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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

    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.

  9. 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.

  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

    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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  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. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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).

  16. 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…

  17. 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,…

  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. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  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. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. [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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. ["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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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

    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 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Spatial patterns of variation due to natural selection in humans

    PubMed Central

    Novembre, John; Di Rienzo, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Empowered by technology and sampling efforts designed to facilitate genome-wide association mapping, human geneticists are now studying the geography of genetic variation with unprecedented detail. With high genomic coverage and geographic resolution, these studies are identifying loci with spatial signatures of selection, such as extreme levels of differentiation and correlations with environmental variables. Collectively, patterns at these loci are beginning to provide novel insights into the process of human adaptation. Here we review the challenges of these studies and emerging results, including how human population structure has influenced the response to novel selective pressures. PMID:19823195

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Evolution of Students' Ideas about Natural Selection through a Constructivist Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumgartner, Erin; Duncan, Kanesa

    2009-01-01

    Educating students about the process of evolution through natural selection is vitally important because not only is it the unifying theory of biological science, it is also widely regarded as difficult for students to fully comprehend. Anderson and colleagues (2002) describe alternative ideas and misconceptions about natural selection as highly…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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....

  13. 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...

  14. Selected References on Asbestos: Its Nature, Hazards, Detection, and Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Education Association, Washington, DC.

    This document provides teachers with sources of information about the nature, hazards, detection, and control of asbestos. Because many school buildings include asbestos-containing materials, teachers and other school personnel must be aware of the potential dangers to students and to themselves and take steps to have asbestos hazards contained or…

  15. Evolutionary stasis in pollen morphogenesis due to natural selection.

    PubMed

    Matamoro-Vidal, Alexis; Prieu, Charlotte; Furness, Carol A; Albert, Béatrice; Gouyon, Pierre-Henri

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of developmental constraints and selective forces to the determination of evolutionary patterns is an important and unsolved question. We test whether the long-term evolutionary stasis observed for pollen morphogenesis (microsporogenesis) in eudicots is due to developmental constraints or to selection on a morphological trait shaped by microsporogenesis: the equatorial aperture pattern. Most eudicots have three equatorial apertures but several taxa have independently lost the equatorial pattern and have microsporogenesis decoupled from aperture pattern determination. If selection on the equatorial pattern limits variation, we expect to see increased variation in microsporogenesis in the nonequatorial clades. Variation of microsporogenesis was studied using phylogenetic comparative analyses in 83 species dispersed throughout eudicots including species with and without equatorial apertures. The species that have lost the equatorial pattern have highly variable microsporogenesis at the intra-individual and inter-specific levels regardless of their pollen morphology, whereas microsporogenesis remains stable in species with the equatorial pattern. The observed burst of variation upon loss of equatorial apertures shows that there are no strong developmental constraints precluding variation in microsporogenesis, and that the stasis is likely to be due principally to selective pressure acting on pollen morphogenesis because of its implication in the determination of the equatorial aperture pattern. PMID:26248868

  16. Just like the rest of evolution in Mother Nature, the evolution of cancers may be driven by natural selection, and not by haphazard mutations

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ju; Lou, Xiaomin; Zellmer, Lucas; Liu, Siqi; Xu, Ningzhi; Liao, D. Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Sporadic carcinogenesis starts from immortalization of a differentiated somatic cell or an organ-specific stem cell. The immortalized cell incepts a new or quasinew organism that lives like a parasite in the patient and usually proceeds to progressive simplification, constantly engendering intermediate organisms that are simpler than normal cells. Like organismal evolution in Mother Nature, this cellular simplification is a process of Darwinian selection of those mutations with growth- or survival-advantages, from numerous ones that occur randomly and stochastically. Therefore, functional gain of growth- or survival-sustaining oncogenes and functional loss of differentiation-sustaining tumor suppressor genes, which are hallmarks of cancer cells and contribute to phenotypes of greater malignancy, are not drivers of carcinogenesis but are results from natural selection of advantageous mutations. Besides this mutation-load dependent survival mechanism that is evolutionarily low and of an asexual nature, cancer cells may also use cell fusion for survival, which is an evolutionarily-higher mechanism and is of a sexual nature. Assigning oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes or their mutants as drivers to induce cancer in animals may somewhat coerce them to create man-made oncogenic pathways that may not really be a course of sporadic cancer formations in the human. PMID:25594068

  17. Tardigrades living in extreme environments have naturally selected prerequisites useful to space conquer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidetti, Roberto; Tiziana, Altiero; Cesari, Michele; Rizzo, Angela Maria; Bertolani, Roberto; Galletta, Giuseppe; Dalessandro, Maurizio; Rebecchi, Lorena

    Extreme habitats are highly selective and can host only living organisms possessing specific adaptations to stressors. Among extreme habitats, space environment has particular charac-teristics of radiations, vacuum, microgravity and temperature, which induce rapid changes in living systems. Consequently, the response of multicellular complex organisms, able to colo-nize extreme environments, to space stresses can give very useful information on the ability to withstand a single stress or stress combinations. This knowledge on changes in living systems in space, with their similarity to the ageing processes, offers the opportunity to improve human life both on Earth and in space. Even though experimentation in space has often been carried out using unicellular organisms, multicellular organisms are very relevant in order to develop the appropriate countermeasures to avoid the risks imposed by environmental space in humans. The little attention received by multicellular organisms is probably due, other than to difficul-ties in the manipulation of biological materials in space, to the presence of only few organisms with the potential to tolerate environmental space stresses. Among them, tardigrades are small invertebrates representing an attractive animal model to study adaptive strategies for surviving extreme environments, including space environment. Tardigrades are little known microscopic aquatic animals (250-800 m in body length) distributed in different environments (from the deep sea to high mountains and deserts all over the world), and frequently inhabiting very unstable and unpredictable habitats (e.g. interstices of mosses, lichens, leaf litter, freshwater ponds, cryoconite holes). Their ability to live in the extreme environments is related to a wide variety of their life histories and adaptive strategies. A widespread and crucial strategy is cryptobiosis, a form of quiescence. It includes strategies such as anhydrobiosis and cryobiosis, characterized by

  18. Predation and selection for antibiotic resistance in natural environments.

    PubMed

    Leisner, Jørgen J; Jørgensen, Niels O G; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-03-01

    Genes encoding resistance to antibiotics appear, like the antibiotics themselves, to be ancient, originating long before the rise of the era of anthropogenic antibiotics. However, detailed understanding of the specific biological advantages of antibiotic resistance in natural environments is still lacking, thus limiting our efforts to prevent environmental influx of resistance genes. Here, we propose that antibiotic-resistant cells not only evade predation from antibiotic producers but also take advantage of nutrients released from cells that are killed by the antibiotic-producing bacteria. Thus, predation is potentially an important mechanism for driving antibiotic resistance during slow or stationary phase of growth when nutrients are deprived. This adds to explain the ancient nature and widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance in natural environments unaffected by anthropogenic antibiotics. In particular, we suggest that nutrient-poor environments including indoor environments, for example, clean rooms and intensive care units may serve as a reservoir and source for antibiotic-producing as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. PMID:26989434

  19. Natural selection of mitochondria during somatic lifetime promotes healthy aging

    PubMed Central

    Rodell, Anders; Rasmussen, Lene J.; Bergersen, Linda H.; Singh, Keshav K.; Gjedde, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis during life-time challenges both eliminates disadvantageous properties and drives adaptive selection of advantageous phenotypic variations. Intermittent fission and fusion of mitochondria provide specific targets for health promotion by brief temporal stressors, interspersed with periods of recovery and biogenesis. For mitochondria, the mechanisms of selection, variability, and heritability, are complicated by interaction of two independent genomes, including the multiple copies of DNA in each mitochondrion, as well as the shared nuclear genome of each cell. The mechanisms of stress-induced fission, followed by recovery-induced fusion and biogenesis, drive the improvement of mitochondrial functions, not only as directed by genotypic variations, but also as enabled by phenotypic diversity. Selective adaptation may explain unresolved aspects of aging, including the health effects of exercise, hypoxic and poisonous preconditioning, and tissue-specific mitochondrial differences. We propose that intermittent purposeful enhancement of mitochondrial biogenesis by stressful episodes with subsequent recovery paradoxically promotes adaptive mitochondrial health and continued healthy aging. PMID:23964235

  20. Understanding Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Airway Epithelial Repair: Selecting the Most Appropriate Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Yahaya, B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying the process of regeneration and repair of airway epithelial structures demands close characterization of the associated cellular and molecular events. The choice of an animal model system to study these processes and the role of lung stem cells is debatable since ideally the chosen animal model should offer a valid comparison with the human lung. Species differences may include the complex three-dimensional lung structures, cellular composition of the lung airway as well as transcriptional control of the molecular events in response to airway epithelium regeneration, and repair following injury. In this paper, we discuss issues related to the study of the lung repair and regeneration including the role of putative stem cells in small- and large-animal models. At the end of this paper, the author discuss the potential for using sheep as a model which can help bridge the gap between small-animal model systems and humans. PMID:23049478

  1. Revisiting the syntactic abilities of non-human animals: natural vocalizations and artificial grammar learning

    PubMed Central

    ten Cate, Carel; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-01-01

    The domain of syntax is seen as the core of the language faculty and as the most critical difference between animal vocalizations and language. We review evidence from spontaneously produced vocalizations as well as from perceptual experiments using artificial grammars to analyse animal syntactic abilities, i.e. abilities to produce and perceive patterns following abstract rules. Animal vocalizations consist of vocal units (elements) that are combined in a species-specific way to create higher order strings that in turn can be produced in different patterns. While these patterns differ between species, they have in common that they are no more complex than a probabilistic finite-state grammar. Experiments on the perception of artificial grammars confirm that animals can generalize and categorize vocal strings based on phonetic features. They also demonstrate that animals can learn about the co-occurrence of elements or learn simple ‘rules’ like attending to reduplications of units. However, these experiments do not provide strong evidence for an ability to detect abstract rules or rules beyond finite-state grammars. Nevertheless, considering the rather limited number of experiments and the difficulty to design experiments that unequivocally demonstrate more complex rule learning, the question of what animals are able to do remains open. PMID:22688634

  2. Revisiting the syntactic abilities of non-human animals: natural vocalizations and artificial grammar learning.

    PubMed

    ten Cate, Carel; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-07-19

    The domain of syntax is seen as the core of the language faculty and as the most critical difference between animal vocalizations and language. We review evidence from spontaneously produced vocalizations as well as from perceptual experiments using artificial grammars to analyse animal syntactic abilities, i.e. abilities to produce and perceive patterns following abstract rules. Animal vocalizations consist of vocal units (elements) that are combined in a species-specific way to create higher order strings that in turn can be produced in different patterns. While these patterns differ between species, they have in common that they are no more complex than a probabilistic finite-state grammar. Experiments on the perception of artificial grammars confirm that animals can generalize and categorize vocal strings based on phonetic features. They also demonstrate that animals can learn about the co-occurrence of elements or learn simple 'rules' like attending to reduplications of units. However, these experiments do not provide strong evidence for an ability to detect abstract rules or rules beyond finite-state grammars. Nevertheless, considering the rather limited number of experiments and the difficulty to design experiments that unequivocally demonstrate more complex rule learning, the question of what animals are able to do remains open. PMID:22688634

  3. Target-selectivity of parvalbumin-positive interneurons in layer II of medial entorhinal cortex in normal and epileptic animals.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Caren; Wang, Jessica; Yeun Lee, Soo; Broderick, John; Bezaire, Marianne J; Lee, Sang-Hun; Soltesz, Ivan

    2016-06-01

    The medial entorhinal cortex layer II (MEClayerII ) is a brain region critical for spatial navigation and memory, and it also demonstrates a number of changes in patients with, and animal models of, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Prior studies of GABAergic microcircuitry in MEClayerII revealed that cholecystokinin-containing basket cells (CCKBCs) select their targets on the basis of the long-range projection pattern of the postsynaptic principal cell. Specifically, CCKBCs largely avoid reelin-containing principal cells that form the perforant path to the ipsilateral dentate gyrus and preferentially innervate non-perforant path forming calbindin-containing principal cells. We investigated whether parvalbumin containing basket cells (PVBCs), the other major perisomatic targeting GABAergic cell population, demonstrate similar postsynaptic target selectivity as well. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that the functional or anatomic arrangement of circuit selectivity is disrupted in MEClayerII in chronic TLE, using the repeated low-dose kainate model in rats. In control animals, we found that PVBCs innervated both principal cell populations, but also had significant selectivity for calbindin-containing principal cells in MEClayerII . However, the magnitude of this preference was smaller than for CCKBCs. In addition, axonal tracing and paired recordings showed that individual PVBCs were capable of contacting both calbindin and reelin-containing principal cells. In chronically epileptic animals, we found that the intrinsic properties of the two principal cell populations, the GABAergic perisomatic bouton numbers, and selectivity of the CCKBCs and PVBCs remained remarkably constant in MEClayerII . However, miniature IPSC frequency was decreased in epilepsy, and paired recordings revealed the presence of direct excitatory connections between principal cells in the MEClayerII in epilepsy, which is unusual in normal adult MEClayerII . Taken together, these findings advance

  4. Natural selection of altruism in inelastic viscous homogeneous populations.

    PubMed

    Grafen, Alan; Archetti, Marco

    2008-06-21

    Biological explanations are given of three main uninterpreted theoretical results on the selection of altruism in inelastic viscous homogeneous populations, namely that non-overlapping generations hinder the evolution of altruism, fecundity effects are more conducive to altruism than survival effects, and one demographic regime (so-called death-birth) permits altruism whereas another (so-called birth-death) does not. The central idea is 'circles of compensation', which measure how far the effects of density dependence extend from a focal individual. Relatednesses can then be calculated that compensate for density dependence. There is very generally a 'balancing circle of compensation', at which the viscosity of the population slows up selection of altruism, but does not affect its direction, and this holds for altruism towards any individual, not just immediate neighbours. These explanations are possible because of recent advances in the theory of inclusive fitness on graphs. The assumption of node bitransitivity in that recent theory is relaxed to node transitivity and symmetry of the dispersal matrix, and new formulae show how to calculate relatedness from dispersal and vice versa. PMID:18371985

  5. Selective looking at natural scenes: Hedonic content and gender.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Margaret M; Costa, Vincent D; Lang, Peter J

    2015-10-01

    Choice viewing behavior when looking at affective scenes was assessed to examine differences due to hedonic content and gender by monitoring eye movements in a selective looking paradigm. On each trial, participants viewed a pair of pictures that included a neutral picture together with an affective scene depicting either contamination, mutilation, threat, food, nude males, or nude females. The duration of time that gaze was directed to each picture in the pair was determined from eye fixations. Results indicated that viewing choices varied with both hedonic content and gender. Initially, gaze duration for both men and women was heightened when viewing all affective contents, but was subsequently followed by significant avoidance of scenes depicting contamination or nude males. Gender differences were most pronounced when viewing pictures of nude females, with men continuing to devote longer gaze time to pictures of nude females throughout viewing, whereas women avoided scenes of nude people, whether male or female, later in the viewing interval. For women, reported disgust of sexual activity was also inversely related to gaze duration for nude scenes. Taken together, selective looking as indexed by eye movements reveals differential perceptual intake as a function of specific content, gender, and individual differences. PMID:26156939

  6. A selective and mild glycosylation method of natural phenolic alcohols

    PubMed Central

    Poláková, Monika

    2016-01-01

    Summary Several bioactive natural p-hydroxyphenylalkyl β-D-glucopyranosides, such as vanillyl β-D-glucopyranoside, salidroside and isoconiferin, and their glycosyl analogues were prepared by a simple reaction sequence. The highly efficient synthetic approach was achieved by utilizing acetylated glycosyl bromides as well as aromatic moieties and mild glycosylation promoters. The aglycones, p-O-acetylated arylalkyl alcohols, were prepared by the reduction of the corresponding acetylated aldehydes or acids. Various stereoselective 1,2-trans-O-glycosylation methods were studied, including the DDQ–iodine or ZnO–ZnCl2 catalyst combination. Among them, ZnO–iodine has been identified as a new glycosylation promoter and successfully applied to the stereoselective glycoside synthesis. The final products were obtained by conventional Zemplén deacetylation. PMID:27340444

  7. Natural selectivity of Nickel and Vanadium in crude oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, Olienka Patricia De La O.

    Nickel and Vanadium have always been found in crude oil all around the world. The metal content is found mainly in porphyrin structures in the asphaltene fraction of the petroleum. In order to determine the reason for this natural preference, a set of experiments testing thermodynamics, kinetics, and other factors were performed. Candidate metalloporphyrins containing Vanadyl, Chromium, Iron, Nickel, Copper and Zinc were analyzed through chemical reactions characterized using Silica Column Chromatography, HPLC, MS and UV-Visible. Theoretical analysis of the stability of metalloporphyrins was conducted using DFT/NRLMOL for computational calculation. The analysis of all factors leads us to conclude that the presence of Nickel and Vanadium in petroleum depend on different factors, not only on the stability of the structures, but mainly on abundance in the medium rising from biological processes.

  8. Affective Neuronal Selection: The Nature of the Primordial Emotion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Toronchuk, Judith A.; Ellis, George F. R.

    2013-01-01

    Based on studies in affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychiatry, a tentative new proposal is made here as to the nature and identification of primordial emotional systems. Our model stresses phylogenetic origins of emotional systems, which we believe is necessary for a full understanding of the functions of emotions and additionally suggests that emotional organizing systems play a role in sculpting the brain during ontogeny. Nascent emotional systems thus affect cognitive development. A second proposal concerns two additions to the affective systems identified by Panksepp. We suggest there is substantial evidence for a primary emotional organizing program dealing with power, rank, dominance, and subordination which instantiates competitive and territorial behavior and is an evolutionary contributor to self-esteem in humans. A program underlying disgust reactions which originally functioned in ancient vertebrates to protect against infection and toxins is also suggested. PMID:23316177

  9. [Modulated electromagnetic field as a factor of selective influence on animal mechanisms of goal-directed behavior].

    PubMed

    Sudakov, K V

    1976-01-01

    Proceeding from P.K. Anokhin's theory of the functional systems, the paper considers the action of a modulated electromagnetic field (MEMF) on different stages of the central architectonics of purposeful behaviour of rats: afferent synthesis, decisions making, acceptor of the action results. The action of MEMF was studied in different experimental situations: choice of an alimentary or defensive reaction to one conditioned stimulus in different situations; extinction of conditioned alimentary reactions; elaboration and extinction of alimentary conditioned reactions in animals group contacts; choice of the side of reinforcement in a T-shaped maze, and, lastly, self-stimulation reactions. The experiments have shown that MEMF has a selective effect on the animals' emotional reactions. Greater disturbances are observed in the mechanisms of the animals' appraisal of the action of situational and trigger stimuli or surrounding individuals of their species and, hence, of decisions making and anticipation of future results of the action, the acceptor of the action results. PMID:997935

  10. Developments of the Price equation and natural selection under uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Grafen, A

    2000-06-22

    Many approaches to the study of adaptation, following Darwin, centre on the number of offspring of individuals. Population genetics theory makes clear that predicting gene frequency changes requires more detailed knowledge, for example of linkage and linkage disequilibrium and mating systems. Because gene frequency changes underlie adaptation, this can lead to a suspicion that approaches ignoring these sophistications are approximate or tentative or wrong. Stochastic environments and sexual selection are two topics in which there are widespread views that focusing on number of offspring of individuals is not enough, and that proper treatments require the introduction of further details, namely variability in offspring number and linkage disequilibrium, respectively. However, the bulk of empirical research on adaptation and a great deal of theoretical work continue to employ these approaches. Here, a new theoretical development arising from the Price equation provides a formal justification in very general circumstances for focusing on the arithmetic average of the relative number of offspring of individuals. PMID:10902688

  11. The Nature of Irac-selected Extremely Red Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tao; Huang, J.; Gu, Q.

    2010-05-01

    Using deep U-8um photometry from GEMs, MUSYC and SIMPLE surveys, we investigate properties of a large sample of IRAC-selected extremely red galaxies(IEROs). The sample comprises 304 brightest IEROs distributed over the GEMS field with a total area of 800 arcmin2, which satisfy ([3.6]+[4.5]/2)<21.2 and z-[3.6] > 3.25). Combined with the deepest Chandra and Spitzer surveys in this field, we are able to determine relative contributions of AGNs, (dusty) star-forming galaxies and passively evolving systems to the RED population; 51 sources are detected in at least one of three X-ray bands, leaving 253 non-Xray sources with 179 detected in 24um( 20uJy, 3sigma), indicating that at most 25% of these IEROs are passively evolving.We derive and examine photometric redshift using different methods; their redshift range from 1 to 2.6 with the median value at 1.5. Stellar masses of non-Xray sources are also derived with SED fitting methods, achieving a median value of 0.4*1011 Msun for a chrabrier initial mass function. The properties of best-fitting BC03 models are consistent with templates used for estimating redshifts, which have on average E(B-V) of 0.5 for 24um-deteced galaxies. The corresponding star-formation rates of these star-forming galaxies through SED fitting are within 40-100 Msun yr-1, consistent with that derived from their 24μm flux, which show a median total infrared luminosity 1*1011Lsun. We argue that such selected IEROs may represent a transient population from ULIRGs to LIRGs, and are likely descents of SMGs or DOGs.

  12. Selective isolation of components from natural volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrins as selective reagent.

    PubMed

    Tong, Shengqiang; Lu, Mengxia; Chu, Chu; Yan, Jizhong; Huang, Juan; Ying, Yongfei

    2016-04-29

    Selective separation of chemical components from seven kinds of volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with three types of cyclodextrins as selective reagent was investigated in this work. Preparative separation of chemical components from volatile oil is generally quite challenging due to their extremely complexity of the composition. A biphasic solvent system n-hexane-0.10molL(-1) cyclodextrin (1:1, v/v) was selected for separation of components from volatile oil and three types of cyclodextrins were investigated, including β-cyclodexrin, methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin. All kinds of volatile oils are from seven kinds of traditional Chinese herb. Results showed that some chemical components could be well separated with high purity from each kind of volatile oil using different type of cyclodextrin as selective reagent. For example, germacrone and curcumenone could be selectively separated from volatile oil of Curcumae Rhizoma with methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin as selector respectively, and other five components were selectively separated from volatile oil of Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Myristicae Semen, Aucklandiae Radix and Angelicae Sinensis Radix by countercurrent chromatography with different cyclodexrin as selective reagent. Separation mechanism for separation of components from volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrin as selective reagent was proposed. Peak resolution of the present separation method could be greatly influenced by the chemical compositions of volatile oil. PMID:27036211

  13. How could it be? calling for science curricula that cultivate morals and values towards other animals and nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logan, Marianne R.; Russell, Joshua J.

    2016-02-01

    Can science curricula truly cultivate morals and values towards nature? This is the question that is raised by Carolina Castano Rodriguez in her critique of the new Australian Science curriculum. In this response to Castano Rodriguez's paper we ask two questions relating to: the influence of curricula on the relationships of children and other animals; and other models of science education regarding animals and nature that may be more relevant, just, or caring. In responding to these questions stimulated by the reading of Castano Rodriguez's paper, we reflect on our own experiences. We note the conflict between the values depicted in the curriculum priorities and the underlying anthropocentric view that appears to be embedded in the Australian Science Curriculum and in curricula generally. With this conflict in mind we encourage educators to examine our own practices regarding how the relationships between humans and other animals are promoted. We put forward the idea of science education that responds to the shifting views of science and its applications outside the confines of the laboratory to one that encourages both ethical and political discussion that is already taking place in the community relating to the role of science and technology in our lives and the lives of other animals.

  14. Selective toxicity of Catechin-a natural flavonoid towards bacteria.

    PubMed

    Fathima, Aafreen; Rao, Jonnalagadda Raghava

    2016-07-01

    Catechin is a plant polyphenol composed of epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as diastereoisomers. Among the various classes of flavonoids, catechin was found to be the most powerful free radical scavenger, scavenging the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated due to oxidative damage with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. The toxicity of catechin towards bacteria was studied using gram-positive bacteria (B. subtilis) and gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) as model organisms and was found to be more toxic towards gram-positive bacteria. From the results, catechin was found to be beneficial as well as toxic (inhibitory) to the bacteria at a selective concentration behaving as double-edged swords with an IC50 value of 9 ppm for both the bacteria. The inhibitory mechanism of catechin was by oxidative damage through membrane permeabilization which was confirmed by the formation and treatment of bacterial liposomes. SEM images of the control and treated bacteria reveals membrane damage with morphological changes. PMID:27052380

  15. Directional versus Stabilizing Selection for Developmental Time in Natural and Laboratory Populations of Flour Beetles.

    PubMed

    Dawson, P S

    1975-08-01

    Artificial selection for fast development is successful in long-established laboratory populations of Tribolium, but not in strains recently derived from natural populations. It is shown that selection against fast development in dense, synchronized cultures operates through cannibalism of early pupae by larvae. Since standard husbandry procedures for laboratory strains involve the periodic creation of dense, synchronized cultures, it is suggested that these populations are subjected to stabilizing selection for intermediate developmental time. Natural populations, on the other hand, are probably subjected to directional selection for rapid development. PMID:17248688

  16. Classroom Companions: A Nature-Lover's Case for Bringing Animals Back into the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Cindy

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author relates her experiences in sharing her love of animals with her students. She observes how some children who struggled with reading would risk reading passages aloud when given the opportunity to hold a rabbit, and how students seemed to come alive as they interacted with or included the rabbit in a writing piece. She…

  17. The ruminant animal as a natural biomass-conversion platform and a source of bioconversion agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In terms of a number of operational metrics, the ruminant animal -- particularly the grazing cow -- represents the pinnacle of a cellulosic biomass processing system. The active conversion of cellulosic biomass is assisted by an effective physical pretreatment of the biomass by the cow. This pretrea...

  18. Concentration-mortality responses of Myzus persicae and natural enemies to selected insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bacci, Leandro; Rosado, Jander F; Picanço, Marcelo C; Pereira, Eliseu J G; Silva, Gerson A; Martins, Júlio C

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of six insecticides was determined for the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and some of its natural enemies - the predatory beetles Cycloneda sanguinea (Coccinellidae) and Acanthinus sp. (Anthicidae), and the wasp parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Aphidiidae). Natural enemies from these groups are important natural biological control agents in a number of agroecosystems, and insecticides potentially safe to these non-target organisms should be identified using standardized tests. Thus, concentration-mortality bioassays were carried out with both the aphid and its natural enemies to assess the toxicity and selectivity of acephate, deltamethrin, dimethoate, methamidophos, methyl parathion, and pirimicarb. The latter insecticide was highly selective to all natural enemies tested, and its LC(90) for M. persicae was 14-fold lower than the field rate recommended for control of the aphid in brassica crops. Methyl parathion also showed selectivity to C. sanguinea and Acanthinus sp., but not to D. rapae. Acephate was the least potent insecticide against M. persicae and was equally or more toxic to the natural enemies relative to the aphid. Pirimicarb and methyl parathion were efficient against M. persicae and selective in favor of two of the natural enemies tested. Acanthinus sp. and C. sanguinea were more tolerant to the insecticides than was the parasitoid D. rapae. This study shows that there are selective insecticides that may be compatible with conservation of natural enemies in brassica crops, which is important practical information to improve integrated pest management systems in these crops. PMID:22755540

  19. Ticks Collected from Wild and Domestic Animals and Natural Habitats in the Republic of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Baek-Jun; Kim, Hyewon; Won, Sohyun; Kim, Heung-Chul; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A.; Kim, Ki-Gyoung; Seo, Hong-Yul

    2014-01-01

    Ticks were collected from 35 animals from 5 provinces and 3 metropolitan cities during 2012. Ticks also were collected by tick drag from 4 sites in Gyeonggi-do (2) and Jeollabuk-do (2) Provinces. A total of 612 ticks belonging to 6 species and 3 genera were collected from mammals and a bird (n=573) and by tick drag (n=39). Haemaphyalis longicornis (n=434) was the most commonly collected tick, followed by H. flava (158), Ixodes nipponensis (11), Amblyomma testudinarium (7), H. japonica (1), and H. formosensis (1). H. longicornis and H. flava were collected from all animal hosts examined. For animal hosts (n>1), the highest Tick Index (TI) was observed for domestic dogs (29.6), followed by Siberian roe deer (17.4), water deer (14.4), and raccoon dogs (1.3). A total of 402 H. longicornis (adults 86, 21.4%; nymphs 160, 39.8%; larvae 156, 38.9%) were collected from wild and domestic animals. A total of 158 H. flava (n=158) were collected from wild and domestic animals and 1 ring-necked pheasant, with a higher proportion of adults (103, 65.2%), while nymphs and larvae only accounted for 12.7% (20) and 22.2% (35), respectively. Only 7 A. testudinarium were collected from the wild boar (6 adults) and Eurasian badger (1 nymph), while only 5 I. nipponensis were collected from the water deer (4 adults) and a raccoon dog (1 adult). One adult female H. formosensis was first collected from vegetation by tick drag from Mara Island, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Province. PMID:25031468

  20. Ticks collected from wild and domestic animals and natural habitats in the Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Baek-Jun; Kim, Hyewon; Won, Sohyun; Kim, Heung-Chul; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A; Kim, Ki-Gyoung; Seo, Hong-Yul; Chae, Joon-Seok

    2014-06-01

    Ticks were collected from 35 animals from 5 provinces and 3 metropolitan cities during 2012. Ticks also were collected by tick drag from 4 sites in Gyeonggi-do (2) and Jeollabuk-do (2) Provinces. A total of 612 ticks belonging to 6 species and 3 genera were collected from mammals and a bird (n=573) and by tick drag (n=39). Haemaphyalis longicornis (n=434) was the most commonly collected tick, followed by H. flava (158), Ixodes nipponensis (11), Amblyomma testudinarium (7), H. japonica (1), and H. formosensis (1). H. longicornis and H. flava were collected from all animal hosts examined. For animal hosts (n>1), the highest Tick Index (TI) was observed for domestic dogs (29.6), followed by Siberian roe deer (17.4), water deer (14.4), and raccoon dogs (1.3). A total of 402 H. longicornis (adults 86, 21.4%; nymphs 160, 39.8%; larvae 156, 38.9%) were collected from wild and domestic animals. A total of 158 H. flava (n=158) were collected from wild and domestic animals and 1 ring-necked pheasant, with a higher proportion of adults (103, 65.2%), while nymphs and larvae only accounted for 12.7% (20) and 22.2% (35), respectively. Only 7 A. testudinarium were collected from the wild boar (6 adults) and Eurasian badger (1 nymph), while only 5 I. nipponensis were collected from the water deer (4 adults) and a raccoon dog (1 adult). One adult female H. formosensis was first collected from vegetation by tick drag from Mara Island, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Province. PMID:25031468

  1. The Discovery and Nature of Evolution by Natural Selection: Misconceptions and Lessons from the History of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComas, William F.

    1997-01-01

    Explains the misconceptions found in the traditional textbook presentation of the theory and the history of the theory of evolution. Outlines a more accurate and complete telling of the history of the discovery of evolution by natural selection. Contains 50 references. (DDR)

  2. Factors in the Selection of Surface Disinfectants for Use in a Laboratory Animal Setting

    PubMed Central

    Campagna, Michael V; Faure-Kumar, Emmanuelle; Treger, Janet A; Cushman, Jesse D; Grogan, Tristan R; Kasahara, Noriyuki; Lawson, Gregory W

    2016-01-01

    Because surface disinfectants are an important means of pathogen control within laboratory animal facilities, these products must have an appropriate spectrum of antimicrobial activity. However, many other factors must also be considered, including effects on human health, environmental safety, and animal behavior. Aqueous solutions of sodium hypochlorite often are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for surface disinfection, but these products can be corrosive, caustic, and aversive in odor. This study was designed to identify disinfectants that are as effective as hypochlorite solutions but more acceptable for use in a laboratory animal setting. An antiviral disinfectant-efficacy assay was developed by using viral vectors that expressed green fluorescence protein as surrogates for wild-type viruses of concern in laboratory animals. Efficacy testing revealed that most of the products were highly effective when used against viral vectors in suspension. However, when the disinfectants were challenged by buffering virus in protein or drying virus on nonporous surfaces, the hypochlorite and peroxymonosulfate products performed the best. Review of safety data sheets for the agents indicated that a peroxide-based product was considerably safer than the other products tested and that the pH of most products was not conducive to disposal down a drain. Behavioral testing of Swiss Webster, C57Bl/6, and BALB/c mice showed that the hypochlorite- and peroxide-based products were clearly aversive, given that the mice consistently avoided these products. All of these factors must be considered when choosing the appropriate disinfectant. PMID:27025810

  3. Selected examples of dispersal of arthropods associated with agricultural crop and animal production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

    The economic importance of arthropods in agricultural production systems and the possibilities of using dispersal behavior to develop and manipulate control are examined. Examples of long and short distance dispersal of economic insect pests and beneficial species from cool season host reservoirs and overwintering sites are presented. Significant dispersal of these species often occurring during crop and animal production is discussed.

  4. Factors in the Selection of Surface Disinfectants for Use in a Laboratory Animal Setting.

    PubMed

    Campagna, Michael V; Faure-Kumar, Emmanuelle; Treger, Janet A; Cushman, Jesse D; Grogan, Tristan R; Kasahara, Noriyuki; Lawson, Gregory W

    2016-01-01

    Because surface disinfectants are an important means of pathogen control within laboratory animal facilities, these products must have an appropriate spectrum of antimicrobial activity. However, many other factors must also be considered, including effects on human health, environmental safety, and animal behavior. Aqueous solutions of sodium hypochlorite often are considered to be the 'gold standard' for surface disinfection, but these products can be corrosive, caustic, and aversive in odor. This study was designed to identify disinfectants that are as effective as hypochlorite solutions but more acceptable for use in a laboratory animal setting. An antiviral disinfectant-efficacy assay was developed by using viral vectors that expressed green fluorescence protein as surrogates for wild-type viruses of concern in laboratory animals. Efficacy testing revealed that most of the products were highly effective when used against viral vectors in suspension. However, when the disinfectants were challenged by buffering virus in protein or drying virus on nonporous surfaces, the hypochlorite and peroxymonosulfate products performed the best. Review of safety data sheets for the agents indicated that a peroxide-based product was considerably safer than the other products tested and that the pH of most products was not conducive to disposal down a drain. Behavioral testing of Swiss Webster, C57Bl/6, and BALB/c mice showed that the hypochlorite- and peroxide-based products were clearly aversive, given that the mice consistently avoided these products. All of these factors must be considered when choosing the appropriate disinfectant. PMID:27025810

  5. Selection of an appropriate animal model for study of bone loss in weightlessness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolinsky, I.

    1986-01-01

    Prolonged weightlessness in space flight results in a slow progressive demineralization of bone accompanied by an increased calcium output in the urine resulting in negative calcium balances. This possibly irreversible bone loss may constitute a serious limiting factor to long duration manned space flight. A number of preventative measures have been suggested, i.e., exercise during flight, dietary calcium supplements, use of specific prophylactic drugs. In order to facilitate research in these areas it is necessary to develop appropriate ground-based animal models that simulate the human condition of osteoporsis. An appropriate animal model would permit bone density studies, calcium balance studies, biochemical analyses, ground-based simulation models of weightlessness (bed rest, restraint, immobilization) and the planning of inflight experiments. Several animal models have been proposed in the biomedical research literature, but have inherent deficiencies. The purpose of this project was to evaluate models in the literature and determine which of these most closely simulates the phenomenon of bone loss in humans with regard to growth, bone remodeling, structural, chemical and mineralization similarities to human. This was accomplished by a comprehensive computer assisted literature search and report. Three animal models were examined closely for their relative suitability: the albino rat, monkey, and Beagle.

  6. Animal and vegetation patterns in natural and man-made bog pools: implications for restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazerolle, M.J.; Poulin, M.; Lavoie, C.; Rochefort, L.; Desrochers, A.; Drolet, B.

    2006-01-01

    1. Peatlands have suffered great losses following drainage for agriculture, forestry, urbanisation, or peat mining, near inhabited areas. We evaluated the faunal and vegetation patterns after restoration of a peatland formerly mined for peat. We assessed whether bog pools created during restoration are similar to natural bog pools in terms of water chemistry, vegetation structure and composition, as well as amphibian and arthropod occurrence patterns. 2. Both avian species richness and peatland vegetation cover at the site increased following restoration. Within bog pools, however, the vegetation composition differed between natural and man-made pools. The cover of low shrubs, Sphagnum moss, submerged, emergent and floating vegetation in man-made pools was lower than in natural pools, whereas pH was higher than in typical bog pools. Dominant plant species also differed between man-made and natural pools. 3. Amphibian tadpoles, juveniles and adults occurred more often in man-made pools than natural bog pools. Although some arthropods, including Coleoptera bog specialists, readily colonised the pools, their abundance was two to 26 times lower than in natural bog pools. Plant introduction in bog pools, at the stocking densities we applied, had no effect on the occurrence of most groups. 4. We conclude that our restoration efforts were partially successful. Peatland-wide vegetation patterns following restoration mimicked those of natural peatlands, but 4 years were not sufficient for man-made pools to fully emulate the characteristics of natural bog pools.

  7. Experience-dependent specialization of receptive field surround for selective coding of natural scenes.

    PubMed

    Pecka, Michael; Han, Yunyun; Sader, Elie; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D

    2014-10-22

    At eye opening, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for stimulus features, but circuits continue to refine in an experience-dependent manner for some weeks thereafter. How these changes contribute to the coding of visual features embedded in complex natural scenes remains unknown. Here we show that normal visual experience after eye opening is required for V1 neurons to develop a sensitivity for the statistical structure of natural stimuli extending beyond the boundaries of their receptive fields (RFs), which leads to improvements in coding efficiency for full-field natural scenes (increased selectivity and information rate). These improvements are mediated by an experience-dependent increase in the effectiveness of natural surround stimuli to hyperpolarize the membrane potential specifically during RF-stimulus epochs triggering action potentials. We suggest that neural circuits underlying surround modulation are shaped by the statistical structure of visual input, which leads to more selective coding of features in natural scenes. PMID:25263755

  8. Mycoflora and Natural Incidence of Selected Mycotoxins in Rabbit and Chinchilla Feeds

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Mariana Vanesa; Pardo, Alejandro Guillermo; Ludemann, Vanesa; Martino, Pablo Eduardo; Pose, Graciela Noemí

    2012-01-01

    Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi that cause a toxic response when ingested by animals or man. Demand of natural fur, such as those from rabbit and chinchilla, produced under controlled conditions, has increased worldwide. The toxicogenic mycoflora contaminating feeds for these animals was enumerated and identified. Six of the major mycotoxins implicated in animal mycotoxicosis were detected and quantified. Moulds count ranged from <10 to 4.7 × 105 CFU g−1; 14% of the samples exceeded the limit that determines hygienic feed quality. More than twenty species belonging to the five most important mycotoxigenic mould genera were recovered. Among the analyzed mycotoxins, aflatoxins were recovered in 100% of the examined samples, deoxynivalenol in 95%, fumonisins in 100%, ochratoxin A in 98%, T2 toxin in 98%, and zearalenone in 100%. Cooccurrence of mycotoxins was observed in 100% of the samples analyzed. Exposure to multiple mycotoxins was thus demonstrated for these animals. PMID:22649328

  9. Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Edeline, Eric; Asbjørn Vøllestad, L; Haugen, Thrond O; Winfield, Ian J; Fletcher, Janice M; Ben James, J; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2007-06-01

    The ability of natural selection to drive local adaptation has been appreciated ever since Darwin. Whether human impacts can impede the adaptive process has received less attention. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying natural selection and harvest selection acting on a freshwater fish (pike) over four decades. Across the time series, directional natural selection tended to favour large individuals whereas the fishery targeted large individuals. Moreover, non-linear natural selection tended to favour intermediate sized fish whereas the fishery targeted intermediate sized fish because the smallest and largest individuals were often not captured. Thus, our results unequivocally demonstrate that natural selection and fishery selection often acted in opposite directions within this natural system. Moreover, the two selective factors combined to produce reduced fitness overall and stronger stabilizing selection relative to natural selection acting alone. The long-term ramifications of such human-induced modifications to adaptive landscapes are currently unknown and certainly warrant further investigation. PMID:17498150

  10. Natural Selection Constrains Neutral Diversity across A Wide Range of Species

    PubMed Central

    Corbett-Detig, Russell B.; Hartl, Daniel L.; Sackton, Timothy B.

    2015-01-01

    The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the amount of neutral polymorphisms within a species will increase proportionally with the census population size (Nc). However, this prediction has not been borne out in practice: while the range of Nc spans many orders of magnitude, levels of genetic diversity within species fall in a comparatively narrow range. Although theoretical arguments have invoked the increased efficacy of natural selection in larger populations to explain this discrepancy, few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been conducted. In this work, we provide a direct test of this hypothesis using population genomic data from a wide range of taxonomically diverse species. To do this, we relied on the fact that the impact of natural selection on linked neutral diversity depends on the local recombinational environment. In regions of relatively low recombination, selected variants affect more neutral sites through linkage, and the resulting correlation between recombination and polymorphism allows a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of the impact of selection on linked neutral diversity. By comparing whole genome polymorphism data and genetic maps using a coalescent modeling framework, we estimate the degree to which natural selection reduces linked neutral diversity for 40 species of obligately sexual eukaryotes. We then show that the magnitude of the impact of natural selection is positively correlated with Nc, based on body size and species range as proxies for census population size. These results demonstrate that natural selection removes more variation at linked neutral sites in species with large Nc than those with small Nc and provides direct empirical evidence that natural selection constrains levels of neutral genetic diversity across many species. This implies that natural selection may provide an explanation for this longstanding paradox of population genetics. PMID:25859758

  11. Prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in healthy adults, foods, food animals, and the environment in selected areas in Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Boonyasiri, Adhiratha; Tangkoskul, Teerawit; Seenama, Chrakrapong; Saiyarin, Jatuporn; Tiengrim, Surapee; Thamlikitkul, Visanu

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, especially extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli, in samples from healthy adults, foods, food animals, and the environment in selected areas of Thailand. Methods: Samples were collected from stool specimens from adult food factory and food animal farm workers, fresh and cooked foods sold at markets, rectal swabs of healthy pigs and chickens, fresh pork meat from slaughterhouses, water samples from canals as well as fish and shrimp farm ponds, and stagnant water sources on pig farms. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined using the disk diffusion or agar dilution methods. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase production was assayed using a double disk diffusion method. Results: Among 544 healthy adult food factory workers, 75.5% were positive for ESBL producing E. coli, while 77.3% of E. coli isolated from 30 healthy animal farm workers were positive. Amongst healthy food animals, ESBL producing status among E. coli isolates were more commonly detected in pigs (76.7%) than broilers (40%). Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing E. coli seemed to be more prevalent in fresh meat samples than in fresh vegetables, in fresh foods than in cooked foods, and in water samples collected from the animal farms than those from canals and fish and shrimp ponds. Conclusions: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing E. coli isolates are prevalent amongst healthy individuals, foods along the food production chain from farms to consumers, and in the environment in selected areas in Thailand. PMID:25146935

  12. Darwinian agriculture: when can humans find solutions beyond the reach of natural selection?

    PubMed

    Denison, R Ford; Kiers, E Toby; West, Stuart A

    2003-06-01

    Progress in genetic improvement of crop yield potential has slowed since 1985. Simultaneously, more sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems is needed. A better understanding of natural selection can help solve both problems. We illustrate this point with two specific examples. First, the genetic legacy of crop plants has been refined by millions of years of natural selection, often driven by competition among plants. We therefore suggest that most simple, tradeoff-free options to increase competitiveness (e.g., increased gene expression, or minor modifications of existing plant genes) have already been tested by natural selection. Further genetic improvement of crop yield potential over the next decade will mainly involve tradeoffs, either between fitness in past versus present environments, or between individual competitiveness and the collective performance of plant communities. Eventually, we may develop the ability to predict the consequences of genetic alterations so radical that they have not yet been tested by natural selection. Second, natural selection acts mainly at the level of genes, individuals, and family groups, rather than ecosystems as a whole. Consequently, there is no reason to expect the structure of natural ecosystems (diversity, spatial, or temporal patterns) to be a reliable blueprint for agricultural ecosystems. Natural ecosystems are nonetheless an important source of information that could be used to improve agriculture. PMID:12825416

  13. Animal Mitochondria, Positive Selection and Cyto-Nuclear Coevolution: Insights from Pulmonates

    PubMed Central

    Parmakelis, Aristeidis; Kotsakiozi, Panayiota; Rand, David

    2013-01-01

    Pulmonate snails have remarkably high levels of mtDNA polymorphism within species and divergence between species, making them an interesting group for the study of mutation and selection on mitochondrial genomes. The availability of sequence data from most major lineages – collected largely for studies of phylogeography - provides an opportunity to perform several tests of selection that may provide general insights into the evolutionary forces that have produced this unusual pattern. Several protein coding mtDNA datasets of pulmonates were analyzed towards this direction. Two different methods for the detection of positive selection were used, one based on phylogeny, and the other on the McDonald-Kreitman test. The cyto-nuclear coevolution hypothesis, often implicated to account for the high levels of mtDNA divergence of some organisms, was also addressed by assessing the divergence pattern exhibited by a nuclear gene. The McDonald-Kreitman test indicated multiple signs of positive selection in the mtDNA genes, but was significantly biased when sequence divergence was high. The phylogenetic method identified five mtDNA datasets as affected by positive selection. In the nuclear gene, the McDonald-Kreitman test provided no significant results, whereas the phylogenetic method identified positive selection as likely present. Overall, our findings indicate that: 1) slim support for the cyto-nuclear coevolution hypothesis is present, 2) the elevated rates of mtDNA polymorphims and divergence in pulmonates do not appear to be due to pervasive positive selection, 3) more stringent tests show that spurious positive selection is uncovered when distant taxa are compared and 4) there are significant examples of positive selection acting in some cases, so it appears that mtDNA evolution in pulmonates can escape from strict deleterious evolution suggested by the Muller’s ratchet effect. PMID:23620797

  14. Estimating selection through male fitness: three complementary methods illuminate the nature and causes of selection on flowering time.

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-02-24

    Our understanding of selection through male fitness is limited by the resource demands and indirect nature of the best available genetic techniques. Applying complementary, independent approaches to this problem can help clarify evolution through male function. We applied three methods to estimate selection on flowering time through male fitness in experimental populations of the annual plant Brassica rapa: (i) an analysis of mating opportunity based on flower production schedules, (ii) genetic paternity analysis, and (iii) a novel approach based on principles of experimental evolution. Selection differentials estimated by the first method disagreed with those estimated by the other two, indicating that mating opportunity was not the principal driver of selection on flowering time. The genetic and experimental evolution methods exhibited striking agreement overall, but a slight discrepancy between the two suggested that negative environmental covariance between age at flowering and male fitness may have contributed to phenotypic selection. Together, the three methods enriched our understanding of selection on flowering time, from mating opportunity to phenotypic selection to evolutionary response. The novel experimental evolution method may provide a means of examining selection through male fitness when genetic paternity analysis is not possible. PMID:26911957

  15. Selection of an animal model for implant fixation studies: anatomical aspects.

    PubMed Central

    Goel, V. K.; Drinker, H.; Panjabi, M. M.; Strongwater, A.

    1982-01-01

    A number of different animal models have been employed by investigators to study the biology of the bone-cement interface as it relates to the problem of hip implant loosening in humans. This study compares to the human three species (baboon, dog, and sheep) currently under use as experimental animal models from an anatomical point of view. A number of parameters, important for the dimensional design of a femoral prosthesis, loads at the hip joint and its subsequent performance, were used for comparing external and internal femoral anatomy. The baboon and dog femora were found to be most similar to the human femur in their external anatomy. The quantification of cancellous bone distribution within the medullary canal revealed that, of the species studied, the sheep femur provided the least support to the prosthesis. The results suggest that the dog and baboon are anatomically appropriate for studying hip implant biomechanics experimentally. Thus, from an anatomical point of view, the current extensive use of the dog as an experimental animal appears appropriate. Images FIG. 3 FIG. 4 PMID:7136007

  16. Rational selection of structurally diverse natural product scaffolds with favorable ADME properties for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Samiulla, D S; Vaidyanathan, V V; Arun, P C; Balan, G; Blaze, M; Bondre, S; Chandrasekhar, G; Gadakh, A; Kumar, R; Kharvi, G; Kim, H O; Kumar, S; Malikayil, J A; Moger, M; Mone, M K; Nagarjuna, P; Ogbu, C; Pendhalkar, D; Rao, A V S Raja; Rao, G Venkateshwar; Sarma, V K; Shaik, S; Sharma, G V R; Singh, S; Sreedhar, C; Sonawane, R; Timmanna, U; Hardy, L W

    2005-01-01

    Natural product analogs are significant sources for therapeutic agents. To capitalize efficiently on the effective features of naturally occurring substances, a natural product-based library production platform has been devised at Aurigene for drug lead discovery. This approach combines the attractive biological and physicochemical properties of natural product scaffolds, provided by eons of natural selection, with the chemical diversity available from parallel synthetic methods. Virtual property analysis, using computational methods described here, guides the selection of a set of natural product scaffolds that are both structurally diverse and likely to have favorable pharmacokinetic properties. The experimental characterization of several in vitro ADME properties of twenty of these scaffolds, and of a small set of designed congeners based upon one scaffold, is also described. These data confirm that most of the scaffolds and the designed library members have properties favorable to their utilization for creating libraries of lead-like molecules. PMID:15789560

  17. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also…

  18. The Nature of Selection and Judging for the Teacher of the Year Award.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenna, Bonnie; And Others

    This paper reports on the investigation of the operation of the Teacher of the Year Award program in 28 states. It focuses on the method of selection for recipients of this award, and explores the nature of the judging process used in selecting candidates at both the state and national levels. Specific objectives are: (1) to determine the criteria…

  19. Thoughts Toward a Theory of Natural Selection: The Importance of Microbial Experimental Evolution.

    PubMed

    Dykhuizen, Daniel

    2016-03-01

    Natural selection should no longer be thought of simply as a primitive (magical) concept that can be used to support all kinds of evolutionary theorizing. We need to develop causal theories of natural selection; how it arises. Because the factors contributing to the creation of natural selection are expected to be complex and intertwined, theories explaining the causes of natural selection can only be developed through the experimental method. Microbial experimental evolution provides many benefits that using other organisms does not. Microorganisms are small, so millions can be housed in a test tube; they have short generation times, so evolution over hundreds of generations can be easily studied; they can grow in chemically defined media, so the environment can be precisely defined; and they can be frozen, so the fitness of strains or populations can be directly compared across time. Microbial evolution experiments can be divided into two types. The first is to measure the selection coefficient of two known strains over the first 50 or so generations, before advantageous mutations rise to high frequency. This type of experiment can be used to directly test hypotheses. The second is to allow microbial cultures to evolve over many hundreds or thousands of generations and follow the genetic changes, to infer what phenotypes are selected. In the last section of this article, I propose that selection coefficients are not constant, but change as the population becomes fitter, introducing the idea of the selection space. PMID:26747663

  20. Study of dung, urine, and milk of selected grazing animals as bioindicators in environmental geoscience--a case study from Mangampeta barite mining area, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

    PubMed

    Raghu, V

    2015-01-01

    The ancient scientific Sanskrit texts of Ayurveda (science of longevity) deal with waters, plants, and animals in relation to human health. Based on the studies mentioned in Ayurveda and modern literature, biological responses of grazing animals in Mangampeta barite mining area in Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, were studied. A non-mineralized Tirupati area in Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, was selected for the purpose of comparison. In these areas, certain animal products of selected grazing animals were studied if they could be used as tools in mineral exploration. Samples of dung, urine, and milk from cow, bullock, she-buffalo, he-buffalo, sheep, and goat were collected from these two areas during winter and summer seasons. Goat dung was found to have lowest moisture content and highest organic matter while goat urine contained highest amounts of organic matter and ash content. All these animal products were analyzed for 11 trace elements. The concentration of trace elements released through dung, urine, and milk widely varied in different animal species with seasonal variations. The elemental concentration was higher in dung and lower in urine, when compared to that of milk. The concentration of all elements in dung, urine, and milk of all animals, in both the areas, was higher in winter than that in summer. Dung represents the metabolic process of the whole animal and reflects the dietary conditions whether fed on natural or inorganic supplement. It can be inferred that dung, urine, and milk of any animal can be used as tools in mineral exploration during winter, while during summer, only dung can be useful. The dung of goat when compared to that of the other cattle serves as a better tool in environmental studies as goat depends almost entirely on natural vegetation without human interference. PMID:25416966

  1. Response to selection under controlled environment versus natural selection in diverse regions across Canada

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Red clover is a widely adaptable and productive forage legume species found in most temperate regions of the world. To date, specific selection techniques for identifying genotypes with superior persistence have not been successful in improving the general adaptation and the long-term persistence o...

  2. Ticks and tick-borne novel bunyavirus collected from the natural environment and domestic animals in Jinan city, East China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Wang, Yongming; Yang, Guoliang; Liu, Huiyuan; Xin, Zheng

    2016-02-01

    Since 2011, 73 cases of the severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a novel tick-borne disease, have been reported in Jinan city through information system for disease control and prevention. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the species, distribution, host animals of ticks and tick-borne pathogens. A total of 722 ticks were collected from two types of natural environment and six kinds of domestic animal in Jinan city. All the sampled ticks belonged to the same species, namely Haemaphysalis longicornis, and 94.7% of them were adult. The density of free-living ticks in grassland was nearly six times that in shrub. The prevalence of the goat (53.3%) was highest among the domestic animals. The host body region most frequently parasitized by H. longicornis was the head (77.8%), especially ears and periocular region. Novel bunyavirus was detected on the free-ranging goats in Jinan city. Acaricide treatment with a higher concentration on the ears, periocular region and the groin of domestic animals should be recommended to control the ticks effectively. PMID:26589806

  3. Estimating animal resource selection from telemetry data using point process models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Devin S.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Kuhn, Carey E.

    2013-01-01

    To demonstrate the analysis of telemetry data with the point process approach, we analysed a data set of telemetry locations from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Both a space–time and an aggregated space-only model were fitted. At the individual level, the space–time analysis showed little selection relative to the habitat covariates. However, at the study area level, the space-only model showed strong selection relative to the covariates.

  4. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from animals in three western, semi-arid nature reserves in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Golezardy, H; Horak, I G

    2007-03-01

    The objective of this study was to make an inventory of the ixodid tick species infesting wild animals in three western, semi-arid nature reserves in South Africa. To this end 22 animals in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, 10 in the West Coast National Park and 16 in the Karoo National Park were examined. Fourteen tick species were recovered, of which Hyalomma truncatum, Rhipicephalus exophthalmos and Rhipicephalus glabroscutatum were each present in two reserves and the remainder only in one. The distributions of two of the 14 tick species recovered, namely Rhipicephalus capensis and Rhipicephalus neumanni, are virtually confined to the western semi-arid regions of southern Africa. Hyalomma truncatum, R. capensis and R. glabroscutatum were the most numerous of the ticks recovered, and eland, Taurotragus oryx, were the most heavily infested with the former two species and gemsbok, Oryx gazella, and mountain reedbuck, Redunca fulvorufula, with R. glabroscutatum. PMID:17708155

  5. Molecular analyses detect natural coinfection of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) with bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV) in serologically negative animals.

    PubMed

    Craig, María I; König, Guido A; Benitez, Daniel F; Draghi, María G

    2015-01-01

    Infection of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) with bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV) has been confirmed in several studies by serological and molecular techniques. In order to determine the presence of persistently infected animals and circulating species and subtypes of BVDV we conducted this study on a buffalo herd, whose habitat was shared with bovine cattle (Bossp.). Our serological results showed a high level of positivity for BVDV-1 and BVDV-2 within the buffalo herd. The molecular analyses of blood samples in serologically negative animals revealed the presence of viral nucleic acid, confirming the existence of persistent infection in the buffaloes. Cloning and sequencing of the 5' UTR of some of these samples revealed the presence of naturally mix-infected buffaloes with at least two different subtypes (1a and 1b), and also with both BVDV species (BVDV-1 and BVDV-2). PMID:25962538

  6. 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0: a genome browser dedicated to signatures of natural selection in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Pybus, Marc; Dall'Olio, Giovanni M; Luisi, Pierre; Uzkudun, Manu; Carreño-Torres, Angel; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Laayouni, Hafid; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Engelken, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Searching for Darwinian selection in natural populations has been the focus of a multitude of studies over the last decades. Here we present the 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0 (http://hsb.upf.edu) as a resource for signatures of recent natural selection in modern humans. We have implemented and applied a large number of neutrality tests as well as summary statistics informative for the action of selection such as Tajima's D, CLR, Fay and Wu's H, Fu and Li's F* and D*, XPEHH, ΔiHH, iHS, F(ST), ΔDAF and XPCLR among others to low coverage sequencing data from the 1000 genomes project (Phase 1; release April 2012). We have implemented a publicly available genome-wide browser to communicate the results from three different populations of West African, Northern European and East Asian ancestry (YRI, CEU, CHB). Information is provided in UCSC-style format to facilitate the integration with the rich UCSC browser tracks and an access page is provided with instructions and for convenient visualization. We believe that this expandable resource will facilitate the interpretation of signals of selection on different temporal, geographical and genomic scales. PMID:24275494

  7. Fluorescently-tagged anti-ganglioside antibody selectively identifies peripheral nerve in living animals

    PubMed Central

    Massaad, Cynthia A.; Zhang, Gang; Pillai, Laila; Azhdarinia, Ali; Liu, Weiqiang; Sheikh, Kazim A.

    2015-01-01

    Selective in vivo delivery of cargo to peripheral nervous system (PNS) has broad clinical and preclinical applications. An important applicability of this approach is systemic delivery of fluorescently conjugated ligands that selectively label PNS, which could allow visualization of peripheral nerves during any surgery. We examine the use of an anti-ganglioside monoclonal antibody (mAb) as selective neuronal delivery vector for surgical imaging of peripheral nerves. Systemic delivery of an anti-ganglioside mAb was used for selective intraneuronal/axonal delivery of fluorescent agents to visualize nerves by surgical imaging in living mice. In this study, we show that intact motor, sensory, and autonomic nerve fibers/paths are distinctly labeled following a single nanomolar systemic injection of fluorescently labeled anti-ganglioside mAb. Tissue biodistribution studies with radiolabeled mAb were used to validate neuronal uptake of fluorescently labeled mAb. Implications of this proof of concept study are that fluorescent conjugates of anti-ganglioside mAbs are valuable delivery vectors to visualize nerves during surgery to avoid nerve injury and monitor nerve degeneration and regeneration after injury. These findings support that antibodies, and their derivatives/fragments, can be used as selective neuronal delivery vector for transport of various cargos to PNS in preclinical and clinical settings. PMID:26514366

  8. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii in zoo animals in selected zoos in the midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    de Camps, Silvia; Dubey, J P; Saville, W J A

    2008-06-01

    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, highly susceptible zoo species, and feral cats from 8 zoos of the midwestern United States was determined by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii exposure. Among wild felids, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 6 (27.3%) of 22 cheetahs (Acynonyx jubatus jubatus), 2 of 4 African lynx (Caracal caracal), 1 of 7 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), 1 of 5 Pallas cats (Otocolobus manul), 12 (54.5%) of 22 African lions (Panthera leo), 1 of 1 jaguar (Panthera onca), 1 of 1 Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 of 1 Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), 5 (27.8%) of 18 Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), 1 of 4 fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), 3 of 6 pumas (Puma concolor), 2 of 2 Texas pumas (Puma concolor stanleyana), and 5 (35.7%) of 14 snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Antibodies were found in 10 of 34 feral domestic cats (Felis domesticus) trapped in 3 zoos. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any of the 78 fecal samples from wild and domestic cats. Among the macropods, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii), 1 of 1 western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), 1 of 2 wallaroos (Macropus robustus), 6 of 8 Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), 21 (61.8%) of 34 red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), and 1 of 1 dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii). Among prosimians, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), 1 of 21 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 2 of 9 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra), and 2 of 4 black- and white-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Among the avian species tested, 2 of 3 bald

  9. Sex, death, and genetic variation: natural and sexual selection on cricket song

    PubMed Central

    Gray, D. A.; Cade, W. H.

    1999-01-01

    Male field crickets, Gryllus integer, in Texas, USA, produce a trilled calling song that attracts female crickets, resulting in enhanced mating success. Gravid female parasitoid flies, Ormia ochracea, are also attracted to male cricket calling song, resulting in the death of the male within about seven days. Using playbacks of field-cricket calling song in the natural habitat, we show that both female crickets and female parasitoid flies prefer male calling song with average numbers of pulses per trill. Thus female crickets exert stabilizing sexual selection, whereas flies exert disruptive natural selection on male song. Disruptive natural selection will promote genetic variation and population divergence. Stabilizing sexual selection will reduce genetic variation and maintain population cohesiveness. These forces may balance and together maintain the observed high levels of genetic variation (ca. 40%) in male calling song.

  10. Antagonistic natural and sexual selection on wing shape in a scrambling damselfly.

    PubMed

    Outomuro, David; Söderquist, Linus; Nilsson-Örtman, Viktor; Cortázar-Chinarro, María; Lundgren, Cecilia; Johansson, Frank

    2016-07-01

    Wings are a key trait underlying the evolutionary success of birds, bats, and insects. For over a century, researchers have studied the form and function of wings to understand the determinants of flight performance. However, to understand the evolution of flight, we must comprehend not only how morphology affects performance, but also how morphology and performance affect fitness. Natural and sexual selection can either reinforce or oppose each other, but their role in flight evolution remains poorly understood. Here, we show that wing shape is under antagonistic selection with regard to sexual and natural selection in a scrambling damselfly. In a field setting, natural selection (survival) favored individuals with long and slender forewings and short and broad hindwings. In contrast, sexual selection (mating success) favored individuals with short and broad forewings and narrow-based hindwings. Both types of selection favored individuals of intermediate size. These results suggest that individuals face a trade-off between flight energetics and maneuverability and demonstrate how natural and sexual selection can operate in similar directions for some wing traits, that is, wing size, but antagonistically for others, that is, wing shape. Furthermore, they highlight the need to study flight evolution within the context of species' mating systems and mating behaviors. PMID:27173835

  11. Darwin's principles of divergence and natural selection: Why Fodor was almost right.

    PubMed

    Richards, Robert J

    2012-03-01

    Darwin maintained that the principles of natural selection and divergence were the "keystones" of his theory. He introduced the principle of divergence to explain a fundamental feature of living nature: that organisms cluster into hierarchical groups, so as to be classifiable in the Linnaean taxonomic categories of variety, species, genus, and so on. Darwin's formulation of the principle of divergence, however, induces many perplexities. In his Autobiography, he claimed that he had neglected the problem of divergence in his Essay of 1844 and only solved it in a flash during a carriage ride in the 1850s; yet he does seem to have stated the problem in the Essay and provided the solution. This initial conundrum sets three questions I wish to pursue in this essay: (1) What is the relationship of the principle of divergence to that of natural selection? Is it independent of selection, derivative of selection, or a type of selection, perhaps comparable to sexual selection? (2) What is the advantage of divergence that the principle implies-that is, why is increased divergence beneficial in the struggle for life? And (3) What led Darwin to believe he had discovered the principle only in the 1850s? The resolution of these questions has implications for Darwin's other principle, natural selection, and permits us to readjust the common judgment made about Jerry Fodor's screed against that latter principle. PMID:22326095

  12. Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Julie

    2006-01-01

    For education administrators, summer break is the time to regroup and prepare facilities for the next influx of students. Ensuring that facilities are equipped with proper furnishings is part of this preparation. Through careful research and planning, education administrators can choose furniture that will become a lasting investment. This article…

  13. Molecular identification and classification of Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex strains isolated from humans and selected animal species.

    PubMed

    Ziółkowska, Grażyna; Nowakiewicz, Aneta; Gnat, Sebastian; Trościańczyk, Aleksandra; Zięba, Przemysław; Dziedzic, Barbara Majer

    2015-03-01

    Species differentiation within Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex group currently poses a major diagnostic challenge, with molecular methods increasingly supplementing classical identification based on the morphological and physiological properties of the fungi. Diagnostic and epidemiological research aimed at determining the source and means of transmission of dermatophytoses in both humans and animals requires not only species differentiation of isolates but also differentiation within species. The study was conducted on 24 isolates originating in humans and various animal species with clinical symptoms of dermatophytosis. The analysis included phenotypical identification methods and molecular methods: internal transcribed spacer sequencing and ITS-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) with multi-enzyme restriction. ITS sequence analysis identified the isolates to species - Trichophyton interdigitale, Arthroderma benhamiae and A. vanbreuseghemii, and ITS-RFLP detected six different genotypes. Genotypes I, II and III characterised strains belonging to A. benhamiae, genotype IV characterised the A. vanbreuseghemii strain, and genotypes V and VI occurred only within the species T. interdigitale. Strains isolated from guinea pigs were dominant within genotype I, while genotype II was found mainly in strains from foxes. Multi-enzyme restriction analysis of this region enables intraspecific differentiation, which may be useful in epidemiological research, particularly in determining the source of infections. PMID:25643744

  14. Separating natural responses from experimental artefacts: habitat selection by a diadromous fish species using odours from conspecifics and natural stream water.

    PubMed

    Hale, Robin; Swearer, Stephen E; Downes, Barbara J

    2009-03-01

    Animals use sensory stimuli to assess and select habitats, mates and food as well as to communicate with other individuals. One way they do this is to use olfaction, whereby they identify and respond to chemical cues. All organisms release odours, which mix with other chemical substances and ambient environmental conditions. The result is that animals are frequently immersed in a complex, highly dynamic sensory environment where they must identify and respond to only some of the potential stimuli they encounter in the face of significant levels of background noise. Understanding how organisms respond to different chemical cues is therefore dependent on knowing how these responses might be influenced by potential interactions with other stimuli. To test this, we examined whether the diadromous fish Galaxias maculatus was attracted to conspecific odours and whether this response differed when cues were offered in an artificial environment lacking other potential chemical stimuli (tap water) or a more natural background environment (stream water). We found that (1) fish responded to both natural stream water odours and those from conspecifics but the response to the latter was stronger; (2) the attraction to conspecific odours was stronger in tap water than in stream water, which indicates the importance of these odours may be overestimated when they are offered in artificial media. We also conducted a brief literature review, which confirmed that artificial media are commonly used in experiments and that the background environment is often not considered. Our results show that future research testing the responses of organisms to auditory, olfactory and visual cues should carefully consider the context in which cues are presented. Without doing so, such studies may inaccurately assess the importance of sensory cues in natural situations in the wild. PMID:19139923

  15. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species

    PubMed Central

    Phung, Tanya N.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  16. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species.

    PubMed

    Phung, Tanya N; Huber, Christian D; Lohmueller, Kirk E

    2016-08-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  17. A highly selective biosynthetic pathway to non-natural C50 carotenoids assembled from moderately selective enzymes.

    PubMed

    Furubayashi, Maiko; Ikezumi, Mayu; Takaichi, Shinichi; Maoka, Takashi; Hemmi, Hisashi; Ogawa, Takuya; Saito, Kyoichi; Tobias, Alexander V; Umeno, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology aspires to construct natural and non-natural pathways to useful compounds. However, pathways that rely on multiple promiscuous enzymes may branch, which might preclude selective production of the target compound. Here, we describe the assembly of a six-enzyme pathway in Escherichia coli for the synthesis of C50-astaxanthin, a non-natural purple carotenoid. We show that by judicious matching of engineered size-selectivity variants of the first two enzymes in the pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDS) and carotenoid synthase (CrtM), branching and the production of non-target compounds can be suppressed, enriching the proportion of C50 backbones produced. We then further extend the C50 pathway using evolved or wild-type downstream enzymes. Despite not containing any substrate- or product-specific enzymes, the resulting pathway detectably produces only C50 carotenoids, including ∼ 90% C50-astaxanthin. Using this approach, highly selective pathways can be engineered without developing absolutely specific enzymes. PMID:26168783

  18. A highly selective biosynthetic pathway to non-natural C50 carotenoids assembled from moderately selective enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Furubayashi, Maiko; Ikezumi, Mayu; Takaichi, Shinichi; Maoka, Takashi; Hemmi, Hisashi; Ogawa, Takuya; Saito, Kyoichi; Tobias, Alexander V; Umeno, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology aspires to construct natural and non-natural pathways to useful compounds. However, pathways that rely on multiple promiscuous enzymes may branch, which might preclude selective production of the target compound. Here, we describe the assembly of a six-enzyme pathway in Escherichia coli for the synthesis of C50-astaxanthin, a non-natural purple carotenoid. We show that by judicious matching of engineered size-selectivity variants of the first two enzymes in the pathway, farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FDS) and carotenoid synthase (CrtM), branching and the production of non-target compounds can be suppressed, enriching the proportion of C50 backbones produced. We then further extend the C50 pathway using evolved or wild-type downstream enzymes. Despite not containing any substrate- or product-specific enzymes, the resulting pathway detectably produces only C50 carotenoids, including ∼90% C50-astaxanthin. Using this approach, highly selective pathways can be engineered without developing absolutely specific enzymes. PMID:26168783

  19. Selected veterinary pharmaceuticals in agricultural water and soil from land application of animal manure.

    PubMed

    Song, Wenlu; Ding, Yunjie; Chiou, Cary T; Li, Hui

    2010-01-01

    Veterinary pharmaceuticals are commonly administered to animals for disease control, and added into feeds at subtherapeutic levels to improve feeding efficiency. As a result of these practices, a certain fraction of the pharmaceuticals are excreted into animal manures. Land application of these manures contaminates soils with the veterinary pharmaceuticals, which can subsequently lead to contamination of surface and groundwaters. Information on the occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals in soil and water is needed to assess the potential for exposure of at-risk populations and the impacts on agricultural ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the occurrence and fate of four commonly used veterinary pharmaceuticals (amprolium, carbadox, monensin, and tylosin) in a farm in Michigan. Amprolium and monensin were frequently detected in nearby surface water, with concentrations ranging from several to hundreds of nanograms per liter, whereas tylosin or carbadox was rarely found. These pharmaceuticals were more frequently detected in surface runoff during nongrowing season (October to April) than during growing season (May to September). Pharmaceuticals resulting from postharvest manure application appeared to be more persistent than those from spring application. High concentrations of pharmaceuticals in soils were generally observed at the sites where the respective concentrations in surface water were also high. For monensin, the ratios of soil-sorbed to aqueous concentrations obtained from field samples were within the order of the distribution coefficients obtained from laboratory studies. These results suggest that soil is a reservoir for veterinary pharmaceuticals that can be disseminated to nearby surface water via desorption from soil, surface runoff, and soil erosion. PMID:20830908

  20. Thinking with Crocodiles: An Iconic Animal at the Intersection of Early-Modern Religion and Natural Philosophy.

    PubMed

    Weinreich, Spencer J

    2015-01-01

    This paper seeks to explore how culturally and religiously significant animals could shape discourses in which they were deployed, taking the crocodile as its case study. Beginning with the textual and visual traditions linking the crocodile with Africa and the Middle East, I read sixteenth- and seventeenth-century travel narratives categorizing American reptiles as "crocodiles" rather than "alligators," as attempts to mitigate the disruptive strangeness of the Americas. The second section draws on Ann Blair's study of "Mosaic Philosophy" to examine scholarly debates over the taxonomic identity of the biblical Leviathan. I argue that the language and analytical tools of natural philosophy progressively permeated religious discourse. Finally, a survey of more than 25 extant examples of the premodern practice of displaying crocodiles in churches, as well as other crocodilian elements in Christian iconography, provides an explanation for the ubiquity of crocodiles in Wunderkammern, as natural philosophy appropriated ecclesial visual vocabularies. PMID:26411067

  1. Chemo- and Site-Selective Derivatizations of Natural Products Enabling Biological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Omar

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive natural products and derivatives remain an enduring starting point for the discovery of new cellular targets for disease intervention and lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents. The former goal is accomplished through the synthesis of bioactive cellular probes from natural products enabling insights into the mechanism of action of these natural products by classical affinity chromatography or more recent proteome profiling methods. However, the direct and selective modification of native natural products for these purposes remains a challenge due to the structural complexity and the wide functional group diversity found in these natural substances. The lack of selective synthetic methods available to directly manipulate unprotected complex small molecules, in particular to perform structure-activity relationship studies and prepare appropriate cellular probes, has recently begun to be addressed benefitting from the broader emerging area of chemoselective synthetic methodology. Thus, new reagents, catalysts and reaction processes are enabling both chemo- and site-selective modifications of complex, native natural products. In this review, we describe selected recent examples of these functionalization strategies in this emerging area. PMID:24468713

  2. Chemo- and site-selective derivatizations of natural products enabling biological studies.

    PubMed

    Robles, Omar; Romo, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Bioactive natural products and derivatives remain an enduring starting point for the discovery of new cellular targets for disease intervention and lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents. The former goal is accomplished through the synthesis of bioactive cellular probes from natural products, enabling insights into the mechanism of action of these natural products by classical affinity chromatography or more recent proteome profiling methods. However, the direct and selective modification of native natural products for these purposes remains a challenge due to the structural complexity and the wide functional group diversity found in these natural substances. The lack of selective synthetic methods available to directly manipulate unprotected complex small molecules, in particular to perform structure-activity relationship studies and prepare appropriate cellular probes, has recently begun to be addressed, benefitting from the broader emerging area of chemoselective synthetic methodology. Thus, new reagents, catalysts and reaction processes are enabling both chemo- and site-selective modifications of complex, native natural products. In this review, we describe selected recent examples of these functionalization strategies in this emerging area. PMID:24468713

  3. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors. PMID:27402742

  4. Selective Aptamers for Detection of Estradiol and Ethynylestradiol in Natural Waters.

    PubMed

    Akki, Spurti U; Werth, Charles J; Silverman, Scott K

    2015-08-18

    We used in vitro selection to identify new DNA aptamers for two endocrine-disrupting compounds often found in treated and natural waters, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE). We used equilibrium filtration to determine aptamer sensitivity/selectivity and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) probing to explore aptamer binding sites. The new E2 aptamers are at least 74-fold more sensitive for E2 than is a previously reported DNA aptamer, with dissociation constants (Kd values) of 0.6 μM. Similarly, the EE aptamers are highly sensitive for EE, with Kd of 0.5-1.0 μM. Selectivity values indicate that the E2 aptamers bind E2 and a structural analogue, estrone (E1), equally well and are up to 74-fold selective over EE. One EE aptamer is 53-fold more selective for EE over E2 or E1, but the other binds EE, E2, and E1 with similar affinity. The new aptamers do not lose sensitivity or selectivity in natural water from a local lake, despite the presence of natural organic matter (∼4 mg/L TOC). DMS probing suggests that E2 binding occurs in relatively flexible single-stranded DNA regions, an important finding for rational redesign of aptamers and their incorporation into sensing platforms. This is the first report of aptamers with strong selectivity for E2 and E1 over EE, or with strong selectivity for EE over E2 and E1. Such selectivity is important for achieving the goal of creating practically useful DNA-based sensors that can distinguish structurally similar estrogenic compounds in natural waters. PMID:26182235

  5. Image statistics underlying natural texture selectivity of neurons in macaque V4

    PubMed Central

    Okazawa, Gouki; Tajima, Satohiro; Komatsu, Hidehiko

    2015-01-01

    Our daily visual experiences are inevitably linked to recognizing the rich variety of textures. However, how the brain encodes and differentiates a plethora of natural textures remains poorly understood. Here, we show that many neurons in macaque V4 selectively encode sparse combinations of higher-order image statistics to represent natural textures. We systematically explored neural selectivity in a high-dimensional texture space by combining texture synthesis and efficient-sampling techniques. This yielded parameterized models for individual texture-selective neurons. The models provided parsimonious but powerful predictors for each neuron’s preferred textures using a sparse combination of image statistics. As a whole population, the neuronal tuning was distributed in a way suitable for categorizing textures and quantitatively predicts human ability to discriminate textures. Together, we suggest that the collective representation of visual image statistics in V4 plays a key role in organizing the natural texture perception. PMID:25535362

  6. Molecular characterization of trypanosome isolates from naturally infected domestic animals in Burkina, Faso.

    PubMed

    Reifenberg, J M; Solano, P; Duvallet, G; Cuisance, D; Simpore, J; Cuny, G

    1997-08-01

    A total of 33 trypanosome cryostabilates isolated from domestic animals (bovine and dogs) were analysed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR was undertaken on diluted and treated buffy coat solutions according to an easy protocol of purification, using primers specific to Trypanosoma (Nannomonas) congolense of Savannah, Riverine-Forest, Kilifi and Tsavo types, T. (N) simiae, T. (Trypanozoon) brucei and T. (Duttonella) vivax. The results showed a lack of PCR sensitivity when target solutions were simply diluted, probably a reflection of the inaccuracy of the dilution procedure at very low trypanosome numbers. Nine mixed infections were found in purified samples whereas only three were detected in diluted crude solutions. T. congolense Savannah-type was present in all stabilates. Double infections involving this type with the Riverine-Forest type, T. vivax or T. brucei, were found. One stabilate was found to be infected with the three trypanosome types, namely T. congolense Savannah and Riverine-Forest genotypes and T. vivax. No infection attributable to T. congolense Kilifi and Tsavo types or T. simiae was detected in these stabilates. This work confirmed the abundance of mixed infections in the field, which could not have been detected by the classical parasitological methods. Amongst the T. congolense infections, the Savannah genotype was found to be predominant over the Riverine-Forest type; that could be a consequence of differences in genotype virulence in cattle. The detection of T. congolense Riverine-Forest type in vertebrate hosts living in wet areas could be confirmation of the suspected affinity of relationships between this taxa and the riverine forest tsetse fly species. PMID:9299694

  7. Are heritability and selection related to population size in nature? Meta-analysis and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Wood, Jacquelyn L A; Yates, Matthew C; Fraser, Dylan J

    2016-06-01

    It is widely thought that small populations should have less additive genetic variance and respond less efficiently to natural selection than large populations. Across taxa, we meta-analytically quantified the relationship between adult census population size (N) and additive genetic variance (proxy: h (2)) and found no reduction in h (2) with decreasing N; surveyed populations ranged from four to one million individuals (1735 h (2) estimates, 146 populations, 83 species). In terms of adaptation, ecological conditions may systematically differ between populations of varying N; the magnitude of selection these populations experience may therefore also differ. We thus also meta-analytically tested whether selection changes with N and found little evidence for systematic differences in the strength, direction or form of selection with N across different trait types and taxa (7344 selection estimates, 172 populations, 80 species). Collectively, our results (i) indirectly suggest that genetic drift neither overwhelms selection more in small than in large natural populations, nor weakens adaptive potential/h (2) in small populations, and (ii) imply that natural populations of varying sizes experience a variety of environmental conditions, without consistently differing habitat quality at small N. However, we caution that the data are currently insufficient to determine whether some small populations may retain adaptive potential definitively. Further study is required into (i) selection and genetic variation in completely isolated populations of known N, under-represented taxonomic groups, and nongeneralist species, (ii) adaptive potential using multidimensional approaches and (iii) the nature of selective pressures for specific traits. PMID:27247616

  8. Using a semi-natural stream to produce young sturgeons for conservation stocking: Maintaining natural selection during spawning and rearing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kynard, B.; Pugh, D.; Parker, T.; Kieffer, M.

    2011-01-01

    Young sturgeons used for conservation stocking are presently produced using the same methods used for commercial culture. To determine if young sturgeons could be produced without relaxing natural selection factors, we developed a semi-natural stream where we annually studied mating of wild shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) observed movement of gametes released freely during spawning, and estimated the number of larvae produced by various densities of spawned eggs. The stream had a bottom area of 18.8m2, a rubble-gravel bottom, and a mean bottom current at 0.6 depth during spawning of 48cms-1 (range, 17-126cms-1). Wild adults successfully spawned in the stream each year for 7years (2002-2008). Some females and males were more successful during spawning than others, suggesting an unequal fitness during spawning among wild individuals, which is different than the controlled spawning fitness of individuals in hatcheries. Male and female gametes spawned naturally must connect quickly in the fast current or fail, a selection factor absent in hatcheries. The number of larvae produced was inversely related to spawned egg densitym-2 (R2=0.65) and the maximum number of larvae produced was 8000-16000 (425-851larvaem-2 of bottom). Artificial spawning streams have the potential to contribute to sturgeon restoration. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

  9. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-04-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also employ it as an educational tool to inform his contemporaries about his findings. Moreover, by using the metaphor Darwin was able to bring his theory in accordance with both the dominant philosophy of science in his time and the respected tradition of natural theology. However, as he introduced his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the origin of species in 1859, the metaphor also turned out to have a serious downside. Because of its intentional overtones, his contemporaries systematically misunderstood his metaphor not as a natural mechanism causing evolution to occur but as an agent who works towards particular ends. The difference in success between natural selection as an epistemic tool and its failure as an educational tool is labelled as a paradox. We explain the paradox from a cognitive perspective and discuss the implications for teaching evolution.

  10. Imprints of Natural Selection Along Environmental Gradients in Phenology-Related Genes of Quercus petraea

    PubMed Central

    Alberto, Florian J.; Derory, Jérémy; Boury, Christophe; Frigerio, Jean-Marc; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Kremer, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We explored single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation in candidate genes for bud burst from Quercus petraea populations sampled along gradients of latitude and altitude in Western Europe. SNP diversity was monitored for 106 candidate genes, in 758 individuals from 32 natural populations. We investigated whether SNP variation reflected the clinal pattern of bud burst observed in common garden experiments. We used different methods to detect imprints of natural selection (FST outlier, clinal variation at allelic frequencies, association tests) and compared the results obtained for the two gradients. FST outlier SNPs were found in 15 genes, 5 of which were common to both gradients. The type of selection differed between the two gradients (directional or balancing) for 3 of these 5. Clinal variations were observed for six SNPs, and one cline was conserved across both gradients. Association tests between the phenotypic or breeding values of trees and SNP genotypes identified 14 significant associations, involving 12 genes. The results of outlier detection on the basis of population differentiation or clinal variation were not very consistent with the results of association tests. The discrepancies between these approaches may reflect the different hierarchical levels of selection considered (inter- and intrapopulation selection). Finally, we obtained evidence for convergent selection (similar for gradients) and clinal variation for a few genes, suggesting that comparisons between parallel gradients could be used to screen for major candidate genes responding to natural selection in trees. PMID:23934884

  11. Naturally occurring toxic factors in plants and animals used as food.

    PubMed

    Strong, F M

    1966-03-19

    Toxic components of natural foodstuffs are discussed, with special reference to lathyrogens, pressor amines, azoxyglycosides, and labile sulfur compounds. The osteolathyrogen, gamma-glutamyl-beta-aminopropionitrile, in sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) seeds induces skeletal deformities and aortic rupture, probably by interfering with normal maturation of collagen fibres. Neurolathyrism in man may be caused by beta-N-oxalyl-L-alpha,beta-diaminopropionic acid, a neurotoxin recently identified in Lathyrus sativus seeds. Histamine, tyramine, noradrenaline, serotonin and other pressor amines occur in fruits and fermented foods such as bananas, pineapples, cheese and wine. Consumption of such foods by patients taking monoamine oxidase-inhibiting drugs (e.g. tranylcypromine) may produce serious hypertensive crises. Cycad nuts, widely used as human food in tropical and subtropical areas, contain a potent carcinogen, methyl azoxymethanol, which is more or less removed prior to use by leaching in water. Consumption of plants of the onion, cabbage and cress families introduces into the body such toxic chemicals as benzyl cyanide, goitrin and thiocyanates. The lachrymatory substance in onions is propenyl sulfenic acid. PMID:5905948

  12. Role of Cannomys badius as a Natural Animal Host of Penicillium marneffei in India

    PubMed Central

    Gugnani, Harish; Fisher, Matthew C.; Paliwal-Johsi, Anubha; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch; Singh, Irabanta; Yadav, Pratap Singh

    2004-01-01

    Infection by Penicillium marneffei in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients in India has recently been described; the aim of our study was to survey wild rodents and their associated environment in order to identify the natural populations of this fungus. Surveys recovered P. marneffei from the internal organs of 10 (9.1%) of 110 bamboo rats (Cannomys badius) examined from Manipur state, India, an area endemic for penicilliosis marneffei. Identification of the isolates was based on a detailed study of their morphological characteristics, in vitro conversion to fission yeast form, and exoantigen tests. Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) of the isolates revealed five genotypes. No genotypes were shared between sample sites, and all bamboo rats were infected with a single genotype within sample sites, demonstrating spatial genetic heterogeneity. One MLMT genotype was identical to that seen in a human isolate, suggesting that either coinfection from a common source or host-to-host transmission had occurred. This demonstrates the utility of an MLMT-based approach to elucidating the epidemiology of P. marneffei. PMID:15528698

  13. Natural or internal selection? The case of canalization in complex evolutionary systems.

    PubMed

    Riegler, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    Using biological examples and theoretical arguments, the case is presented for extending the notion of natural selection to include internal selection in order to account for the evolution of complex systems. It is suggested that we take into consideration internal factors that arise from the hierarchical dynamics of complex systems. In addition to environmental selection, it is argued, decisive constraints are created by the system itself. Canalization is shown to be an indispensable ingredient for evolutionary processes in both biological and artificial complex systems. In artificial life systems canalization is not only an instrument for controlling complexity, it also increases the speed and stability of evolutionary processes. PMID:18489255

  14. Selective molecular sequestration with concurrent natural product functionalization and derivatization: from crude natural product extracts to a single natural product derivative in one step.

    PubMed

    Krchňák, Viktor; Zajíček, Jaroslav; Miller, Patricia A; Miller, Marvin J

    2011-12-16

    A resin-bound nitroso compound sequestered a single unexpected component from crude plant seed extracts. Several plants, including Piper nigrum, Eugenia caryophyllata, and Pimenta dioica, were extracted with organic solvent in the presence of a nitroso-containing resin. The nitroso resin selectively sequestered a single compound, β-caryophyllene, via a chemo- and regioselective ene reaction. The ene product was released from the resin, and proper selection of the solid-phase linker and cleavage cocktail allowed concomitant further transformation of the primary ene product to a novel functionalized polycycle. Preliminary studies indicate that the new hydroxylamine-containing natural product derivatives have antibiotic activity. PMID:22059469

  15. Selective Molecular Sequestration with Concurrent Natural Product Functionalization and Derivatization: From Crude Natural Product Extracts to a Single Natural Product Derivative in One Step

    PubMed Central

    Krchňák, Viktor; Zajíček, Jaroslav; Miller, Patricia A.; Miller, Marvin J.

    2011-01-01

    A resin-bound nitroso compound sequestered a single unexpected component from crude plant seed extracts. Several plants, including Piper nigrum, Eugenia caryophyllata, and Pimenta dioica, were extracted with organic solvent in the presence of a nitroso-containing resin. The nitroso resin selectively sequestered a single compound, β-caryophyllene, via a chemo and regioselective ene reaction. The ene product was released from the resin and proper selection of the solid-phase linker and cleavage cocktail allowed concomitant further transformation of the primary ene product to a novel functionalized polycycle. Preliminary studies indicate that the new hydroxylamine-containing natural product derivatives have antibiotic activity. PMID:22059469

  16. Sulforhodamine 101 selectively labels human astrocytoma cells in an animal model of glioblastoma.

    PubMed

    Georges, Joseph F; Martirosyan, Nikolay L; Eschbacher, Jennifer; Nichols, Joshua; Tissot, Maya; Preul, Mark C; Feuerstein, Burt; Anderson, Trent; Spetzler, Robert F; Nakaji, Peter

    2014-05-01

    Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101) is a useful tool for immediate staining of astrocytes. We hypothesized that if the selectivity of SR101was maintained in astrocytoma cells, it could prove useful for glioma research. Cultured astrocytoma cells and acute slices from orthotopic human glioma (n=9) and lymphoma (n=6) xenografts were incubated with SR101 and imaged with confocal microscopy. A subset of slices (n=18) were counter-immunostained with glial fibrillary acidic protein and CD20 for stereological assessment of SR101 co-localization. SR101 differentiated astrocytic tumor cells from lymphoma cells. In acute slices, SR101 labeled 86.50% (±1.86; p<0.0001) of astrocytoma cells and 2.19% (±0.47; p<0.0001) of lymphoma cells. SR101-labeled astrocytoma cells had a distinct morphology when compared with in vivo astrocytes. Immediate imaging of human astrocytoma cells in vitro and in ex vivo rodent xenograft tissue labeled with SR101 can identify astrocytic tumor cells and help visualize the tumor margin. These features are useful in studying astrocytoma in the laboratory and may have clinical applications. PMID:24666692

  17. Interdependency of selected metabolic variables in an animal model of metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Mellouk, Zoheir; Sener, Abdullah; Yahia, Dalila Ait; Malaisse, Willy J

    2014-10-01

    In the present study, the correlation between the percentage of glycated hemoglobin, taken as representative of changes in glucose homeostasis, and selected variables was investigated. Rats were treated for 8 weeks with diets containing 64% starch and 5% sunflower oil or containing 64% D-fructose mixed with: 5% sunflower oil; 3.4% sunflower oil and 1.6% salmon oil; or 3.4% sunflower oil and 1.6% safflower oil. Positive correlations were found between glycated hemoglobin and plasma albumin, urea, creatinine, phospholipids, triglycerides and total cholesterol, liver cholesterol, triglyceride and phospholipid content, and the plasma, liver, heart, kidney, soleus muscle and visceral adipose tissue content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, carbonyl derivatives and hydroperoxides. Inversely, negative correlations were observed between glycated hemoglobin and plasma calcium, iron and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, liver, heart, kidney, soleus muscle and visceral adipose tissue superoxide dismutase and catalase activity; as well as plasma, liver, heart, kidney, soleus muscle and visceral adipose tissue nitric oxide content. Only the liver glucokinase activity and liver, heart, kidney, soleus muscle and visceral adipose tissue glutathione reductase activity failed to display a significant correlation with glycated hemoglobin. These findings confirm the hypothesis that there is a close association between glucose homeostasis and other variables when considering the effects of long-chain polyunsaturated ω3 and ω6 fatty acids in rats with fructose-induced metabolic syndrome. PMID:25187839

  18. Gene Expression Profiling and Association with Prion-Related Lesions in the Medulla Oblongata of Symptomatic Natural Scrapie Animals

    PubMed Central

    Filali, Hicham; Martin-Burriel, Inmaculada; Harders, Frank; Varona, Luis; Lyahyai, Jaber; Zaragoza, Pilar; Pumarola, Martí; Badiola, Juan J.; Bossers, Alex; Bolea, Rosa

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenesis of natural scrapie and other prion diseases remains unclear. Examining transcriptome variations in infected versus control animals may highlight new genes potentially involved in some of the molecular mechanisms of prion-induced pathology. The aim of this work was to identify disease-associated alterations in the gene expression profiles of the caudal medulla oblongata (MO) in sheep presenting the symptomatic phase of natural scrapie. The gene expression patterns in the MO from 7 sheep that had been naturally infected with scrapie were compared with 6 controls using a Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) custom designed 4×44K microarray. The microarray consisted of a probe set on the previously sequenced ovine tissue library by CVI and was supplemented with all of the Ovis aries transcripts that are currently publicly available. Over 350 probe sets displayed greater than 2-fold changes in expression. We identified 148 genes from these probes, many of which encode proteins that are involved in the immune response, ion transport, cell adhesion, and transcription. Our results confirm previously published gene expression changes that were observed in murine models with induced scrapie. Moreover, we have identified new genes that exhibit differential expression in scrapie and could be involved in prion neuropathology. Finally, we have investigated the relationship between gene expression profiles and the appearance of the main scrapie-related lesions, including prion protein deposition, gliosis and spongiosis. In this context, the potential impacts of these gene expression changes in the MO on scrapie development are discussed. PMID:21629698

  19. Population history and natural selection shape patterns of genetic variation in 132 genes.

    PubMed

    Akey, Joshua M; Eberle, Michael A; Rieder, Mark J; Carlson, Christopher S; Shriver, Mark D; Nickerson, Deborah A; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2004-10-01

    Identifying regions of the human genome that have been targets of natural selection will provide important insights into human evolutionary history and may facilitate the identification of complex disease genes. Although the signature that natural selection imparts on DNA sequence variation is difficult to disentangle from the effects of neutral processes such as population demographic history, selective and demographic forces can be distinguished by analyzing multiple loci dispersed throughout the genome. We studied the molecular evolution of 132 genes by comprehensively resequencing them in 24 African-Americans and 23 European-Americans. We developed a rigorous computational approach for taking into account multiple hypothesis tests and demographic history and found that while many apparent selective events can instead be explained by demography, there is also strong evidence for positive or balancing selection at eight genes in the European-American population, but none in the African-American population. Our results suggest that the migration of modern humans out of Africa into new environments was accompanied by genetic adaptations to emergent selective forces. In addition, a region containing four contiguous genes on Chromosome 7 showed striking evidence of a recent selective sweep in European-Americans. More generally, our results have important implications for mapping genes underlying complex human diseases. PMID:15361935

  20. Below-ground herbivory in natural communities: a review emphasizing fossorial animals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andersen, Douglas C.

    1987-01-01

    Roots, bulbs, corms, and other below-ground organs are almost universally present in communities containing vascular plants. A large and taxonomically diverse group of herbivores uses these below-ground plant parts as its sole or primary source of food. Important within this group are plant-parasitic nematodes and several fossorial taxa that affect plants through their soil-disturbing activities as well as by consuming plant tissue. The fossorial taxa are probably best exemplified by fossorial rodents, which are distributed on all continents except Australia. All other fossorial herbivores are insects. The impact of below-groud herbivory on individual plant fitness will depend upon the extent to which, and under what circumstances, the consumption of plant tissue disrupts one or more of the six functions of below-ground plant parts. Below-ground herbivory is probably more often chronic than acute. Indirect evidence suggests that plants have responded evolutionarily to herbivory by enhancing the functional capacities of below-ground organs, thus developing a degree of tolerance, and by producing compounds that serve as feeding deterrents. Many plant species respond to the removal of root tissues by increasing the growth rate of the remaining roots and initiating new roots. Soil movement and mixing by fossorial rodents infleuce the environment of other below-ground herbivores as well as that of plants and plant propagules. The relationships among the various groups of below-ground herbivores, and between below-ground herbivores and plants, are at best poorly known, yet they appear to have major roles in determining the structure and regulating the functioning of natural communities.

  1. Clonality, genetic diversity and support for the diversifying selection hypothesis in natural populations of a flower-living yeast.

    PubMed

    Herrera, C M; Pozo, M I; Bazaga, P

    2011-11-01

    Vast amounts of effort have been devoted to investigate patterns of genetic diversity and structuring in plants and animals, but similar information is scarce for organisms of other kingdoms. The study of the genetic structure of natural populations of wild yeasts can provide insights into the ecological and genetic correlates of clonality, and into the generality of recent hypotheses postulating that microbial populations lack the potential for genetic divergence and allopatric speciation. Ninety-one isolates of the flower-living yeast Metschnikowia gruessii from southeastern Spain were DNA fingerprinted using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Genetic diversity and structuring was investigated with band-based methods and model- and nonmodel-based clustering. Linkage disequilibrium tests were used to assess reproduction mode. Microsite-dependent, diversifying selection was tested by comparing genetic characteristics of isolates from bumble bee vectors and different floral microsites. AFLP polymorphism (91%) and genotypic diversity were very high. Genetic diversity was spatially structured, as shown by amova (Φ(st)  = 0.155) and clustering. The null hypothesis of random mating was rejected, clonality seeming the prevailing reproductive mode in the populations studied. Genetic diversity of isolates declined from bumble bee mouthparts to floral microsites, and frequency of five AFLP markers varied significantly across floral microsites, thus supporting the hypothesis of diversifying selection on clonal lineages. Wild populations of clonal fungal microbes can exhibit levels of genetic diversity and spatial structuring that are not singularly different from those shown by sexually reproducing plants or animals. Microsite-dependent, divergent selection can maintain high local and regional genetic diversity in microbial populations despite extensive clonality. PMID:21851437

  2. Se-methylselenocysteine offers selective protection against toxicity and potentiates the antitumour activity of anticancer drugs in preclinical animal models

    PubMed Central

    Cao, S; Durrani, F A; Tóth, K; Rustum, Y M

    2014-01-01

    Background: Identification and development of drugs that can effectively modulate the therapeutic efficacy and toxicity of chemotherapy remain an unmet challenge. We evaluated the effects of Se-methylselenocysteine (MSC) on the toxicity and antitumour activity of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan in animal models. Methods: Cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and oxaliplatin were administered by a single i.v. injection and irinotecan by i.v. weekly × 4 schedules. For the combination, MSC was administered daily via the oral route for 7 days in mice and daily for 14 days in rats before and concurrent with drug administration. Results: Se-methylselenocysteine significantly protected against organ-specific toxicity induced by lethal doses of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan. These include diarrhoea, stomatitis, alopecia, bladder, kidney, and bone marrow toxicities. Protection from lethal toxicity by MSC was associated with enhanced antitumour activity in rats bearing advanced Ward colorectal carcinoma and in nude mice bearing human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, FaDu, and A253 xenografts. Conclusions: Se-methylselenocysteine offers selective protection against organ-specific toxicity induced by clinically active agents and enhances further antitumour activity, resulting in improved therapeutic index. These data provided the rationale for the need to clinically evaluate MSC as selective modulator of the antitumour activity and selectivity of anticancer drugs. PMID:24619073

  3. Evolving Better Cars: Teaching Evolution by Natural Selection with a Digital Inquiry Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royer, Anne M.; Schultheis, Elizabeth H.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary experiments are usually difficult to perform in the classroom because of the large sizes and long timescales of experiments testing evolutionary hypotheses. Computer applications give students a window to observe evolution in action, allowing them to gain comfort with the process of natural selection and facilitating inquiry…

  4. Human vs. Computer Diagnosis of Students' Natural Selection Knowledge: Testing the Efficacy of Text Analytic Software

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Haertig, Hendrik

    2012-01-01

    Our study examines the efficacy of Computer Assisted Scoring (CAS) of open-response text relative to expert human scoring within the complex domain of evolutionary biology. Specifically, we explored whether CAS can diagnose the explanatory elements (or Key Concepts) that comprise undergraduate students' explanatory models of natural selection with…

  5. Instructional Design Consequences of an Analogy between Evolution by Natural Selection and Human Cognitive Architecture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweller, John

    2004-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection may be characterized as a system in which a large store of genetic information will persist indefinitely while it remains coordinated with its environment but will continuously produce small random variations that are tested for environmental effectiveness. In any environment, effective variations will persist while…

  6. Aging is neither a failure nor an achievement of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Aledo, Juan Carlos; Blanco, José María

    2015-01-01

    In contraposition to the view of aging as a stochastic time-dependent accumulation of damage, phenoptotic theories of aging postulate that senescence may provide supra-individual advantages, and therefore it might have been promoted by natural selection. We reason that although programmed aging theories are subjectively appealing because they convey a cure for aging, they also raise a number of objections that need to be dealt with, before we may be entitled to contemplate aging as an adaptive function evolved through natural selection. As an alternative view, we present metabolism as an endless source of by-products and errors causing cellular damage. Although this damage accumulation event is a spontaneous entropy-driven process, its kinetics can be genetically and environmentally modulated, giving place to the wide range of lifespans we observe. Mild forms of damage may be accumulating during a long enough period of time to allow reproduction before the fatal failure happens. Hence, aging would be a stochastic process out of the reach of natural selection. However, those genetic pathways influencing the rate of aging and consequently determining longevity may be targets of natural selection and may contribute to shaping the optimal strategy according to the ecological context. In this sense, short- and long-lived organisms represent two extreme strategies that, in terms of biological fitness, can perform equally well, each within its own niche. PMID:26054343

  7. Student Conceptions of Natural Selection and Its Role in Evolution, Research Series No. l65.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Beth A.; Anderson, Charles W.

    Pretests and posttests on the topic of evolution through 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…

  8. Darwin's Arguments in Favour of Natural Selection and against Special Creationism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nola, Robert

    2013-01-01

    In many places in "The Origin of Species", Darwin compares his own theory of Natural Selection favourably with Special Creationism which comes off as a bad second best. He does this using some version of the argument form known as "Inference to the Best Explanation". The first part of this paper is methodological. It considers Whewell's notion of…

  9. Studying the Genetics of Behavior and Evolution by Adaptation and Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silverman, Jules

    1998-01-01

    Provides an exercise designed to give students an appreciation for the genetic basis of behavior. Employs the phenomenon of glucose aversion as an example of evolution by mutation and accelerated natural selection, thereby revealing one of the ways in which organisms adapt to human interference. (DDR)

  10. Using the FAR Guide to Teach Simulations: An Example with Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sickel, Aaron J.; Friedrichsen, Patricia J.

    2012-01-01

    Engaging students in a predator-prey simulation to teach natural selection is a common activity in secondary biology classrooms. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the authors have changed their approach to teaching this activity from a laboratory investigation to a class-constructed simulation. Specifically, the authors drew upon a…

  11. Plant mortality and natural selection may increase biomass yield in switchgrass swards

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important candidate for bioenergy feedstock production, prompting significant efforts to increase the number of breeding programs and the output of those programs. The objective of this experiment was to determine the potential utility of natural selection for...

  12. Reasoning about Natural Selection: Diagnosing Contextual Competency Using the ACORNS Instrument

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Beggrow, Elizabeth P.; Opfer, John E.; Ha, Minsu

    2012-01-01

    Studies of students' thinking about natural selection have revealed that the scenarios in which students reason evoke different types, magnitudes, and arrangements of knowledge elements and misconceptions. Diagnostic tests are needed that probe students' thinking across a representative array of evolutionary contexts. The ACORNS is a diagnostic…

  13. Developing Conceptual Understanding of Natural Selection: The Role of Interest, Efficacy, and Basic Prior Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa; Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Stewart, Victoria C.

    2012-01-01

    Changes in high school students' (n = 94) conceptions of natural selection were examined as a function of motivational beliefs (individual interest, academic self-efficacy), basic prior knowledge, and gender across three assessments (pre, post, follow-up). Results from variable-centered analyses suggested that these variables had relatively little…

  14. The Future of Natural Selection Knowledge Measurement: A Reply to Anderson et al. (2010)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam

    2010-01-01

    The development of rich, reliable, and robust measures of the composition, structure, and stability of student thinking about core scientific ideas (such as natural selection) remains a complex challenge facing science educators. In their recent article (Nehm & Schonfeld 2008), the authors explored the strengths, weaknesses, and insights provided…

  15. The Power of Natural Selection: A Guided Investigation of Three Case Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beachly, William

    2010-01-01

    I describe a quantitative approach to three case studies in evolution that can be used to challenge college freshmen to explore the power of natural selection and ask questions that foster a deeper understanding of its operation and relevance. Hemochromatosis, the peppered moth, and hominid cranial capacity are investigated with a common algebraic…

  16. Unweaving Misconceptions: Guided Learning, Simulations, and Misconceptions in Learning Principles of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weeks, Brian E.

    2013-01-01

    College students often come to the study of evolutionary biology with many misconceptions of how the processes of natural selection and speciation occur. How to relinquish these misconceptions with learners is a question that many educators face in introductory biology courses. Constructivism as a theoretical framework has become an accepted and…

  17. Influences of Teleological and Lamarckian Thinking on Student Understanding of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stover, Shawn K.; Mabry, Michelle L.

    2007-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated creationist, Lamarckian, and teleological reasoning in high school and college students. These lines of thinking conflict with the Darwinian notion of natural selection, which serves as the primary catalyst for biological evolution. The current study assessed evolutionary conceptions in non-science majors,…

  18. Experience-Dependent Specialization of Receptive Field Surround for Selective Coding of Natural Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Pecka, Michael; Han, Yunyun; Sader, Elie; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary At eye opening, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for stimulus features, but circuits continue to refine in an experience-dependent manner for some weeks thereafter. How these changes contribute to the coding of visual features embedded in complex natural scenes remains unknown. Here we show that normal visual experience after eye opening is required for V1 neurons to develop a sensitivity for the statistical structure of natural stimuli extending beyond the boundaries of their receptive fields (RFs), which leads to improvements in coding efficiency for full-field natural scenes (increased selectivity and information rate). These improvements are mediated by an experience-dependent increase in the effectiveness of natural surround stimuli to hyperpolarize the membrane potential specifically during RF-stimulus epochs triggering action potentials. We suggest that neural circuits underlying surround modulation are shaped by the statistical structure of visual input, which leads to more selective coding of features in natural scenes. PMID:25263755

  19. Can interbreeding of wild and artificially propagated animals be prevented by using broodstock selected for a divergent life history?

    PubMed Central

    Seamons, Todd R; Hauser, Lorenz; Naish, Kerry A; Quinn, Thomas P

    2012-01-01

    Two strategies have been proposed to avoid negative genetic effects of artificially propagated individuals on wild populations: (i) integration of wild and captive populations to minimize domestication selection and (ii) segregation of released individuals from the wild population to minimize interbreeding. We tested the efficacy of the strategy of segregation by divergent life history in a steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, system, where hatchery fish were selected to spawn months earlier than the indigenous wild population. The proportion of wild ancestry smolts and adults declined by 10–20% over the three generations since the hatchery program began. Up to 80% of the naturally produced steelhead in any given year were hatchery/wild hybrids. Regression model selection analysis showed that the proportion of hatchery ancestry smolts was lower in years when stream discharge was high, suggesting a negative effect of flow on reproductive success of early-spawning hatchery fish. Furthermore, proportions of hybrid smolts and adults were higher in years when the number of naturally spawning hatchery-produced adults was higher. Divergent life history failed to prevent interbreeding when physical isolation was ineffective, an inadequacy that is likely to prevail in many other situations. PMID:23144657

  20. Examining beginning biology teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and practice for teaching natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickel, Aaron J.

    The teacher is the most important school-based factor in student learning. Thus, in order to improve student learning, we must examine how teachers learn to teach. My overarching research agenda centers upon K-16 science teacher learning and development. Within this agenda, I conduct studies focused on two strands of research: 1) How teachers learn to teach science using constructivist and inquiry-oriented teaching strategies; and 2) How teachers learn to teach biological evolution. This dissertation merges the two strands together, and consists of four related manuscripts that address how beginning biology teachers learn to teach natural selection using constructivist and inquiry-oriented teaching strategies. In the first manuscript, I reviewed the evolution education literature focused on K-12 teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practice for teaching evolution. Based upon findings across the studies, I articulated five goals for preparing teachers to teach evolution. The second and third manuscripts are longitudinal empirical studies focused on three beginning biology teachers learning to teach natural selection using the 5E instructional model and interactive classroom simulations. The fourth manuscript is a practitioner article that explains how to teach natural selection simulations using a constructivist, analogy-based teaching strategy. Findings that cut across the four manuscripts are organized into the following themes: (A) The participants developed some common types of knowledge for teaching natural selection, yet also developed in unique ways. All participants developed knowledge of the horizontal curriculum. Yet, participants also developed different types of knowledge. For example, participants who had taken an evolution course developed more integrated pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the core concepts of natural selection. The participant who integrated discipline-level knowledge for teaching science through inquiry with topic

  1. Identifying chromosomal selection-sweep regions in facial eczema selection-line animals using an ovine 50K-SNP array.

    PubMed

    Phua, S H; Brauning, R; Baird, H J; Dodds, K G

    2014-04-01

    Facial eczema (FE) is a hepato-mycotoxicosis found mainly in New Zealand sheep and cattle. When genetics was found to be a factor in FE susceptibility, resistant and susceptible selection lines of Romney sheep were established to enable further investigations of this disease trait. Using the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip, we conducted a selection-sweep experiment on these FE genetic lines. Two analytical methods were used to detect selection signals, namely the Peddrift test (Dodds & McEwan, 1997) and fixation index FST (Weir & Hill, 2002). Of 50 975 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers tested, there were three that showed highly significant allele frequency differences between the resistant and susceptible animals (Peddrift nominal P < 0.000001). These SNP loci are located on chromosomes OAR1, OAR11 and OAR12 that coincide precisely with the three highest genomic FST peaks. In addition, there are nine less significant Peddrift SNPs (nominal P ≤ 0.000009) on OAR6 (n = 2), OAR9 (n = 2), OAR12, OAR19 (n = 2), OAR24 and OAR26. In smoothed FST (five-SNP moving average) plots, the five most prominent peaks are on OAR1, OAR6, OAR7, OAR13 and OAR19. Although these smoothed FST peaks do not coincide with the three most significant Peddrift SNP loci, two (on OAR6 and OAR19) overlap with the set of less significant Peddrift SNPs above. Of these 12 Peddrift SNPs and five smoothed FST regions, none is close to the FE candidate genes catalase and ABCG2; however, two on OAR1 and one on OAR13 fall within suggestive quantitative trait locus regions identified in a previous genome screen experiment. The present studies indicated that there are at least eight genomic regions that underwent a selection sweep in the FE lines. PMID:24521158

  2. Renoprotective effects of a selective estrogen receptor modulator, Raloxifene in an animal model of diabetic nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Dixon, Alexis; Corinne, C. Wells; Singh, Sandhya; Babayan, Regina; Maric, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Background/Aims Our previous studies have shown that supplementation with 17-β estradiol (E2) from the onset of diabetes attenuates diabetic nephropathy. But, E2 is accompanied by feminizing effects as well as adverse side effects on other organs. The current study examined the renoprotective effects of a selective estrogen receptor modulator, raloxifene (RAL), in an experimental model of diabetic nephropathy. RAL activates estrogen receptors and estrogen receptor-mediated cellular events without the side effects of E2. Methods The study was performed in Sprague-Dawley non-diabetic (ND), streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic (D) and STZ-induced diabetic+raloxifene (D+RAL) rats (n=6/group). Results After 12 weeks of treatment, D was associated with increased albumin excretion (UAE; ND, 4.2±0.4; ND, 41.3±9.0 mg/day), glomerulosclerosis (GSI; ND, 0.26±0.04; D, 1.86±0.80 AU), tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIFI; ND, 0.37±0.05; D, 2.12±0.50 AU), increased collagen type I (CI; ND, 1.31±0.07; D, 4.65±0.09 ROD), collagen type IV (CIV; ND, 0.64±0.03; D, 1.37±0.11 ROD) and transforming growth factor beta protein expression (TGF-β; ND, 0.65±0.08; D, 1.25±0.10 ROD), increased density of CD68-positive cells (CD68; ND, 1.37±3.02; D, 29.2±1.74 cells/mm2) and increased plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6; ND, 14.8±5.0; D, 51.3±14.0 pg/ml). Treatment with RAL partially or fully attenuated these processes (UAE, 21.0±5.0 mg/day; GSI, 0.40±0.06 AU; TIFI, 0.20±0.04 AU; CI, 2.55±0.49 ROD; CIV, 0.70±0.09 ROD; TGF-β, 0.91±0.08 ROD; CD68, 6.03±2.38 cells/mm2; IL-6, 31.2±5.0 pg/ml). Conclusions Our data indicate that treatment with RAL attenuates albuminuria and renal structural changes associated with diabetes. PMID:17308373

  3. Investigation on natural diets of larval marine animals using peptide nucleic acid-directed polymerase chain reaction clamping.

    PubMed

    Chow, Seinen; Suzuki, Sayaka; Matsunaga, Tadashi; Lavery, Shane; Jeffs, Andrew; Takeyama, Haruko

    2011-04-01

    The stomach contents of the larvae of marine animals are usually very small in quantity and amorphous, especially in invertebrates, making morphological methods of identification very difficult. Nucleotide sequence analysis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a likely approach, but the large quantity of larval (host) DNA present may mask subtle signals from the prey genome. We have adopted peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-directed PCR clamping to selectively inhibit amplification of host DNA for this purpose. The Japanese spiny lobster (Panulirus japonicus) and eel (Anguilla japonica) were used as model host and prey organisms, respectively. A lobster-specific PNA oligomer (20 bases) was designed to anneal to the sequence at the junction of the 18 S rDNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) of the lobster. PCR using eukaryote universal primers for amplifying the ITS1 region used in conjunction with the lobster-specific PNA on a mixed DNA template of lobster and eel demonstrated successful inhibition of lobster ITS1 amplification while allowing efficient amplification of eel ITS1. This method was then applied to wild-caught lobster larvae of P. japonicus and P. longipes bispinosus collected around Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. ITS1 sequences of a wide variety of animals (Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Crustacea, Teleostei, Mollusca, and Chaetognatha) were detected. PMID:20535520

  4. Animal models for medications development targeting alcohol abuse using selectively bred rat lines: Neurobiological and pharmacological validity

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Richard L.; Sable, Helen J.K.; Colombo, Giancarlo; Hyytia, Petri; Rodd, Zachary A.; Lumeng, Lawrence

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this review paper is to present evidence that rat animal models of alcoholism provide an ideal platform for developing and screening medications that target alcohol abuse and dependence. The focus is on the 5 oldest international rat lines that have been selectively bred for a high alcohol-consumption phenotype. The behavioral and neurochemical phenotypes of these rat lines are reviewed and placed in the context of the clinical literature. The paper presents behavioral models for assessing the efficacy of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence in rodents, with particular emphasis on rats. Drugs that have been tested for their effectiveness in reducing alcohol/ethanol consumption and/or self-administration by these rat lines and their putative site of action are summarized. The paper also presents some current and future directions for developing pharmacological treatments targeting alcohol abuse and dependence. PMID:22841890

  5. Natural selection influences AFLP intraspecific genetic variability and introgression patterns in Atlantic eels.

    PubMed

    Gagnaire, P A; Albert, V; Jónsson, B; Bernatchez, L

    2009-04-01

    Investigating patterns of genetic variation in hybridizing species provides an opportunity to understand the impact of natural selection on intraspecific genetic variability and interspecific gene exchange. The Atlantic eels Anguilla rostrata and A. anguilla each occupy a large heterogeneous habitat upon which natural selection could differentially shape genetic variation. They also produce viable hybrids only found in Iceland. However, the possible footprint of natural selection on patterns of genetic variation within species and introgressive hybridization in Icelandic eels has never been assessed. We revisited amplified fragment length polymorphism data collected previously using population genomics and admixture analyses to test if (i) genetic variation could be influenced by non-neutral mechanisms at both the intra- and interspecific levels, and if (ii) selection could shape the spatio-temporal distribution of Icelandic hybrids. We first found candidate loci for directional selection within both species. Spatial distributions of allelic frequencies displayed by some of these loci were possibly related with the geographical patterns of life-history traits in A. rostrata, and could have been shaped by natural selection associated with an environmental gradient along European coasts in A. anguilla. Second, we identified outlier loci at the interspecific level. Non-neutral introgression was strongly suggested for some of these loci. We detected a locus at which typical A. rostrata allele hardly crossed the species genetic barrier, whereas three other loci showed accelerated patterns of introgression into A. anguilla in Iceland. Moreover, the level of introgression at these three loci increased from the glass eel to the yellow eel stage, supporting the hypothesis that differential survival of admixed genotypes partly explains the spatio-temporal pattern of hybrid abundance previously documented in Iceland. PMID:19302349

  6. Incineration of animal by-products--The impact of selected parameters on the flux of flue gas enthalpy.

    PubMed

    Bujak, Janusz; Sitarz, Piotr

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents model analyses and tests of animal by-product waste thermal treatment plants. A schedule of tests was prepared, and 62,024 cases of system operation were analysed. A map/work field of the tested plant was drawn up on the basis thereof. Calculations were made following an algorithm described by Bujak (2015a) written in the VBA (Visual Basic for Application) language. The tests showed that when incinerating animal waste, the flux of physical enthalpy of the flue gas from the afterburner chamber depends on numerous design and operating parameters. The most important include the following: humidity and flux of the waste, concentration of oxygen in the flue gas in the afterburner chamber and loss of heat flux to the atmosphere through the external surfaces of the plant. Individual design and operating parameters can be selected so that the process of incineration is ensured without additional fuel. The performed analyses were verified against the actual object at the industrial scale using a meat plant that manufactures ham and processes beef, pork and poultry with a capacity of 150 tonnes/day. The production process waste included mainly bones and - in much smaller quantities - meat and bone meal, at 17 tonnes/day. The performed tests and analyses can be used to optimise the operation of the waste thermal treatment plant at the stages of design and operation. PMID:26926784

  7. Predicting the continuum between corridors and barriers to animal movements using Step Selection Functions and Randomized Shortest Paths.

    PubMed

    Panzacchi, Manuela; Van Moorter, Bram; Strand, Olav; Saerens, Marco; Kivimäki, Ilkka; St Clair, Colleen C; Herfindal, Ivar; Boitani, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    The loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat everywhere on Earth prompts increasing attention to identifying landscape features that support animal movement (corridors) or impedes it (barriers). Most algorithms used to predict corridors assume that animals move through preferred habitat either optimally (e.g. least cost path) or as random walkers (e.g. current models), but neither extreme is realistic. We propose that corridors and barriers are two sides of the same coin and that animals experience landscapes as spatiotemporally dynamic corridor-barrier continua connecting (separating) functional areas where individuals fulfil specific ecological processes. Based on this conceptual framework, we propose a novel methodological approach that uses high-resolution individual-based movement data to predict corridor-barrier continua with increased realism. Our approach consists of two innovations. First, we use step selection functions (SSF) to predict friction maps quantifying corridor-barrier continua for tactical steps between consecutive locations. Secondly, we introduce to movement ecology the randomized shortest path algorithm (RSP) which operates on friction maps to predict the corridor-barrier continuum for strategic movements between functional areas. By modulating the parameter Ѳ, which controls the trade-off between exploration and optimal exploitation of the environment, RSP bridges the gap between algorithms assuming optimal movements (when Ѳ approaches infinity, RSP is equivalent to LCP) or random walk (when Ѳ → 0, RSP → current models). Using this approach, we identify migration corridors for GPS-monitored wild reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus) in Norway. We demonstrate that reindeer movement is best predicted by an intermediate value of Ѳ, indicative of a movement trade-off between optimization and exploration. Model calibration allows identification of a corridor-barrier continuum that closely fits empirical data and demonstrates that RSP

  8. Joint phenotypes, evolutionary conflict and the fundamental theorem of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Queller, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Multiple organisms can sometimes affect a common phenotype. For example, the portion of a leaf eaten by an insect is a joint phenotype of the plant and insect and the amount of food obtained by an offspring can be a joint trait with its mother. Here, I describe the evolution of joint phenotypes in quantitative genetic terms. A joint phenotype for multiple species evolves as the sum of additive genetic variances in each species, weighted by the selection on each species. Selective conflict between the interactants occurs when selection takes opposite signs on the joint phenotype. The mean fitness of a population changes not just through its own genetic variance but also through the genetic variance for its fitness that resides in other species, an update of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection. Some similar results, using inclusive fitness, apply to within-species interactions. The models provide a framework for understanding evolutionary conflicts at all levels. PMID:24686940

  9. Detecting the Genetic Signature of Natural Selection in Human Populations: Models, Methods, and Data

    PubMed Central

    Hancock, Angela M.; Rienzo, Anna Di

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of DNA sequence variation in the genome contain a record of past selective events. The ability to collect increasingly large data sets of polymorphisms has allowed investigators to perform hypothesis-driven studies of candidate genes as well as genome-wide scans for signatures of adaptations. This genetic approach to the study of natural selection has identified many signals consistent with predictions from anthropological studies. Selective pressures related to variation in climate, diet, and pathogen exposure have left strong marks on patterns of human variation. Additional signals of adaptations are observed in genes involved in chemosensory perception and reproduction. Several ongoing projects aim to sequence the complete genome of 1000 individuals from different human populations. These large-scale projects will provide data for more complete genome scans of selection, but more focused studies aimed at testing specific hypotheses will continue to hold an important place in elucidating the history of adaptations in humans. PMID:20622977

  10. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Pedro L; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of 'release from natural enemies'. PMID:26205526

  11. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    PubMed Central

    Valverde, Pedro L.; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of ‘release from natural enemies’. PMID:26205526

  12. Synthetic Cyclolipopeptides Selective against Microbial, Plant and Animal Cell Targets by Incorporation of D-Amino Acids or Histidine

    PubMed Central

    Vilà, Sílvia; Badosa, Esther; Montesinos, Emilio; Planas, Marta; Feliu, Lidia

    2016-01-01

    Cyclolipopeptides derived from the antimicrobial peptide c(Lys-Lys-Leu-Lys-Lys-Phe-Lys-Lys-Leu-Gln) (BPC194) were prepared on solid-phase and screened against four plant pathogens. The incorporation at Lys5 of fatty acids of 4 to 9 carbon atoms led to active cyclolipopeptides. The influence on the antimicrobial activity of the Lys residue that is derivatized was also evaluated. In general, acylation of Lys1, Lys2 or Lys5 rendered the sequences with the highest activity. Incorporation of a D-amino acid maintained the antimicrobial activity while significantly reduced the hemolysis. Replacement of Phe with a His also yielded cyclolipopeptides with low hemolytic activity. Derivatives exhibiting low phytotoxicity in tobacco leaves were also found. Interestingly, sequences with or without significant activity against phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi, but with differential hemolysis and phytotoxicity were identified. Therefore, this study represents an approach to the development of bioactive peptides with selective activity against microbial, plant and animal cell targets. These selective cyclolipopeptides are candidates useful not only to combat plant pathogens but also to be applied in other fields. PMID:27008420

  13. Cyclone Tolerance in New World Arecaceae: Biogeographic Variation and Abiotic Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, M. Patrick; Noblick, Larry R.; Dowe, John L.; Husby, Chad E.; Calonje, Michael A.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Consistent abiotic factors can affect directional selection; cyclones are abiotic phenomena with near-discrete geographic limits. The current study investigates selective pressure of cyclones on plants at the species level, testing for possible natural selection. Methods New World Arecaceae (palms) are used as a model system, as plants with monopodial, unbranched arborescent form are most directly affected by the selective pressure of wind load. Living specimens of known provenance grown at a common site were affected by the same cyclone. Data on percentage mortality were compiled and analysed in biogeographic and phylogenetic contexts. Key Results Palms of cyclone-prone provenance exhibited a much lower (one order of magnitude) range in cyclone tolerance, and significantly lower (P < 0·001) mean percentage mortality than collections from cyclone-free areas. Palms of cyclone-free provenance had much greater variation in tolerance, and significantly greater mean percentage mortality. A test for serial independence recovered no significant phylogenetic autocorrelation of percentage mortality. Conclusions Variation in cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae correlates with biogeography, and is not confounded with phylogeny. These results suggest natural selection of cyclone tolerance in cyclone-prone areas. PMID:18669575

  14. Natural selection of autocatalytic systems in flow as the universal mechanism of prebiotic evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartsev, S.; Mezhevikin, V.

    The problem of searching for extraterrestrial life is closely associated with the problem of origin of life in general and on the Earth. However convincing scientific concept of this event does not exist till now. The probability of casual occurrence of the elementary living cell from a set of abiogenous substances is so small, that from the point of natural-science methodological positions this variant of life origin should be excluded. It is necessary to assume the predecessors of cells were very simple, and their development, perfecting and thickening occurred gradually and in the certain sense neatly via natural selection. An assumption, that the predecessors of cells were elementary autocatalytic systems on the basis of the phase-isolated particles, and the mechanism of their selection was selection in flow with respect to kinetics parameters is put forward. In the paper probable directions of autocatalytic systems selection in flow inside a reactor of deal mixing are considered. As reali analog of in flow system of the kind the hydrothermal vent tube worms found in deep-sea waters could be considered. Thus, it is possible to select certain types of autocatalytic systems admitting an opportunity of "mutagenesis", and to plan experimental modeling of initial stages of prebiotic evolution under various physical-chemical conditions, including extraterrestrial ones. According to the concept, the life origin under the certain physical-chemical planetary conditions is the inevitable planetary phenomenon and key stages of this phenomenon allow not only theoretical, but also experimental analysis.

  15. Strong natural selection on juveniles maintains a narrow adult hybrid zone in a broadcast spawner.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2014-12-01

    Natural selection can maintain and help form species across different habitats, even when dispersal is high. Selection against inferior migrants (immigrant inviability) acts when locally adapted populations suffer high mortality on dispersal to unsuitable habitats. Habitat-specific populations undergoing divergent selection via immigrant inviability should thus show (1) a change in the ratio of adapted to nonadapted individuals among age/size classes and (2) a cline (defined by the environmental gradient) as selection counterbalances migration. Here we examine the frequencies of two depth-segregated lineages in juveniles and adults of a Caribbean octocoral, Eunicea flexuosa. Distributions of the two lineages in both shallow and deep environments were more distinct when inferred from adults than juveniles. Despite broad larval dispersal, we also found an extremely narrow hybrid zone (<100 m), with coincident clines for molecular and morphological characters of the host coral and its algal symbiont. Effective dispersal estimates derived from the hybrid zone are remarkably small (<20 m) for a broadcast spawner. The large selection coefficient against mismatched genotypes derived from cohort data is consistent with that from field transplant experiments. Narrow hybrid zones and limited effective dispersal may be a common outcome of long periods of postsettlement, prereproductive selection across steep ecological gradients. Strong diversifying selection provides a mechanism to explain the prevalence of depth-segregated sibling species in the sea. PMID:25438171

  16. Divergent natural selection promotes immigrant inviability at early and late stages of evolutionary divergence.

    PubMed

    Ingley, Spencer J; Johnson, Jerald B

    2016-03-01

    Natural selection's role in speciation has been of fundamental importance since Darwin first outlined his theory. Recently, work has focused on understanding how selection drives trait divergence, and subsequently reproductive isolation. "Immigrant inviability," a barrier that arises from selection against immigrants in their nonnative environment, appears to be of particular importance. Although immigrant inviability is likely ubiquitous, we know relatively little about how selection acts on traits to drive immigrant inviability, and how important immigrant inviability is at early-versus-late stages of divergence. We present a study evaluating the role of predation in the evolution of immigrant inviability in recently diverged population pairs and a well-established species pair of Brachyrhaphis fishes. We evaluate performance in a high-predation environment by assessing survival in the presence of a predator, and swimming endurance in a low-predation environment. We find strong signatures of local adaptation and immigrant inviability of roughly the same magnitude both early and late in divergence. We find remarkably conserved selection for burst-speed swimming (important in predator evasion), and selection for increased size in low-predation environments. Our results highlight the consistency with which selection acts during speciation, and suggest that similar factors might promote initial population differentiation and maintain differentiation at late stages of divergence. PMID:26831519

  17. Material selection for wellhead equipment exposed to chlorinated and natural seawater

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, S.; Nice, P.; Strandmyr, O.; Maligas, M.; Vicic, J.

    1996-08-01

    Corrosion resistant alloys have been used in marine environments for their corrosion resistance. However, some of these materials are prone to localized corrosion, in particular crevice and pitting corrosion, in natural seawater. Injection water normally consists of de-oxygenated seawater, but, more recently either continuously or batch chlorinated and fully oxygenated seawater has been selected for this purpose because of their cost benefits. This investigation covers testing of corrosion resistant materials to aid in the selection of materials for wellhead equipment in an oxygenated and chlorinated seawater injection environment.

  18. Natural Gamma Emitters after a Selective Chemical Separation of a TENORM residue: Preliminary Results

    SciTech Connect

    Alves de Freitas, Antonio; Abrao, Alcidio; Godoy dos Santos, Adir Janete; Pecequilo, Brigitte Roxana Soreanu

    2008-08-07

    An analytical procedure was established in order to obtain selective fractions containing radium isotopes ({sup 228}Ra), thorium ({sup 232}Th), and rare earths from RETOTER (REsiduo de TOrio e TErras Raras), a solid residue rich in rare earth elements, thorium isotopes and small amount of natural uranium generated from the operation of a thorium pilot plant for purification and production of pure thorium nitrate at IPEN -CNEN/SP. The paper presents preliminary results of {sup 228}Ra, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 238}U, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 40}K concentrations in the selective fractions and total residue determined by high-resolution gamma spectroscopy, considering radioactive equilibrium of the samples.

  19. Macroevolutionary patterns of bumblebee body size: detecting the interplay between natural and sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    del Castillo, Raúl Cueva; Fairbairn, Daphne J

    2012-01-01

    Bumblebees and other eusocial bees offer a unique opportunity to analyze the evolution of body size differences between sexes. The workers, being sterile females, are not subject to selection for reproductive function and thus provide a natural control for parsing the effects of selection on reproductive function (i.e., sexual and fecundity selection) from other natural selection. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach, we explored the allometric relationships among queens, males, and workers in 70 species of bumblebees (Bombus sp.). We found hyperallometry in thorax width for males relative to workers, indicating greater evolutionary divergence of body size in males than in sterile females. This is consistent with the hypothesis that selection for reproductive function, most probably sexual selection, has caused divergence in male size among species. The slope for males on workers was significantly steeper than that for queens on workers and the latter did not depart from isometry, providing further evidence of greater evolutionary divergence in male size than female size, and no evidence that reproductive selection has accelerated divergence of females. We did not detect significant hyperallometry when male size was regressed directly on queen size and our results thus add the genus Bombus to the increasing list of clades that have female-larger sexual size dimorphism and do not conform to Rensch's rule when analyzed according to standard methodology. Nevertheless, by using worker size as a common control, we were able to demonstrate that bumblee species do show the evolutionary pattern underlying Rensch's rule, that being correlated evolution of body size in males and females, but with greater evolutionary divergence in males. PMID:22408725

  20. The Role of Selection in Shaping Diversity of Natural M. tuberculosis Populations

    PubMed Central

    Pepperell, Caitlin S.; Casto, Amanda M.; Kitchen, Andrew; Granka, Julie M.; Cornejo, Omar E.; Holmes, Eddie C.; Birren, Bruce; Galagan, James; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), the cause of tuberculosis (TB), is estimated to infect a new host every second. While analyses of genetic data from natural populations of M.tb have emphasized the role of genetic drift in shaping patterns of diversity, the influence of natural selection on this successful pathogen is less well understood. We investigated the effects of natural selection on patterns of diversity in 63 globally extant genomes of M.tb and related pathogenic mycobacteria. We found evidence of strong purifying selection, with an estimated genome-wide selection coefficient equal to −9.5×10−4 (95% CI −1.1×10−3 to −6.8×10−4); this is several orders of magnitude higher than recent estimates for eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. We also identified different patterns of variation across categories of gene function. Genes involved in transport and metabolism of inorganic ions exhibited very low levels of non-synonymous polymorphism, equivalent to categories under strong purifying selection (essential and translation-associated genes). The highest levels of non-synonymous variation were seen in a group of transporter genes, likely due to either diversifying selection or local selective sweeps. In addition to selection, we identified other important influences on M.tb genetic diversity, such as a 25-fold expansion of global M.tb populations coincident with explosive growth in human populations (estimated timing 1684 C.E., 95% CI 1620–1713 C.E.). These results emphasize the parallel demographic histories of this obligate pathogen and its human host, and suggest that the dominant effect of selection on M.tb is removal of novel variants, with exceptions in an interesting group of genes involved in transportation and defense. We speculate that the hostile environment within a host imposes strict demands on M.tb physiology, and thus a substantial fitness cost for most new mutations. In this respect, obligate bacterial pathogens may differ from

  1. Natural selection of memory-one strategies for the iterated prisoner's dilemma.

    PubMed

    Kraines, D P; Kraines, V Y

    2000-04-21

    In the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, mutually cooperative behavior can become established through Darwinian natural selection. In simulated interactions of stochastic memory-one strategies for the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, Nowak and Sigmund discovered that cooperative agents using a Pavlov (Win-Stay Lose-Switch) type strategy eventually dominate a random population. This emergence follows more directly from a deterministic dynamical system based on differential reproductive success or natural selection. When restricted to an environment of memory-one agents interacting in iterated Prisoner's Dilemma games with a 1% noise level, the Pavlov agent is the only cooperative strategy and one of very few others that cannot be invaded by a similar strategy. Pavlov agents are trusting but no suckers. They will exploit weakness but repent if punished for cheating. PMID:10736212

  2. Stochastic effects in adaptive reconstruction of body damage: implied the creativity of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Bo; Cui, Li-Qiang; Chen, Tian-Ming; Lian, Bin

    2015-11-01

    After an injury occurs, mechanical/biochemical loads on muscles influence the composition and structure of recovering muscles; this effect likely occurs in other tissues, cells and biological molecules as well owing to the similarity, interassociation and interaction among biochemical reactions and molecules. The 'damage and reconstruction' model provides an explanation for how an ideal cytoarchitecture is created by reducing components not suitable for bearing loads; in this model, adaptive changes are induced by promoting the stochasticity of biochemical reactions. Biochemical and mechanical loads can direct the stochasticity of biochemical reactions, which can in turn induce cellular changes. Thus, mechanical and biochemical loads, under natural selection pressure, modify the direction of cell- and tissue-level changes and guide the formation of new structures and traits, thereby influencing microevolution. In summary, the 'damage and reconstruction' model accounts for the role of natural selection in the formation of new organisms, helps explain punctuated equilibrium, and illustrates how macroevolution arises from microevolution. PMID:26153081

  3. Pharmacological evaluation of selective α2c-adrenergic agonists in experimental animal models of nasal congestion.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yanlin; Mingo, Garfield G; Hunter, John C; Lieber, Gissela B; Palamanda, Jairam R; Mei, Hong; Boyce, Christopher W; Koss, Michael C; Yu, Yongxin; Cicmil, Milenko; Hey, John A; McLeod, Robbie L

    2014-04-01

    Nasal congestion is one of the most troublesome symptoms of many upper airways diseases. We characterized the effect of selective α2c-adrenergic agonists in animal models of nasal congestion. In porcine mucosa tissue, compound A and compound B contracted nasal veins with only modest effects on arteries. In in vivo experiments, we examined the nasal decongestant dose-response characteristics, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship, duration of action, potential development of tolerance, and topical efficacy of α2c-adrenergic agonists. Acoustic rhinometry was used to determine nasal cavity dimensions following intranasal compound 48/80 (1%, 75 µl). In feline experiments, compound 48/80 decreased nasal cavity volume and minimum cross-sectional areas by 77% and 40%, respectively. Oral administration of compound A (0.1-3.0 mg/kg), compound B (0.3-5.0 mg/kg), and d-pseudoephedrine (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg) produced dose-dependent decongestion. Unlike d-pseudoephedrine, compounds A and B did not alter systolic blood pressure. The plasma exposure of compound A to produce a robust decongestion (EC(80)) was 500 nM, which related well to the duration of action of approximately 4.0 hours. No tolerance to the decongestant effect of compound A (1.0 mg/kg p.o.) was observed. To study the topical efficacies of compounds A and B, the drugs were given topically 30 minutes after compound 48/80 (a therapeutic paradigm) where both agents reversed nasal congestion. Finally, nasal-decongestive activity was confirmed in the dog. We demonstrate that α2c-adrenergic agonists behave as nasal decongestants without cardiovascular actions in animal models of upper airway congestion. PMID:24492651

  4. Darwin's Arguments in Favour of Natural Selection and Against Special Creationism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nola, Robert

    2013-02-01

    In many places in The Origin of Species, Darwin compares his own theory of Natural Selection favourably with Special Creationism which comes off as a bad second best. He does this using some version of the argument form known as `Inference to the Best Explanation'. The first part of this paper is methodological. It considers Whewell's notion of consilience, that is, the way in which theories can get additional confirmation through unifying otherwise disparate and independent facts. Then it considers various forms of inference to the best explanation. The second part of the paper applies these methodological considerations to an analysis of some of the many passages in Origin where Darwin presents his case in favour of Natural Selection. This gives a far superior explanation of biological facts compared with Special Creationism which provides either an inferior explanation or no explanation at all. Contrary to the view that Creationism should not be taught, the passages from Darwin show at least that it should be understood if only to show that it offers no explanation of a wide range of obvious biological facts. As such the passages in Origin in which Darwin presents his case against Creationism can serve as a series of excellent exercises in getting students to think about Natural Selection as opposed to Creationism. For this reason alone they ought to be better known. In addition, Darwin's point in these passages can only be understood using principles of scientific method, such as inference to the best explanation, which are essential in showing that Natural Selection is to be preferred to Creationism.

  5. Darwin's passionate environmentalism or the dangerous fallacy of the 'All-sufficiency of natural selection' theory.

    PubMed

    Marsh, David

    2012-01-01

    Following his last edition of the Origin of Species in 1872, Darwin spent much of the rest of his life searching for possible mechanisms, such as the pangenes in the blood, which would communicate information from the environment to the genome. In each of his six editions of the 'Origin', he stated that there were two forces in evolution - natural selection and conditions of existence. Of the two, he claims that the latter is the more powerful. In so doing, he recognized that natural selection could only operate within the bounds of possibility, that is the environment. August Weismann claimed that conditions of existence had no place in evolution. His publication, the 'All-sufficiency of natural selection', was based on mutilation (cutting tails of rodents and watching the next generation grow tails), which has nothing to do with Darwin's concept of conditions of existence. Nonetheless, evolutionary biologists in general followed the line of the 'all sufficiency' theory and ignored Darwin's conditions of existence, which in other words means the environment. Natural selection has a weak predictive power as it is based on random events. However, the conditions of existence have, by contrast, strong predictive powers that can be tested. The environmental views of two of the greatest evolutionists, Lamarck and Darwin, have been consistently ignored by most evolution theorists who came after them, continuing for over 200 years. Looking at the fossil record through the eyes of Darwin's conditions of existence, not to mention the recent changes in height and shape over the last century, it is possible to draw important conclusions about the past and predictions of the future. With new knowledge of epigenetics, it is perhaps time that Darwin's conditions of existence were given a second hearing. PMID:22544777

  6. Natural selection theory in non-majors' biology: Instruction, assessment and conceptual difficulty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Dianne L.

    Evolution by natural selection is the dominant and unifying theme in biology, yet many college students hold alternative conceptions about the topic even after completing general biology. To develop effective instructional strategies and track conceptual understanding, it is useful to have a detailed assessment tool easily used with large classes. This study presents the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS), a distractor-driven twenty item multiple-choice test that assesses understanding of ten concepts related to natural selection: biotic potential, stable populations, limited natural resources, limited survival, variation within a population, variation inherited, differential survival, change in populations, origin of variation, and origin of species. Development, refinement, and field-testing of individual CINS items are presented, and validity, readability, reliability and factor analysis of the CINS are described. There was significant correlation between student performance on the posttest CINS and end-of-semester interviews suggesting that the CINS is a useful classroom tool. The CINS was used as both a pretest and posttest to determine relative difficulty of the concepts among college students. The three most challenging concepts were random origin of variation, how populations change over time due to changing proportions of alleles, and how new species originate. Many students chose distractors including "need" as a driving force. Results support the use of non-traditional methods, as only students in such classes demonstrated any improvement on the CINS posttest. Pre and posttesting with the CINS was also used to assess relative effectiveness of using two types of supplemental reading materials (selections from narrative, non-textbook sources or from other general biology textbooks) in a general biology course. These results suggest that specific content of readings was more important than style of the readings. Implications for teaching both

  7. A signal integration model of thymic selection and natural regulatory T cell commitment.

    PubMed

    Khailaie, Sahamoddin; Robert, Philippe A; Toker, Aras; Huehn, Jochen; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2014-12-15

    The extent of TCR self-reactivity is the basis for selection of a functional and self-tolerant T cell repertoire and is quantified by repeated engagement of TCRs with a diverse pool of self-peptides complexed with self-MHC molecules. The strength of a TCR signal depends on the binding properties of a TCR to the peptide and the MHC, but it is not clear how the specificity to both components drives fate decisions. In this study, we propose a TCR signal-integration model of thymic selection that describes how thymocytes decide among distinct fates, not only based on a single TCR-ligand interaction, but taking into account the TCR stimulation history. These fates are separated based on sustained accumulated signals for positive selection and transient peak signals for negative selection. This spans up the cells into a two-dimensional space where they are either neglected, positively selected, negatively selected, or selected as natural regulatory T cells (nTregs). We show that the dynamics of the integrated signal can serve as a successful basis for extracting specificity of thymocytes to MHC and detecting the existence of cognate self-peptide-MHC. It allows to select a self-MHC-biased and self-peptide-tolerant T cell repertoire. Furthermore, nTregs in the model are enriched with MHC-specific TCRs. This allows nTregs to be more sensitive to activation and more cross-reactive than conventional T cells. This study provides a mechanistic model showing that time integration of TCR-mediated signals, as opposed to single-cell interaction events, is needed to gain a full view on the properties emerging from thymic selection. PMID:25392533

  8. Implications of quantum metabolism and natural selection for the origin of cancer cells and tumor progression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Paul; Demetrius, Lloyd A.; Tuszynski, Jack A.

    2012-03-01

    Empirical studies give increased support for the hypothesis that the sporadic form of cancer is an age-related metabolic disease characterized by: (a) metabolic dysregulation with random abnormalities in mitochondrial DNA, and (b) metabolic alteration - the compensatory upregulation of glycolysis to offset mitochondrial impairments. This paper appeals to the theory of Quantum Metabolism and the principles of natural selection to formulate a conceptual framework for a quantitative analysis of the origin and proliferation of the disease. Quantum Metabolism, an analytical theory of energy transduction in cells inspired by the methodology of the quantum theory of solids, elucidates the molecular basis for differences in metabolic rate between normal cells, utilizing predominantly oxidative phosphorylation, and cancer cells utilizing predominantly glycolysis. The principles of natural selection account for the outcome of competition between the two classes of cells. Quantum Metabolism and the principles of natural selection give an ontogenic and evolutionary rationale for cancer proliferation and furnish a framework for effective therapeutic strategies to impede the spread of the disease.

  9. Does natural selection organize ecosystems for the maintenance of high productivity and diversity?

    PubMed Central

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-01-01

    Three types of evidence suggest that natural ecosystems are organized for high productivity and diversity: (i) changes not previously experienced by a natural ecosystem, such as novel human disturbances, tend to diminish its productivity and/or diversity, just as 'random' changes in a machine designed for a function usually impair its execution of that function; (ii) humans strive to recreate properties of natural ecosystems to enhance productivity of artificial ones, as farmers try to recreate properties of natural soils in their fields; and (iii) productivity and diversity have increased during the Earth's history as a whole, and after every major biotic crisis. Natural selection results in ecosystems organized to maintain high productivity of organic matter and diversity of species, just as competition among individuals in Adam Smith's ideal economy favours high production of wealth and diversity of occupations. In nature, poorly exploited energy attracts more efficient users. This circumstance favours the opening of new ways of life and more efficient recycling of resources, and eliminates most productivity-reducing 'ecological monopolies'. Ecological dominants tend to be replaced by successors with higher metabolism, which respond to more stimuli and engage in more varied interactions. Finally, increasingly efficient predators and herbivores favour faster turnover of resources. PMID:12079531

  10. Form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in both sexes of a moth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jin; Wang, Qiao

    2010-07-01

    Sexual selection is a process that operates through intrasexual competition and intersexual choice for reproduction in both sexes. Here, we report our work on a polygamous moth, Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), aiming to infer the form and nature of precopulatory sexual selection in males and females. We show that, although a number of traits measured in each sex are correlated with mating success, the primary selection trait in females appears to be abdominal thickness and that in males is aedeagus length. As the female’s abdominal thickness is a reliable signal about the number and developmental stage of eggs, males who select females with thicker abdomens for mating will gain reproductive benefit, i.e., fertilizing more mature eggs. For females, earlier maturation of their eggs makes the females more likely to achieve mating earlier in an uncertain world where there is no guarantee that they will find more males in the future. Sexual selection appears to be the important force behind the evolution of fast egg maturation in females. We show that, under a male-biased sex ratio, more than 20% of mating fails within a few minutes after the aedeagus has penetrated into the female’s genitalia, suggesting that females can assess the features of the male aedeagus before allowing insemination to occur. Dissection and examination of both sexes suggest that a longer aedeagus enhances mating and fertilization efficiency in this species, supporting the notion that sexual selection is a primary force in the evolution of genital variance.

  11. Polymer Selection Approach for Commonly and Uncommonly Used Natural Fibers Under Uncertainty Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AL-Oqla, Faris M.; Sapuan, S. M.

    2015-07-01

    Factors like awareness of the scarcity of non-renewable natural resources, high petroleum prices, and demands for environmental sustainability, as well as reducing the amount of environmental pollution, have led to a renewed interest in natural fiber reinforced polymer composites as a potential bio-based material type. The best polymer matrix type in view of the wide range of conflicting criteria to form a polymeric-based composite material suitable for sustainable industry under an uncertainty environment has still not been sufficiently determined. This work introduces a selection model to evaluate the available polymers for natural fibers to enhance the industrial sustainability theme. The model built was developed to evaluate various polymer types and to determine their relative merits taking account of various conflicting criteria for both commonly used and uncommonly used natural fibers utilizing the analytical hierarchy process technique. It was found that the choice of the best polymer type for a certain fiber type depends strongly on the polymers' intrinsic desirable conflicting characteristics. Polymers evaluations are illustrated for different technical criteria in order to facilitate the polymer selection process for various industrial applications with high confidence levels.

  12. Natural selection for the Duffy-null allele in the recently admixed people of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jason A; Pickrell, Joseph K; Pearson, Laurel N; Quillen, Ellen E; Prista, António; Rocha, Jorge; Soodyall, Himla; Shriver, Mark D; Perry, George H

    2014-08-22

    While gene flow between distantly related populations is increasingly recognized as a potentially important source of adaptive genetic variation for humans, fully characterized examples are rare. In addition, the role that natural selection for resistance to vivax malaria may have played in the extreme distribution of the protective Duffy-null allele, which is nearly completely fixed in mainland sub-Saharan Africa and absent elsewhere, is controversial. We address both these issues by investigating the evolution of the Duffy-null allele in the Malagasy, a recently admixed population with major ancestry components from both East Asia and mainland sub-Saharan Africa. We used genome-wide genetic data and extensive computer simulations to show that the high frequency of the Duffy-null allele in Madagascar can only be explained in the absence of positive natural selection under extreme demographic scenarios involving high genetic drift. However, the observed genomic single nucleotide polymorphism diversity in the Malagasy is incompatible with such extreme demographic scenarios, indicating that positive selection for the Duffy-null allele best explains the high frequency of the allele in Madagascar. We estimate the selection coefficient to be 0.066. Because vivax malaria is endemic to Madagascar, this result supports the hypothesis that malaria resistance drove fixation of the Duffy-null allele in mainland sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:24990677

  13. Footprints of divergent selection in natural populations of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Li, C; Sun, Y; Huang, H W; Cannon, C H

    2014-01-01

    Given predicted rapid climate change, an understanding of how environmental factors affect genetic diversity in natural populations is important. Future selection pressures are inherently unpredictable, so forest management policies should maintain both overall diversity and identify genetic markers associated with the environmental factors expected to change most rapidly, like temperature and rainfall. In this study, we genotyped 648 individuals in 28 populations of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae) using 32 expressed sequence tag (EST)-derived microsatellite markers. After removing six loci that departed from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, we measured genetic variation, population structure and identified candidate loci putatively under selection by temperature and precipitation. We found that C. fargesii populations possessed high genetic diversity and moderate differentiation among them, indicating predominant outcrossing and few restrictions to gene flow. These patterns reduce the possible impact of stochastic effects or the influence of genetic isolation. Clear footprints of divergent selection at four loci were discovered. Frequencies of five alleles at these loci were strongly correlated with environmental factors, particularly extremes in precipitation. These alleles varied from being near fixation at one end of the gradient to being completely absent at the other. Our study species is an important forest tree in the subtropical regions of China and could have a major role in future management and reforestation plans. Our results demonstrate that the gene flow is widespread and abundant in natural populations, maintaining high diversity, while diversifying selection is acting on specific genomic regions. PMID:24984608

  14. Natural selection for the Duffy-null allele in the recently admixed people of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, Jason A.; Pickrell, Joseph K.; Pearson, Laurel N.; Quillen, Ellen E.; Prista, António; Rocha, Jorge; Soodyall, Himla; Shriver, Mark D.; Perry, George H.

    2014-01-01

    While gene flow between distantly related populations is increasingly recognized as a potentially important source of adaptive genetic variation for humans, fully characterized examples are rare. In addition, the role that natural selection for resistance to vivax malaria may have played in the extreme distribution of the protective Duffy-null allele, which is nearly completely fixed in mainland sub-Saharan Africa and absent elsewhere, is controversial. We address both these issues by investigating the evolution of the Duffy-null allele in the Malagasy, a recently admixed population with major ancestry components from both East Asia and mainland sub-Saharan Africa. We used genome-wide genetic data and extensive computer simulations to show that the high frequency of the Duffy-null allele in Madagascar can only be explained in the absence of positive natural selection under extreme demographic scenarios involving high genetic drift. However, the observed genomic single nucleotide polymorphism diversity in the Malagasy is incompatible with such extreme demographic scenarios, indicating that positive selection for the Duffy-null allele best explains the high frequency of the allele in Madagascar. We estimate the selection coefficient to be 0.066. Because vivax malaria is endemic to Madagascar, this result supports the hypothesis that malaria resistance drove fixation of the Duffy-null allele in mainland sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:24990677

  15. Unusual selection on the KIR3DL1/S1 natural killer cell receptor in Africans.

    PubMed

    Norman, Paul J; Abi-Rached, Laurent; Gendzekhadze, Ketevan; Korbel, Daniel; Gleimer, Michael; Rowley, Don; Bruno, Dan; Carrington, Christine V F; Chandanayingyong, Dasdayanee; Chang, Yih-Hsin; Crespí, Catalina; Saruhan-Direskeneli, Güher; Fraser, Patricia A; Hameed, Kamran; Kamkamidze, Giorgi; Koram, Kwadwo A; Layrisse, Zulay; Matamoros, Nuria; Milà, Joan; Park, Myoung Hee; Pitchappan, Ramasamy M; Ramdath, D Dan; Shiau, Ming-Yuh; Stephens, Henry A F; Struik, Siske; Verity, David H; Vaughan, Robert W; Tyan, Dolly; Davis, Ronald W; Riley, Eleanor M; Ronaghi, Mostafa; Parham, Peter

    2007-09-01

    Interactions of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I ligands diversify natural killer cell responses to infection. By analyzing sequence variation in diverse human populations, we show that the KIR3DL1/S1 locus encodes two lineages of polymorphic inhibitory KIR3DL1 allotypes that recognize Bw4 epitopes of protein">HLA-A and HLA-B and one lineage of conserved activating KIR3DS1 allotypes, also implicated in Bw4 recognition. Balancing selection has maintained these three lineages for over 3 million years. Variation was selected at D1 and D2 domain residues that contact HLA class I and at two sites on D0, the domain that enhances the binding of KIR3D to HLA class I. HLA-B variants that gained Bw4 through interallelic microconversion are also products of selection. A worldwide comparison uncovers unusual KIR3DL1/S1 evolution in modern sub-Saharan Africans. Balancing selection is weak and confined to D0, KIR3DS1 is rare and KIR3DL1 allotypes with similar binding sites predominate. Natural killer cells express the dominant KIR3DL1 at a high frequency and with high surface density, providing strong responses to cells perturbed in Bw4 expression. PMID:17694054

  16. Experimental evolution can unravel the complex causes of natural selection in clinical infections.

    PubMed

    Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-06-01

    It is increasingly clear that rapid evolutionary dynamics are an important process in microbial ecology. Experimental evolution, wherein microbial evolution is observed in real-time, has revealed many instances of appreciable evolutionary change occurring on very short timescales of a few days or weeks in response to a variety of biotic and abiotic selection pressures. From clinical infections, including the chronic bacterial lung infections associated with cystic fibrosis that form a focus of my research, there is now abundant evidence suggesting that rapid evolution by infecting microbes contributes to host adaptation, treatment failure and worsening patient prognosis. However, disentangling the drivers of natural selection in complex infection environments is extremely challenging and limits our understanding of the selective pressures acting upon microbes in infections. Controlled evolution experiments can make a vital contribution to this by determining the causal links between predicted drivers of natural selection and the evolutionary responses of microbes. Integration of experimental evolution into studies of clinical infections is a key next step towards a better understanding of the causes and consequences of rapid microbial evolution in infections, and discovering how these evolutionary processes might be influenced to improve patient health.A video of this Prize Lecture, presented at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference 2015, can be viewed via this link: Michael A. Brockhurst https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1bodVSl27E. PMID:25957311

  17. Footprints of divergent selection in natural populations of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae).

    PubMed

    Li, C; Sun, Y; Huang, H W; Cannon, C H

    2014-12-01

    Given predicted rapid climate change, an understanding of how environmental factors affect genetic diversity in natural populations is important. Future selection pressures are inherently unpredictable, so forest management policies should maintain both overall diversity and identify genetic markers associated with the environmental factors expected to change most rapidly, like temperature and rainfall. In this study, we genotyped 648 individuals in 28 populations of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae) using 32 expressed sequence tag (EST)-derived microsatellite markers. After removing six loci that departed from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, we measured genetic variation, population structure and identified candidate loci putatively under selection by temperature and precipitation. We found that C. fargesii populations possessed high genetic diversity and moderate differentiation among them, indicating predominant outcrossing and few restrictions to gene flow. These patterns reduce the possible impact of stochastic effects or the influence of genetic isolation. Clear footprints of divergent selection at four loci were discovered. Frequencies of five alleles at these loci were strongly correlated with environmental factors, particularly extremes in precipitation. These alleles varied from being near fixation at one end of the gradient to being completely absent at the other. Our study species is an important forest tree in the subtropical regions of China and could have a major role in future management and reforestation plans. Our results demonstrate that the gene flow is widespread and abundant in natural populations, maintaining high diversity, while diversifying selection is acting on specific genomic regions. PMID:24984608

  18. Inference of Episodic Changes in Natural Selection Acting on Protein Coding Sequences via CODEML.

    PubMed

    Bielawski, Joseph P; Baker, Jennifer L; Mingrone, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    This unit provides protocols for using the CODEML program from the PAML package to make inferences about episodic natural selection in protein-coding sequences. The protocols cover inference tasks such as maximum likelihood estimation of selection intensity, testing the hypothesis of episodic positive selection, and identifying sites with a history of episodic evolution. We provide protocols for using the rich set of models implemented in CODEML to assess robustness, and for using bootstrapping to assess if the requirements for reliable statistical inference have been met. An example dataset is used to illustrate how the protocols are used with real protein-coding sequences. The workflow of this design, through automation, is readily extendable to a larger-scale evolutionary survey. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27322407

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

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

    Causal explanations for the dramatic changes that occurred during the evolution of the human hip focus largely on selection for bipedal function and locomotor efficiency. These hypotheses rest on two critical assumptions. The first-that these anatomical changes served functional roles in bipedalism-has been supported in numerous analyses showing how postcranial changes likely affected locomotion. The second-that morphological changes that did play functional roles in bipedalism were the result of selection for that behavior-has not been previously explored and represents a major gap in our understanding of hominin hip evolution. Here we use evolutionary quantitative genetic models to test the hypothesis that strong directional selection on many individual aspects of morphology was responsible for the large differences observed across a sample of fossil hominin hips spanning the Plio-Pleistocene. Our approach uses covariance among traits and the differences between relatively complete fossils to estimate the net selection pressures that drove the major transitions in hominin hip evolution. Our findings show a complex and changing pattern of natural selection drove hominin hip evolution, and that many, but not all, traits hypothesized to play functional roles in bipedalism evolved as a direct result of natural selection. While the rate of evolutionary change for all transitions explored here does not exceed the amount expected if evolution was occurring solely through neutral processes, it was far above rates of evolution for morphological traits in other mammalian groups. Given that stasis is the norm in the mammalian fossil record, our results suggest that large shifts in the adaptive landscape drove hominin evolution. PMID:26164108

  20. Investigating the Disney Effect: Are Students Reluctant To Apply Natural Selection Principles to Life Forms with Which They Identify?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Murray; And Others

    This study was designed to investigate whether a student's responses to test questions about natural selection were influenced by the extent of the student's identification with the organism. The hypothesis was that a student would be reluctant to invoke the ravages of natural selection upon species with which they possessed a greater empathy than…

  1. Measuring Knowledge of Natural Selection: A Comparison of the CINS, an Open-Response Instrument, and an Oral Interview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam

    2008-01-01

    Growing recognition of the central importance of fostering an in-depth understanding of natural selection has, surprisingly, failed to stimulate work on the development and rigorous evaluation of instruments that measure knowledge of it. We used three different methodological tools, the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS), a modified…

  2. Escherichia coli and selected veterinary and zoonotic pathogens isolated from environmental sites in companion animal veterinary hospitals in southern Ontario.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Colleen P; Reid-Smith, Richard J; Boerlin, Patrick; Weese, J Scott; Prescott, John F; Janecko, Nicol; Hassard, Lori; McEwen, Scott A

    2010-09-01

    Hospital-based infection control in veterinary medicine is emerging and the role of the environment in hospital-acquired infections (HAI) in veterinary hospitals is largely unknown. This study was initiated to determine the recovery of Escherichia coli and selected veterinary and zoonotic pathogens from the environments of 101 community veterinary hospitals. The proportion of hospitals with positive environmental swabs were: E. coli--92%, Clostridium difficile--58%, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)--9%, CMY-2 producing E. coli--9%, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius--7%, and Salmonella--2%. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp., canine parvovirus, and feline calicivirus were not isolated. Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli isolates was low. Important potential veterinary and human pathogens were recovered including Canadian epidemic strains MRSA-2 and MRSA-5, and C. difficile ribotype 027. There is an environmental reservoir of pathogens in veterinary hospitals; therefore, additional studies are required to characterize risk factors associated with HAI in companion animals, including the role of the environment. PMID:21119862

  3. Escherichia coli and selected veterinary and zoonotic pathogens isolated from environmental sites in companion animal veterinary hospitals in southern Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Colleen P.; Reid-Smith, Richard J.; Boerlin, Patrick; Weese, J. Scott; Prescott, John F.; Janecko, Nicol; Hassard, Lori; McEwen, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    Hospital-based infection control in veterinary medicine is emerging and the role of the environment in hospital-acquired infections (HAI) in veterinary hospitals is largely unknown. This study was initiated to determine the recovery of Escherichia coli and selected veterinary and zoonotic pathogens from the environments of 101 community veterinary hospitals. The proportion of hospitals with positive environmental swabs were: E. coli — 92%, Clostridium difficile — 58%, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — 9%, CMY-2 producing E. coli — 9%, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius — 7%, and Salmonella — 2%. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp., canine parvovirus, and feline calicivirus were not isolated. Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in E. coli isolates was low. Important potential veterinary and human pathogens were recovered including Canadian epidemic strains MRSA-2 and MRSA-5, and C. difficile ribotype 027. There is an environmental reservoir of pathogens in veterinary hospitals; therefore, additional studies are required to characterize risk factors associated with HAI in companion animals, including the role of the environment. PMID:21119862

  4. Active insecticides for Diaphania hyalinata selective for the natural enemy Solenopsis saevissima.

    PubMed

    Aguiar, Alex R; Alvarenga, Elson S; Lopes, Mayara C; Santos, Izailda B Dos; Galdino, Tarcisio V; Picanço, Marcelo C

    2016-09-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the toxicity of the nine synthetic dienamides against the insect pest Diaphania hyalinata (melonworm) and the selectivity of these substances for the predator Solenopsis saevissima (fire ant). Four bioassays were conducted. To begin with, the dienamides that caused high mortality of D. hyalinata have been selected. In the second bioassay the dose-mortality curves of the selected dienamides have been constructed. In the third bioassay, the survival curves for D. hyalinata and the elapsed time to kill 50% of their population have been determined. In the fourth biological test, the selectivity of the substances to the predator S. saevissima has been evaluated. The most active (2E,4E)-N-butylhexa-2,4-dienamide 3d has killed 95% of the melonworm, D. hyalinata, and less than 10% of the natural enemy S. saevissima. The results presented by this compound are superior to the outcome displayed by the commercial insecticide Malathion®. Three of the dienamides prepared in this manuscript have proven to be selective in killing the pest, but not the beneficial insect. PMID:27192015

  5. Natural selection underlies apparent stress-induced mutagenesis in a bacteriophage infection model.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Ido; Edgar, Rotem; Levy, Asaf; Amitai, Gil; Sorek, Rotem; Munitz, Ariel; Qimron, Udi

    2016-01-01

    The emergence of mutations following growth-limiting conditions underlies bacterial drug resistance, viral escape from the immune system and fundamental evolution-driven events. Intriguingly, whether mutations are induced by growth limitation conditions or are randomly generated during growth and then selected by growth limitation conditions remains an open question(1). Here, we show that bacteriophage T7 undergoes apparent stress-induced mutagenesis when selected for improved recognition of its host's receptor. In our unique experimental set-up, the growth limitation condition is physically and temporally separated from mutagenesis: growth limitation occurs while phage DNA is outside the host, and spontaneous mutations occur during phage DNA replication inside the host. We show that the selected beneficial mutations are not pre-existing and that the initial slow phage growth is enabled by the phage particle's low-efficiency DNA injection into the host. Thus, the phage particle allows phage populations to initially extend their host range without mutagenesis by virtue of residual recognition of the host receptor. Mutations appear during non-selective intracellular replication, and the frequency of mutant phages increases by natural selection acting on free phages, which are not capable of mutagenesis. PMID:27572836

  6. Selection for a dominant oncogene and large male size as a risk factor for melanoma in the Xiphophorus animal model

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, André A.; Bowser, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Adult height is a risk factor in numerous human cancers that involve aberrant receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling. However, its importance is debated due to conflicting epidemiological studies and the lack of useful in vivo models. In Xiphophorus fishes (Platyfishes/Swordtails), a functional RTK, Xiphophorus melanoma receptor kinase (Xmrk), serves as the dominant oncogene and has been maintained for several million years despite being deleterious and in an extremely unstable genomic region. Here we show that the Xmrk genotype is positively correlated with standard length in male and female wild caught Xiphophorus cortezi sampled throughout their phylogeographic distribution. Histopathology confirms the occurrence of malignant melanomas in both sexes; however, melanoma incidence was extremely male biased. Furthermore, males collected with malignant melanomas in the field were significantly larger than both Xmrk males collected without melanomas and wildtype (Xmrk deficient) males. These results not only provide a novel selective mechanism for the persistence of the germline Xmrk oncogene but also create an innovative avenue of melanoma research within the Xiphophorus fishes. Wildlife cancer in natural systems is a growing concern, therefore, future research investigating life history characteristics associated with certain phenotypes and genotypes that predispose an individual to cancer will be fundamental to increasing our understanding of the evolutionary biology of cancer in nature as well as in humans. PMID:20618898

  7. Similar patterns of frequency-dependent selection on animal personalities emerge in three species of social spiders.

    PubMed

    Lichtenstein, J L L; Pruitt, J N

    2015-06-01

    Frequency-dependent selection is thought to be a major contributor to the maintenance of phenotypic variation. We tested for frequency-dependent selection on contrasting behavioural strategies, termed here 'personalities', in three species of social spiders, each thought to represent an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. The evolution of sociality in the spider genus Anelosimus is consistently met with the emergence of two temporally stable discrete personality types: an 'aggressive' or 'docile' form. We assessed how the foraging success of each phenotype changes as a function of its representation within a colony. We did this by creating experimental colonies of various compositions (six aggressives, three aggressives and three dociles, one aggressive and five dociles, six dociles), maintaining them in a common garden for 3 weeks, and tracking the mass gained by individuals of either phenotype. We found that both the docile and aggressive phenotypes experienced their greatest mass gain in mixed colonies of mostly docile individuals. However, the performance of both phenotypes decreased as the frequency of the aggressive phenotype increased. Nearly identical patterns of phenotype-specific frequency dependence were recovered in all three species. Naturally occurring colonies of these spiders exhibit mixtures dominated by the docile phenotype, suggesting that these spiders may have evolved mechanisms to maintain the compositions that maximize the success of the colony without compromising the expected reproductive output of either phenotype. PMID:25940218

  8. Selectivity of natural, synthetic and environmental estrogens for zebrafish estrogen receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Pinto, Caroline; Grimaldi, Marina; Boulahtouf, Abdelhay; Pakdel, Farzad; Brion, François; Aït-Aïssa, Sélim; Cavaillès, Vincent; Bourguet, William; Gustafsson, Jan-Ake; and others

    2014-10-01

    Zebrafish, Danio rerio, is increasingly used as an animal model to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental estrogens. As most of these estrogens have only been tested on human estrogen receptors (ERs), it is necessary to measure their effects on zebrafish ERs. In humans there are two distinct nuclear ERs (hERα and hERβ), whereas the zebrafish genome encodes three ERs, zfERα and two zfERβs (zfERβ1 and zfERβ2). In this study, we established HeLa-based reporter cell lines stably expressing each of the three zfERs. We first reported that estrogens more efficiently activate the zfERs at 28 °C as compared to 37 °C, thus reflecting the physiological temperature of zebrafish in wildlife. We then showed significant differences in the ability of agonist and antagonist estrogens to modulate activation of the three zfER isotypes in comparison to hERs. Environmental compounds (bisphenol A, alkylphenols, mycoestrogens) which are hER panagonists and hERβ selective agonists displayed greater potency for zfERα as compared to zfERβs. Among hERα selective synthetic agonists, PPT did not activate zfERα while 16α-LE2 was the most zfERα selective compound. Altogether, these results confirm that all hER ligands control in a similar manner the transcriptional activity of zfERs although significant differences in selectivity were observed among subtypes. The zfER subtype selective ligands that we identified thus represent new valuable tools to dissect the physiological roles of the different zfERs. Finally, our work also points out that care has to be taken in transposing the results obtained using the zebrafish as a model for human physiopathology. - Highlights: • Zebrafish is increasingly used to study the effects of estrogens. • We assessed the activity of pharmaceutical and environmental estrogens on zfERs. • Environmental estrogens displayed greater potency for zfERα compared to zfERβs. • hERβ selective agonists displayed greater potency for zf

  9. Microfilaricidal efficacy of a single administration of Advocate(®) (Bayer Animal Health) in dogs naturally infected with Dirofilaria immitis or Dirofilaria repens.

    PubMed

    Frangipane di Regalbono, Antonio; Di Cesare, Angela; Traversa, Donato; Simonato, Giulia; Poser, Helen; Danesi, Patrizia; Furnari, Carmelo; Russi, Ilaria; Raele, Donato Antonio; Crisi, Paolo; Pampurini, Fabrizio; Pietrobelli, Mario

    2016-08-15

    The present study evaluated the microfilaricidal efficacy of a single application of the spot-on containing imidacloprid 10%/moxidectin 2.5% (Advocate(®), Bayer Animal Health) in dogs naturally infected either by Dirofilaria immitis or Dirofilaria repens. Dogs living in north-eastern and central-southern Italy, endemic for D. immitis and D. repens respectively, were randomly screened. Sixteen animals, eight infected with D. immitis and eight with D. repens, and fulfilling inclusion criteria were enrolled. Dogs infected with D. immitis received an adulticide treatment prior to the study and Advocate(®) 3 weeks after. The animals were divided in blocks of two (1:1, T1:T2) animals each, where Day 0 (D0) had an interval of 15days to compare T2 vs. T1 dogs during the first fortnight of examination (i.e. T2 dogs acted as control animals at each examination). At baseline (Days -15 and 0 for T2 and T1 dogs, respectively) the animals had a range of microfilaraemia of 180-99.700mff/ml (D. immitis) and 60-750 mff/ml (D. repens). All animals received a topical administration of Advocate(®) at D0 and were examined for microfilariae with microscopic and molecular tests at D15, D30, D60 and D90. All animals scored negative for mff at the first control post-treatment and throughout the study, with the exception of two D. immitis- infected animals that had a 2 mff/ml count at D15, and then become negative from Day 30 onwards. No adverse events were observed. The present study demonstrates the safety and the high microfilaricidal efficacy (99.97% and 100% for D. immitis and D. repens, respectively) of a single dose of moxidectin contained in Advocate(®) in naturally infected dogs. PMID:27514879

  10. Sorption selectivity in natural organic matter studied with nitroxyl paramagnetic relaxation probes.

    PubMed

    Lattao, Charisma; Cao, Xiaoyan; Li, Yuan; Mao, Jingdong; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus; Chappell, Mark A; Miller, Lesley F; dela Cruz, Albert Leo; Pignatello, Joseph J

    2012-12-01

    Sorption site selectivity and mechanism in natural organic matter (NOM) were addressed spectroscopically by the sorption of paramagnetic nitroxyl compounds (spin probes) of different polarity, TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl) and HTEMPO (4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl). The sorbents were Pahokee peat, Beulah-Zap lignite, and a polystyrene-poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PS-PVME) polymer blend representing the mixed aliphatic-aromatic, polar-nonpolar character of NOM. Nuclear-electron spin interaction serves as an efficient relaxation pathway, resulting in attenuation of the (13)C-CP/TOSS NMR signal for (13)C nuclei in proximity to the N-O· group (r(-6) dependence). In the natural solids the spin probes sorbed more specifically (greater isotherm nonlinearity) and had lower rotational mobility (broader electron paramagnetic resonance signals) than in PS-PVME. Titration with spin probe indicated almost no selectivity for the different carbon functional groups of PS-PVME, and little to no selectivity for the different carbon moieties of Pahokee and Beulah, including aromatic, alkyl, O-alkyl, di-O-alkyl, and O-methyl. In any case, sorption site selectivity of spin probes to NOM was always weaker than partition selectivity found in model solvent-water (toluene, hexadecane, anisole, octanol) and cellulose-water systems. The results indicate little or no preferential sorption in NOM based on functional group chemistry or putative microdomain character, but rather are consistent with the filling of pores whose walls have an average chemical environment reflecting the bulk chemical composition of the solid. This work demonstrates for the first time the use of paramagnetic probes to study sorption specificity. PMID:23078290

  11. DETECTING SELECTION IN NATURAL POPULATIONS: MAKING SENSE OF GENOME SCANS AND TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

    PubMed Central

    Haasl, Ryan J.; Payseur, Bret A.

    2016-01-01

    Genomewide scans for natural selection (GWSS) have become increasingly common over the last 15 years due to increased availability of genome-scale genetic data. Here, we report a representative survey of GWSS from 1999 to present and find that (i) between 1999 and 2009, 35 of 49 (71%) GWSS focused on human, while from 2010 to present, only 38 of 83 (46%) of GWSS focused on human, indicating increased focus on nonmodel organisms; (ii) the large majority of GWSS incorporate interpopulation or interspecific comparisons using, for example FST, cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity or the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions; (iii) most GWSS focus on detection of directional selection rather than other modes such as balancing selection; and (iv) in human GWSS, there is a clear shift after 2004 from microsatellite markers to dense SNP data. A survey of GWSS meant to identify loci positively selected in response to severe hypoxic conditions support an approach to GWSS in which a list of a priori candidate genes based on potential selective pressures are used to filter the list of significant hits a posteriori. We also discuss four frequently ignored determinants of genomic heterogeneity that complicate GWSS: mutation, recombination, selection and the genetic architecture of adaptive traits. We recommend that GWSS methodology should better incorporate aspects of genomewide heterogeneity using empirical estimates of relevant parameters and/or realistic, whole-chromosome simulations to improve interpretation of GWSS results. Finally, we argue that knowledge of potential selective agents improves interpretation of GWSS results and that new methods focused on correlations between environmental variables and genetic variation can help automate this approach. PMID:26224644

  12. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  13. Selective Toxicity of Persian Gulf Sea Cucumber (Holothuria parva) and Sponge (Haliclona oculata) Methanolic Extracts on Liver Mitochondria Isolated from an Animal Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Seydi, Enayatollah; Motallebi, Abbasali; Dastbaz, Maryam; Dehghan, Sahar; Salimi, Ahmad; Nazemi, Melika; Pourahmad, Jalal

    2015-01-01

    Background: Natural products isolated from marine environments are well known for their pharmacodynamic potential in diverse disease treatments, such as for cancer or inflammatory conditions. Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the phylum Echinoderm and the class Holothuroidea, with leathery skin and gelatinous bodies. Sponges are important components of Persian Gulf animal communities, and the marine sponges of the genus Haliclona have been known to display broad-spectrum biological activity. Many studies have shown that sea cucumbers and sponges contain antioxidants and anti-cancer compounds. Objectives: This study was designed to determine the selective toxicity of Persian Gulf sea cucumber (Holothuria parva) and sponge (Haliclona oculata) methanolic extracts on liver mitochondria isolated from an animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma, as part of a national project that hopes to identify novel potential anticancer candidates among Iranian Persian Gulf flora and fauna. Materials and Methods: To induce hepatocarcinogenesis, rats were given diethylnitrosamine (DEN) injections (200 mg/kg i.p. by a single dose), and then the cancer was promoted with 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) (0.02 w/w) for two weeks. Histopathological evaluations were performed, and levels of liver injury markers and a specific liver cancer marker (alpha-fetoprotein), were determined for confirmation of hepatocellular carcinoma induction. Finally, mitochondria were isolated from cancerous and non-cancerous hepatocytes. Results: Our results showed that H. parva methanolic extracts (250, 500, and 1000 µg/mL) and H. oculata methanolic extracts (200, 400, and 800 µg/mL) increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), mitochondrial swelling, and cytochrome c release in the mitochondria obtained from cancerous hepatocytes, but not in mitochondria obtained from non-cancerous liver hepatocytes. These extracts also induced caspase-3 activation, which is

  14. Genome-wide Selective Sweeps in Natural Bacterial Populations Revealed by Time-series Metagenomics

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Leong-Keat; Bendall, Matthew L.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Foster, Brian; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary Ann; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J.; Stevens, Sarah; McMahon, Katherine D.; Malmstrom, Rex R.

    2014-06-18

    Multiple evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the formation of genetically and ecologically distinct bacterial groups. Time-series metagenomics enables direct observation of evolutionary processes in natural populations, and if applied over a sufficiently long time frame, this approach could capture events such as gene-specific or genome-wide selective sweeps. Direct observations of either process could help resolve how distinct groups form in natural microbial assemblages. Here, from a three-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake, we explore changes in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in populations of Chlorobiaceae and Methylophilaceae. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied considerably among closely related, co-occurring Methylophilaceae populations. SNP allele frequencies, as well as the relative abundance of certain genes, changed dramatically over time in each population. Interestingly, SNP diversity was purged at nearly every genome position in one of the Chlorobiaceae populations over the course of three years, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were swept from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep, a process predicted by the ‘ecotype model’ of diversification, but not previously observed in natural populations.

  15. Genome-wide Selective Sweeps in Natural Bacterial Populations Revealed by Time-series Metagenomics

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Leong-Keat; Bendall, Matthew L.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Foster, Brian; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary Ann; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J.; Stevens, Sarah; McMcahon, Katherine D.; Mamlstrom, Rex R.

    2014-05-12

    Multiple evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the formation of genetically and ecologically distinct bacterial groups. Time-series metagenomics enables direct observation of evolutionary processes in natural populations, and if applied over a sufficiently long time frame, this approach could capture events such as gene-specific or genome-wide selective sweeps. Direct observations of either process could help resolve how distinct groups form in natural microbial assemblages. Here, from a three-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake, we explore changes in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in populations of Chlorobiaceae and Methylophilaceae. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied considerably among closely related, co-occurring Methylophilaceae populations. SNP allele frequencies, as well as the relative abundance of certain genes, changed dramatically over time in each population. Interestingly, SNP diversity was purged at nearly every genome position in one of the Chlorobiaceae populations over the course of three years, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were swept from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep, a process predicted by the ecotype model? of diversification, but not previously observed in natural populations.

  16. Warning signals are under positive frequency-dependent selection in nature.

    PubMed

    Chouteau, Mathieu; Arias, Mónica; Joron, Mathieu

    2016-02-23

    Positive frequency-dependent selection (FDS) is a selection regime where the fitness of a phenotype increases with its frequency, and it is thought to underlie important adaptive strategies resting on signaling and communication. However, whether and how positive FDS truly operates in nature remains unknown, which hampers our understanding of signal diversity. Here, we test for positive FDS operating on the warning color patterns of chemically defended butterflies forming multiple coexisting mimicry assemblages in the Amazon. Using malleable prey models placed in localities showing differences in the relative frequencies of warningly colored prey, we demonstrate that the efficiency of a warning signal increases steadily with its local frequency in the natural community, up to a threshold where protection stabilizes. The shape of this relationship is consistent with the direct effect of the local abundance of each warning signal on the corresponding avoidance knowledge of the local predator community. This relationship, which differs from purifying selection acting on each mimetic pattern, indicates that predator knowledge, integrated over the entire community, is saturated only for the most common warning signals. In contrast, among the well-established warning signals present in local prey assemblages, most are incompletely known to local predators and enjoy incomplete protection. This incomplete predator knowledge should generate strong benefits to life history traits that enhance warning efficiency by increasing the effective frequency of prey visible to predators. Strategies such as gregariousness or niche convergence between comimics may therefore readily evolve through their effects on predator knowledge and warning efficiency. PMID:26858416

  17. Seed Predators, not Herbivores, Exert Natural Selection on Solidago spp. in an Urban Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Bode, R F; Gilbert, A B

    2016-02-01

    The effects of urbanization on biodiversity are well established, as a growing city will reduce the size and diversity of patches of native plants. Recolonization of old patches and discovery of new ones by arthropod herbivores should occur as predicted by island biogeography theory. Although colonization represents an increase in biodiversity, such arrivals may exert new forms of natural selection on plants through herbivory and seed predation. Using a single species of old-field aster (Solidago altissima L.), we found that the level of natural selection by seed predators and herbivores follows patterns of island biogeography, with lower amounts of damage on smaller islands, where there are fewer species, and hypothetically smaller populations of arthropods. We also found that in an urban system, levels of herbivory are far below the tolerance levels of Solidago, and that seed predators are likely to be the only arthropod to cause reduced fitness. The pattern seen also implies that as a patch of Solidago grows through clonal expansion, it will come under higher selective pressure. PMID:26494854

  18. Warning signals are under positive frequency-dependent selection in nature

    PubMed Central

    Chouteau, Mathieu; Arias, Mónica; Joron, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Positive frequency-dependent selection (FDS) is a selection regime where the fitness of a phenotype increases with its frequency, and it is thought to underlie important adaptive strategies resting on signaling and communication. However, whether and how positive FDS truly operates in nature remains unknown, which hampers our understanding of signal diversity. Here, we test for positive FDS operating on the warning color patterns of chemically defended butterflies forming multiple coexisting mimicry assemblages in the Amazon. Using malleable prey models placed in localities showing differences in the relative frequencies of warningly colored prey, we demonstrate that the efficiency of a warning signal increases steadily with its local frequency in the natural community, up to a threshold where protection stabilizes. The shape of this relationship is consistent with the direct effect of the local abundance of each warning signal on the corresponding avoidance knowledge of the local predator community. This relationship, which differs from purifying selection acting on each mimetic pattern, indicates that predator knowledge, integrated over the entire community, is saturated only for the most common warning signals. In contrast, among the well-established warning signals present in local prey assemblages, most are incompletely known to local predators and enjoy incomplete protection. This incomplete predator knowledge should generate strong benefits to life history traits that enhance warning efficiency by increasing the effective frequency of prey visible to predators. Strategies such as gregariousness or niche convergence between comimics may therefore readily evolve through their effects on predator knowledge and warning efficiency. PMID:26858416

  19. Natural Products Screening for the Identification of Selective Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Zarmouh, Najla O.; Messeha, Samia S.; Elshami, Faisel M.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors (MAO-BIs) are used for the initial therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Also, MAO-BIs have shown to be effective neuroprotective agents in several neurodegenerative diseases. However, some concerns exist regarding the long-term use of these compounds. Meanwhile, natural compounds showed potential MAO-B selective inhibitions. To date, few selective natural MAO-BIs have been identified. Therefore, the current study is designed to identify plants with potent and specific MAO-B inhibition. Study Design In this work, we utilized high throughput screening to evaluate the different plants ethanolic extract for their effectiveness to inhibit recombinant human (h)MAO-A and hMAO-B and to determine the relative selectivity of the top MAO-BI. Methodology Recombinant human isozymes were verified by Western blotting, and the 155 plants were screened. A continuous fluorometric screening assay was performed followed by two separate hMAO-A and hMAO-B microtiter screenings and IC50 determinations for the top extracts. Results In the screened plants, 9% of the extracts showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-B (RIB) and another 9% showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-A. The top extracts with the most potent RIBs were Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Phellodendron amurense bark, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Ferula assafoetida roots, with the highest RIB of 5.9-fold. Furthermore, extensive maceration of the promising extracts led to increase inhibitory effects with a preserved RIB as confirmed with luminescence assay. The top four extracts hMAO-BIs were equally potent (IC50= 1.3 to 3.8 μg/mL) with highly significant relative selectivities to inhibit hMAO-B (4.1- to 13.4-fold). Conclusion The obtained results indicate that Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Ferula assafoetida, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Phellodendron amurense ethanolic extracts have selective inhibitions for human MAO-B. Investigating these plant extracts as

  20. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Devoe, Neil C.; Corbett, Ian J.; Barker, Linsey; Chang, Robert; Gudis, Polyxeni; Mullen, Nathan; Perez, Kailey; Raposo, Hugo; Scholz, John; May, Meghan

    2016-01-01

    .01) deviations from a normal distribution for both W. bancrofti and L. loa. The relationship between evolvability and selection in L. loa followed a second order polynomial distribution (R2 = 0.89), indicating that the two factors relate to one another in accordance with an additional unknown factor. Taken together, these findings indicate discrete evolutionary drivers acting on ALT-2 of the four organisms examined, and the described variation has implications for design of novel vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Additionally, this represents the first mathematical description of evolvability in a naturally occurring setting. PMID:26890364

  1. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites.

    PubMed

    Devoe, Neil C; Corbett, Ian J; Barker, Linsey; Chang, Robert; Gudis, Polyxeni; Mullen, Nathan; Perez, Kailey; Raposo, Hugo; Scholz, John; May, Meghan

    2016-01-01

    .01) deviations from a normal distribution for both W. bancrofti and L. loa. The relationship between evolvability and selection in L. loa followed a second order polynomial distribution (R2 = 0.89), indicating that the two factors relate to one another in accordance with an additional unknown factor. Taken together, these findings indicate discrete evolutionary drivers acting on ALT-2 of the four organisms examined, and the described variation has implications for design of novel vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Additionally, this represents the first mathematical description of evolvability in a naturally occurring setting. PMID:26890364

  2. Feeding Habits And Natural Diet of the Intertidal Crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus: Opportunistic Browser or Selective Feeder?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannicci, S.; Gomei, M.; Boddi, B.; Vannini, M.

    2002-06-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the feeding habits of the European intertidal crabPachygrapsus marmoratus . Since this species is widely distributed in southern Europe, four south-western European sites far apart from each other were selected: southern Portugal, central Portugal, central Tyrrhenian coast, Italy, and northern Adriatic coast, Istria. In summer, crabs were collected and the contents of their stomachs were assessed in the laboratory. In parallel, at each collection site the relative abundance of algae species and of sessile and slow-moving animals was assessed for comparison with the relative frequency of the same items in the P. marmoratus diet. The detailed analysis of its feeding habits showed that this species is omnivorous but that it cannot simply be considered an opportunistic feeder. In all populations, algal and animal diet components were almost equally abundant; thus these crabs actively regulate their feeding to cope with the dietary needs of their fast-moving, semi-terrestrial life-style. Descriptive and quantitative analyses showed that P. marmoratus has definite preferences for animal prey and algae. Limpets and mussels proved to be the commonest prey, followed by conspecific crabs. The highly preferred plant item was filamentous algae, although corticated macroalgae and articulated calcareous algae were also common in the diet. Cyanobacteria were preferred only at the Atlantic sites and crustose algae were represented only by Ralfsia sp., a species with high protein and lipid contents. Both univariate and multivariate statistical methods confirmed that the different populations of P. marmoratus were minimally influenced by the relative abundance of the food items within their environment and their diet composition was constant throughout the sampled area. In conclusion, the relative abundance of different ingested foods can best be explained by considering the diet of P. marmoratus to be related mainly to its population structure

  3. Review of the Inhibition of Biological Activities of Food-Related Selected Toxins by Natural Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Mendel; Rasooly, Reuven

    2013-01-01

    There is a need to develop food-compatible conditions to alter the structures of fungal, bacterial, and plant toxins, thus transforming toxins to nontoxic molecules. The term ‘chemical genetics’ has been used to describe this approach. This overview attempts to survey and consolidate the widely scattered literature on the inhibition by natural compounds and plant extracts of the biological (toxicological) activity of the following food-related toxins: aflatoxin B1, fumonisins, and ochratoxin A produced by fungi; cholera toxin produced by Vibrio cholerae bacteria; Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria; staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; ricin produced by seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis; and the glycoalkaloid α-chaconine synthesized in potato tubers and leaves. The reduction of biological activity has been achieved by one or more of the following approaches: inhibition of the release of the toxin into the environment, especially food; an alteration of the structural integrity of the toxin molecules; changes in the optimum microenvironment, especially pH, for toxin activity; and protection against adverse effects of the toxins in cells, animals, and humans (chemoprevention). The results show that food-compatible and safe compounds with anti-toxin properties can be used to reduce the toxic potential of these toxins. Practical applications and research needs are suggested that may further facilitate reducing the toxic burden of the diet. Researchers are challenged to (a) apply the available methods without adversely affecting the nutritional quality, safety, and sensory attributes of animal feed and human food and (b) educate food producers and processors and the public about available approaches to mitigating the undesirable effects of natural toxins that may present in the diet. PMID:23612750

  4. Review of the inhibition of biological activities of food-related selected toxins by natural compounds.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Mendel; Rasooly, Reuven

    2013-04-01

    There is a need to develop food-compatible conditions to alter the structures of fungal, bacterial, and plant toxins, thus transforming toxins to nontoxic molecules. The term 'chemical genetics' has been used to describe this approach. This overview attempts to survey and consolidate the widely scattered literature on the inhibition by natural compounds and plant extracts of the biological (toxicological) activity of the following food-related toxins: aflatoxin B1, fumonisins, and ochratoxin A produced by fungi; cholera toxin produced by Vibrio cholerae bacteria; Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria; staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; ricin produced by seeds of the castor plant Ricinus communis; and the glycoalkaloid α-chaconine synthesized in potato tubers and leaves. The reduction of biological activity has been achieved by one or more of the following approaches: inhibition of the release of the toxin into the environment, especially food; an alteration of the structural integrity of the toxin molecules; changes in the optimum microenvironment, especially pH, for toxin activity; and protection against adverse effects of the toxins in cells, animals, and humans (chemoprevention). The results show that food-compatible and safe compounds with anti-toxin properties can be used to reduce the toxic potential of these toxins. Practical applications and research needs are suggested that may further facilitate reducing the toxic burden of the diet. Researchers are challenged to (a) apply the available methods without adversely affecting the nutritional quality, safety, and sensory attributes of animal feed and human food and (b) educate food producers and processors and the public about available approaches to mitigating the undesirable effects of natural toxins that may present in the diet. PMID:23612750

  5. Role of Antimicrobial Selective Pressure and Secondary Factors on Antimicrobial Resistance Prevalence in Escherichia coli from Food-Producing Animals in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Harada, Kazuki; Asai, Tetsuo

    2010-01-01

    The use of antimicrobial agents in the veterinary field affects the emergence, prevalence, and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from food-producing animals. To control the emergence, prevalence, and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance, it is necessary to implement appropriate actions based on scientific evidence. In Japan, the Japanese Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (JVARM) was established in 1999 to monitor the antimicrobial susceptibility of foodborne and commensal bacteria from food-producing animals. The JVARM showed that the emergence and prevalence of resistant Escherichia coli were likely linked to the therapeutic antimicrobial use in food-producing animals through not only direct selection of the corresponding resistance but also indirect selections via cross-resistance and coresistance. In addition, relevant factors such as host animals and bacterial properties might affect the occurrence and prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli under the selective pressure from antimicrobial usage. This paper reviews the trends in antimicrobial resistance in E. coli and consumption of antimicrobials agents in Japan and introduces the relationship between antimicrobial usage and prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, from food-producing animals under the JVARM program. In this paper, we will provide the underlying information about the significant factors that can help control antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in veterinary medicine. PMID:20589071

  6. Learning about Plants and Animals in Nature. Superific Science Book XII. A Good Apple Science Activity Book for Grades 5-8+.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Lorraine

    Based on the idea that active participation stimulates the processes by which learning takes place, this document provides teachers and students with a variety of information and learning activities that deal with plants and animals in nature. Basic concepts are presented through the use of laboratory experiments, worksheet exercises, diagrams,…

  7. Effects of Jigsaw Cooperative Learning and Animation Techniques on Students' Understanding of Chemical Bonding and Their Conceptions of the Particulate Nature of Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karacop, Ataman; Doymus, Kemal

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of jigsaw cooperative learning and computer animation techniques on academic achievements of first year university students attending classes in which the unit of chemical bonding is taught within the general chemistry course and these students' learning of the particulate nature of matter of this…

  8. Effect of Animation Enhanced Conceptual Change Texts on 6th Grade Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter and Transformation During Phase Changes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozmen, Haluk

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts (CCT-CA) on grade 6 students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) and transformation during the phase changes was investigated. A quasi-experimental design and one control group (CG, N = 25) and one experimental group (EG, N = 26) were used. While the…

  9. Interaction-based evolution: how natural selection and nonrandom mutation work together

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The modern evolutionary synthesis leaves unresolved some of the most fundamental, long-standing questions in evolutionary biology: What is the role of sex in evolution? How does complex adaptation evolve? How can selection operate effectively on genetic interactions? More recently, the molecular biology and genomics revolutions have raised a host of critical new questions, through empirical findings that the modern synthesis fails to explain: for example, the discovery of de novo genes; the immense constructive role of transposable elements in evolution; genetic variance and biochemical activity that go far beyond what traditional natural selection can maintain; perplexing cases of molecular parallelism; and more. Presentation of the hypothesis Here I address these questions from a unified perspective, by means of a new mechanistic view of evolution that offers a novel connection between selection on the phenotype and genetic evolutionary change (while relying, like the traditional theory, on natural selection as the only source of feedback on the fit between an organism and its environment). I hypothesize that the mutation that is of relevance for the evolution of complex adaptation—while not Lamarckian, or “directed” to increase fitness—is not random, but is instead the outcome of a complex and continually evolving biological process that combines information from multiple loci into one. This allows selection on a fleeting combination of interacting alleles at different loci to have a hereditary effect according to the combination’s fitness. Testing and implications of the hypothesis This proposed mechanism addresses the problem of how beneficial genetic interactions can evolve under selection, and also offers an intuitive explanation for the role of sex in evolution, which focuses on sex as the generator of genetic combinations. Importantly, it also implies that genetic variation that has appeared neutral through the lens of traditional

  10. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M.

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  11. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection. PMID:26419865

  12. Automated ion-selective electrode method for determining fluoride in natural waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erdmann, D.E.

    1975-01-01

    An automated fluoride method which uses AutoAnalyzer modules in conjunction with a fluoride ion-selective electrode was evaluated. The results obtained on 38 natural water samples are in excellent agreement with those determined by a similar manual method (average difference = 0.026 mg/l). An average fluoride concentration of 0.496 mg/l was found when several natural water samples were spiked with 0.50 mg/l fluoride. Aluminum is the only significant interfering substance, and it can be easily tolerated if its concentration does not exceed 2 mg/l. Thirty samples were analyzed per hour over a concentration range of 0-2 mg/l.

  13. Environmental cost-effectiveness analysis in intertemporal natural resource policy: evaluation of selective fishing gear.

    PubMed

    Kronbak, Lone Grønbæk; Vestergaard, Niels

    2013-12-15

    In most decision-making involving natural resources, the achievements of a given policy (e.g., improved ecosystem or biodiversity) are rather difficult to measure in monetary units. To address this problem, the current paper develops an environmental cost-effectiveness analysis (ECEA) to include intangible benefits in intertemporal natural resource problems. This approach can assist managers in prioritizing management actions as least cost solutions to achieve quantitative policy targets. The ECEA framework is applied to a selective gear policy case in Danish mixed trawl fisheries in Kattegat and Skagerrak. The empirical analysis demonstrates how a policy with large negative net benefits might be justified if the intangible benefits are included. PMID:24184529

  14. Interfamily variation in amphibian early life-history traits: raw material for natural selection?

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Gareth R; Gall, Brian G; French, Susannah S; Brodie, Edmund D

    2012-01-01

    The embryonic development and time to hatching of eggs can be highly adaptive in some species, and thus under selective pressure. In this study, we examined the underlying interfamily variation in hatching timing and embryonic development in a population of an oviparous amphibian, the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa). We found significant, high variability in degree of embryonic development and hatching timing among eggs from different females. Patterns of variation were present regardless of temperature. We also could not explain the differences among families by morphological traits of the females or their eggs. This study suggests that the variation necessary for natural selection to act upon is present in the early life history of this amphibian. PMID:22957168

  15. Genomic signatures of geographic isolation and natural selection in coral reef fishes.

    PubMed

    Gaither, Michelle R; Bernal, Moisés A; Coleman, Richard R; Bowen, Brian W; Jones, Shelley A; Simison, W Brian; Rocha, Luiz A

    2015-04-01

    The drivers of speciation remain among the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. Initially, Darwin emphasized natural selection as a primary mechanism of speciation, but the architects of the modern synthesis largely abandoned that view in favour of divergence by geographic isolation. The balance between selection and isolation is still at the forefront of the evolutionary debate, especially for the world's tropical oceans where biodiversity is high, but isolating barriers are few. Here, we identify the drivers of speciation in Pacific reef fishes of the genus Acanthurus by comparative genome scans of two peripheral populations that split from a large Central-West Pacific lineage at roughly the same time. Mitochondrial sequences indicate that populations in the Hawaiian Archipelago and the Marquesas Islands became isolated approximately 0.5 Ma. The Hawaiian lineage is morphologically indistinguishable from the widespread Pacific form, but the Marquesan form is recognized as a distinct species that occupies an unusual tropical ecosystem characterized by upwelling, turbidity, temperature fluctuations, algal blooms and little coral cover. An analysis of 3737 SNPs reveals a strong signal of selection at the Marquesas, with 59 loci under disruptive selection including an opsin Rh2 locus. While both the Hawaiian and Marquesan populations indicate signals of drift, the former shows a weak signal of selection that is comparable with populations in the Central-West Pacific. This contrast between closely related lineages reveals one population diverging due primarily to geographic isolation and genetic drift, and the other achieving taxonomic species status under the influence of selection. PMID:25753379

  16. A Conservation Ethic and the Collecting of Animals by Institutions of Natural Heritage in the Twenty-First Century: Case Study of the Australian Museum

    PubMed Central

    Ikin, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Simple Summary It is a core task of collecting institutions like museums to take examples of animals and preserve them as specimens in collections. In the twenty-first century, museums are equally the places where research is conducted and education is promoted in the service of conservation of animals in an era of the decline of biodiversity. In this paper, the balance of co-operation between collecting of animals by museums and the promotion and scientific pursuit of conservation of fauna in those museums is considered. As a “challenge” to museum science, it is considered in the context of Australia's oldest museum, and its policy and practice in the current century. Abstract Collecting of animals from their habitats for preservation by museums and related bodies is a core operation of such institutions. Conservation of biodiversity in the current era is a priority in the scientific agendas of museums of natural heritage in Australia and the world. Intuitively, to take animals from the wild, while engaged in scientific or other practices that are supposed to promote their ongoing survival, may appear be incompatible. The Australian Museum presents an interesting ground to consider zoological collecting by museums in the twenty-first century. Anderson and Reeves in 1994 argued that a milieu existed that undervalued native species, and that the role of natural history museums, up to as late as the mid-twentieth century, was only to make a record the faunal diversity of Australia, which would inevitably be extinct. Despite the latter, conservation of Australia's faunal diversity is a key aspect of research programmes in Australia's institutions of natural heritage in the current era. This paper analyses collecting of animals, a core task for institutions of natural heritage, and how this interacts with a professed “conservation ethic” in a twenty-first century Australian setting. PMID:26486222

  17. Student concepts of Natural Selection from a resource-based perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benjamin, Scott Shawn

    The past two decades have produced a substantial amount of research about the teaching and learning of evolution; however, recent research often lacks a theoretical foundation. Application of a new theoretical framework could help fill the void and improve research about student concepts of evolution. This study seeks to show that a resource-based framework (Hammer et al., 2005) can improve research into student concepts of natural selection. Concepts of natural selection from urban community college students were assessed via qualitative (interviews, written open-response questions, and write/think aloud procedures) and quantitative methods (coded open response analysis, Concept Inventory for Natural Selection (CINS)(Anderson, Fisher, & Norman, 2002). Results showed that students demonstrate four important aspects of resource-based framework: the multi-faceted construction of concepts, context sensitivity/ concept flexibility, at-the-moment activation of resources, and perceptual frames. In open response assessment, evolutionary-gain responses produced significantly different responses than evolutionary-loss questions with: 1) significantly more correct answers for the gain than loss question (Wilcoxon signed rank test, z = -3.68, p=0.0002); 2) more Lamarckian responses to loss than the gain question (Fisher exact, p=0.0039); and significantly different distributions in expanded need vs basic need answers (Fishers exact, p = 0.02). Results from CINS scores showed significant differences in post activity scores between students that held different naive concepts associated with origin of variation, origin of species, differential reproduction, and limited survival suggesting that some naive ideas facilitate learning. Outcomes also suggest that an everyday or self-experience typological perceptual frame is an underlying source of many incorrect ideas about evolution. Interview and write/think aloud assessments propose four process resources applied by students as

  18. On the causal efficacy of natural selection: A response to Richards' critique of the standard interpretation.

    PubMed

    Sullivan-Clarke, Andrea

    2013-12-01

    Given the amount of literature devoted to the reasoning used in Darwin's Origin of Species, an interpretation seeking to revise the standard take on Darwin's methodology is unexpected. Yet, Richards (1997, 1998, 2005) challenges the view that Darwin drew an analogy in the Origin on the grounds that such a strategy could not support the possibility of a new species emerging. I suggest, however, that how one interprets causal efficacy is intimately connected with Darwin's use of analogy. A more robust conception of natural selection, as found in the Origin, supports the standard interpretation, significantly weakening Richards' charge of a paradox. PMID:24231184

  19. The age-specific force of natural selection and biodemographic walls of death

    PubMed Central

    Wachter, Kenneth W.; Evans, Steven N.; Steinsaltz, David

    2013-01-01

    W. D. Hamilton’s celebrated formula for the age-specific force of natural selection furnishes predictions for senescent mortality due to mutation accumulation, at the price of reliance on a linear approximation. Applying to Hamilton’s setting the full nonlinear demographic model for mutation accumulation recently developed by Evans, Steinsaltz, and Wachter, we find surprising differences. Nonlinear interactions cause the collapse of Hamilton-style predictions in the most commonly studied case, refine predictions in other cases, and allow walls of death at ages before the end of reproduction. Haldane’s principle for genetic load has an exact but unfamiliar generalization. PMID:23657010

  20. [Effects of selective extraction on microorganisms on biomembrane in natural water body].

    PubMed

    Li, Yu; Chen, Jiejiang; Haiyan, Ma; Hua, Xiuyi; Dong, Deming; Guo, Shuhai

    2006-02-01

    By the methods of direct viable count and plate count, this paper studied the effects of different selective extractants on the bacteria, algae and protozoan on the biomembrane in natural water body. The results indicated that the stronger the extraction ability of selective extractant, the fewer the living microorganisms on the biomembrane after extraction. Compared with the control, the percentages of living microorganisms on the biomembrane were 27.6, 14.1 and 0.01, respectively, after extracted by hydroxylamine hydrochloride (0.01 mol x L(-1) NH2OH.HCl + 0.01 mol x L(-1) HNO3), sodium dithionite (0.4 mol x L(-1) Na2S2O4, pH 6.0), and acidified ammonium oxalate. Very few bacteria was left after extracted by nitric acid (15% HNO3), and no microorgariisms could be detected after extracted by H2O2/HNO3, suggesting that the use of selective extractants affected the activity of biomembrane. With the decreasing amount of microorganisms on the biomembrane after treated with selective extractants, the adsorption of heavy metals by the biomembrane was gradually depressed. PMID:16706056

  1. Seasonal and diel habitat selection by bluegills in a shallow natural lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, C.P.; Willis, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    Habitat use by bluegill Lepomis macrochirus may be dictated by the avoidance of predators and the availability of prey. Previous work suggests that bluegills large enough to avoid predators will select habitats based on foraging profitability. However, these studies focused on smaller fish (200 mm total length [TL]) bluegills in a shallow (mean depth = 1.2 m), 332-ha, natural lake (Pelican Lake, Nebraska) with both emergent and submergent vegetation distributed throughout. A total of 78 bluegills (200-273 mm TL) were implanted with radio transmitters and relocated daily for 6 d per month (April-September); up to 20 of the tagged fish were relocated every 2 h for a 24-h period once each month. Regardless of diel period, bluegills used open-water, emergent vegetation, submergent vegetation, and mixed emergent - submergent vegetation habitat types in similar proportions. During April, June, and July, male bluegills positively selected emergent vegetation, whereas female bluegills showed no vegetation selection preference during any month. Throughout the study period, bluegills never avoided open-water habitats, suggesting that larger individuals may continue to use open-water habitats in proportion to their availability. In addition, emergent vegetation appeared to be important, particularly for male bluegills. Although the mechanism for the positive selection of emergent vegetation by males was unclear, the protection or enhancement of such habitats may facilitate the preservation of quality bluegill populations in shallow lakes.

  2. Estimating heritabilities and genetic correlations: comparing the 'animal model' with parent-offspring regression using data from a natural population.

    PubMed

    Akesson, Mikael; Bensch, Staffan; Hasselquist, Dennis; Tarka, Maja; Hansson, Bengt

    2008-01-01

    Quantitative genetic parameters are nowadays more frequently estimated with restricted maximum likelihood using the 'animal model' than with traditional methods such as parent-offspring regressions. These methods have however rarely been evaluated using equivalent data sets. We compare heritabilities and genetic correlations from animal model and parent-offspring analyses, respectively, using data on eight morphological traits in the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus). Animal models were run using either mean trait values or individual repeated measurements to be able to separate between effects of including more extended pedigree information and effects of replicated sampling from the same individuals. We show that the inclusion of more pedigree information by the use of mean traits animal models had limited effect on the standard error and magnitude of heritabilities. In contrast, the use of repeated measures animal model generally had a positive effect on the sampling accuracy and resulted in lower heritabilities; the latter due to lower additive variance and higher phenotypic variance. For most trait combinations, both animal model methods gave genetic correlations that were lower than the parent-offspring estimates, whereas the standard errors were lower only for the mean traits animal model. We conclude that differences in heritabilities between the animal model and parent-offspring regressions were mostly due to the inclusion of individual replicates to the animal model rather than the inclusion of more extended pedigree information. Genetic correlations were, on the other hand, primarily affected by the inclusion of more pedigree information. This study is to our knowledge the most comprehensive empirical evaluation of the performance of the animal model in relation to parent-offspring regressions in a wild population. Our conclusions should be valuable for reconciliation of data obtained in earlier studies as well as for future meta

  3. Animal welfare: an animal science approach.

    PubMed

    Koknaroglu, H; Akunal, T

    2013-12-01

    Increasing world population and demand for animal-derived protein puts pressure on animal production to meet this demand. For this purpose animal breeding efforts were conducted to obtain the maximum yield that the genetic makeup of the animals permits. Under the influence of economics which is the driving force behind animal production, animal farming became more concentrated and controlled which resulted in rearing animals under confinement. Since more attention was given on economics and yield per animal, animal welfare and behavior were neglected. Animal welfare which can be defined as providing environmental conditions in which animals can display all their natural behaviors in nature started gaining importance in recent years. This does not necessarily mean that animals provided with good management practices would have better welfare conditions as some animals may be distressed even though they are in good environmental conditions. Consumers are willing to pay more for welfare-friendly products (e.g.: free range vs caged egg) and this will change the animal production practices in the future. Thus animal scientists will have to adapt themselves for the changing animal welfare rules and regulations that differ for farm animal species and countries. In this review paper, animal welfare is discussed from an animal science standpoint. PMID:23664009

  4. Cyromazine imprinted polymers for selective stir bar sorptive extraction of melamine in animal feed and milk samples.

    PubMed

    Fan, Wenying; Gao, Mingqi; He, Man; Chen, Beibei; Hu, Bin

    2015-06-21

    In this work, a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) coated stir bar was prepared using a self-designed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) mold and in situ polymerization, with cyromazine as the dummy template for the target melamine. The prepared MIP coated stir bar presented a uniform and porous surface as well as good chemical stability and selectivity for melamine. Based on it, a method of MIP coated stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) combined with high performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) was developed for the quantification of melamine in food samples. Significant factors affecting the extraction efficiency of melamine by MIP-SBSE, such as the extraction solvent and time, stirring rate, desorption solvent and time, were investigated thoroughly. Under the optimal conditions, the analytical performance of this method was evaluated. The detection limit of the developed method was 0.54 μg L(-1) for melamine with an enrichment factor of 42-fold and the relative standard deviation (RSD) of 6.1% (c = 5 μg L(-1), n = 7), and the linear range was 2-200 μg L(-1). The established method was applied for the determination of melamine in a variety of real samples including cat food, dog food, chicken feed A, chicken feed B and milk powder, and the recoveries for melamine in the spiked samples were in the range of 76.2-98.2%, 80.0-85.5%, 89.5-113%, 85.0-95.5% and 65.0-111%, respectively. The proposed method presented a good specific recognition ability and matrix interference resistance, and was demonstrated to be effective and sensitive for the analysis of melamine in animal food and milk samples. PMID:25875596

  5. Different methods of selecting animals for genotyping to maximize the amount of genetic information known in the population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A simulation study was carried out to develop and compare different methods of sampling animals to be genotyped. The simulated pedigrees included 5,000 animals and were assigned genotypes based on assumed allelic frequencies (favorable/unfavorable) of 0.3/0.7, 0.5/0.5, and 0.8/0.2. A real beef cat...

  6. Laboratory animal models to study foot-and-mouth disease: a review with emphasis on natural and vaccine-induced immunity.

    PubMed

    Habiela, Mohammed; Seago, Julian; Perez-Martin, Eva; Waters, Ryan; Windsor, Miriam; Salguero, Francisco J; Wood, James; Charleston, Bryan; Juleff, Nicholas

    2014-11-01

    Laboratory animal models have provided valuable insight into foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) pathogenesis in epidemiologically important target species. While not perfect, these models have delivered an accelerated time frame to characterize the immune responses in natural hosts and a platform to evaluate therapeutics and vaccine candidates at a reduced cost. Further expansion of these models in mice has allowed access to genetic mutations not available for target species, providing a powerful and versatile experimental system to interrogate the immune response to FMDV and to target more expensive studies in natural hosts. The purpose of this review is to describe commonly used FMDV infection models in laboratory animals and to cite examples of when these models have failed or successfully provided insight relevant for target species, with an emphasis on natural and vaccine-induced immunity. PMID:25000962

  7. Laboratory animal models to study foot-and-mouth disease: a review with emphasis on natural and vaccine-induced immunity

    PubMed Central

    Habiela, Mohammed; Seago, Julian; Perez-Martin, Eva; Waters, Ryan; Windsor, Miriam; Salguero, Francisco J.; Wood, James; Charleston, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    Laboratory animal models have provided valuable insight into foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) pathogenesis in epidemiologically important target species. While not perfect, these models have delivered an accelerated time frame to characterize the immune responses in natural hosts and a platform to evaluate therapeutics and vaccine candidates at a reduced cost. Further expansion of these models in mice has allowed access to genetic mutations not available for target species, providing a powerful and versatile experimental system to interrogate the immune response to FMDV and to target more expensive studies in natural hosts. The purpose of this review is to describe commonly used FMDV infection models in laboratory animals and to cite examples of when these models have failed or successfully provided insight relevant for target species, with an emphasis on natural and vaccine-induced immunity. PMID:25000962

  8. Using Natural Selection to Explore the Adaptive Potential of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    Price, Dana C.; Levitan, Orly; Boyd, Jeffrey; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2014-01-01

    Improving feedstock is critical to facilitate the commercial utilization of algae, in particular in open pond systems where, due to the presence of competitors and pests, high algal growth rates and stress tolerance are beneficial. Here we raised laboratory cultures of the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under serial dilution to explore the potential of crop improvement using natural selection. The alga was evolved for 1,880 generations in liquid medium under continuous light (EL population). At the end of the experiment, EL cells had a growth rate that was 35% greater than the progenitor population (PL). The removal of acetate from the medium demonstrated that EL growth enhancement largely relied on efficient usage of this organic carbon source. Genome re-sequencing uncovered 1,937 polymorphic DNA regions in the EL population with 149 single nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in amino acid substitutions. Transcriptome analysis showed, in the EL population, significant up regulation of genes involved in protein synthesis, the cell cycle and cellular respiration, whereas the DNA repair pathway and photosynthesis were down regulated. Like other algae, EL cells accumulated neutral lipids under nitrogen depletion. Our work demonstrates transcriptome and genome-wide impacts of natural selection on algal cells and points to a useful strategy for strain improvement. PMID:24658261

  9. Ancestry variation and footprints of natural selection along the genome in Latin American populations

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Lian; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés; Xu, Shuhua; Wang, Sijia

    2016-01-01

    Latin American populations stem from the admixture of Europeans, Africans and Native Americans, which started over 400 years ago and had lasted for several centuries. Extreme deviation over the genome-wide average in ancestry estimations at certain genomic locations could reflect recent natural selection. We evaluated the distribution of ancestry estimations using 678 genome-wide microsatellite markers in 249 individuals from 13 admixed populations across Latin America. We found significant deviations in ancestry estimations including three locations with more than 3.5 times standard deviations from the genome-wide average: an excess of European ancestry at 1p36 and 14q32, and an excess of African ancestry at 6p22. Using simulations, we could show that at least the deviation at 6p22 was unlikely to result from genetic drift alone. By applying different linguistic groups as well as the most likely ancestral Native American populations as the ancestry, we showed that the choice of Native American ancestry could affect the local ancestry estimation. However, the signal at 6p22 consistently appeared in most of the analyses using various ancestral groups. This study provided important insights for recent natural selection in the context of the unique history of the New World and implications for disease mapping. PMID:26887503

  10. Scaffolding Preservice Science Teachers' Evidence-Based Arguments During an Investigation of Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zembal-Saul, Carla; Munford, Danusa; Crawford, Barbara; Friedrichsen, Patricia; Land, Susan

    2002-08-01

    In this qualitative case study, preservice science teachers (PSTs) enrolled in their advanced methods course participated in a complex, data-rich investigation based on an adapted version of the Struggle for Survival curriculum. Fundamental to the investigation was the use of the Galapagos Finches software and an emphasis on giving priority to evidence and constructing evidence-based arguments. The questions that guided the research were: (1) What is the nature of the scientific arguments developed by PSTs? (2) How do PSTs go about constructing scientific arguments (emphasis on processes and strategies)? (3) In what ways do the scaffolds embedded in the Galapagos Finches software influence the development of PSTs arguments? Two pairs of PSTs were selected for in-depth examination. The primary sources of data were the electronic artifacts generated in the Galapagos Finches software environment and the videotaped interactions of both pairs as they investigated the data set, constructed and revised their arguments, engaged in peer review sessions, and presented their arguments to the class at the end of the unit. Four major patterns emerged through analysis of the data. First, using the software, PSTs consistently constructed claims that were linked to evidence from the investigation. Second, although PSTs consistently grounded their arguments in evidence, they still exhibited a number of limitations reported in the literature. Third, the software served as a powerful vehicle for revealing PSTs knowledge of evolution and natural selection. Finally, the PSTs approach to the task had a strong influence on the way they used the software.

  11. Stochastic effects in adaptive reconstruction of body damage: implied the creativity of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Bo; Cui, Li-Qiang; Chen, Tian-Ming; Lian, Bin

    2015-01-01

    After an injury occurs, mechanical/biochemical loads on muscles influence the composition and structure of recovering muscles; this effect likely occurs in other tissues, cells and biological molecules as well owing to the similarity, interassociation and interaction among biochemical reactions and molecules. The ‘damage and reconstruction’ model provides an explanation for how an ideal cytoarchitecture is created by reducing components not suitable for bearing loads; in this model, adaptive changes are induced by promoting the stochasticity of biochemical reactions. Biochemical and mechanical loads can direct the stochasticity of biochemical reactions, which can in turn induce cellular changes. Thus, mechanical and biochemical loads, under natural selection pressure, modify the direction of cell- and tissue-level changes and guide the formation of new structures and traits, thereby influencing microevolution. In summary, the ‘damage and reconstruction’ model accounts for the role of natural selection in the formation of new organisms, helps explain punctuated equilibrium, and illustrates how macroevolution arises from microevolution. PMID:26153081

  12. Complementary effect of natural and sexual selection against immigrants maintains differentiation between locally adapted fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plath, Martin; Riesch, Rüdiger; Oranth, Alexandra; Dzienko, Justina; Karau, Nora; Schießl, Angela; Stadler, Stefan; Wigh, Adriana; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Schlupp, Ingo; Tobler, Michael

    2010-08-01

    Adaptation to ecologically heterogeneous environments can drive speciation. But what mechanisms maintain reproductive isolation among locally adapted populations? Using poeciliid fishes in a system with naturally occurring toxic hydrogen sulfide, we show that (a) fish from non-sulfidic sites ( Poecilia mexicana) show high mortality (95 %) after 24 h when exposed to the toxicant, while locally adapted fish from sulfidic sites ( Poecilia sulphuraria) experience low mortality (13 %) when transferred to non-sulfidic water. (b) Mate choice tests revealed that P. mexicana females exhibit a preference for conspecific males in non-sulfidic water, but not in sulfidic water, whereas P. sulphuraria females never showed a preference. Increased costs of mate choice in sulfidic, hypoxic water, and the lack of selection for reinforcement due to the low survival of P. mexicana may explain the absence of a preference in P. sulphuraria females. Taken together, our study may be the first to demonstrate independent—but complementary—effects of natural and sexual selection against immigrants maintaining differentiation between locally adapted fish populations.

  13. Natural selection in utero induced by mass layoffs: the hCG evidence

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, Ralph; Margerison-Zilko, Claire; Goldman-Mellor, Sidra; Pearl, Michelle; Anderson, Elizabeth; Saxton, Katherine; Bruckner, Tim; Subbaraman, Meenakshi; Goodman, Julia; Epstein, Mollie; Currier, Robert; Kharrazi, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary theory, when coupled with research from epidemiology, demography, and population endocrinology, suggests that contracting economies affect the fitness and health of human populations via natural selection in utero. We know, for example, that fetal death increases more among males than females when the economy unexpectedly contracts; that unexpected economic contraction predicts low secondary sex ratios; and that males from low sex ratio birth cohorts live, on average, longer than those from high sex ratio cohorts. We also know that low levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (i.e., hCG) measured in the serum of pregnant women predict fetal death. We do not, however, know whether male survivors of conception cohorts subjected to contracting economies exhibit, as theory predicts, higher hCG than those from other cohorts. We show, in 71 monthly conception cohorts including nearly two million California births, that they do. We thereby add to the literature suggesting that the economy, a phenomenon over which we collectively exercise at least some control, affects population health. Our findings imply that the effect arises via natural selection – a mechanism we largely ignore when attempting to explain, or alter, how collective choice affects our biology. PMID:23346225

  14. Ancestry variation and footprints of natural selection along the genome in Latin American populations.

    PubMed

    Deng, Lian; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés; Xu, Shuhua; Wang, Sijia

    2016-01-01

    Latin American populations stem from the admixture of Europeans, Africans and Native Americans, which started over 400 years ago and had lasted for several centuries. Extreme deviation over the genome-wide average in ancestry estimations at certain genomic locations could reflect recent natural selection. We evaluated the distribution of ancestry estimations using 678 genome-wide microsatellite markers in 249 individuals from 13 admixed populations across Latin America. We found significant deviations in ancestry estimations including three locations with more than 3.5 times standard deviations from the genome-wide average: an excess of European ancestry at 1p36 and 14q32, and an excess of African ancestry at 6p22. Using simulations, we could show that at least the deviation at 6p22 was unlikely to result from genetic drift alone. By applying different linguistic groups as well as the most likely ancestral Native American populations as the ancestry, we showed that the choice of Native American ancestry could affect the local ancestry estimation. However, the signal at 6p22 consistently appeared in most of the analyses using various ancestral groups. This study provided important insights for recent natural selection in the context of the unique history of the New World and implications for disease mapping. PMID:26887503

  15. Successful vaccines for naturally occurring protozoal diseases of animals should guide human vaccine research. A review of protozoal vaccines and their designs.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Milton M

    2014-04-01

    Effective vaccines are available for many protozoal diseases of animals, including vaccines for zoonotic pathogens and for several species of vector-transmitted apicomplexan haemoparasites. In comparison with human diseases, vaccine development for animals has practical advantages such as the ability to perform experiments in the natural host, the option to manufacture some vaccines in vivo, and lower safety requirements. Although it is proper for human vaccines to be held to higher standards, the enduring lack of vaccines for human protozoal diseases is difficult to reconcile with the comparatively immense amount of research funding. Common tactical problems of human protozoal vaccine research include reliance upon adapted rather than natural animal disease models, and an overwhelming emphasis on novel approaches that are usually attempted in replacement of rather than for improvement upon the types of designs used in effective veterinary vaccines. Currently, all effective protozoal vaccines for animals are predicated upon the ability to grow protozoal organisms. Because human protozoal vaccines need to be as effective as animal vaccines, researchers should benefit from a comparison of existing veterinary products and leading experimental vaccine designs. With this in mind, protozoal vaccines are here reviewed. PMID:24476952

  16. Evolution in action in the classroom: Engaging students in scientific practices to develop a conceptual understanding of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Wendy Renae

    Public understanding and acceptance of the theory of evolution in the United States is not commensurate with its acceptance in the scientific community and its role as the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. There are a multitude of factors that affect student understanding of the theory of evolution documented in the literature including the proposition that understanding of evolution is intimately linked to understanding the nature of science. This study describes the development, implementation, and assessment of learning activities that address the process of natural selection and the scientific methodology that illuminates these mechanisms. While pre and post-test scores were higher for students in an Advanced Placement Biology course than students in a general biology course, similar learning gains were observed in both groups. Learning gains were documented in understanding the random nature of mutations and their importance to the process of natural selection, explaining selection as a competitive advantage of one variation over another type and specifically linking this to reproductive success, and in connecting inheritance, variation, and selection to explain the process of natural selection. Acceptance of the scientific validity of the theory of evolution as measured by the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) Instrument also increased significantly in both groups over the course of the school year. These findings suggest that the sequence of activities implemented in this study promote conceptual change about the nature of science and the process of evolution by natural selection in students.

  17. Genetic and Phenotypic Selection Affect Natural (Auto-) Antibody Reactivity of Chickens

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Britt G.; Lammers, Aart; Oberendorf, Leonora A. A.; Nieuwland, Mike G. B.; Savelkoul, Huub F. J.; Parmentier, Henk K.

    2013-01-01

    Specificity, antibody isotype distribution and levels of natural antibodies (NAb) may be potential informative parameters for immune mediated natural disease resistance, immune modulation, and maintenance of physiological homeostasis. A large proportion of mammalian NAb have affinity for or are directed against self-antigens; so called natural auto antibodies (N(A)Ab). In the present study we showed the presence and typed levels and isotypes (total immunoglobulins, IgG and IgM) of N(A)Ab in plasma binding the ‘auto-antigen’ complex chicken liver cell lysate (CLL) of one-year old chickens from different genotype and phenotype backgrounds by ELISA and quantitative Western blotting. Higher levels of N(A)Ab binding CLL were found in plasma from chickens genetically selected for high specific antibody responses. In all birds, extensive staining patterns of plasma antibodies binding CLL were found for all isotypes, with IgG binding the highest number of CLL antigens and also showing the highest variation in staining patterns between individuals. Patterns of IgM antibodies binding CLL appeared to be more similar in all lines. Significant differences of binding patterns of N(A)Ab (antigen fragments of CLL and staining intensity) were detected between the different chicken lines, and lines could be clustered on the basis of their auto-antibody profile. In addition, also individual differences within lines were found. The present results indicate that analysis of the levels and the N(A)Ab repertoire of poultry like in mammals could provide a new way of distinguishing differences of immune competence and immune maturation between individuals, and could provide tools to select birds for health traits, or optimize hygiene and husbandry procedures. PMID:24039748

  18. Detecting Genomic Signatures of Natural Selection with Principal Component Analysis: Application to the 1000 Genomes Data

    PubMed Central

    Duforet-Frebourg, Nicolas; Luu, Keurcien; Laval, Guillaume; Bazin, Eric; Blum, Michael G.B.

    2016-01-01

    To characterize natural selection, various analytical methods for detecting candidate genomic regions have been developed. We propose to perform genome-wide scans of natural selection using principal component analysis (PCA). We show that the common FST index of genetic differentiation between populations can be viewed as the proportion of variance explained by the principal components. Considering the correlations between genetic variants and each principal component provides a conceptual framework to detect genetic variants involved in local adaptation without any prior definition of populations. To validate the PCA-based approach, we consider the 1000 Genomes data (phase 1) considering 850 individuals coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The number of genetic variants is of the order of 36 millions obtained with a low-coverage sequencing depth (3×). The correlations between genetic variation and each principal component provide well-known targets for positive selection (EDAR, SLC24A5, SLC45A2, DARC), and also new candidate genes (APPBPP2, TP1A1, RTTN, KCNMA, MYO5C) and noncoding RNAs. In addition to identifying genes involved in biological adaptation, we identify two biological pathways involved in polygenic adaptation that are related to the innate immune system (beta defensins) and to lipid metabolism (fatty acid omega oxidation). An additional analysis of European data shows that a genome scan based on PCA retrieves classical examples of local adaptation even when there are no well-defined populations. PCA-based statistics, implemented in the PCAdapt R package and the PCAdapt fast open-source software, retrieve well-known signals of human adaptation, which is encouraging for future whole-genome sequencing project, especially when defining populations is difficult. PMID:26715629

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Ho, Shih-Ju

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Allocating structure to function: the strong links between neuroplasticity and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael L.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    A central question in brain evolution is how species-typical behaviors, and the neural function-structure mappings supporting them, can be acquired and inherited. Advocates of brain modularity, in its different incarnations across scientific subfields, argue that natural selection must target domain-dedicated, separately modifiable neural subsystems, resulting in genetically-specified functional modules. In such modular systems, specification of neuron number and functional connectivity are necessarily linked. Mounting evidence, however, from allometric, developmental, comparative, systems-physiological, neuroimaging and neurological studies suggests that brain elements are used and reused in multiple functional systems. This variable allocation can be seen in short-term neuromodulation, in neuroplasticity over the lifespan and in response to damage. We argue that the same processes are evident in brain evolution. Natural selection must preserve behavioral functions that may co-locate in variable amounts with other functions. In genetics, the uses and problems of pleiotropy, the re-use of genes in multiple networks have been much discussed, but this issue has been sidestepped in neural systems by the invocation of modules. Here we highlight the interaction between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms to produce distributed and overlapping functional architectures in the brain. These adaptive mechanisms must be robust to perturbations that might disrupt critical information processing and action selection, but must also recognize useful new sources of information arising from internal genetic or environmental variability, when those appear. These contrasting properties of “robustness” and “evolvability” have been discussed for the basic organization of body plan and fundamental cell physiology. Here we extend them to the evolution and development, “evo-devo,” of brain structure. PMID:24431995

  1. Detecting Genomic Signatures of Natural Selection with Principal Component Analysis: Application to the 1000 Genomes Data.

    PubMed

    Duforet-Frebourg, Nicolas; Luu, Keurcien; Laval, Guillaume; Bazin, Eric; Blum, Michael G B

    2016-04-01

    To characterize natural selection, various analytical methods for detecting candidate genomic regions have been developed. We propose to perform genome-wide scans of natural selection using principal component analysis (PCA). We show that the common FST index of genetic differentiation between populations can be viewed as the proportion of variance explained by the principal components. Considering the correlations between genetic variants and each principal component provides a conceptual framework to detect genetic variants involved in local adaptation without any prior definition of populations. To validate the PCA-based approach, we consider the 1000 Genomes data (phase 1) considering 850 individuals coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The number of genetic variants is of the order of 36 millions obtained with a low-coverage sequencing depth (3×). The correlations between genetic variation and each principal component provide well-known targets for positive selection (EDAR, SLC24A5, SLC45A2, DARC), and also new candidate genes (APPBPP2, TP1A1, RTTN, KCNMA, MYO5C) and noncoding RNAs. In addition to identifying genes involved in biological adaptation, we identify two biological pathways involved in polygenic adaptation that are related to the innate immune system (beta defensins) and to lipid metabolism (fatty acid omega oxidation). An additional analysis of European data shows that a genome scan based on PCA retrieves classical examples of local adaptation even when there are no well-defined populations. PCA-based statistics, implemented in the PCAdapt R package and the PCAdapt fast open-source software, retrieve well-known signals of human adaptation, which is encouraging for future whole-genome sequencing project, especially when defining populations is difficult. PMID:26715629

  2. Negative frequency-dependent selection or alternative reproductive tactics: maintenance of female polymorphism in natural populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sex-limited polymorphisms have long intrigued evolutionary biologists and have been the subject of long-standing debates. The coexistence of multiple male and/or female morphs is widely believed to be maintained through negative frequency-dependent selection imposed by social interactions. However, remarkably few empirical studies have evaluated how social interactions, morph frequencies and fitness parameters relate to one another under natural conditions. Here, we test two hypotheses proposed to explain the maintenance of a female polymorphism in a species with extreme geographical variation in morph frequencies. We first elucidate how fecundity traits of the morphs vary in relation to the frequencies and densities of males and female morphs in multiple sites over multiple years. Second, we evaluate whether the two female morphs differ in resource allocation among fecundity traits, indicating alternative tactics to maximize reproductive output. Results We present some of the first empirical evidence collected under natural conditions that egg number and clutch mass was higher in the rarer female morph. This morph-specific fecundity advantage gradually switched with the population morph frequency. Our results further indicate that all investigated fecundity traits are negatively affected by relative male density (i.e. operational sex ratio), which confirms male harassment as selective agent. Finally, we show a clear trade-off between qualitative (egg mass) and quantitative (egg number) fecundity traits. This trade-off, however, is not morph-specific. Conclusion Our reported frequency- and density-dependent fecundity patterns are consistent with the hypothesis that the polymorphism is driven by a conflict between sexes over optimal mating rate, with costly male sexual harassment driving negative frequency-dependent selection on morph fecundity. PMID:23822745

  3. Winter habitat selection of mule deer before and during development of a natural gas field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.; McDonald, L.L.

    2006-01-01

    Increased levels of natural gas exploration, development, and production across the Intermountain West have created a variety of concerns for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations, including direct habitat loss to road and well-pad construction and indirect habitat losses that may occur if deer use declines near roads or well pads. We examined winter habitat selection patterns of adult female mule deer before and during the first 3 years of development in a natural gas field in western Wyoming. We used global positioning system (GPS) locations collected from a sample of adult female mule deer to model relative frequency or probability of use as a function of habitat variables. Model coefficients and predictive maps suggested mule deer were less likely to occupy areas in close proximity to well pads than those farther away. Changes in habitat selection appeared to be immediate (i.e., year 1 of development), and no evidence of well-pad acclimation occurred through the course of the study; rather, mule deer selected areas farther from well pads as development progressed. Lower predicted probabilities of use within 2.7 to 3.7 km of well pads suggested indirect habitat losses may be substantially larger than direct habitat losses. Additionally, some areas classified as high probability of use by mule deer before gas field development changed to areas of low use following development, and others originally classified as low probability of use were used more frequently as the field developed. If areas with high probability of use before development were those preferred by the deer, observed shifts in their distribution as development progressed were toward less-preferred and presumably less-suitable habitats.

  4. On the Nature of the First Galaxies Selected at 350 Micrometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khan, Sophia A.; Chanial, Pierre F.; Willner, S. P.; Pearson, Chris P.; Ashby, M. L. N.; Benford, Dominic J.; Clements, David L.; Dye, Simon; Farrah, Duncan; Fazio, G. G.; Huang, J. S.; Lebouteiller, V.; Le Floc'H, Emeric; Mainetti, Gabriele; Harvey Moseley, S.; Negrello, Mattia; Serjeant, Stephen; Shafer, Richard A.; Staguhn, Johannes; Sumner, Timothy J.; Vaccari, Mattia

    2009-01-01

    We present constraints on the nature of the first galaxies selected at 350 micrometers. The sample includes galaxies discovered in the deepest blank-field survey at 350 micrometers (in the Bo6tes Deep Field) and also later serendipitous detections in the Lockman Hole. In determining multiwavelength identifications, the 350 lam position and map resolution of the second generation Submillimeter High Angular Resolution Camera are critical, especially in the cases where multiple radio sources exist and the 24 micrometer counterparts are unresolved. Spectral energy distribution templates are fitted to identified counterparts, and the sample is found to comprise IR-luminous galaxies at 1 < z < 3 predominantly powered by star formation. The first spectrum of a 350 micrometer selected galaxy provides an additional confirmation, showing prominent dust grain features typically associated with star-forming galaxies. Compared to submillimeter galaxies selected at 850 and 1100 micrometers, galaxies selected at 350 micrometers have a similar range of far-infrared color temperatures. However, no 350 micrometer selected sources are reliably detected at 850 or 1100 micrometers. Galaxies in our sample with redshifts 1 < z < 2 show a tight correlation between the far- and mid-infrared flux densities, but galaxies at higher redshifts show a large dispersion in their mid- to far-infrared colors. This implies a limit to which the mid-IR emission traces the far-IR emission in star-forming galaxies. The 350 micrometer flux densities (15 < S(sub 350) < 40 mJy) place these objects near the Herschel/SPIRE 350 micrometer confusion threshold, with the lower limit on the star formation rate density suggesting the bulk of the 350 micrometers contribution will come from less luminous infrared sources and normal galaxies. Therefore, the nature of the dominant source of the 350 micrometers background-star-forming galaxies in the epoch of peak star formation in the universe-could be more effectively

  5. The relative influence of natural selection and geography on gene flow in guppies.

    PubMed

    Crispo, Erika; Bentzen, Paul; Reznick, David N; Kinnison, Michael T; Hendry, Andrew P

    2006-01-01

    Two general processes may influence gene flow among populations. One involves divergent selection, wherein the maladaptation of immigrants and hybrids impedes gene flow between ecological environments (i.e. ecological speciation). The other involves geographic features that limit dispersal. We determined the relative influence of these two processes in natural populations of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). If selection is important, gene flow should be reduced between different selective environments. If geography is important, gene flow should be impeded by geographic distance and physical barriers. We examined how genetic divergence, long-term gene flow, and contemporary dispersal within a watershed were influenced by waterfalls, geographic distance, predation, and habitat features. We found that waterfalls and geographic distance increased genetic divergence and reduced dispersal and long-term gene flow. Differences in predation or habitat features did not influence genetic divergence or gene flow. In contrast, differences in predation did appear to reduce contemporary dispersal. We suggest that the standard predictions of ecological speciation may be heavily nuanced by the mating behaviour and life history strategies of guppies. PMID:16367829

  6. Animal Sociology and a Natural Economy of the Body Politic, Part II: The Past Is the Contested Zone: Human Nature and Theories of Production and Reproduction in Primate Behavior Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haraway, Donna

    1978-01-01

    Theories of animal and human society based on sex and reproduction have been powerful in legitimating beliefs in the natural necessity of aggression, competition, and hierarchy. Feminists attempting to answer this bias are caught in a political-scientific struggle to formulate and articulate adequate biosocial theories. (Author/KR)

  7. Circum-Mediterranean cultural heritage and medicinal plant uses in traditional animal healthcare: a field survey in eight selected areas within the RUBIA project.

    PubMed

    Pieroni, Andrea; Giusti, Maria Elena; de Pasquale, Caterina; Lenzarini, Cinzia; Censorii, Eleonora; Gonzáles-Tejero, María Reyes; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Ramiro-Gutiérrez, Jose M; Skoula, Melpomeni; Johnson, Chris; Sarpaki, Anaya; Della, Athena; Paraskeva-Hadijchambi, Demetra; Hadjichambis, Andreas; Hmamouchi, Mohammed; El-Jorhi, Said; El-Demerdash, Mohamed; El-Zayat, Mustafa; Al-Shahaby, Omar; Houmani, Zahia; Scherazed, Mekious

    2006-01-01

    During the years 2003-2005, a comparative ethnobotanical field survey was conducted on remedies used in traditional animal healthcare in eight Mediterranean areas. The study sites were selected within the EU-funded RUBIA project, and were as follows: the upper Kelmend Province of Albania; the Capannori area in Eastern Tuscany and the Bagnocavallo area of Romagna, Italy; Cercle de Ouezanne, Morocco; Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park in the province of Huelva, Spain; the St. Catherine area of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt; Eastern and Western Crete, Greece; the Paphos and Larnaca areas of Cyprus; and the Mitidja area of Algeria.One hundred and thirty-six veterinary preparations and 110 plant taxa were recorded in the survey, with Asteraceae and Lamiaceae being the most quoted botanical families. For certain plant species the survey uncovered veterinary phytotherapeutical indications that were very uncommon, and to our knowledge never recorded before. These include Anabasis articulata (Chenopodiaceae), Cardopatium corymbosum (Asteraceae), Lilium martagon (Liliaceae), Dorycnium rectum (Fabaceae), Oenanthe pimpinelloides (Apiaceae), Origanum floribundum (Lamiaceae), Tuberaria lignosa (Cistaceae), and Dittrichia graveolens (Asteraceae). These phytotherapeutical indications are briefly discussed in this report, taking into account modern phytopharmacology and phytochemistry.The percentage of overall botanical veterinary taxa recorded in all the study areas was extremely low (8%), however when all taxa belonging to the same botanical genus are considered, this portion increases to 17%. Nevertheless, very few plant uses were found to be part of a presumed "Mediterranean" cultural heritage in veterinary practices, which raises critical questions about the concept of Mediterraneanism in ethnobotany and suggests that further discussion is required.Nearly the half of the recorded veterinary plant uses for mammals uncovered in this survey have also been recorded in

  8. Circum-Mediterranean cultural heritage and medicinal plant uses in traditional animal healthcare: a field survey in eight selected areas within the RUBIA project

    PubMed Central

    Pieroni, Andrea; Giusti, Maria Elena; de Pasquale, Caterina; Lenzarini, Cinzia; Censorii, Eleonora; Gonzáles-Tejero, María Reyes; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Ramiro-Gutiérrez, Jose M; Skoula, Melpomeni; Johnson, Chris; Sarpaki, Anaya; Della, Athena; Paraskeva-Hadijchambi, Demetra; Hadjichambis, Andreas; Hmamouchi, Mohammed; El-Jorhi, Said; El-Demerdash, Mohamed; El-Zayat, Mustafa; Al-Shahaby, Omar; Houmani, Zahia; Scherazed, Mekious

    2006-01-01

    During the years 2003–2005, a comparative ethnobotanical field survey was conducted on remedies used in traditional animal healthcare in eight Mediterranean areas. The study sites were selected within the EU-funded RUBIA project, and were as follows: the upper Kelmend Province of Albania; the Capannori area in Eastern Tuscany and the Bagnocavallo area of Romagna, Italy; Cercle de Ouezanne, Morocco; Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park in the province of Huelva, Spain; the St. Catherine area of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt; Eastern and Western Crete, Greece; the Paphos and Larnaca areas of Cyprus; and the Mitidja area of Algeria. One hundred and thirty-six veterinary preparations and 110 plant taxa were recorded in the survey, with Asteraceae and Lamiaceae being the most quoted botanical families. For certain plant species the survey uncovered veterinary phytotherapeutical indications that were very uncommon, and to our knowledge never recorded before. These include Anabasis articulata (Chenopodiaceae), Cardopatium corymbosum (Asteraceae), Lilium martagon (Liliaceae), Dorycnium rectum (Fabaceae), Oenanthe pimpinelloides (Apiaceae), Origanum floribundum (Lamiaceae), Tuberaria lignosa (Cistaceae), and Dittrichia graveolens (Asteraceae). These phytotherapeutical indications are briefly discussed in this report, taking into account modern phytopharmacology and phytochemistry. The percentage of overall botanical veterinary taxa recorded in all the study areas was extremely low (8%), however when all taxa belonging to the same botanical genus are considered, this portion increases to 17%. Nevertheless, very few plant uses were found to be part of a presumed "Mediterranean" cultural heritage in veterinary practices, which raises critical questions about the concept of Mediterraneanism in ethnobotany and suggests that further discussion is required. Nearly the half of the recorded veterinary plant uses for mammals uncovered in this survey have also been recorded

  9. Biomining with bacteriophage: selectivity of displayed peptides for naturally occurring sphalerite and chalcopyrite.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Susan B; Hewitt, Jeff; Macgillivray, Ross T A; Dunbar, W Scott

    2009-02-01

    During mineral processing, concentrates of sulfide minerals of economic interest are formed by froth flotation of fine ore particles. The method works well but recovery and selectivity can be poor for ores with complex mineralogy. There is considerable interest in methods that improve the selectivity of this process while avoiding the high costs of using flotation chemicals. Here we show the first application of phage biotechnology to the processing of economically important minerals in ore slurries. A random heptapeptide library was screened for peptide sequences that bind selectively to the minerals sphalerite (ZnS) and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). After several rounds of enrichment, cloned phage containing the surface peptide loops KPLLMGS and QPKGPKQ bound specifically to sphalerite. Phage containing the peptide loop TPTTYKV bound to both sphalerite and chalcopyrite. By using an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA), the phage was characterized as strong binders compared to wild-type phage. Specificity of binding was confirmed by immunochemical visualization of phage bound to mineral particles but not to silica (a waste mineral) or pyrite. The current study focused primarily on the isolation of ZnS-specific phage that could be utilized in the separation of sphalerite from silica. At mining sites where sphalerite and chalcopyrite are not found together in natural ores, the separation of sphalerite from silica would be an appropriate enrichment step. At mining sites where sphalerite and chalcopyrite do occur together, more specific phage would be required. This bacteriophage has the potential to be used in a more selective method of mineral separation and to be the basis for advanced methods of mineral processing. PMID:18767194

  10. Natural selection and the conditions for existence: representational vs. conditional teleology in biological explanation.

    PubMed

    Reiss, John O

    2005-01-01

    Human intentional action, including the design and use of artifacts, involves the prior mental representation of the goal (end) and the means to achieve that goal. This representation is part of the efficient cause of the action, and thus can be used to explain both the action and the achievement of the end. This is intentional teleological explanation. More generally, teleological explanation that depends on the real existence of a representation of the goal (and the means to achieve it) can be called representational teleological explanation. Such explanations in biology can involve both external representations (e.g., ideas in the mind of God) and internal representations (souls, vital powers, entelechies, developmental programs, etc.). However, another type of explanation of intentional action (or any other process) is possible. Given that an action achieving a result occurs, the action can be explained as fulfilling the necessary conditions (means) for that result (end), and, reciprocally, the result explained by the occurrence of those necessary conditions. This is conditional teleological explanation. For organisms, natural selection is often understood metaphorically as the designer, intentionally constructing them for certain ends. Unfortunately, this metaphor is often taken rather too literally, because it has been difficult to conceive of another way to relate natural selection to the process of evolution. I argue that combining a conditional teleological explanation of organisms and of evolution provides such an alternative. This conditional teleology can be grounded in existence or survival. Given that an organism exists, we can explain its existence by the occurrence of the necessary conditions for that existence. This principle of the 'conditions for existence' was introduced by Georges Cuvier in 1800, and provides a valid, conditional teleological method for explaining organismal structure and behavior. From an evolutionary perspective, the

  11. Self-organization and natural selection in the evolution of complex despotic societies.

    PubMed

    Hemelrijk, C K

    2002-06-01

    Differences between related species are usually explained as separate adaptations produced by individual selection. I discuss in this paper how related species, which differ in many respects, may evolve by a combination of individual selection, self-organization, and group-selection, requiring an evolutionary adaptation of only a single trait. In line with the supposed evolution of despotic species of macaques, we take as a starting point an ancestral species that is egalitarian and mildly aggressive. We suppose it to live in an environment with abundant food and we put the case that, if food becomes scarce and more clumped, natural selection at the level of the individual will favor individuals with a more intense aggression (implying, for instance, biting and fierce fighting). Using an individual-centered model, called DomWorld, I show what happens when the intensity of aggression increases. In DomWorld, group life is represented by artificial individuals that live in a homogeneous world. Individuals are extremely simple: all they do is flock together and, upon meeting one another, they may perform dominance interactions in which the effects of winning and losing are self-reinforcing. When the intensity of aggression in the model is increased, a complex feedback between the hierarchy and spatial structure results; via self-organization, this feedback causes the egalitarian society to change into a despotic one. The many differences between the two types of artificial society closely correspond to those between despotic and egalitarian macaques in the real world. Given that, in the model, the organization changes as a side effect of the change of one single trait proper to an egalitarian society, in the real world a despotic society may also have arisen as a side effect of the mutation of a single trait of an egalitarian species. If groups with different intensities of aggression evolve in this way, they will also have different gradients of hierarchy. When food

  12. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) 'The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia'.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Derek E G

    2015-04-19

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a 'weird wonder' (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750235

  13. Extraordinary fossils reveal the nature of Cambrian life: a commentary on Whittington (1975) ‘The enigmatic animal Opabinia regalis, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia’

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Derek E. G.

    2015-01-01

    Harry Whittington's 1975 monograph on Opabinia was the first to highlight how some of the Burgess Shale animals differ markedly from those that populate today's oceans. Categorized by Stephen J. Gould as a ‘weird wonder’ (Wonderful life, 1989) Opabinia, together with other unusual Burgess Shale fossils, stimulated ongoing debates about the early evolution of the major animal groups and the nature of the Cambrian explosion. The subsequent discovery of a number of other exceptionally preserved fossil faunas of Cambrian and early Ordovician age has significantly augmented the information available on this critical interval in the history of life. Although Opabinia initially defied assignment to any group of modern animals, it is now interpreted as lying below anomalocaridids on the stem leading to the living arthropods. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750235

  14. Transgenic Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaenisch, Rudolf

    1988-01-01

    Describes three methods and their advantages and disadvantages for introducing genes into animals. Discusses the predictability and tissue-specificity of the injected genes. Outlines the applications of transgenic technology for studying gene expression, the early stages of mammalian development, mutations, and the molecular nature of chromosomes.…

  15. Recognition of Time-Compressed and Natural Speech with Selective Temporal Enhancements by Young and Elderly Listeners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon-Salant, Sandra; Fitzgibbons, Peter J.; Friedman, Sarah A.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this experiment was to determine whether selective slowing of speech segments improves recognition performance by young and elderly listeners. The hypotheses were (a) the benefits of time expansion occur for rapid speech but not for natural-rate speech, (b) selective time expansion of consonants produces greater score…

  16. [Characteristics of Natural Selection in Populations of Nodule Bacteria (Rhizobium leguminosarum) Interacting With Different Host Plants].

    PubMed

    Andronov, E E; Igolkina, A A; Kimeklis, A K; Vorobyov, N I; Provorov, N A

    2015-10-01

    Using high throughput sequencing of the nodA gene, we studied the population dynamics of Rhizobium leguminosarum (bv. viciae, bv. trifolii) in rhizospheric and nodular subpopulations associated with the leguminous plants representing different cross-inoculation groups (Vicia sativa, Lathyrus pratensis of the vetch/vetchling/pea group and Trifolium hybridum of the clover group). The "rhizosphere-nodules" transitions result in either an increase or decrease in the frequencies of 10 of the 23 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (which were identified with 95% similarity) depending on the symbiotic specificity and phylogenetic positions of OTUs. Statistical and bioinformatical analysis of the population structures suggest that the type of natural selection responsible for these changes may be diversifying at the whole-population level and frequency-dependent at the OTU-specific level, ensuring the divergent evolution of rhizobia interacting with different host species. PMID:27169225

  17. Selection of Natural and Base-Modified DNA Aptamers for a Camptothecin Derivative.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Hiroto; Kuwahara, Masayasu

    2016-01-01

    Nucleic acid aptamers for small molecules are currently being developed and have a potential role in diverse applications including biosensing, diagnostics, and therapeutics involving low-molecular-weight biomarkers and drugs. To enhance and broaden their functions through chemical modification, systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) selection has been attempted with modified DNA/RNA libraries. Recently, we demonstrated the superior efficacy of base modification for affinity enhancement and the usefulness of unnatural nucleic acid libraries for development of small-molecule aptamers. In this unit, we describe construction of a modified DNA library that includes (E)-5-(2-(N-(2-(N(6) -adeninyl)ethyl))carbamylvinyl)uracil bases and acquisition of high-affinity camptothecin-binding DNA aptamers, in addition to those of the corresponding natural DNA library and aptamers, using the SELEX method. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27248786

  18. Effect of Dry Steam on Nature and Quality of Selected Characteristic Organic Chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z.; Yamasaki, N.; Ioku, K.

    2007-03-01

    In this study, effects of steam with different density (saturated and dry steam) on five characteristic organic chemicals such as alcohol, ester, aromatics, phenol and fatty acid were investigated below 200 °C. The natures of the tested organic chemicals were analyzed by weight loss in steam. The experimental results showed that the dissolving behavior of each organic compound in steam is significantly different. Alcohols and phenanthrene can dissolve easily in steam with low density; High saturated fatty acid cannot almost dissolve in steam below 200 °C; Ester are less stable in saturated steam; Phenols revealed a variable behavior characterized by an increase of weight at early stage and a decrease later in saturated steam, and companied by color change. It must be necessary to consider proper steam density condition for selective extraction of some special chemicals.

  19. The contribution of natural selection to present-day susceptibility to chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease

    PubMed Central

    Brinkworth, Jessica F; Barreiro, Luis B

    2015-01-01

    Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases have been the focus of many genome-wide association studies (GWAS) because they represent a significant cause of illness and morbidity, and many are heritable. Almost a decade of GWAS studies suggests that the pathological inflammation associated with these diseases is controlled by a limited number of networked immune system genes. Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are enigmatic from an evolutionary perspective because they exert a negative affect on reproductive fitness. The persistence of these conditions may be partially explained by the important roles the implicated immune genes play in pathogen defense and other functions thought to be under strong natural selection in humans. The evolutionary reasons for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease persistence and uneven distribution across populations are the focus of this review. PMID:25458997

  20. Change-Point Detection of Natural Frequency Using Dynamic Model Selection and Clustering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Kodai; Kaito, Kiyoyuki; Sogabe, Masamichi

    In order to apply structural monitoring into practice, it is indispensable to develop a method for change-point detection of bridge vibrational properties. In this study, the authors have developed a methodology using sequential prediction, dynamic model selection, and clustering, with the purpose of evaluating vibrational properties and its change timings. In order to examine the validity, the time series that had the change in frequency was calculated, and proposal method was applied. As a results, it was found that the natural frequency is detected. As for change timings, these were evaluated as change intervals. On the other hand, when the proposed method was applied to the acceleration response of a bridge when a train passes, it was found that bridge frequency can be extracted stably, and it is difficult to detect change timings when the change is small. Based on these results, factors were studied, and some solutions to the problems were proposed.

  1. Genome-wide selective sweeps and gene-specific sweeps in natural bacterial populations

    PubMed Central

    Bendall, Matthew L; Stevens, Sarah LR; Chan, Leong-Keat; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Froula, Jeff; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary A; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J; McMahon, Katherine D; Malmstrom, Rex R

    2016-01-01

    Multiple models describe the formation and evolution of distinct microbial phylogenetic groups. These evolutionary models make different predictions regarding how adaptive alleles spread through populations and how genetic diversity is maintained. Processes predicted by competing evolutionary models, for example, genome-wide selective sweeps vs gene-specific sweeps, could be captured in natural populations using time-series metagenomics if the approach were applied over a sufficiently long time frame. Direct observations of either process would help resolve how distinct microbial groups evolve. Here, from a 9-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake (2005–2013), we explore changes in single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in 30 bacterial populations. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied by >1000-fold among populations. SNP allele frequencies also changed dramatically over time within some populations. Interestingly, nearly all SNP variants were slowly purged over several years from one population of green sulfur bacteria, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were lost from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep in progress, a process predicted by the ‘ecotype model' of speciation but not previously observed in nature. In contrast, other populations contained large, SNP-free genomic regions that appear to have swept independently through the populations prior to the study without purging diversity elsewhere in the genome. Evidence for both genome-wide and gene-specific sweeps suggests that different models of bacterial speciation may apply to different populations coexisting in the same environment. PMID:26744812

  2. Natural abundance nitrogen-15 nuclear magnetic resonance spectral studies on selected donors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Someswara Rao, N.; Babu Rao, G.; Murthy, B. N.; Das, M. Maria; Prabhakar, T.; Lalitha, M.

    2002-10-01

    The natural abundance 15N-NMR chemical shifts of selected aliphatic amines, 2-substituted pyridine type compounds, bialicyclic tertiary amines have been measured as a function of the nature of the solvent. In the case of cyclic aliphatic amines, like piperidine, morpholine, piperazine, thiomorpholine, the nitrogen is more shielded in concentrated solution compared to that in dilute solution whereas in the hydrogen bonding and protonating solvents there is a prominent deshielding. 2-Substituted pyridines studied can be further divided into four sub groups. The site of hydrogen bonding and protonation in 2-amino, 2-hydroxy and 2-mercapto pyridines have been conclusively proved from the 15N-NMR chemical shifts and the well-known tautomeric forms of the above compounds. Similarly in the case of 2-(2-thienyl)pyridine and 2-(3-thienyl)pyridine, the site of donation has been proved as the nitrogen of the pyridine ring in both the compounds. In a similar manner, the site of hydrogen bonding and protonation in two individual compounds 2-anilinopyridine and 2-(2-pyridyl)benzimidazole have also been established. Among the bialicyclic amines, 1,2-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) behaved differently from the other two compounds. In both 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) and 1,5-diazabicyclo[4.3.0]non-5-ene (DBN), it was possible to show that N 1-nitrogen in both the compounds is the site of donation. The effect of the second donor site on the 15N-NMR chemical shift, the site of donation in the selected compounds and some typical compounds reported in literature have been presented and discussed.

  3. Genome-wide selective sweeps and gene-specific sweeps in natural bacterial populations.

    PubMed

    Bendall, Matthew L; Stevens, Sarah Lr; Chan, Leong-Keat; Malfatti, Stephanie; Schwientek, Patrick; Tremblay, Julien; Schackwitz, Wendy; Martin, Joel; Pati, Amrita; Bushnell, Brian; Froula, Jeff; Kang, Dongwan; Tringe, Susannah G; Bertilsson, Stefan; Moran, Mary A; Shade, Ashley; Newton, Ryan J; McMahon, Katherine D; Malmstrom, Rex R

    2016-07-01

    Multiple models describe the formation and evolution of distinct microbial phylogenetic groups. These evolutionary models make different predictions regarding how adaptive alleles spread through populations and how genetic diversity is maintained. Processes predicted by competing evolutionary models, for example, genome-wide selective sweeps vs gene-specific sweeps, could be captured in natural populations using time-series metagenomics if the approach were applied over a sufficiently long time frame. Direct observations of either process would help resolve how distinct microbial groups evolve. Here, from a 9-year metagenomic study of a freshwater lake (2005-2013), we explore changes in single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies and patterns of gene gain and loss in 30 bacterial populations. SNP analyses revealed substantial genetic heterogeneity within these populations, although the degree of heterogeneity varied by >1000-fold among populations. SNP allele frequencies also changed dramatically over time within some populations. Interestingly, nearly all SNP variants were slowly purged over several years from one population of green sulfur bacteria, while at the same time multiple genes either swept through or were lost from this population. These patterns were consistent with a genome-wide selective sweep in progress, a process predicted by the 'ecotype model' of speciation but not previously observed in nature. In contrast, other populations contained large, SNP-free genomic regions that appear to have swept independently through the populations prior to the study without purging diversity elsewhere in the genome. Evidence for both genome-wide and gene-specific sweeps suggests that different models of bacterial speciation may apply to different populations coexisting in the same environment. PMID:26744812

  4. THE zCOSMOS-SINFONI PROJECT. I. SAMPLE SELECTION AND NATURAL-SEEING OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Mancini, C.; Renzini, A.; Foerster Schreiber, N. M.; Hicks, E. K. S.; Genzel, R.; Tacconi, L.; Davies, R.; Cresci, G.; Peng, Y.; Lilly, S.; Carollo, M.; Oesch, P.; Vergani, D.; Pozzetti, L.; Zamorani, G.; Daddi, E.; McCracken, H. J.; Bouche, N.; Shapiro, K.; and others

    2011-12-10

    The zCOSMOS-SINFONI project is aimed at studying the physical and kinematical properties of a sample of massive z {approx} 1.4-2.5 star-forming galaxies, through SINFONI near-infrared integral field spectroscopy (IFS), combined with the multiwavelength information from the zCOSMOS (COSMOS) survey. The project is based on one hour of natural-seeing observations per target, and adaptive optics (AO) follow-up for a major part of the sample, which includes 30 galaxies selected from the zCOSMOS/VIMOS spectroscopic survey. This first paper presents the sample selection, and the global physical characterization of the target galaxies from multicolor photometry, i.e., star formation rate (SFR), stellar mass, age, etc. The H{alpha} integrated properties, such as, flux, velocity dispersion, and size, are derived from the natural-seeing observations, while the follow-up AO observations will be presented in the next paper of this series. Our sample appears to be well representative of star-forming galaxies at z {approx} 2, covering a wide range in mass and SFR. The H{alpha} integrated properties of the 25 H{alpha} detected galaxies are similar to those of other IFS samples at the same redshifts. Good agreement is found among the SFRs derived from H{alpha} luminosity and other diagnostic methods, provided the extinction affecting the H{alpha} luminosity is about twice that affecting the continuum. A preliminary kinematic analysis, based on the maximum observed velocity difference across the source and on the integrated velocity dispersion, indicates that the sample splits nearly 50-50 into rotation-dominated and velocity-dispersion-dominated galaxies, in good agreement with previous surveys.

  5. Human vs. Computer Diagnosis of Students' Natural Selection Knowledge: Testing the Efficacy of Text Analytic Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Haertig, Hendrik

    2012-02-01

    Our study examines the efficacy of Computer Assisted Scoring (CAS) of open-response text relative to expert human scoring within the complex domain of evolutionary biology. Specifically, we explored whether CAS can diagnose the explanatory elements (or Key Concepts) that comprise undergraduate students' explanatory models of natural selection with equal fidelity as expert human scorers in a sample of >1,000 essays. We used SPSS Text Analysis 3.0 to perform our CAS and measure Kappa values (inter-rater reliability) of KC detection (i.e., computer-human rating correspondence). Our first analysis indicated that the text analysis functions (or extraction rules) developed and deployed in SPSSTA to extract individual Key Concepts (KCs) from three different items differing in several surface features (e.g., taxon, trait, type of evolutionary change) produced "substantial" (Kappa 0.61-0.80) or "almost perfect" (0.81-1.00) agreement. The second analysis explored the measurement of human-computer correspondence for KC diversity (the number of different accurate knowledge elements) in the combined sample of all 827 essays. Here we found outstanding correspondence; extraction rules generated using one prompt type are broadly applicable to other evolutionary scenarios (e.g., bacterial resistance, cheetah running speed, etc.). This result is encouraging, as it suggests that the development of new item sets may not necessitate the development of new text analysis rules. Overall, our findings suggest that CAS tools such as SPSS Text Analysis may compensate for some of the intrinsic limitations of currently used multiple-choice Concept Inventories designed to measure student knowledge of natural selection.

  6. Nature's inordinate fondness for metabolic enzymes: why metabolic enzyme loci are so frequently targets of selection.

    PubMed

    Marden, James H

    2013-12-01

    Metabolic enzyme loci were some of the first genes accessible for molecular evolution and ecology research. New technologies now make the whole genome, transcriptome or proteome readily accessible, allowing unbiased scans for loci exhibiting significant differences in allele frequency or expression level and associated with phenotypes and/or responses to natural selection. With surprising frequency and in many cases in proportions greater than chance relative to other genes, glycolysis and TCA cycle enzyme loci appear among the genes with significant associations in these studies. Hence, there is an ongoing need to understand the basis for fitness effects of metabolic enzyme polymorphisms. Allele-specific effects on the binding affinity and catalytic rate of individual enzymes are well known, but often of uncertain significance because metabolic control theory and in vivo studies indicate that many individual metabolic enzymes do not affect pathway flux rate. I review research, so far little used in evolutionary biology, showing that metabolic enzyme substrates affect signalling pathways that regulate cell and organismal biology, and that these enzymes have moonlighting functions. To date there is little knowledge of how alleles in natural populations affect these phenotypes. I discuss an example in which alleles of a TCA enzyme locus associate with differences in a signalling pathway and development, organismal performance, and ecological dynamics. Ultimately, understanding how metabolic enzyme polymorphisms map to phenotypes and fitness remains a compelling and ongoing need for gaining robust knowledge of ecological and evolutionary processes. PMID:24106889

  7. Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: phage therapy and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Carolyn S.; Wight, Nathan; Crosson, Lisa M.; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

    Black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii, populations along the NE Pacific ocean have declined due to the rickettsial disease withering syndrome (WS). Natural recovery on San Nicolas Island (SNI) of Southern California suggested the development of resistance in island populations. Experimental challenges in one treatment demonstrated that progeny of disease-selected black abalone from SNI survived better than did those from naïve black abalone from Carmel Point in mainland coastal central California. Unexpectedly, the presence of a newly observed bacteriophage infecting the WS rickettsia (WS-RLO) had strong effects on the survival of infected abalone. Specifically, presence of phage-infected RLO (RLOv) reduced the host response to infection, RLO infection loads, and associated mortality. These data suggest that the black abalone: WS-RLO relationship is evolving through dual host mechanisms of resistance to RLO infection in the digestive gland via tolerance to infection in the primary target tissue (the post-esophagus) coupled with reduced pathogenicity of the WS-RLO by phage infection, which effectively reduces the infection load in the primary target tissue by half. Sea surface temperature patterns off southern California, associated with a recent hiatus in global-scale ocean warming, do not appear to be a sufficient explanation for survival patterns in SNI black abalone. These data highlight the potential for natural recovery of abalone populations over time and that further understanding of mechanisms governing host–parasite relationships will better enable us to manage declining populations. PMID:24672512

  8. Periodic Table of Virus Capsids: Implications for Natural Selection and Design

    PubMed Central

    Mannige, Ranjan V.; Brooks, Charles L.

    2010-01-01

    Background For survival, most natural viruses depend upon the existence of spherical capsids: protective shells of various sizes composed of protein subunits. So far, general evolutionary pressures shaping capsid design have remained elusive, even though an understanding of such properties may help in rationally impeding the virus life cycle and designing efficient nano-assemblies. Principal Findings This report uncovers an unprecedented and species-independent evolutionary pressure on virus capsids, based on the the notion that the simplest capsid designs (or those capsids with the lowest “hexamer complexity”, ) are the fittest, which was shown to be true for all available virus capsids. The theories result in a physically meaningful periodic table of virus capsids that uncovers strong and overarching evolutionary pressures, while also offering geometric explanations to other capsid properties (rigidity, pleomorphy, auxiliary requirements, etc.) that were previously considered to be unrelatable properties of the individual virus. Significance Apart from describing a universal rule for virus capsid evolution, our work (especially the periodic table) provides a language with which highly diverse virus capsids, unified only by geometry, may be described and related to each other. Finally, the available virus structure databases and other published data reiterate the predicted geometry-derived rules, reinforcing the role of geometry in the natural selection and design of virus capsids. PMID:20209096

  9. Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: Phage therapy and natural selection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vanblaricom, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii, populations along the NE Pacific ocean have declined due to the rickettsial disease withering syndrome (WS). Natural recovery on San Nicolas Island (SNI) of Southern California suggested the development of resistance in island populations. Experimental challenges in one treatment demonstrated that progeny of disease-selected black abalone from SNI survived better than did those from naïve black abalone from Carmel Point in mainland coastal central California. Unexpectedly, the presence of a newly observed bacteriophage infecting the WS rickettsia (WS-RLO) had strong effects on the survival of infected abalone. Specifically, presence of phage-infected RLO (RLOv) reduced the host response to infection, RLO infection loads, and associated mortality. These data suggest that the black abalone: WS-RLO relationship is evolving through dual host mechanisms of resistance to RLO infection in the digestive gland via tolerance to infection in the primary target tissue (the post-esophagus) coupled with reduced pathogenicity of the WS-RLO by phage infection, which effectively reduces the infection load in the primary target tissue by half. Sea surface temperature patterns off southern California, associated with a recent hiatus in global-scale ocean warming, do not appear to be a sufficient explanation for survival patterns in SNI black abalone. These data highlight the potential for natural recovery of abalone populations over time and that further understanding of mechanisms governing host–parasite relationships will better enable us to manage declining populations.

  10. On the logical relationship between natural selection and self-organization.

    PubMed

    Hoelzer, G A; Smith, E; Pepper, J W

    2006-11-01

    Most evolutionary biologists cherish Darwin's theory of natural selection (NS) as the process of adaptive evolution more than 140 years after publication of his first book on the subject. However, in the past few decades the study of self-organization (SO) in complex dynamical systems has suggested that adaptation may occur through intrinsic reorganization without NS. In this study, we attempt to describe the logical framework that relates the general process of SO to the specific process of NS. We describe NS as a mechanism that coordinates the coevolution of species in an ecosystem to effectively capture, process and dissipate solar energy into the earth's shadow. Finally, we conclude that NS is an emergent process founded on the same thermodynamic imperatives that are thought to underlie all SO. This perspective suggests that the theory of self-organizing systems offers a broader physical context in which to understand the process of NS, rather than contesting it. It even suggests the possibility that there may be a physical basis for understanding the origin of the process of NS. Rather than being merely a fluke of nature, the origin of NS that may be driven by energy flows across gradients. PMID:17040375

  11. Selective removal of copper (II) from natural waters by nanoporous sorbents functionalized with chelating diamines

    PubMed Central

    Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Shin, Yongsoon; Davidson, Joseph; Samuels, William D.; LaFemina, Nikki H.; Rutledge, Ryan D.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Sangvanich, Thanapon; Yantasee, Wassana

    2010-01-01

    Copper has been identified as a pollutant of concern by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of its widespread occurrence and toxic impact in the environment. Three nanoporous sorbents containing chelating diamine functionalities were evaluated for Cu2+ adsorption from natural waters -- ethylenediamine functionalized self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (EDA-SAMMS®), ethylenediamine functionalized activated carbon (AC-CH2-EDA), and 1,10-Phenanthroline functionalized mesoporous carbon (Phen-FMC). The pH dependence of Cu2+ sorption, Cu2+ sorption capacities, rates, and selectivity of the sorbents were determined and compared with those of commercial sorbents (Chelex-100 ion exchange resin and Darco KB-B activated carbon). All three chelating diamine sorbents showed excellent Cu2+ removal (~95–99%) from river water and sea water over the pH range of 6.0–8.0. EDA-SAMMS and AC-CH2-EDA demonstrated rapid Cu2+ sorption kinetics (minutes) and good sorption capacities (26 and 17 mg Cu/g sorbent, respectively) in sea water, while Phen-FMC had excellent selectivity for Cu2+ over other metal ions (e.g. Ca2+, Fe2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+) and was able to achieve Cu levels below the EPA standards for river and sea waters. PMID:20608701

  12. Natural Selection Canalizes Expression Variation of Environmentally Induced Plasticity-Enabling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Joseph R.; Hampton, Thomas H.; King, Benjamin L.; Whitehead, Andrew; Galvez, Fernando; Gross, Robert H.; Keith, Nathan; Notch, Emily; Jung, Dawoon; Glaholt, Stephen P.; Chen, Celia Y.; Colbourne, John K.; Stanton, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Many organisms survive fluctuating and extreme environmental conditions by manifesting multiple distinct phenotypes during adulthood by means of develop