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Sample records for natural selection animal

  1. Animal genetic resources in Brazil: result of five centuries of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Mariante, A da S; Egito, A A

    2002-01-01

    Brazil has various species of domestic animals, which developed from breeds brought by the Portuguese settlers soon after their discovery. For five centuries, these breeds have been subjected to natural selection in specific environments. Today, they present characteristics adapted to the specific Brazilian environmental conditions. These breeds developed in Brazil are known as "Crioulo," "local," or naturalized. From the beginning of the 20th century, some exotic breeds, selected in temperate regions, have begun to be imported. Although more productive, these breeds do not have adaptive traits, such as resistance to disease and parasites found in breeds considered to be "native." Even so, little by little, they replaced the native breeds, to such an extent that the latter are in danger of extinction. In 1983, to avoid the loss of this important genetic material, the National Research Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Cenargen) of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) decided to include conservation of animal genetic resources in its research program Conservation and Utilization of Genetic Resources. Until this time, they were only concerned with conservation of native plants. Conservation has been carried out by various research centers of Embrapa, universities, state research corporations, and private farmers, with a single coordinator at the national level, Cenargen. Specifically, conservation is being carried out by conservation nuclei, which are specific herds in which the animals are being conserved, situated in the habitats where the animals have been subjected to natural selection. This involves storage of semen and embryos from cattle, horses, buffaloes, donkeys, goats, sheep, and pigs. The Brazilian Animal Germplasm Bank is kept at Cenargen, which is responsible for the storage of semen and embryos of various breeds of domestic animals threatened with extinction, where almost 45,000 doses of semen and more than 200

  2. Demonstrating Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinds, David S.; Amundson, John C.

    1975-01-01

    Describes laboratory exercises with chickens selecting their food from dyed and natural corn kernels as a method of demonstrating natural selection. The procedure is based on the fact that organisms that blend into their surroundings escape predation. (BR)

  3. Reinventing Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-01-01

    Although many research studies report students' Lamarckian misconceptions, only a few studies present learning and teaching strategies that focus on the successful development of the concept of natural selection. The learning and teaching strategy for upper secondary students (aged 15-16) presented in this study conducted in The Netherlands is…

  4. Naturally selecting solutions

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Timmy; Sleator, Roy D; Walsh, Paul

    2013-01-01

    For decades, computer scientists have looked to nature for biologically inspired solutions to computational problems; ranging from robotic control to scheduling optimization. Paradoxically, as we move deeper into the post-genomics era, the reverse is occurring, as biologists and bioinformaticians look to computational techniques, to solve a variety of biological problems. One of the most common biologically inspired techniques are genetic algorithms (GAs), which take the Darwinian concept of natural selection as the driving force behind systems for solving real world problems, including those in the bioinformatics domain. Herein, we provide an overview of genetic algorithms and survey some of the most recent applications of this approach to bioinformatics based problems. PMID:23222169

  5. Grandmothering and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Kachel, A. Friederike; Premo, L. S.; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Humans are unique among primates in that women regularly outlive their reproductive period by decades. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that natural selection increased the length of the human post-menopausal period—and, thus, extended longevity—as a result of the inclusive fitness benefits of grandmothering. However, it has yet to be demonstrated that the inclusive fitness benefits associated with grandmothering are large enough to warrant this explanation. Here, we show that the inclusive fitness benefits are too small to affect the evolution of longevity under a wide range of conditions in simulated populations. This is due in large part to the relatively weak selection that applies to women near or beyond the end of their reproductive period. However, we find that grandmothers can facilitate the evolution of a shorter reproductive period when their help decreases the weaning age of their matrilineal grandchildren. Because selection favours a shorter reproductive period in the presence of shorter interbirth intervals, this finding holds true for any form of allocare that helps mothers resume cycling more quickly. We conclude that while grandmothering is unlikely to explain human-like longevity, allocare could have played an important role in shaping other unique aspects of human life history, such as a later age at first birth and a shorter female reproductive period. PMID:20739319

  6. Modeling Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogiages, Christopher A.; Lotter, Christine

    2011-01-01

    In their research, scientists generate, test, and modify scientific models. These models can be shared with others and demonstrate a scientist's understanding of how the natural world works. Similarly, students can generate and modify models to gain a better understanding of the content, process, and nature of science (Kenyon, Schwarz, and Hug…

  7. A Natural Selection Game.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tashiro, Mark E.

    1984-01-01

    Provides rules for a game which simulates selection pressures on a hominid group. Objectives include an appreciation of how selectivity works, an understanding of how abiotic factors are able to influence a population, and how interactions within the population can influence the group. (JM)

  8. Traces of natural radionuclides in animal food

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merli, Isabella Desan; da Silveira, Marcilei A. Guazzelli; Medina, Nilberto H.

    2014-11-01

    Naturally occurring radioactive materials are present everywhere, e.g., in soil, air, housing materials, food, etc. Therefore, human beings and animals receive internal exposure from radioactive elements inside their bodies through breathing and alimentation. Gamma radiation has enough energy to remove an electron from the atom and compromise the rearrangement of electrons in the search for a more stable configuration which can disturb molecule chemical bonding. Food ingestion is one of the most common forms of radioisotopes absorption. The goal of this work is the measurement of natural gamma radiation rates from natural radioisotopes present in animal food. To determine the concentration of natural radionuclides present in animal food gamma-ray spectrometry was applied. We have prepared animal food samples for poultry, fish, dogs, cats and cattle. The two highest total ingestion effective doses observed refers to a sample of mineral salt cattle, 95.3(15) μSv/year, rabbit chow, with a value of 48(5) μSv/year, and cattle mineral salt, with a value of 69(7) μSv/year, while the annual total dose value from terrestrial intake radionuclide is of the order of 290 μSv/year.

  9. Traces of natural radionuclides in animal food

    SciTech Connect

    Merli, Isabella Desan; Guazzelli da Silveira, Marcilei A.; Medina, Nilberto H.

    2014-11-11

    Naturally occurring radioactive materials are present everywhere, e.g., in soil, air, housing materials, food, etc. Therefore, human beings and animals receive internal exposure from radioactive elements inside their bodies through breathing and alimentation. Gamma radiation has enough energy to remove an electron from the atom and compromise the rearrangement of electrons in the search for a more stable configuration which can disturb molecule chemical bonding. Food ingestion is one of the most common forms of radioisotopes absorption. The goal of this work is the measurement of natural gamma radiation rates from natural radioisotopes present in animal food. To determine the concentration of natural radionuclides present in animal food gamma-ray spectrometry was applied. We have prepared animal food samples for poultry, fish, dogs, cats and cattle. The two highest total ingestion effective doses observed refers to a sample of mineral salt cattle, 95.3(15) μSv/year, rabbit chow, with a value of 48(5) μSv/year, and cattle mineral salt, with a value of 69(7) μSv/year, while the annual total dose value from terrestrial intake radionuclide is of the order of 290 μSv/year.

  10. A quantum of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Seth

    2009-03-01

    The modern evolutionary synthesis, which marries Darwin's theory of natural selection with Mendel's genetics, was developed around the same time as quantum mechanics. Is there any connection between the two?

  11. Natural Selection Promotes Antigenic Evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Christopher J.; Ros, Vera I. D.; Stevenson, Brian; Sniegowski, Paul D.; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed ‘cassettes’ that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios) and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish chronic infections

  12. Animal clocks: when science meets nature

    PubMed Central

    Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; Bloch, Guy; Schwartz, William J.

    2013-01-01

    Daily rhythms of physiology and behaviour are governed by an endogenous timekeeping mechanism (a circadian ‘clock’), with the alternation of environmental light and darkness synchronizing (entraining) these rhythms to the natural day–night cycle. Our knowledge of the circadian system of animals at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels is remarkable, and we are beginning to understand how each of these levels contributes to the emergent properties and increased complexity of the system as a whole. For the most part, these analyses have been carried out using model organisms in standard laboratory housing, but to begin to understand the adaptive significance of the clock, we must expand our scope to study diverse animal species from different taxonomic groups, showing diverse activity patterns, in their natural environments. The seven papers in this Special Feature of Proceedings of the Royal Society B take on this challenge, reviewing the influences of moonlight, latitudinal clines, evolutionary history, social interactions, specialized temporal niches, annual variation and recently appreciated post-transcriptional molecular mechanisms. The papers emphasize that the complexity and diversity of the natural world represent a powerful experimental resource. PMID:23825215

  13. Animal clocks: when science meets nature.

    PubMed

    Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; Bloch, Guy; Schwartz, William J

    2013-08-22

    Daily rhythms of physiology and behaviour are governed by an endogenous timekeeping mechanism (a circadian 'clock'), with the alternation of environmental light and darkness synchronizing (entraining) these rhythms to the natural day-night cycle. Our knowledge of the circadian system of animals at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels is remarkable, and we are beginning to understand how each of these levels contributes to the emergent properties and increased complexity of the system as a whole. For the most part, these analyses have been carried out using model organisms in standard laboratory housing, but to begin to understand the adaptive significance of the clock, we must expand our scope to study diverse animal species from different taxonomic groups, showing diverse activity patterns, in their natural environments. The seven papers in this Special Feature of Proceedings of the Royal Society B take on this challenge, reviewing the influences of moonlight, latitudinal clines, evolutionary history, social interactions, specialized temporal niches, annual variation and recently appreciated post-transcriptional molecular mechanisms. The papers emphasize that the complexity and diversity of the natural world represent a powerful experimental resource. PMID:23825215

  14. Natural selection and mechanistic regularity.

    PubMed

    DesAutels, Lane

    2016-06-01

    In this article, I address the question of whether natural selection operates regularly enough to qualify as a mechanism of the sort characterized by Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000). Contrary to an influential critique by Skipper and Millstein (2005), I argue that natural selection can be seen to be regular enough to qualify as an MDC mechanism just fine-as long as we pay careful attention to some important distinctions regarding mechanistic regularity and abstraction. Specifically, I suggest that when we distinguish between process vs. product regularity, mechanism-internal vs. mechanism-external sources of irregularity, and abstract vs. concrete regularity, we can see that natural selection is only irregular in senses that are unthreatening to its status as an MDC mechanism. PMID:26921876

  15. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation-sonar vocalizations-offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  16. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Cynthia F.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation—sonar vocalizations—offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  17. Animation and Learning: Selective Processing of Information in Dynamic Graphics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowe, R. K.

    2003-01-01

    Studied the selective processing of information in dynamic graphics by 12 undergraduates who received training aided by animation and 12 who did not. Results indicate selective processing of the animation that involved perceptually driven dynamic effects and raise questions about the assumed superiority of animations over static graphics. (SLD)

  18. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals.

    PubMed

    Fraser, David I; Liu, Kyle T; Reid, Bryan J; Hawkins, Emily; Sevier, Andrew; Pyle, Michelle; Robinson, Jacob W; Ouellette, Pierre H R; Ballantyne, James S

    2015-01-01

    Here we report the widespread natural occurrence of a known antibiotic and antineoplastic compound, hydroxyurea in animals from many taxonomic groups. Hydroxyurea occurs in all the organisms we have examined including invertebrates (molluscs and crustaceans), fishes from several major groups, amphibians and mammals. The species with highest concentrations was an elasmobranch (sharks, skates and rays), the little skate Leucoraja erinacea with levels up to 250 μM, high enough to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antineoplastic effects based on in vitro studies. Embryos of L. erinacea showed increasing levels of hydroxyurea with development, indicating the capacity for hydroxyurea synthesis. Certain tissues of other organisms (e.g. skin of the frog (64 μM), intestine of lobster (138 μM) gills of the surf clam (100 μM)) had levels high enough to have antiviral effects based on in vitro studies. Hydroxyurea is widely used clinically in the treatment of certain human cancers, sickle cell anemia, psoriasis, myeloproliferative diseases, and has been investigated as a potential treatment of HIV infection and its presence at high levels in tissues of elasmobranchs and other organisms suggests a novel mechanism for fighting disease that may explain the disease resistance of some groups. In light of the known production of nitric oxide from exogenously applied hydroxyurea, endogenous hydoxyurea may play a hitherto unknown role in nitric oxide dynamics. PMID:26600157

  19. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, David I.; Liu, Kyle T.; Reid, Bryan J.; Hawkins, Emily; Sevier, Andrew; Pyle, Michelle; Robinson, Jacob W.; Ouellette, Pierre H. R.; Ballantyne, James S.

    2015-01-01

    Here we report the widespread natural occurrence of a known antibiotic and antineoplastic compound, hydroxyurea in animals from many taxonomic groups. Hydroxyurea occurs in all the organisms we have examined including invertebrates (molluscs and crustaceans), fishes from several major groups, amphibians and mammals. The species with highest concentrations was an elasmobranch (sharks, skates and rays), the little skate Leucoraja erinacea with levels up to 250 μM, high enough to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antineoplastic effects based on in vitro studies. Embryos of L. erinacea showed increasing levels of hydroxyurea with development, indicating the capacity for hydroxyurea synthesis. Certain tissues of other organisms (e.g. skin of the frog (64 μM), intestine of lobster (138 μM) gills of the surf clam (100 μM)) had levels high enough to have antiviral effects based on in vitro studies. Hydroxyurea is widely used clinically in the treatment of certain human cancers, sickle cell anemia, psoriasis, myeloproliferative diseases, and has been investigated as a potential treatment of HIV infection and its presence at high levels in tissues of elasmobranchs and other organisms suggests a novel mechanism for fighting disease that may explain the disease resistance of some groups. In light of the known production of nitric oxide from exogenously applied hydroxyurea, endogenous hydoxyurea may play a hitherto unknown role in nitric oxide dynamics. PMID:26600157

  20. Wild Origins: The Evolving Nature of Animal Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, Ifigenia

    For billions of years, evolution has been the driving force behind the incredible range of biodiversity on our planet. Wild Origins is a concept plan for an exhibition at the National Zoo that uses case studies of animal behavior to explain the theory of evolution. Behaviors evolve, just as physical forms do. Understanding natural selection can help us interpret animal behavior and vice-versa. A living collection, digital media, interactives, fossils, and photographs will relay stories of social behavior, sex, navigation and migration, foraging, domestication, and relationships between different species. The informal learning opportunities visitors are offered at the zoo will create a connection with the exhibition's teaching points. Visitors will leave with an understanding and sense of wonder at the evolutionary view of life.

  1. Symbiogenesis, natural selection, and the dynamic Earth.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, U

    2009-08-01

    One century ago, Constantin S. Mereschkowsky introduced the symbiogenesis theory for the origin of chloroplasts from ancient cyanobacteria which was later supplemented by Ivan E. Wallin's proposal that mitochondria evolved from once free-living bacteria. Today, this Mereschkowsky-Wallin principle of symbiogenesis, which is also known as the serial primary endosymbiosis theory, explains the evolutionary origin of eukaryotic cells and hence the emergence of all eukaryotes (protists, fungi, animals and plants). In 1858, the concept of natural selection was described independently by Charles Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace. In the same year, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini proposed the idea of shifting continents, which was later expanded by Alfred Wegener, who published his theory of continental drift eight decades ago. Today, directional selection is accepted as the major cause of adaptive evolution within natural populations of micro- and macro-organisms and the theory of the dynamic Earth (plate tectonics) is well supported. In this article, I combine the processes and principles of symbiogenesis, natural selection and the dynamic Earth and propose an integrative 'synade-model' of macroevolution which takes into account organisms from all five Kingdoms of life. PMID:19399544

  2. Natural Selection in Large Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Michael

    2011-03-01

    I will discuss theoretical and experimental approaches to the evolutionary dynamics and population genetics of natural selection in large populations. In these populations, many mutations are often present simultaneously, and because recombination is limited, selection cannot act on them all independently. Rather, it can only affect whole combinations of mutations linked together on the same chromosome. Methods common in theoretical population genetics have been of limited utility in analyzing this coupling between the fates of different mutations. In the past few years it has become increasingly clear that this is a crucial gap in our understanding, as sequence data has begun to show that selection appears to act pervasively on many linked sites in a wide range of populations, including viruses, microbes, Drosophila, and humans. I will describe approaches that combine analytical tools drawn from statistical physics and dynamical systems with traditional methods in theoretical population genetics to address this problem, and describe how experiments in budding yeast can help us directly observe these evolutionary dynamics.

  3. Animal Rights: Selected Resources and Suggestions for Further Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidoff, Donald J.

    1989-01-01

    Presents an annotated list of selected resources intended to serve as a guide to the growing amount of material on animal rights. Suggestions to aid in additional research include subject headings used to find books, indexes used to locate periodical articles, sources for locating organizations, and a selected list of animal rights organizations.…

  4. Administration of Substances to Laboratory Animals: Equipment Considerations, Vehicle Selection, and Solute Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Patricia V; Pekow, Cynthia; Vasbinder, Mary Ann; Brabb, Thea

    2011-01-01

    Administration of substances to laboratory animals requires careful consideration and planning to optimize delivery of the agent to the animal while minimizing potential adverse experiences from the procedure. The equipment selected to deliver substances to animals depends on the length of the study and the nature of the material being administered. This selection provides a significant opportunity for refining animal treatment. Similarly, when substances are administered as solutions or suspensions, attention should be given to selection of vehicles and methods used for preparing the solutions and suspensions. The research team, veterinarian, technical personnel, and IACUC members should be aware of reasons underlying selection of equipment for substance delivery and should consider carefully how substances will be prepared and stored prior to administration to animals. Failure to consider these factors during experimental planning may result in unintentional adverse effects on experimental animals and confounded results. PMID:22330706

  5. Seasonal effects of leached mirex on selected estuarine animals.

    PubMed

    Tagatz, M E; Borthwick, P W; Forester, J

    1975-01-01

    Four 28-day seasonal experiments were conducted using selected estuarine animals in outdoor tanks that received continuous flow of mirex-laden water. Mirex (dodecachlorooctahydro-1,3,4-metheno-2H-cyclobuta [cd] pentalene) leached from fire ant bait (0.3% mirex) by fresh water and then mixed with salt water was toxic to blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), and grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) but not to sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon variegatus), at concentrations less than 0.53 mug/L in water. The amount of leaching was greatest in summer and least in spring. Greatest mortality occurred in summer at the highest water temperature and concentration of mirex; least mortality occurred in spring at the next to the lowest temperature and at the lowest concentration. Earliest deaths of blue crabs occurred after six days of exposure and shrimps after two days. Small juvenile crabs were more sensitive to leached mirex than were large juveniles. Mirex did not appear to affect growth or frequency of molting in crabs. All exposed animals concentrated mirex. Among animals that survived for 28 days, sheepshead minnows concentrated mirex 40,800X above the concentration in the water, blue crabs 2,300X, pink shrimp 10,000X, and grass shrimp 10,800X. Sand substrata contained mirex up to 770X that in the water. Most control and exposed animals in samples examined histologically had normal tissues, but alteration in gills of some exposed fish and natural pathogens in some exposed and control crabs and shrimp were observed. The experiments demonstrated that mirex can be leached from bait by fresh water, concentrated by estuarine organisms, and can be toxic to crabs and shrimps. PMID:1190846

  6. Animals and Us: How We Live Together. Nature. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Lucia; Brown, Jordan

    This curriculum guide was developed for use with public television's Nature series. The materials in the guide are designed to help students actively participate in the study and experience of nature. Students are encouraged to view the programs as naturalists would, observing animals in their environment, noting their behavior, and drawing…

  7. Companion Animals, Natural Disasters and the Law: An Australian Perspective

    PubMed Central

    White, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Simple Summary One of the issues raised by recent natural disasters in Australia is the management of companion animal welfare in disaster planning, response and recovery. Official inquiries following these disasters uncovered a number of shortcomings in addressing the management of animal welfare issues. This article suggests that despite some reform following these events, disaster management still fails to take seriously the interests of companion animals. Abstract This article examines the regulation of companion animal welfare during disasters, with some context provided by two recent major disaster events in Australia. Important general lessons for improved disaster management were identified in subsequent inquiries. However, the interests of companion animals continue to be inadequately addressed. This is because key assumptions underpinning disaster planning for companion animals—the primacy of human interests over animal interests and that individuals will properly address companion animal needs during times of disaster—are open to question. In particular these assumptions fail to recognise the inherent value of companion animals, underestimate the strong bond shared by some owners and their animals and, at the same time, overestimate the capacity of some owners to adequately meet the needs of their animals. PMID:26487028

  8. [Polish legal terms of animal-based research - selected aspects].

    PubMed

    Poznański, Paweł; Niedźwiecki, Sławomir

    2014-01-01

    Animal-based models used in biomedical sciences allow to perform research that, conducted on humans, would be highly problematic because of bioethical and technical issues. Contemporary researchers race can lead to abuse, hence the need for special law regulations regarding this subject. This necessity reflected both in the EU and Polish legislation, and is rooted in the philosophical and moral achievements of Europe. EU legislation in this case takes the form of directives implemented in the legal systems of the member states. Polish tradition of legislative approach to animal-based research is long. In 1959 the wide attempt to regulate this matter was undertaken. Until 2005, the nature of the matter had been regulated by the Polish animal protection law. Currently, details concerning animal-based-research are regulated by the animal experiments law (2005). The elapsed time since enactment allowed doctrine and judicature to reveal capabilities and vulnerabilities of the law. PMID:25932901

  9. Incorporating animal spatial memory in step selection functions.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Santos, Luiz Gustavo R; Forester, James D; Piovezan, Ubiratan; Tomas, Walfrido M; Fernandez, Fernando A S

    2016-03-01

    Memory is among the most important and neglected forces that shapes animal movement patterns. Research on the movement-memory interface is crucial to understand how animals use spatial learning to navigate across space because memory-based navigation is directly linked to animals' space use and home range behaviour; however, because memory cannot be measured directly, it is difficult to account for. Here, we incorporated spatial memory into step selection functions (SSF) to understand how resource selection and spatial memory affect space use of feral hogs (Sus scrofa). We used Biased Random Bridge kernel estimates linked to residence time as a surrogate for memory and tested four conceptually different dynamic maps of spatial memory. We applied this memory-based SSF to a data set of hog relocations to evaluate the importance of land cover type, time of day and spatial memory on the animals' space use. Our approach has shown how the incorporation of spatial memory into animal movement models can improve estimates of habitat selection. Memory-based SSF provided a feasible way to gain insight into how animals use spatial learning to guide their movement decisions. We found that while hogs selected forested areas and water bodies and avoided grasslands during the day (primarily at noon), they had a strong tendency to select previously visited areas, mainly those held in recent memory. Beyond actively updating their memory with recent experiences, hogs were able to discriminate among spatial memories encoded at different circadian phases of their activity. Even though hogs are thought to have long memory retention, they likely relied on recent experiences because the local food resources are quickly depleted and slowly renewed, yielding an uncertain spatial distribution of resources. PMID:26714244

  10. Natural Selection in a Petri Dish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarty, Robbie V.; Marek, Edmund A.

    1997-01-01

    Presents an activity to teach natural selection that involves students in a microbiological investigation. Students discover that a change in environmental conditions tests a species' range of adaptations. (DDR)

  11. Multivariate Analysis for Animal Selection in Experimental Research

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Renan Mercuri; de Campos, Dijon Henrique Salomé; Tomasi, Loreta Casquel; Cicogna, Antonio Carlos; Okoshi, Katashi; Padovani, Carlos Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Background Several researchers seek methods for the selection of homogeneous groups of animals in experimental studies, a fact justified because homogeneity is an indispensable prerequisite for casualization of treatments. The lack of robust methods that comply with statistical and biological principles is the reason why researchers use empirical or subjective methods, influencing their results. Objective To develop a multivariate statistical model for the selection of a homogeneous group of animals for experimental research and to elaborate a computational package to use it. Methods The set of echocardiographic data of 115 male Wistar rats with supravalvular aortic stenosis (AoS) was used as an example of model development. Initially, the data were standardized, and became dimensionless. Then, the variance matrix of the set was submitted to principal components analysis (PCA), aiming at reducing the parametric space and at retaining the relevant variability. That technique established a new Cartesian system into which the animals were allocated, and finally the confidence region (ellipsoid) was built for the profile of the animals’ homogeneous responses. The animals located inside the ellipsoid were considered as belonging to the homogeneous batch; those outside the ellipsoid were considered spurious. Results The PCA established eight descriptive axes that represented the accumulated variance of the data set in 88.71%. The allocation of the animals in the new system and the construction of the confidence region revealed six spurious animals as compared to the homogeneous batch of 109 animals. Conclusion The biometric criterion presented proved to be effective, because it considers the animal as a whole, analyzing jointly all parameters measured, in addition to having a small discard rate. PMID:25651342

  12. A unifying framework for quantifying the nature of animal interactions.

    PubMed

    Potts, Jonathan R; Mokross, Karl; Lewis, Mark A

    2014-07-01

    Collective phenomena, whereby agent-agent interactions determine spatial patterns, are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. On the other hand, movement and space use are also greatly influenced by the interactions between animals and their environment. Despite both types of interaction fundamentally influencing animal behaviour, there has hitherto been no unifying framework for the models proposed in both areas. Here, we construct a general method for inferring population-level spatial patterns from underlying individual movement and interaction processes, a key ingredient in building a statistical mechanics for ecological systems. We show that resource selection functions, as well as several examples of collective motion models, arise as special cases of our framework, thus bringing together resource selection analysis and collective animal behaviour into a single theory. In particular, we focus on combining the various mechanistic models of territorial interactions in the literature with step selection functions, by incorporating interactions into the step selection framework and demonstrating how to derive territorial patterns from the resulting models. We demonstrate the efficacy of our model by application to a population of insectivore birds in the Amazon rainforest. PMID:24829284

  13. A unifying framework for quantifying the nature of animal interactions

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Jonathan R.; Mokross, Karl; Lewis, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Collective phenomena, whereby agent–agent interactions determine spatial patterns, are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. On the other hand, movement and space use are also greatly influenced by the interactions between animals and their environment. Despite both types of interaction fundamentally influencing animal behaviour, there has hitherto been no unifying framework for the models proposed in both areas. Here, we construct a general method for inferring population-level spatial patterns from underlying individual movement and interaction processes, a key ingredient in building a statistical mechanics for ecological systems. We show that resource selection functions, as well as several examples of collective motion models, arise as special cases of our framework, thus bringing together resource selection analysis and collective animal behaviour into a single theory. In particular, we focus on combining the various mechanistic models of territorial interactions in the literature with step selection functions, by incorporating interactions into the step selection framework and demonstrating how to derive territorial patterns from the resulting models. We demonstrate the efficacy of our model by application to a population of insectivore birds in the Amazon rainforest. PMID:24829284

  14. Caring during crisis: animal welfare during pandemics and natural disasters.

    PubMed

    Millman, Suzanne T

    2008-01-01

    From April 29 to May 1, 2007, the University of Guelph hosted a symposium, Caring During Crisis: Animal Welfare During Pandemics and Natural Disasters, with the objectives (a) of raising awareness about how nonhuman animals and the people who care for them are affected during emergencies and (b) of sharing knowledge about how animal welfare may be addressed during these situations. The symposium attracted 150 participants, representing 71 organizations from across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Chile, and the Cayman Islands. The audience also brought a range of perspectives to the issues - from individuals representing animal protection and commodity organizations to municipal government officials responsible for community safety and correctional services; many of these individuals had little or no animal experience. To take advantage of this diverse audience and range of interests, the symposium was structured with formal presentations by internationally recognized experts, followed by panel discussions at the end of each session to facilitate contributions by the audience. At the conclusion of the 3 days, it was clear that our emotional, economic, and ecological relationships with animals require thoughtful integration of animal care within formal policy and planning for emergency response. PMID:18444029

  15. Ethical and Animal Welfare Considerations in Relation to Species Selection for Animal Experimentation

    PubMed Central

    Webster, John

    2014-01-01

    Simple Summary When making a choice of species for animal experimentation we must balance its suitability as a model for human medicine against the potential harms to the animals both from the procedures and the quality of their lifetime experience. The capacity to experience pain may be similar in mammals, birds and fish. The capacity to suffer from fear is governed more by sentience than cognitive ability, so it cannot be assumed that rodents or farm animals suffer less than dogs or primates. I suggest that it is unethical to base the choice of species for animal experimentation simply on the basis that it will cause less distress within society. Abstract Ethical principles governing the conduct of experiments with animals are reviewed, especially those relating to the choice of species. Legislation requires that the potential harm to animals arising from any procedure should be assessed in advance and justified in terms of its possible benefit to society. Potential harms may arise both from the procedures and the quality of the animals’ lifetime experience. The conventional approach to species selection is to use animals with the “lowest degree of neurophysiological sensitivity”. However; this concept should be applied with extreme caution in the light of new knowledge. The capacity to experience pain may be similar in mammals, birds and fish. The capacity to suffer from fear is governed more by sentience than cognitive ability, so it cannot be assumed that rodents or farm animals suffer less than dogs or primates. I suggest that it is unethical to base the choice of species for animal experimentation simply on the basis that it will cause less distress within society. A set of responsibilities is outlined for each category of moral agent. These include regulators, operators directly concerned with the conduct of scientific experiments and toxicology trials, veterinarians and animal care staff; and society at large. PMID:26479009

  16. Ethical and Animal Welfare Considerations in Relation to Species Selection for Animal Experimentation.

    PubMed

    Webster, John

    2014-01-01

    Ethical principles governing the conduct of experiments with animals are reviewed, especially those relating to the choice of species. Legislation requires that the potential harm to animals arising from any procedure should be assessed in advance and justified in terms of its possible benefit to society. Potential harms may arise both from the procedures and the quality of the animals' lifetime experience. The conventional approach to species selection is to use animals with the "lowest degree of neurophysiological sensitivity". However; this concept should be applied with extreme caution in the light of new knowledge. The capacity to experience pain may be similar in mammals, birds and fish. The capacity to suffer from fear is governed more by sentience than cognitive ability, so it cannot be assumed that rodents or farm animals suffer less than dogs or primates. I suggest that it is unethical to base the choice of species for animal experimentation simply on the basis that it will cause less distress within society. A set of responsibilities is outlined for each category of moral agent. These include regulators, operators directly concerned with the conduct of scientific experiments and toxicology trials, veterinarians and animal care staff; and society at large. PMID:26479009

  17. Can natural selection favour altruism between species?

    PubMed

    Wyatt, G A K; West, S A; Gardner, A

    2013-09-01

    Darwin suggested that the discovery of altruism between species would annihilate his theory of natural selection. However, it has not been formally shown whether between-species altruism can evolve by natural selection, or why this could never happen. Here, we develop a spatial population genetic model of two interacting species, showing that indiscriminate between species helping can be favoured by natural selection. We then ask if this helping behaviour constitutes altruism between species, using a linear-regression analysis to separate the total action of natural selection into its direct and indirect (kin selected) components. We show that our model can be interpreted in two ways, as either altruism within species, or altruism between species. This ambiguity arises depending on whether or not we treat genes in the other species as predictors of an individual's fitness, which is equivalent to treating these individuals as agents (actors or recipients). Our formal analysis, which focuses upon evolutionary dynamics rather than agents and their agendas, cannot resolve which is the better approach. Nonetheless, because a within-species altruism interpretation is always possible, our analysis supports Darwin's suggestion that natural selection does not favour traits that provide benefits exclusively to individuals of other species. PMID:23848844

  18. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection across Species Using Selective Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-01

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 c-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the"selective signature" of a gene. Selective signatures represent aprofile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example,glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  19. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection Across Species Using Selective Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Alm, Eric J.; Shapiro, B. Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-18

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 gamma-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the 'selective signature' of a gene. Selective signatures represent a profile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example, glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  20. Natural forces as agents: reconceptualizing the animate-inanimate distinction.

    PubMed

    Lowder, Matthew W; Gordon, Peter C

    2015-03-01

    Research spanning multiple domains of psychology has demonstrated preferential processing of animate as compared to inanimate entities--a pattern that is commonly explained as due to evolutionarily adaptive behavior. Forces of nature represent a class of entities that are semantically inanimate but which behave as if they are animate in that they possess the ability to initiate movement and cause actions. We report an eye-tracking experiment demonstrating that natural forces are processed like animate entities during online sentence processing: they are easier to integrate with action verbs than instruments, and this effect is mediated by sentence structure. The results suggest that many cognitive and linguistic phenomena that have previously been attributed to animacy may be more appropriately attributed to perceived agency. To the extent that this is so, the cognitive potency of animate entities may not be due to vigilant monitoring of the environment for unpredictable events as argued by evolutionary psychologists but instead may be more adequately explained as reflecting a cognitive and linguistic focus on causal explanations that is adaptive because it increases the predictability of events. PMID:25497518

  1. Natural Forces as Agents: Reconceptualizing the Animate-Inanimate Distinction

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Research spanning multiple domains of psychology has demonstrated preferential processing of animate as compared to inanimate entities—a pattern that is commonly explained as due to evolutionarily adaptive behavior. Forces of nature represent a class of entities that are semantically inanimate but which behave as if they are animate in that they possess the ability to initiate movement and cause actions. We report an eye-tracking experiment demonstrating that natural forces are processed like animate entities during online sentence processing: they are easier to integrate with action verbs than instruments, and this effect is mediated by sentence structure. The results suggest that many cognitive and linguistic phenomena that have previously been attributed to animacy may be more appropriately attributed to perceived agency. To the extent that this is so, the cognitive potency of animate entities may not be due to vigilant monitoring of the environment for unpredictable events as argued by evolutionary psychologists but instead may be more adequately explained as reflecting a cognitive and linguistic focus on causal explanations that is adaptive because it increases the predictability of events. PMID:25497518

  2. Viability selection prior to trait expression is an essential component of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Mojica, Julius P.; Kelly, John K.

    2010-01-01

    Natural selection operates throughout the life cycle of an organism. Correlative studies typically fail to consider the effects of viability selection prior to trait expression. A 3-year field experiment on the wildflower Mimulus guttatus demonstrates that this unmeasured component of selection can be very strong. As in previous studies, we find that fecundity is positively related to flower size. However, survival to flowering is much lower in large-flowered genotypes than in small-flowered genotypes. Aggregating viability and fecundity, lifetime fitness through female function generally favoured smaller flowered genotypes. This result differs from the great majority of field studies, which suggest strong positive selection on flower size. It has important cautionary implications for studies of natural and sexual selection on adult characters generally, in both plants and animals. PMID:20462906

  3. Natural and Sexual Selection on Many Loci

    PubMed Central

    Barton, N. H.; Turelli, M.

    1991-01-01

    A method is developed that describes the effects on an arbitrary number of autosomal loci of selection on haploid and diploid stages, of nonrandom mating between haploid individuals, and of recombination. We provide exact recursions for the dynamics of allele frequencies and linkage disequilibria (nonrandom associations of alleles across loci). When selection is weak relative to recombination, our recursions provide simple approximations for the linkage disequilibria among arbitrary combinations of loci. We show how previous models of sex-independent natural selection on diploids, assortative mating between haploids, and sexual selection on haploids can be analyzed in this framework. Using our weak-selection approximations, we derive new results concerning the coevolution of male traits and female preferences under natural and sexual selection. In particular, we provide general expressions for the intensity of linkage-disequilibrium induced selection experienced by loci that contribute to female preferences for specific male traits. Our general results support the previous observation that these indirect selection forces are so weak that they are unlikely to dominate the evolution of preference-producing loci. PMID:2016044

  4. Natural selection. IV. The Price equation*

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    The Price equation partitions total evolutionary change into two components. The first component provides an abstract expression of natural selection. The second component subsumes all other evolutionary processes, including changes during transmission. The natural selection component is often used in applications. Those applications attract widespread interest for their simplicity of expression and ease of interpretation. Those same applications attract widespread criticism by dropping the second component of evolutionary change and by leaving unspecified the detailed assumptions needed for a complete study of dynamics. Controversies over approximation and dynamics have nothing to do with the Price equation itself, which is simply a mathematical equivalence relation for total evolutionary change expressed in an alternative form. Disagreements about approach have to do with the tension between the relative valuation of abstract versus concrete analyses. The Price equation’s greatest value has been on the abstract side, particularly the invariance relations that illuminate the understanding of natural selection. Those abstract insights lay the foundation for applications in terms of kin selection, information theory interpretations of natural selection, and partitions of causes by path analysis. I discuss recent critiques of the Price equation by Nowak and van Veelen. PMID:22487312

  5. Predicting the Movement Speeds of Animals in Natural Environments.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S; Husak, Jerry F; Halsey, Lewis G; Clemente, Christofer J

    2015-12-01

    An animal's movement speed affects all behaviors and underlies the intensity of an activity, the time it takes to complete it, and the probability of successfully completing it, but which factors determine how fast or slow an animal chooses to move? Despite the critical importance of an animal's choice of speed (hereafter designated as "speed-choice"), we still lack a framework for understanding and predicting how fast animals should move in nature. In this article, we develop a framework for predicting speed that is applicable to any animal-including humans-performing any behavior where choice of speed occurs. To inspire new research in this area, we (1) detail the main factors likely to affect speed-choice, including organismal constraints (i.e., energetic, physiological, and biomechanical) and environmental constraints (i.e., predation intensity and abiotic factors); (2) discuss the value of optimal foraging theory in developing models of speed-choice; and (3) describe how optimality models might be integrated with the range of potential organismal and environmental constraints to predict speed. We show that by utilizing optimality theory it is possible to provide quantitative predictions of optimal speeds across different ecological contexts. However, the usefulness of any predictive models is still entirely dependent on being able to provide relevant mathematical functions to insert into such models. We still lack basic knowledge about how an animal's speed affects its motor control, maneuverability, observational skills, and vulnerability to predators. Studies exploring these gaps in knowledge will help facilitate the field of optimal performance and allow us to adequately parameterize models predicting the speed-choice of animals, which represents one of the most basic of all behavioral decisions. PMID:26493609

  6. Reported health conditions in animals residing near natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Slizovskiy, I B; Conti, L A; Trufan, S J; Reif, J S; Lamers, V T; Stowe, M H; Dziura, J; Rabinowitz, P M

    2015-01-01

    Natural gas extraction activities, including the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, may pose potential health risks to both human and animal populations in close proximity to sites of extraction activity. Because animals may have increased exposure to contaminated water and air as well as increased susceptibility to contaminant exposures compared to nearby humans, animal disease events in communities living near natural gas extraction may provide "sentinel" information useful for human health risk assessment. Community health evaluations as well as health impact assessments (HIAs) of natural gas exploration should therefore consider the inclusion of animal health metrics in their assessment process. We report on a community environmental health survey conducted in an area of active natural gas drilling, which included the collection of health data on 2452 companion and backyard animals residing in 157 randomly-selected households of Washington County, Pennsylvania (USA). There were a total of 127 reported health conditions, most commonly among dogs. When reports from all animals were considered, there were no significant associations between reported health condition and household proximity to natural gas wells. When dogs were analyzed separately, we found an elevated risk of 'any' reported health condition in households less than 1km from the nearest gas well (OR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.07-9.7), with dermal conditions being the most common of canine disorders. While these results should be considered hypothesis generating and preliminary, they suggest value in ongoing assessments of pet dogs as well as other animals to better elucidate the health impacts of natural gas extraction on nearby communities. PMID:25734823

  7. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior. PMID:25114217

  8. Darwin's explanation of design: from natural theology to natural selection.

    PubMed

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

    Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and other physical scientists ushered in a conception of the universe as matter in motion governed by natural laws. Their discoveries brought about a fundamental revolution, namely a commitment to the postulate that the universe obeys immanent laws that can account for natural phenomena. The workings of the universe were brought into the realm of science: explanation through natural laws. Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by extending it to the living world. Darwin demonstrated the evolution of organisms. More important yet is that he discovered natural selection, the process that explains the "design" of organisms. The adaptations and diversity of organisms, the origin of novel and complex species, even the origin of mankind, could now be explained by an orderly process of change governed by natural laws. The origin of species and the exquisite features of organisms had previously been explained as special creations of an Omniscient God. Darwin brought them into the domain of science. Evolution is a creative process that produces genuine novelty. The creative power of evolution arises from a distinctive interaction between chance and necessity, between random mutation and natural selection. PMID:19800418

  9. Selection of artificial gravity by animals during suborbital rocket flights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, K. O.; Belleville, R. E.; Clark, F. C.

    1975-01-01

    White rats selected preferred artificial gravity levels by locomotion in centrifuges consisting of two runways mounted in the nose of sounding rockets. Roll rate of the Aerobee 150A rocket was designed to produce an angular velocity of 45 rpm during 5 min of free-fall, providing a gravity range from 0.3 to 1.5 G depending on a subject's runway position. One animal was released at the high and one at the low gravity position in each flight. Animal positions were continuously recorded. Locomotion patterns during these flights were similar. All four animals explored the entire available G-range. One rat settled at 0.4 G after 2 min; the others crossed the 1-G location in progressively narrower excursions and were near earth gravity at the end of the test period. Tentatively, the data suggest that normal earth-reared rats select earth gravity when available magnitudes include values above and below 1 G. Modification of gravity preference by prolonged exposure to higher or lower levels remains a possibility.

  10. A Lesson on Evolution & Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Anthony D.

    2010-01-01

    I describe three activities that allow students to explore the ideas of evolution, natural selection, extinction, mass extinction, and rates of evolutionary change by engaging a simple model using paper, pens, chalk, and a chalkboard. As a culminating activity that supports expository writing in the sciences, the students write an essay on mass…

  11. Faster lizards sire more offspring: sexual selection on whole-animal performance.

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F; Fox, Stanley F; Lovern, Matthew B; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A

    2006-10-01

    Sexual selection operates by acting on variation in mating success. However, since selection acts on whole-organism manifestations (i.e., performance) of underlying morphological traits, tests for phenotypic effects of sexual selection should consider whole-animal performance as a substrate for sexual selection. Previous studies have revealed positive relationships between performance and survival, that is, natural selection, but none have explicitly tested whether performance may influence reproductive success (through more matings), that is, sexual selection. Performance predicts dominance in some species, implying the effects of sexual selection, but how it does so has not been established, nor is it certain whether performance might be a by-product of selection for something else, for example, elevated circulating testosterone levels. We investigated the potential for sexual selection on sprint speed performance in collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris), considering the potential mediating effects of circulating hormone levels. Among territorial, adult male collared lizards, only sprint speed significantly predicted territory area and number of offspring sired as determined by genetic paternity analysis. Body size, head size, and hind limb length had no effect. Neither plasma testosterone levels nor corticosterone levels correlated with sprint speed, territory area, or number of offspring sired. Thus, our results provide a direct link between whole-animal performance and reproductive success, suggesting that intrasexual selection can act directly on sprint speed performance and drive the evolution of underlying morphological traits. PMID:17133868

  12. Human task animation from performance models and natural language input

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esakov, Jeffrey; Badler, Norman I.; Jung, Moon

    1989-01-01

    Graphical manipulation of human figures is essential for certain types of human factors analyses such as reach, clearance, fit, and view. In many situations, however, the animation of simulated people performing various tasks may be based on more complicated functions involving multiple simultaneous reaches, critical timing, resource availability, and human performance capabilities. One rather effective means for creating such a simulation is through a natural language description of the tasks to be carried out. Given an anthropometrically-sized figure and a geometric workplace environment, various simple actions such as reach, turn, and view can be effectively controlled from language commands or standard NASA checklist procedures. The commands may also be generated by external simulation tools. Task timing is determined from actual performance models, if available, such as strength models or Fitts' Law. The resulting action specification are animated on a Silicon Graphics Iris workstation in real-time.

  13. Missing concepts in natural selection theory reconstructions.

    PubMed

    Ginnobili, Santiago

    2016-09-01

    The concept of fitness has generated a lot of discussion in philosophy of biology. There is, however, relative agreement about the need to distinguish at least two uses of the term: ecological fitness on the one hand, and population genetics fitness on the other. The goal of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of ecological fitness by providing a reconstruction of the theory of natural selection in which this concept was framed, that is, based on the way the theory was put to use in Darwin's main texts. I will contend that this reconstruction enables us to account for the current use of the theory of natural selection. The framework presupposed in the analysis will be that of metatheoretical structuralism. This framework will provide both a better understanding of the nature of ecological fitness and a more complete reconstruction of the theory. In particular, it will provide what I think is a better way of understanding how the concept of fitness is applied through heterogeneous cases. One of the major advantages of my way of thinking about natural selection theory is that it would not have the peculiar metatheoretical status that it has in other available views. I will argue that in order to achieve these goals it is necessary to make several concepts explicit, concepts that are frequently omitted in usual reconstructions. PMID:27385113

  14. Darwinian natural selection: its enduring explanatory power.

    PubMed

    Dimijian, Gregory G

    2012-04-01

    Evolutionary theory has never had a stronger scientific foundation than it does today. In a short review I hope to portray the deep commitment of today's biologists to Darwinian natural selection and to discoveries made since Darwin's time. In spite of the scientific advances in the century and a half since the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin still remains the principal author of modern evolutionary theory. He is one of the greatest contributors of all time to our understanding of nature. PMID:22481845

  15. Darwinian natural selection: its enduring explanatory power

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary theory has never had a stronger scientific foundation than it does today. In a short review I hope to portray the deep commitment of today's biologists to Darwinian natural selection and to discoveries made since Darwin's time. In spite of the scientific advances in the century and a half since the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin still remains the principal author of modern evolutionary theory. He is one of the greatest contributors of all time to our understanding of nature. PMID:22481845

  16. Natural Vitamin D Content in Animal Products1

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Alexandra; Walther, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Humans derive most vitamin D from the action of sunlight in their skin. However, in view of the current Western lifestyle with most daily activities taking place indoors, sun exposure is often not sufficient for adequate vitamin D production. For this reason, dietary intake is also of great importance. Animal foodstuffs (e.g., fish, meat, offal, egg, dairy) are the main sources for naturally occurring cholecalciferol (vitamin D-3). This paper therefore aims to provide an up-to-date overview of vitamin D-3 content in various animal foods. The focus lies on the natural vitamin D-3 content because there are many countries in which foods are not regularly fortified with vitamin D. The published data show that the highest values of vitamin D are found in fish and especially in fish liver, but offal also provides considerable amounts of vitamin D. The content in muscle meat is generally much lower. Vitamin D concentrations in egg yolks range between the values for meat and offal. If milk and dairy products are not fortified, they are normally low in vitamin D, with the exception of butter because of its high fat content. However, as recommendations for vitamin D intake have recently been increased considerably, it is difficult to cover the requirements solely by foodstuffs. PMID:23858093

  17. Analysing nature's experiment: Fisher's inductive theorem of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Edwards, A W F

    2016-06-01

    The paper by Ewens and Lessard (2015) adds to the progress that has been made in exploring the discrete-generation analytical version of Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection introduced by Ewens (1989). Fisher's continuous-time theorem differs from the version described by Ewens and Lessard by using a different concept of fitness. Ewens and Lessard use the conventional 'viability' concept whereas for Fisher the fitness of a genotype was its relative rate of increase or decrease in the population. The sole purpose of the present paper is to emphasize the alternative inductive nature of Fisher's theorem, as presented by him in 1930, by placing it in the context of his contemporary development of the analysis of variance in agricultural experiments. It is not a general discussion of the theorem itself. PMID:26581894

  18. Susceptibility of bifidobacteria of animal origin to selected antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Mayrhofer, Sigrid; Mair, Christiane; Kneifel, Wolfgang; Domig, Konrad J

    2011-01-01

    Strains of the genus Bifidobacterium are frequently used as probiotics, for which the absence of acquired antimicrobial resistance has become an important safety criterion. This clarifies the need for antibiotic susceptibility data for bifidobacteria. Based on a recently published standard for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bifidobacteria with broth microdilution method, the range of susceptibility to selected antibiotics in 117 animal bifidobacterial strains was examined. Narrow unimodal MIC distributions either situated at the low-end (chloramphenicol, linezolid, and quinupristin/dalfopristin) or high-end (kanamycin, neomycin) concentration range could be detected. In contrast, the MIC distribution of trimethoprim was multimodal. Data derived from this study can be used as a basis for reviewing or verifying present microbiological breakpoints suggested by regulatory agencies to assess the safety of these micro-organisms intended for the use in probiotics. PMID:22312561

  19. Reducing animal sequencing redundancy by preferentially selecting animals with low-frequency haplotypes.

    PubMed

    Bickhart, D M; Hutchison, J L; Null, D J; VanRaden, P M; Cole, J B

    2016-07-01

    Many studies leverage targeted whole-genome sequencing (WGS) experiments to identify rare and causal variants within populations. As a natural consequence of their experimental design, many of these surveys tend to sequence redundant haplotype segments due to their high frequency in the base population, and the variants discovered within sequencing data are difficult to phase. We propose a new algorithm, called inverse weight selection (IWS), that preferentially selects individuals based on the cumulative presence of rare frequency haplotypes to maximize the efficiency of WGS surveys. To test the efficacy of this method, we used genotype data from 112,113 registered Holstein bulls derived from the US national dairy database. We demonstrate that IWS is at least 6.8% more efficient than previously published methods in selecting the least number of individuals required to sequence all haplotype segments ≥4% frequency in the US Holstein population. We also suggest that future surveys focus on sequencing homozygous haplotype segments as a first pass to achieve a 50% reduction in cost with an added benefit of phasing variant calls efficiently. Together, this new selection algorithm and experimental design suggestion significantly reduce the overall cost of variant discovery through WGS experiments, making surveys for causal variants influencing disease and production even more efficient. PMID:27085415

  20. Natural selection and the maximization of fitness.

    PubMed

    Birch, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the 'new' interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, on which the theorem is exactly true for any evolving population that satisfies some minimal assumptions. The second is the Formal Darwinism project, which forges links between gene frequency change and optimal strategy choice. In both cases, I argue that the results fail to establish a biologically significant maximization principle. I conclude that it may be a mistake to look for universal maximization principles justified by theory alone. A more promising approach may be to find maximization principles that apply conditionally and to show that the conditions were satisfied in the evolution of particular traits. PMID:25899152

  1. The natural selection of altruistic traits.

    PubMed

    Boehm, C

    1999-09-01

    Proponents of the standard evolutionary biology paradigm explain human "altruism" in terms of either nepotism or strict reciprocity. On that basis our underlying nature is reduced to a function of inclusive fitness: human nature has to be totally selfish or nepotistic. Proposed here are three possible paths to giving costly aid to nonrelatives, paths that are controversial because they involve assumed pleiotropic effects or group selection. One path is pleiotropic subsidies that help to extend nepotistic helping behavior from close family to nonrelatives. Another is "warfare"-if and only if warfare recurred in the Paleolithic. The third and most plausible hypothesis is based on the morally based egalitarian syndrome of prehistoric hunter-gatherers, which reduced phenotypic variation at the within-group level, increased it at the between-group level, and drastically curtailed the advantages of free riders. In an analysis consistent with the fundamental tenets of evolutionary biology, these three paths are evaluated as explanations for the evolutionary development of a rather complicated human social nature. PMID:26196335

  2. The incidental response to uniform natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Graham

    2013-01-01

    When populations are exposed to novel conditions of growth, they often become adapted to a similar extent, and at the same time, evolve some degree of impairment in their original environment. They may also come to vary widely with respect to characters which are uncorrelated with fitness, as the result of chance genetic associations among the founders, when these are a small sample from a large and variable ancestral population. I report an experiment in which 240 replicate lines of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas were derived from primarily photoautotrophic ancestors and cultured as heterotrophs in the dark. All adapted to the dark and were impaired in the light after several hundred generations of culture. They also displayed a wide range of colony morphologies that were uncorrelated with fitness. This incidental response to selection probably arose through random variation in the initial composition of the lines. The differences between closely related species or varieties may likewise arise, in similar circumstances, by sampling error rather than natural selection. PMID:23697640

  3. Using Card Games to Simulate the Process of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grilliot, Matthew E.; Harden, Siegfried

    2014-01-01

    In 1858, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection." His explanation of evolution by natural selection has become the unifying theme of biology. We have found that many students do not fully comprehend the process of evolution by natural selection. We discuss a few simple games that incorporate hands-on…

  4. Bridging Emergent Attributes and Darwinian Principles in Teaching Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Dongchen; Chi, Michelene T. H.

    2016-01-01

    Students often have misconceptions about natural selection as they misuse a direct causal schema to explain the process. Natural selection is in fact an emergent process where random interactions lead to changes in a population. The misconceptions stem from students' lack of emergent schema for natural selection. In order to help students…

  5. Trait selection and welfare of genetically engineered animals in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Greger, M

    2010-02-01

    The release of the Final Guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration on the commercialization of genetically engineered animals has sparked renewed discussion over the ethical, consumer, and regulatory implications of transgenesis in animal agriculture. Animal welfare critiques have focused on unexpected phenotypic effects in animals used in transgenic research, rather than on the health and welfare implications of the intended productivity enhancement. Unless breeding goals are redefined to reflect social concerns, the occurrence and magnitude of undesirable side effects may increase and consumer confidence in the nascent technology may be undermined. PMID:19820044

  6. Vocational Agriculture Teachers' Opinions Relative to Selected Animal Science Competencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Larry G.; Groves, Ramsey

    1986-01-01

    The attitudes of 107 vocational agriculture teachers toward animal science competencies were compared to those of respondents to the National Agriculture Occupations Competency Study. The areas of disagreement indicate a need for increased cooperation between agricultural education and animal science departments in teacher preparation. (SK)

  7. Using the Animal Model to Accelerate Response to Selection in a Self-Pollinating Crop

    PubMed Central

    Cowling, Wallace A.; Stefanova, Katia T.; Beeck, Cameron P.; Nelson, Matthew N.; Hargreaves, Bonnie L. W.; Sass, Olaf; Gilmour, Arthur R.; Siddique, Kadambot H. M.

    2015-01-01

    We used the animal model in S0 (F1) recurrent selection in a self-pollinating crop including, for the first time, phenotypic and relationship records from self progeny, in addition to cross progeny, in the pedigree. We tested the model in Pisum sativum, the autogamous annual species used by Mendel to demonstrate the particulate nature of inheritance. Resistance to ascochyta blight (Didymella pinodes complex) in segregating S0 cross progeny was assessed by best linear unbiased prediction over two cycles of selection. Genotypic concurrence across cycles was provided by pure-line ancestors. From cycle 1, 102/959 S0 plants were selected, and their S1 self progeny were intercrossed and selfed to produce 430 S0 and 575 S2 individuals that were evaluated in cycle 2. The analysis was improved by including all genetic relationships (with crossing and selfing in the pedigree), additive and nonadditive genetic covariances between cycles, fixed effects (cycles and spatial linear trends), and other random effects. Narrow-sense heritability for ascochyta blight resistance was 0.305 and 0.352 in cycles 1 and 2, respectively, calculated from variance components in the full model. The fitted correlation of predicted breeding values across cycles was 0.82. Average accuracy of predicted breeding values was 0.851 for S2 progeny of S1 parent plants and 0.805 for S0 progeny tested in cycle 2, and 0.878 for S1 parent plants for which no records were available. The forecasted response to selection was 11.2% in the next cycle with 20% S0 selection proportion. This is the first application of the animal model to cyclic selection in heterozygous populations of selfing plants. The method can be used in genomic selection, and for traits measured on S0-derived bulks such as grain yield. PMID:25943522

  8. Using the Animal Model to Accelerate Response to Selection in a Self-Pollinating Crop.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Wallace A; Stefanova, Katia T; Beeck, Cameron P; Nelson, Matthew N; Hargreaves, Bonnie L W; Sass, Olaf; Gilmour, Arthur R; Siddique, Kadambot H M

    2015-07-01

    We used the animal model in S0 (F1) recurrent selection in a self-pollinating crop including, for the first time, phenotypic and relationship records from self progeny, in addition to cross progeny, in the pedigree. We tested the model in Pisum sativum, the autogamous annual species used by Mendel to demonstrate the particulate nature of inheritance. Resistance to ascochyta blight (Didymella pinodes complex) in segregating S0 cross progeny was assessed by best linear unbiased prediction over two cycles of selection. Genotypic concurrence across cycles was provided by pure-line ancestors. From cycle 1, 102/959 S0 plants were selected, and their S1 self progeny were intercrossed and selfed to produce 430 S0 and 575 S2 individuals that were evaluated in cycle 2. The analysis was improved by including all genetic relationships (with crossing and selfing in the pedigree), additive and nonadditive genetic covariances between cycles, fixed effects (cycles and spatial linear trends), and other random effects. Narrow-sense heritability for ascochyta blight resistance was 0.305 and 0.352 in cycles 1 and 2, respectively, calculated from variance components in the full model. The fitted correlation of predicted breeding values across cycles was 0.82. Average accuracy of predicted breeding values was 0.851 for S2 progeny of S1 parent plants and 0.805 for S0 progeny tested in cycle 2, and 0.878 for S1 parent plants for which no records were available. The forecasted response to selection was 11.2% in the next cycle with 20% S0 selection proportion. This is the first application of the animal model to cyclic selection in heterozygous populations of selfing plants. The method can be used in genomic selection, and for traits measured on S0-derived bulks such as grain yield. PMID:25943522

  9. Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness.

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, Randolph M

    2004-01-01

    The quest for happiness has expanded from a focus on relieving suffering to also considering how to promote happiness. However, both approaches have yet to be conducted in an evolutionary framework based on the situations that shaped the capacities for happiness and sadness. Because of this, the emphasis has almost all been on the disadvantages of negative states and the benefits of positive states, to the nearly total neglect of 'diagonal psychology', which also considers the dangers of unwarranted positive states and the benefits of negative emotions in certain situations. The situations that arise in goal pursuit contain adaptive challenges that have shaped domain-general positive and negative emotions that were partially differentiated by natural selection to cope with the more specific situations that arise in the pursuit of different kinds of goals. In cultures where large social groups give rise to specialized and competitive social roles, depression may be common because regulation systems are pushed far beyond the bounds for which they were designed. Research on the evolutionary origins of the capacities for positive and negative emotions is urgently needed to provide a foundation for sensible decisions about the use of new mood-manipulating technologies. PMID:15347525

  10. Apoptosis and the selective survival of host animals following thermal bleaching in zooxanthellate corals

    PubMed Central

    Tchernov, Dan; Kvitt, Hagit; Haramaty, Liti; Bibby, Thomas S.; Gorbunov, Maxim Y.; Rosenfeld, Hanna; Falkowski, Paul G.

    2011-01-01

    During the past several decades, numerous reports from disparate geographical areas have documented an increased frequency of “bleaching” in reef-forming corals. The phenomenon, triggered by increased sea surface temperatures, occurs when the cnidarian hosts digest and/or expel their intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts (“zooxanthellae” in the genus Symbiodinium). Although coral bleaching is often followed by the death of the animal hosts, in some cases, the animal survives and can be repopulated with viable zooxanthellae. The physiological factors determining the ability of the coral to survive bleaching events are poorly understood. In this study, we experimentally established that bleaching and death of the host animal involve a caspase-mediated apoptotic cascade induced by reactive oxygen species produced primarily by the algal symbionts. In addition, we demonstrate that, although some corals naturally suppress caspase activity and significantly reduce caspase concentration under high temperatures as a mechanism to prevent colony death from apoptosis, even sensitive corals can be prevented from dying by application of exogenous inhibitors of caspases. Our results indicate that variability in response to thermal stress in corals is determined by a four-element, combinatorial genetic matrix intrinsic to the specific symbiotic association. Based on our experimental data, we present a working model in which the phenotypic expression of this symbiont/host relationship places a selective pressure on the symbiotic association. The model predicts the survival of the host animals in which the caspase-mediated apoptotic cascade is down-regulated. PMID:21636790

  11. Animal Density and Track Counts: Understanding the Nature of Observations Based on Animal Movements

    PubMed Central

    Keeping, Derek; Pelletier, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Counting animals to estimate their population sizes is often essential for their management and conservation. Since practitioners frequently rely on indirect observations of animals, it is important to better understand the relationship between such indirect indices and animal abundance. The Formozov-Malyshev-Pereleshin (FMP) formula provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the relationship between animal track counts and the true density of species. Although this analytical method potentially has universal applicability wherever animals are readily detectable by their tracks, it has long been unique to Russia and remains widely underappreciated. In this paper, we provide a test of the FMP formula by isolating the influence of animal travel path tortuosity (i.e., convolutedness) on track counts. We employed simulations using virtual and empirical data, in addition to a field test comparing FMP estimates with independent estimates from line transect distance sampling. We verify that track counts (total intersections between animals and transects) are determined entirely by density and daily movement distances. Hence, the FMP estimator is theoretically robust against potential biases from specific shapes or patterns of animal movement paths if transects are randomly situated with respect to those movements (i.e., the transects do not influence animals’ movements). However, detectability (the detection probability of individual animals) is not determined simply by daily travel distance but also by tortuosity, so ensuring that all intersections with transects are counted regardless of the number of individual animals that made them becomes critical for an accurate density estimate. Additionally, although tortuosity has no bearing on mean track encounter rates, it does affect encounter rate variance and therefore estimate precision. We discuss how these fundamental principles made explicit by the FMP formula have widespread implications for methods of

  12. Using Animation to Convey Natural Hazards and Anthropogenic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerlow, Isaac

    2016-04-01

    Moving images are a powerful medium for analyzing, exploring and visually communicating complex concepts, and they are also the premiere medium for contemporary storytelling. Animation is particularly adept for explaining complex concepts and also for creating emotional messages. On a practical level animation can be free from the production constraints and the expense of live action filming. This presentation shows and explains a variety of Earth-inspired animated sequences produced by the Art+Media Research Group at the Earth Observatory of Singapore. These animations have been used in a variety of interdisciplinary projects with multiple roles: sometimes to clearly explain a concept, others to elicit a feeling, or to present an emotion that facilitates learning. The projects reviewed range from scientific documentaries, to narrative shorts and interactive games. http://art-science-media.com/

  13. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  14. Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Hine, Emma; McGuigan, Katrina; Blows, Mark W

    2011-03-01

    Sexual selection in natural populations acts on highly heritable traits and tends to be relatively strong, implicating sexual selection as a causal agent in many phenotypic radiations. Sexual selection appears to be ineffectual in promoting phenotypic divergence among contemporary natural populations, however, and there is little evidence from artificial selection experiments that sexual fitness can evolve. Here, we demonstrate that a multivariate male trait preferred by Drosophila serrata females can respond to selection and results in the maintenance of male mating success. The response to selection was associated with a gene of major effect increasing in frequency from 12 to 35% in seven generations. No further response to selection, or increase in frequency of the major gene, was observed between generations 7 and 11, indicating an evolutionary limit had been reached. Genetic analyses excluded both depletion of genetic variation and overdominance as causes of the evolutionary limit. Relaxing artificial selection resulted in the loss of 52% of the selection response after a further five generations, demonstrating that the response under artificial sexual selection was opposed by antagonistic natural selection. We conclude that male D. serrata sexually selected traits, and attractiveness to D. serrata females conferred by these traits, were held at an evolutionary limit by the lack of genetic variation that would allow an increase in sexual fitness while simultaneously maintaining nonsexual fitness. Our results suggest that sexual selection is unlikely to cause divergence among natural populations without a concomitant change in natural selection, a conclusion consistent with observational evidence from natural populations. PMID:21321197

  15. Sensitivity of Students to the Natural Environment, Animals, Social Problems and Cultural Heritage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kurtdede Fidan, Nuray

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to determine the sensitivity levels of fourth-grade students to the natural environment, animals, social concerns and cultural heritage. Besides, it has been investigated whether some personal characteristics of the students have differentiating effect on the views related to the sensitivity to the natural environment, animals,…

  16. ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: SELECTED CASE STUDIES

    SciTech Connect

    Vangelas, K; W. H. Albright, W; E. S. Becvar, E; C. H. Benson, C; T. O. Early, T; E. Hood, E; P. M. Jardine, P; M. Lorah, M; E. Majche, E; D. Major, D; W. J. Waugh, W; G. Wein, G; O. R. West, O

    2007-05-15

    In 2003 the US Department of Energy (DOE) embarked on a project to explore an innovative approach to remediation of subsurface contaminant plumes that focused on introducing mechanisms for augmenting natural attenuation to achieve site closure. Termed enhanced attenuation (EA), this approach has drawn its inspiration from the concept of monitored natural attenuation (MNA).

  17. Natural Selection, Nutrition Research, and Science Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Darby

    1980-01-01

    Provides examples of the teaching of hypothesis generation and scientific inquiry in biology. Specifically, the author applies the selection paradigm to considerations of the human nutrient-handling apparatus, finally suggesting a model of the selective forces that may have operated on the human genome since hunting-gathering and primitive…

  18. Natural infection by endoparasites among free-living wild animals.

    PubMed

    Holsback, Luciane; Cardoso, Mauro José Lahm; Fagnani, Rafael; Patelli, Thaís Helena Constantino

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency of occurrence and variety of intestinal parasites among free-living wild animals. Fecal samples from wild mammals and birds at rehabilitation centers in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo were analyzed by sedimentation and flotation-centrifugation methods. Parasite eggs, oocysts, cysts and/or trophozoites were found in 71% of the samples. Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts were detected in fecal samples from oncillas (Leopardus tigrinus) and scaly-headed parrots (Pionus maximiliani). Giardia cysts were identified in the feces of a gray brocket (Mazama gouazoubira). Among the most common parasites found, there were eggs from Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina and Ancylostoma tubaeforme, and from Cestoda. Several Enterobius sp. eggs were found in the feces of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). It can be concluded from this study that despite the small number of samples, the diversity of parasites found was noteworthy. Additional information about parasite endofauna in wild animals is needed, since their presence might suggest that there could be proximity to and interactions with domestic animals and/or humans. In addition, further studies on parasites from free-living wild animals are of prime importance for understanding the intensity of anthropic changes in wild environments. PMID:23778826

  19. Molecular taphonomy of animal and plant cuticles: selective preservation and diagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, D. E. G.

    1999-01-01

    The nature of organic material and the environment in which it is deposited exert a major influence on the extent to which biomacromolecules are preserved in the fossil record. The role of these factors is explored with a particular focus on the cuticle of arthropods and leaves. Preservation of the original chemistry of arthropod cuticles is favoured by their thickness and degree of sclerotization, and the presence of biominerals. Decay and burial in terrestrial as opposed to marine, and anoxic rather than oxygenated conditions, likewise appear to enhance preservation. The most important factor in the long-term preservation of the chemistry of both animal and plant cuticles, however, is diagenetic alteration to an aliphatic composition. This occurs even in amber, which encapsulates the fossil, eliminating almost all external factors. Some plants contain an original decay-resistant macromolecular aliphatic component but this is not the case in arthropods. It appears that the aliphatic components of many plant as well as animal fossils may be the result of diagenetic polymerization. Selective preservation as a result of decay resistance may explain the initial survival of organic materials in sediments, but in many cases longer-term preservation relies on chemical changes. Selective preservation is only a partial explanation for the origin of kerogen.

  20. Genomic selection in domestic animals: Principles, applications and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Boichard, Didier; Ducrocq, Vincent; Croiseau, Pascal; Fritz, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    The principles of genomic selection are described, with the main factors affecting its efficiency and the assumptions underlying the different models proposed. The reasons of its fast adoption in dairy cattle are explained and the conditions of its application to other species are discussed. Perspectives of development include: selection for new traits and new breeding objectives; adoption of more robust approaches based on information on causal variants; predictions of genotype×environment interactions. PMID:27185591

  1. Laser surgery for selected small animal soft-tissue conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartels, Kenneth E.

    1991-05-01

    With the acquisition of a Nd:YAG and a CO2 laser in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University in 1989, over 100 small animal clinical cases have been managed with these modern modalities for surgical excision and tissue vaporization. Most procedures have been for oncologic problems, but inflammatory, infectious, or congenital conditions including vaporization of acral lick 'granulomas,' excision/vaporization of foreign body induced, infected draining tracts, and resection of elongated soft palates have been successfully accomplished. Laser excision or vaporization of both benign and malignant neoplasms have effectively been performed and include feline nasal squamous cell carcinoma, mast cell tumors, and rectal/anal neoplasms. Results to date have been excellent with animals exhibiting little postoperative pain, swelling, and inflammation. Investigations involving application of laser energy for tissue welding of esophageal lacerations and hepatitic interstitial hyperthermia for metastatic colorectal cancer have also shown potential. A review of cases with an emphasis on survival time and postoperative morbidity suggests that carefully planned laser surgical procedures in clinical veterinary practice done with standardized protocols and techniques offer an acceptable means of treating conditions that were previously considered extremely difficult or virtually impossible to perform.

  2. Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin's theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that…

  3. Natural Selection in the Field and the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation examined natural selection in westslope cutthroat trout ("Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi") and undergraduate learning in the subject area natural selection. Translocation--moving individuals to a new habitat to establish, re-establish or supplement a population--is a crucial management strategy for cutthroat trout. One of…

  4. Are Humans Still Evolving? A Natural Selection Discussion Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Martin

    2004-01-01

    A study is conducted to develop sound comprehension of natural selection theory by prompting students to use its concept to explain the evolutionary status of humans. In relation to the current existence of human it is stated that human populations currently undergo microevolutionary changes in allele frequencies due to natural selection and other…

  5. A Working Model of Natural Selection Illustrated by Table Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinc, Muhittin; Kilic, Selda; Aladag, Caner

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most important topics in biology and it helps to clarify the variety and complexity of organisms. However, students in almost every stage of education find it difficult to understand the mechanism of natural selection and they can develop misconceptions about it. This article provides an active model of natural…

  6. Development and Evaluation of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Dianne L.; Fisher, Kathleen M.; Norman, Gregory J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents a diagnostic test to assess students' understanding of natural selection. Field-tests the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) with nonmajors and biology majors at community colleges. Compares test scores of nonmajors with performances in interviews and discusses the correlation between the test scores and the interview…

  7. Animal genomics in natural reservoirs of infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Cowled, C; Wang, L-F

    2016-04-01

    Natural virus reservoirs such as wild bats, birds, rodents and non-human primates are generally non-model organisms that have, until recently, presented limited opportunities for in-depth study. Next-generation sequencing provides a way to partially circumvent this limitation, since the methods required for data acquisition and analysis are largely species-independent. Comparative genomics and other 'omics' provide new opportunities to study the structure and function of various biological systems of wild species that are otherwise out of reach. Genomes of natural reservoir hosts can help to identify dominant pathways of virus-host interaction and to reveal differences between susceptible and resistant organisms, populations and species. This is of great scientific interest and may also provide a resource for the rational design of treatments for viral diseases in humans and livestock. In this way, we will 'learn from nature' and one day apply this knowledge to create disease-resistant livestock or develop novel therapeutic and prevention strategies. Reservoir host genomics will also open up possibilities for developing novel vaccines for wildlife, aid in the development of new diagnostic platforms, and have broad implications for developmental and evolutionary biology. In this review, the authors focus on natural reservoir hosts of viral pathogens, although most of the discussion points should be equally applicable to natural reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria, fungi or other parasites. PMID:27217176

  8. Nature in the Classroom: Rare and Endangered Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doyle, Charles

    1977-01-01

    It is important that students become aware of the enormous impact that man has upon his environment and that they become concerned and participate in activities which will help them develop responsibile attitudes toward the natural world. Presents an ecology lesson and a conservation lesson with suggested teaching guides. (Author/RK)

  9. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Randau, Marcela; Carbone, Chris; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition. PMID:23951334

  10. Linkage and the Limits to Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Barton, N. H.

    1995-01-01

    The probability of fixation of a favorable mutation is reduced if selection at other loci causes inherited variation in fitness. A general method for calculating the fixation probability of an allele that can find itself in a variety of genetic backgrounds is applied to find the effect of substitutions, fluctuating polymorphisms, and deleterious mutations in a large population. With loose linkage, r, the effects depend on the additive genetic variance in relative fitness, var (W), and act by reducing effective population size by (N/N(e)) = 1 + var (W)/2r(2). However, tightly linked loci can have a substantial effect not predictable from N(e). Linked deleterious mutations reduce the fixation probability of weakly favored alleles by exp(-2U/R), where U is the total mutation rate and R is the map length in Morgans. Substitutions can cause a greater reduction: an allele with advantage s < s(crit) = (π(2)/6) log(e) (S/s)[var(W)/R] is very unlikely to be fixed. (S is the advantage of the substitution impeding fixation.) Fluctuating polymorphisms at many (n) linked loci can also have a substantial effect, reducing fixation probability by exp [ &2Kn var(W)/R] [K = -1/E((u - u)(2)/uv) depending on the frequencies (u,v) at the selected polymorphisms]. Hitchhiking due to all three kinds of selection may substantially impede adaptation that depends on weakly favored alleles. PMID:7498757

  11. Reducing animal sequencing redundancy by preferentially selecting animals with low-frequency haplotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many studies leverage targeted whole genome sequencing (WGS) experiments in order to identify rare and causal variants within populations. As a natural consequence of experimental design, many of these surveys tend to sequence redundant haplotype segments due to high frequency in the base population...

  12. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced. PMID:25972465

  13. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Diane R.; Powers, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced. PMID:25972465

  14. Optimizing selection of large animals for antibody production by screening immune response to standard vaccines.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Mary K; Fridy, Peter C; Keegan, Sarah; Chait, Brian T; Fenyö, David; Rout, Michael P

    2016-03-01

    Antibodies made in large animals are integral to many biomedical research endeavors. Domesticated herd animals like goats, sheep, donkeys, horses and camelids all offer distinct advantages in antibody production. However, their cost of use is often prohibitive, especially where poor antigen response is commonplace; choosing a non-responsive animal can set a research program back or even prevent experiments from moving forward entirely. Over the course of production of antibodies from llamas, we found that some animals consistently produced a higher humoral antibody response than others, even to highly divergent antigens, as well as to their standard vaccines. Based on our initial data, we propose that these "high level responders" could be pre-selected by checking antibody titers against common vaccines given to domestic farm animals. Thus, time and money can be saved by reducing the chances of getting poor responding animals and minimizing the use of superfluous animals. PMID:26775851

  15. Secrets and lies: "selective openness" in the apparatus of animal experimentation.

    PubMed

    Holmberg, Tora; Ideland, Malin

    2012-04-01

    Researchers and other (human) actors within the apparatus of animal experimentation find themselves in a tight corner. They rely on public acceptance to promote their legitimacy and to receive funding. At the same time, those working with animal experimentation take risks by going public, fearing that the public will misunderstand their work and animal rights activists may threaten them. The dilemma that emerges between openness and secrecy is fairly prevalent in scientific culture as a whole, but the apparatus of animal experimentation presents specific patterns of technologies of secrets. The aim of the paper is to describe and analyse the meanings of secrets and openness in contemporary animal experimentation. We suggest that these secrets--or "selective openness"--can be viewed as grease in the apparatus of animal experimentation, as a unifying ingredient that permits maintenance of status quo in human/animal relations and preserves existing institutional public/ science relations. PMID:23045886

  16. Natural selective attention: Orienting and emotion

    PubMed Central

    BRADLEY, MARGARET M.

    2013-01-01

    The foundations of orienting and attention are hypothesized to stem from activation of defensive and appetitive motivational systems that evolved to protect and sustain the life of the individual. Motivational activation initiates a cascade of perceptual and motor processes that facilitate the selection of appropriate behavior. Among these are detection of significance, indexed by a late centro-parietal positivity in the event-related potential, enhanced perceptual processing, indexed by a initial cardiac deceleration, and preparation for action, indexed by electrodermal changes. Data exploring the role of stimulus novelty and significance in orienting are presented that indicate different components of the orienting response habituate at different rates. Taken together, it is suggested that orienting is mediated by activation of fundamental motivational systems that have evolved to support survival. PMID:18778317

  17. Overcrowding and Population Growth: The Nature and Relevance of Animal Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stettner, Laurence J.

    This paper provides a descriptive overview of research on the consequences of overcrowding and the development of high population densities in animals, and speculates on the relevance of these studies for similar human phenomena. Three major foci are distinguished: (1) the effect of high population densities on animal behavior; (2) the nature of…

  18. Perrault, Buffon and the natural history of animals

    PubMed Central

    Guerrini, Anita

    2012-01-01

    In 1733, as part of a programme to publish its early works in a uniform format, the Paris Academy of Sciences reprinted Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire naturelle des animaux (Histoire des animaux), last published in 1676, a work of both natural history and mechanistic anatomy. However, unlike the other works in this enterprise, Histoire des animaux was extensively edited and updated. In 1749 Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon published the first volume of Histoire naturelle. Its volumes on quadrupeds, written with Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, held significant similarities to Histoire des animaux. The relationship between these works has not hitherto been examined. Buffon's early ideas on species, in particular, resemble the emphasis on particulars of Histoire des animaux.

  19. Hamilton's forces of natural selection after forty years.

    PubMed

    Rose, Michael R; Rauser, Casandra L; Benford, Gregory; Matos, Margarida; Mueller, Laurence D

    2007-06-01

    In 1966, William D. Hamilton published a landmark paper in evolutionary biology: "The Moulding of Senescence by Natural Selection." It is now apparent that this article is as important as his better-known 1964 articles on kin selection. Not only did the 1966 article explain aging, it also supplied the basic scaling forces for natural selection over the entire life history. Like the Lorentz transformations of relativistic physics, Hamilton's Forces of Natural Selection provide an overarching framework for understanding the power of natural selection at early ages, the existence of aging, the timing of aging, the cessation of aging, and the timing of the cessation of aging. His twin Forces show that natural selection shapes survival and fecundity in different ways, so their evolution can be somewhat distinct. Hamilton's Forces also define the context in which genetic variation is shaped. The Forces of Natural Selection are readily manipulable using experimental evolution, allowing the deceleration or acceleration of aging, and the shifting of the transition ages between development, aging, and late life. For these reasons, evolutionary research on the demographic features of life history should be referred to as "Hamiltonian." PMID:17542838

  20. Improvement of Endurance of DMD Animal Model Using Natural Polyphenols

    PubMed Central

    Sitzia, Clementina; Farini, Andrea; Fortunato, Francesco; Razini, Paola; Erratico, Silvia; Tavelli, Alessandro; Fabrizi, Francesco; Belicchi, Marzia; Torrente, Yvan

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common form of muscular dystrophy, is characterized by muscular wasting caused by dystrophin deficiency that ultimately ends in force reduction and premature death. In addition to primary genetic defect, several mechanisms contribute to DMD pathogenesis. Recently, antioxidant supplementation was shown to be effective in the treatment of multiple diseases including muscular dystrophy. Different mechanisms were hypothesized such as reduced hydroxyl radicals, nuclear factor-κB deactivation, and NO protection from inactivation. Following these promising evidences, we investigated the effect of the administration of a mix of dietary natural polyphenols (ProAbe) on dystrophic mdx mice in terms of muscular architecture and functionality. We observed a reduction of muscle fibrosis deposition and myofiber necrosis together with an amelioration of vascularization. More importantly, the recovery of the morphological features of dystrophic muscle leads to an improvement of the endurance of treated dystrophic mice. Our data confirmed that ProAbe-based diet may represent a strategy to coadjuvate the treatment of DMD. PMID:25861640

  1. Natural Selection Is a Sorting Process: What Does that Mean?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    To learn why natural selection acts only on existing variation, students categorize processes as either creative or sorting. This activity helps students confront the misconception that adaptations evolve because species need them.

  2. Selection for Simple Major Surface Protein 2 Variants during Anaplasma marginale Transmission to Immunologically Naive Animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anaplasma marginale, a rickettsial pathogen, evades clearance in the animal host by antigenic variation. Under immune selection, A. marginale expresses complex MSP2 mosaics, derived from multiple donor sequences. However, these mosaics have a selective advantage only in the presence of adaptive immu...

  3. Historical evidence for nature disconnection in a 70-year time series of Disney animated films.

    PubMed

    Prévot-Julliard, Anne-Caroline; Julliard, Romain; Clayton, Susan

    2015-08-01

    The assumed ongoing disconnection between humans and nature in Western societies represents a profoundly challenging conservation issue. Here, we demonstrate one manifestation of this nature disconnection, via an examination of the representation of natural settings in a 70-year time series of Disney animated films. We found that natural settings are increasingly less present as a representation of outdoor environments in these films. Moreover, these drawn natural settings tend to be more and more human controlled and are less and less complex in terms of the biodiversity they depict. These results demonstrate the increasing nature disconnection of the filmmaking teams, which we consider as a proxy of the Western relation to nature. Additionally, because nature experience of children is partly based on movies, the depleted representation of biodiversity in outdoor environments of Disney films may amplify the current disconnection from nature for children. This reduction in exposure to nature may hinder the implementation of biodiversity conservation measures. PMID:24519887

  4. Naturalization Test Redesign Project: Civics Item Selection Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2008

    2008-01-01

    "Naturalization Test Redesign Project: Civics Item Selection Analysis" provides an overview of the development of content items for the U.S. history and government (civics) portion of the redesigned naturalization test. This document also reviews the process used to gather and analyze data from multiple studies to determine which civics test items…

  5. Annotated selected references on natural resources investigations, Collier County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swayze, L.J.

    1981-01-01

    A data base for future natural resources investigations in Collier County, Fla., was initiated by compiling a selected annotated bibliography. This report provides references and annotations for selected reports released between 1950 and 1978. The references are presented by subject material as follows: biologic, ecologic, geologic, geochemical, and hydrologic. (USGS)

  6. Animator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Art and animation work is the most significant part of electronic game development, but is also found in television commercials, computer programs, the Internet, comic books, and in just about every visual media imaginable. It is the part of the project that makes an abstract design idea concrete and visible. Animators create the motion of life in…

  7. Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes?

    PubMed Central

    Sakkas, Denny; Ramalingam, Mythili; Garrido, Nicolas; Barratt, Christopher L.R.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND In natural conception only a few sperm cells reach the ampulla or the site of fertilization. This population is a selected group of cells since only motile cells can pass through cervical mucus and gain initial entry into the female reproductive tract. In animals, some studies indicate that the sperm selected by the reproductive tract and recovered from the uterus and the oviducts have higher fertilization rates but this is not a universal finding. Some species show less discrimination in sperm selection and abnormal sperm do arrive at the oviduct. In contrast, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) utilize a more random sperm population. In this review we contrast the journey of the spermatozoon in vivo and in vitro and discuss this in the context of developing new sperm preparation and selection techniques for ART. METHODS A review of the literature examining characteristics of the spermatozoa selected in vivo is compared with recent developments in in vitro selection and preparation methods. Contrasts and similarities are presented. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS New technologies are being developed to aid in the diagnosis, preparation and selection of spermatozoa in ART. To date progress has been frustrating and these methods have provided variable benefits in improving outcomes after ART. It is more likely that examining the mechanisms enforced by nature will provide valuable information in regard to sperm selection and preparation techniques in vitro. Identifying the properties of those spermatozoa which do reach the oviduct will also be important for the development of more effective tests of semen quality. In this review we examine the value of sperm selection to see how much guidance for ART can be gleaned from the natural selection processes in vivo. PMID:26386468

  8. The genetic consequences of selection in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Timothy J; Barrett, Rowan D H

    2016-04-01

    The selection coefficient, s, quantifies the strength of selection acting on a genetic variant. Despite this parameter's central importance to population genetic models, until recently we have known relatively little about the value of s in natural populations. With the development of molecular genetic techniques in the late 20th century and the sequencing technologies that followed, biologists are now able to identify genetic variants and directly relate them to organismal fitness. We reviewed the literature for published estimates of natural selection acting at the genetic level and found over 3000 estimates of selection coefficients from 79 studies. Selection coefficients were roughly exponentially distributed, suggesting that the impact of selection at the genetic level is generally weak but can occasionally be quite strong. We used both nonparametric statistics and formal random-effects meta-analysis to determine how selection varies across biological and methodological categories. Selection was stronger when measured over shorter timescales, with the mean magnitude of s greatest for studies that measured selection within a single generation. Our analyses found conflicting trends when considering how selection varies with the genetic scale (e.g., SNPs or haplotypes) at which it is measured, suggesting a need for further research. Besides these quantitative conclusions, we highlight key issues in the calculation, interpretation, and reporting of selection coefficients and provide recommendations for future research. PMID:26836758

  9. The Limits of Natural Selection in a Nonequilibrium World.

    PubMed

    Brandvain, Yaniv; Wright, Stephen I

    2016-04-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that factors such as a small population size or low recombination rate can limit the action of natural selection. The emerging field of comparative population genomics offers an opportunity to evaluate these hypotheses. However, classical theoretical predictions assume that populations are at demographic equilibrium. This assumption is likely to be violated in the very populations researchers use to evaluate selection's limits: populations that have experienced a recent shift in population size and/or effective recombination rates. Here we highlight theory and data analyses concerning limitations on the action of natural selection in nonequilibrial populations and argue that substantial care is needed to appropriately test whether species and populations show meaningful differences in selection efficacy. A move toward model-based inferences that explicitly incorporate nonequilibrium dynamics provides a promising approach to more accurately contrast selection efficacy across populations and interpret its significance. PMID:26874998

  10. Hard and Soft Selection Revisited: How Evolution by Natural Selection Works in the Real World.

    PubMed

    Reznick, David

    2016-01-01

    The modern synthesis of evolutionary biology unified Darwin's natural selection with Mendelian genetics, but at the same time it created the dilemma of genetic load. Lewontin and Hubby's (1966) and Harris's (1966) characterization of genetic variation in natural populations increased the apparent burden of this load. Neutrality or near neutrality of genetic variation was one mechanism proposed for the revealed excessive genetic variation. Bruce Wallace coined the term "soft selection" to describe an alternative way for natural selection to operate that was consistent with observed variation. He envisioned nature as presenting ecological vacancies that could be filled by diverse genotypes. Survival and successful reproduction was a combined function of population density, genotype, and genotype frequencies, rather than a fixed value of the relative fitness of each genotype. My goal in this review is to explore the importance of soft selection in the real world. My motive and that of my colleagues as described here is not to explain what maintains genetic variation in natural populations, but rather to understand the factors that shape how organisms adapt to natural environments. We characterize how feedbacks between ecology and evolution shape both evolution and ecology. These feedbacks are mediated by density- and frequency-dependent selection, the mechanisms that underlie soft selection. Here, I report on our progress in characterizing these types of selection with a combination of a consideration of the published literature and the results from my collaborators' and my research on natural populations of guppies. PMID:26424874

  11. A review of experimental and natural infections of animals with monkeypox virus between 1958 and 2012

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Scott; Buller, R Mark

    2013-01-01

    Monkeypox virus (MPXV) was discovered in 1958 during an outbreak in an animal facility in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since its discovery, MPXV has revealed a propensity to infect and induce disease in a large number of animals within the mammalia class from pan-geographical locations. This finding has impeded the elucidation of the natural host, although the strongest candidates are African squirrels and/or other rodents. Experimentally, MPXV can infect animals via a variety of multiple different inoculation routes; however, the natural route of transmission is unknown and is likely to be somewhat species specific. In this review we have attempted to compile and discuss all published articles that describe experimental or natural infections with MPXV, dating from the initial discovery of the virus through to the year 2012. We further discuss the comparative disease courses and pathologies of the host species. PMID:23626656

  12. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population

    PubMed Central

    Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E.; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes the effects of sex and wealth on different episodes of selection. Our dataset was compiled from church records of preindustrial Finnish populations characterized by socially imposed monogamy, and it contains a complete distribution of survival, mating, and reproductive success for 5,923 individuals born 1760–1849. Individual differences in early survival and fertility (natural selection) were responsible for most variation in fitness, even among wealthier individuals. Variance in mating success explained most of the higher variance in reproductive success in males compared with females, but mating success also influenced reproductive success in females, allowing for sexual selection to operate in both sexes. The detected opportunity for selection is in line with measurements for other species but higher than most previous reports for human samples. This disparity results from biological, demographic, economic, and social differences across populations as well as from failures by most previous studies to account for variation in fitness introduced by nonreproductive individuals. Our results emphasize that the demographic, cultural, and technological changes of the last 10,000 y did not preclude the potential for natural and sexual selection in our species. PMID:22547810

  13. Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-06-01

    Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin’s theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that derive from the intuitiveness of alternative theories. The main emotional obstacles to accepting evolution are its apparent conflict with valued beliefs about God, souls, and morality. We draw on the philosophy of science and on a psychological theory of cognitive and emotional belief revision to make suggestions about what can be done to improve acceptance of Darwinian ideas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-23

    Variation in body form among human groups is structured by a blend of natural selection driven by local climatic conditions and random genetic drift. However, attempts to test ecogeographic hypotheses have not distinguished between adaptive traits (i.e., those that evolved as a result of selection) and those that evolved as a correlated response to selection on other traits (i.e., nonadaptive traits), complicating our understanding of the relationship between climate and morphological distinctions among populations. Here, we use evolutionary quantitative methods to test if traits previously identified as supporting ecogeographic hypotheses were actually adaptive by estimating the force of selection on individual traits needed to drive among-group differentiation. Our results show that not all associations between trait means and latitude were caused by selection acting directly on each individual trait. Although radial and tibial length and biiliac and femoral head breadth show signs of responses to directional selection matching ecogeographic hypotheses, the femur was subject to little or no directional selection despite having shorter values by latitude. Additionally, in contradiction to ecogeographic hypotheses, the humerus was under directional selection for longer values by latitude. Responses to directional selection in the tibia and radius induced a nonadaptive correlated response in the humerus that overwhelmed its own trait-specific response to selection. This result emphasizes that mean differences between groups are not good indicators of which traits are adaptations in the absence of information about covariation among characteristics. PMID:27482101

  15. Animal selection for whole genome sequencing by quantifying the unique contribution of homozygous haplotypes sequenced

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Major whole genome sequencing projects promise to identify rare and causal variants within livestock species; however, the efficient selection of animals for sequencing remains a major problem within these surveys. The goal of this project was to develop a library of high accuracy genetic variants f...

  16. Antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

    While many studies demonstrate that herbivores alter selection on plant reproductive traits, little is known about whether antiherbivore defenses affect selection on these traits. We hypothesized that antiherbivore defenses could alter selection on reproductive traits by altering trait expression through allocation trade-offs, or by altering interactions with mutualists and/or antagonists. To test our hypothesis, we used white clover, Trifolium repens, which has a Mendelian polymorphism for the production of hydrogen cyanide-a potent antiherbivore defense. We conducted a common garden experiment with 185 clonal families of T. repens that included cyanogenic and acyanogenic genotypes. We quantified resistance to herbivores, and selection on six floral traits and phenology via male and female fitness. Cyanogenesis reduced herbivory but did not alter the expression of reproductive traits through allocation trade-offs. However, the presence of cyanogenic defenses altered natural selection on petal morphology and the number of flowers within inflorescences via female fitness. Herbivory influenced selection on flowers and phenology via female fitness independently of cyanogenesis. Our results demonstrate that both herbivory and antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits. We discuss the significance of these results for understanding how antiherbivore defenses interact with herbivores and pollinators to shape floral evolution. PMID:26940904

  17. When natural selection gives gene function the cold shoulder.

    PubMed

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

    It is tempting to invoke organismal selection as perpetually optimizing the function of any given gene. However, natural selection can drive genic functional change without improvement of biochemical activity, even to the extinction of gene activity. Detrimental mutations can creep in owing to linkage with other selectively favored loci. Selection can promote functional degradation, irrespective of genetic drift, when adaptation occurs by loss of gene function. Even stabilizing selection on a trait can lead to divergence of the underlying molecular constituents. Selfish genetic elements can also proliferate independent of any functional benefits to the host genome. Here we review the logic and evidence for these diverse processes acting in genome evolution. This collection of distinct evolutionary phenomena - while operating through easily understandable mechanisms - all contribute to the seemingly counterintuitive notion that maintenance or improvement of a gene's biochemical function sometimes do not determine its evolutionary fate. PMID:26411745

  18. Darwin and his pigeons. The analogy between artificial and natural selection revisited.

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Bert

    2012-01-01

    The analogy between artificial selection of domestic varieties and natural selection in nature was a vital element of Darwin's argument in his Origin of Species. Ever since, the image of breeders creating new varieties by artificial selection has served as a convincing illustration of how the theory works. In this paper I argue that we need to reconsider our understanding of Darwin's analogy. Contrary to what is often assumed, nineteenth-century animal breeding practices constituted a highly controversial field that was fraught with difficulties. It was only with considerable effort that Darwin forged his analogy, and he only succeeded by downplaying the importance of two other breeding techniques - crossing of varieties and inbreeding - that many breeders deemed essential to obtain new varieties. Part of the explanation for Darwin's gloss on breeding practices, I shall argue, was that the methods of his main informants, the breeders of fancy pigeons, were not representative of what went on in the breeding world at large. Darwin seems to have been eager to take the pigeon fanciers at their word, however, as it was only their methods that provided him with the perfect analogy with natural selection. Thus while his studies of domestic varieties were important for the development of the concept of natural selection, the reverse was also true: Darwin's comprehension of breeding practices was moulded by his understanding of the working of natural selection in nature. Historical studies of domestic breeding practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth century confirm that, besides selection, the techniques of inbreeding and crossing were much more important than Darwin's interpretation allowed for. And they still are today. This calls for a reconsideration of the pedagogic use of Darwin's analogy too. PMID:22037999

  19. Human-induced evolution caused by unnatural selection through harvest of wild animals

    PubMed Central

    Allendorf, Fred W.; Hard, Jeffrey J.

    2009-01-01

    Human harvest of phenotypically desirable animals from wild populations imposes selection that can reduce the frequencies of those desirable phenotypes. Hunting and fishing contrast with agricultural and aquacultural practices in which the most desirable animals are typically bred with the specific goal of increasing the frequency of desirable phenotypes. We consider the potential effects of harvest on the genetics and sustainability of wild populations. We also consider how harvesting could affect the mating system and thereby modify sexual selection in a way that might affect recruitment. Determining whether phenotypic changes in harvested populations are due to evolution, rather than phenotypic plasticity or environmental variation, has been problematic. Nevertheless, it is likely that some undesirable changes observed over time in exploited populations (e.g., reduced body size, earlier sexual maturity, reduced antler size, etc.) are due to selection against desirable phenotypes—a process we call “unnatural” selection. Evolution brought about by human harvest might greatly increase the time required for over-harvested populations to recover once harvest is curtailed because harvesting often creates strong selection differentials, whereas curtailing harvest will often result in less intense selection in the opposing direction. We strongly encourage those responsible for managing harvested wild populations to take into account possible selective effects of harvest management and to implement monitoring programs to detect exploitation-induced selection before it seriously impacts viability. PMID:19528656

  20. Using Different Examples of Natural Selection When Teaching Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Robert T.

    1993-01-01

    Describes the following examples of natural selection for use in science instruction: sickle-cell anemia and human beings, clogged crabs, the rounding of the human head, shell color in land snails, pollinator behavior and flower color, copper tolerance in a grass, lizards and quick change, and Darwin's finches. (PR)

  1. The Nature of Selected English Teachers' Online Participation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodesiler, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This article documents an investigation into the nature of selected secondary English teachers' online participation across platforms (i.e., blogs, microblogs, social networking sites) as they explored issues related to teaching, learning, and literacy. Ethnographic content analysis of online artifacts generated over approximately 10 months…

  2. Reconsidering the logical structure of the theory of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection has been criticized as a tautology. This would be a major problem for evolutionary biology, if true, because tautological statements can't be falsified and, therefore, can't be scientific. There is merit to this critique insofar as the theory of natural selection is indeed generally described in a tautological manner. However, natural selection can be described non-tautologically if we’re careful. Natural selection should be defined as the theory that attempts to predict and retrodict evolutionary change through environmental forces acting upon organisms. However, this re-framing comes at a cost: it reveals, based on our current knowledge of evolutionary forces, the lack of ability to make accurate predictions about expected changes except in the most simple of circumstances. I suggest that evolutionary biologists should work to develop “principles of evolution,” based on an expanded and more focused research program designed to identify common trends in evolution, which will ultimately allow us to make more accurate predictions and retrodictions about evolution. PMID:26478764

  3. Effective Assessment: Probing Students' Understanding of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Luli

    2004-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection provides the conceptual framework upon which much of modern biology is based: therefore understanding core ideas about biological evolution is an essential part of scientific literacy. Nonetheless, research repeatedly shows that high school and college students have difficulties understanding the notion of natural…

  4. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group. PMID:18992003

  5. Natural selection mapping of the warfarin-resistance gene

    PubMed Central

    Kohn, Michael H.; Pelz, Hans-Joachim; Wayne, Robert K.

    2000-01-01

    In theory, genes under natural selection can be revealed by unique patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) and polymorphism at physically linked loci. However, given the effects of recombination and mutation, the physical extent and persistence of LD patterns in natural populations is uncertain. To assess the LD signature of selection, we survey variation in 26 microsatellite loci spanning an ≈32-cM region that includes the warfarin-resistance gene (Rw) in five wild rat populations having resistance levels between 0 and 95%. We find a high frequency of heterozygote deficiency at microsatellite loci in resistant populations, and a negative association between gene diversity (H) and resistance. Contrary to previous studies, these data suggest that directional rather than overdominant selection may predominate during periods of intense anticoagulant treatment. In highly resistant populations, extensive LD was observed over a chromosome segment spanning ≈14% of rat chromosome 1. In contrast, LD in a moderately resistant population was more localized and, in conjunction with likelihood ratios, allowed assignment of Rw to a 2.2-cM interval. Within this genomic window, a diagnostic marker, D1Rat219, assigned 91% of rats to the correct resistance category. These results further demonstrate that “natural selection mapping” in field populations can detect and map major fitness-related genes, and question overdominance as the predominant mode of selection in anticoagulant-resistant rat populations. PMID:10884423

  6. The Divergence and Natural Selection of Autocatalytic Primordial Metabolic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marakushev, Sergey A.; Belonogova, Ol'ga V.

    2013-06-01

    The diversity of the central metabolism of modern organisms is caused by the existence of a few metabolic modules, combination of which produces multiple metabolic pathways. This paper analyzes biomimetically reconstructed coupled autocatalytic cycles as the basis of ancestral metabolic systems. The mechanism for natural selection and evolution in autocatalytic chemical systems may be affected by natural homeostatic parameters such as ambient chemical potentials, temperature, and pressure. Competition between separate parts of an autocatalytic network with positive-plus-negative feedback resulted in the formation of primordial autotrophic, mixotrophic, and heterotrophic metabolic systems. This work examined the last common ancestor of a set of coupled metabolic cycles in a population of protocells. Physical-chemical properties of these cycles determined the main principles of natural selection for the ancestral Bacteria and Archaea taxa.

  7. Biological fitness and the fundamental theorem of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Grafen, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection is proved satisfactorily for the first time, resolving confusions in the literature about the nature of reproductive value and fitness. Reproductive value is defined following Fisher, without reference to genetic variation, and fitness is the proportional rate of increase in an individual's contribution to the demographic population size. The mean value of fitness is the same in each age class, and it also equals the population's Malthusian parameter. The statement and derivation are regarded as settled here, and so the general biological significance of the fundamental theorem can be debated. The main purpose of the theorem is to find a quantitative measure of the effect of natural selection in a Mendelian system, thus founding Darwinism on Mendelism and identifying the design criterion for biological adaptation, embodied in Fisher's ingenious definition of fitness. The relevance of the newly understood theorem to five current research areas is discussed. PMID:26098334

  8. The insufficient part of abiogenesis theory - natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ploompuu, Tõnu

    2016-04-01

    Abiogenesis has already been studied for a whole century. There have been studies on the synthesis of precursors of biopolymers, concentration processes and polymerization pathways, sites of initiation of life. Autoreplication has been explained. Protocells have been constructed from abiogenic membranes. But one essential aspect for life - the natural selection - has been marginalized in these investigations. Despite the convincing use of natural selection in biology for one and half century, it has not been used sufficiently in the models of the beginning of life. Pictorially - Darwin's pond model is used without darwinism. This generates an unnecessary interruption on the path for understanding the process. Natural selection is essential in abiogenesis, in the genesis of biological information system. A selection of more collaborative autoreplicate biopolymers and the depolymerisation of others was required. Only natural selection was able to combine biopolymer molecules for life. The primary natural selection can operate only in an environment with variable physical and chemical conditions. The selective agent must constantly fluctuate during a long time span and a large area. Formation of the simplest complex of life needs homeostasis. The best sites for constant fluctuations are littoral areas of oceans. Two very constant fluctuations - waves and tides - occur there. The best conditions for the origin of life were exactly in the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment at temperature nealy 100° C. Earth's surface was then protected against the UV destruction by a thick cloud cover. High evaporation at the hotter parts of shore rocks increased the concentration of the primordial soup and there was excellent selective power by routine water level fluctuations. Because of the water level fluctuations salty ocean water and fresh water from continuous downpours alternated at the littoral zones. In low temperatures the formation of life would be hindered by UV

  9. Elementary Students' Investigations in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartley, Nancy; Concannon, James P.; Brown, Patrick L.

    2014-01-01

    Students love learning about animals: how animals behave, what animals eat, why some animals are more dangerous than others are, and why animals look the way they do. In this 5E lesson, students investigate why some animals look the way they do--specifically, the advantages of camouflage and mimicry. What are an animal's advantages of being…

  10. Natural Selection VS. Random Drift: Evidence from Temporal Variation in Allele Frequencies in Nature

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Laurence D.; Barr, Lorraine G.; Ayala, Francisco J.

    1985-01-01

    We have obtained monthly samples of two species, Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila persimilis, in a natural population from Napa County, California. In each species, about 300 genes have been assayed by electrophoresis for each of seven enzyme loci in each monthly sample from March 1972 to June 1975. Using statistical methods developed for the purpose, we have examined whether the allele frequencies at different loci vary in a correlated fashion. The methods used do not detect natural selection when it is deterministic (e.g., overdominance or directional selection), but only when alleles at different loci vary simultaneously in response to the same environmental variations. Moreover, only relatively large fitness differences (of the order of 15%) are detectable. We have found strong evidence of correlated allele frequency variation in 13–20% of the cases examined. We interpret this as evidence that natural selection plays a major role in the evolution of protein polymorphisms in nature. PMID:4054608

  11. Application of random effects to the study of resource selection by animals.

    PubMed

    Gillies, Cameron S; Hebblewhite, Mark; Nielsen, Scott E; Krawchuk, Meg A; Aldridge, Cameron L; Frair, Jacqueline L; Saher, D Joanne; Stevens, Cameron E; Jerde, Christopher L

    2006-07-01

    1. Resource selection estimated by logistic regression is used increasingly in studies to identify critical resources for animal populations and to predict species occurrence. 2. Most frequently, individual animals are monitored and pooled to estimate population-level effects without regard to group or individual-level variation. Pooling assumes that both observations and their errors are independent, and resource selection is constant given individual variation in resource availability. 3. Although researchers have identified ways to minimize autocorrelation, variation between individuals caused by differences in selection or available resources, including functional responses in resource selection, have not been well addressed. 4. Here we review random-effects models and their application to resource selection modelling to overcome these common limitations. We present a simple case study of an analysis of resource selection by grizzly bears in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains with and without random effects. 5. Both categorical and continuous variables in the grizzly bear model differed in interpretation, both in statistical significance and coefficient sign, depending on how a random effect was included. We used a simulation approach to clarify the application of random effects under three common situations for telemetry studies: (a) discrepancies in sample sizes among individuals; (b) differences among individuals in selection where availability is constant; and (c) differences in availability with and without a functional response in resource selection. 6. We found that random intercepts accounted for unbalanced sample designs, and models with random intercepts and coefficients improved model fit given the variation in selection among individuals and functional responses in selection. Our empirical example and simulations demonstrate how including random effects in resource selection models can aid interpretation and address difficult assumptions

  12. Historical intensity of natural selection for resistance to tuberculosis.

    PubMed Central

    Lipsitch, Marc; Sousa, Alexandra O

    2002-01-01

    Infections have long been thought to exert natural selection on humans. Infectious disease resistance is frequently invoked as a mechanism shaping human genetic diversity, but such hypotheses have rarely been quantitatively evaluated with direct measures of disease-related mortality. Enhancement of genetically determined resistance to tuberculosis by natural selection has been proposed as a factor explaining the decline of tuberculosis in Europe and North America in the period 1830-1950 (before the advent of antimicrobial chemotherapy) and the apparently reduced susceptibility of Europeans and their descendants to tuberculosis infection and/or disease. We used Swedish vital statistics from 1891 to 1900 to estimate that individuals who escaped mortality from pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) during the European tuberculosis epidemic would have enjoyed a fitness advantage of 7-15% per generation compared to individuals who were susceptible to PTB mortality; individuals with 50% protection would have had a selection coefficient of 4-7%/generation. Selection during the peak of the European TB epidemic could have substantially reduced the frequency of already rare alleles conferring increased susceptibility to PTB mortality, but only if the phenotypic effects of these alleles were very large. However, if resistant alleles were rare at the beginning of this period, 300 years would not have been long enough for such selection to increase their frequency to epidemiologically significant levels. Reductions in the frequency of rare susceptibility alleles could have played at most a small part in the decline of the epidemic in the century preceding 1950. Natural selection by PTB deaths during the European TB epidemic alone cannot account for the presently low level of TB disease observed among Europeans and their descendants just prior to the appearance of antibiotic treatment. PMID:12196403

  13. Natural selection on thermal performance in a novel thermal environment

    PubMed Central

    Logan, Michael L.; Cox, Robert M.; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2014-01-01

    Tropical ectotherms are thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change because they are adapted to relatively stable temperature regimes, such that even small increases in environmental temperature may lead to large decreases in physiological performance. One way in which tropical organisms may mitigate the detrimental effects of warming is through evolutionary change in thermal physiology. The speed and magnitude of this response depend, in part, on the strength of climate-driven selection. However, many ectotherms use behavioral adjustments to maintain preferred body temperatures in the face of environmental variation. These behaviors may shelter individuals from natural selection, preventing evolutionary adaptation to changing conditions. Here, we mimic the effects of climate change by experimentally transplanting a population of Anolis sagrei lizards to a novel thermal environment. Transplanted lizards experienced warmer and more thermally variable conditions, which resulted in strong directional selection on thermal performance traits. These same traits were not under selection in a reference population studied in a less thermally stressful environment. Our results indicate that climate change can exert strong natural selection on tropical ectotherms, despite their ability to thermoregulate behaviorally. To the extent that thermal performance traits are heritable, populations may be capable of rapid adaptation to anthropogenic warming. PMID:25225361

  14. Natural selection on thermal performance in a novel thermal environment.

    PubMed

    Logan, Michael L; Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2014-09-30

    Tropical ectotherms are thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change because they are adapted to relatively stable temperature regimes, such that even small increases in environmental temperature may lead to large decreases in physiological performance. One way in which tropical organisms may mitigate the detrimental effects of warming is through evolutionary change in thermal physiology. The speed and magnitude of this response depend, in part, on the strength of climate-driven selection. However, many ectotherms use behavioral adjustments to maintain preferred body temperatures in the face of environmental variation. These behaviors may shelter individuals from natural selection, preventing evolutionary adaptation to changing conditions. Here, we mimic the effects of climate change by experimentally transplanting a population of Anolis sagrei lizards to a novel thermal environment. Transplanted lizards experienced warmer and more thermally variable conditions, which resulted in strong directional selection on thermal performance traits. These same traits were not under selection in a reference population studied in a less thermally stressful environment. Our results indicate that climate change can exert strong natural selection on tropical ectotherms, despite their ability to thermoregulate behaviorally. To the extent that thermal performance traits are heritable, populations may be capable of rapid adaptation to anthropogenic warming. PMID:25225361

  15. Parasite-mediated disruptive selection in a natural Daphnia population

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background A mismatch has emerged between models and data of host-parasite evolution. Theory readily predicts that parasites can promote host diversity through mechanisms such as disruptive selection. Yet, despite these predictions, empirical evidence for parasite-mediated increases in host diversity remains surprisingly scant. Results Here, we document parasite-mediated disruptive selection on a natural Daphnia population during a parasite epidemic. The mean susceptibility of clones collected from the population before and after the epidemic did not differ, but clonal variance and broad-sense heritability of post-epidemic clones were significantly greater, indicating disruptive selection and rapid evolution. A maximum likelihood method that we developed for detecting selection on natural populations also suggests disruptive selection during the epidemic: the distribution of susceptibilities in the population shifted from unimodal prior to the epidemic to bimodal after the epidemic. Interestingly, this same bimodal distribution was retained after a generation of sexual reproduction. Conclusion These results provide rare empirical support for parasite-driven increases in host genetic diversity, and suggest that this increase can occur rapidly. PMID:18328099

  16. Genome-wide polymorphisms show unexpected targets of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Pespeni, Melissa H; Garfield, David A; Manier, Mollie K; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2012-04-01

    Natural selection can act on all the expressed genes of an individual, leaving signatures of genetic differentiation or diversity at many loci across the genome. New power to assay these genome-wide effects of selection comes from associating multi-locus patterns of polymorphism with gene expression and function. Here, we performed one of the first genome-wide surveys in a marine species, comparing purple sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, from two distant locations along the species' wide latitudinal range. We examined 9112 polymorphic loci from upstream non-coding and coding regions of genes for signatures of selection with respect to gene function and tissue- and ontogenetic gene expression. We found that genetic differentiation (F(ST)) varied significantly across functional gene classes. The strongest enrichment occurred in the upstream regions of E3 ligase genes, enzymes known to regulate protein abundance during development and environmental stress. We found enrichment for high heterozygosity in genes directly involved in immune response, particularly NALP genes, which mediate pro-inflammatory signals during bacterial infection. We also found higher heterozygosity in immune genes in the southern population, where disease incidence and pathogen diversity are greater. Similar to the major histocompatibility complex in mammals, balancing selection may enhance genetic diversity in the innate immune system genes of this invertebrate. Overall, our results show that how genome-wide polymorphism data coupled with growing databases on gene function and expression can combine to detect otherwise hidden signals of selection in natural populations. PMID:21993504

  17. Introduction to the Symposium: Towards a General Framework for Predicting Animal Movement Speeds in Nature.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S; Husak, Jerry F

    2015-12-01

    Speed of movement is fundamental to animal behavior-defining the intensity of a task, the time needed to complete it, and the likelihood of success-but how does an animal decide how fast to move? Most studies of animal performance measure maximum capabilities, but animals rarely move at their maximum in the wild. It was the goal of our symposium to develop a conceptual framework to explore the choices of speed in nature. A major difference between our approach and previous work is our move toward understanding optimal rather than maximal speeds. In the following series of papers, we provide a starting point for future work on animal movement speeds, including a conceptual framework, a simple optimality model, an evolutionary context, and an exploration of the various biomechanical and energetic constraints on speed. By applying a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of the choice of speed-as we have done here-we can reveal much about the way animals use habitats, interact with conspecifics, avoid predators, obtain food, and negotiate human-modified landscapes. PMID:26493610

  18. Ontogenetic selection on hatchery salmon in the wild: natural selection on artificial phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Michael M; Lachapelle, Kevin A; Kinnison, Michael T

    2010-07-01

    Captive rearing often alters the phenotypes of organisms that are destined for release into the wild. Natural selection on these unnatural phenotypes could have important consequences for the utility of captive rearing as a restoration approach. We show that normal hatchery practices significantly advance the development of endangered Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fry by 30+ days. As a result, hatchery fry might be expected to face strong natural selection resulting from their developmental asynchrony. We investigated patterns of ontogenetic selection acting on hatchery produced salmon fry by experimentally manipulating fry development stage at stocking. Contrary to simple predictions, we found evidence for strong stabilizing selection on the ontogeny of unfed hatchery fry, with weaker evidence for positive directional selection on the ontogeny of fed fry. These selection patterns suggest a seasonally independent tradeoff between abiotic or biotic selection favoring advanced development and physiological selection linked to risk of starvation in unfed fry. We show, through a heuristic exercise, how such selection on ontogeny may exacerbate problems in restoration efforts by impairing fry productivity and reducing effective population sizes by 13-81%. PMID:25567929

  19. Evidence from pyrosequencing indicates that natural variation in animal personality is associated with DRD4 DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Verhulst, Eveline C; Mateman, A Christa; Zwier, Mathijs V; Caro, Samuel P; Verhoeven, Koen J F; van Oers, Kees

    2016-04-01

    Personality traits are heritable and respond to natural selection, but are at the same time influenced by the ontogenetic environment. Epigenetic effects, such as DNA methylation, have been proposed as a key mechanism to control personality variation. However, to date little is known about the contribution of epigenetic effects to natural variation in behaviour. Here, we show that great tit (Parus major) lines artificially selected for divergent exploratory behaviour for four generations differ in their DNA methylation levels at the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene. This D4 receptor is statistically associated with personality traits in both humans and nonhuman animals, including the great tit. Previous work in this songbird failed to detect functional genetic polymorphisms within DRD4 that could account for the gene-trait association. However, our observation supports the idea that DRD4 is functionally involved in exploratory behaviour but that its effects are mediated by DNA methylation. While the exact mechanism underlying the transgenerational consistency of DRD4 methylation remains to be elucidated, this study shows that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in shaping natural variation in personality traits. We outline how this first finding provides a basis for investigating the epigenetic contribution to personality traits in natural systems and its subsequent role for understanding the ecology and evolution of behavioural consistency. PMID:26678756

  20. Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Elinor K.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Sabeti, Pardis C.

    2015-01-01

    The ancient biological 'arms race' between microbial pathogens and humans has shaped genetic variation in modern populations, and this has important implications for the growing field of medical genomics. As humans migrated throughout the world, populations encountered distinct pathogens, and natural selection increased the prevalence of alleles that are advantageous in the new ecosystems in both host and pathogens. This ancient history now influences human infectious disease susceptibility and microbiome homeostasis, and contributes to common diseases that show geographical disparities, such as autoimmune and metabolic disorders. Using new high-throughput technologies, analytical methods and expanding public data resources, the investigation of natural selection is leading to new insights into the function and dysfunction of human biology. PMID:24776769

  1. Minipig and beagle animal model genomes aid species selection in pharmaceutical discovery and development

    SciTech Connect

    Vamathevan, Jessica J.; Hall, Matthew D.; Hasan, Samiul; Woollard, Peter M.; Xu, Meng; Yang, Yulan; Li, Xin; Wang, Xiaoli; Kenny, Steve; Brown, James R.; Huxley-Jones, Julie; Lyon, Jon; Haselden, John; Min, Jiumeng; Sanseau, Philippe

    2013-07-15

    Improving drug attrition remains a challenge in pharmaceutical discovery and development. A major cause of early attrition is the demonstration of safety signals which can negate any therapeutic index previously established. Safety attrition needs to be put in context of clinical translation (i.e. human relevance) and is negatively impacted by differences between animal models and human. In order to minimize such an impact, an earlier assessment of pharmacological target homology across animal model species will enhance understanding of the context of animal safety signals and aid species selection during later regulatory toxicology studies. Here we sequenced the genomes of the Sus scrofa Göttingen minipig and the Canis familiaris beagle, two widely used animal species in regulatory safety studies. Comparative analyses of these new genomes with other key model organisms, namely mouse, rat, cynomolgus macaque, rhesus macaque, two related breeds (S. scrofa Duroc and C. familiaris boxer) and human reveal considerable variation in gene content. Key genes in toxicology and metabolism studies, such as the UGT2 family, CYP2D6, and SLCO1A2, displayed unique duplication patterns. Comparisons of 317 known human drug targets revealed surprising variation such as species-specific positive selection, duplication and higher occurrences of pseudogenized targets in beagle (41 genes) relative to minipig (19 genes). These data will facilitate the more effective use of animals in biomedical research. - Highlights: • Genomes of the minipig and beagle dog, two species used in pharmaceutical studies. • First systematic comparative genome analysis of human and six experimental animals. • Key drug toxicology genes display unique duplication patterns across species. • Comparison of 317 drug targets show species-specific evolutionary patterns.

  2. Compactifying de Sitter space naturally selects a small cosmological constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Adam R.; Dahlen, Alex; Masoumi, Ali

    2014-12-01

    We study compactifications of D -dimensional de Sitter space with a q -form flux down to D -N q dimensions. We show that for (N -1 )(q -1 )≥2 there are double-exponentially or even infinitely many compact de Sitter vacua, and that their effective cosmological constants accumulate at zero. This population explosion of Λ ≪1 de Sitters arises by a mechanism analogous to natural selection.

  3. Programed Death is Favored by Natural Selection in Spatial Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werfel, Justin; Ingber, Donald E.; Bar-Yam, Yaneer

    2015-06-01

    Standard evolutionary theories of aging and mortality, implicitly based on mean-field assumptions, hold that programed mortality is untenable, as it opposes direct individual benefit. We show that in spatial models with local reproduction, programed deaths instead robustly result in long-term benefit to a lineage, by reducing local environmental resource depletion via spatiotemporal patterns causing feedback over many generations. Results are robust to model variations, implying that direct selection for shorter life span may be quite widespread in nature.

  4. The theory of natural selection of Alfred Russel Wallace FRS.

    PubMed

    Bulmer, Michael

    2005-05-22

    Wallace's 1858 paper 'On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type' is often thought to present a theory of natural selection identical with that of Darwin. Examination of Wallace's argument shows that it is different from Darwin's because Wallace thought that an inferior variety could coexist with a superior variety until environmental deterioration forced the extinction of the inferior one. Other interpretations of Wallace's argument are re-examined in the light of this finding. PMID:16116703

  5. Unconscious vision spots the animal but not the dog: Masked priming of natural scenes.

    PubMed

    Koivisto, Mika; Rientamo, Eveliina

    2016-04-01

    The functional role of consciousness has been traditionally assumed to be related to high-level executive functions, but recent theories of visual consciousness suggest qualitative differences between conscious and unconscious processes also in lower level visual processes. We tested how specific is the information that can be extracted by unconscious processes from natural scenes. Prime images which were suppressed from consciousness by continuous flash suppression facilitated categorization of visible targets at superordinate level (animal vs. non-animal) when the prime shared a category membership with the target. Suppressed prime images did not have any effect on categorization at the basic level (e.g., horse vs. other animal). Priming occurred at basic level categorization only when the prime images were available to consciousness. This pattern supports a "coarse-to-fine" model in which the visual system can unconsciously access coarse representations, but consciousness is needed for finer analysis of visual scenes. PMID:26837047

  6. Disease Risk Assessments Involving Companion Animals: an Overview for 15 Selected Pathogens Taking a European Perspective.

    PubMed

    Rijks, J M; Cito, F; Cunningham, A A; Rantsios, A T; Giovannini, A

    2016-07-01

    Prioritization of companion animal transmissible diseases was performed by the Companion Animals multisectoriaL interprofessionaL Interdisciplinary Strategic Think tank On zoonoses (CALLISTO) project. The project considered diseases occurring in domesticated species commonly kept as pets, such as dogs and cats, but also included diseases occurring in captive wild animals and production animal species. The prioritization process led to the selection of 15 diseases of prime public health relevance, agricultural economic importance, or both. An analysis was made of the current knowledge on the risk of occurrence and transmission of these diseases among companion animals, and from companion animals to man (zoonoses) or to livestock. The literature was scanned for risk assessments for these diseases. Studies were classified as import risk assessments (IRAs) or risk factor analyses (RFAs) in endemic areas. For those pathogens that are absent from Europe, only IRAs were considered; for pathogens present throughout Europe, only RFAs were considered. IRAs were identified for seven of the eight diseases totally or partially absent from Europe. IRAs for classical rabies and alveolar echinococcosis found an increased risk for introduction of the pathogen into officially disease-free areas as a consequence of abandoning national rules and adopting the harmonized EU rules for pet travel. IRAs for leishmaniosis focused on risk associated with the presence of persistently infected dogs in new geographical areas, taking into consideration the risk of disease establishment should a competent vector arise. IRAs for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and West Nile fever indicated that the likelihood of introduction via companion animals was low. IRAs for bluetongue paid no attention to the risk of introduction via companion animals, which was also the case for IRAs for foot-and-mouth disease, the only disease considered to be absent from Europe. RFAs dealing with the risk factors for

  7. Natural Selection and Genetic Diversity in the Butterfly Heliconius melpomene.

    PubMed

    Martin, Simon H; Möst, Markus; Palmer, William J; Salazar, Camilo; McMillan, W Owen; Jiggins, Francis M; Jiggins, Chris D

    2016-05-01

    A combination of selective and neutral evolutionary forces shape patterns of genetic diversity in nature. Among the insects, most previous analyses of the roles of drift and selection in shaping variation across the genome have focused on the genus Drosophila A more complete understanding of these forces will come from analyzing other taxa that differ in population demography and other aspects of biology. We have analyzed diversity and signatures of selection in the neotropical Heliconius butterflies using resequenced genomes from 58 wild-caught individuals of Heliconius melpomene and another 21 resequenced genomes representing 11 related species. By comparing intraspecific diversity and interspecific divergence, we estimate that 31% of amino acid substitutions between Heliconius species are adaptive. Diversity at putatively neutral sites is negatively correlated with the local density of coding sites as well as nonsynonymous substitutions and positively correlated with recombination rate, indicating widespread linked selection. This process also manifests in significantly reduced diversity on longer chromosomes, consistent with lower recombination rates. Although hitchhiking around beneficial nonsynonymous mutations has significantly shaped genetic variation in H. melpomene, evidence for strong selective sweeps is limited overall. We did however identify two regions where distinct haplotypes have swept in different populations, leading to increased population differentiation. On the whole, our study suggests that positive selection is less pervasive in these butterflies as compared to fruit flies, a fact that curiously results in very similar levels of neutral diversity in these very different insects. PMID:27017626

  8. Natural Selection and Genetic Diversity in the Butterfly Heliconius melpomene

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Simon H.; Möst, Markus; Palmer, William J.; Salazar, Camilo; McMillan, W. Owen; Jiggins, Francis M.; Jiggins, Chris D.

    2016-01-01

    A combination of selective and neutral evolutionary forces shape patterns of genetic diversity in nature. Among the insects, most previous analyses of the roles of drift and selection in shaping variation across the genome have focused on the genus Drosophila. A more complete understanding of these forces will come from analyzing other taxa that differ in population demography and other aspects of biology. We have analyzed diversity and signatures of selection in the neotropical Heliconius butterflies using resequenced genomes from 58 wild-caught individuals of Heliconius melpomene and another 21 resequenced genomes representing 11 related species. By comparing intraspecific diversity and interspecific divergence, we estimate that 31% of amino acid substitutions between Heliconius species are adaptive. Diversity at putatively neutral sites is negatively correlated with the local density of coding sites as well as nonsynonymous substitutions and positively correlated with recombination rate, indicating widespread linked selection. This process also manifests in significantly reduced diversity on longer chromosomes, consistent with lower recombination rates. Although hitchhiking around beneficial nonsynonymous mutations has significantly shaped genetic variation in H. melpomene, evidence for strong selective sweeps is limited overall. We did however identify two regions where distinct haplotypes have swept in different populations, leading to increased population differentiation. On the whole, our study suggests that positive selection is less pervasive in these butterflies as compared to fruit flies, a fact that curiously results in very similar levels of neutral diversity in these very different insects. PMID:27017626

  9. Natural selection maintains the transcribed LTR retrotransposons in Nosema bombycis.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Heng; Pan, Guoqing; Zhang, Ruizhi; Xu, Jinshan; Li, Tian; Li, Wenle; Zhou, Zeyang; Xiang, Zhonghuai

    2010-05-01

    Eight intact LTR retrotransposons (Nbr1-Nbr8) have been previously characterized from the genome of Nosema bombycis, a eukaryotic parasite with a compact and reduced genome. Here we describe six novel transcribed Nbr elements (Nbr9-Nbr14) identified through either cDNA library or RT-PCR. Like previously determined ones, all of them belong to the Ty3/Gypsy superfamily. Retrotransposon diversity and incomplete domains with insertions (Nbr12), deletions (Nbr11) and in-frame stop codons in coding regions (Nbr9) were detected, suggesting that both defective and loss events of LTR retrotransposon have happened in N. bombycis genome. Analysis of selection showed that strong purifying selection acts on all elements except Nbr11. This implies that selective pressure keeps both these Nbrs and their functions in genome. Interestingly, Nbr11 is under positive selection and some positively selected codons were identified, indicating that new functionality might have evolved in the Nbr11 retrotransposon. Unlike other transposable elements, Nbr11 has integrated into a conserved syntenic block and probably resulted in the inversion of both flanking regions. This demonstrates that transposable element is an important factor for the reshuffling and evolution of their host genomes, and may be maintained under natural selection. PMID:20513631

  10. Articular Osteochondrosis: A Comparison of Naturally-Occurring Human and Animal Disease

    PubMed Central

    McCoy, Annette M; Toth, Ferenc; Dolvik, Nils I; Ekman, Stina; Ellermann, Jutta; Olstad, Kristin; Ytrehus, Bjornar; Carlson, Cathy S

    2013-01-01

    Background Osteochondrosis (OC) is a common developmental orthopedic disease affecting both humans and animals. Despite increasing recognition of this disease among children and adolescents, its pathogenesis is incompletely understood because clinical signs are often not apparent until lesions have progressed to end-stage, and examination of cadaveric early lesions is not feasible. In contrast, both naturally-occurring and surgically-induced animal models of disease have been extensively studied, most notably in horses and swine, species in which OC is recognized to have profound health and economic implications. The potential for a translational model of human OC has not been recognized in the existing human literature. Objective The purpose of this review is to highlight the similarities in signalment, predilection sites and clinical presentation of naturally-occurring OC in humans and animals and to propose a common pathogenesis for this condition across species. Study Design Review Methods The published human and veterinary literature for the various manifestations of OC was reviewed. Peer-reviewed original scientific articles and species-specific review articles accessible in PubMed (US National Library of Medicine) were eligible for inclusion. Results A broad range of similarities exists between OC affecting humans and animals, including predilection sites, clinical presentation, radiographic/MRI changes, and histological appearance of the end stage lesion, suggesting a shared pathogenesis across species. Conclusion This proposed shared pathogenesis for OC between species implies that naturally-occurring and surgically-induced models of OC in animals may be useful in determining risk factors and for testing new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that can be used in humans. PMID:23954774

  11. Multi-mycotoxin analysis of animal feed and animal-derived food using LC-MS/MS system with timed and highly selective reaction monitoring.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhiyong; Liu, Na; Yang, Lingchen; Deng, Yifeng; Wang, Jianhua; Song, Suquan; Lin, Shanhai; Wu, Aibo; Zhou, Zhenlei; Hou, Jiafa

    2015-09-01

    Mycotoxins have the potential to enter the human food chain through carry-over of contaminants from feed into animal-derived products. The objective of the study was to develop a reliable and sensitive method for the analysis of 30 mycotoxins in animal feed and animal-derived food (meat, edible animal tissues, and milk) using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In the study, three extraction procedures, as well as various cleanup procedures, were evaluated to select the most suitable sample preparation procedure for different sample matrices. In addition, timed and highly selective reaction monitoring on LC-MS/MS was used to filter out isobaric matrix interferences. The performance characteristics (linearity, sensitivity, recovery, precision, and specificity) of the method were determined according to Commission Decision 2002/657/EC and 401/2006/EC. The established method was successfully applied to screening of mycotoxins in animal feed and animal-derived food. The results indicated that mycotoxin contamination in feed directly influenced the presence of mycotoxin in animal-derived food. Graphical abstract Multi-mycotoxin analysis of animal feed and animal-derived food using LC-MS/MS. PMID:26198112

  12. Supranormal orientation selectivity of visual neurons in orientation-restricted animals

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Kota S.; Kimura, Rui; Ninomiya, Taihei; Tabuchi, Yuka; Tanaka, Hiroki; Fukui, Masayuki; Asada, Yusuke C.; Arai, Toshiya; Inagaki, Mikio; Nakazono, Takayuki; Baba, Mika; Kato, Daisuke; Nishimoto, Shinji; Sanada, Takahisa M.; Tani, Toshiki; Imamura, Kazuyuki; Tanaka, Shigeru; Ohzawa, Izumi

    2015-01-01

    Altered sensory experience in early life often leads to remarkable adaptations so that humans and animals can make the best use of the available information in a particular environment. By restricting visual input to a limited range of orientations in young animals, this investigation shows that stimulus selectivity, e.g., the sharpness of tuning of single neurons in the primary visual cortex, is modified to match a particular environment. Specifically, neurons tuned to an experienced orientation in orientation-restricted animals show sharper orientation tuning than neurons in normal animals, whereas the opposite was true for neurons tuned to non-experienced orientations. This sharpened tuning appears to be due to elongated receptive fields. Our results demonstrate that restricted sensory experiences can sculpt the supranormal functions of single neurons tailored for a particular environment. The above findings, in addition to the minimal population response to orientations close to the experienced one, agree with the predictions of a sparse coding hypothesis in which information is represented efficiently by a small number of activated neurons. This suggests that early brain areas adopt an efficient strategy for coding information even when animals are raised in a severely limited visual environment where sensory inputs have an unnatural statistical structure. PMID:26567927

  13. Preventing Alzheimer's disease by means of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, Lloyd A; Driver, Jane A

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid cascade model for the origin of sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) posits that the imbalance in the production and clearance of beta-amyloid is a necessary condition for the disease. A competing theory called the entropic selection hypothesis asserts that the primary cause of sporadic AD is age-induced mitochondrial dysregulation and the following cascade of events: (i) metabolic reprogramming—the upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation in compensation for insufficient energy production in neurons, (ii) natural selection—competition between intact and reprogrammed neurons for energy substrates and (iii) propagation—the spread of the disease due to the selective advantage of neurons with upregulated metabolism. Experimental studies to evaluate the predictions of the amyloid cascade model are being continually retuned to accommodate conflicts of the predictions with empirical data. Clinical trials of treatments for AD based on anti-amyloid therapy have been unsuccessful. We contend that these anomalies and failures stem from a fundamental deficit of the amyloid hypothesis: the model derives from a nuclear-genomic perspective of sporadic AD and discounts the bioenergetic processes that characterize the progression of most age-related disorders. In this article, we review the anomalies of the amyloid model and the theoretical and empirical support for the entropic selection theory. We also discuss the new therapeutic strategies based on natural selection which the model proposes. PMID:25551134

  14. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice

    PubMed Central

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew S. I.; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close to or equal to the natural light–dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive (“circadian resonance hypothesis”). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natural conditions for any eukaryotic organism. We tested this hypothesis in mice bearing a short-period mutation in the enzyme casein kinase 1ε (tau mutation), which accelerates free-running circadian cycles. We compared daily activity (feeding) rhythms, survivorship, and reproduction in six replicate populations in outdoor experimental enclosures, established with wild-type, heterozygous, and homozygous mice in a Mendelian ratio. In the release cohort, survival was reduced in the homozygote mutant mice, revealing strong selection against short-period genotypes. Over the course of 14 mo, the relative frequency of the tau allele dropped from initial parity to 20%. Adult survival and recruitment of juveniles into the population contributed approximately equally to the selection for wild-type alleles. The expression of activity during daytime varied throughout the experiment and was significantly increased by the tau mutation. The strong selection against the short-period tau allele observed here contrasts with earlier studies showing absence of selection against a Period 2 (Per2) mutation, which disrupts internal clock function, but does not change period length. These findings are consistent with, and predicted by the theory that resonance of the circadian system plays an important role in individual fitness. PMID:26715747

  15. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice.

    PubMed

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew S I; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-19

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close to or equal to the natural light-dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive ("circadian resonance hypothesis"). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natural conditions for any eukaryotic organism. We tested this hypothesis in mice bearing a short-period mutation in the enzyme casein kinase 1ε (tau mutation), which accelerates free-running circadian cycles. We compared daily activity (feeding) rhythms, survivorship, and reproduction in six replicate populations in outdoor experimental enclosures, established with wild-type, heterozygous, and homozygous mice in a Mendelian ratio. In the release cohort, survival was reduced in the homozygote mutant mice, revealing strong selection against short-period genotypes. Over the course of 14 mo, the relative frequency of the tau allele dropped from initial parity to 20%. Adult survival and recruitment of juveniles into the population contributed approximately equally to the selection for wild-type alleles. The expression of activity during daytime varied throughout the experiment and was significantly increased by the tau mutation. The strong selection against the short-period tau allele observed here contrasts with earlier studies showing absence of selection against a Period 2 (Per2) mutation, which disrupts internal clock function, but does not change period length. These findings are consistent with, and predicted by the theory that resonance of the circadian system plays an important role in individual fitness. PMID:26715747

  16. Preventing Alzheimer's disease by means of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Demetrius, Lloyd A.; Driver, Jane A.

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid cascade model for the origin of sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) posits that the imbalance in the production and clearance of beta-amyloid is a necessary condition for the disease. A competing theory called the entropic selection hypothesis asserts that the primary cause of sporadic AD is age-induced mitochondrial dysregulation and the following cascade of events: (i) metabolic reprogramming—the upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation in compensation for insufficient energy production in neurons, (ii) natural selection—competition between intact and reprogrammed neurons for energy substrates and (iii) propagation—the spread of the disease due to the selective advantage of neurons with upregulated metabolism. Experimental studies to evaluate the predictions of the amyloid cascade model are being continually retuned to accommodate conflicts of the predictions with empirical data. Clinical trials of treatments for AD based on anti-amyloid therapy have been unsuccessful. We contend that these anomalies and failures stem from a fundamental deficit of the amyloid hypothesis: the model derives from a nuclear-genomic perspective of sporadic AD and discounts the bioenergetic processes that characterize the progression of most age-related disorders. In this article, we review the anomalies of the amyloid model and the theoretical and empirical support for the entropic selection theory. We also discuss the new therapeutic strategies based on natural selection which the model proposes. PMID:25551134

  17. [The susceptibility of different animal species to synanthropic and natural populations of Trichinella].

    PubMed

    Artemenko, Iu G; Artemenko, L P

    1997-01-01

    Pigs have been found to be highly susceptible to the synanthropic (domestic) population of Trichinella [correction of Trachina] and weakly susceptible to the natural (native) one. Fur-bearing animals (polar foxes and foxes) are more susceptible to the natural population of Trichinella [correction of Trachina], but minks are equally sensible to the two variants of T. spiralis. In the host's body, synanthropic Trichinella [correction of Trachinas] form capsules of lemon-like, less frequently, oval shape, but the native population do round capsules. There is larval adaptation when Trichinella [correction of Trachina] larvae enter the nonspecific host's body after their prepassage through the organism of domestic carnivorous animals (cats, dogs). The pig is successfully infected with T. spiralis nativa via the cat or dog; the infection rate is approximately close to that observed during control infection of pigs with synanthropic Trichinella [correction of Trachina]. PMID:9182187

  18. The Impact of Designing and Evaluating Molecular Animations on How Well Middle School Students Understand the Particulate Nature of Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Hsin-Yi; Quintana, Chris; Krajcik, Joseph S.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we investigated whether the understanding of the particulate nature of matter by students was improved by allowing them to design and evaluate molecular animations of chemical phenomena. We developed Chemation, a learner-centered animation tool, to allow seventh-grade students to construct flipbook-like simple animations to show…

  19. Natural selection in the field and the classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    This dissertation examined natural selection in westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and undergraduate learning in the subject area natural selection. Translocation---moving individuals to a new habitat to establish, re-establish or supplement a population---is a crucial management strategy for cutthroat trout. One of the major questions managers face in a translocation is which population(s) should contribute individuals? Unfortunately, we often know little about the differences among potential contributing population. The goal of the first half of this dissertation was to look for differences in performance among individuals from five populations of westslope cutthroat trout. I assessed survival, growth, and condition (Chapter 2) and dispersal (Chapter 3) following the translocation of embryos from these five populations to six introduction sites in Cherry Creek. No differences existed among these populations in relative survival, growth, or condition at age 1 or 2. In contrast, statistically significant differences existed in dispersal distance among these populations. These differences were consistent across some, but not all, introduction locations. As our knowledge of evolutionary biology has continued to grow, so too has our knowledge of how students learn evolution. Students taught using active learning strategies can learn substantially more about complex scientific concepts than students taught using primarily lectures. The goal of the second half of this dissertation was to further examine how students learn natural selection and how instructors facilitate that learning. I conducted a national survey of the relationship between an instructor's use of active learning strategies and how much students learned about natural selection (Chapter 4). I used a random sample of instructors from the largest and most prestigious universities in the country so that my results could be inferred to this large population of instructors. The degree to

  20. Using David Lack's Observations of Finch Beak Size to Teach Natural Selection & the Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bierema, Andrea M.-K.; Rudge, David W.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key aspects of natural selection is competition, yet the concept of competition is not necessarily emphasized in explanations of natural selection. Because of this, we developed an activity for our class that focuses on competition and provides an example of the effects of competition on natural selection. This hands-on activity models…

  1. Overlapping neural response to the pain or harm of people, animals, and nature.

    PubMed

    Mathur, Vani A; Cheon, Bobby K; Harada, Tokiko; Scimeca, Jason M; Chiao, Joan Y

    2016-01-29

    Interpersonal pain perception is a fundamental and evolutionarily beneficial social process. While critical for navigating the social world, whether or not people rely on similar processes to perceive and respond to the harm of the non-human biological world remains largely unknown. Here we investigate whether neural reactivity toward the suffering of other people is distinct from or overlapping with the neural response to pain and harm inflicted upon non-human entities, specifically animals and nature. We used fMRI to measure neural activity while participants (n=15) perceived and reported how badly they felt for the pain or harm of humans, animals, and nature, relative to neutral situations. Neural regions associated with perceiving the pain of other people (e.g. dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral anterior insula) were similarly recruited when perceiving and responding to painful scenes across people, animals, and nature. These results suggest that similar brain responses are relied upon when perceiving the harm of social and non-social biological entities, broadly construed, and that activity within the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral anterior insula in response to pain-relevant stimuli is not uniquely specific to humans. PMID:26727304

  2. Animation of natural scene by virtual eye-movements evokes high precision and low noise in V1 neurons.

    PubMed

    Baudot, Pierre; Levy, Manuel; Marre, Olivier; Monier, Cyril; Pananceau, Marc; Frégnac, Yves

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic noise is thought to be a limiting factor for computational efficiency in the brain. In visual cortex (V1), ongoing activity is present in vivo, and spiking responses to simple stimuli are highly unreliable across trials. Stimulus statistics used to plot receptive fields, however, are quite different from those experienced during natural visuomotor exploration. We recorded V1 neurons intracellularly in the anaesthetized and paralyzed cat and compared their spiking and synaptic responses to full field natural images animated by simulated eye-movements to those evoked by simpler (grating) or higher dimensionality statistics (dense noise). In most cells, natural scene animation was the only condition where high temporal precision (in the 10-20 ms range) was maintained during sparse and reliable activity. At the subthreshold level, irregular but highly reproducible membrane potential dynamics were observed, even during long (several 100 ms) "spike-less" periods. We showed that both the spatial structure of natural scenes and the temporal dynamics of eye-movements increase the signal-to-noise ratio by a non-linear amplification of the signal combined with a reduction of the subthreshold contextual noise. These data support the view that the sparsening and the time precision of the neural code in V1 may depend primarily on three factors: (1) broadband input spectrum: the bandwidth must be rich enough for recruiting optimally the diversity of spatial and time constants during recurrent processing; (2) tight temporal interplay of excitation and inhibition: conductance measurements demonstrate that natural scene statistics narrow selectively the duration of the spiking opportunity window during which the balance between excitation and inhibition changes transiently and reversibly; (3) signal energy in the lower frequency band: a minimal level of power is needed below 10 Hz to reach consistently the spiking threshold, a situation rarely reached with visual dense

  3. Animation of natural scene by virtual eye-movements evokes high precision and low noise in V1 neurons

    PubMed Central

    Baudot, Pierre; Levy, Manuel; Marre, Olivier; Monier, Cyril; Pananceau, Marc; Frégnac, Yves

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic noise is thought to be a limiting factor for computational efficiency in the brain. In visual cortex (V1), ongoing activity is present in vivo, and spiking responses to simple stimuli are highly unreliable across trials. Stimulus statistics used to plot receptive fields, however, are quite different from those experienced during natural visuomotor exploration. We recorded V1 neurons intracellularly in the anaesthetized and paralyzed cat and compared their spiking and synaptic responses to full field natural images animated by simulated eye-movements to those evoked by simpler (grating) or higher dimensionality statistics (dense noise). In most cells, natural scene animation was the only condition where high temporal precision (in the 10–20 ms range) was maintained during sparse and reliable activity. At the subthreshold level, irregular but highly reproducible membrane potential dynamics were observed, even during long (several 100 ms) “spike-less” periods. We showed that both the spatial structure of natural scenes and the temporal dynamics of eye-movements increase the signal-to-noise ratio by a non-linear amplification of the signal combined with a reduction of the subthreshold contextual noise. These data support the view that the sparsening and the time precision of the neural code in V1 may depend primarily on three factors: (1) broadband input spectrum: the bandwidth must be rich enough for recruiting optimally the diversity of spatial and time constants during recurrent processing; (2) tight temporal interplay of excitation and inhibition: conductance measurements demonstrate that natural scene statistics narrow selectively the duration of the spiking opportunity window during which the balance between excitation and inhibition changes transiently and reversibly; (3) signal energy in the lower frequency band: a minimal level of power is needed below 10 Hz to reach consistently the spiking threshold, a situation rarely reached with visual

  4. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Aller I; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-07-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian predator (Red Knot, Calidris canutus). We measured densities, patchiness, morphology, and body composition (shell and flesh mass) of cockles in a quasi-experimental setting, i.e., before and after predation in three similar plots of 1 ha each, two of which experienced predation, and one of which remained unvisited in the course of the short study period and served as a reference. An individual's shell and flesh mass declined with cockle density (negative density dependence). Before predation, cockles were patchily distributed. After predation, during which densities were reduced by 78% (from 232 to 50 cockles/m2), the patchiness was substantially reduced, i.e., the spatial distribution was homogenized. Red Knots selected juvenile cockles with an average length of 6.9 ± 1.0 mm (mean ± SD). Cockles surviving predation had heavier shells than before predation (an increase of 21.5 percentage points), but similar flesh masses. By contrast, in the reference plot shell mass did not differ statistically between initial and final sampling occasions, while flesh mass was larger (an increase of 13.2 percentage points). In this field study, we show that Red Knots imposed a strong selection pressure on cockles to grow fast with thick shells and little flesh mass, with selection gradients among the highest reported in the literature. PMID:26378316

  5. The Emergence of Physiology and Form: Natural Selection Revisited

    PubMed Central

    Torday, John S.

    2016-01-01

    Natural Selection describes how species have evolved differentially, but it is descriptive, non-mechanistic. What mechanisms does Nature use to accomplish this feat? One known way in which ancient natural forces affect development, phylogeny and physiology is through gravitational effects that have evolved as mechanotransduction, seen in the lung, kidney and bone, linking as molecular homologies to skin and brain. Tracing the ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes that have facilitated mechanotransduction identifies specific homologous cell-types and functional molecular markers for lung homeostasis that reveal how and why complex physiologic traits have evolved from the unicellular to the multicellular state. Such data are reinforced by their reverse-evolutionary patterns in chronic degenerative diseases. The physiologic responses of model organisms like Dictyostelium and yeast to gravity provide deep comparative molecular phenotypic homologies, revealing mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) as the final common pathway for vertical integration of vertebrate physiologic evolution; mTOR integrates calcium/lipid epistatic balance as both the proximate and ultimate positive selection pressure for vertebrate physiologic evolution. The commonality of all vertebrate structure-function relationships can be reduced to calcium/lipid homeostatic regulation as the fractal unit of vertebrate physiology, demonstrating the primacy of the unicellular state as the fundament of physiologic evolution. PMID:27534726

  6. Evolution of behavior by density-dependent natural selection

    SciTech Connect

    Pingzhong Guo; Mueller, L.D.; Ayala, F.J. )

    1991-12-01

    Theories of density-dependent natural selection predict that evolution should favor those genotypes with the highest per capita rates of population growth under the current density conditions. These theories are silent about the mechanisms that may give rise to these increases in density-dependent growth rates. The authors have observed the evolution of six populations of Drosophila melanogaster recently placed in crowded environments after nearly 200 generations at low-population density in the laboratory. After 25 generations in these crowded cultures all six populations showed the predicted increase in population growth rates at high-population density with the concomitant decrease in their growth rates at low densities. These changes in rates of population growth are accompanied by changes in the feeding and pupation behavior of the larvae: those populations that have evolve at high-population densities have higher feeding rates and are less likely to pupate on or near the food surface than populations maintained at low densities. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which populations evolve under density-dependent natural selection will provide a framework for understanding that nature of trade-offs in life history evolution.

  7. The Emergence of Physiology and Form: Natural Selection Revisited.

    PubMed

    Torday, John S

    2016-01-01

    Natural Selection describes how species have evolved differentially, but it is descriptive, non-mechanistic. What mechanisms does Nature use to accomplish this feat? One known way in which ancient natural forces affect development, phylogeny and physiology is through gravitational effects that have evolved as mechanotransduction, seen in the lung, kidney and bone, linking as molecular homologies to skin and brain. Tracing the ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes that have facilitated mechanotransduction identifies specific homologous cell-types and functional molecular markers for lung homeostasis that reveal how and why complex physiologic traits have evolved from the unicellular to the multicellular state. Such data are reinforced by their reverse-evolutionary patterns in chronic degenerative diseases. The physiologic responses of model organisms like Dictyostelium and yeast to gravity provide deep comparative molecular phenotypic homologies, revealing mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) as the final common pathway for vertical integration of vertebrate physiologic evolution; mTOR integrates calcium/lipid epistatic balance as both the proximate and ultimate positive selection pressure for vertebrate physiologic evolution. The commonality of all vertebrate structure-function relationships can be reduced to calcium/lipid homeostatic regulation as the fractal unit of vertebrate physiology, demonstrating the primacy of the unicellular state as the fundament of physiologic evolution. PMID:27534726

  8. Population thinking and natural selection in dual-inheritance theory.

    PubMed

    Houkes, Wybo

    2012-05-01

    A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this 'pop-culture' analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These models exemplify population thinking without a commitment to natural selection of cultural items. There are grounds, however, for doubting the added explanatory value of the models in their disciplinary context-and thus grounds for engaging in other potentially explanatory projects based on dual-inheritance theory. One such project is suggested by advocates of the theory. Some of the motivational narratives that they offer can be interpreted as setting up an adaptationist project with regard to cumulative change in cultural items. We develop this interpretation here. On it, dual-inheritance theory features two interrelated selection processes, one on the level of genetically inherited learning mechanisms, another on the level of the cultural items transmitted through these mechanisms. This interpretation identifies a need for further modelling efforts, but also offers scope for enhancing the explanatory power of dual-inheritance theory. PMID:22523438

  9. Evidence for evolution in response to natural selection in a contemporary human population

    PubMed Central

    Milot, Emmanuel; Mayer, Francine M.; Nussey, Daniel H.; Boisvert, Mireille; Pelletier, Fanie; Réale, Denis

    2011-01-01

    It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection. In contrast, recent studies show that selection can be strong in contemporary populations. However, detecting a response to selection is particularly challenging; previous evidence from wild animals has been criticized for both applying anticonservative statistical tests and failing to consider random genetic drift. Here we study life-history variation in an insular preindustrial French-Canadian population and apply a recently proposed conservative approach to testing microevolutionary responses to selection. As reported for other such societies, natural selection favored an earlier age at first reproduction (AFR) among women. AFR was also highly heritable and genetically correlated to fitness, predicting a microevolutionary change toward earlier reproduction. In agreement with this prediction, AFR declined from about 26–22 y over a 140-y period. Crucially, we uncovered a substantial change in the breeding values for this trait, indicating that the change in AFR largely occurred at the genetic level. Moreover, the genetic trend was higher than expected under the effect of random genetic drift alone. Our results show that microevolution can be detectable over relatively few generations in humans and underscore the need for studies of human demography and reproductive ecology to consider the role of evolutionary processes. PMID:21969551

  10. Multielectrode nerve cuff stimulation of the median nerve produces selective movements in a raccoon animal model.

    PubMed

    Walter, J S; Griffith, P; Sweeney, J; Scarpine, V; Bidnar, M; McLane, J; Robinson, C

    1997-04-01

    In this study, an electrode system consisting of twelve small platinum dot electrodes imbedded in a spiral silicone rubber insulating cuff was used to investigate the feasibility of selective (regional) stimulation of the median nerves of the raccoon. Acute experiments in four raccoons consisted of functional responses observations, isometric force recordings from tendon attachments and postmortem fascicular mapping. Functional responses (elbow, wrist and/or digit flexion, pronation and/or thumb abduction) to selective stimulation were noted as dependent upon cuff electrode configuration (longitudinal tripole with and without field steering, as well as a transverse bipolar arrangement) and current level (threshold, 1/2 maximal, maximal). Muscle force recruitment curves (force as a function of stimulus amplitude) were plotted for flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus and pronator teres of three raccoons. Fascicular maps at the level of the nerve cuff were created indicating the approximate position of innervation to each of the aforementioned muscles, as well as other innervation such as paw fascicles, sensory fascicles, and elbow innervation (such as coracobrachialis). The greatest selectivity was observed at or near threshold current levels. In all four raccoons studied, a threshold electrode choice and stimulation strategy could be identified enabling selective production of either digit flexion, wrist flexion and/or digit and wrist flexion. It was possible to elicit a selective pronation response at threshold in three of the four animals. Selective elbow flexion at threshold could be produced in all four experiments. With stronger currents, additional movements were usually induced. The raccoon therefore appears to be a suitable, if challenging, animal model for further development of not only nerve cuff electrode approaches but perhaps other stimulation electrode technologies prior to human

  11. Animal movement constraints improve resource selection inference in the presence of telemetry error.

    PubMed

    Brost, Brian M; Hooten, Mevin B; Hanks, Ephraim M; Small, Robert J

    2015-10-01

    Multiple factors complicate the analysis of animal telemetry location data. Recent advancements address issues such as temporal autocorrelation and telemetry measurement error, but additional challenges remain. Difficulties introduced by complicated error structures or barriers to animal movement can weaken inference. We propose an approach for obtaining resource selection inference from animal location data that accounts for complicated error structures, movement constraints, and temporally autocorrelated observations. We specify a model for telemetry data observed with error conditional on unobserved true locations that reflects prior knowledge about constraints in the animal movement process. The observed telemetry data are modeled using a flexible distribution that accommodates extreme errors and complicated error structures. Although constraints to movement are often viewed as a nuisance, we use constraints to simultaneously estimate and account for telemetry error. We apply the model to simulated data, showing that it outperforms common ad hoc approaches used when confronted with measurement error and movement constraints. We then apply our framework to an Argos satellite telemetry data set on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Gulf of Alaska, a species that is constrained to move within the marine environment and adjacent coastlines. PMID:26649380

  12. Animal movement constraints improve resource selection inference in the presence of telemetry error

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brost, Brian M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Small, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple factors complicate the analysis of animal telemetry location data. Recent advancements address issues such as temporal autocorrelation and telemetry measurement error, but additional challenges remain. Difficulties introduced by complicated error structures or barriers to animal movement can weaken inference. We propose an approach for obtaining resource selection inference from animal location data that accounts for complicated error structures, movement constraints, and temporally autocorrelated observations. We specify a model for telemetry data observed with error conditional on unobserved true locations that reflects prior knowledge about constraints in the animal movement process. The observed telemetry data are modeled using a flexible distribution that accommodates extreme errors and complicated error structures. Although constraints to movement are often viewed as a nuisance, we use constraints to simultaneously estimate and account for telemetry error. We apply the model to simulated data, showing that it outperforms common ad hoc approaches used when confronted with measurement error and movement constraints. We then apply our framework to an Argos satellite telemetry data set on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Gulf of Alaska, a species that is constrained to move within the marine environment and adjacent coastlines.

  13. The natural selection of fidelity in social learning

    PubMed Central

    Sperber, Dan

    2010-01-01

    Social learning mechanisms are usually assumed to explain both the spread and the persistence of cultural behavior. In a recent article, we showed that the fidelity of social learning commonly found in transmission chain experiments is not high enough to explain cultural stability. Here we want to both enrich and qualify this conclusion by looking at the case of song transmission in song birds, which can be faithful to the point of being true replication. We argue that this high fidelity results from natural selection pressure on cognitive mechanisms. This observation strengthens our main argument. Social learning mechanisms are unlikely to be faithful enough to explain cultural stability because they are generally selected not for high fidelity but for generalization and adjustment to the individual’s needs, capacities and situation. PMID:20798823

  14. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium

    PubMed Central

    Miranda-Pérez, Adán; Castillo, Guillermo; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Valverde, Pedro L.; Borbolla, María; Cruz, Laura L.; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Fornoni, Juan; Flores-Ortiz, César M.

    2016-01-01

    Plant resistance to herbivores involves physical and chemical plant traits that prevent or diminish damage by herbivores, and hence may promote coevolutionary arm-races between interacting species. Although Datura stramonium’s concentration of tropane alkaloids is under selection by leaf beetles, it is not known whether chemical defense reduces seed predation by the specialist weevil, Trichobaris soror, and if it is evolving by natural selection. We measured infestation by T. soror as well as the concentration of the plants’ two main tropane alkaloids in 278 D. stramonium plants belonging to 31 populations in central Mexico. We assessed whether the seed predator exerted preferences on the levels of both alkaloids and whether they affect plant fitness. Results show great variation across populations in the concentration of scopolamine and atropine in both leaves and seeds of plants of D. stramonium, as well as in the intensity of infestation and the proportion of infested fruits by T. soror. The concentration of scopolamine in seeds and leaves are negatively associated across populations. We found that scopolamine concentration increases plant fitness. Our major finding was the detection of a positive relationship between the population average concentrations of scopolamine with the selection differentials of scopolamine. Such spatial variation in the direction and intensity of selection on scopolamine may represent a coevolutionary selective mosaic. Our results support the view that variation in the concentration of scopolamine among-populations of D. stramonium in central Mexico is being driven, in part, by selection exerted by T. soror, pointing an adaptive role of tropane alkaloids in this plant species. PMID:27114866

  15. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    Miranda-Pérez, Adán; Castillo, Guillermo; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Valverde, Pedro L; Borbolla, María; Cruz, Laura L; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Fornoni, Juan; Flores-Ortiz, César M; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Plant resistance to herbivores involves physical and chemical plant traits that prevent or diminish damage by herbivores, and hence may promote coevolutionary arm-races between interacting species. Although Datura stramonium's concentration of tropane alkaloids is under selection by leaf beetles, it is not known whether chemical defense reduces seed predation by the specialist weevil, Trichobaris soror, and if it is evolving by natural selection. We measured infestation by T. soror as well as the concentration of the plants' two main tropane alkaloids in 278 D. stramonium plants belonging to 31 populations in central Mexico. We assessed whether the seed predator exerted preferences on the levels of both alkaloids and whether they affect plant fitness. Results show great variation across populations in the concentration of scopolamine and atropine in both leaves and seeds of plants of D. stramonium, as well as in the intensity of infestation and the proportion of infested fruits by T. soror. The concentration of scopolamine in seeds and leaves are negatively associated across populations. We found that scopolamine concentration increases plant fitness. Our major finding was the detection of a positive relationship between the population average concentrations of scopolamine with the selection differentials of scopolamine. Such spatial variation in the direction and intensity of selection on scopolamine may represent a coevolutionary selective mosaic. Our results support the view that variation in the concentration of scopolamine among-populations of D. stramonium in central Mexico is being driven, in part, by selection exerted by T. soror, pointing an adaptive role of tropane alkaloids in this plant species. PMID:27114866

  16. Kaon condensation, black holes, and cosmological natural selection.

    PubMed

    Brown, G E; Lee, Chang-Hwan; Rho, Mannque

    2008-08-29

    It is argued that a well-measured double neutron-star binary in which the two neutron stars are more than 4% different from each other in mass or a massive neutron star with mass M > or approximately 2M(middle dot in circle) would put in serious doubt or simply falsify the following chain of predictions: (1) a nearly vanishing vector meson mass at chiral restoration, (2) kaon condensation at a density n-3n0, (3) the Brown-Bethe maximum neutron-star mass Mmax approximately 1.5M(middle dot in circle), and (4) Smolin's "cosmological natural selection" hypothesis. PMID:18851598

  17. Programed Death is Favored by Natural Selection in Spatial Systems.

    PubMed

    Werfel, Justin; Ingber, Donald E; Bar-Yam, Yaneer

    2015-06-12

    Standard evolutionary theories of aging and mortality, implicitly based on mean-field assumptions, hold that programed mortality is untenable, as it opposes direct individual benefit. We show that in spatial models with local reproduction, programed deaths instead robustly result in long-term benefit to a lineage, by reducing local environmental resource depletion via spatiotemporal patterns causing feedback over many generations. Results are robust to model variations, implying that direct selection for shorter life span may be quite widespread in nature. PMID:26196833

  18. ["Artificial animals etc." Popular natural history and bourgeois curiosity around 1900].

    PubMed

    Wessely, Christina

    2008-01-01

    During the 19th and early 20th century zoological gardens ranged among the most prominent places of popular natural history While aristocratic owners of earlier menageries installed animal collections mostly to symbolize their power over nature as well as to display their extensive diplomatic relations, the zoological gardens founded from the 1830s onwards all over Europe by members of the local bourgeois elites were supposed to mediate their social and political values by "enjoyably educating" a broader public. The new zoos were introduced as places at the antipodes of the frenzy, noise and motion of modern urban life, as spaces of pure, authentic nature whose observation would teach people a reasonable and responsible way of life in a civilised bourgeois community. Taking the Berlin Zoo as an example this paper questions these programmatic imaginations by showing how popular Naturkunde (natural history) was informed by cultures of urban entertainment and spectacle. It discusses the numerous relations and productive tensions that evolved out of the establishment of a "realm of nature" in the middle of the ever growing modern metropolis and investigates the consequences the zoo's rise as "the city's most important attraction" around the turn of the century had for the public perception of natural history as well as for the institution's scientific program. PMID:19227705

  19. Unique educational methods to improve the veterinary employment selection process for rural mixed-animal practices.

    PubMed

    White, Brad J; Gwinner, Kevin P; Andrus, David M; Prince, J Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The rural mixed-animal veterinarian is a critical control point for safe, wholesome, affordable food production and security. The population of students entering food-animal practice is decreasing, and future shortages are likely. Veterinary practice owners will continue to struggle to find associates to fill open positions. Identifying and hiring the correct veterinarian for an open position is a challenging proposition for the rural practitioner. Kansas State University hosted a forum to facilitate the hiring process and provide education regarding the mechanism of an effective selection interview. A unique experiential technique known as "speed interviews" was used to facilitate communication between conference participants and to practice newly acquired skills. A survey of participants revealed similar viewpoints toward most job attributes. Veterinary students and prospective employers expressed realistic expectations of job requirements, salaries, and debt load. Students expressed willingness to work and desire to practice in the types of practices defined by the veterinarians. The symposium provided valuable insight for practitioners and students regarding the recruitment process. Appropriate and accurate representation at the time of job/associate selection is critical for long-term success and employee retention. The goal of the event was to provide a service to both prospective employers and students by offering education regarding the employment selection interview process and placing attendees in an environment rich with people who have complimentary goals. PMID:18287482

  20. Contemporary evolution during invasion: evidence for differentiation, natural selection, and local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Colautti, Robert I; Lau, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

    Biological invasions are 'natural' experiments that can improve our understanding of contemporary evolution. We evaluate evidence for population differentiation, natural selection and adaptive evolution of invading plants and animals at two nested spatial scales: (i) among introduced populations (ii) between native and introduced genotypes. Evolution during invasion is frequently inferred, but rarely confirmed as adaptive. In common garden studies, quantitative trait differentiation is only marginally lower (~3.5%) among introduced relative to native populations, despite genetic bottlenecks and shorter timescales (i.e. millennia vs. decades). However, differentiation between genotypes from the native vs. introduced range is less clear and confounded by nonrandom geographic sampling; simulations suggest this causes a high false-positive discovery rate (>50%) in geographically structured populations. Selection differentials (¦s¦) are stronger in introduced than in native species, although selection gradients (¦β¦) are not, consistent with introduced species experiencing weaker genetic constraints. This could facilitate rapid adaptation, but evidence is limited. For example, rapid phenotypic evolution often manifests as geographical clines, but simulations demonstrate that nonadaptive trait clines can evolve frequently during colonization (~two-thirds of simulations). Additionally, QST-FST studies may often misrepresent the strength and form of natural selection acting during invasion. Instead, classic approaches in evolutionary ecology (e.g. selection analysis, reciprocal transplant, artificial selection) are necessary to determine the frequency of adaptive evolution during invasion and its influence on establishment, spread and impact of invasive species. These studies are rare but crucial for managing biological invasions in the context of global change. PMID:25891044

  1. Bayesian Inference of Natural Selection from Allele Frequency Time Series.

    PubMed

    Schraiber, Joshua G; Evans, Steven N; Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-05-01

    The advent of accessible ancient DNA technology now allows the direct ascertainment of allele frequencies in ancestral populations, thereby enabling the use of allele frequency time series to detect and estimate natural selection. Such direct observations of allele frequency dynamics are expected to be more powerful than inferences made using patterns of linked neutral variation obtained from modern individuals. We developed a Bayesian method to make use of allele frequency time series data and infer the parameters of general diploid selection, along with allele age, in nonequilibrium populations. We introduce a novel path augmentation approach, in which we use Markov chain Monte Carlo to integrate over the space of allele frequency trajectories consistent with the observed data. Using simulations, we show that this approach has good power to estimate selection coefficients and allele age. Moreover, when applying our approach to data on horse coat color, we find that ignoring a relevant demographic history can significantly bias the results of inference. Our approach is made available in a C++ software package. PMID:27010022

  2. Phylogenomic analysis of natural selection pressure in Streptococcus genomes

    PubMed Central

    Anisimova, Maria; Bielawski, Joseph; Dunn, Katherine; Yang, Ziheng

    2007-01-01

    Background In comparative analyses of bacterial pathogens, it has been common practice to discriminate between two types of genes: (i) those shared by pathogens and their non-pathogenic relatives (core genes), and (ii) those found exclusively in pathogens (pathogen-specific accessory genes). Rather than attempting to a priori delineate genes into sets more or less relevant to pathogenicity, we took a broad approach to the analysis of Streptococcus species by investigating the strength of natural selection in all clusters of homologous genes. The genus Streptococcus is comprised of a wide variety of both pathogenic and commensal lineages, and we relate our findings to the pre-existing knowledge of Streptococcus virulence factors. Results Our analysis of 1730 gene clusters revealed 136 cases of positive Darwinian selection, which we suggest is most likely to result from an antagonistic interaction between the host and pathogen at the molecular level. A two-step validation procedure suggests that positive selection was robustly identified in our genomic survey. We found no evidence to support the notion that pathogen specific accessory genes are more likely to be subject to positive selection than core genes. Indeed, we even uncovered a few cases of essential gene evolution by positive selection. Among the gene clusters subject to positive selection, a large fraction (29%) can be connected to virulence. The most striking finding was that a considerable fraction of the positively selected genes are also known to have tissue specific patterns of expression during invasive disease. As current expression data is far from comprehensive, we suggest that this fraction was underestimated. Conclusion Our findings suggest that pathogen specific genes, although a popular focus of research, do not provide a complete picture of the evolutionary dynamics of virulence. The results of this study, and others, support the notion that the products of both core and accessory genes

  3. Natural Selection on Individual Variation in Tolerance of Gastrointestinal Nematode Infection

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Adam D.; Nussey, Daniel H.; Wilson, Alastair J.; Berenos, Camillo; Pilkington, Jill G.; Watt, Kathryn A.; Pemberton, Josephine M.; Graham, Andrea L.

    2014-01-01

    Hosts may mitigate the impact of parasites by two broad strategies: resistance, which limits parasite burden, and tolerance, which limits the fitness or health cost of increasing parasite burden. The degree and causes of variation in both resistance and tolerance are expected to influence host–parasite evolutionary and epidemiological dynamics and inform disease management, yet very little empirical work has addressed tolerance in wild vertebrates. Here, we applied random regression models to longitudinal data from an unmanaged population of Soay sheep to estimate individual tolerance, defined as the rate of decline in body weight with increasing burden of highly prevalent gastrointestinal nematode parasites. On average, individuals lost weight as parasite burden increased, but whereas some lost weight slowly as burden increased (exhibiting high tolerance), other individuals lost weight significantly more rapidly (exhibiting low tolerance). We then investigated associations between tolerance and fitness using selection gradients that accounted for selection on correlated traits, including body weight. We found evidence for positive phenotypic selection on tolerance: on average, individuals who lost weight more slowly with increasing parasite burden had higher lifetime breeding success. This variation did not have an additive genetic basis. These results reveal that selection on tolerance operates under natural conditions. They also support theoretical predictions for the erosion of additive genetic variance of traits under strong directional selection and fixation of genes conferring tolerance. Our findings provide the first evidence of selection on individual tolerance of infection in animals and suggest practical applications in animal and human disease management in the face of highly prevalent parasites. PMID:25072883

  4. Tumor Selectivity of Oncolytic Parvoviruses: From in vitro and Animal Models to Cancer Patients

    PubMed Central

    Angelova, Assia L.; Geletneky, Karsten; Nüesch, Jürg P. F.; Rommelaere, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Oncolytic virotherapy of cancer is among the innovative modalities being under development and especially promising for targeting tumors, which are resistant to conventional treatments. Presently, at least a dozen of viruses, belonging to nine different virus families, are being tested within the frames of various clinical studies in cancer patients. Continuously growing preclinical evidence showing that the autonomous rat parvovirus H-1 (H-1PV) is able to kill tumor cells that resist conventional treatments and to achieve a complete cure of various human tumors in animal models argues for its inclusion in the arsenal of oncolytic viruses with an especially promising bench to bedside translation potential. Oncolytic parvovirus safe administration to humans relies on the intrinsic preference of these agents for quickly proliferating, metabolically, and biochemically disturbed tumor versus normal cells (tumor selectivity or oncotropism). The present review summarizes and discusses (i) preclinical evidence of H-1PV innocuousness for normal cells and healthy tissues in vitro and in animals, respectively, (ii) toxicological assessments of H-1PV mono- or combined therapy in tumor-bearing virus-permissive animal models, as well as (iii) historical results of experimental infection of human cancer patients with H-1PV. Altogether, these data argue against a risk of H-1PV inducing significant toxic effects in human patients. This highly favorable safety profile allowed the translation of H-1PV preclinical research into a Phase I/IIa clinical trial being currently in progress. PMID:25954743

  5. Prevalence of Selected Bacterial Infections Associated with the Use of Animal Waste in Louisiana

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Dagne D.; Owens, William E.; Tchounwou, Paul B.

    2005-01-01

    Human health is a major concern when considering the disposal of large quantities of animal waste. Health concerns could arise from exposure to pathogens and excess nitrogen associated with this form of pollution. The objective was to collect and analyze health data related to selected bacterial infections associated with the use of animal waste in Louisiana. An analysis of adverse health effects has been conducted based on the incidence/prevalence rates of campylobacteriosis, E. coli O157:H7 infection, salmonellosis and shigellosis. The number of reported cases increased during the summer months. Analysis of health data showed that reported disease cases of E. coli O157:H7 were highest among Caucasian infants in the 0–4 year old age category and in Caucasian children in the 5–9 year old age category. Fatalities resulting from salmonellosis are low and increases sharply with age. The number of reported cases of shigellosis was found to be higher in African American males and females than in Caucasians. The high rate of identification in the younger population may result from the prompt seeking of medical care, as well as the frequent ordering of stool examination when symptoms become evident among this group of the population. The association with increasing age and fatality due to salmonellosis could be attributed to declining health and weaker immune systems often found in the older population. It is concluded that both animal waste and non-point source pollution may have a significant impact on human health. PMID:16705805

  6. Optimal energy window selection of a CZT-based small-animal SPECT for quantitative accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Su-Jin; Yu, A. Ram; Choi, Yun Young; Kim, Kyeong Min; Kim, Hee-Joung

    2015-05-01

    Cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)-based small-animal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) has desirable characteristics such as superior energy resolution, but data acquisition for SPECT imaging has been widely performed with a conventional energy window. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal energy window settings for technetium-99 m (99mTc) and thallium-201 (201Tl), the most commonly used isotopes in SPECT imaging, using CZT-based small-animal SPECT for quantitative accuracy. We experimentally investigated quantitative measurements with respect to primary count rate, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and scatter fraction (SF) within various energy window settings using Triumph X-SPECT. The two ways of energy window settings were considered: an on-peak window and an off-peak window. In the on-peak window setting, energy centers were set on the photopeaks. In the off-peak window setting, the ratios of energy differences between the photopeak from the lower- and higher-threshold varied from 4:6 to 3:7. In addition, the energy-window width for 99mTc varied from 5% to 20%, and that for 201Tl varied from 10% to 30%. The results of this study enabled us to determine the optimal energy windows for each isotope in terms of primary count rate, CNR, and SF. We selected the optimal energy window that increases the primary count rate and CNR while decreasing SF. For 99mTc SPECT imaging, the energy window of 138-145 keV with a 5% width and off-peak ratio of 3:7 was determined to be the optimal energy window. For 201Tl SPECT imaging, the energy window of 64-85 keV with a 30% width and off-peak ratio of 3:7 was selected as the optimal energy window. Our results demonstrated that the proper energy window should be carefully chosen based on quantitative measurements in order to take advantage of desirable characteristics of CZT-based small-animal SPECT. These results provided valuable reference information for the establishment of new protocol for CZT

  7. Edge co-occurrences can account for rapid categorization of natural versus animal images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrinet, Laurent U.; Bednar, James A.

    2015-06-01

    Making a judgment about the semantic category of a visual scene, such as whether it contains an animal, is typically assumed to involve high-level associative brain areas. Previous explanations require progressively analyzing the scene hierarchically at increasing levels of abstraction, from edge extraction to mid-level object recognition and then object categorization. Here we show that the statistics of edge co-occurrences alone are sufficient to perform a rough yet robust (translation, scale, and rotation invariant) scene categorization. We first extracted the edges from images using a scale-space analysis coupled with a sparse coding algorithm. We then computed the “association field” for different categories (natural, man-made, or containing an animal) by computing the statistics of edge co-occurrences. These differed strongly, with animal images having more curved configurations. We show that this geometry alone is sufficient for categorization, and that the pattern of errors made by humans is consistent with this procedure. Because these statistics could be measured as early as the primary visual cortex, the results challenge widely held assumptions about the flow of computations in the visual system. The results also suggest new algorithms for image classification and signal processing that exploit correlations between low-level structure and the underlying semantic category.

  8. Senescence in natural populations of animals: Widespread evidence and its implications for bio-gerontology

    PubMed Central

    Nussey, Daniel H.; Froy, Hannah; Lemaitre, Jean-François; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Austad, Steve N.

    2014-01-01

    That senescence is rarely, if ever, observed in natural populations is an oft-quoted fallacy within bio-gerontology. We identify the roots of this fallacy in the otherwise seminal works of Medawar and Comfort, and explain that under antagonistic pleiotropy or disposable soma explanations for the evolution of senescence there is no reason why senescence cannot evolve to be manifest within the life expectancies of wild organisms. The recent emergence of long-term field studies presents irrefutable evidence that senescence is commonly detected in nature. We found such evidence in 175 different animal species from 340 separate studies. Although the bulk of this evidence comes from birds and mammals, we also found evidence for senescence in other vertebrates and insects. We describe how high-quality longitudinal field data allow us to test evolutionary explanations for differences in senescence between the sexes and among traits and individuals. Recent studies indicate that genes, prior environment and investment in growth and reproduction influence aging rates in the wild. We argue that – with the fallacy that wild animals do not senesce finally dead and buried – collaborations between bio-gerontologists and field biologists can begin to test the ecological generality of purportedly ‘public’ mechanisms regulating aging in laboratory models. PMID:22884974

  9. Radiation prevulcanized natural rubber latex: Cytotoxicity and safety evaluation on animal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keong, C. C.; Zin, W. M. Wan; Ibrahim, P.; Ibrahim, S.

    2010-05-01

    Radiation prevulcanized natural rubber latex (RVNRL) was claimed to be more user friendly than natural rubber latex prevulcanized by sulphur curing system. The absence of Type IV allergy inducing chemicals in RVNRL make it a suitable material for manufacturing of many kinds of latex products, especially those come into direct contact with users. This paper reveals and discusses the findings of cytotoxicity test and safety evaluation on animal for RVNRL. The test was done on RVNRL films prepared by coagulant dipping method and RVNRL dipped products produced by latex dipped product manufacturers. Cytotocixity test was carried out on mammalian cell culture American Type Culture Collection CCL 81, Vero. Results indicated that no cytotoxic effect from RVNRL films and products was found on the cell culture. Two animal studies, namely dermal sensitization study and primary skin irritation study, were done on gloves made from RVNRL. Albino white guinea pigs were used as test subjects in dermal sensitization study and results showed no sensitization induced by the application of test material in the guinea pigs. Primary skin irritation study was done on New Zealand white rabbits and results showed that the product tested was not corrosive and was not a primary irritant

  10. Detection and quantification of Leishmania infantum in naturally and experimentally infected animal samples.

    PubMed

    Losada-Barragán, Monica; Cavalcanti, Amanda; Umaña-Pérez, Adriana; Porrozzi, Renato; Cuervo-Escobar, Sergio; Vallejo, Andrés Felipe; Sánchez-Gómez, Myriam; Cuervo, Patricia

    2016-08-15

    Leishmania infantum is one of the causative agents of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). VL is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and can be fatal if it is not properly treated. Although several PCR works are intended to detect L. infantum, in silico analysis of available primers and/or primer-probes reveals potential cross species amplification. Here, a TaqMan-based quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) assay was developed for specific detection and quantitation of L. infantum in tissue samples from experimentally or naturally infected animals, mice or dogs, respectively. For this assay, primers and probes were designed for the kinetoplast minicircle DNA of L. infantum. The qPCR assay achieved a detection limit of 0.01pg of parasite DNA, and allowed specific amplification of L. infantum in both asymptomatic and symptomatic naturally infected dogs with inter-assay variation coefficients between 0.05-0.11. There was no cross amplification with dog DNA or with L. braziliensis, L. donovani, L. major, L. tropica or Trypanosoma cruzi. In addition, our assay detected a significantly higher parasite load in symptomatic than in the asymptomatic animals (p<0.0001). We believe this approach will be a valuable tool for the specific detection of L. infantum in regions of sympatric transmission of VL-causing parasites. PMID:27514885

  11. Transient fecal shedding and limited animal-to-animal transmission of Clostridium difficile by naturally infected finishing feedlot cattle.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Palacios, Alexander; Pickworth, Carrie; Loerch, Steve; LeJeune, Jeffrey T

    2011-05-01

    To longitudinally assess fecal shedding and animal-to-animal transmission of Clostridium difficile among finishing feedlot cattle as a risk for beef carcass contamination, we tested 186 ± 12 steers (mean ± standard deviation; 1,369 samples) in an experimental feedlot facility during the finishing period and at harvest. Clostridium difficile was isolated from 12.9% of steers on arrival (24/186; 0 to 33% among five suppliers). Shedding decreased to undetectable levels a week later (0%; P < 0.001), and remained low (< 3.6%) until immediately prior to shipment for harvest (1.2%). Antimicrobial use did not increase fecal shedding, despite treatment of 53% of animals for signs of respiratory disease. Animals shedding C. difficile on arrival, however, had 4.6 times higher odds of receiving antimicrobials for respiratory signs than nonshedders (95% confidence interval for the odds ratio, 1.4 to 14.8; P = 0.01). Neither the toxin genes nor toxin A or B was detected in most (39/42) isolates based on two complementary multiplex PCRs and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing, respectively. Two linezolid- and clindamycin-resistant PCR ribotype 078 (tcdA+/tcdB+/cdtB+/39-bp-type deletion in tcdC) isolates were identified from two steers (at arrival and week 20), but these ribotypes did not become endemic. The other toxigenic isolate (tcdA+/tcdB+/cdtB+/classic tcdC; PCR ribotype 078-like) was identified in the cecum of one steer at harvest. Spatio-temporal analysis indicated transient shedding with no evidence of animal-to-animal transmission. The association between C. difficile shedding upon arrival and the subsequent need for antimicrobials for respiratory disease might indicate common predisposing factors. The isolation of toxigenic C. difficile from bovine intestines at harvest highlights the potential for food contamination in meat processing plants. PMID:21441320

  12. Natural and sexual selection in a wild insect population.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Muñoz, R; Bretman, A; Slate, J; Walling, C A; Tregenza, T

    2010-06-01

    The understanding of natural and sexual selection requires both field and laboratory studies to exploit the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of each approach. However, studies have tended to be polarized among the types of organisms studied, with vertebrates studied in the field and invertebrates in the lab. We used video monitoring combined with DNA profiling of all of the members of a wild population of field crickets across two generations to capture the factors predicting the reproductive success of males and females. The factors that predict a male's success in gaining mates differ from those that predict how many offspring he has. We confirm the fundamental prediction that males vary more in their reproductive success than females, and we find that females as well as males leave more offspring when they mate with more partners. PMID:20522773

  13. More than Meets the Eye--a Simulation of Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, J. A.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Presents experiments using wild birds as predators and pastry as prey and colored stones as background to demonstrate natural selection. Describes the exercise as an exercise in simulating natural selection. (Author/CW)

  14. Selective phonotaxis of female crickets under natural outdoor conditions.

    PubMed

    Hirtenlehner, Stefan; Römer, Heiner

    2014-03-01

    Acoustic mate choice in insects has been extensively studied under laboratory conditions, using different behavioural paradigms. Ideally, however, mate choice designs should reflect natural conditions, including the physical properties of the transmission channel for the signal. Since little is known about the discrimination ability of females between male song variants under natural conditions, we performed phonotaxis experiments with female field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) outdoors, using two-choice decisions based on differences in carrier frequency, sound pressure level, and chirp rate. For all three song parameters, minimum differences necessary for a significant preference between two song models were considerably larger outdoors compared to laboratory conditions. A minimum amplitude difference of 5 dB was required for a significant choice in the field, compared to only 1-2 dB reported for lab-based experiments. Due to the tuned receiver system, differences in carrier frequency equal differences in perceived loudness, and the results on choice for differences in carrier frequency corroborate those in amplitude. Similarly, chirp rate differences of 50 chirps/min were required outdoors compared to only 20 chirps/min in the lab. For predictions about patterns of sexual selection, future studies need to consider the different outcomes of mate choice decisions in lab and field trials. PMID:24488017

  15. Natural selection and self-organization in complex adaptive systems.

    PubMed

    Di Bernardo, Mirko

    2010-01-01

    The central theme of this work is self-organization "interpreted" both from the point of view of theoretical biology, and from a philosophical point of view. By analysing, on the one hand, those which are now considered--not only in the field of physics--some of the most important discoveries, that is complex systems and deterministic chaos and, on the other hand, the new frontiers of systemic biology, this work highlights how large thermodynamic systems which are open can spontaneously stay in an orderly regime. Such systems can represent the natural source of the order required for a stable self-organization, for homoeostasis and for hereditary variations. The order, emerging in enormous randomly interconnected nets of binary variables, is almost certainly only the precursor of similar orders emerging in all the varieties of complex systems. Hence, this work, by finding new foundations for the order pervading the living world, advances the daring hypothesis according to which Darwinian natural selection is not the only source of order in the biosphere. Thus, the article, by examining the passage from Prigogine's dissipative structures theory to the contemporary theory of biological complexity, highlights the development of a coherent and continuous line of research which is set to individuate the general principles marking the profound reality of that mysterious self-organization characterizing the complexity of life. PMID:20882479

  16. Formal reasoning ability and misconceptions concerning genetics and natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, Anton E.; Thompson, Lois D.

    Students often hold misconceptions about natural phenomena. To overcome misconceptions students must become aware of the scientific conceptions, the evidence that bears on the validity of their misconceptions and the scientific conceptions, and they must be able to generate the logical relationships among the evidence and alternative conceptions. Because formal operational reasoning patterns are necessary to generate these logical relationships, it was predicted that, following instruction, formal operational students would hold significantly fewer misconceptions than their concrete operational classmates. To test this hypothesis 131 seventh-grade students were administered an essay test on principles of genetics and natural selection following instruction. Responses were categorized in terms of the number of misconceptions present. The number of misconceptions was compared to reasoning ability (concrete, transitional, formal), mental capacity (<6, 6, 7), verbal intelligence (low, medium, high), and cognitive style (field dependent, intermediate, field independent). The only student variable consistently and significantly related to the number of misconceptions was reasoning ability; thus, support for the major hypothesis of the study was obtained.

  17. Spatially-Correlated Risk in Nature Reserve Site Selection

    PubMed Central

    Albers, Heidi J.; Busby, Gwenlyn M.; Hamaide, Bertrand; Ando, Amy W.; Polasky, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Establishing nature reserves protects species from land cover conversion and the resulting loss of habitat. Even within a reserve, however, many factors such as fires and defoliating insects still threaten habitat and the survival of species. To address the risk to species survival after reserve establishment, reserve networks can be created that allow some redundancy of species coverage to maximize the expected number of species that survive in the presence of threats. In some regions, however, the threats to species within a reserve may be spatially correlated. As examples, fires, diseases, and pest infestations can spread from a starting point and threaten neighboring parcels’ habitats, in addition to damage caused at the initial location. This paper develops a reserve site selection optimization framework that compares the optimal reserve networks in cases where risks do and do not reflect spatial correlation. By exploring the impact of spatially-correlated risk on reserve networks on a stylized landscape and on an Oregon landscape, this analysis demonstrates an appropriate and feasible method for incorporating such post-reserve establishment risks in the reserve site selection literature as an additional tool to be further developed for future conservation planning. PMID:26789127

  18. Spatially-Correlated Risk in Nature Reserve Site Selection.

    PubMed

    Albers, Heidi J; Busby, Gwenlyn M; Hamaide, Bertrand; Ando, Amy W; Polasky, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Establishing nature reserves protects species from land cover conversion and the resulting loss of habitat. Even within a reserve, however, many factors such as fires and defoliating insects still threaten habitat and the survival of species. To address the risk to species survival after reserve establishment, reserve networks can be created that allow some redundancy of species coverage to maximize the expected number of species that survive in the presence of threats. In some regions, however, the threats to species within a reserve may be spatially correlated. As examples, fires, diseases, and pest infestations can spread from a starting point and threaten neighboring parcels' habitats, in addition to damage caused at the initial location. This paper develops a reserve site selection optimization framework that compares the optimal reserve networks in cases where risks do and do not reflect spatial correlation. By exploring the impact of spatially-correlated risk on reserve networks on a stylized landscape and on an Oregon landscape, this analysis demonstrates an appropriate and feasible method for incorporating such post-reserve establishment risks in the reserve site selection literature as an additional tool to be further developed for future conservation planning. PMID:26789127

  19. Mosquito management in the face of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Agusto, Folashade B; Bewick, Sharon; Parshad, Rana D

    2012-09-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an appealing method for managing mosquito populations while avoiding the environmental and social costs associated with more traditional control strategies like insecticide application. Success of SIT, however, hinges on sterile males being able to compete for females. As a result, heavy and/or continued use of SIT could potentially diminish its efficacy if prolonged treatments result in selection for female preference against sterile males. In this paper we extend a general differential equation model of mosquito dynamics to consider the role of female choosiness in determining the long-term usefulness of SIT as a management option. We then apply optimal control theory to our model and show how natural selection for female choosiness fundamentally alters management strategies. Our study calls into question the benefits associated with developing SIT as a management strategy, and suggests that effort should be spent studying female mate choice in order to determine its relative importance and how likely it is to impact SIT treatment goals. PMID:22617381

  20. Thermodynamics of natural selection II: Chemical Carnot cycles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Eric

    2008-05-21

    This is the second in a series of three papers devoted to energy flow and entropy changes in chemical and biological processes, and to their relations to the thermodynamics of computation. In the first paper of the series, it was shown that a general-form dimensional argument from the second law of thermodynamics captures a number of scaling relations governing growth and development across many domains of life. It was also argued that models of physiology based on reversible transformations provide sensible approximations within which the second-law scaling is realized. This paper provides a formal basis for decomposing general cyclic, fixed-temperature chemical reactions, in terms of the chemical equivalent of Carnot's cycle for heat engines. It is shown that the second law relates the minimal chemical work required to perform a cycle to the Kullback-Leibler divergence produced in its chemical output ensemble from that of a Gibbs equilibrium. Reversible models of physiology are used to create reversible models of natural selection, which relate metabolic energy requirements to information gain under optimal conditions. When dissipation is added to models of selection, the second-law constraint is generalized to a relation between metabolic work and the combined energies of growth and maintenance. PMID:18367209

  1. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-01

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature. PMID:22842011

  2. Immunology (1955-1975): the natural selection theory, the two signal hypothesis and positive repertoire selection.

    PubMed

    Forsdyke, Donald R

    2012-01-01

    Observations suggesting the existence of natural antibody prior to exposure of an organism to the corresponding antigen, led to the natural selection theory of antibody formation of Jerne in 1955, and to the two signal hypothesis of Forsdyke in 1968. Aspects of these were not only first discoveries but also foundational discoveries in that they influenced contemporaries in a manner that, from our present vantage point, appears to have been constructive. Jerne's later hypothesis (1971, European Journal of Immunology 1: 1-9), that antibody-like receptors on lymphocytes were selected over evolutionary time for reactivity with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens of the species, was a first, but it was incorrect, and was foundational only to the extent that it emphasized the need to explain the Simonsen phenomenon. Although easily construed as derivative of Jerne (1971), the affinity/avidity model of Forsdyke (1975, Journal of Theoretical Biology 52: 187-198), which predicted that cell-surface components, including MHC antigens, would restrict antigen-reactivity by somatically shaping lymphocyte repertoires, was actually an extension of the two signal hypothesis. While presenting a mechanism for the positive selection of lymphocyte repertoires, and explaining the Simonsen phenomenon, the affinity/avidity model was not foundational in that it had to be independently rediscovered. For science to advance optimally we must seek to close temporal gaps so that first discoveries are also foundational. Listening to young scientists may be part of the solution. PMID:21336661

  3. Body Size Preference of Marine Animals in Relation to Extinction Selectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sriram, A.; Idgunji, S.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.

    2014-12-01

    Our project encompasses an extremely specific aspect in relation to the five mass extinctions in geologic history. We asked ourselves whether larger or smaller body sizes would be better suited for surviving a mass extinction. To conduct research for our project, we used the body sizes of 17,172 marine animal genera as our primary data. These animals include echinoderms, arthropods, chordates, mollusks, and brachiopods. These creatures are perfect model organisms in terms of finding data on them because they have an excellent fossil record, and are well documented. We focused on the mean body size of these animals before and after each of the five mass extinctions (end-Ordovician, Late Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic, and end-Cretaceous). Our hypothesis was that the average biovolume of animals increased after each of the extinctions, with the mean size being greater after than it was before. Our size data is from the Ellis & Messina Catalogue of Ostracoda and the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. We obtained stratigraphic range data The Treatise and Sepkoski (2002). In our analyses, we compared the mean size of the different animal genera before and after each extinction event. We further partitioned size change across mass extinction boundaries into three categories: the surviving genera, the extinct genera, and the newly originating genera that came about after the extinction. According to our analyses, the mean sizes did not change significantly from the genera living during the stages before the extinctions and after the extinctions. From our results, we can assume that there were not enough major increases in the overall volume of the organisms to warrant a definite conclusion that extinctions lead to larger body sizes. Further support for our findings came from the T-tests in our R code. Only the Cretaceous period showed true evidence for size changing because of the extinction; in this case, the mean size decreased. T-tests for the Cretaceous

  4. A Selective Critique of Animal Experiments in Human-Orientated Biological Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, G. P.

    1990-01-01

    The advantages and justifications for using small animals in human-oriented research are reviewed. Some of the pitfalls of extrapolating animal-derived data to humans are discussed. Several specific problems with animal experimentation are highlighted. (CW)

  5. Selective recovery of uranium and thorium ions from dilute aqueous solutions by animal biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Shin-ichi; Suyama, Kyozo; Arihara, Keizo; Itoh, Makoto

    2002-06-01

    Selective actinide ion recovery from dilute, aqueous, multication waste streams is an important problem. The recovery of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) by various animal biopolymers was examined. Of four species of biopolymers tested, a high uptake of uranium and thorium was found in hen eggshell membrane (ESM) and silk proteins, with the maximum uranium and thorium recovery exceeding 98% and 79%, respectively. The uptake of U and Th was significantly affected by the pH of the solution. The optimum pH values were 6 and 3 for the uptake of U and Th, respectively. The effect of temperature differed with the metal. The uptake of U decreased with increasing temperature (30-50 degrees C), whereas the Th uptake increased with increasing temperature. Selective recovery of U and Th from dilute aqueous binary and multimetal solutions was also examined. ESM and silk proteins tested were effective and selective for removing each metal by controlling the pH and temperature of the solution. In multimetal systems, the order of sorption of ESM proteins was preferential: U > Cu > Cd > Mn > Pb > Th > Ni > Co > Zn at pH 6 and Th > U > Cu > Pb > Cd > Mn > Co > Ni = Zn at pH 3. These biopolymers appear to have potential for use in a commercial process for actinide recovery from actinide-containing wastewater. PMID:12019520

  6. Phase-selective image reconstruction of the lungs in small animals using micro-CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, S. M.; Perez, B. A.; Kirsch, D. G.; Badea, C. T.

    2010-04-01

    Gating in small animal imaging can compensate for artifacts due to physiological motion. This paper presents a strategy for sampling and image reconstruction in the rodent lung using micro-CT. The approach involves rapid sampling of freebreathing mice without any additional hardware to detect respiratory motion. The projection images are analyzed postacquisition to derive a respiratory signal, which is used to provide weighting factors for each projection that favor a selected phase of the respiration (e.g. end-inspiration or end-expiration) for the reconstruction. Since the sampling cycle and the respiratory cycle are uncorrelated, the sets of projections corresponding to any of the selected respiratory phases do not have a regular angular distribution. This drastically affects the image quality of reconstructions based on simple filtered backprojection. To address this problem, we use an iterative reconstruction algorithm that combines the Simultaneous Algebraic Reconstruction Technique with Total Variation minimization (SART-TV). At each SART-TV iteration, backprojection is performed with a set of weighting factors that favor the desired respiratory phase. To reduce reconstruction time, the algorithm is implemented on a graphics processing unit. The performance of the proposed approach was investigated in simulations and in vivo scans of mice with primary lung cancers imaged with our in-house developed dual tube/detector micro-CT system. We note that if the ECG signal is acquired during sampling, the same approach could be used for phase-selective cardiac imaging.

  7. Treatment of a multiple sclerosis animal model by a novel nanodrop formulation of a natural antioxidant

    PubMed Central

    Binyamin, Orli; Larush, Liraz; Frid, Kati; Keller, Guy; Friedman-Levi, Yael; Ovadia, Haim; Abramsky, Oded; Magdassi, Shlomo; Gabizon, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and is associated with demyelination, neurodegeneration, and sensitivity to oxidative stress. In this work, we administered a nanodroplet formulation of pomegranate seed oil (PSO), denominated Nano-PSO, to mice induced for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an established model of MS. PSO comprises high levels of punicic acid, a unique polyunsaturated fatty acid considered as one of the strongest natural antioxidants. We show here that while EAE-induced mice treated with natural PSO presented some reduction in disease burden, this beneficial effect increased significantly when EAE mice were treated with Nano-PSO of specific size nanodroplets at much lower concentrations of the oil. Pathological examinations revealed that Nano-PSO administration dramatically reduced demyelination and oxidation of lipids in the brains of the affected animals, which are hallmarks of this severe neurological disease. We propose that novel formulations of natural antioxidants such as Nano-PSO may be considered for the treatment of patients suffering from demyelinating diseases. On the mechanistic side, our results demonstrate that lipid oxidation may be a seminal feature in both demyelination and neurodegeneration. PMID:26648720

  8. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Angélica H; Oliveira, Pablo V; Britto, Karollini B; Freire, Bárbara F; Moreno, Marcel R; Dos Santos, Alexandre R; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  9. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Klippel, Angélica H.; Oliveira, Pablo V.; Britto, Karollini B.; Freire, Bárbara F.; Moreno, Marcel R.; dos Santos, Alexandre R.; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G.

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  10. Molecular bases for the selection of the chromophore of animal rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Luk, Hoi Ling; Melaccio, Federico; Rinaldi, Silvia; Gozem, Samer; Olivucci, Massimo

    2015-12-15

    The functions of microbial and animal rhodopsins are triggered by the isomerization of their all-trans and 11-cis retinal chromophores, respectively. To lay the molecular basis driving the evolutionary transition from the all-trans to the 11-cis chromophore, multiconfigurational quantum chemistry is used to compare the isomerization mechanisms of the sensory rhodopsin from the cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120 (ASR) and of the bovine rhodopsin (Rh). It is found that, despite their evolutionary distance, these eubacterial and vertebrate rhodopsins start to isomerize via distinct implementations of the same bicycle-pedal mechanism originally proposed by Warshel [Warshel A (1976) Nature 260:678-683]. However, by following the electronic structure changes of ASR (featuring the all-trans chromophore) during the isomerization, we find that ASR enters a region of degeneracy between the first and second excited states not found in Rh (featuring the 11-cis chromophore). We show that such degeneracy is modulated by the preorganized structure of the chromophore and by the position of the reactive double bond. It is argued that the optimization of the electronic properties of the chromophore, which affects the photoisomerization efficiency and the thermal isomerization barrier, provided a key factor for the emergence of the striking amino acid sequence divergence observed between the microbial and animal rhodopsins. PMID:26607446

  11. Molecular bases for the selection of the chromophore of animal rhodopsins

    PubMed Central

    Luk, Hoi Ling; Melaccio, Federico; Rinaldi, Silvia; Gozem, Samer; Olivucci, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    The functions of microbial and animal rhodopsins are triggered by the isomerization of their all-trans and 11-cis retinal chromophores, respectively. To lay the molecular basis driving the evolutionary transition from the all-trans to the 11-cis chromophore, multiconfigurational quantum chemistry is used to compare the isomerization mechanisms of the sensory rhodopsin from the cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120 (ASR) and of the bovine rhodopsin (Rh). It is found that, despite their evolutionary distance, these eubacterial and vertebrate rhodopsins start to isomerize via distinct implementations of the same bicycle-pedal mechanism originally proposed by Warshel [Warshel A (1976) Nature 260:678–683]. However, by following the electronic structure changes of ASR (featuring the all-trans chromophore) during the isomerization, we find that ASR enters a region of degeneracy between the first and second excited states not found in Rh (featuring the 11-cis chromophore). We show that such degeneracy is modulated by the preorganized structure of the chromophore and by the position of the reactive double bond. It is argued that the optimization of the electronic properties of the chromophore, which affects the photoisomerization efficiency and the thermal isomerization barrier, provided a key factor for the emergence of the striking amino acid sequence divergence observed between the microbial and animal rhodopsins. PMID:26607446

  12. Selection of resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae during penicillin treatment in vitro and in three animal models.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Jenny Dahl; Odenholt, Inga; Erlendsdottir, Helga; Gottfredsson, Magnus; Cars, Otto; Frimodt-Møller, Niels; Espersen, Frank; Kristinsson, Karl G; Gudmundsson, Sigurdur

    2003-08-01

    Pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) properties for the selection of resistant pneumococci were studied by using three strains of the same serotype (6B) for mixed-culture infection in time-kill experiments in vitro and in three different animal models, the mouse peritonitis, the mouse thigh, and the rabbit tissue cage models. Treatment regimens with penicillin were designed to give a wide range of T(>MIC)s, the amounts of time for which the drug concentrations in serum were above the MIC. The mixed culture of the three pneumococcal strains, 10(7) CFU of strain A (MIC of penicillin, 0.016 micro g/ml; erythromycin resistant)/ml, 10(6) CFU of strain B (MIC of penicillin, 0.25 micro g/ml)/ml, and 10(5) CFU of strain C (MIC of penicillin, 4 micro g/ml)/ml, was used in the two mouse models, and a mixture of 10(5) CFU of strain A/ml, 10(4) CFU of strain B/ml, and 10(3) CFU of strain C/ml was used in the rabbit tissue cage model. During the different treatment regimens, the differences in numbers of CFU between treated and control animals were calculated to measure the efficacies of the regimens. Selective media with erythromycin or different penicillin concentrations were used to quantify the strains separately. The efficacies of penicillin in vitro were similar when individual strains or mixed cultures were studied. The eradication of the bacteria, independent of the susceptibility of the strain or strains or the presence of the strains in a mixture or on their own, followed the well-known PK and PD rules for treatment with beta-lactams: a maximum efficacy was seen when the T(>MIC) was >40 to 50% of the observation time and the ratio of the maximum concentration of the drug in serum to the MIC was >10. It was possible in all three models to select for the less-susceptible strains by using insufficient treatments. In the rabbit tissue cage model, a regrowth of pneumococci was observed; in the mouse thigh model, the ratio between the different strains changed in

  13. Studying human respiratory disease in animals--role of induced and naturally occurring models.

    PubMed

    Williams, Kurt; Roman, Jesse

    2016-01-01

    Respiratory disorders like asthma, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis affect millions of Americans and many more worldwide. Despite advancements in medical research that have led to improved understanding of the pathophysiology of these conditions and sometimes to new therapeutic interventions, these disorders are for the most part chronic and progressive; current interventions are not curative and do not halt disease progression. A major obstacle to further advancements relates to the absence of animal models that exactly resemble the human condition, which delays the elucidation of relevant mechanisms of action, the unveiling of biomarkers of disease progression, and identification of new targets for intervention in patients. There are currently many induced animal models of human respiratory disease available for study, and even though they mimic features of human disease, discoveries in these models have not always translated into safe and effective treatments in humans. A major obstacle relates to the genetic, anatomical, and functional variations amongst species, which represents the major challenge to overcome when searching for appropriate models of respiratory disease. Nevertheless, rodents, in particular mice, have become the most common species used for experimentation, due to their relatively low cost, size, and adequate understanding of murine genetics, among other advantages. Less well known is the fact that domestic animals also suffer from respiratory illnesses similar to those found in humans. Asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis are among the many disorders occurring naturally in dogs, cats, and horses, among other species. These models might better resemble the human condition and are emphasized here, but further investigations are needed to determine their relevance. PMID:26467890

  14. Ecological factors drive natural selection pressure of avian aryl hydrocarbon receptor 1 genotypes.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Ji-Hee; Park, Jin-Young; Park, Hae-Jeong; Bak, Su-Min; Hirano, Masashi; Iwata, Hisato; Park, Young-Suk; Kim, Eun-Young

    2016-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates dioxin toxicities. Several studies have suggested that two amino acid residues corresponding to the 324(th) and 380(th) positions in the ligand binding domain (LBD) of the chicken AHR1 (Ile_Ser as high sensitivity, Ile_Ala as moderate sensitivity, and Val_Ala as low sensitivity), could be an important factor determining dioxin sensitivity in avian species. Here, we analyzed the association between ecological factors and AHR1 LBD genotypes of 113 avian species. Cluster analyses showed that 2 major clusters and sub-clusters of the cluster 3 were associated with specific AHR1 genotypes depending on the food, habitat, and migration of the animal. The majority of the species with Ile_Ala type were the Passeriformes, which are omnivorous or herbivorous feeders in the terrestrial environment. The species with Val_Ala type was primarily composed of raptors and waterbirds, which have been exposed to naturally occurring dioxins. An in vitro reporter gene assay revealed that the sensitivity to a natural dioxin, 1,3,7-tribromodibenzo-p-dioxin was in the order of Ile_Ser > Ile_Ala > Val_Ala. These results suggest that ecological factors related to the exposure of natural dioxins contribute to natural selection of the avian AHR1 genotype, which consequently leads to different sensitivity to man-made dioxins. PMID:27283192

  15. Ecological factors drive natural selection pressure of avian aryl hydrocarbon receptor 1 genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Ji-Hee; Park, Jin-Young; Park, Hae-Jeong; Bak, Su-Min; Hirano, Masashi; Iwata, Hisato; Park, Young-Suk; Kim, Eun-Young

    2016-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates dioxin toxicities. Several studies have suggested that two amino acid residues corresponding to the 324th and 380th positions in the ligand binding domain (LBD) of the chicken AHR1 (Ile_Ser as high sensitivity, Ile_Ala as moderate sensitivity, and Val_Ala as low sensitivity), could be an important factor determining dioxin sensitivity in avian species. Here, we analyzed the association between ecological factors and AHR1 LBD genotypes of 113 avian species. Cluster analyses showed that 2 major clusters and sub-clusters of the cluster 3 were associated with specific AHR1 genotypes depending on the food, habitat, and migration of the animal. The majority of the species with Ile_Ala type were the Passeriformes, which are omnivorous or herbivorous feeders in the terrestrial environment. The species with Val_Ala type was primarily composed of raptors and waterbirds, which have been exposed to naturally occurring dioxins. An in vitro reporter gene assay revealed that the sensitivity to a natural dioxin, 1,3,7-tribromodibenzo-p-dioxin was in the order of Ile_Ser > Ile_Ala > Val_Ala. These results suggest that ecological factors related to the exposure of natural dioxins contribute to natural selection of the avian AHR1 genotype, which consequently leads to different sensitivity to man-made dioxins. PMID:27283192

  16. Modelling nitrogen and carbon interactions in composting of animal manure in naturally aerated piles.

    PubMed

    Oudart, D; Robin, P; Paillat, J M; Paul, E

    2015-12-01

    Composting animal manure with natural aeration is a low-cost and low-energy process that can improve nitrogen recycling in millions of farms world-wide. Modelling can decrease the cost of choosing the best options for solid manure management in order to decrease the risk of loss of fertilizer value and ammonia emission. Semi-empirical models are suitable, considering the scarce data available in farm situations. Eleven static piles of pig or poultry manure were monitored to identify the main processes governing nitrogen transformations and losses. A new model was implemented to represent these processes in a pile considered as homogeneous. The model is based on four modules: biodegradation, nitrogen transformations and volatilization, thermal exchanges, and free air space evolution. When necessary, the parameters were calibrated with the data set. The results showed that microbial growth could reduce ammonia volatilization. Greatest nitrogen conservation is achieved when microbial growth was limited by nitrogen availability. PMID:26403389

  17. Gut wall bacteria of earthworms: a natural selection process.

    PubMed

    Thakuria, Dwipendra; Schmidt, Olaf; Finan, Dillon; Egan, Damian; Doohan, Fiona M

    2010-03-01

    Earthworms and microorganisms are interdependent and their interactions regulate the biogeochemistry of terrestrial soils. Investigating earthworm-microorganism interactions, we tested the hypothesis that differences in burrowing and feeding habits of anecic and endogeic earthworms are reflected by the existence of ecological group-specific gut wall bacterial communities. Bacterial community was detected using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of 16S and 23S genes and ribotype data was used to assess diversity and community composition. Using soil and earthworm samples collected from adjacent wheat-barley and grass-clover fields, we found that the anecic Lumbricus terrestris and L. friendi, the endogeic Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. longa (classically defined as anecic, but now known to possess endogeic characteristics) contain ecological group-specific gut wall-associated bacterial communities. The abundance of specific gut wall-associated bacteria (identified by sequence analysis of ribotype bands), including Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and an actinobacterium, was ecological group dependent. A microcosm study, conducted using A. caliginosa and L. terrestris and five different feeding regimes, indicated that food resource can cause shifts in gut wall-associated bacterial community, but the magnitude of these shifts did not obscure the delineation between ecological group specificity. Using A. caliginosa and A. longa samples collected in six different arable fields, we deduced that, within an ecological group, habitat was a more important determinant of gut wall-associated bacterial community composition than was host species. Hence, we conclude that the selection of bacteria associated with the gut wall of earthworms is a natural selection process and the strongest determinant of this process is in the order ecological group>habitat>species. PMID:19924156

  18. Influence of Natural Thermal Gradients on Whole Animal Rates of Protein Synthesis in Marine Gammarid Amphipods

    PubMed Central

    Rastrick, Samuel P. S.; Whiteley, Nia M.

    2013-01-01

    Although temperature is known to have an important effect on protein synthesis rates and growth in aquatic ectotherms held in the laboratory, little is known about the effects of thermal gradients on natural populations in the field. To address this issue we determined whole-animal fractional rates of protein synthesis (ks) in four dominant species of gammarid amphipods with different distributions along the coasts of Western Europe from arctic to temperate latitudes. Up to three populations of each species were collected in the summer and ks measured within 48 h. Summer ks values were relatively high in the temperate species, Gammarus locusta, from Portugal (48°N) and Wales (53°N) and were maintained across latitudes by the conservation of translational efficiency. In sharp contrast, summer ks remained remarkably low in the boreal/temperate species G. duebeni from Wales, Scotland (58°N) and Tromsø (70°N), probably as a temporary energy saving strategy to ensure survival in rapidly fluctuating environments of the high intertidal. Values for ks increased in acclimated G. duebeni from Scotland and Tromsø showing a lack of compensation with latitude. In the subarctic/boreal species, G. oceanicus, summer ks remained unchanged in Scotland and Tromsø but fell significantly in Svalbard (79°N) at 5°C, despite a slight increase in RNA content. At 79°N, mean ks was 4.5 times higher in the circumpolar species G. setosus than in G. oceanicus due to a doubling in RNA content. The relationship between whole-animal protein synthesis rates and natural thermal gradients is complex, varies between species and appears to be associated with local temperatures and their variability, as well as changes in other environmental factors. PMID:23544122

  19. Animals Alive! An Ecological Guide to Animal Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holley, Dennis

    Animals Alive! is designed to help teachers develop an inquiry-oriented program for studying the animal kingdom in which, whenever possible, live animals are collected locally, studied, observed, and then released completely unharmed back into their natural habitats. By careful selection and modification of the chapter questions, activities, and…

  20. Natural Non-Trasgenic Animal Models for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sarasa, Manuel; Pesini, Pedro

    2009-01-01

    The most common animal models currently used for Alzheimer disease (AD) research are transgenic mice that express a mutant form of human Aβ precursor protein (APP) and/or some of the enzymes implicated in their metabolic processing. However, these transgenic mice carry their own APP and APP-processing enzymes, which may interfere in the production of different amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides encoded by the human transgenes. Additionally, the genetic backgrounds of the different transgenic mice are a possible confounding factor with regard to crucial aspects of AD that they may (or may not) reproduce. Thus, although the usefulness of transgenic mice is undisputed, we hypothesized that additional relevant information on the physiopathology of AD could be obtained from other natural non-transgenic models. We have analyzed the chick embryo and the dog, which may be better experimental models because their enzymatic machinery for processing APP is almost identical to that of humans. The chick embryo is extremely easy to access and manipulate. It could be an advantageous natural model in which to study the cell biology and developmental function of APP and a potential assay system for drugs that regulate APP processing. The dog suffers from an age-related syndrome of cognitive dysfunction that naturally reproduces key aspects of AD including Aβ cortical pathology, neuronal degeneration and learning and memory disabilities. However, dense core neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles have not been consistently demonstrated in the dog. Thus, these species may be natural models with which to study the biology of AD, and could also serve as assay systems for Aβ-targeted drugs or new therapeutic strategies against this devastating disease. PMID:19355852

  1. Chiral Selective Chemistry Induced by Natural Selection of Spin-Polarized Electrons.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Richard A; Mishra, Debabrata; Naaman, Ron

    2015-06-15

    The search to understand the origin of homochirality in nature has been ongoing since the time of Pasteur. Previous work has shown that DNA can act as a spin filter for low-energy electrons and that spin-polarized secondary electrons produced by X-ray irradiation of a magnetic substrate can induce chiral selective chemistry. In the present work it is demonstrated that secondary electrons from a substrate that are transmitted through a chiral overlayer cause enantiomeric selective chemistry in an adsorbed adlayer. We determine the quantum yields (QYs) for dissociation of (R)- or (S)-epichlorohydrin adsorbed on a chiral self-assembled layer of DNA on gold and on bare gold (for control). The results show that there is a significant difference in the QYs between the two enantiomers when adsorbed on DNA, but none when they are adsorbed on bare Au. We propose that the effect results from natural spin filtering effects cause by the chiral monolayer. PMID:25950284

  2. Antimicrobial evaluation of selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Di Giulio, Mara; Genovese, Salvatore; Fiorito, Serena; Epifano, Francesco; Nostro, Antonia; Cellini, Luigina

    2016-08-01

    This study tested the antimicrobial activity of eight selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, S. epidermidis ATCC 35984, Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. Results showed a moderate antimicrobial activity. The most active compounds were 3-(4-geranyloxyphenyl)-1-ethanol (4) and 3-(4-isopentenyloxyphenyl)-1-propanol (5) that were tested on mature and in-formation biofilms of all micro-organisms, moreover the cytotoxic activity was evaluated. Except for S. epidermidis, both compounds reduced significantly (p < 0.05) the microbial biofilm formation at 1/2 MIC and 1/4 MIC, in particular, compounds 4 and 5 at each concentration, inhibited E. coli biofilm formation to a greater extent, the biofilm formation was never more than 44% in respect to the control, moreover both compounds showed a low cytotoxic effect. Oxyprenylated derivatives may be of great interest for the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutic strategies and the synthesis of semi-synthetic analogues with anti-biofilm efficacy. PMID:27498831

  3. Relaxed natural selection in human populations during the Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Takahata, N

    1993-12-01

    Available genetic data reveals that the human population is more variable than the chimpanzee population at the protein level, whereas the opposite is the case at the DNA level. The lower level of silent polymorphism in the human population suggests that its long-term breeding size is smaller than the chimpanzee's. The neutral theory suggests that natural selection has been relaxed in the human population under the improved environment. The possibility that the relaxation began with the emergence of Homo sapiens is examined, because it is known that H. habilis underwent for the first time dramatic changes in brain size, way of life, and culture, and that the childhood of H. erectus was already twice as long as that of chimpanzee. The relaxation hypothesis predicts that, relative to chimpanzee, some 20% of deleterious mutations became harmless under the changed environment throughout the Pleistocene. More extensive study of genetic variation in non-human primates is necessary not only to confirm the hypothesis, but also to better understand the human genome itself. PMID:8031575

  4. Student conceptions of natural selection and its role in evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Beth A.; Anderson, Charles W.

    Pretests and posttests on the topic of evolution by natural selection were administered to students in a college nonmajors' biology course. Analysis of test responses revealed that most students understood evolution as a process in which species respond to environmental conditions by changing gradually over time. Student thinking differed from accepted biological theory in that (a) changes in traits were attributed to a need-driven adaptive process rather than random genetic mutation and sexual recombination, (b) no role was assigned to variation on traits within a population or differences in reproductive success, and (c) traits were seen as gradually changing in all members of a population. Although students had taken an average of 1.9 years of previous biology courses, performance on the pretest was uniformly low. There was no relationship between the amount of previous biology taken and either pretest or posttest performance. Belief in the truthfulness of evolutionary theory was also unrelated to either pretest or posttest performance. Course instruction using specially designed materials was moderately successful in improving students' understanding of the evolutionary process.

  5. Natural habitats matter: Determinants of spatial pattern in the composition of animal assemblages of the Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divíšek, Jan; Zelený, David; Culek, Martin; Št'astný, Karel

    2014-08-01

    Studies that explore species-environment relationships at a broad scale are usually limited by the availability of sufficient habitat description, which is often too coarse to differentiate natural habitat patches. Therefore, it is not well understood how the distribution of natural habitats affects broad-scale patterns in the distribution of animal species. In this study, we evaluate the role of field-mapped natural habitats, land-cover types derived from remote sensing and climate on the composition of assemblages of five distinct animal groups, namely non-volant mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies native to the Czech Republic. First, we used variation partitioning based on redundancy analysis to evaluate the extent to which the environmental variables and their spatial structure might underlie the observed spatial patterns in the composition of animal assemblages. Second, we partitioned variations explained by climate, natural habitats and land-cover to compare their relative importance. Finally, we tested the independent effects of each variable in order to evaluate the significance of their contributions to the environmental model. Our results showed that spatial patterns in the composition of assemblages of almost all the considered animal groups may be ascribed mostly to variations in the environment. Although the shared effects of climatic variables, natural habitats and land-cover types explained the largest proportion of variation in each animal group, the variation explained purely by natural habitats was always higher than the variation explained purely by climate or land-cover. We conclude that most spatial variation in the composition of assemblages of almost all animal groups probably arises from biological processes operating within a spatially structured environment and suggest that natural habitats are important to explain observed patterns because they often perform better than habitat descriptions based on remote sensing. This

  6. Human fertility, molecular genetics, and natural selection in modern societies.

    PubMed

    Tropf, Felix C; Stulp, Gert; Barban, Nicola; Visscher, Peter M; Yang, Jian; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C

    2015-01-01

    Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB) or the age at first childbirth (AFB) has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758), results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5) of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4) in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of -0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02). This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size. PMID:26039877

  7. Human Fertility, Molecular Genetics, and Natural Selection in Modern Societies

    PubMed Central

    Tropf, Felix C.; Stulp, Gert; Barban, Nicola; Visscher, Peter M.; Yang, Jian; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C.

    2015-01-01

    Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB) or the age at first childbirth (AFB) has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758), results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5) of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4) in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of –0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02). This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size. PMID:26039877

  8. Artificial selection for structural color on butterfly wings and comparison with natural evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wasik, Bethany R.; Liew, Seng Fatt; Lilien, David A.; Dinwiddie, April J.; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui; Monteiro, Antónia

    2014-01-01

    Brilliant animal colors often are produced from light interacting with intricate nano-morphologies present in biological materials such as butterfly wing scales. Surveys across widely divergent butterfly species have identified multiple mechanisms of structural color production; however, little is known about how these colors evolved. Here, we examine how closely related species and populations of Bicyclus butterflies have evolved violet structural color from brown-pigmented ancestors with UV structural color. We used artificial selection on a laboratory model butterfly, B. anynana, to evolve violet scales from UV brown scales and compared the mechanism of violet color production with that of two other Bicyclus species, Bicyclus sambulos and Bicyclus medontias, which have evolved violet/blue scales independently via natural selection. The UV reflectance peak of B. anynana brown scales shifted to violet over six generations of artificial selection (i.e., in less than 1 y) as the result of an increase in the thickness of the lower lamina in ground scales. Similar scale structures and the same mechanism for producing violet/blue structural colors were found in the other Bicyclus species. This work shows that populations harbor large amounts of standing genetic variation that can lead to rapid evolution of scales’ structural color via slight modifications to the scales’ physical dimensions. PMID:25092295

  9. The meaning of seasonal changes, nature, and animals for adolescent girls' wellbeing in northern Finland: A qualitative descriptive study.

    PubMed

    Wiens, Varpu; Kyngäs, Helvi; Pölkki, Tarja

    2016-01-01

    Wellbeing is complex, holistic, and subjectively perceived. Issues such as gender, age, and environment seem to affect it. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was to describe the meaning of seasonal changes, nature, and animals towards 13-16-year-old girls' wellbeing in Northern Finland. In the spring of 2014, through purposive sampling, a total of 19 girls participated in semi-structured interviews from various parts of Northern Finland. The data were analysed using content analysis. Afterwards, the analysis combining the category participatory involvement with environment was found, and this consisted of three main categories: adaptation to seasonal changes, restorative nature, and empowering interactivity with animals. Seasonal changes had an effect on girls' wellbeing; in the summertime, they felt happy and vivacious, active, and outgoing. Instead, during the winter months, girls' mood and activity seemed to be lower and they felt lazier and depressed. Nature brought mainly positive feelings to girls; being in nature was experienced as liberating and relaxing, and it offered opportunities to relax and have sensory perceptions. Interaction with animals was perceived as empowering. They were experienced as altruistic and comforting companions. Animals were important to girls, and they contributed to girls' lives through positive effects towards their mental and physical wellbeing. Based on the results of this study, we can recommend that being in nature and interacting with animals should be supported because they seem to have benefits towards adolescent girls' health and wellbeing. In order to facilitate the negative effects of winter, the school days should be arranged in such a way that it would be possible for girls to have outdoor activities during the daytime. The challenge for the future is perhaps the purposeful utilisation of nature's and the animals' positive effects towards their wellbeing. PMID:26905401

  10. Peculiarities of production technology and properties of natural animal alpha-interferon preparations.

    PubMed

    Kishko, Ia H

    1999-01-01

    Principally new biotechnology of production of natural animal alpha-IFNs was created. Normative technical documentation on industrial production of these preparations was transmitted to the plants of Ukraine for their industrial obtaining. The peculiarity of proposed technology consists in usage of non-traditional raw-material--lymphoid organs and tissues (perhaps spleen), and also in introduction of coinduction into industrial cycle with the help of camizole (compound of phenilimidazothiazole family) which increased the output of final product by 3-8 times. Obtained preparations were tested in vitro and in vivo experiments. As it was shown in both cases bactericidal and absorbed activity of monocytes and neutrophils increased by 2-5 times, antibody genesis sharply increased after immunization of pigs and calves by colibacteriosis vaccine: titers were higher by 3-8 times (comparatively with control), especially two month after revaccination, but they were more stable too. Fractions of 12 and 18 kDa responsible for antibacterial and antitoxic activity respectively were found in non-purified preparations of alpha-IFNs. PMID:10441967

  11. Examining undergraduate understanding of natural selection and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balgopal, Meena Michelle

    2007-12-01

    This dissertation explores the understanding of evolution and natural selection by zoology and biological sciences education majors in two upper-division undergraduate courses. To date, there has been little research on evolution misconceptions held by these two populations. Students' misconceptions regarding evolution typically revolve around teleological and Lamarckian explanations for adaptations, origin of variation, and fitness. There are other misconceptions, however, that are described in this dissertation. The overarching objective of the dissertation was to identify variables that might influence the conceptual change. A mixed-method analysis was developed to identify instances of conceptual change that go undetected when only quantitative analyses are used. Through interpretations of in-depth interviews, written discourse, diagnostic tests, instructor interviews, and field notes, it was discovered that students' professional and personal affiliations influenced their motivation to resolve misconceptions. There were three main findings of this doctoral study. First, the effects of direct instruction on misconceptions enabled students to identify incorrect teleological wording but did not necessarily change students' writing about evolution. Higher-achieving students with career interests in biology were more likely to resolve their teleological misconceptions than lower-achieving students. Second, zoology student written discourse could be divided into subjective, objective, and authentic categories based on personal and professional connections that students made in their writing. Students who wrote authentically expressed intentions of pursuing professional biological research. Third, biological sciences education students were found to have composite identities based on personal and professional affiliations, which either hindered or enhanced their motivation to resolve evolution misconceptions. Students' personal affiliations to religious communities

  12. Nature of men and higher animals' response to the lunar phases.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troshichev, Oleg; Vladimir, Vorobeichikov; Viktor, Stepanov; Eduard, Gorshkov

    The Moon impact on the abnormal behavior of men and higher animals was marked during the entire mankind history, but the nature of this effect remained unclear. The popular hypothesis of the tidal influence of the Moon on the living organisms turned out to be incompatible with the contemporary biophysics concepts. In addition, the estimates of the lunar gravity influence on the men organism showed the negligible value of the possible effect. Vorobeichikov et al. [2006] were the first who suggested that the organisms' response to the lunar phases can be linked with the bacillus E.coli inhabiting in the bowels of the living organisms. E.coli belongs to family of enterobacteria, which are the important component of the human body microflora. Bacteria E.coli being sowed in the nutritious medium go in their development through four stages: adjusting, explosive reproducing, stationary, and dieing. The adjusting stage (or lagphase) is the most interesting for researchers, since duration of this phase L (the interval between the sowing time and the onset of the quick, exponential reproduction) is strongly influenced by the external conditions and can vary from standard 3 - 3.5 hours to some minutes. In our experiments the lag-phase L was determined for days of new moon and full moon, and for such exclusive events as the solar and lunar eclipses. The standard quantity of E.coli was sowed in the standard volume of the artificial nutritive. Lag-phase was detected every 1 minute near the key moment and every 15 minutes at other hours. It turned out that lag-phase is reduced to 1.5 hour for new moon, 1 hour for full moon, 0.5 hour for the lunar eclipse and falls to zero for the solar eclipse. In the latter case it took about 10 hours for the lag phase reduction before the eclipse and the lag-phase recovery after the eclipse. In case of a new moon the lag phase reduction lasted about half of hour. Thus, the close was the Moon to the line Sun-Earth, the shorter was lag phase and

  13. Comparative Analysis of Transcriptional Profiles of Adult Schistosoma japonicum from Different Laboratory Animals and the Natural Host, Water Buffalo

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chuang; Hou, Nan; Chen, Qijun

    2015-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis is one of the most widely distributed parasitic diseases in the world. Schistosoma japonicum, a zoonotic parasite with a wide range of mammalian hosts, is one of the major pathogens of this disease. Although numerous studies on schistosomiasis japonica have been performed using laboratory animal models, systematic comparative analysis of whole-genome expression profiles in parasites from different laboratory animals and nature mammalian hosts is lacking to date. Methodology/Principal Findings Adult schistosomes were obtained from laboratory animals BALB/c mice, C57BL/6 mice, New Zealand white rabbits and the natural host, water buffaloes. The gene expression profiles of schistosomes from these animals were obtained and compared by genome-wide oligonucleotide microarray analysis. The results revealed that the gene expression profiles of schistosomes from different laboratory animals and buffaloes were highly consistent (r>0.98) genome-wide. Meanwhile, a total of 450 genes were identified to be differentially expressed in schistosomes which can be clustered into six groups. Pathway analysis revealed that these genes were mainly involved in multiple signal transduction pathways, amino acid, energy, nucleotide and lipid metabolism. We also identified a group of 1,540 abundantly and stably expressed gene products in adult worms, including a panel of 179 Schistosoma- or Platyhelminthes-specific genes that may be essential for parasitism and may be regarded as novel potential anti-parasite intervention targets for future research. Conclusions/Significance This study provides a comprehensive database of gene expression profiles of schistosomes derived from different laboratory animals and water buffaloes. An expanded number of genes potentially affecting the development of schistosomes in different animals were identified. These findings lay the foundation for schistosomiasis research in different laboratory animals and natural hosts at the

  14. Lipids in selected abyssal benthopelagic animals: links to the epipelagic zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bühring, Solveig I.; Christiansen, Bernd

    A detailed study of the lipids of selected zooplankton species and scavenging amphipods in the near-bottom water layer (15-100 m above bottom, mab) was carried out at the BENGAL site in late summer 1998. Copepoda were the main contributors to the zooplankton, comprising 75% of the total abundance, followed by Ostracoda and Chaetognatha. Calanoid copepods of the family Metridinidae were predominant and accounted for more than 50% of all copepods. Two types of storage lipids were distinguished: triacylglycerols and wax esters. Ostracoda and the polychaete Vanadis sp. stored exclusively triacylglycerols whilst the bulk of the Copepoda accumulated wax esters, with the exception of the family Aetideidae. In the amphipods both lipid classes were found: Eurythenes gryllus stored wax esters and Paralicella spp. and Orchomene sp. triacylglycerols. The fatty acid composition was characterized by a high level of monounsaturated 18:1 ( n-9), which is described as characteristic for animals living in the deeper layers of the water column, and to a lesser degree by 16:1 ( n-7) and 20:5 ( n-3), which are typical components of diatom lipids, and 22:6 ( n-3), typical of dinoflagellates. The ratio of 18:1 ( n-9):18:1 ( n-7) fatty acids was between 5 and 10 in the copepods and indicates a carnivorous/omnivorous feeding behaviour in this group, whereas the higher ratios of 8-18 in the amphipods confirm their necrophagy. The fatty alcohols of the animals storing wax esters were dominated by the monounsaturated isomers 18:1 ( n-9) and 18:1 ( n-7). The predominance of wax esters as storage lipids in the deep-sea copepods indicates a strong seasonality in the availability of food. This is supported by the high levels of 16:1 ( n-7), 20:5 ( n-3) and 22:6 ( n-3) fatty acids, which point to there being a direct link between the surface primary production and deep-sea copepods, probably via the rapid deposition of phytodetritus.

  15. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies

    SciTech Connect

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E.

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  16. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies. Volume 3

    SciTech Connect

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E.

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  17. The meaning of seasonal changes, nature, and animals for adolescent girls’ wellbeing in northern Finland: A qualitative descriptive study

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Varpu; Kyngäs, Helvi; Pölkki, Tarja

    2016-01-01

    Wellbeing is complex, holistic, and subjectively perceived. Issues such as gender, age, and environment seem to affect it. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was to describe the meaning of seasonal changes, nature, and animals towards 13–16-year-old girls’ wellbeing in Northern Finland. In the spring of 2014, through purposive sampling, a total of 19 girls participated in semi-structured interviews from various parts of Northern Finland. The data were analysed using content analysis. Afterwards, the analysis combining the category participatory involvement with environment was found, and this consisted of three main categories: adaptation to seasonal changes, restorative nature, and empowering interactivity with animals. Seasonal changes had an effect on girls’ wellbeing; in the summertime, they felt happy and vivacious, active, and outgoing. Instead, during the winter months, girls’ mood and activity seemed to be lower and they felt lazier and depressed. Nature brought mainly positive feelings to girls; being in nature was experienced as liberating and relaxing, and it offered opportunities to relax and have sensory perceptions. Interaction with animals was perceived as empowering. They were experienced as altruistic and comforting companions. Animals were important to girls, and they contributed to girls’ lives through positive effects towards their mental and physical wellbeing. Based on the results of this study, we can recommend that being in nature and interacting with animals should be supported because they seem to have benefits towards adolescent girls’ health and wellbeing. In order to facilitate the negative effects of winter, the school days should be arranged in such a way that it would be possible for girls to have outdoor activities during the daytime. The challenge for the future is perhaps the purposeful utilisation of nature's and the animals’ positive effects towards their wellbeing. PMID:26905401

  18. Chemical methods for reduction of the transfer of radionuclides to farm animals in semi-natural environments.

    PubMed

    Hove, K

    1993-09-24

    The same chemicals can be used for reduction of radionuclide transfer to animals whether kept on farms or grazing in semi-natural and natural habitats. However, different techniques are required for administration of the active compounds. Dairy ruminants may be treated effectively by inclusion of chemicals in supplemental concentrates. Practical experience gained after the Chernobyl accident has shown that both clay minerals and hexacyanoferrates are effective in preventing high radiocaesium levels in animal products. Chemicals such as bentonite clays and CaCO3, used for reduction of 137Cs and 90Sr transfer respectively, must be fed in hectogram quantities and are only practical for dairy animals in semi-natural ecosystems. Salt licks and sustained release boli with hexacyanoferrates as caesium binders have been developed and used successfully after the Chernobyl accident for meat producing cattle, sheep and reindeer which graze freely for extended periods. Daily doses of 25-300 mg in sheep and 250-2000 mg in cows reduces 137Cs accumulation 2-10-fold. Binders for 90Sr have not been tested in grazing animals. Stable iodine could be provided in salt licks and indwelling rumen boli at rates required to block radioiodine uptake by the thyroid gland. Boli and salt licks are highly cost effective in reducing doses to man when compared to interdiction of food from farm animals. PMID:8248770

  19. Considerations for the selection of a generator as a back-up power source for an animal facility.

    PubMed

    Stich, Elizabeth B

    2013-10-01

    Loss of power, whether or not it is related to a disaster, is a potential problem for animal facilities. The lack of light and the inability to operate mechanical systems related to ventilation, security, access, water, sewer and environmental control; to use laboratory instruments and equipment such as cage-washers and automatic watering systems; and to access computers and electronic files, potentially including animal health records and environmental monitoring data, present substantial challenges to facility operation. Therefore, an animal research facility must develop a contingency plan to address loss of power and other potential threats. Use of a back-up power source such as a generator is a common component of such a plan. Here the author discusses factors that should be considered in the selection of a generator as a back-up power source for an animal facility. PMID:24051651

  20. Selective cytoprotective effect of histamine on doxorubicin-induced hepatic and cardiac toxicity in animal models

    PubMed Central

    Lamas, DJMartinel; Nicoud, MB; Sterle, HA; Carabajal, E; Tesan, F; Perazzo, JC; Cremaschi, GA; Rivera, ES; Medina, VA

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to evaluate the potential protective effect of histamine on Doxorubicin (Dox)-induced hepatic and cardiac toxicity in different rodent species and in a triple-negative breast tumor-bearing mice model. Male Sprague Dawley rats and Balb/c mice were divided into four groups: control (received saline), histamine (5 mg/kg for rats and 1 mg/kg for mice, daily subcutaneous injection starting 24 h before treatment with Dox), Dox (2 mg/kg, intraperitoneally injected three times a week for 2 weeks) and Dox+histamine (received both treatments). Tissue toxicity was evaluated by histopathological studies and oxidative stress and biochemical parameters. The combined effect of histamine and Dox was also investigated in vitro and in vivo in human MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer model. Heart and liver of Dox-treated animals displayed severe histological damage, loss of tissue weight, increased TBARS levels and DNA damage along with an augment in serum creatine kinase-myocardial band. Pretreatment with histamine prevented Dox-induced tissue events producing a significant preservation of the integrity of both rat and mouse myocardium and liver, through the reduction of Dox-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. Histamine treatment preserved anti-tumor activity of Dox, exhibiting differential cytotoxicity and increasing the Dox-induced inhibition of breast tumor growth. Findings provide preclinical evidence indicating that histamine could be a promising candidate as a selective cytoprotective agent for the treatment of Dox-induced cardiac and hepatic toxicity, and encourage the translation to clinical practice. PMID:27551485

  1. Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students

    PubMed Central

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural selection and also include discussions on sexual selection, molecular evolution, evolution of complex traits, and the evolution of behavior. The set of six topics gives students the opportunity to see how natural selection operates in a variety of contexts. Pre- and postinstruction testing showed students’ understanding of natural selection increased substantially after completing this series of learning activities. Testing throughout this unit showed steadily increasing student understanding, and surveys indicated students enjoyed the activities. PMID:24006396

  2. Forest Fragmentation and Selective Logging Have Inconsistent Effects on Multiple Animal-Mediated Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Forest

    PubMed Central

    Schleuning, Matthias; Farwig, Nina; Peters, Marcell K.; Bergsdorf, Thomas; Bleher, Bärbel; Brandl, Roland; Dalitz, Helmut; Fischer, Georg; Freund, Wolfram; Gikungu, Mary W.; Hagen, Melanie; Garcia, Francisco Hita; Kagezi, Godfrey H.; Kaib, Manfred; Kraemer, Manfred; Lung, Tobias; Schaab, Gertrud; Templin, Mathias; Uster, Dana; Wägele, J. Wolfgang; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2011-01-01

    Forest fragmentation and selective logging are two main drivers of global environmental change and modify biodiversity and environmental conditions in many tropical forests. The consequences of these changes for the functioning of tropical forest ecosystems have rarely been explored in a comprehensive approach. In a Kenyan rainforest, we studied six animal-mediated ecosystem processes and recorded species richness and community composition of all animal taxa involved in these processes. We used linear models and a formal meta-analysis to test whether forest fragmentation and selective logging affected ecosystem processes and biodiversity and used structural equation models to disentangle direct from biodiversity-related indirect effects of human disturbance on multiple ecosystem processes. Fragmentation increased decomposition and reduced antbird predation, while selective logging consistently increased pollination, seed dispersal and army-ant raiding. Fragmentation modified species richness or community composition of five taxa, whereas selective logging did not affect any component of biodiversity. Changes in the abundance of functionally important species were related to lower predation by antbirds and higher decomposition rates in small forest fragments. The positive effects of selective logging on bee pollination, bird seed dispersal and army-ant raiding were direct, i.e. not related to changes in biodiversity, and were probably due to behavioural changes of these highly mobile animal taxa. We conclude that animal-mediated ecosystem processes respond in distinct ways to different types of human disturbance in Kakamega Forest. Our findings suggest that forest fragmentation affects ecosystem processes indirectly by changes in biodiversity, whereas selective logging influences processes directly by modifying local environmental conditions and resource distributions. The positive to neutral effects of selective logging on ecosystem processes show that the

  3. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  4. Selected References and Aids for Teaching Animal Science to Students of Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Larry E.

    The resource guide for animal science education is divided into six subject areas: general animal science, beef, dairy, poultry, sheep, and swine. Within each of these areas, the guide provides bibliographic and availability data for relevant materials in the following forms: bulletins and circulars; textbooks; films, filmstrips, and slides; and…

  5. TOXICITY AND BIOCONCENTRATION OF BHC AND LINDANE IN SELECTED ESTUARINE ANIMALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Flow-through, 96-hr bioassays were conducted to determine the acute toxicity of technical BHC and lindane to several estuarine animals. Test animals and their respective 96-hr lindane LC50 values were: mysid (Mysidopsis bahia), 6.3 micrograms/L; pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), 0....

  6. SEROEPIDEMIOLOGY OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN ZOO ANIMALS IN SELECTED ZOOS IN MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii infections in zoo animals are of interest because many captive animals die of clinical toxoplasmosis and because of the potential risk of exposure of children and elderly to T. gondii oocysts excreted by cats in the zoos. Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild zoo felids, h...

  7. Genome patterns of selection and introgression of haplotypes in natural populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    Staubach, Fabian; Lorenc, Anna; Messer, Philipp W; Tang, Kun; Petrov, Dmitri A; Tautz, Diethard

    2012-01-01

    General parameters of selection, such as the frequency and strength of positive selection in natural populations or the role of introgression, are still insufficiently understood. The house mouse (Mus musculus) is a particularly well-suited model system to approach such questions, since it has a defined history of splits into subspecies and populations and since extensive genome information is available. We have used high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing arrays to assess genomic patterns of positive selection and introgression of alleles in two natural populations of each of the subspecies M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus. Applying different statistical procedures, we find a large number of regions subject to apparent selective sweeps, indicating frequent positive selection on rare alleles or novel mutations. Genes in the regions include well-studied imprinted loci (e.g. Plagl1/Zac1), homologues of human genes involved in adaptations (e.g. alpha-amylase genes) or in genetic diseases (e.g. Huntingtin and Parkin). Haplotype matching between the two subspecies reveals a large number of haplotypes that show patterns of introgression from specific populations of the respective other subspecies, with at least 10% of the genome being affected by partial or full introgression. Using neutral simulations for comparison, we find that the size and the fraction of introgressed haplotypes are not compatible with a pure migration or incomplete lineage sorting model. Hence, it appears that introgressed haplotypes can rise in frequency due to positive selection and thus can contribute to the adaptive genomic landscape of natural populations. Our data support the notion that natural genomes are subject to complex adaptive processes, including the introgression of haplotypes from other differentiated populations or species at a larger scale than previously assumed for animals. This implies that some of the admixture found in inbred strains of mice may also have

  8. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Gunnell, Mark K; Robison, Richard A; Adams, Byron J

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental tenet of evolution is that alleles that are under negative selection are often deleterious and confer no evolutionary advantage. Negatively selected alleles are removed from the gene pool and are eventually extinguished from the population. Conversely, alleles under positive selection do confer an evolutionary advantage and lead to an increase in the overall fitness of the organism. These alleles increase in frequency until they eventually become fixed in the population. Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic pathogen and a potential biothreat agent. The most virulent type of F. tularensis, Type A, is distributed across North America with Type A.I occurring mainly in the east and Type A.II appearing mainly in the west. F. tularensis is thought to be a genome in decay (losing genes) because of the relatively large number of pseudogenes present in its genome. We hypothesized that the observed frequency of gene loss/pseudogenes may be an artifact of evolution in response to a changing environment, and that genes involved in virulence should be under strong positive selection. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced and compared whole genomes of Type A.I and A.II isolates. We analyzed a subset of virulence and housekeeping genes from several F. tularensis subspecies genomes to ascertain the presence and extent of positive selection. Eleven previously identified virulence genes were screened for positive selection along with 10 housekeeping genes. Analyses of selection yielded one housekeeping gene and 7 virulence genes which showed significant evidence of positive selection at loci implicated in cell surface structures and membrane proteins, metabolism and biosynthesis, transcription, translation and cell separation, and substrate binding and transport. Our results suggest that while the loss of functional genes through disuse could be accelerated by negative selection, the genome decay in Francisella could also be the byproduct of adaptive evolution

  9. A Hands-On Exercise to Demonstrate Evolution by Natural Selection & Genetic Drift

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Helen J.; Young, Truman P.

    2003-01-01

    Although students "learn" (i.e., hear about) the components of evolution by natural selection in high school biology courses, few of them truly understand or remember them. Evolution by natural selection, although seemingly simple, requires that several conditions be met. The trait of concern must exhibit variation within the population; this…

  10. Teaching Evolution and Natural Selection: A Look at Textbooks and Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aleixandre, Maria Pilar Jimenez

    1994-01-01

    Contrasts data gathered regarding how textbooks deal with natural selection and teacher's ability to explore pupils' ideas related to it with an approach seeking to develop the pupils' capacity to explain biological change using the model of natural selection. Results show the approach is often characterized by superficial handling of key ideas…