in comparative analysis. Vertebral traits are used to define morphological, and by inference developmental, column modules and to propose their hierarchical relationships. A sequence of evolutionary innovations in column morphology is proposed. Results suggest that the origin of the fluke and low rates of cervical growth originated before separation of trichechids (manatees) and dugongids (dugongs). Meristic reduction in count is a later, trichechid innovation and is expressed across the entire precaudal column. Elongation of thoracic vertebrae may be an innovative strategy to generate an elongate column in an animal with a small precaudal count. Elimination of the lumbus through both meristic and homeotic reduction is currently in progress. PMID:17516429

  3. The role of evolutionary biology in research and control of liver flukes in Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Echaubard, Pierre; Sripa, Banchob; Mallory, Frank F; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27197053

  4. Evolutionary Design in Embryogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashlock, Daniel

    In biology texts embryogeny is defined as "the development or production of an embryo." An embryo is a living creature in its first stage of life, from the fertilized egg cell through the initial development of its morphology and its chemical networks. The study of embryogeny is part of developmental biology [1, 2]. The reader may wonder why a book on evolutionary design should have a section on embryogeny. Computational embryogeny is the study of representations for evolutionary computation that mimic biological embryogeny. These representations contain analogs to the complex biological processes that steer a single cell to become a rose, a mouse, or a man. The advantage of using embryogenic representations is their richness of expression. A small seed of information can be expanded, through a developmental process, into a complex and potentially useful object. This richness of expression comes at a substantial price: the developmental process is sufficiently complex to be unpredictable.

  5. Pancreatic cancer biology and genetics from an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Makohon-Moore, Alvin; Iacobuzio-Donahue, Christine A

    2016-09-01

    Cancer is an evolutionary disease, containing the hallmarks of an asexually reproducing unicellular organism subject to evolutionary paradigms. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (hereafter referred to as pancreatic cancer) is a particularly robust example of this phenomenon. Genomic features indicate that pancreatic cancer cells are selected for fitness advantages when encountering the geographic and resource-depleted constraints of the microenvironment. Phenotypic adaptations to these pressures help disseminated cells to survive in secondary sites, a major clinical problem for patients with this disease. In this Review we gather the wide-ranging aspects of pancreatic cancer research into a single concept rooted in Darwinian evolution, with the goal of identifying novel insights and opportunities for study. PMID:27444064

  6. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Linus J.; Kulesa, Paul M.; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell–cell interactions, cell–environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. PMID:27278647

  7. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. PMID:27278647

  8. Evolutionary Theory in Undergraduate Biology Programs at Lebanese Universities: A Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vlaardingerbroek, Barend; Hachem-El-Masri, Yasmine

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to gauge the profile of evolutionary theory in Lebanese undergraduate biology programs. The research focused mainly on the views of university biology department heads, given that they are the people who exercise the most direct influence over their departments' ethos. An Australasian sample was chosen as a reference…

  9. Evolutionary thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  10. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J.; Meachen, Julie; O’Keefe, F. Robin

    2015-01-01

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change. PMID:25901310

  11. The Stochastic Evolutionary Game for a Population of Biological Networks Under Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Ho, Shih-Ju

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a population of evolutionary biological networks is described by a stochastic dynamic system with intrinsic random parameter fluctuations due to genetic variations and external disturbances caused by environmental changes in the evolutionary process. Since information on environmental changes is unavailable and their occurrence is unpredictable, they can be considered as a game player with the potential to destroy phenotypic stability. The biological network needs to develop an evolutionary strategy to improve phenotypic stability as much as possible, so it can be considered as another game player in the evolutionary process, ie, a stochastic Nash game of minimizing the maximum network evolution level caused by the worst environmental disturbances. Based on the nonlinear stochastic evolutionary game strategy, we find that some genetic variations can be used in natural selection to construct negative feedback loops, efficiently improving network robustness. This provides larger genetic robustness as a buffer against neutral genetic variations, as well as larger environmental robustness to resist environmental disturbances and maintain a network phenotypic traits in the evolutionary process. In this situation, the robust phenotypic traits of stochastic biological networks can be more frequently selected by natural selection in evolution. However, if the harbored neutral genetic variations are accumulated to a sufficiently large degree, and environmental disturbances are strong enough that the network robustness can no longer confer enough genetic robustness and environmental robustness, then the phenotype robustness might break down. In this case, a network phenotypic trait may be pushed from one equilibrium point to another, changing the phenotypic trait and starting a new phase of network evolution through the hidden neutral genetic variations harbored in network robustness by adaptive evolution. Further, the proposed evolutionary game is extended to

  12. Environmental quality, developmental plasticity and the thrifty phenotype: a review of evolutionary models.

    PubMed

    Wells, Jonathan C K

    2007-01-01

    The concept of the thrifty phenotype, first proposed by Hales and Barker, is now widely used in medical research, often in contrast to the thrifty genotype model, to interpret associations between early-life experience and adult health status. Several evolutionary models of the thrifty phenotype, which refers to developmental plasticity, have been presented. These include (A) the weather forecast model of Bateson, (B) the maternal fitness model of Wells, (C) the intergenerational phenotypic inertia model of Kuzawa, and (D) the predictive adaptive response model of Gluckman and Hanson. These models are compared and contrasted, in order to assess their relative utility for understanding human ontogenetic development. The most broadly applicable model is model A, which proposes that developing organisms respond to cues of environmental quality, and that mismatches between this forecast and subsequent reality generate significant adverse effects in adult phenotype. The remaining models all address in greater detail what kind of information is provided by such a forecast. Whereas both models B and C emphasise the adaptive benefits of exploiting information about the past, encapsulated in maternal phenotype, model D assumes that the fetus uses cues about the present external environment to predict its probable adult environment. I argue that for humans, with a disproportionately long period between the closing of sensitive windows of plasticity and the attainment of reproductive maturity, backward-looking models B and C represent a better approach, and indicate that the developing offspring aligns itself with stable cues of maternal phenotype so as to match its energy demand with maternal capacity to supply. In contrast, the predictive adaptive response model D over-estimates the capacity of the offspring to predict the future, and also fails to address the long-term parent-offspring dynamics of human development. Differences between models have implications for the

  13. Evolutionary Design in Biological Physics and Materials Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, M.; Park, J.-M.; Deem, M. W.

    In this chapter we provide a thorough discussion of the theoretical description of the multi-site approach to cancer vaccination. The discussion is somewhat demanding from a biological point of view. References to primary biological publications are given. A general reference on immunology is [1].

  14. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    PubMed Central

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Public health evolutionary biology of antimicrobial resistance: priorities for intervention

    PubMed Central

    Baquero, Fernando; Lanza, Val F; Cantón, Rafael; Coque, Teresa M

    2015-01-01

    The three main processes shaping the evolutionary ecology of antibiotic resistance (AbR) involve the emergence, invasion and occupation by antibiotic-resistant genes of significant environments for human health. The process of emergence in complex bacterial populations is a high-frequency, continuous swarming of ephemeral combinatory genetic and epigenetic explorations inside cells and among cells, populations and communities, expanding in different environments (migration), creating the stochastic variation required for evolutionary progress. Invasion refers to the process by which AbR significantly increases in frequency in a given (invaded) environment, led by external invaders local multiplication and spread, or by endogenous conversion. Conversion occurs because of the spread of AbR genes from an exogenous resistant clone into an established (endogenous) bacterial clone(s) colonizing the environment; and/or because of dissemination of particular resistant genetic variants that emerged within an endogenous clonal population. Occupation of a given environment by a resistant variant means a permanent establishment of this organism in this environment, even in the absence of antibiotic selection. Specific interventions on emergence influence invasion, those acting on invasion also influence occupation and interventions on occupation determine emergence. Such interventions should be simultaneously applied, as they are not simple solutions to the complex problem of AbR. PMID:25861381

  16. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    PubMed

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    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. PMID:26668171

  17. Developmental consequences and biological significance of mother-infant bonding.

    PubMed

    Mogi, Kazutaka; Nagasawa, Miho; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2011-07-01

    Mother-infant bonding is universal to all mammalian species. Here, we review how mutual communication between the mother and infant leads to mother-infant bonding in non-primate species. In rodents, mother-infant bond formation is reinforced by various pup stimuli, such as tactile stimuli and ultrasonic vocalizations. Evidence suggests that the oxytocin neural system plays a pivotal role in each aspect of the mother-infant bonding, although the mechanisms underlying bond formation in the brain of infants has not yet been clarified. Impairment of mother-infant bonding strongly influences offspring sociality. We describe the negative effects of mother-infant bonding deprivation on the neurobehavioral development in rodent offspring, even if weaning occurs in the later lactating period. We also discuss similar effects observed in pigs and dogs, which are usually weaned earlier than under natural conditions. The comparative understanding of the developmental consequences of mother-infant bonding and the underlying mechanisms provide insight into the biological significance of this bonding in mammals, and may help us to understand psychiatric disorders related to child abuse or childhood neglect. PMID:20817069

  18. Design of synthetic biological logic circuits based on evolutionary algorithm.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Chia-Hua; Lin, Chun-Liang; Chang, Yen-Chang; Jennawasin, Tanagorn; Chen, Po-Kuei

    2013-08-01

    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. PMID:23919952

  19. Evolutionary Tradeoffs between Economy and Effectiveness in Biological Homeostasis Systems

    PubMed Central

    Szekely, Pablo; Sheftel, Hila; Mayo, Avi; Alon, Uri

    2013-01-01

    Biological regulatory systems face a fundamental tradeoff: they must be effective but at the same time also economical. For example, regulatory systems that are designed to repair damage must be effective in reducing damage, but economical in not making too many repair proteins because making excessive proteins carries a fitness cost to the cell, called protein burden. In order to see how biological systems compromise between the two tasks of effectiveness and economy, we applied an approach from economics and engineering called Pareto optimality. This approach allows calculating the best-compromise systems that optimally combine the two tasks. We used a simple and general model for regulation, known as integral feedback, and showed that best-compromise systems have particular combinations of biochemical parameters that control the response rate and basal level. We find that the optimal systems fall on a curve in parameter space. Due to this feature, even if one is able to measure only a small fraction of the system's parameters, one can infer the rest. We applied this approach to estimate parameters in three biological systems: response to heat shock and response to DNA damage in bacteria, and calcium homeostasis in mammals. PMID:23950698

  20. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    How Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful” have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating “evolutionary thinking” into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. PMID:25664446

  1. Evolution of microbes and viruses: a paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Wolf, Yuri I.

    2012-01-01

    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: (1) 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, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) 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 biology. PMID

  2. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

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

  4. A Course in Evolutionary Biology: Engaging Students in the "Practice" of Evolution. Research Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. Latitudinal clines: an evolutionary view on biological rhythms†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Hut, Roelof A.; Paolucci, Silvia; Dor, Roi; Kyriacou, Charalambos P.; Daan, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Properties of the circadian and annual timing systems are expected to vary systematically with latitude on the basis of different annual light and temperature patterns at higher latitudes, creating specific selection pressures. We review literature with respect to latitudinal clines in circadian phenotypes as well as in polymorphisms of circadian clock genes and their possible association with annual timing. The use of latitudinal (and altitudinal) clines in identifying selective forces acting on biological rhythms is discussed, and we evaluate how these studies can reveal novel molecular and physiological components of these rhythms. PMID:23825204

  6. The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The evolutionary synthesis, the standard 20th century view of how evolutionary change occurs, is based on selection, heritable phenotypic variation and a very simple view of genes. It is therefore unable to incorporate two key aspects of modern molecular knowledge: first is the richness of genomic variation, so much more complicated than simple mutation, and second is the opaque relationship between the genotype and its resulting phenotype. Two new and important books shed some light on how we should view evolutionary change now. Evolution: a view from the 21st century by J.A. Shapiro (2011, FT Press Science, New Jersey, USA. pp. 246.) examines the richness of genomic variation and its implications. Transformations of Lamarckism: from Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology edited by S.B. Gissis & E. Jablonka (2011, MIT Press, Cambridge, USA. pp. 457) includes some 40 papers that anyone with an interest in the history of evolutionary thought and the relationship between the environment and the genome will want to read. This review discusses both books within the context of contemporary evolutionary thinking and points out that neither really comes to terms with today's key systems-biology question: how does mutation-induced variation in a molecular network generate variation in the resulting phenotype? PMID:22053760

  7. On the Interplay between the Evolvability and Network Robustness in an Evolutionary Biological Network: A Systems Biology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2011-01-01

    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

  8. Making developmental biology relevant to undergraduates in an era of economic rationalism in Australia.

    PubMed

    Key, Brian; Nurcombe, Victor

    2003-01-01

    This report describes the road map we followed at our university to accommodate three main factors: financial pressure within the university system; desire to enhance the learning experience of undergraduates; and motivation to increase the prominence of the discipline of developmental biology in our university. We engineered a novel, multi-year undergraduate developmental biology program which was "student-oriented," ensuring that students were continually exposed to the underlying principles and philosophy of this discipline throughout their undergraduate career. Among its key features are introductory lectures in core courses in the first year, which emphasize the relevance of developmental biology to tissue engineering, reproductive medicine, therapeutic approaches in medicine, agriculture and aquaculture. State-of-the-art animated computer graphics and images of high visual impact are also used. In addition, students are streamed into the developmental biology track in the second year, using courses like human embryology and courses shared with cell biology, which include practicals based on modern experimental approaches. Finally, fully dedicated third-year courses in developmental biology are undertaken in conjunction with stand-alone practical courses where students experiencefirst-hand work in a research laboratory. Our philosophy is a "cradle-to-grave" approach to the education of undergraduates so as to prepare highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-educated developmental biologists for entry into graduate programs and ultimately post-doctoral research. PMID:12705657

  9. Coadaptation: a unifying principle in evolutionary thermal biology.

    PubMed

    Angilletta, Michael J; Bennett, Albert F; Guderley, Helga; Navas, Carlos A; Seebacher, Frank; Wilson, Robbie S

    2006-01-01

    Over the last 50 yr, thermal biology has shifted from a largely physiological science to a more integrated science of behavior, physiology, ecology, and evolution. Today, the mechanisms that underlie responses to environmental temperature are being scrutinized at levels ranging from genes to organisms. From these investigations, a theory of thermal adaptation has emerged that describes the evolution of thermoregulation, thermal sensitivity, and thermal acclimation. We review and integrate current models to form a conceptual model of coadaptation. We argue that major advances will require a quantitative theory of coadaptation that predicts which strategies should evolve in specific thermal environments. Simply combining current models, however, is insufficient to understand the responses of organisms to thermal heterogeneity; a theory of coadaptation must also consider the biotic interactions that influence the net benefits of behavioral and physiological strategies. Such a theory will be challenging to develop because each organism's perception of and response to thermal heterogeneity depends on its size, mobility, and life span. Despite the challenges facing thermal biologists, we have never been more pressed to explain the diversity of strategies that organisms use to cope with thermal heterogeneity and to predict the consequences of thermal change for the diversity of communities. PMID:16555188

  10. Evolutionary and Biological Implications of Dental Mesial Drift in Rodents: The Case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view. PMID:23185576

  11. Evolution of the neocortex: a perspective from developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Rakic, Pasko

    2009-10-01

    The enlargement and species-specific elaboration of the cerebral neocortex during evolution holds the secret to the mental abilities of humans; however, the genetic origin and cellular mechanisms that generated the distinct evolutionary advancements are not well understood. This article describes how novelties that make us human may have been introduced during evolution, based on findings in the embryonic cerebral cortex in different mammalian species. The data on the differences in gene expression, new molecular pathways and novel cellular interactions that have led to these evolutionary advances may also provide insight into the pathogenesis and therapies for human-specific neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:19763105

  12. Conciliation biology: the eco-evolutionary management of permanently invaded biotic systems

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P

    2011-01-01

    Biotic invaders and similar anthropogenic novelties such as domesticates, transgenics, and cancers can alter ecology and evolution in environmental, agricultural, natural resource, public health, and medical systems. The resulting biological changes may either hinder or serve management objectives. For example, biological control and eradication programs are often defeated by unanticipated resistance evolution and by irreversibility of invader impacts. Moreover, eradication may be ill-advised when nonnatives introduce beneficial functions. Thus, contexts that appear to call for eradication may instead demand managed coexistence of natives with nonnatives, and yet applied biologists have not generally considered the need to manage the eco-evolutionary dynamics that commonly result from interactions of natives with nonnatives. Here, I advocate a conciliatory approach to managing systems where novel organisms cannot or should not be eradicated. Conciliatory strategies incorporate benefits of nonnatives to address many practical needs including slowing rates of resistance evolution, promoting evolution of indigenous biological control, cultivating replacement services and novel functions, and managing native–nonnative coevolution. Evolutionary links across disciplines foster cohesion essential for managing the broad impacts of novel biotic systems. Rather than signaling defeat, conciliation biology thus utilizes the predictive power of evolutionary theory to offer diverse and flexible pathways to more sustainable outcomes. PMID:25567967

  13. Developmental biology of Cystoisospora (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) monozoic tissue cysts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tissue cyst stages are an intriguing aspect of the developmental cycle and transmission of members of the Family Sarcocystidae. Tissue cyst stages of the genera Toxoplasma, Hammondia, Neospora, Besnoitia, and Sarcocystis contain many infectious stages (bradyzoites).The tissue cyst stage of Cystoisos...

  14. Developmental Plasticity in Children: The Role of Biological Risk, Development, Time, and Reserve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennis, Maureen

    2000-01-01

    This article discusses newer views of functional developmental plasticity occurring after biological insults to the developing central nervous system (CNS), including concepts of neurobehavioral outcome and ways to measure it, biological risk, age and development at onset of CNS insult, time since onset of CNS insult, and reserve. (Contains…

  15. The Nestor Effect: Extending Evolutionary Developmental Psychology to a Lifespan Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greve, Werner; Bjorklund, David F.

    2009-01-01

    We extend an evolutionary perspective of development to the lifespan, proposing that human longevity may be related to the experience, knowledge, and wisdom provided by older members of human groups. In addition to the assistance in childcare provided by grandmothers to their daughters, the experience of wise elders could have served to benefit…

  16. Can systems biology help to separate evolutionary analogies (convergent homoplasies) from homologies?

    PubMed

    Gordon, Malcolm S; Notar, Julia C

    2015-01-01

    Convergent evolutionary analogies (homoplasies) of many kinds occur in diverse phylogenetic clades/lineages on both the animal and plant branches of the Tree of Life. Living organisms whose last common ancestors lived millions to hundreds of millions of years ago have later converged morphologically, behaviorally or at other levels of functionality (from molecular genetics through biochemistry, physiology and other organismic processes) as a result of long term strong natural selection that has constrained and channeled evolutionary processes. This happens most often when organisms belonging to different clades occupy ecological niches, habitats or environments sharing major characteristics that select for a relatively narrow range of organismic properties. Systems biology, broadly defined, provides theoretical and methodological approaches that are beginning to make it possible to answer a perennial evolutionary biological question relating to convergent homoplasies: Are at least some of the apparent analogies actually unrecognized homologies? This review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of important aspects of this topic area. It also provides a resource describing many homoplasies that may be fruitful subjects for systems biological research. PMID:25620424

  17. Polarized Light Microscopy in Reproductive and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    KOIKE-TANI, MAKI; TANI, TOMOMI; MEHTA, SHALIN B.; VERMA, AMITABH; OLDENBOURG, RUDOLF

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The polarized light microscope reveals orientational order in native molecular structures inside living cells, tissues, and whole organisms. It is a powerful tool used to monitor and analyze the early developmental stages of organisms that lend themselves to microscopic observations. In this article, we briefly discuss the components specific to a traditional polarizing microscope and some historically important observations on: chromosome packing in the sperm head, the first zygote division of the sea urchin, and differentiation initiated by the first asymmetric cell division in the sand dollar. We then introduce the LC-PolScope and describe its use for measuring birefringence and polarized fluorescence in living cells and tissues. Applications range from the enucleation of mouse oocytes to analyzing the polarized fluorescence of the water strider acrosome. We end with new results on the birefringence of the developing chick brain, which we analyzed between developmental stages of days 12–20. PMID:23901032

  18. Developmental Plasticity in Protea as an Evolutionary Response to Environmental Clines in the Cape Floristic Region

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Jane E.; Holsinger, Kent E.

    2012-01-01

    Local adaptation along steep environmental gradients likely contributes to plant diversity in the Cape Region of South Africa, yet existing analyses of trait divergence are limited to static measurements of functional traits rather than trajectories of individual development. We explore whether five taxa of evergreen shrubs (Protea section Exsertae) differ in their developmental trajectories and capacity for plasticity using two environmentally-distinct common gardens in South Africa. We measured seedlings in the summer-dry season and winter-wet season of each of two consecutive years to characterize ontogeny and plasticity within years, as same-age leaf cohorts mature, and between years, i.e., from leaf one cohort to the next. We compared patterns of development between gardens to assess whether trait trajectories are programmed versus plastic and examined whether developmental differences covaried with characteristics of a seedling’s home environment. We detected plasticity in developmental trajectories for leaf area, stomatal size, stomatal pore index, and to a limited extent specific leaf area, but not for stomatal density. We showed that the species growing in the harshest environments exhibits both the smallest increase in leaf area between years and the least change in SLA and photosynthetic rates as leaves age within years. These results show that within this clade, species have diverged in developmental trajectories and plasticity as well as in mean trait values. Some of these differences may be associated with adaptation to cold and drought stress within an environmentally-complex region. PMID:23272203

  19. Hard to swallow: Developmental biological insights into pediatric dysphagia.

    PubMed

    LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel; Moody, Sally A; Maynard, Thomas M; Karpinski, Beverly A; Zohn, Irene E; Mendelowitz, David; Lee, Norman H; Popratiloff, Anastas

    2016-01-15

    Pediatric dysphagia-feeding and swallowing difficulties that begin at birth, last throughout childhood, and continue into maturity--is one of the most common, least understood complications in children with developmental disorders. We argue that a major cause of pediatric dysphagia is altered hindbrain patterning during pre-natal development. Such changes can compromise craniofacial structures including oropharyngeal muscles and skeletal elements as well as motor and sensory circuits necessary for normal feeding and swallowing. Animal models of developmental disorders that include pediatric dysphagia in their phenotypic spectrum can provide mechanistic insight into pathogenesis of feeding and swallowing difficulties. A fairly common human genetic developmental disorder, DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) includes a substantial incidence of pediatric dysphagia in its phenotypic spectrum. Infant mice carrying a parallel deletion to 22q11DS patients have feeding and swallowing difficulties that approximate those seen in pediatric dysphagia. Altered hindbrain patterning, craniofacial malformations, and changes in cranial nerve growth prefigure these difficulties. Thus, in addition to craniofacial and pharyngeal anomalies that arise independently of altered neural development, pediatric dysphagia may result from disrupted hindbrain patterning and its impact on peripheral and central neural circuit development critical for feeding and swallowing. The mechanisms that disrupt hindbrain patterning and circuitry may provide a foundation to develop novel therapeutic approaches for improved clinical management of pediatric dysphagia. PMID:26554723

  20. On the evolutionary origins of life-course persistent offending: a theoretical scaffold for Moffitt's developmental taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Boutwell, Brian B; Barnes, J C; Deaton, Raelynn; Beaver, Kevin M

    2013-04-01

    The study of human crime and violence represents a flashpoint for discussion across academia. Multiple theories exist pertaining to the topic, all aimed at organizing numerous findings surrounding correlates of antisocial behavior. Along these lines, Moffitt's developmental taxonomy has emerged as a theory well supported by empirical research. Noticeably absent, though, has been an effort to apply an evolutionary framework to Moffitt's dual taxonomy of offending. With this in mind, the current study is intended to examine Moffitt's different typologies in the context of Rushton's Differential K theory (an adaptation of r-K selection from life history theory). Our findings suggest that life-course persistent offending may represent a viable reproductive strategy characterized by higher levels of sexual involvement over the life-course. PMID:23333839

  1. The society for craniofacial genetics and developmental biology 38th annual meeting.

    PubMed

    Taneyhill, Lisa A; Hoover-Fong, Julie; Lozanoff, Scott; Marcucio, Ralph; Richtsmeier, Joan T; Trainor, Paul A

    2016-07-01

    The mission of the Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB) is to promote education, research, and communication about normal and abnormal development of the tissues and organs of the head. The SCGDB welcomes as members undergraduate students, graduate students, post doctoral researchers, clinicians, orthodontists, scientists, and academicians who share an interest in craniofacial biology. Each year our members come together to share their novel findings, build upon, and challenge current knowledge of craniofacial biology. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27102868

  2. Virtual Tissues and Developmental Systems Biology (book chapter)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Virtual tissue (VT) models provide an in silico environment to simulate cross-scale properties in specific tissues or organs based on knowledge of the underlying biological networks. These integrative models capture the fundamental interactions in a biological system and enable ...

  3. Sex-Specific Pathways to Early Puberty, Sexual Debut, and Sexual Risk Taking: Tests of an Integrated Evolutionary-Developmental Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Jenee; Ellis, Bruce J.; Schlomer, Gabriel L.; Garber, Judy

    2012-01-01

    The current study tested sex-specific pathways to early puberty, sexual debut, and sexual risk taking, as specified by an integrated evolutionary-developmental model of adolescent sexual development and behavior. In a prospective study of 238 adolescents (n = 129 girls and n = 109 boys) followed from approximately 12-18 years of age, we tested for…

  4. Learning developmental biology has priority in the life sciences curriculum in Singapore.

    PubMed

    Lim, Tit-Meng

    2003-01-01

    Singapore has embraced the life sciences as an important discipline to be emphasized in schools and universities. This is part of the nation's strategic move towards a knowledge-based economy, with the life sciences poised as a new engine for economic growth. In the life sciences, the area of developmental biology is of prime interest, since it is not just intriguing for students to know how a single cell can give rise to a complex, coordinated, functional life that is multicellular and multifaceted, but more importantly, there is much in developmental biology that can have biomedical implications. At different levels in the Singapore educational system, students are exposed to various aspects of developmental biology. The author has given many guest lectures to secondary (ages 12-16) and high school (ages 17-18) students to enthuse them about topics such as embryo cloning and stem cell biology. At the university level, some selected topics in developmental biology are part of a broader course which caters for students not majoring in the life sciences, so that they will learn to comprehend how development takes place and the significance of the knowledge and impacts of the technologies derived in the field. For students majoring in the life sciences, the subject is taught progressively in years two and three, so that students will gain specialist knowledge in developmental biology. As they learn, students are exposed to concepts, principles and mechanisms that underlie development. Different model organisms are studied to demonstrate the rapid advances in this field and to show the interconnectivity of developmental themes among living things. The course inevitably touches on life and death matters, and the social and ethical implications of recent technologies which enable scientists to manipulate life are discussed accordingly, either in class, in a discussion forum, or through essay writing. PMID:12705658

  5. Adult renal cystic disease: a genetic, biological, and developmental primer.

    PubMed

    Katabathina, Venkata S; Kota, Gopi; Dasyam, Anil K; Shanbhogue, Alampady K P; Prasad, Srinivasa R

    2010-10-01

    Renal cystic diseases in adults are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by the presence of multiple cysts in the kidneys. These diseases may be categorized as hereditary, acquired, or developmental on the basis of their pathogenesis. Hereditary conditions include autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, medullary cystic kidney disease, von Hippel-Lindau disease, and tuberous sclerosis. Acquired conditions include cystic kidney disease, which develops in patients with end-stage renal disease. Developmental cystic diseases of the adult kidney include localized renal cystic disease, multicystic dysplastic kidney, and medullary sponge kidney. In recent years, many molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of renal cystic diseases have been identified. Hereditary renal cystic diseases are characterized by genetic mutations that lead to defects in the structure and function of the primary cilia of renal tubular epithelial cells, abnormal proliferation of tubular epithelium, and increased fluid secretion, all of which ultimately result in the development of renal cysts. A better understanding of these pathophysiologic mechanisms is now providing the basis for the development of more targeted therapeutic drugs for some of these disorders. Cross-sectional imaging provides useful information for diagnosis, surveillance, prognostication, and evaluation of treatment response in renal cystic diseases. PMID:21071372

  6. Developmental tuning of reflexive attentional effect to biological motion cues

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jing; Wang, Li; Wang, Ying; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Su; Jiang, Yi

    2014-01-01

    The human visual system is extremely sensitive to the direction information retrieved from biological motion. In the current study, we investigate the functional impact of this sensitivity on attentional orienting in young children. We found that children as early as 4 years old, like adults, showed a robust reflexive attentional orienting effect to the walking direction of an upright point-light walker, indicating that biological motion signals can automatically direct spatial attention at an early age. More importantly, the inversion effect associated with attentional orienting emerges by 4 years old and gradually develops into a similar pattern found in adults. These results provide strong evidence that biological motion cues can guide the distribution of spatial attention in young children, and highlight a critical development from a broadly- to finely-tuned process of utilizing biological motion cues in the human social brain. PMID:24990449

  7. Biochemistry and physiology within the framework of the extended synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Angelo; Passamonti, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Functional biologists, like Claude Bernard, ask "How?", meaning that they investigate the mechanisms underlying the emergence of biological functions (proximal causes), while evolutionary biologists, like Charles Darwin, asks "Why?", meaning that they search the causes of adaptation, survival and evolution (remote causes). Are these divergent views on what is life? The epistemological role of functional biology (molecular biology, but also biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and so forth) appears essential, for its capacity to identify several mechanisms of natural selection of new characters, individuals and populations. Nevertheless, several issues remain unsolved, such as orphan metabolic activities, i.e., adaptive functions still missing the identification of the underlying genes and proteins, and orphan genes, i.e., genes that bear no signature of evolutionary history, yet provide an organism with improved adaptation to environmental changes. In the framework of the Extended Synthesis, we suggest that the adaptive roles of any known function/structure are reappraised in terms of their capacity to warrant constancy of the internal environment (homeostasis), a concept that encompasses both proximal and remote causes. PMID:26861860

  8. The biology of developmental plasticity and the Predictive Adaptive Response hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Patrick; Gluckman, Peter; Hanson, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Many forms of developmental plasticity have been observed and these are usually beneficial to the organism. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis refers to a form of developmental plasticity in which cues received in early life influence the development of a phenotype that is normally adapted to the environmental conditions of later life. When the predicted and actual environments differ, the mismatch between the individual's phenotype and the conditions in which it finds itself can have adverse consequences for Darwinian fitness and, later, for health. Numerous examples exist of the long-term effects of cues indicating a threatening environment affecting the subsequent phenotype of the individual organism. Other examples consist of the long-term effects of variations in environment within a normal range, particularly in the individual's nutritional environment. In mammals the cues to developing offspring are often provided by the mother's plane of nutrition, her body composition or stress levels. This hypothetical effect in humans is thought to be important by some scientists and controversial by others. In resolving the conflict, distinctions should be drawn between PARs induced by normative variations in the developmental environment and the ill effects on development of extremes in environment such as a very poor or very rich nutritional environment. Tests to distinguish between different developmental processes impacting on adult characteristics are proposed. Many of the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity involve molecular epigenetic processes, and their elucidation in the context of PARs and more widely has implications for the revision of classical evolutionary theory. PMID:24882817

  9. Evolutionary Changes in the Developmental Origin of Hatching Gland Cells in Basal Ray-Finned Fishes.

    PubMed

    Nagasawa, Tatsuki; Kawaguchi, Mari; Yano, Tohru; Sano, Kaori; Okabe, Masataka; Yasumasu, Shigeki

    2016-06-01

    Hatching gland cells (HGCs) originate from different germ layers between frogs and teleosts, although the hatching enzyme genes are orthologous. Teleostei HGCs differentiate in the mesoendodermal cells at the anterior end of the involved hypoblast layer (known as the polster) in late gastrula embryos. Conversely, frog HGCs differentiate in the epidermal cells at the neural plate border in early neurula embryos. To infer the transition in the developmental origin of HGCs, we studied two basal ray-finned fishes, bichir (Polypterus) and sturgeon. We observed expression patterns of their hatching enzyme (HE) and that of three transcription factors that are critical for HGC differentiation: KLF17 is common to both teleosts and frogs; whereas FoxA3 and Pax3 are specific to teleosts and frogs, respectively. We then inferred the transition in the developmental origin of HGCs. In sturgeon, the KLF17, FoxA3, and HE genes were expressed during the tailbud stage in the cell mass at the anterior region of the body axis, a region corresponding to the polster in teleost embryos. In contrast, the bichir was suggested to possess both teleost- and amphibian-type HGCs, i.e. the KLF17 and FoxA3 genes were expressed in the anterior cell mass corresponding to the polster, and the KLF17, Pax3 and HE genes were expressed in dorsal epidermal layer of the head. The change in developmental origin is thought to have occurred during the evolution of basal ray-finned fish, because bichir has two HGCs, while sturgeon only has the teleost-type. PMID:27268981

  10. Plant Developmental Biology in Spain: from the origins to our days and prospects for the future.

    PubMed

    Beltrán, José-Pío

    2009-01-01

    The origins of modern Plant Developmental Biology in Spain can be traced back to a handful of scientists settled in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla, who devoted themselves to plant biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, and also to Drosophila developmental biology, which influenced, often unintentionally, the pioneers of this field. To reach the present day situation, the experience acquired in centres abroad has also been important, especially in plant research institutes in the USA, Germany (Max-Planck Institute für Züchtungsforschung) and United Kingdom (John Innes Centre). The contributions of Spanish scientists to the advancement of Plant Developmental Biology appears to be imbalanced towards reproductive biology, although relevant publications have also been reported on embryogenesis and seed development, shoot branching, tuberization, vascular morphogenesis, leaf development, regulation of development by light, signal transduction and hormone action and the connection between growth and development. Plant Developmental Biology in Spain is going through a flourishing time, with its future being highly dependent on i) appropriate funding conditions to its young scientists, ii) the opening of new areas of research, iii) the incorporation of technological breakthroughs into laboratories and iv) the carrying out of cooperative research by means of networking. Currently, besides many Departments of the Spanish universities, several centres in which competitive research in plant Developmental Biology can be accomplished, exist: the CNB and CBGP in Madrid, the LGMV CSIC-IRTA in Barcelona, the IBMCP CSIC-UPV, in Valencia and the IBVF CSIC-USE in Sevilla. Let's go for more! PMID:19247931

  11. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations. PMID:26154335

  12. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience: Origins, Issues, and Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennington, Bruce F.; Snyder, Kelly A.; Roberts, Ralph J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    This commentary explains how the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience (DCN) holds the promise of a much wider interdisciplinary integration across sciences concerned with development: psychology, molecular genetics, neurobiology, and evolutionary developmental biology. First we present a brief history of DCN, including the key theoretical…

  13. Biology and Beyond: Domain Specificity in a Broader Developmental Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keil, Frank C.

    2007-01-01

    The assumption of domain specificity has been invaluable to the study of the emergence of biological thought in young children. Yet, domains of thought must be understood within a broader context that explains how those domains relate to the surrounding cultures, to different kinds of cognitive constraints, to framing effects, to abilities to…

  14. An evolutionary firefly algorithm for the estimation of nonlinear biological model parameters.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Afnizanfaizal; Deris, Safaai; Anwar, Sohail; Arjunan, Satya N V

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23469172

  15. Evolution of unusual morphologies in Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts and allies) and Podostemaceae (river-weeds): a pictorial report at the interface of developmental biology and morphological diversification

    PubMed Central

    Rutishauser, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Background Various groups of flowering plants reveal profound (‘saltational’) changes of their bauplans (architectural rules) as compared with related taxa. These plants are known as morphological misfits that appear as rather large morphological deviations from the norm. Some of them emerged as morphological key innovations (perhaps ‘hopeful monsters’) that gave rise to new evolutionary lines of organisms, based on (major) genetic changes. Scope This pictorial report places emphasis on released bauplans as typical for bladderworts (Utricularia, approx. 230 secies, Lentibulariaceae) and river-weeds (Podostemaceae, three subfamilies, approx. 54 genera, approx. 310 species). Bladderworts (Utricularia) are carnivorous, possessing sucking traps. They live as submerged aquatics (except for their flowers), as humid terrestrials or as epiphytes. Most Podostemaceae are restricted to rocks in tropical river-rapids and waterfalls. They survive as submerged haptophytes in these extreme habitats during the rainy season, emerging with their flowers afterwards. The recent scientific progress in developmental biology and evolutionary history of both Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is summarized. Conclusions Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae follow structural rules that are different from but related to those of more typical flowering plants. The roots, stems and leaves – as still distinguishable in related flowering plants – are blurred (‘fuzzy’). However, both families have stable floral bauplans. The developmental switches to unusual vegetative morphologies facilitated rather than prevented the evolution of species diversity in both families. The lack of one-to-one correspondence between structural categories and gene expression may have arisen from the re-use of existing genetic resources in novel contexts. Understanding what developmental patterns are followed in Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is a necessary prerequisite to discover the genetic

  16. Developmental biology in Geneva: a three century-long tradition.

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Marino; Duboule, Denis

    2002-01-01

    It was in the first half of the 18th century when life sciences started to flourish in the independent republic of Geneva. However, it is difficult to identify a genuine school of developmental biologists during that era. Nevertheless, several prominent scientists over the past two and a half centuries have established and maintained a strong tradition of studies in embryological development and reproduction. In this short historical account, we briefly pay tribute to these famous forerunners, by emphasizing both the originality and quality of their work, as well as the many accompanying conceptual and methodological advances. We start with Abraham Trembley (1710-1784) and the discovery of Hydra and of regeneration, and with Charles Bonnet (1720-1793) who, amongst other contributions, first observed parthenogenetic development. In the 19th century, Carl Vogt (1817-1895) and Edouard Claparède (1832-1871) were well-known scientists in this field of research, whereas Hermann Fol (1845-1892) can be considered as one of the pioneers, if not the founder, of causal embryology, through his experiments on lateral asymmetry in manipulated chicken. More recently, Emile Guyénot (1885-1963) and Kitty Ponse (1897-1982) perpetuated this tradition, which is well alive nowadays in the city of Calvin. PMID:11902688

  17. EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICALLY BASED DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: A WORKSHOP REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Evaluation of biologically based dose-response modeling for developmental toxicity: a workshop report.

    Lau C, Andersen ME, Crawford-Brown DJ, Kavlock RJ, Kimmel CA, Knudsen TB, Muneoka K, Rogers JM, Setzer RW, Smith G, Tyl R.

    Reproductive Toxicology Division, NHEERL...

  18. SUPERNUMERARY RIBS IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY BIOASSAYS AND IN HUMAN POPULATIONS: INCIDENCE AND BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Supernumerary or accessory ribs (SNR), either lumbar (LSNR) or cervical (CSNR) are a common finding in standard developmental toxicology bioassays. The biological significance of these anomalies within the regulatory arena has been problematic and the subject of some...

  19. Developmental Changes in Children's Inductive Inferences for Biological Concepts: Implications for the Development of Essentialist Beliefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrar, M. Jeffrey; Boyer-Pennington, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    We examined developmental changes in children's inductive inferences about biological concepts as a function of knowledge of properties and concepts. Specifically, 4- to 5-year-olds and 9- to 10-year-olds were taught either familiar or unfamiliar internal, external, or functional properties about known and unknown target animals. Children were…

  20. Report of the NASA Mammalian Developmental Biology Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Development is considered to encompass all aspects of the mammalian life span from initial initial germ cell production through the complete life cycle to death of the organism. Thus, gamete production, fertilization, embryogenesis, implantation, fetogenesis, birth, peri- and postnatal maturation, and aging were all considered as stages of a development continuum relevant to problems of Space Biology. Deliberations thus far have been limited to stages of the development cycle from fertilization to early postnatal life. The deliberations are detailed.

  1. Stem cells and lineages of the intestine: a developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Takashima, Shigeo; Gold, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2013-03-01

    The intestine consists of epithelial cells that secrete digestive enzymes and mucus (gland cells), absorb food particles (enterocytes), and produce hormones (endocrine cells). Intestinal cells are rapidly turned over and need to be replaced. In cnidarians, mitosis of differentiated intestinal cells accounts for much of the replacement; in addition, migratory, multipotent stem cells (interstitial cells) contribute to the production of intestinal cells. In other phyla, intestinal cell replacement is solely the function of stem cells entering the gut from the outside (such as in case of the neoblasts of platyhelminths) or intestinal stem cells located within the midgut epithelium (as in both vertebrates or arthropods). We will attempt in the following to review important aspects of midgut stem cells in different animal groups: where are they located, what types of lineages do they produce, and how do they develop. We will start out with a comparative survey of midgut cell types found across the animal kingdom; then briefly look at the specification of these cells during embryonic development; and finally focus on the stem cells that regenerate midgut cells during adult life. In a number of model systems, including mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila, the molecular pathways controlling intestinal stem cells proliferation and the specification of intestinal cell types are under intensive investigation. We will highlight findings of the recent literature, focusing on aspects that are shared between the different models and that point at evolutionary ancient mechanisms of intestinal cell formation. PMID:23179635

  2. Stem cells and lineages of the intestine: a developmental and evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Takashima, Shigeo; Gold, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2012-01-01

    The intestine consists of epithelial cells that secrete digestive enzymes and mucus (gland cells), absorb food particles (enterocytes), and produce hormones (endocrine cells). Intestinal cells are rapidly turned over and need to be replaced. In cnidarians, mitosis of differentiated intestinal cells accounts for much of the replacement; in addition, migratory, multipotent stem cells (interstitial cells) contribute to the production of intestinal cells. In other phyla, intestinal cell replacement is solely the function of stem cells entering the gut from the outside (such as in case of the neoblasts of platyhelmints) or intestinal stem cells located within the midgut epithelium (as in both vertebrates or arthropods). We will attempt in the following to review important aspects of midgut stem cells in different animal groups: where are they located, what types of lineages do they produce, and how do they develop. We will start out with a comparative survey of midgut cell types found across the animal kingdom; then briefly look at the specification of these cells during embryonic development; and finally focus on the stem cells that regenerate midgut cells during adult life. In a number of model systems, including mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila, the molecular pathways controlling ISC proliferation and the specification of intestinal cell types are under intensive investigation. We will highlight findings of the recent literature, focusing on aspects that are shared between the different models and that point at evolutionary ancient mechanisms of intestinal cell formation. PMID:23179635

  3. Developmental and evolutionary basis for drought tolerance of the Anopheles gambiae embryo

    PubMed Central

    Goltsev, Yury; Rezende, Gustavo L.; Vranizan, Karen; Lanzaro, Greg

    2009-01-01

    During the evolution of the Diptera there is a dramatic modification of the embryonic ectoderm, whereby mosquitoes contain separate amnion and serosa lineages while higher flies such as D. melanogaster contain a single amnioserosa. Whole-genome transcriptome assays were performed with isolated serosa from A. gambiae embryos. These assays identified a large number of genes implicated in the production of the larval cuticle. In D. melanogaster, these genes are activated just once during embryogenesis, during late stages where they are used for the production of the larval cuticle. Evidence is presented that the serosal cells secrete a dedicated serosal cuticle, which protects A. gambiae embryos from desiccation. Detailed temporal microarray assays of mosquito gene expression profiles revealed that the cuticular genes display biphasic expression during A. gambiae embryogenesis, first in the serosa of early embryos and then again during late stages as seen in D. melanogaster. We discuss how evolutionary modifications in the well-defined dorsal-ventral patterning network led to the wholesale deployment of the cuticle biosynthesis pathway in early embryos of A. gambiae. PMID:19298808

  4. Extended focus Fourier domain optical coherence microscopy assists developmental biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villiger, Martin L.; Beleut, Manfred; Brisken, Cathrin; Lasser, Theo; Leitgeb, Rainer A.

    2007-07-01

    We present a novel detection scheme for Fourier domain optical coherence microscopy (FDOCM). A Bessel-like interference pattern with a strong central lobe was created with an axicon lens. This pattern was then imaged by a telescopic system into the sample space to obtain a laterally highly confined illumination needle, extending over a long axial range. For increased efficiency, the detection occurs decoupled from the illumination, avoiding a double pass through the axicon. Nearly constant transverse resolution of ~1.5μm along a focal range of 200μm with a maximum sensitivity of 105dB was obtained. A broad bandwidth Ti:Sapphire laser allowed for an axial resolution of 3μm in air, providing the nearly isotropic resolution necessary to access the microstructure of biological tissues. Together with the speed- and sensitivity-advantage of FDOCT, this system can perform in vivo measurements in a minimally invasive way. Tomograms of the mouse mammary gland and the mouse follicle, recorded in vitro, revealed biologically relevant structural details. Images acquired with classical microscopy techniques, involving stained and fluorescent samples, validate these structures and emphasize the high contrast of the tomograms. It is comparable to the contrast achieved with classical techniques, but employing neither staining, labeling nor slicing of the samples, stressing the high potential of FDOCM for minimally invasive in vivo small animal imaging.

  5. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. RNA editing of the Drosophila para Na(+) channel transcript. Evolutionary conservation and developmental regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Hanrahan, C J; Palladino, M J; Ganetzky, B; Reenan, R A

    2000-01-01

    Post-transcriptional editing of pre-mRNAs through the action of dsRNA adenosine deaminases results in the modification of particular adenosine (A) residues to inosine (I), which can alter the coding potential of the modified transcripts. We describe here three sites in the para transcript, which encodes the major voltage-activated Na(+) channel polypeptide in Drosophila, where RNA editing occurs. The occurrence of RNA editing at the three sites was found to be developmentally regulated. Editing at two of these sites was also conserved across species between the D. melanogaster and D. virilis. In each case, a highly conserved region was found in the intron downstream of the editing site and this region was shown to be complementary to the region of the exonic editing site. Thus, editing at these sites would appear to involve a mechanism whereby the edited exon forms a base-paired secondary structure with the distant conserved noncoding sequences located in adjacent downstream introns, similar to the mechanism shown for A-to-I RNA editing of mammalian glutamate receptor subunits (GluRs). For the third site, neither RNA editing nor the predicted RNA secondary structures were evolutionarily conserved. Transcripts from transgenic Drosophila expressing a minimal editing site construct for this site were shown to faithfully undergo RNA editing. These results demonstrate that Na(+) channel diversity in Drosophila is increased by RNA editing via a mechanism analogous to that described for transcripts encoding mammalian GluRs. PMID:10880477

  7. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diane I; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C; Thirkill, Twanda L; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J; Williams, Lawrence E; Samollow, Paul B; Ross, Pablo J; Bannasch, Danika L; Douglas, Gordon C; LaSalle, Janine M

    2015-08-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo. PMID:26241857

  8. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Diane I.; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C.; Thirkill, Twanda L.; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J.; Williams, Lawrence E.; Samollow, Paul B.; Ross, Pablo J.; Bannasch, Danika L.; Douglas, Gordon C.; LaSalle, Janine M.

    2015-01-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo. PMID:26241857

  9. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  10. Nonlinear, noniterative, single-distance phase retrieval and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    Moosmann, Julian; Altapova, Venera; Haenschke, Daniel; Hofmann, Ralf; Baumbach, Tilo

    2012-05-17

    For coherent X-ray imaging, based on phase contrast through free-space Fresnel propagation, we discuss two noniterative, nonlinear approaches to the phase-retrieval problem from a single-distance intensity map of a pure-phase object. On one hand, a perturbative set-up is proposed where nonlinear corrections to the linearized transport-of-intensity situation are expanded in powers of the object-detector distance z and are evaluated in terms of the linear estimate. On the other hand, a nonperturbative projection algorithm, which is based on the (linear and local) contrast-transfer function (CTF), works with an effective phase in Fourier space. This effective phase obeys a modified CTF relation between intensity contrast at z > 0 and phase contrast at z= 0: Unphysical singularities of the local CTF model are cut off to yield 'quasiparticles' in analogy to the theory of the Fermi liquid. By identifying the positions of the zeros of the Fourier transformed intensity contrast as order parameters for the dynamical breaking of scaling symmetry we investigate the phase structure of the forward-propagation problem when interpreted as a statistical system. Results justify the quasiparticle approach for a wide range of intermediary phase variations. The latter algorithm is applied to data from biological samples recorded at the beamlines TopoTomo and ID19 at ANKA and ESRF, respectively.

  11. Dental peculiarities in the silvery mole-rat: an original model for studying the evolutionary and biological origins of continuous dental generation in mammals.

    PubMed

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Šumbera, Radim

    2015-01-01

    Unravelling the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms that have impacted the mammalian dentition, since more than 200 Ma, is an intricate issue. Interestingly, a few mammal species, including the silvery mole-rat Heliophobius argenteocinereus, are able to replace their dentition by the addition of supernumerary molars at the back of jaw migrating then toward the front. The aim here was to demonstrate the potential interest of further studying this rodent in order to better understand the origins of continuous dental replacement in mammals, which could also provide interesting data concerning the evolution of limited dental generation occurring in first mammals. In the present study, we described the main stages of the dental eruptive sequence in the silvery mole-rat and the associated characteristics of horizontal replacement using X-ray microtomography. This was coupled to the investigation of other African mole-rats which have no dental replacement. This method permitted to establish evidence that the initial development of the dentition in Heliophobius is comparable to what it is observed in most of African mole-rats. This rodent first has premolars, but then identical additional molars, a mechanism convergent to manatees and the pygmy rock-wallaby. Evidence of continuous replacement and strong dental dynamics were also illustrated in Heliophobius, and stressed the need to deeply investigate these aspects for evolutionary, functional and developmental purposes. We also noticed that two groups of extinct non-mammalian synapsids convergently acquired this dental mechanism, but in a way differing from extant mammals. The discussion on the diverse evolutionary origins of horizontal dental replacement put emphasis on the necessity of focusing on biological parameters potentially involved in both continuous and limited developments of teeth in mammals. In that context, the silvery mole-rat could appear as the most appropriate candidate to do so. PMID:26401449

  12. Dental peculiarities in the silvery mole-rat: an original model for studying the evolutionary and biological origins of continuous dental generation in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Šumbera, Radim

    2015-01-01

    Unravelling the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms that have impacted the mammalian dentition, since more than 200 Ma, is an intricate issue. Interestingly, a few mammal species, including the silvery mole-rat Heliophobius argenteocinereus, are able to replace their dentition by the addition of supernumerary molars at the back of jaw migrating then toward the front. The aim here was to demonstrate the potential interest of further studying this rodent in order to better understand the origins of continuous dental replacement in mammals, which could also provide interesting data concerning the evolution of limited dental generation occurring in first mammals. In the present study, we described the main stages of the dental eruptive sequence in the silvery mole-rat and the associated characteristics of horizontal replacement using X-ray microtomography. This was coupled to the investigation of other African mole-rats which have no dental replacement. This method permitted to establish evidence that the initial development of the dentition in Heliophobius is comparable to what it is observed in most of African mole-rats. This rodent first has premolars, but then identical additional molars, a mechanism convergent to manatees and the pygmy rock-wallaby. Evidence of continuous replacement and strong dental dynamics were also illustrated in Heliophobius, and stressed the need to deeply investigate these aspects for evolutionary, functional and developmental purposes. We also noticed that two groups of extinct non-mammalian synapsids convergently acquired this dental mechanism, but in a way differing from extant mammals. The discussion on the diverse evolutionary origins of horizontal dental replacement put emphasis on the necessity of focusing on biological parameters potentially involved in both continuous and limited developments of teeth in mammals. In that context, the silvery mole-rat could appear as the most appropriate candidate to do so. PMID:26401449

  13. Socioemotional, Personality, and Biological Development: Illustrations from a Multilevel Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Child Maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Cicchetti, Dante

    2016-01-01

    Developmental theories can be affirmed, challenged, and augmented by incorporating knowledge about atypical ontogenesis. Investigations of the biological, socioemotional, and personality development in individuals with high-risk conditions and psychopathological disorders can provide an entrée into the study of system organization, disorganization, and reorganization. This article examines child maltreatment to illustrate the benefit that can be derived from the study of individuals subjected to nonnormative caregiving experiences. Relative to an average expectable environment, which consists of a species-specific range of environmental conditions that support adaptive development among genetically normal individuals, maltreating families fail to provide many of the experiences that are required for normal development. Principles gleaned from the field of developmental psychopathology provide a framework for understanding multilevel functioning in normality and pathology. Knowledge of normative developmental processes provides the impetus to design and implement randomized control trial (RCT) interventions that can promote resilient functioning in maltreated children. PMID:26726964

  14. Colour variation in cichlid fish: Developmental mechanisms, selective pressures and evolutionary consequences☆

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes constitute one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. In addition to complex social behaviour and morphological versatility, they are characterised by extensive diversity in colouration, both within and between species. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying colour variation in this group and the selective pressures responsible for the observed variation. We specifically address the evidence for the hypothesis that divergence in colouration is associated with the evolution of reproductive isolation between lineages. While we conclude that cichlid colours are excellent models for understanding the role of animal communication in species divergence, we also identify taxonomic and methodological biases in the current research effort. We suggest that the integration of genomic approaches with ecological and behavioural studies, across the entire cichlid family and beyond it, will contribute to the utility of the cichlid model system for understanding the evolution of biological diversity. PMID:23665150

  15. Measuring telomere length and telomere dynamics in evolutionary biology and ecology

    PubMed Central

    Nussey, Daniel H; Baird, Duncan; Barrett, Emma; Boner, Winnie; Fairlie, Jennifer; Gemmell, Neil; Hartmann, Nils; Horn, Thorsten; Haussmann, Mark; Olsson, Mats; Turbill, Chris; Verhulst, Simon; Zahn, Sandrine; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres play a fundamental role in the protection of chromosomal DNA and in the regulation of cellular senescence. Recent work in human epidemiology and evolutionary ecology suggests adult telomere length (TL) may reflect past physiological stress and predict subsequent morbidity and mortality, independent of chronological age. Several different methods have been developed to measure TL, each offering its own technical challenges. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of each method for researchers, with a particular focus on issues that are likely to face ecologists and evolutionary biologists collecting samples in the field or in organisms that may never have been studied in this context before. We discuss the key issues to consider and wherever possible try to provide current consensus view regarding best practice with regard to sample collection and storage, DNA extraction and storage, and the five main methods currently available to measure TL. Decisions regarding which tissues to sample, how to store them, how to extract DNA, and which TL measurement method to use cannot be prescribed, and are dependent on the biological question addressed and the constraints imposed by the study system. What is essential for future studies of telomere dynamics in evolution and ecology is that researchers publish full details of their methods and the quality control thresholds they employ. PMID:25834722

  16. Collaboration Networks in the Brazilian Scientific Output in Evolutionary Biology: 2000-2012.

    PubMed

    Santin, Dirce M; Vanz, Samile A S; Stumpf, Ida R C

    2016-03-01

    This article analyzes the existing collaboration networks in the Brazilian scientific output in Evolutionary Biology, considering articles published during the period from 2000 to 2012 in journals indexed by Web of Science. The methodology integrates bibliometric techniques and Social Network Analysis resources to describe the growth of Brazilian scientific output and understand the levels, dynamics and structure of collaboration between authors, institutions and countries. The results unveil an enhancement and consolidation of collaborative relationships over time and suggest the existence of key institutions and authors, whose influence on research is expressed by the variety and intensity of the relationships established in the co-authorship of articles. International collaboration, present in more than half of the publications, is highly significant and unusual in Brazilian science. The situation indicates the internationalization of scientific output and the ability of the field to take part in the science produced by the international scientific community. PMID:26871500

  17. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. I. Training and validating population dynamics equations

    PubMed Central

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25097751

  18. Cryptic organelle homology in Apicomplexan parasites: Insights from evolutionary cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Christen M.; Nisbet, R. Ellen; Ouologuem, Dinkorma T.; Roos, David S.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    The economic and clinical significance of apicomplexan parasites drives interest in their many evolutionary novelties. Distinctive intracellular organelles play key roles in parasite motility, invasion, metabolism, and replication, and understanding their relationship with the organelles of better-studied eukaryotic systems suggests potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent work has demonstrated divergent aspects of canonical eukaryotic components in the apicomplexa, including Golgi bodies and mitochondria. The apicoplast is a relict plastid of secondary endosymbiotic origin, harboring metabolic pathways distinct from those of host species. The inner membrane complex is derived from the cortical alveoli defining the superphylum Alveolata, but in apicomplexans functions in parasite motility and replication. Micronemes and rhoptries are associated with establishment of the intracellular niche, and define the apical complex for which the phylum is named. Morphological, cell biological and molecular evidence strongly suggest that these organelles are derived from the endocytic pathway. PMID:23932202

  19. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    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. PMID:24963386

  20. Use of the confocal laser scanning microscope in studies on the developmental biology of marine crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Buttino, Isabella; Ianora, Adrianna; Carotenuto, Ylenia; Zupo, Valerio; Miralto, Antonio

    2003-03-01

    Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope techniques have been applied to study the developmental biology of marine copepods and decapod larvae. The lipophylic probes DiI and DiOC(6) were used to study both the external and internal morphology of these crustaceans, whereas the same DiOC(6) and the specific nuclear probe Hoechst 33342 were used to study embryonic development of copepods in vivo. To distinguish viable from non-viable copepod embryos, the vital dye dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H(2)DCFDA) was used. Major advantages and difficulties in the use of these non-invasive techniques in studies of the reproductive biology of marine crustaceans are discussed. PMID:12567403

  1. Evo-devo: extending the evolutionary synthesis.

    PubMed

    Müller, Gerd B

    2007-12-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) explores the mechanistic relationships between the processes of individual development and phenotypic change during evolution. Although evo-devo is widely acknowledged to be revolutionizing our understanding of how the development of organisms has evolved, its substantial implications for the theoretical basis of evolution are often overlooked. This essay identifies major theoretical themes of current evo-devo research and highlights how its results take evolutionary theory beyond the boundaries of the Modern Synthesis. PMID:17984972

  2. Merging of Research and Teaching in Developmental Biology: Adaptation of Current Scientific Research Papers for Use in Undergraduate Laboratory Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, H. H.; and others

    1970-01-01

    Describes two laboratory exercises adopted from current research papers for use in an undergraduate developmental biology course. Gives methods, summary of student results, and student comments. Lists lecture topics, text and reprint assignments, and laboratory exercises for course. (EB)

  3. The Childhood Solid Tumor Network: A new resource for the developmental biology and oncology research communities.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Elizabeth; Federico, Sara; Karlstrom, Asa; Shelat, Anang; Sablauer, Andras; Pappo, Alberto; Dyer, Michael A

    2016-03-15

    Significant advances have been made over the past 25 years in our understanding of the most common adult solid tumors such as breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Much less is known about childhood solid tumors because they are rare and because they originate in developing organs during fetal development, childhood and adolescence. It can be very difficult to study the cellular origins of pediatric solid tumors in developing organs characterized by rapid proliferative expansion, growth factor signaling, developmental angiogenesis, programmed cell death, tissue reorganization and cell migration. Not only has the etiology of pediatric cancer remained elusive because of their developmental origins, but it also makes it more difficult to treat. Molecular targeted therapeutics that alter developmental pathway signaling may have devastating effects on normal organ development. Therefore, basic research focused on the mechanisms of development provides an essential foundation for pediatric solid tumor translational research. In this article, we describe new resources available for the developmental biology and oncology research communities. In a companion paper, we present the detailed characterization of an orthotopic xenograft of a pediatric solid tumor derived from sympathoadrenal lineage during development. PMID:26068307

  4. The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Next-Generation Genetics in Plants: Evolutionary Trade-off, Immunity and Speciation (2010 JGI User Meeting)

    SciTech Connect

    Wiegel, Detlef

    2010-03-25

    Detlef Wiegel from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology on "Next-generation genetics in plants: Evolutionary tradeoffs, immunity and speciation" on March 25, 2010 at the 5th Annual DOE JGI User Meeting

  6. Next-Generation Genetics in Plants: Evolutionary Trade-off, Immunity and Speciation (2010 JGI User Meeting)

    ScienceCinema

    Wiegel, Detlef

    2011-04-25

    Detlef Wiegel from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology on "Next-generation genetics in plants: Evolutionary tradeoffs, immunity and speciation" on March 25, 2010 at the 5th Annual DOE JGI User Meeting

  7. Altruism, egoism, or neither: A cognitive-efficiency-based evolutionary biological perspective on helping behavior.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Armin W

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26778352

  8. Trypanosome species in neo-tropical bats: biological, evolutionary and epidemiological implications.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Juan David; Tapia-Calle, Gabriela; Muñoz-Cruz, Geissler; Poveda, Cristina; Rendón, Lina M; Hincapié, Eduwin; Guhl, Felipe

    2014-03-01

    Bats (Chiroptera) are the only mammals naturally able to fly. Due to this characteristic they play a relevant ecological role in the niches they inhabit. These mammals spread infectious diseases from enzootic to domestic foci. Rabbies, SARS, fungi, ebola and trypanosomes are the most common pathogens these animals may host. We conducted intensive sampling of bats from the phyllostomidae, vespertilionidae and emballonuridae families in six localities from Casanare department in eastern Colombia. Blood-EDTA samples were obtained and subsequently submitted to analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear genetic markers in order to conduct barcoding analyses to discriminate trypanosome species. The findings according to the congruence of the three molecular markers suggest the occurrence of Trypanosoma cruzi cruzi (51%), T. c. marinkellei (9%), T. dionisii (13%), T. rangeli (21%), T. evansi (4%) and T. theileri (2%) among 107 positive bat specimens. Regarding the T. cruzi DTUs, we observed the presence of TcI (60%), TcII (15%), TcIII (7%), TcIV (7%) and TcBAT (11%) being the first evidence to our concern of the foreseen genotype TcBAT in Colombia. These results allowed us to propose reliable hypotheses regarding the ecology and biology of the bats circulating in the area including the enigmatic question whether TcBAT should be considered a novel DTU. The epidemiological and evolutionary implications of these findings are herein discussed. PMID:23831017

  9. The Rice Genome Knowledgebase (RGKbase): an annotation database for rice comparative genomics and evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dapeng; Xia, Yan; Li, Xinna; Hou, Lixia; Yu, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, genomes of cultivated rice cultivars and their wild counterparts have been sequenced although most efforts are focused on genome assembly and annotation of two major cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) subspecies, 93-11 (indica) and Nipponbare (japonica). To integrate information from genome assemblies and annotations for better analysis and application, we now introduce a comparative rice genome database, the Rice Genome Knowledgebase (RGKbase, http://rgkbase.big.ac.cn/RGKbase/). RGKbase is built to have three major components: (i) integrated data curation for rice genomics and molecular biology, which includes genome sequence assemblies, transcriptomic and epigenomic data, genetic variations, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and the relevant literature; (ii) User-friendly viewers, such as Gbrowse, GeneBrowse and Circos, for genome annotations and evolutionary dynamics and (iii) Bioinformatic tools for compositional and synteny analyses, gene family classifications, gene ontology terms and pathways and gene co-expression networks. RGKbase current includes data from five rice cultivars and species: Nipponbare (japonica), 93-11 (indica), PA64s (indica), the African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and a wild rice species (Oryza brachyantha). We are also constantly introducing new datasets from variety of public efforts, such as two recent releases—sequence data from ∼1000 rice varieties, which are mapped into the reference genome, yielding ample high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions–deletions. PMID:23193278

  10. BIOLOGICALLY-BASED DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY: BIOCHEMICAL AND CELLULAR SEQUELAE OF 5-FLUOROURACIL EXPOSURE IN THE DEVELOPING RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mechanistically-based dose-response models for developmental toxicity require elucidation of biological events that intervene between maternal exposure and adverse developmental outcome. We examined some of the major events in the rat embryo following subcutaneous injection of 5-...

  11. Echoes of the embryo: using the developmental biology toolkit to study cancer.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Nicole M; Stanger, Ben Z

    2016-02-01

    The hallmark of embryonic development is regulation - the tendency for cells to find their way into organized and 'well behaved' structures - whereas cancer is characterized by dysregulation and disorder. At face value, cancer biology and developmental biology would thus seem to have little to do with each other. But if one looks beneath the surface, embryos and cancers share a number of cellular and molecular features. Embryos arise from a single cell and undergo rapid growth involving cell migration and cell-cell interactions: features that are also seen in the context of cancer. Consequently, many of the experimental tools that have been used to study embryogenesis for over a century are well-suited to studying cancer. This article will review the similarities between embryogenesis and cancer progression and discuss how some of the concepts and techniques used to understand embryos are now being adapted to provide insight into tumorigenesis, from the origins of cancer cells to metastasis. PMID:26839398

  12. Biological Activity of trans-2-Hexenal Against Bradysia odoriphaga (Diptera: Sciaridae) at Different Developmental Stages

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chengyu; Mu, Wei; Zhao, Yunhe; Li, Hui; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Qiuhong; Liu, Feng

    2015-01-01

    trans-2-Hexenal, one of the C6 green leaf volatiles, is potentially useful for the control of Bradysia odoriphaga Yang et Zhang. In this study, the biological activity of trans-2-hexenal on B. odoriphaga was assessed in the laboratory. trans-2-Hexenal was observed to kill B. odoriphaga in different developmental stages at a relatively low concentration under fumigation. The respiration rate in the male treatment group decreased from 131.44 to 4.07 nmol/g·min with a prolonged fumigation time, while the respiration rate in females decreased from 128.82 to 24.20 nmol/g·min. Male adults exhibited a more sensitive electroantennogram response at 0.05–500 μl/ml at the dose of 10.0 μl than female adults. Moreover, trans-2-hexenal had a repellent effect on adults based on the results with a Y-tube olfactometer at 10.0 μl, as shown by the deterrent rate of male and female adults with 96.67% and 98.33%, respectively. The results showed that trans-2-hexenal had good biological activity in different developmental stages of B. odoriphaga, which could reduce the need for, and risks associated with, the use of traditional insecticides and enable nonharmful management. PMID:26170398

  13. Biological Activity of trans-2-Hexenal Against Bradysia odoriphaga (Diptera: Sciaridae) at Different Developmental Stages.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chengyu; Mu, Wei; Zhao, Yunhe; Li, Hui; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Qiuhong; Liu, Feng

    2015-01-01

    trans-2-Hexenal, one of the C6 green leaf volatiles, is potentially useful for the control of Bradysia odoriphaga Yang et Zhang. In this study, the biological activity of trans-2-hexenal on B. odoriphaga was assessed in the laboratory. trans-2-Hexenal was observed to kill B. odoriphaga in different developmental stages at a relatively low concentration under fumigation. The respiration rate in the male treatment group decreased from 131.44 to 4.07 nmol/g · min with a prolonged fumigation time, while the respiration rate in females decreased from 128.82 to 24.20 nmol/g · min. Male adults exhibited a more sensitive electroantennogram response at 0.05-500 μl/ml at the dose of 10.0 μl than female adults. Moreover, trans-2-hexenal had a repellent effect on adults based on the results with a Y-tube olfactometer at 10.0 μl, as shown by the deterrent rate of male and female adults with 96.67% and 98.33%, respectively. The results showed that trans-2-hexenal had good biological activity in different developmental stages of B. odoriphaga, which could reduce the need for, and risks associated with, the use of traditional insecticides and enable nonharmful management. PMID:26170398

  14. Coalescent models for developmental biology and the spatio-temporal dynamics of growing tissues

    PubMed Central

    Smadbeck, Patrick; Stumpf, Michael P. H.

    2016-01-01

    Development is a process that needs to be tightly coordinated in both space and time. Cell tracking and lineage tracing have become important experimental techniques in developmental biology and allow us to map the fate of cells and their progeny. A generic feature of developing and homeostatic tissues that these analyses have revealed is that relatively few cells give rise to the bulk of the cells in a tissue; the lineages of most cells come to an end quickly. Computational and theoretical biologists/physicists have, in response, developed a range of modelling approaches, most notably agent-based modelling. These models seem to capture features observed in experiments, but can also become computationally expensive. Here, we develop complementary genealogical models of tissue development that trace the ancestry of cells in a tissue back to their most recent common ancestors. We show that with both bounded and unbounded growth simple, but universal scaling relationships allow us to connect coalescent theory with the fractal growth models extensively used in developmental biology. Using our genealogical perspective, it is possible to study bulk statistical properties of the processes that give rise to tissues of cells, without the need for large-scale simulations. PMID:27053656

  15. Transforming Biology Assessment with Machine Learning: Automated Scoring of Written Evolutionary Explanations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Ha, Minsu; Mayfield, Elijah

    2012-01-01

    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…

  16. Evoecotoxicology: Environmental Changes and Life Features Development during the Evolutionary Process—the Record of the Past at Developmental Stages of Living Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Herkovits, Jorge

    2006-01-01

    For most of evolutionary history, scientific understanding of the environment and life forms is extremely limited. In this commentary I discuss the hypothesis that ontogenetic features of living organisms can be considered biomarkers of coevolution between organisms and physicochemical agents during Earth’s history. I provide a new vision of evolution based on correlations between metabolic features and stage-dependent susceptibility of organisms to physicochemical agents with well-known environmental signatures. Thus, developmental features potentially reflect environmental changes during evolution. From this perspective, early multicellular life forms would have flourished in the anoxic Earth more than 2 billion years ago, which is at least 1.2 billion years in advance of available fossil evidence. The remarkable transition to aerobic metabolism in gastrula-stage embryos potentially reflects evolution toward tridermic organisms by 2 billion years ago. Noteworthy changes in embryonic resistance to physicochemical agents at different developmental stages that can be observed in living organisms potentially reflect the influence of environmental stress conditions during different periods of evolutionary history. Evoecotoxicology, as a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, can enhance our understanding of evolution, including the phylogenetic significance of differences in susceptibility/resistance to physicochemical agents in different organisms. PMID:16882515

  17. Genes are information, so information theory is coming to the aid of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

    Speciation is central to evolutionary biology, and to elucidate it, we need to catch the early genetic changes that set nascent taxa on their path to species status (Via 2009). That challenge is difficult, of course, for two chief reasons: (i) serendipity is required to catch speciation in the act; and (ii) after a short time span with lingering gene flow, differentiation may be low and/or embodied only in rare alleles that are difficult to sample. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Smouse et al. (2015) have noted that optimal assessment of differentiation within and between nascent species should be robust to these challenges, and they identified a measure based on Shannon's information theory that has many advantages for this and numerous other tasks. The Shannon measure exhibits complete additivity of information at different levels of subdivision. Of all the family of diversity measures ('0' or allele counts, '1' or Shannon, '2' or heterozygosity, F(ST) and related metrics) Shannon's measure comes closest to weighting alleles by their frequencies. For the Shannon measure, rare alleles that represent early signals of nascent speciation are neither down-weighted to the point of irrelevance, as for level 2 measures, nor up-weighted to overpowering importance, as for level 0 measures (Chao et al. 2010, )2015. Shannon measures have a long history in population genetics, dating back to Shannon's PhD thesis in 1940 (Crow 2001), but have received only sporadic attention, until a resurgence of interest in the last ten years, as reviewed briefly by Smouse et al. (2015). PMID:26452559

  18. Incubation temperature, developmental biology, and the divergence of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) within Lake Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hendry, A.P.; Hensleigh, J.E.; Reisenbichler, R.R.

    1998-01-01

    Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) introduced into Lake Washington in the 1930s and 1940s now spawn at several different sites and over a period of more than 3 months. To test for evolutionary divergence within this derived lineage, embryos that would have incubated in different habitats (Cedar River or Pleasure Point Beach) or at different times (October, November, or December in the Cedar River) were reared in the laboratory at 5, 9, and 12.5??C. Some developmental variation mirrored predictions of adaptive divergence: (i) survival at 12.5??C was highest for embryos most likely to experience such temperatures in the wild (Early Cedar), (ii) development rate was fastest for progeny of late spawners (Late Cedar), and (iii) yolk conversion efficiency was matched to natural incubation temperatures. These patterns likely had a genetic basis because they were observed in a common environment and could not be attributed to differences in egg size. The absolute magnitude of divergence in development rates was moderate (Late Cedar embryos emerged only 6 days earlier at 9??C) and some predictions regarding development rates were not supported. Nonetheless our results provide evidence of adaptive divergence in only 9-14 generations.

  19. Information fluency for undergraduate biology majors: applications of inquiry-based learning in a developmental biology course.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Kathleen M; Eastman, Deborah A

    2008-01-01

    Many initiatives for the improvement of undergraduate science education call for inquiry-based learning that emphasizes investigative projects and reading of the primary literature. These approaches give students an understanding of science as a process and help them integrate content presented in courses. At the same time, general initiatives to promote information fluency are being promoted on many college and university campuses. Information fluency refers to discipline-specific processing of information, and it involves integration of gathered information with specific ideas to form logical conclusions. We have implemented the use of inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects. Quantitative analysis of student responses suggests that the abilities of students to identify and apply valid sources of information were enhanced. Qualitative assessment revealed a set of patterns by which students gather and apply information. Self-assessment responses indicated that students recognized the impact of the assignments on their abilities to gather and apply information and that they were more confident about these abilities for future biology courses and beyond. PMID:18316808

  20. Rapid Evolutionary Dynamics of Structural Disorder as a Potential Driving Force for Biological Divergence in Flaviviruses

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz, Juan F.; MacDonald, Madolyn L.; Masterson, Patrick; Uversky, Vladimir N.; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica

    2013-01-01

    Protein structure is commonly regarded to be conserved and to dictate function. Most proteins rely on conformational flexibility to some degree. Are regions that convey conformational flexibility conserved over evolutionary time? Can changes in conformational flexibility alter protein function? Here, the evolutionary dynamics of structurally ordered and disordered (flexible) regions are investigated genome-wide in flaviviruses, revealing that the amount and location of structural disorder fluctuates highly among related proteins. Some regions are prone to shift between structured and flexible states. Increased evolutionary dynamics of structural disorder is observed for some lineages but not in others. Lineage-specific transitions of this kind could alter the conformational ensemble accessible to the same protein in different species, causing a functional change, even if the predominant function remains conserved. Thus, rapid evolutionary dynamics of structural disorder is a potential driving force for phenotypic divergence among flaviviruses. PMID:23418179

  1. Carryover effect of postpartum inflammatory diseases on developmental biology and fertility in lactating dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, E S; Gomes, G; Greco, L F; Cerri, R L A; Vieira-Neto, A; Monteiro, P L J; Lima, F S; Bisinotto, R S; Thatcher, W W; Santos, J E P

    2016-03-01

    The objective of this series of studies was to investigate the effects of inflammatory diseases occurring before breeding on the developmental biology and reproductive responses in dairy cows. Data from 5 studies were used to investigate different questions associating health status before breeding and reproductive responses. Health information for all studies was composed of the incidence of retained fetal membranes, metritis, mastitis, lameness, and respiratory and digestive problems from parturition until the day of breeding. Retained placenta and metritis were grouped as uterine disease (UTD). Mastitis, lameness, digestive and respiratory problems were grouped as nonuterine diseases (NUTD). Study 1 evaluated the effect of disease before artificial insemination (AI), anovulation before synchronization of the estrous cycle, and low body condition score at AI on pregnancy per AI, as well as their potential interactions or additive effects. Study 2 investigated the effect of site of inflammation (UTD vs. NUTD) and time of occurrence relative to preantral or antral stages of ovulatory follicle development, and the effect of UTD and NUTD on fertility responses of cows bred by AI or by embryo transfer. Study 3 evaluated the effect of disease on fertilization and embryonic development to the morula stage. Study 4 evaluated the effect of disease on preimplantation conceptus development as well as secretion of IFN-τ and transcriptome. Study 5 investigated the effect of diseases before AI on the transcript expression of interferon-stimulated genes in peripheral blood leukocytes during peri-implantation stages of conceptus development after first AI postpartum. Altogether, these studies demonstrated that inflammatory disease before breeding reduced fertilization of oocytes and development to morula, and impaired early conceptus development to elongation stages and secretion of IFN-τ in the uterine lumen. Diseases caused inflammation-like changes in transcriptome of

  2. Tissue culture on a chip: Developmental biology applications of self-organized capillary networks in microfluidic devices.

    PubMed

    Miura, Takashi; Yokokawa, Ryuji

    2016-08-01

    Organ culture systems are used to elucidate the mechanisms of pattern formation in developmental biology. Various organ culture techniques have been used, but the lack of microcirculation in such cultures impedes the long-term maintenance of larger tissues. Recent advances in microfluidic devices now enable us to utilize self-organized perfusable capillary networks in organ cultures. In this review, we will overview past approaches to organ culture and current technical advances in microfluidic devices, and discuss possible applications of microfluidics towards the study of developmental biology. PMID:27272910

  3. NCT and Culture-Conscious Developmental Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Downing-Wilson, Deborah; Pelaprat, Etienne; Rosero, Ivan; Vadeboncoeur, Jennifer; Packer, Martin; Cole, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The authors share the belief that there is great potential for developmental science in bringing the ideas of Niche Construction Theory (NCT), as developed in evolutionary biology, into conversation with Vygotskian-inspired theories such as cultural-historical and activity theories, distributed cognition, and embodied cognition, although from…

  4. The Intersection of Theory and Application in Elucidating Pattern Formation in Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Othmer, Hans G.; Painter, Kevin; Umulis, David; Xue, Chuan

    2009-01-01

    We discuss theoretical and experimental approaches to three distinct developmental systems that illustrate how theory can influence experimental work and vice-versa. The chosen systems – Drosophila melanogaster, bacterial pattern formation, and pigmentation patterns – illustrate the fundamental physical processes of signaling, growth and cell division, and cell movement involved in pattern formation and development. These systems exemplify the current state of theoretical and experimental understanding of how these processes produce the observed patterns, and illustrate how theoretical and experimental approaches can interact to lead to a better understanding of development. As John Bonner said long ago ‘We have arrived at the stage where models are useful to suggest experiments, and the facts of the experiments in turn lead to new and improved models that suggest new experiments. By this rocking back and forth between the reality of experimental facts and the dream world of hypotheses, we can move slowly toward a satisfactory solution of the major problems of developmental biology.’ PMID:19844610

  5. EMT-inducing biomaterials for heart valve engineering: taking cues from developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Sewell-Loftin, M.K.; Chun, Young Wook; Khademhosseini, Ali; Merryman, W. David

    2012-01-01

    Although artificial prostheses for diseased heart valves have been around for several decades, viable heart valve replacements have yet to be developed due to their complicated nature. The majority of research in heart valve replacement technology seeks to improve decellularization techniques for porcine valves or bovine pericardium as an effort to improve current clinically used valves. The drawback of clinically used valves is that they are nonviable and thus do not grow or remodel once implanted inside patients. This is particularly detrimental for pediatric patients, who will likely need several reoperations over the course of their lifetimes to implant larger valves as the patient grows. Due to this limitation, additional biomaterials, both synthetic and natural in origin, are also being investigated as novel scaffolds for tissue engineered heart valves, specifically for the pediatric population. Here, we provide a brief overview of valves in clinical use as well as of the materials being investigated as novel tissue engineered heart valve scaffolds. Additionally, we focus on natural-based biomaterials for promoting cell behavior that is indicative of the developmental biology process that occurs in the formation of heart valves in utero, such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition or transformation (EMT). By engineering materials that promote native developmental biology cues and signaling, while also providing mechanical integrity once implanted, a viable tissue engineered heart valve may one day be realized. A viable tissue engineered heart valve, capable of growing and remodeling actively inside a patient, could reduce risks and complications associated with current valve replacement options and improve overall quality of life in the thousands of patients who received such valves each year, particularly for children. PMID:21751069

  6. Development of Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for applications in developmental biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Anjul Maheshwari

    Developmental biology is a field in which explorations are made to answer how an organism transforms from a single cell to a complex system made up of trillions of highly organized and highly specified cells. This field, however, is not just for discovery, it is crucial for unlocking factors that lead to diseases, defects, or malformations. The one key ingredient that contributes to the success of studies in developmental biology is the technology that is available for use. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is one such technology. OCT fills a niche between the high resolution of confocal microscopy and deep imaging penetration of ultrasound. Developmental studies of the chicken embryo heart are of great interest. Studies in mature hearts, zebrafish animal models, and to a more limited degree chicken embryos, indicate a relationship between blood flow and development. It is believed that at the earliest stages, when the heart is still a tube, the purpose of blood flow is not for convective transport of oxygen, nutrients and waster, bur rather to induce shear-related gene expressions to induce further development. Yet, to this date, the simple question of "what makes blood flow?" has not been answered. This is mainly due limited availability to adequate imaging and blood flow measurement tools. Earlier work has demonstrated the potential of OCT for use in studying chicken embryo heart development, however quantitative measurement techniques still needed to be developed. In this dissertation I present technological developments I have made towards building an OCT system to study chick embryo heart development. I will describe: (1) a swept-source OCT with extended imaging depth; (2) a spectral domain OCT system for non-invasive small animal imaging; (3) Doppler flow imaging and techniques for quantitative blood flow measurement in living chicken embryos; and (4) application of the OCT system that was developed in the Specific Aims 2-5 to test hypotheses generated by a

  7. The current status of REH theory. [Random Evolutionary Hits in biological molecular evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmquist, R.; Jukes, T. H.

    1981-01-01

    A response is made to the evaluation of Fitch (1980) of REH (random evolutionary hits) theory for the evolutionary divergence of proteins and nucleic acids. Correct calculations for the beta hemoglobin mRNAs of the human, mouse and rabbit in the absence and presence of selective constraints are summarized, and it is shown that the alternative evolutionary analysis of Fitch underestimates the total fixed mutations. It is further shown that the model used by Fitch to test for the completeness of the count of total base substitutions is in fact a variant of REH theory. Considerations of the variance inherent in evolutionary estimations are also presented which show the REH model to produce no more variance than other evolutionary models. In the reply, it is argued that, despite the objections raised, REH theory applied to proteins gives inaccurate estimates of total gene substitutions. It is further contended that REH theory developed for nucleic sequences suffers from problems relating to the frequency of nucleotide substitutions, the identity of the codons accepting silent and amino acid-changing substitutions, and estimate uncertainties.

  8. Stochastic developmental variation, an epigenetic source of phenotypic diversity with far-reaching biological consequences.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Günter

    2015-03-01

    This article reviews the production of different phenotypes from the same genotype in the same environment by stochastic cellular events, nonlinear mechanisms during patterning and morphogenesis, and probabilistic self-reinforcing circuitries in the adult life. These aspects of phenotypic variation are summarized under the term 'stochastic developmental variation' (SDV) in the following. In the past, SDV has been viewed primarily as a nuisance, impairing laboratory experiments, pharmaceutical testing, and true-to-type breeding. This article also emphasizes the positive biological effects of SDV and discusses implications for genotype-to-phenotype mapping, biological individuation, ecology, evolution, and applied biology. There is strong evidence from experiments with genetically identical organisms performed in narrowly standardized laboratory set-ups that SDV is a source of phenotypic variation in its own right aside from genetic variation and environmental variation. It is obviously mediated by molecular and higher-order epigenetic mechanisms. Comparison of SDV in animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria, archaeans, and viruses suggests that it is a ubiquitous and phylogenetically old phenomenon. In animals, it is usually smallest for morphometric traits and highest for life history traits and behaviour. SDV is thought to contribute to phenotypic diversity in all populations but is particularly relevant for asexually reproducing and genetically impoverished populations, where it generates individuality despite genetic uniformity. In each generation, SDV produces a range of phenotypes around a well-adapted target phenotype, which is interpreted as a bet-hedging strategy to cope with the unpredictability of dynamic environments. At least some manifestations of SDV are heritable, adaptable, selectable, and evolvable, and therefore, SDV may be seen as a hitherto overlooked evolution factor. SDV is also relevant for husbandry, agriculture, and medicine because most

  9. Part I: A Review of Research on the Biological Basis of Dyslexia: The Neural Basis of Developmental Dyslexia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeffiro, Thomas J.; Eden, Guinevere

    2000-01-01

    This article reviews recent evidence supporting a biological basis for developmental dyslexia. It concludes that the combined evidence demonstrating macroscopic morphologic, microscopic neuronal, and microstructural white matter abnormalities in dyslexia is consistent with a localization of the principle pathophysicological process to perisylvian…

  10. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions

    PubMed Central

    Laland, Kevin N.; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W.; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B.; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John

    2015-01-01

    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