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Sample records for early human ancestors

  1. An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe ~39,000–41,000 years ago but they have contributed one to three percent of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia1. Here, we analyze DNA from a 37,000–42,000-year-old2 modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of six to nine percent of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe. PMID:26098372

  2. An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante

    2015-08-13

    Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe approximately 39,000-41,000 years ago but they have contributed 1-3% of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia. Here we analyse DNA from a 37,000-42,000-year-old modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of 6-9% of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe.

  3. An early divergence of KhoeSan ancestors from those of other modern humans is supported by an ABC-based analysis of autosomal resequencing data.

    PubMed

    Veeramah, Krishna R; Wegmann, Daniel; Woerner, August; Mendez, Fernando L; Watkins, Joseph C; Destro-Bisol, Giovanni; Soodyall, Himla; Louie, Leslie; Hammer, Michael F

    2012-02-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa has consistently been shown to be the most genetically diverse region in the world. Despite the fact that a substantial portion of this variation is partitioned between groups practicing a variety of subsistence strategies and speaking diverse languages, there is currently no consensus on the genetic relationships of sub-Saharan African populations. San (a subgroup of KhoeSan) and many Pygmy groups maintain hunter-gatherer lifestyles and cluster together in autosomal-based analysis, whereas non-Pygmy Niger-Kordofanian speakers (non-Pygmy NKs) predominantly practice agriculture and show substantial genetic homogeneity despite their wide geographic range throughout sub-Saharan Africa. However, KhoeSan, who speak a set of relatively unique click-based languages, have long been thought to be an early branch of anatomically modern humans based on phylogenetic analysis. To formally test models of divergence among the ancestors of modern African populations, we resequenced a sample of San, Eastern, and Western Pygmies and non-Pygmy NKs individuals at 40 nongenic (∼2 kb) regions and then analyzed these data within an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework. We find substantial support for a model of an early divergence of KhoeSan ancestors from a proto-Pygmy-non-Pygmy NKs group ∼110 thousand years ago over a model incorporating a proto-KhoeSan-Pygmy hunter-gatherer divergence from the ancestors of non-Pygmy NKs. The results of our analyses are consistent with previously identified signals of a strong bottleneck in Mbuti Pygmies and a relatively recent expansion of non-Pygmy NKs. We also develop a number of methodologies that utilize "pseudo-observed" data sets to optimize our ABC-based inference. This approach is likely to prove to be an invaluable tool for demographic inference using genome-wide resequencing data.

  4. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-05

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations.

  5. Stride lengths, speed and energy costs in walking of Australopithecus afarensis: using evolutionary robotics to predict locomotion of early human ancestors.

    PubMed

    Sellers, William I; Cain, Gemma M; Wang, Weijie; Crompton, Robin H

    2005-12-22

    This paper uses techniques from evolutionary robotics to predict the most energy-efficient upright walking gait for the early human relative Australopithecus afarensis, based on the proportions of the 3.2 million year old AL 288-1 'Lucy' skeleton, and matches predictions against the nearly contemporaneous (3.5-3.6 million year old) Laetoli fossil footprint trails. The technique creates gaits de novo and uses genetic algorithm optimization to search for the most efficient patterns of simulated muscular contraction at a variety of speeds. The model was first verified by predicting gaits for living human subjects, and comparing costs, stride lengths and speeds to experimentally determined values for the same subjects. Subsequent simulations for A. afarensis yield estimates of the range of walking speeds from 0.6 to 1.3 m s-1 at a cost of 7.0 J kg-1 m-1 for the lowest speeds, falling to 5.8 J kg-1 m-1 at 1.0 m s-1, and rising to 6.2 J kg-1 m-1 at the maximum speed achieved. Speeds previously estimated for the makers of the Laetoli footprint trails (0.56 or 0.64 m s-1 for Trail 1, 0.72 or 0.75 m s-1 for Trail 2/3) may have been underestimated, substantially so for Trail 2/3, with true values in excess of 0.7 and 1.0 m s-1, respectively. The predictions conflict with suggestions that A. afarensis used a 'shuffling' gait, indicating rather that the species was a fully competent biped.

  6. Stride lengths, speed and energy costs in walking of Australopithecus afarensis: using evolutionary robotics to predict locomotion of early human ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, William I; Cain, Gemma M; Wang, Weijie; Crompton, Robin H

    2005-01-01

    This paper uses techniques from evolutionary robotics to predict the most energy-efficient upright walking gait for the early human relative Australopithecus afarensis, based on the proportions of the 3.2 million year old AL 288-1 ‘Lucy’ skeleton, and matches predictions against the nearly contemporaneous (3.5–3.6 million year old) Laetoli fossil footprint trails. The technique creates gaits de novo and uses genetic algorithm optimization to search for the most efficient patterns of simulated muscular contraction at a variety of speeds. The model was first verified by predicting gaits for living human subjects, and comparing costs, stride lengths and speeds to experimentally determined values for the same subjects. Subsequent simulations for A. afarensis yield estimates of the range of walking speeds from 0.6 to 1.3 m s−1 at a cost of 7.0 J kg−1 m−1 for the lowest speeds, falling to 5.8 J kg−1 m−1 at 1.0 m s−1, and rising to 6.2 J kg−1 m−1 at the maximum speed achieved. Speeds previously estimated for the makers of the Laetoli footprint trails (0.56 or 0.64 m s−1 for Trail 1, 0.72 or 0.75 m s−1 for Trail 2/3) may have been underestimated, substantially so for Trail 2/3, with true values in excess of 0.7 and 1.0 m s−1, respectively. The predictions conflict with suggestions that A. afarensis used a ‘shuffling’ gait, indicating rather that the species was a fully competent biped. PMID:16849203

  7. Transmission between Archaic and Modern Human Ancestors during the Evolution of the Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus 16.

    PubMed

    Pimenoff, Ville N; de Oliveira, Cristina Mendes; Bravo, Ignacio G

    2017-01-01

    Every human suffers through life a number of papillomaviruses (PVs) infections, most of them asymptomatic. A notable exception are persistent infections by Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), the most oncogenic infectious agent for humans and responsible for most infection-driven anogenital cancers. Oncogenic potential is not homogeneous among HPV16 lineages, and genetic variation within HPV16 exhibits some geographic structure. However, an in-depth analysis of the HPV16 evolutionary history was still wanting. We have analyzed extant HPV16 diversity and compared the evolutionary and phylogeographical patterns of humans and of HPV16. We show that codivergence with modern humans explains at most 30% of the present viral geographical distribution. The most explanatory scenario suggests that ancestral HPV16 already infected ancestral human populations and that viral lineages co-diverged with the hosts in parallel with the split between archaic Neanderthal-Denisovans and ancestral modern human populations, generating the ancestral HPV16A and HPV16BCD viral lineages, respectively. We propose that after out-of-Africa migration of modern human ancestors, sexual transmission between human populations introduced HPV16A into modern human ancestor populations. We hypothesize that differential coevolution of HPV16 lineages with different but closely related ancestral human populations and subsequent host-switch events in parallel with introgression of archaic alleles into the genomes of modern human ancestors may be largely responsible for the present-day differential prevalence and association with cancers for HPV16 variants.

  8. Evolution of life history and behavior in Hominidae: towards phylogenetic reconstruction of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Duda, Pavel; Zrzavý, Jan

    2013-10-01

    The origin of the fundamental behavioral differences between humans and our closest living relatives is one of the central issues of evolutionary anthropology. The prominent, chimpanzee-based referential model of early hominin behavior has recently been challenged on the basis of broad multispecies comparisons and newly discovered fossil evidence. Here, we argue that while behavioral data on extant great apes are extremely relevant for reconstruction of ancestral behaviors, these behaviors should be reconstructed trait by trait using formal phylogenetic methods. Using the widely accepted hominoid phylogenetic tree, we perform a series of character optimization analyses using 65 selected life-history and behavioral characters for all extant hominid species. This analysis allows us to reconstruct the character states of the last common ancestors of Hominoidea, Hominidae, and the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Our analyses demonstrate that many fundamental behavioral and life-history attributes of hominids (including humans) are evidently ancient and likely inherited from the common ancestor of all hominids. However, numerous behaviors present in extant great apes represent their own terminal autapomorphies (both uniquely derived and homoplastic). Any evolutionary model that uses a single extant species to explain behavioral evolution of early hominins is therefore of limited use. In contrast, phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states is able to provide a detailed suite of behavioral, ecological and life-history characters for each hypothetical ancestor. The living great apes therefore play an important role for the confident identification of the traits found in the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor, some of which are likely to represent behaviors of the fossil hominins.

  9. Scapular shape of extant hominoids and the African ape/modern human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Green, David J; Spiewak, Ted A; Seitelman, Brielle; Gunz, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered early hominin fossil scapulae have bolstered investigations of scapular shape, which have long been used to interpret behavioral variation among primates. However, unexpected similarities between Pongo and Homo - particularly in scapular spine orientation - have raised questions about the functional utility of scapular morphology and its phylogenetic context in the hominin lineage. Not surprisingly, significant disagreement surrounds disparate morphological reconstructions of the modern human/African ape last common ancestor (LCA). Our study utilizes geometric morphometric (GM) approaches - two employing homologous, anatomical landmarks and a "spine-free" alternative using 98 sliding semilandmarks along the boundary of the subscapular fossa. The landmark-based "wireframe" GM analysis principally sorted groups by spine orientation: Homo and Pongo were similar to one another with more transversely-oriented spines as compared to Hylobates and the African apes. In contrast, Homo and Gorilla clustered together in our semilandmark analysis with superoinferiorly broad blades. Pan scapulae were similar, but had more mediolaterally compressed blades and laterally-positioned superior angles. Hylobates was superoinferiorly narrow, yet obliquely expanded relative to the vertebral border. Pongo scapulae were unique among hominoids in being nearly as broad as they were long. Previously documented 'convergence' of Homo and Pongo scapulae appears to be principally driven by similarities in spine orientation, rather than overall blade shape. Therefore, we contend that it is more parsimonious to reconstruct the African ape/Homo LCA scapula as being Gorilla-like, especially in light of similar characterizations of certain fossil hominin scapulae. Accordingly, the evolution of Pan (highly oblique spine and laterally-situated superior angle) and Homo (transversely-oriented spine) scapular morphology would have involved relatively minor shifts from this ancestral

  10. Intolerable human suffering and the role of the ancestor: literary criticism as a means of analysis.

    PubMed

    Harrison, E

    2000-09-01

    Intolerable human suffering and the role of the ancestor: literary criticism as a means of analysis This essay explores the experience of intolerable human suffering in Toni Cade Bambara's novel, The Salt Eaters. The method of analysis is literary criticism, a technique that shares many of the same goals as other types of inquiry. It employs close reading to illuminate the novel's meaning(s), thereby revealing information about the nature of intolerable human suffering. Morrison's characteristics of black art is the literary and cultural framework that guides the analysis of Bambara's novel. The paradigm has broad application for nursing. The purpose of this analysis was to describe the role of the ancestral system as a predictor of the trajectory of suffering. The results extend Morrison's paradigm and her notion of ancestor to include traditions and other non-corporeal factors that are essential for well-being and survival. The protagonist in Bambara's novel, Velma Henry, is the patient and exemplar who does not succumb to intolerable suffering because of its cumulative weight, but because she has lost touch with the traditions of her people, an essential component of her ancestral system. The ancestral system is a rich and complex network of individuals, groups, customs and beliefs that are instructive, protective and benevolent. Ancestors are also timeless and provide wisdom, but when the ancestral system is weak or absent, the trajectory of suffering is not favourable. Nurses must learn to recognize intolerable human suffering, to identify the patient's ancestral system, and to work within that system to keep suffering patients from harm.

  11. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Young, Nathan M.; Capellini, Terence D.; Roach, Neil T.; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6–7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo–Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  12. No known hominin species matches the expected dental morphology of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Polly, P. David

    2013-01-01

    A central problem in paleoanthropology is the identity of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans ([N-MH]LCA). Recently developed analytical techniques now allow this problem to be addressed using a probabilistic morphological framework. This study provides a quantitative reconstruction of the expected dental morphology of the [N-MH]LCA and an assessment of whether known fossil species are compatible with this ancestral position. We show that no known fossil species is a suitable candidate for being the [N-MH]LCA and that all late Early and Middle Pleistocene taxa from Europe have Neanderthal dental affinities, pointing to the existence of a European clade originated around 1 Ma. These results are incongruent with younger molecular divergence estimates and suggest at least one of the following must be true: (i) European fossils and the [N-MH]LCA selectively retained primitive dental traits; (ii) molecular estimates of the divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans are underestimated; or (iii) phenotypic divergence and speciation between both species were decoupled such that phenotypic differentiation, at least in dental morphology, predated speciation. PMID:24145426

  13. The facial skeleton of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Cobb, Samuel N

    2008-04-01

    This review uses the current morphological evidence to evaluate the facial morphology of the hypothetical last common ancestor (LCA) of the chimpanzee/bonobo (panin) and human (hominin) lineages. Some of the problems involved in reconstructing ancestral morphologies so close to the formation of a lineage are discussed. These include the prevalence of homoplasy and poor phylogenetic resolution due to a lack of defining derived features. Consequently the list of hypothetical features expected in the face of the LCA is very limited beyond its hypothesized similarity to extant Pan. It is not possible to determine with any confidence whether the facial morphology of any of the current candidate LCA taxa (Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugenensis and Sahelanthropus tchadensis) is representative of the LCA, or a stem hominin, or a stem panin or, in some cases, a hominid predating the emergence of the hominin lineage. The major evolutionary trends in the hominin lineage subsequent to the LCA are discussed in relation to the dental arcade and dentition, subnasal morphology and the size, position and prognathism of the facial skeleton.

  14. Maize Domestication and Anti-Herbivore Defences: Leaf-Specific Dynamics during Early Ontogeny of Maize and Its Wild Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Maag, Daniel; Erb, Matthias; Bernal, Julio S.; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Glauser, Gaétan

    2015-01-01

    As a consequence of artificial selection for specific traits, crop plants underwent considerable genotypic and phenotypic changes during the process of domestication. These changes may have led to reduced resistance in the cultivated plant due to shifts in resource allocation from defensive traits to increased growth rates and yield. Modern maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) was domesticated from its ancestor Balsas teosinte (Z. mays ssp. parviglumis) approximately 9000 years ago. Although maize displays a high genetic overlap with its direct ancestor and other annual teosintes, several studies show that maize and its ancestors differ in their resistance phenotypes with teosintes being less susceptible to herbivore damage. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we addressed the question to what extent maize domestication has affected two crucial chemical and one physical defence traits and whether differences in their expression may explain the differences in herbivore resistance levels. The ontogenetic trajectories of 1,4-benzoxazin-3-ones, maysin and leaf toughness were monitored for different leaf types across several maize cultivars and teosinte accessions during early vegetative growth stages. We found significant quantitative and qualitative differences in 1,4-benzoxazin-3-one accumulation in an initial pairwise comparison, but we did not find consistent differences between wild and cultivated genotypes during a more thorough examination employing several cultivars/accessions. Yet, 1,4-benzoxazin-3-one levels tended to decline more rapidly with plant age in the modern maize cultivars. Foliar maysin levels and leaf toughness increased with plant age in a leaf-specific manner, but were also unaffected by domestication. Based on our findings we suggest that defence traits other than the ones that were investigated are responsible for the observed differences in herbivore resistance between teosinte and maize. Furthermore, our results indicate

  15. The universal ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C.

    1998-01-01

    A genetic annealing model for the universal ancestor of all extant life is presented; the name of the model derives from its resemblance to physical annealing. The scenario pictured starts when "genetic temperatures" were very high, cellular entities (progenotes) were very simple, and information processing systems were inaccurate. Initially, both mutation rate and lateral gene transfer levels were elevated. The latter was pandemic and pervasive to the extent that it, not vertical inheritance, defined the evolutionary dynamic. As increasingly complex and precise biological structures and processes evolved, both the mutation rate and the scope and level of lateral gene transfer, i.e., evolutionary temperature, dropped, and the evolutionary dynamic gradually became that characteristic of modern cells. The various subsystems of the cell "crystallized," i.e., became refractory to lateral gene transfer, at different stages of "cooling," with the translation apparatus probably crystallizing first. Organismal lineages, and so organisms as we know them, did not exist at these early stages. The universal phylogenetic tree, therefore, is not an organismal tree at its base but gradually becomes one as its peripheral branchings emerge. The universal ancestor is not a discrete entity. It is, rather, a diverse community of cells that survives and evolves as a biological unit. This communal ancestor has a physical history but not a genealogical one. Over time, this ancestor refined into a smaller number of increasingly complex cell types with the ancestors of the three primary groupings of organisms arising as a result.

  16. Phylogenomic Analyses Indicate that Early Fungi Evolved Digesting Cell Walls of Algal Ancestors of Land Plants.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ying; Wang, Sishuo; Sekimoto, Satoshi; Aerts, Andrea L; Choi, Cindy; Clum, Alicia; LaButti, Kurt M; Lindquist, Erika A; Yee Ngan, Chew; Ohm, Robin A; Salamov, Asaf A; Grigoriev, Igor V; Spatafora, Joseph W; Berbee, Mary L

    2015-05-14

    As decomposers, fungi are key players in recycling plant material in global carbon cycles. We hypothesized that genomes of early diverging fungi may have inherited pectinases from an ancestral species that had been able to extract nutrients from pectin-containing land plants and their algal allies (Streptophytes). We aimed to infer, based on pectinase gene expansions and on the organismal phylogeny, the geological timing of the plant-fungus association. We analyzed 40 fungal genomes, three of which, including Gonapodya prolifera, were sequenced for this study. In the organismal phylogeny from 136 housekeeping loci, Rozella diverged first from all other fungi. Gonapodya prolifera was included among the flagellated, predominantly aquatic fungal species in Chytridiomycota. Sister to Chytridiomycota were the predominantly terrestrial fungi including zygomycota I and zygomycota II, along with the ascomycetes and basidiomycetes that comprise Dikarya. The Gonapodya genome has 27 genes representing five of the seven classes of pectin-specific enzymes known from fungi. Most of these share a common ancestry with pectinases from Dikarya. Indicating functional and sequence similarity, Gonapodya, like many Dikarya, can use pectin as a carbon source for growth in pure culture. Shared pectinases of Dikarya and Gonapodya provide evidence that even ancient aquatic fungi had adapted to extract nutrients from the plants in the green lineage. This implies that 750 million years, the estimated maximum age of origin of the pectin-containing streptophytes represents a maximum age for the divergence of Chytridiomycota from the lineage including Dikarya.

  17. Hairless mutation: a driving force of humanization from a human–ape common ancestor by enforcing upright walking while holding a baby with both hands

    PubMed Central

    Sutou, Shizuyo

    2012-01-01

    Three major characteristics distinguish humans from other primates: bipedality, practical nakedness, and the family as a social unit. A hairless mutation introduced into the chimpanzee/human last common ancestor (CLCA) 6 million years ago (Mya) diverged hairless human and hairy chimpanzee lineages. All primates except humans can carry their babies without using their hands. A hairless mother would be forced to stand and walk upright. Her activities would be markedly limited. The male partner would have to collect food and carry it to her by hand to keep her and their baby from starving; irresponsible and selfish males could not have left their offspring. The mother would have sexually accepted her partner at any time as a reward for food. Sexual relations irrespective of estrus cycles might have strengthened the pair bond. Molecular and paleontological dating indicates that CLCA existed 6 Mya, and early hominin fossils show that they were bipeds, indicating that humanization from CLCA occurred rapidly. A single mutation in animals with scalp hair is known to induce hairless phenotype (ectodermal dysplasia). Bipedalism and hairlessness are disadvantageous traits; only those who could survive trials and tribulations in cooperation with family members must have been able to evolve as humans. PMID:22404045

  18. Human Diversity and the Genealogy of Languages: Noah as the Founding Ancestor of the Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutton, Christopher

    2008-01-01

    The characteristics which were held to define the Chinese language within the Western intellectual tradition placed it for a time at the centre in discussions of the genealogy of mankind. The dominant premodern paradigm for the explanation of human linguistic diversity was Biblical exegesis, as discussed and elaborated within the framework of…

  19. Ancient horizontal transfers of retrotransposons between birds and ancestors of human pathogenic nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Alexander; Witt, Christopher C.; Menger, Juliana; Sadanandan, Keren R.; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Gerth, Michael; Weigert, Anne; McGuire, Jimmy A.; Mudge, Joann; Edwards, Scott V.; Rheindt, Frank E.

    2016-01-01

    Parasite host switches may trigger disease emergence, but prehistoric host ranges are often unknowable. Lymphatic filariasis and loiasis are major human diseases caused by the insect-borne filarial nematodes Brugia, Wuchereria and Loa. Here we show that the genomes of these nematodes and seven tropical bird lineages exclusively share a novel retrotransposon, AviRTE, resulting from horizontal transfer (HT). AviRTE subfamilies exhibit 83–99% nucleotide identity between genomes, and their phylogenetic distribution, paleobiogeography and invasion times suggest that HTs involved filarial nematodes. The HTs between bird and nematode genomes took place in two pantropical waves, >25–22 million years ago (Myr ago) involving the Brugia/Wuchereria lineage and >20–17 Myr ago involving the Loa lineage. Contrary to the expectation from the mammal-dominated host range of filarial nematodes, we hypothesize that these major human pathogens may have independently evolved from bird endoparasites that formerly infected the global breadth of avian biodiversity. PMID:27097561

  20. Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds.

    PubMed

    Skoglund, Pontus; Ersmark, Erik; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love

    2015-06-01

    The origin of domestic dogs is poorly understood [1-15], with suggested evidence of dog-like features in fossils that predate the Last Glacial Maximum [6, 9, 10, 14, 16] conflicting with genetic estimates of a more recent divergence between dogs and worldwide wolf populations [13, 15, 17-19]. Here, we present a draft genome sequence from a 35,000-year-old wolf from the Taimyr Peninsula in northern Siberia. We find that this individual belonged to a population that diverged from the common ancestor of present-day wolves and dogs very close in time to the appearance of the domestic dog lineage. We use the directly dated ancient wolf genome to recalibrate the molecular timescale of wolves and dogs and find that the mutation rate is substantially slower than assumed by most previous studies, suggesting that the ancestors of dogs were separated from present-day wolves before the Last Glacial Maximum. We also find evidence of introgression from the archaic Taimyr wolf lineage into present-day dog breeds from northeast Siberia and Greenland, contributing between 1.4% and 27.3% of their ancestry. This demonstrates that the ancestry of present-day dogs is derived from multiple regional wolf populations.

  1. Enzymes, embryos, and ancestors.

    PubMed

    Gerhart, John

    2010-01-01

    In the 1950s, cellular regulatory mechanisms were newly recognized; with Arthur Pardee I investigated the initial enzyme of pyrimidine biosynthesis, which he discovered is controlled by feedback inhibition. The protein proved unusual in having separate but interacting sites for substrates and regulators. Howard Schachman and I dissociated the protein into different subunits, one binding regulators and one substrates. The enzyme became an early prime example of allostery. In developmental biology I studied the egg of the frog, Xenopus laevis, characterizing early processes of axis formation. My excellent students and I described cortical rotation, a 30° movement of the egg's cortex over tracks of parallel microtubules anchored to the underlying cytoplasmic core, and we perturbed it to alter Spemann's organizer and effect spectacular phenotypes. The entire sequence of events has been elucidated by others at the molecular level, making Xenopus a prime example of vertebrate axis formation. Marc Kirschner, Christopher Lowe, and I then compared hemichordate (half-chordate) and chordate early development. Despite anatomical-physiological differences, these groups share numerous steps of axis formation, ones that were probably already in use in their pre-Cambrian ancestor. I've thoroughly enjoyed exploring these areas during a 50-year period of great advances in biological sciences by the worldwide research community.

  2. Independent evolution of knuckle-walking in African apes shows that humans did not evolve from a knuckle-walking ancestor.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Tracy L; Schmitt, Daniel

    2009-08-25

    Despite decades of debate, it remains unclear whether human bipedalism evolved from a terrestrial knuckle-walking ancestor or from a more generalized, arboreal ape ancestor. Proponents of the knuckle-walking hypothesis focused on the wrist and hand to find morphological evidence of this behavior in the human fossil record. These studies, however, have not examined variation or development of purported knuckle-walking features in apes or other primates, data that are critical to resolution of this long-standing debate. Here we present novel data on the frequency and development of putative knuckle-walking features of the wrist in apes and monkeys. We use these data to test the hypothesis that all knuckle-walking apes share similar anatomical features and that these features can be used to reliably infer locomotor behavior in our extinct ancestors. Contrary to previous expectations, features long-assumed to indicate knuckle-walking behavior are not found in all African apes, show different developmental patterns across species, and are found in nonknuckle-walking primates as well. However, variation among African ape wrist morphology can be clearly explained if we accept the likely independent evolution of 2 fundamentally different biomechanical modes of knuckle-walking: an extended wrist posture in an arboreal environment (Pan) versus a neutral, columnar hand posture in a terrestrial environment (Gorilla). The presence of purported knuckle-walking features in the hominin wrist can thus be viewed as evidence of arboreality, not terrestriality, and provide evidence that human bipedalism evolved from a more arboreal ancestor occupying the ecological niche common to all living apes.

  3. Ancient gene flow from early modern humans into Eastern Neanderthals.

    PubMed

    Kuhlwilm, Martin; Gronau, Ilan; Hubisz, Melissa J; de Filippo, Cesare; Prado-Martinez, Javier; Kircher, Martin; Fu, Qiaomei; Burbano, Hernán A; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Rudan, Pavao; Brajkovic, Dejana; Kucan, Željko; Gušic, Ivan; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Andrés, Aida M; Viola, Bence; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Siepel, Adam; Castellano, Sergi

    2016-02-25

    It has been shown that Neanderthals contributed genetically to modern humans outside Africa 47,000-65,000 years ago. Here we analyse the genomes of a Neanderthal and a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains in Siberia together with the sequences of chromosome 21 of two Neanderthals from Spain and Croatia. We find that a population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. We conclude that in addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and early modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

  4. The effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimpanzee lineage provide insights on the historical biogeography of the great apes.

    PubMed

    Schrago, Carlos G

    2014-01-01

    The recent development of methods that apply coalescent theory to phylogenetic problems has enabled the study of the population-level phenomena that drove the diversification of anthropoid primates. Effective population size, Ne, is one of the main parameters that constitute the theoretical underpinning of these new analytical approaches. For this reason, the ancestral N(e) of selected primate lineages has been thoroughly investigated. However, for some of these lineages, the estimates of ancestral N(e) reported in several studies present significant variation. This is the case for the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Moreover, several ancestral anthropoid lineages have been ignored in the studies conducted so far. Because N(e) is fundamental to understand historic species demography, it is a crucial component of a complete description of the historical scenario of primate evolution. It also provides information that is helpful for differentiating between competing biogeographical hypotheses. In this study, the effective population sizes of the anthropoid ancestors of the human-chimp lineage are inferred using data sets of coding and noncoding sequences. A general pattern of a serial decline of population sizes is found between the ancestral lineage of Anthropoidea and that of Homo and Pan. When the theoretical distribution of gene trees was derived from the parametric estimates obtained, it closely corresponded to the empirical frequency of inferred gene trees along the genome. The most abrupt decrease of N(e) was found between the ancestors of all great apes and those of the African great apes alone. This suggests the occurrence of a genetic bottleneck during the evolution of Homininae, which corroborates the origin of African apes from a Eurasian ancestor.

  5. Ancient gene flow from early modern humans into Eastern Neanderthals

    PubMed Central

    Kuhlwilm, Martin; Gronau, Ilan; Hubisz, Melissa J.; de Filippo, Cesare; Prado-Martinez, Javier; Kircher, Martin; Fu, Qiaomei; Burbano, Hernán A.; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Rudan, Pavao; Brajkovic, Dejana; Kucan, Željko; Gušic, Ivan; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Andrés, Aida M.; Viola, Bence; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Siepel, Adam; Castellano, Sergi

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown that Neanderthals contributed genetically to modern humans outside Africa 47,000–65,000 years ago. Here, we analyze the genomes of a Neanderthal and a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains in Siberia together with the sequences of chromosome 21 of two Neanderthals from Spain and Croatia. We find that a population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. We conclude that in addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and of modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously reported. PMID:26886800

  6. Non-Darwinian estimation: My ancestors, my genes' ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Kenneth M.; Long, Jeffrey C.

    2009-01-01

    There is widespread interest in characterizing the organization of human genetic variation around the world from a population perspective. Related to this are attempts to describe the pattern of genetic variation in the human species generally, including “recreational” genomics, the genome-based estimation of the ancestry of individuals. These approaches rest on subtle concepts of variation, time, and ancestry that are perhaps not widely appreciated. They share the idea that there are, or were, discrete panmictic human populations such that every person is either a member of such a population or is an admixed descendant of them. Ancestry fraction estimation is biased by assumptions about past and present human population structure, as when we trace ancestry to hypothetical unmixed ancestral populations, or assign an individual's ancestry to continental populations that are indistinguishable from classical “races.” Attempts to identify even individuals' local subpopulations are less precise than most (geneticists included) expect, because that is usually based on a small portion of a person's ancestry, relative to the much larger pool of comparably related ancestors. It is easier to show that two people have some relationship than to show who or where the actual ancestor was. There is an important distinction between individuals' demographic ancestry and the ancestry of their genes. Despite superficial appearances, these interpretations of genetic data are often based on typological rather than Darwinian thinking, raising important issues about the questions that are actually being asked. PMID:19411595

  7. The deuterostome ancestor.

    PubMed

    Gerhart, John

    2006-12-01

    Hemichordates, the phylum of bilateral animals closest to chordates, can illuminate the evolutionary origins of various chordate traits to determine whether these were already present in a shared ancestor (the deuterostome ancestor) or were evolved within the chordate line. We find that an anteroposterior map of gene expression domains, representing 42 genes of neural patterning, is closely similar in hemichordates and chordates, though it is restricted to the neural ectoderm in chordates whereas in hemichordates, which have a diffuse nervous system, it encircles the whole body. This map allows an accurate alignment of the anterioposterior axes of members of the two groups. We propose that this map dates back at least to the deuterostome ancestor. The map of dorsoventral expression domains, organized along a Bmp-Chordin developmental axis, is also similar in the two groups in terms of many gene expression domains and for the placement of the gill slits, heart, and post-anal tail. The two groups, however, differ in two major respects along this axis. The nervous system and epidermis are not segregated into distinct territories in hemichordates, as they are in chordates, and furthermore, the mouth is on the Chordin side in hemichordates but the Bmp side in chordates. The dorsoventral dimension has undergone extensive modification in the chordate line, including centralization of the nervous system, segregation of epidermis, derivation of the notochord, perhaps from the gut midline, and relocation of the mouth. Based on the shared domain maps, speculations can be made for the remodeling of the body axis in the chordate line.

  8. The galaxy ancestor problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Disney, M. J.; Lang, R. H.

    2012-11-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) findsgalaxies whose Tolman dimming exceeds 10 mag. Could evolution alone explain these as our ancestor galaxies or could they be representatives of quite a different dynasty whose descendants are no longer prominent today? We explore the latter hypothesis and argue that surface brightness selection effects naturally bring into focus quite different dynasties from different redshifts. Thus, the HST z = 7 galaxies could be examples of galaxies whose descendants are both too small and too choked with dust to be recognizable in our neighbourhood easily today. Conversely, the ancestors of the Milky Way and its obvious neighbours would have completely sunk below the sky at z > 1.2, unless they were more luminous in the past, although their diffused light could account for the missing re-ionization flux. This Succeeding Prominent Dynasties Hypothesis (SPDH) fits the existing observations both naturally and well even without evolution, including the bizarre distributions of galaxy surface brightness found in deep fields, the angular size ˜(1 + z)-1 law, 'downsizing' which turns out to be an 'illusion' in the sense that it does not imply evolution, 'infant mortality', that is, the discrepancy between stars born and stars seen, the existence of 'red nuggets', and finally the recently discovered and unexpected excess of quasar absorption line damped Lyα systems at high redshift. If galaxies were not significantly brighter in the past and the SPDH were true, then a large proportion of galaxies could remain sunk from sight, possibly at all redshifts, and these sunken galaxies could supply the missing re-ionization flux. We show that fishing these sunken galaxies out of the sky by their optical emissions alone is practically impossible, even when they are nearby. More ingenious methods are needed to detect them. It follows that disentangling galaxy evolution through studying ever higher redshift galaxies may be a forlorn hope because one could

  9. Construction and immunogenicity study of a 297-bp humanized HIV V3 DNA of an approximated last common ancestor in mice.

    PubMed

    Sirivichayakul, Sunee; Tirawatnapong, Thaweesak; Ruxrungtham, Kiat; Oelrichs, Robert; Lorenzen, Sven-Lver; Xin, Ke-Qin; Okuda, Kenji; Phanuphak, Praphan

    2004-03-01

    DNA immunization represents one of the promising HIV-1 vaccine approaches. To overcome the obstacle of genetic variation, we used the last common ancestor (LCA) or "center-of-the-tree" approach to study a DNA fragment of the HIV-1 envelope surrounding the V3 region. A humanized codon of the 297-bp consensus ancestral sequence of the HIV-1 envelope (codons 291-391) was derived from the 80 most recent HIV-1 isolates from the 8 circulating HIV-1 subtypes worldwide. This 297-bp humanized "multi-clade" V3 DNA was amplified by a PCR-based technique. The PCR product was well expressed in vitro whereas the corresponding non-humanized V3 DNA (subtype A/E) could not be expressed. However, both V3 DNA constructs as well as the full-length HIV-1 envelope construct (A/E) were found to be immunogenic in mice by the footpad-swelling assay. Moreover, intracellular and extracellular interferon-gamma could be detected upon in vitro stimulation of spleen cells although the response was relatively weak. Further improvement of our humanized V3 DNA is needed.

  10. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors.

    PubMed

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Bromage, Timothy G; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-12-07

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived.

  11. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Bromage, Timothy G.; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived. PMID:26639346

  12. Structure of the human type XIX collagen (COL19A1) gene, which suggests it has arisen from an ancestor gene of the FACIT family.

    PubMed

    Khaleduzzaman, M; Sumiyoshi, H; Ueki, Y; Inoguchi, K; Ninomiya, Y; Yoshioka, H

    1997-10-15

    Type XIX collagen is a newly discovered member of the FACIT (fibril-associated collagens with interrupted triple helices) group of extracellular matrix proteins. Based on the primary structure, type XIX collagen is thought to act as a cross-bridge between fibrils and other extracellular matrix molecules. Here we describe the complete exon/intron organization of COL19A1 and show that it contains 51 exons, spanning more than 250 kb of genomic DNA. The comparison of exon structures of COL19A1 and other FACIT family genes revealed several similarities among these genes. The structure of exons encoding the noncollagenous (NC) 1-collagenous (COL) 1-NC 2-COL 2-NC 3-COL 3-NC 4 domain of the alpha1(XIX) chain is similar to that of the NC 1-COL 1-NC 2-COL 3-NC 3 domain of the alpha2(IX) chain except for the NC 3 domain of alpha1(XIX). The exons encoding the COL 5-NC 6 domain of alpha1(XIX) are also similar to those of the COL 3-NC 4 domain of alpha1(IX) chain. Previously, COL19A1 was mapped to human chromosome 6q12-q14, where COL9A1 is also located. Likewise, the present work shows that the mouse Col19a1 gene is located on mouse chromosome 1, region A3, where Col9a1 has also been mapped. Taken together, the data suggest that COL19A1 and COL9A1 (Col19a1 and Col9a1) were duplicated from the same ancestor gene of the FACIT family. Three CA repeat markers with high heterozygosity were found in COL19A1. These markers may be useful for linkage analysis of age-related inheritable diseases involved in eyes and/or brain.

  13. Aping our ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ennos, Roland

    2014-08-01

    Roland Ennos argues that the abilities of the great apes to cope in the dangerous mechanical environment of the forest canopy are part of the human species' intellectual inheritance and are intimately connected with our abilities as physicists.

  14. Origin of clothing lice indicates early clothing use by anatomically modern humans in Africa.

    PubMed

    Toups, Melissa A; Kitchen, Andrew; Light, Jessica E; Reed, David L

    2011-01-01

    Clothing use is an important modern behavior that contributed to the successful expansion of humans into higher latitudes and cold climates. Previous research suggests that clothing use originated anywhere between 40,000 and 3 Ma, though there is little direct archaeological, fossil, or genetic evidence to support more specific estimates. Since clothing lice evolved from head louse ancestors once humans adopted clothing, dating the emergence of clothing lice may provide more specific estimates of the origin of clothing use. Here, we use a Bayesian coalescent modeling approach to estimate that clothing lice diverged from head louse ancestors at least by 83,000 and possibly as early as 170,000 years ago. Our analysis suggests that the use of clothing likely originated with anatomically modern humans in Africa and reinforces a broad trend of modern human developments in Africa during the Middle to Late Pleistocene.

  15. Origin of Clothing Lice Indicates Early Clothing Use by Anatomically Modern Humans in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Toups, Melissa A.; Kitchen, Andrew; Light, Jessica E.; Reed, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Clothing use is an important modern behavior that contributed to the successful expansion of humans into higher latitudes and cold climates. Previous research suggests that clothing use originated anywhere between 40,000 and 3 Ma, though there is little direct archaeological, fossil, or genetic evidence to support more specific estimates. Since clothing lice evolved from head louse ancestors once humans adopted clothing, dating the emergence of clothing lice may provide more specific estimates of the origin of clothing use. Here, we use a Bayesian coalescent modeling approach to estimate that clothing lice diverged from head louse ancestors at least by 83,000 and possibly as early as 170,000 years ago. Our analysis suggests that the use of clothing likely originated with anatomically modern humans in Africa and reinforces a broad trend of modern human developments in Africa during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. PMID:20823373

  16. Early depictions of the human anterior nasal septum.

    PubMed

    Pirsig, Wolfgang; Sokiranski, Roman

    2006-06-01

    In the literature, remarks on the depiction of the anterior nasal septum in prehistoric times cannot be found. Studying works of art from some archaeological sites of Asia, Asia Minor, Near East, Egypt, and Southeastern Europe the anatomical depiction of the columella and the nostrils in human figures are shown. These figures or heads, partly appearing as masks, were made of ivory, stone, marble, terracotta, steatite, reeds and clay, or of burned limestone. Faces and figures sculpted in the time between the Upper Palaeolithic (30,000 - 25,000 BC) and the Early Bronze Age (3,300 - 2,400 BC) are presented as examples of our ancestors' outstanding skill to create works of art with an astonishing ability to observe anatomical details. The tendency to create a human nose in a natural manner can already be recognized in the figurines of the Upper Palaeolithic.

  17. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo

    PubMed Central

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-01-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan–Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  18. The last common bilaterian ancestor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, Douglas H.; Davidson, Eric H.

    2002-01-01

    Many regulatory genes appear to be utilized in at least superficially similar ways in the development of particular body parts in Drosophila and in chordates. These similarities have been widely interpreted as functional homologies, producing the conventional view of the last common protostome-deuterostome ancestor (PDA) as a complex organism that possessed some of the same body parts as modern bilaterians. Here we discuss an alternative view, in which the last common PDA had a less complex body plan than is frequently conceived. This reconstruction alters expectations for Neoproterozoic fossil remains that could illustrate the pathways of bilaterian evolution.

  19. Transcriptome Encyclopedia of Early Human Development.

    PubMed

    Sahakyan, Anna; Plath, Kathrin

    2016-05-05

    Our understanding of human pre-implantation development is limited by the availability of human embryos and cannot completely rely on mouse studies. Petropoulos et al. now provide an extensive transcriptome analysis of a large number of human pre-implantation embryos at single-cell resolution, revealing previously unrecognized features unique to early human development.

  20. Windmills: Ancestors of the wind power generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Cesare; Russo, Flavio; Savino, Sergio

    2016-12-01

    A brief description of the windmills from the second millennium BC to the Renaissance is presented. This survey is a part of several studies conducted by the authors on technology in the ancient world. The windmills are the first motor, other than human muscles, and are the ancestors of the modern wind turbines. Some authors' virtual reconstructions of old windmills are also presented. The paper shows that the operating principle of many modern machines had already been conceived in the ancient times by using a technology that was more advanced than expected, but with two main differences, as follows: Similar tasks were accomplished by using much less energy; and the environmental impact was nil or very low. Modern designers should sometimes consider simplicity rather than the use of a large amount of energy.

  1. The Evolution of Brains from Early Mammals to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Kaas, Jon H.

    2012-01-01

    The large size and complex organization of the human brain makes it unique among primate brains. In particular, the neocortex constitutes about 80% of the brain, and this cortex is subdivided into a large number of functionally specialized regions, the cortical areas. Such a brain mediates accomplishments and abilities unmatched by any other species. How did such a brain evolve? Answers come from comparative studies of the brains of present-day mammals and other vertebrates in conjunction with information about brain sizes and shapes from the fossil record, studies of brain development, and principles derived from studies of scaling and optimal design. Early mammals were small, with small brains, an emphasis on olfaction, and little neocortex. Neocortex was transformed from the single layer of output pyramidal neurons of the dorsal cortex of earlier ancestors to the six layers of all present-day mammals. This small cap of neocortex was divided into 20–25 cortical areas, including primary and some of the secondary sensory areas that characterize neocortex in nearly all mammals today. Early placental mammals had a corpus callosum connecting the neocortex of the two hemispheres, a primary motor area, M1, and perhaps one or more premotor areas. One line of evolution, Euarchontoglires, led to present-day primates, tree shrews, flying lemurs, rodents and rabbits. Early primates evolved from small-brained, nocturnal, insect-eating mammals with an expanded region of temporal visual cortex. These early nocturnal primates were adapted to the fine branch niche of the tropical rainforest by having an even more expanded visual system that mediated visually guided reaching and grasping of insects, small vertebrates, and fruits. Neocortex was greatly expanded, and included an array of cortical areas that characterize neocortex of all living primates. Specializations of the visual system included new visual areas that contributed to a dorsal stream of visuomotor processing in a

  2. The Hunt for Dwarf Galaxies' Ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out.Ancient CounterpartsDwarf galaxies are a hot topic right now, especially as we discover more and more of them nearby. Besides being great places to investigate a variety of astrophysical processes, local group dwarf galaxies are also representative of the most common type of galaxy in the universe. For many of these dwarf galaxies, their low masses and typically old stellar populations suggest that most of their stars were formed early in the universes history, and further star formation was suppressed when the universe was reionized at redshifts of z ~ 610. If this is true, most dwarf galaxies are essentially fossils: theyve evolved little since that point.To test this theory, wed like to find counterparts to our local group dwarf galaxies at these higher redshifts of z = 6 or 7. But dwarf galaxies, since they dont exhibit lots of active star formation, have very low surface brightnesses making them very difficult to detect. What are the chances that current or future telescope sensitivities will allow us to detect these? Thats the question Anna Patej and Abraham Loeb, two theorists at Harvard University, have addressed in a recent study.Entering a New RegimeThe surface brightness vs. size for 73 local dwarf galaxies scaled back to redshifts of z=6 (top) and z=7 (bottom). So far weve been able to observe high-redshift galaxies within the boxed region of the parameter space. JWST will open the shaded region of the parameter space, which includes some of the dwarf galaxies. [Patej Loeb 2015]Starting from observational data for 87 Local-Group dwarf galaxies, Patej and Loeb used a stellar population synthesis code to evolve the galaxies backward in time to redshifts of z = 6 and 7. Next, they narrowed this sample to only those dwarfs for which most star

  3. Environment and Climate of Early Human Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Naomi E.

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Microdosing for early biokinetic studies in humans.

    PubMed

    Stenström, K; Sydoff, M; Mattsson, S

    2010-01-01

    Microdosing is a new concept in drug development that--if implemented in the pharmaceutical industry--would mean that new drugs can be tested earlier in humans than done today. The human microdosing concept--or 'Phase 0'--may offer improved candidate selection, reduced failure rates in the drug development line and a reduction in the use of laboratory animals in early drug development, factors which will help to speed up drug development and also reduce the costs. Microdosing utilises sub-pharmacological amounts of the substance to open opportunities for early studies in man. Three technologies are used for microdosing: accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), positron emission tomography and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This paper focuses on the principle of AMS and discusses the current status of microdosing with AMS.

  5. Apparatus Named After Our Academic Ancestors, III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenslade, Thomas B.

    2014-09-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  6. Apparatus Named after Our Academic Ancestors, III

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    My academic ancestors in physics have called on me once more to tell you about the apparatus that they devised, and that many of you have used in your demonstrations and labs. This article is about apparatus named after François Arago, Heinrich Helmholtz, Leon Foucault, and James Watt.

  7. Gazing Back: Communing with Our Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osorio, Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo'ole

    2004-01-01

    This article is a poignant commentary on the connection of the Native Hawaiian people with the past, the present, and the future. In this article, the author positions himself within the histories of his people. He talks about putting faces to his ancestors by linking them with the people of his day, and he talks about reconstructing the…

  8. The Five Ancestors--Book 1: Tiger

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Jeff

    2004-01-01

    Losing a job is an awfully low point--until it turns into the opportunity to pursue writing full time, and a book like "The Five Ancestors: Tiger" results. Jeff Stone looks back to his own experience as a young reader and taps that experience to help frame his own writing. An intriguing snapshot of his new book follows.

  9. An unexpected recent ancestor of unisexual Ambystoma.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Alexander V; Ramsden, Cadhla; Niedzwiecki, John; Fu, Jinzhong; Bogart, James P

    2006-10-01

    Previous research has shown that members of the unisexual hybrid complex of the genus Ambystoma possess a mitochondrial genome that is unrelated to their nuclear parental species, but the origin of this mitochondrion has remained unclear. We used a 744-bp fragment of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b within a comparative phylogenetic framework to infer the maternal ancestor of this unisexual lineage. By examining a broader range of species than has previously been compared, we were able to uncover a recent maternal ancestor to this complex. Unexpectedly, Ambystoma barbouri, a species whose nuclear DNA has not been identified in the unisexuals, was found to be the recent maternal ancestor of the individuals examined through the discovery of a shared mtDNA haplotype between the unisexuals and A. barbouri. Based on a combination of sequence data and glacial patterning, we estimate that the unisexual lineage probably originated less than 25 000 years ago. In addition, all unisexuals examined showed extremely similar mtDNA sequences and the resultant phylogeny was consistent with a single origin for this lineage. These results confirm previous suggestions that the unisexual Ambystoma complex was formed from a hybridization event in which the nuclear DNA of the original maternal species was subsequently lost.

  10. Redeeming the lost voice of the ancestors.

    PubMed

    Troudart, Michal

    2012-09-01

    The Holocaust of the Jews in World War II involved not only the murder of 6 million Jews but also the traumatic destruction and wipe-out of whole communities, with their rich culture and tradition which had existed for centuries. In places where no one survived, it was almost impossible to reconstruct the collective memory of those communities. The voice of the ancestors was lost. As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I have always felt the strong presence of the loss, not only of the murdered family members but also of the ancient colourful world of Eastern European Jews. I have always felt compelled to link back to that lost world. In the past three years, my journey to the pre-war past has become more intense. This article describes the double role of my journey: it is both an attempt to reconstruct, redeem and preserve the memory of the lost ancestors, and a personal journey to the echoes of my ancestors' voices within my soul.

  11. Skeletal variation among early Holocene North American humans: implications for origins and diversity in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, Benjamin M

    2012-12-01

    The movement of humans into the Americas remains a major topic of debate among scientific disciplines. Central to this discussion is ascertaining the timing and migratory routes of the earliest colonizers, in addition to understanding their ancestry. Molecular studies have recently argued that the colonizing population was isolated from other Asian populations for an extended period before proceeding to colonize the Americas. This research has suggested that Beringia was the location of this "incubation," though archaeological and skeletal data have not yet supported this hypothesis. This study employs the remains of the five most complete North American male early Holocene skeletons to examine patterns of human morphology at the earliest observable time period. Stature, body mass, body breadth, and limb proportions are examined in the context of male skeletal samples representing the range of morphological variation in North America in the last two millennia of the Holocene. These are also compared with a global sample. Results indicate that early Holocene males have variable postcranial morphologies, but all share the common trait of wide bodies. This trait, which is retained in more recent indigenous North American groups, is associated with adaptations to cold climates. Peoples from the Americas exhibit wider bodies than other populations sampled globally. This pattern suggests the common ancestral population of all of these indigenous American groups had reduced morphological variation in this trait. Furthermore, this provides support for a single, possibly high latitude location for the genetic isolation of ancestors of the human colonizers of the Americas.

  12. Punctuated emergences of genetic and phenotypic innovations in eumetazoan, bilaterian, euteleostome, and hominidae ancestors.

    PubMed

    Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic traits derive from the selective recruitment of genetic materials over macroevolutionary times, and protein-coding genes constitute an essential component of these materials. We took advantage of the recent production of genomic scale data from sponges and cnidarians, sister groups from eumetazoans and bilaterians, respectively, to date the emergence of human proteins and to infer the timing of acquisition of novel traits through metazoan evolution. Comparing the proteomes of 23 eukaryotes, we find that 33% human proteins have an ortholog in nonmetazoan species. This premetazoan proteome associates with 43% of all annotated human biological processes. Subsequently, four major waves of innovations can be inferred in the last common ancestors of eumetazoans, bilaterians, euteleostomi (bony vertebrates), and hominidae, largely specific to each epoch, whereas early branching deuterostome and chordate phyla show very few innovations. Interestingly, groups of proteins that act together in their modern human functions often originated concomitantly, although the corresponding human phenotypes frequently emerged later. For example, the three cnidarians Acropora, Nematostella, and Hydra express a highly similar protein inventory, and their protein innovations can be affiliated either to traits shared by all eumetazoans (gut differentiation, neurogenesis); or to bilaterian traits present in only some cnidarians (eyes, striated muscle); or to traits not identified yet in this phylum (mesodermal layer, endocrine glands). The variable correspondence between phenotypes predicted from protein enrichments and observed phenotypes suggests that a parallel mechanism repeatedly produce similar phenotypes, thanks to novel regulatory events that independently tie preexisting conserved genetic modules.

  13. The existence and abundance of ghost ancestors in biparental populations.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Simon; Steel, Mike

    2015-05-01

    In a randomly-mating biparental population of size N there are, with high probability, individuals who are genealogical ancestors of every extant individual within approximately log2(N) generations into the past. We use this result of J. Chang to prove a curious corollary under standard models of recombination: there exist, with high probability, individuals within a constant multiple of log2(N) generations into the past who are simultaneously (i) genealogical ancestors of each of the individuals at the present, and (ii) genetic ancestors to none of the individuals at the present. Such ancestral individuals-ancestors of everyone today that left no genetic trace-represent 'ghost' ancestors in a strong sense. In this short note, we use simple analytical argument and simulations to estimate how many such individuals exist in finite Wright-Fisher populations.

  14. Continuity or discontinuity in the European Early Pleistocene human settlement: the Atapuerca evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-09-01

    The nature, timing, pattern, favourable circumstances and impediments of the human occupation of the European continent during the Early Pleistocene are hot topics in Quaternary studies. In particular, the problem of the (dis) continuity of the settlement of Europe in this period is an important matter of discussion, which has been approached in the last decade from different points of view. The Gran Dolina (TD) and Sima del Elefante (TE) cave sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, (Spain) include large and quasi-continuous stratigraphic sequences that stretch back from at least 1.2 million years ago (Ma) to the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. The archaeological and paleontological record from these sites can help to test different hypotheses about the character of the human settlement in this region and period. Furthermore, the TD6 level has yielded a large collection of human fossil remains attributed to Homo antecessor. According to different geochronological methods, as well as to paleomagnetic and biostratigraphical analyses, these hominins belong to an age range of 0.96-0.80 Ma. Unfortunately, the finding in 2007 of some human fossil remains in the TE9 level, dated to about 1.22 Ma, was not enough to conclude whether H. antecessor had deep roots in the European Early Pleistocene. A set of derived features of H. antecessor shared with both the Neanderthal lineage and modern humans suggests that this species is related, and not far, from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If we assume that there was a lineal biological relationship between the TE9 and TD6 hominins, we should reconsider many of the conclusions achieved in previous paleontological and genetic studies. In addition, we would be obliged to build a highly complicated paleogeographical scenario for the origin of the MRCA. Although continuity in the settlement of Europe during the entire late Early Pleistocene is not discarded (e.g. in refuge areas), it seems that

  15. Teleoperation support for early human planetary missions.

    PubMed

    Genta, Giancarlo; Perino, Maria Antonietta

    2005-12-01

    A renewed interest in human exploration is flourishing among all the major spacefaring nations. In fact, in the complex scene of planned future space activities, the development of a Moon base and the human exploration of Mars might have the potential to renew the enthusiasm in expanding the human presence beyond the boundaries of Earth. Various initiatives have been undertaken to define scenarios and identify the required infrastructures and related technology innovations. The typical proposed approach follows a multistep strategy, starting with a series of precursor robotic missions to acquire further knowledge of the planet and to select the best potential landing sites, and evolving toward more demanding missions for the development of a surface infrastructure necessary to sustain human presence. The technologies involved in such a demanding enterprise range from typical space technologies, like transportation and propulsion, automation and robotics, rendezvous and docking, entry/reentry, aero-braking, navigation, and deep space communications, to human-specific issues like physiology, psychology, behavioral aspects, and nutritional science for long-duration exposure, that go beyond the traditional boundaries of space activities. Among the required elements to support planetary exploration, both for the precursor robotic missions and to sustain human exploration, rovers and trucks play a key role. A robust level of autonomy will need to be secured to perform preplanned operations, particularly for the surface infrastructure development, and a teleoperated support, either from Earth or from a local base, will enhance the in situ field exploration capability.

  16. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

  17. Mexican papita viroid: putative ancestor of crop viroids.

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Soriano, J P; Galindo-Alonso, J; Maroon, C J; Yucel, I; Smith, D R; Diener, T O

    1996-01-01

    The potato spindle tuber disease was first observed early in the 20th century in the northeastern United States and shown, in 1971, to be incited by a viroid, potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd). No wild-plant PSTVd reservoirs have been identified; thus, the initial source of PSTVd infecting potatoes has remained a mystery. Several variants of a novel viroid, designated Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), have now been isolated from Solanum cardiophyllum Lindl. (papita güera, cimantli) plants growing wild in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes. MPVd's nucleotide sequence is most closely related to those of the tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd) and PSTVd. From TPMVd, MPVd may be distinguished on the basis of biological properties, such as replication and symptom formation in certain differential hosts. Phylogenetic and ecological data indicate that MPVd and certain viroids now affecting crop plants, such as TPMVd, PSTVd, and possibly others, have a common ancestor. We hypothesize that commercial potatoes grown in the United States have become viroid-infected by chance transfer of MPVd or a similar viroid from endemically infected wild solanaceous plants imported from Mexico as germplasm, conceivably from plants known to have been introduced from Mexico to the United States late in the 19th century in efforts to identify genetic resistance to the potato late blight fungus, Phytophthora infestans. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8790341

  18. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V.; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D.; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J.; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R.; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J.; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  19. Young Children's Enactments of Human Rights in Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quennerstedt, Ann

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores ways in which human rights become part of and affect young children's everyday practices in early childhood education and, more particularly, how very young children enact human rights in the preschool setting. The study is conducted in a Swedish preschool through observations of the everyday practices of a group of children…

  20. Palmitic Acid in Early Human Development.

    PubMed

    Innis, Sheila M

    2016-09-09

    Palmitic acid (16:0) is a saturated fatty acid present in the diet and synthesized endogenously. Although often considered to have adverse effects on chronic disease in adults, 16:0 is an essential component of membrane, secretory, and transport lipids, with crucial roles in protein palmitoylation and signal molecules. At birth, the term infant is 13-15% body fat, with 45-50% 16:0, much of which is derived from endogenous synthesis in the fetus. After birth, the infant accumulates adipose tissue at high rates, reaching 25% body weight as fat by 4-5 months age. Over this time, human milk provides 10% dietary energy as 16:0, but in unusual triglycerides with 16:0 on the glycerol center carbon. This paper reviews the synthesis and oxidation of 16:0 and possible reasons why the infant is endowed with large amounts of fat and 16:0. The marked deviations in tissues with displacement of 16:0 that can occur in infants fed vegetable oil formulas is introduced. Assuming fetal fatty acid synthesis and the unusual delivery of 16:0 in human milk evolved to afford survival advantage to the neonate, it is timely to question if 16:0 is an essential component of tissue lipids whereby both deficiency and excess are detrimental.

  1. Human sexual size dimorphism in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, Radek; Smith, Gordon C S; Malone, Fergal D; Ball, Robert H; Nyberg, David A; Comstock, Christine H; Hankins, Gary D V; Berkowitz, Richard L; Gross, Susan J; Dugoff, Lorraine; Craigo, Sabrina D; Timor-Tritsch, Ilan E; Carr, Stephen R; Wolfe, Honor M; D'Alton, Mary E

    2007-05-15

    Sexual size dimorphism is thought to contribute to the greater mortality and morbidity of men compared with women. However, the timing of onset of sexual size dimorphism remains uncertain. The authors determined whether human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy. Using a prospective cohort study, conducted in 1999-2002 in the United States, they identified 27,655 women who conceived spontaneously and 1,008 whose conception was assisted by in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination and for whom a first-trimester measurement of fetal crown-rump length was available. First-trimester size was expressed as the difference between the observed and expected size of the fetus, expressed as equivalence to days of gestational age. The authors evaluated the association between fetal sex, first-trimester size, and birth weight. Eight to 12 weeks after conception, males were larger than females (mean difference: assisted conception = 0.4 days, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1, 0.7, p = 0.008; spontaneous conception = 0.3 days, 95% CI: 0.2, 0.4, p < 0.00001). The size discrepancy remained significant at birth (mean birth weight difference: assisted conception = 90 g, 95% CI: 22, 159, p = 0.009; spontaneous conception = 120 g, 95% CI: 107, 132, p < 0.00001). These data demonstrate that human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy.

  2. Major fungal lineages are derived from lichen symbiotic ancestors.

    PubMed

    Lutzoni, F; Pagel, M; Reeb, V

    2001-06-21

    About one-fifth of all known extant fungal species form obligate symbiotic associations with green algae, cyanobacteria or with both photobionts. These symbioses, known as lichens, are one way for fungi to meet their requirement for carbohydrates. Lichens are widely believed to have arisen independently on several occasions, accounting for the high diversity and mixed occurrence of lichenized and non-lichenized (42 and 58%, respectively) fungal species within the Ascomycota. Depending on the taxonomic classification chosen, 15-18 orders of the Ascomycota include lichen-forming taxa, and 8-11 of these orders (representing about 60% of the Ascomycota species) contain both lichenized and non-lichenized species. Here we report a phylogenetic comparative analysis of the Ascomycota, a phylum that includes greater than 98% of known lichenized fungal species. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic tree sampling methodology combined with a statistical model of trait evolution, we take into account uncertainty about the phylogenetic tree and ancestral state reconstructions. Our results show that lichens evolved earlier than believed, and that gains of lichenization have been infrequent during Ascomycota evolution, but have been followed by multiple independent losses of the lichen symbiosis. As a consequence, major Ascomycota lineages of exclusively non-lichen-forming species are derived from lichen-forming ancestors. These species include taxa with important benefits and detriments to humans, such as Penicillium and Aspergillus.

  3. Early NACA human computers at work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1949-01-01

    The women of the Computer Department at NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station are shown busy with test flight calculations. The computers under the direction of Roxanah Yancey were responsible for accurate calculations on the research test flights made at the Station. There were no mechanical computers at the station in 1949, but data was reduced by human computers. Shown in this photograph starting at the left are: Geraldine Mayer and Mary (Tut) Hedgepeth with Friden calculators on the their desks; Emily Stephens conferring with engineer John Mayer; Gertrude (Trudy) Valentine is working on an oscillograph recording reducing the data from a flight. Across the desk is Dorothy Clift Hughes using a slide rule to complete data calculations. Roxanah Yancey completes the picture as she fills out engineering requests for further data.

  4. Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Crompton, R H; Vereecke, E E; Thorpe, S K S

    2008-01-01

    Based on our knowledge of locomotor biomechanics and ecology we predict the locomotion and posture of the last common ancestors of (a) great and lesser apes and their close fossil relatives (hominoids); (b) chimpanzees, bonobos and modern humans (hominines); and (c) modern humans and their fossil relatives (hominins). We evaluate our propositions against the fossil record in the context of a broader review of evolution of the locomotor system from the earliest hominoids of modern aspect (crown hominoids) to early modern Homo sapiens. While some early East African stem hominoids were pronograde, it appears that the adaptations which best characterize the crown hominoids are orthogrady and an ability to abduct the arm above the shoulder – rather than, as is often thought, manual suspension sensu stricto. At 7–9 Ma (not much earlier than the likely 4–8 Ma divergence date for panins and hominins, see Bradley, 2008) there were crown hominoids in southern Europe which were adapted to moving in an orthograde posture, supported primarily on the hindlimb, in an arboreal, and possibly for Oreopithecus, a terrestrial context. By 7 Ma, Sahelanthropus provides evidence of a Central African hominin, panin or possibly gorilline adapted to orthogrady, and both orthogrady and habitually highly extended postures of the hip are evident in the arboreal East African protohominin Orrorin at 6 Ma. If the traditional idea that hominins passed through a terrestrial ‘knuckle-walking’ phase is correct, not only does it have to be explained how a quadrupedal gait typified by flexed postures of the hindlimb could have preadapted the body for the hominin acquisition of straight-legged erect bipedality, but we would have to accept a transition from stem-hominoid pronogrady to crown hominoid orthogrady, back again to pronogrady in the African apes and then back to orthogrady in hominins. Hand-assisted arboreal bipedality, which is part of a continuum of orthograde behaviours, is used by

  5. Indigenous Ways--Fruits of Our Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohn, Itamar

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the human-nature relationship is recognized as a major field of interest and a platform of ideas linked with it is explored. A "new" source to inform an alternative paradigm for outdoor education is proposed; it is millennia old, has roots all over the globe and is a living, breathing, and evolving tradition--indigenous ways. While…

  6. Proposed Ancestors of Phage Nucleic Acid Packaging Motors (and Cells)

    PubMed Central

    Serwer, Philip

    2011-01-01

    I present a hypothesis that begins with the proposal that abiotic ancestors of phage RNA and DNA packaging systems (and cells) include mobile shells with an internal, molecule-transporting cavity. The foundations of this hypothesis include the conjecture that current nucleic acid packaging systems have imprints from abiotic ancestors. The abiotic shells (1) initially imbibe and later also bind and transport organic molecules, thereby providing a means for producing molecular interactions that are links in the chain of events that produces ancestors to the first molecules that are both information carrying and enzymatically active, and (2) are subsequently scaffolds on which proteins assemble to form ancestors common to both shells of viral capsids and cell membranes. Emergence of cells occurs via aggregation and merger of shells and internal contents. The hypothesis continues by using proposed imprints of abiotic and biotic ancestors to deduce an ancestral thermal ratchet-based DNA packaging motor that subsequently evolves to integrate a DNA packaging ATPase that provides a power stroke. PMID:21994778

  7. Distribution of repetitions of ancestors in genealogical trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derrida, Bernard; Manrubia, Susanna C.; Zanette, Damián H.

    2000-06-01

    We calculate the probability distribution of repetitions of ancestors in a genealogical tree for simple neutral models of a closed population with sexual reproduction and non-overlapping generations. Each ancestor at generation g in the past has a weight w which is (up to a normalization) the number of times this ancestor appears in the genealogical tree of an individual at present. The distribution Pg( w) of these weights reaches a stationary shape P∞( w), for large g, i.e., for a large number of generations back in the past. For small w, P ∞(w) is a power law ( P∞( w)∼ wβ), with a non-trivial exponent β which can be computed exactly using a standard procedure of the renormalization group approach. Some extensions of the model are discussed and the effect of these variants on the shape of P∞( w) are analysed.

  8. Sequencing Y Chromosomes Resolves Discrepancy in Time to Common Ancestor of Males versus Females

    PubMed Central

    Poznik, G. David; Henn, Brenna M.; Yee, Muh-Ching; Sliwerska, Elzbieta; Euskirchen, Ghia M.; Lin, Alice A.; Snyder, Michael; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Kidd, Jeffrey M.; Underhill, Peter A.; Bustamante, Carlos D.

    2014-01-01

    The Y chromosome and the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) have been used to estimate when the common patrilineal and matrilineal ancestors of humans lived. We sequenced the genomes of 69 males from nine populations, including two in which we find basal branches of the Y chromosome tree. We identify ancient phylogenetic structure within African haplogroups and resolve a long-standing ambiguity deep within the tree. Applying equivalent methodologies to the Y and mtDNA, we estimate the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of the Y chromosome to be 120–156 thousand years and the mtDNA TMRCA to be 99–148 ky. Our findings suggest that, contrary to prior claims, male lineages do not coalesce significantly more recently than female lineages. PMID:23908239

  9. Population Dynamics of Early Human Migration in Britain

    PubMed Central

    Vahia, Mayank N.; Ladiwala, Uma; Mahathe, Pavan; Mathur, Deepak

    2016-01-01

    Background Early human migration is largely determined by geography and human needs. These are both deterministic parameters when small populations move into unoccupied areas where conflicts and large group dynamics are not important. The early period of human migration into the British Isles provides such a laboratory which, because of its relative geographical isolation, may allow some insights into the complex dynamics of early human migration and interaction. Method and Results We developed a simulation code based on human affinity to habitable land, as defined by availability of water sources, altitude, and flatness of land, in choosing the path of migration. Movement of people on the British island over the prehistoric period from their initial entry points was simulated on the basis of data from the megalithic period. Topographical and hydro-shed data from satellite databases was used to define habitability, based on distance from water bodies, flatness of the terrain, and altitude above sea level. We simulated population movement based on assumptions of affinity for more habitable places, with the rate of movement tempered by existing populations. We compared results of our computer simulations with genetic data and show that our simulation can predict fairly accurately the points of contacts between different migratory paths. Such comparison also provides more detailed information about the path of peoples’ movement over ~2000 years before the present era. Conclusions We demonstrate an accurate method to simulate prehistoric movements of people based upon current topographical satellite data. Our findings are validated by recently-available genetic data. Our method may prove useful in determining early human population dynamics even when no genetic information is available. PMID:27148959

  10. Early development of synchrony in cortical activations in the human

    PubMed Central

    Koolen, N.; Dereymaeker, A.; Räsänen, O.; Jansen, K.; Vervisch, J.; Matic, V.; Naulaers, G.; De Vos, M.; Van Huffel, S.; Vanhatalo, S.

    2016-01-01

    Early intermittent cortical activity is thought to play a crucial role in the growth of neuronal network development, and large scale brain networks are known to provide the basis for higher brain functions. Yet, the early development of the large scale synchrony in cortical activations is unknown. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the early intermittent cortical activations seen in the human scalp EEG show a clear developmental course during the last trimester of pregnancy, the period of intensive growth of cortico-cortical connections. We recorded scalp EEG from altogether 22 premature infants at post-menstrual age between 30 and 44 weeks, and the early cortical synchrony was quantified using recently introduced activation synchrony index (ASI). The developmental correlations of ASI were computed for individual EEG signals as well as anatomically and mathematically defined spatial subgroups. We report two main findings. First, we observed a robust and statistically significant increase in ASI in all cortical areas. Second, there were significant spatial gradients in the synchrony in fronto-occipital and left-to-right directions. These findings provide evidence that early cortical activity is increasingly synchronized across the neocortex. The ASI-based metrics introduced in our work allow direct translational comparison to in vivo animal models, as well as hold promise for implementation as a functional developmental biomarker in future research on human neonates. PMID:26876605

  11. Telomerase Activity is Downregulated Early During Human Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Ishaq, Abbas; Hanson, Peter S.; Morris, Christopher M.; Saretzki, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    Changes in hTERT splice variant expression have been proposed to facilitate the decrease of telomerase activity during fetal development in various human tissues. Here, we analyzed the expression of telomerase RNA (hTR), wild type and α-spliced hTERT in developing human fetal brain (post conception weeks, pcw, 6–19) and in young and old cortices using qPCR and correlated it to telomerase activity measured by TRAP assay. Decrease of telomerase activity occurred early during brain development and correlated strongest to decreased hTR expression. The expression of α-spliced hTERT increased between pcw 10 and 19, while that of wild type hTERT remained unchanged. Lack of expression differences between young and old cortices suggests that most changes seem to occur early during human brain development. Using in vitro differentiation of neural precursor stem cells (NPSCs) derived at pcw 6 we found a decrease in telomerase activity but no major expression changes in telomerase associated genes. Thus, they do not seem to model the mechanisms for the decrease in telomerase activity in fetal brains. Our results suggest that decreased hTR levels, as well as transient increase in α-spliced hTERT, might both contribute to downregulation of telomerase activity during early human brain development between 6 and 17 pcw. PMID:27322326

  12. Origins and early development of human body knowledge.

    PubMed

    Slaughter, Virginia; Heron, Michelle

    2004-01-01

    As a knowable object, the human body is highly complex. Evidence from several converging lines of research, including psychological studies, neuroimaging and clinical neuropsychology, indicates that human body knowledge is widely distributed in the adult brain, and is instantiated in at least three partially independent levels of representation. Sensorimotor body knowledge is responsible for on-line control and movement of one's own body and may also contribute to the perception of others' moving bodies; visuo-spatial body knowledge specifies detailed structural descriptions of the spatial attributes of the human body; and lexical-semantic body knowledge contains language-based knowledge about the human body. In the first chapter of this Monograph, we outline the evidence for these three hypothesized levels of human body knowledge, then review relevant literature on infants' and young children's human body knowledge in terms of the three-level framework. In Chapters II and III, we report two complimentary series of studies that specifically investigate the emergence of visuo-spatial body knowledge in infancy. Our technique is to compare infants'responses to typical and scrambled human bodies, in order to evaluate when and how infants acquire knowledge about the canonical spatial layout of the human body. Data from a series of visual habituation studies indicate that infants first discriminate scrambled from typical human body picture sat 15 to 18 months of age. Data from object examination studies similarly indicate that infants are sensitive to violations of three-dimensional human body stimuli starting at 15-18 months of age. The overall pattern of data supports several conclusions about the early development of human body knowledge: (a) detailed visuo-spatial knowledge about the human body is first evident in the second year of life, (b) visuo-spatial knowledge of human faces and human bodies are at least partially independent in infancy and (c) infants' initial

  13. The Ancestor Project: Aboriginal Computer Education through Storytelling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weston, Marla; Biin, Dianne

    2013-01-01

    The goal of the ANCESTOR program is to use digital storytelling as a means of promoting an interest in technology careers for Aboriginal learners, as well as increasing cultural literacy. A curriculum was developed and first tested with Aboriginal students at the LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Based on feedback…

  14. Evidence in hand: recent discoveries and the early evolution of human manual manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Kivell, Tracy L.

    2015-01-01

    For several decades, it was largely assumed that stone tool use and production were abilities limited to the genus Homo. However, growing palaeontological and archaeological evidence, comparative extant primate studies, as well as results from methodological advancements in biomechanics and morphological analyses, have been gradually accumulating and now provide strong support for more advanced manual manipulative abilities and tool-related behaviours in pre-Homo hominins than has been traditionally recognized. Here, I review the fossil evidence related to early hominin dexterity, including the recent discoveries of relatively complete early hominin hand skeletons, and new methodologies that are providing a more holistic interpretation of hand function, and insight into how our early ancestors may have balanced the functional requirements of both arboreal locomotion and tool-related behaviours. PMID:26483538

  15. Evidence in hand: recent discoveries and the early evolution of human manual manipulation.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Tracy L

    2015-11-19

    For several decades, it was largely assumed that stone tool use and production were abilities limited to the genus Homo. However, growing palaeontological and archaeological evidence, comparative extant primate studies, as well as results from methodological advancements in biomechanics and morphological analyses, have been gradually accumulating and now provide strong support for more advanced manual manipulative abilities and tool-related behaviours in pre-Homo hominins than has been traditionally recognized. Here, I review the fossil evidence related to early hominin dexterity, including the recent discoveries of relatively complete early hominin hand skeletons, and new methodologies that are providing a more holistic interpretation of hand function, and insight into how our early ancestors may have balanced the functional requirements of both arboreal locomotion and tool-related behaviours.

  16. The DNA methylation landscape of human early embryos.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongshan; Zhu, Ping; Yan, Liying; Li, Rong; Hu, Boqiang; Lian, Ying; Yan, Jie; Ren, Xiulian; Lin, Shengli; Li, Junsheng; Jin, Xiaohu; Shi, Xiaodan; Liu, Ping; Wang, Xiaoye; Wang, Wei; Wei, Yuan; Li, Xianlong; Guo, Fan; Wu, Xinglong; Fan, Xiaoying; Yong, Jun; Wen, Lu; Xie, Sunney X; Tang, Fuchou; Qiao, Jie

    2014-07-31

    DNA methylation is a crucial element in the epigenetic regulation of mammalian embryonic development. However, its dynamic patterns have not been analysed at the genome scale in human pre-implantation embryos due to technical difficulties and the scarcity of required materials. Here we systematically profile the methylome of human early embryos from the zygotic stage through to post-implantation by reduced representation bisulphite sequencing and whole-genome bisulphite sequencing. We show that the major wave of genome-wide demethylation is complete at the 2-cell stage, contrary to previous observations in mice. Moreover, the demethylation of the paternal genome is much faster than that of the maternal genome, and by the end of the zygotic stage the genome-wide methylation level in male pronuclei is already lower than that in female pronuclei. The inverse correlation between promoter methylation and gene expression gradually strengthens during early embryonic development, reaching its peak at the post-implantation stage. Furthermore, we show that active genes, with the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) mark at the promoter regions in pluripotent human embryonic stem cells, are essentially devoid of DNA methylation in both mature gametes and throughout pre-implantation development. Finally, we also show that long interspersed nuclear elements or short interspersed nuclear elements that are evolutionarily young are demethylated to a milder extent compared to older elements in the same family and have higher abundance of transcripts, indicating that early embryos tend to retain higher residual methylation at the evolutionarily younger and more active transposable elements. Our work provides insights into the critical features of the methylome of human early embryos, as well as its functional relation to the regulation of gene expression and the repression of transposable elements.

  17. The great divides: Ardipithecus ramidus reveals the postcrania of our last common ancestors with African apes.

    PubMed

    Lovejoy, C Owen; Suwa, Gen; Simpson, Scott W; Matternes, Jay H; White, Tim D

    2009-10-02

    Genomic comparisons have established the chimpanzee and bonobo as our closest living relatives. However, the intricacies of gene regulation and expression caution against the use of these extant apes in deducing the anatomical structure of the last common ancestor that we shared with them. Evidence for this structure must therefore be sought from the fossil record. Until now, that record has provided few relevant data because available fossils were too recent or too incomplete. Evidence from Ardipithecus ramidus now suggests that the last common ancestor lacked the hand, foot, pelvic, vertebral, and limb structures and proportions specialized for suspension, vertical climbing, and knuckle-walking among extant African apes. If this hypothesis is correct, each extant African ape genus must have independently acquired these specializations from more generalized ancestors who still practiced careful arboreal climbing and bridging. African apes and hominids acquired advanced orthogrady in parallel. Hominoid spinal invagination is an embryogenetic mechanism that reoriented the shoulder girdle more laterally. It was unaccompanied by substantial lumbar spine abbreviation, an adaptation restricted to vertical climbing and/or suspension. The specialized locomotor anatomies and behaviors of chimpanzees and gorillas therefore constitute poor models for the origin and evolution of human bipedality.

  18. Early stress and human behavioral development: emerging evolutionary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, M

    2014-08-01

    Stress experienced early in life exerts a powerful, lasting influence on development. Converging empirical findings show that stressful experiences become deeply embedded in the child's neurobiology, with an astonishing range of long-term effects on cognition, emotion, and behavior. In contrast with the prevailing view that such effects are the maladaptive outcomes of 'toxic' stress, adaptive models regard them as manifestations of evolved developmental plasticity. In this paper, I offer a brief introduction to adaptive models of early stress and human behavioral development, with emphasis on recent theoretical contributions and emerging concepts in the field. I begin by contrasting dysregulation models of early stress with their adaptive counterparts; I then introduce life history theory as a unifying framework, and review recent work on predictive adaptive responses (PARs) in human life history development. In particular, I discuss the distinction between forecasting the future state of the environment (external prediction) and forecasting the future state of the organism (internal prediction). Next, I present the adaptive calibration model, an integrative model of individual differences in stress responsivity based on life history concepts. I conclude by examining how maternal-fetal conflict may shape the physiology of prenatal stress and its adaptive and maladaptive effects on postnatal development. In total, I aim to show how theoretical work from evolutionary biology is reshaping the way we think about the role of stress in human development, and provide researchers with an up-to-date conceptual map of this fascinating and rapidly evolving field.

  19. European early modern humans and the fate of the Neandertals

    PubMed Central

    Trinkaus, Erik

    2007-01-01

    A consideration of the morphological aspects of the earliest modern humans in Europe (more than ≈33,000 B.P.) and the subsequent Gravettian human remains indicates that they possess an anatomical pattern congruent with the autapomorphic (derived) morphology of the earliest (Middle Paleolithic) African modern humans. However, they exhibit a variable suite of features that are either distinctive Neandertal traits and/or plesiomorphic (ancestral) aspects that had been lost among the African Middle Paleolithic modern humans. These features include aspects of neurocranial shape, basicranial external morphology, mandibular ramal and symphyseal form, dental morphology and size, and anteroposterior dental proportions, as well as aspects of the clavicles, scapulae, metacarpals, and appendicular proportions. The ubiquitous and variable presence of these morphological features in the European earlier modern human samples can only be parsimoniously explained as a product of modest levels of assimilation of Neandertals into early modern human populations as the latter dispersed across Europe. This interpretation is in agreement with current analyses of recent and past human molecular data. PMID:17452632

  20. On the tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee last common ancestor, and the origins of hominine stone tool use.

    PubMed

    Haslam, Michael

    2014-10-01

    The last common ancestor (LCA) shared by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (P. paniscus) was an Early Pleistocene African ape, which, based on the behavior of modern chimpanzees, may be assumed to be a tool-using animal. However, the character of tool use in the Pan lineage prior to the 20th century is largely unknown. Here, I use available data on wild bonobo tool use and emerging molecular estimates of demography during Pan evolution to hypothesise the plausible tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee LCA (or "Pancestor") at the start of the Pleistocene, over 2 million years ago. This method indicates that the common ancestor of living Pan apes likely used plant tools for probing, sponging, and display, but it did not use stone tools. Instead, stone tool use appears to have been independently invented by Western African chimpanzees (P. t. verus) during the Middle Pleistocene in the region of modern Liberia-Ivory Coast-Guinea, possibly as recently as 200,000-150,000 years ago. If this is the case, then the LCA of humans and chimpanzees likely also did not use stone tools, and this trait probably first emerged among hominins in Pliocene East Africa. This review also suggests that the consistently higher population sizes of Central African chimpanzees (P. t. troglodytes) over the past million years may have contributed to the increased complexity of wild tool use seen in this sub-species today.

  1. Cortisol levels and very early pregnancy loss in humans

    PubMed Central

    Nepomnaschy, Pablo A.; Welch, Kathleen B.; McConnell, Daniel S.; Low, Bobbi S.; Strassmann, Beverly I.; England, Barry G.

    2006-01-01

    Maternal stress is commonly cited as an important risk factor for spontaneous abortion. For humans, however, there is little physiological evidence linking miscarriage to stress. This lack of evidence may be attributable to a paucity of research on maternal stress during the earliest gestational stages. Most human studies have focused on “clinical” pregnancy (>6 weeks after the last menstrual period). The majority of miscarriages, however, occur earlier, within the first 3 weeks after conception (≈5 weeks after the last menstrual period). Studies focused on clinical pregnancy thus miss the most critical period for pregnancy continuance. We examined the association between miscarriage and levels of maternal urinary cortisol during the first 3 weeks after conception. Pregnancies characterized by increased maternal cortisol during this period (within participant analyses) were more likely to result in spontaneous abortion (P < 0.05). This evidence links increased levels in this stress marker with a higher risk of early pregnancy loss in humans. PMID:16495411

  2. Modulation of early human preadipocyte differentiation by glucocorticoids.

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, Julianna J; Boudreau, Adèle; Wu, Dongmei; Atlas, Ella; Haché, Robert J G

    2006-11-01

    Glucocorticoids provide an adipogenic stimulus that is most obvious in the truncal obesity of patients with Cushing's syndrome. Glucocorticoid treatment also strongly potentiates the differentiation of human preadipocytes in culture. However, the molecular basis of these stimulatory effects remains to be defined. In this study, we provide a detailed analysis of the specific contribution of glucocorticoid treatment to the differentiation of primary human preadipocytes cultured in chemically defined medium. Contrary to previous descriptions of glucocorticoids being required throughout the course of differentiation, our results show that glucocorticoid treatment is stimulatory only during the first 48 h of differentiation. Furthermore, stimulation by glucocorticoids and the peroxisome proliferator activator receptor-gamma agonist troglitazone is mediated sequentially. Several details of the early events in the differentiation of human preadipocytes and the contribution of steroid to these events differ from the responses observed previously in murine preadipocyte models. First, glucocorticoid treatment stimulated the early accumulation of CCAAT enhancer binding protein-beta (C/EBPbeta) in primary human preadipocytes. Second, induction of C/EBPalpha in primary human preadipocytes was noted within 4 h of adipogenic stimulus, whereas C/EBPalpha induction is not detected until 24-48 h in the murine 3T3 L1 preadipocyte model. Remarkably, by contrast to human primary preadipocytes, which do not undergo postconfluent mitosis, 3T3 L1 murine preadipocytes stimulated to differentiate under chemically defined conditions required glucocorticoids to survive the clonal expansion that precedes terminal differentiation, revealing a novel signal imparted by glucocorticoids in this immortalized murine cell system.

  3. Early enteral feeding with human milk for VLBW infants.

    PubMed

    De Nisi, G; Berti, M; De Nisi, M; Bertino, E

    2012-01-01

    In a NICU early enteral feeding is usually possible only when the newborn clinical conditions permit it. Because of the frequent need of umbilical/central catheters, they usually start with parenteral feeding and/or with minimal enteral feeding (trophic feeding). This kind of management is even more frequent in VLBWIs, in which the risk of NEC is very high. In this work we describe a model of early enteral exclusive feeding (EEEF) based on the use of banking human milk followed by mother milk. In the Centre of Neonatology of Trento, as in other Centers, the newborns weighing less than 750g or with a GE< 27 weeks, are treated with parenteral nutrition and minimal enteral feeding. The newborn weighing 750-1249g and with GE > 26 weeks define a group in which we find critical neonates, who can not be treated with enteral feeding, and neonates whose clinical conditions permit EEEF. In particular, in a period of 16 years (1994-2009) in Trento, 308 newborns weighing 750-1249 g and GE > than 26 weeks were admitted. The 90,9 % has been treated with prenatal steroids, the 91,9 % was inborn, the 96,1% survived. In the 59,1 % of the cases (175) we gave EEEF. We could continue with a complete EEEF in the 40,2 % of the total (119 cases). The characteristics of these neonates and our centre management, based mainly on early use of banking human milk and mother milk, are detailed described.

  4. Diversity of the human skin microbiome early in life.

    PubMed

    Capone, Kimberly A; Dowd, Scot E; Stamatas, Georgios N; Nikolovski, Janeta

    2011-10-01

    Within days after birth, rapid surface colonization of infant skin coincides with significant functional changes. Gradual maturation of skin function, structure, and composition continues throughout the first years of life. Recent reports have revealed topographical and temporal variations in the adult skin microbiome. Here we address the question of how the human skin microbiome develops early in life. We show that the composition of cutaneous microbial communities evolves over the first year of life, showing increasing diversity with age. Although early colonization is dominated by Staphylococci, their significant decline contributes to increased population evenness by the end of the first year. Similar to what has been shown in adults, the composition of infant skin microflora appears to be site specific. In contrast to adults, we find that Firmicutes predominate on infant skin. Timely and proper establishment of healthy skin microbiome during this early period might have a pivotal role in denying access to potentially infectious microbes and could affect microbiome composition and stability extending into adulthood. Bacterial communities contribute to the establishment of cutaneous homeostasis and modulate inflammatory responses. Early microbial colonization is therefore expected to critically affect the development of the skin immune function.

  5. Diversity of the Human Skin Microbiome Early in Life

    PubMed Central

    Capone, Kimberly A; Dowd, Scot E; Stamatas, Georgios N; Nikolovski, Janeta

    2011-01-01

    Within days after birth, rapid surface colonization of infant skin coincides with significant functional changes. Gradual maturation of skin function, structure, and composition continues throughout the first years of life. Recent reports have revealed topographical and temporal variations in the adult skin microbiome. Here we address the question of how the human skin microbiome develops early in life. We show that the composition of cutaneous microbial communities evolves over the first year of life, showing increasing diversity with age. Although early colonization is dominated by Staphylococci, their significant decline contributes to increased population evenness by the end of the first year. Similar to what has been shown in adults, the composition of infant skin microflora appears to be site specific. In contrast to adults, we find that Firmicutes predominate on infant skin. Timely and proper establishment of healthy skin microbiome during this early period might have a pivotal role in denying access to potentially infectious microbes and could affect microbiome composition and stability extending into adulthood. Bacterial communities contribute to the establishment of cutaneous homeostasis and modulate inflammatory responses. Early microbial colonization is therefore expected to critically affect the development of the skin immune function. PMID:21697884

  6. The Human Microbiome. Early Life Determinant of Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The development of new technologies to isolate and identify microbial genomes has markedly increased our understanding of the role of microbiomes in health and disease. The idea, first proposed as part of the hygiene hypothesis, that environmental microbes influence the developmental trajectories of the immune system in early life, has now been considerably extended and refined. The abundant microbiota present in mucosal surfaces, especially the gut, is actively selected by the host through complex receptor systems that respond differentially depending on the molecular patterns presented to mucosal cells. Germ-free mice are more likely to develop allergic airway inflammation and show alterations in normal motor control and anxiety. These effects can be reversed by neonatal microbial recolonization but remain unchanged if recolonization occurs in adults. What emerges from these recent studies is the discovery of a complex, major early environmental determinant of lifetime human phenotypes. To change the natural course of asthma, obesity, and other chronic inflammatory conditions, active manipulation of the extensive bacterial, phage, and fungal metagenomes present in mucosal surfaces may be required, specifically during the developing years. Domesticating the human microbiome and adapting it to our health needs may be a challenge akin to, but far more complex than, the one faced by humanity when a few dozen species of plants and animals were domesticated during the transition between hunter-gatherer and sedentary societies after the end of the Pleistocene era. PMID:24437411

  7. Ecosystem variability and early human habitats in eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2013-01-01

    The role of savannas during the course of early human evolution has been debated for nearly a century, in part because of difficulties in characterizing local ecosystems from fossil and sediment records. Here, we present high-resolution lipid biomarker and isotopic signatures for organic matter preserved in lake sediments at Olduvai Gorge during a key juncture in human evolution about 2.0 Ma—the emergence and dispersal of Homo erectus (sensu lato). Using published data for modern plants and soils, we construct a framework for ecological interpretations of stable carbon-isotope compositions (expressed as δ13C values) of lipid biomarkers from ancient plants. Within this framework, δ13C values for sedimentary leaf lipids and total organic carbon from Olduvai Gorge indicate recurrent ecosystem variations, where open C4 grasslands abruptly transitioned to closed C3 forests within several hundreds to thousands of years. Carbon-isotopic signatures correlate most strongly with Earth’s orbital geometry (precession), and tropical sea-surface temperatures are significant secondary predictors in partial regression analyses. The scale and pace of repeated ecosystem variations at Olduvai Gorge contrast with long-held views of directional or stepwise aridification and grassland expansion in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene and provide a local perspective on environmental hypotheses of human evolution. PMID:23267092

  8. Early human symbolic behavior in the Late Pleistocene of Wallacea.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; Langley, Michelle C; Moore, Mark W; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Sumantri, Iwan; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Suryatman; Sardi, Ratno; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Hasliana; Hasrianti; Oktaviana, Adhi Agus; Adhityatama, Shinatria; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Aubert, Maxime; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Huntley, Jillian; Li, Bo; Roberts, Richard G; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Perston, Yinika; Grün, Rainer

    2017-04-03

    Wallacea, the zone of oceanic islands separating the continental regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, has yielded sparse evidence for the symbolic culture of early modern humans. Here we report evidence for symbolic activity 30,000-22,000 y ago at Leang Bulu Bettue, a cave and rock-shelter site on the Wallacean island of Sulawesi. We describe hitherto undocumented practices of personal ornamentation and portable art, alongside evidence for pigment processing and use in deposits that are the same age as dated rock art in the surrounding karst region. Previously, assemblages of multiple and diverse types of Pleistocene "symbolic" artifacts were entirely unknown from this region. The Leang Bulu Bettue assemblage provides insight into the complexity and diversification of modern human culture during a key period in the global dispersal of our species. It also shows that early inhabitants of Sulawesi fashioned ornaments from body parts of endemic animals, suggesting modern humans integrated exotic faunas and other novel resources into their symbolic world as they colonized the biogeographically unique regions southeast of continental Eurasia.

  9. Deciding Termination for Ancestor Match- Bounded String Rewriting Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geser, Alfons; Hofbauer, Dieter; Waldmann, Johannes

    2005-01-01

    Termination of a string rewriting system can be characterized by termination on suitable recursively defined languages. This kind of termination criteria has been criticized for its lack of automation. In an earlier paper we have shown how to construct an automated termination criterion if the recursion is aligned with the rewrite relation. We have demonstrated the technique with Dershowitz's forward closure criterion. In this paper we show that a different approach is suitable when the recursion is aligned with the inverse of the rewrite relation. We apply this idea to Kurth's ancestor graphs and obtain ancestor match-bounded string rewriting systems. Termination is shown to be decidable for this class. The resulting method improves upon those based on match-boundedness or inverse match-boundedness.

  10. An early history of human breast cancer: West meets East

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Shou-He

    2013-01-01

    Cancer has been increasingly recognized as a global issue. This is especially true in countries like China, where cancer incidence has increased likely because of changes in environment and lifestyle. However, cancer is not a modern disease; early cases have been recorded in ancient medical books in the West and in China. Here, we provide a brief history of cancer, focusing on cancer of the breast, and review the etymology of ai, the Chinese character for cancer. Notable findings from both Western and Chinese traditional medicine are presented to give an overview of the most important, early contributors to our evolving understanding of human breast cancer. We also discuss the earliest historical documents to record patients with breast cancer. PMID:23958056

  11. An early modern human from Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, China

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Hong; Tong, Haowen; Zhang, Shuangquan; Chen, Fuyou; Trinkaus, Erik

    2007-01-01

    Thirty-four elements of an early modern human (EMH) were found in Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, China in 2003. Dated to 42,000–39,000 calendrical years before present by using direct accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon, the Tianyuan 1 skeleton is among the oldest directly dated EMHs in eastern Eurasia. Morphological comparison shows Tianyuan 1 to have a series of derived modern human characteristics, including a projecting tuber symphyseos, a high anterior symphyseal angle, a broad scapular glenoid fossa, a reduced hamulus, a gluteal buttress, and a pilaster on the femora. Other features of Tianyuan 1 that are more common among EMHs are its modest humeral pectoralis major tuberosities, anteriorly rotated radial tuberosity, reduced radial curvature, and modest talar trochlea. It also lacks several mandibular features common among western Eurasian late archaic humans, including mandibular foramen bridging, mandibular notch asymmetry, and a large superior medial pterygoid tubercle. However, Tianyuan 1 exhibits several late archaic human features, such as its anterior to posterior dental proportions, a large hamulus length, and a broad and rounded distal phalangeal tuberosity. This morphological pattern implies that a simple spread of modern humans from Africa is unlikely. PMID:17416672

  12. Four queries concerning the metaphysics of early human embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Howsepian, A A

    2008-04-01

    In this essay, I attempt to provide answers to the following four queries concerning the metaphysics of early human embryogenesis. (1) Following its first cellular fission, is it coherent to claim that one and only one of two "blastomeric" twins of a human zygote is identical with that zygote? (2) Following the fusion of two human pre-embryos, is it coherent to claim that one and only one pre-fusion pre-embryo is identical with that postfusion pre-embryo? (3) Does a live human being come into existence only when its brain comes into existence? (4) At implantation, does a pre-embryo become a mere part of its mother? I argue that either if things have quidditative properties or if criterialism is false, then queries (1) and (2) can be answered in the affirmative; that in light of recent developments in theories of human death and in light of a more "functional" theory of brains, query (3) can be answered in the negative; and that plausible mereological principles require a negative answer to query (4).

  13. Aplacophoran Mollusks Evolved from Ancestors with Polyplacophoran-like Features

    PubMed Central

    Scherholz, Maik; Redl, Emanuel; Wollesen, Tim; Todt, Christiane; Wanninger, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Summary Mollusca is an animal phylum with vast morphological diversity and includes worm-shaped aplacophorans, snails, bivalves, and the complex cephalopods [1]. The interrelationships of these class-level taxa are still contentious [2, 3], but recent phylogenomic analyses suggest a dichotomy at the base of Mollusca, resulting in a monophyletic Aculifera (comprising the shell-less, sclerite-bearing aplacophorans and the eight-shelled polyplacophorans) and Conchifera (all other, primarily univalved groups) [4, 5]. The Aculifera concept has recently gained support via description of the fossil Kulindroplax, which shows both aplacophoran- and polyplacophoran-like features and suggests that the aplacophorans originated from a shelled ancestor [6], but the overall morphology of the last common aculiferan ancestor remains obscure. Here we show that larvae of the aplacophoran Wirenia argentea have several sets of muscles previously known only from polyplacophoran mollusks. Most of these are lost during metamorphosis, and we interpret them as ontogenetic remnants of an ancestor with a complex, polyplacophoran-like musculature. Moreover, we find that the first seven pairs of dorsoventral muscles develop synchronously in Wirenia, similar to juvenile polyplacophorans [7], which supports the conclusions based on the seven-shelled Kulindroplax. Accordingly, we argue that the simple body plan of recent aplacophorans is the result of simplification and does not represent a basal molluscan condition. PMID:24139743

  14. Ancestor reverence and mental health in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Berg, Astrid

    2003-06-01

    The great majority of South Africa's people consult traditional healers. The deeper meaning of much traditional healing centres on ancestor reverence. This belief system and its accompanying rituals may positively influence the mental health of the individual and the community. Among traditional Xhosa-speaking peoples, the relationship with the ancestors is given expression in life cycle rituals that have much in common with Western psychotherapeutic principles and practices. The common thread that underpins many rituals is that of making links via concrete, literal means. Examples include the participation of the community in the healing of the individual; the linking of body and mind through dancing and drumming. Dreams form an essential connection between conscious life and the unconscious. Understanding the psychological depth of these practices is important so that a respectful relationship between Western-trained professionals and traditional healers can develop. Analytical psychology, with its notion of the collective unconscious has a particular contribution to make to cross-cultural understanding. The ancestors may be understood as archetypal representations of the collective unconscious.

  15. Facilitated early cortical processing of nude human bodies.

    PubMed

    Alho, Jussi; Salminen, Nelli; Sams, Mikko; Hietanen, Jari K; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-07-01

    Functional brain imaging has identified specialized neural systems supporting human body perception. Responses to nude vs. clothed bodies within this system are amplified. However, it remains unresolved whether nude and clothed bodies are processed by same cerebral networks or whether processing of nude bodies recruits additional affective and arousal processing areas. We recorded simultaneous MEG and EEG while participants viewed photographs of clothed and nude bodies. Global field power revealed a peak ∼145ms after stimulus onset to both clothed and nude bodies, and ∼205ms exclusively to nude bodies. Nude-body-sensitive responses were centered first (100-200ms) in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas, and subsequently (200-300ms) in affective-motivational areas including insula and anterior cingulate cortex. We conclude that visibility of sexual features facilitates early cortical processing of human bodies, the purpose of which is presumably to trigger sexual behavior and ultimately ensure reproduction.

  16. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-01

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  17. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration.

    PubMed

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-06

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  18. Carbon cycle and climate commitments from early human interference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zickfeld, K.; Solomon, S.

    2015-12-01

    According to the early anthropogenic hypothesis proposed by Ruddiman (2003), human influence on Earth's climate began several thousand years before the beginning of the industrial era. Agriculture and deforestation starting around 8000 years before present (BP) and slowly increasing over the Holocene, would have led to an increase in atmospheric methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, preventing a natural cooling of Earth's climate. Here, the emphasis is not on testing Ruddiman's hypothesis, but rather on exploring the carbon cycle and climate commitment from potential early CH4 and CO2 emissions. In contrast to modern greenhouse gas emissions, early emissions occurred over millennia, allowing the climate system to come to near-equilibrium with the applied forcing. We perform two transient Holocene simulations with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity - the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM). The first simulation is a standard transient Holocene simulation, forced with reconstructed changes in CO2 and CH4 concentrations and orbital and volcanic forcing. The second simulation is forced with CO2 and CH4 concentrations corrected for the net anthropogenic contribution postulated by Ruddiman (2007), with other forcings evolving as in the standard simulation. The difference in diagnosed emissions between the two simulations allows us to determine the anthropogenic emissions. After year 1850, anthropogenic CO2 and CH4 emissions are set to zero and the simulations continued for several hundred years. In this paper, we analyze the carbon cycle and climate response to the applied forcings, and quantify the resulting (post 1850) commitment from early anthropogenic interference.

  19. UVA phototransduction drives early melanin synthesis in human melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Wicks, Nadine L; Chan, Jason W; Najera, Julia A; Ciriello, Jonathan M; Oancea, Elena

    2011-11-22

    Exposure of human skin to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a powerful carcinogen [1] comprising ~95% ultraviolet A (UVA) and ~5% ultraviolet B (UVB) at the Earth's surface, promotes melanin synthesis in epidermal melanocytes [2, 3], which protects skin from DNA damage [4, 5]. UVB causes DNA lesions [6] that lead to transcriptional activation of melanin-producing enzymes, resulting in delayed skin pigmentation within days [7]. In contrast, UVA causes primarily oxidative damage [8] and leads to immediate pigment darkening (IPD) within minutes, via an unknown mechanism [9, 10]. No receptor protein directly mediating phototransduction in skin has been identified. Here we demonstrate that exposure of primary human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) to UVA causes calcium mobilization and early melanin synthesis. Calcium responses were abolished by treatment with G protein or phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitors or by depletion of intracellular calcium stores. We show that the visual photopigment rhodopsin [11] is expressed in HEMs and contributes to UVR phototransduction. Upon UVR exposure, significant melanin production was measured within one hour; cellular melanin continued to increase in a retinal- and calcium-dependent manner up to 5-fold after 24 hr. Our findings identify a novel UVA-sensitive signaling pathway in melanocytes that leads to calcium mobilization and melanin synthesis and may underlie the mechanism of IPD in human skin.

  20. Life cycle evolution: was the eumetazoan ancestor a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Two theories for the origin of animal life cycles with planktotrophic larvae are now discussed seriously: The terminal addition theory proposes a holopelagic, planktotrophic gastraea as the ancestor of the eumetazoans with addition of benthic adult stages and retention of the planktotrophic stages as larvae, i.e. the ancestral life cycles were indirect. The intercalation theory now proposes a benthic, deposit-feeding gastraea as the bilaterian ancestor with a direct development, and with planktotrophic larvae evolving independently in numerous lineages through specializations of juveniles. Results Information from the fossil record, from mapping of developmental types onto known phylogenies, from occurrence of apical organs, and from genetics gives no direct information about the ancestral eumetazoan life cycle; however, there are plenty of examples of evolution from an indirect development to direct development, and no unequivocal example of evolution in the opposite direction. Analyses of scenarios for the two types of evolution are highly informative. The evolution of the indirect spiralian life cycle with a trochophora larva from a planktotrophic gastraea is explained by the trochophora theory as a continuous series of ancestors, where each evolutionary step had an adaptational advantage. The loss of ciliated larvae in the ecdysozoans is associated with the loss of outer ciliated epithelia. A scenario for the intercalation theory shows the origin of the planktotrophic larvae of the spiralians through a series of specializations of the general ciliation of the juvenile. The early steps associated with the enhancement of swimming seem probable, but the following steps which should lead to the complicated downstream-collecting ciliary system are without any advantage, or even seem disadvantageous, until the whole structure is functional. None of the theories account for the origin of the ancestral deuterostome (ambulacrarian) life cycle. Conclusions All

  1. Buds from the tree of life: linking compartmentalized prokaryotes and eukaryotes by a non-hyperthermophile common ancestor and implications for understanding Archaean microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuerst, John A.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2004-07-01

    The origin of the first nucleated eukaryote and the nature of the last common ancestor of the three domains of life are major questions in the evolutionary biology of cellular life on Earth, the solutions to which may be linked. Planctomycetes are unusual compartmentalized bacteria that include a membrane-bounded nucleoid. The possibility that they constitute a very deep branch of the domain Bacteria suggests a model for the evolution of the three domains of life from a last common ancestor that was a mesophile or moderate thermophile with a compartmentalized eukaryote-like cell plan. Planctomycetes and some members of the domain Archaea may have retained cell compartmentalization present in an original eukaryote-like last common ancestor of the three domains of life. The implications of this model for possible habitats of the early evolution of domains of cellular life and for interpretation of geological evidence relating to those habitats and the early emergence of life are examined here.

  2. Phylogenetic reconstruction of parental-care systems in the ancestors of birds.

    PubMed Central

    Tullberg, Birgitta S; Ah-King, Malin; Temrin, Hans

    2002-01-01

    Due to the controversy surrounding incipient avian parental care, ancestral parental care systems were reconstructed in a phylogeny including major extant amniote lineages. Using two different resolutions for the basal avian branches, transitions between the states no care, female care, biparental care and male care were inferred for the most basal branches of the tree. Uniparental female care was inferred for the lineage to birds and crocodiles. Using a phylogeny where ratites and tinamous branch off early and an ordered character-state assumption, a transition to biparental care was inferred for the ancestor of birds. This ancestor could be any organism along the lineage leading from the crocodile-bird split up to modern birds, not necessarily the original bird. We discuss the support for alternative avian phylogenies and the homology in parental care between crocodiles and birds. We suggest that the phylogenetic pattern should be used as a starting point for a more detailed analysis of parental care systems in birds and their relatives. PMID:11958694

  3. An Organismal CNV Mutator Phenotype Restricted to Early Human Development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Pengfei; Yuan, Bo; Carvalho, Claudia M B; Wuster, Arthur; Walter, Klaudia; Zhang, Ling; Gambin, Tomasz; Chong, Zechen; Campbell, Ian M; Coban Akdemir, Zeynep; Gelowani, Violet; Writzl, Karin; Bacino, Carlos A; Lindsay, Sarah J; Withers, Marjorie; Gonzaga-Jauregui, Claudia; Wiszniewska, Joanna; Scull, Jennifer; Stankiewicz, Paweł; Jhangiani, Shalini N; Muzny, Donna M; Zhang, Feng; Chen, Ken; Gibbs, Richard A; Rautenstrauss, Bernd; Cheung, Sau Wai; Smith, Janice; Breman, Amy; Shaw, Chad A; Patel, Ankita; Hurles, Matthew E; Lupski, James R

    2017-02-23

    De novo copy number variants (dnCNVs) arising at multiple loci in a personal genome have usually been considered to reflect cancer somatic genomic instabilities. We describe a multiple dnCNV (MdnCNV) phenomenon in which individuals with genomic disorders carry five to ten constitutional dnCNVs. These CNVs originate from independent formation incidences, are predominantly tandem duplications or complex gains, exhibit breakpoint junction features reminiscent of replicative repair, and show increased de novo point mutations flanking the rearrangement junctions. The active CNV mutation shower appears to be restricted to a transient perizygotic period. We propose that a defect in the CNV formation process is responsible for the "CNV-mutator state," and this state is dampened after early embryogenesis. The constitutional MdnCNV phenomenon resembles chromosomal instability in various cancers. Investigations of this phenomenon may provide unique access to understanding genomic disorders, structural variant mutagenesis, human evolution, and cancer biology.

  4. Fire as an engineering tool of early modern humans.

    PubMed

    Brown, Kyle S; Marean, Curtis W; Herries, Andy I R; Jacobs, Zenobia; Tribolo, Chantal; Braun, David; Roberts, David L; Meyer, Michael C; Bernatchez, Jocelyn

    2009-08-14

    The controlled use of fire was a breakthrough adaptation in human evolution. It first provided heat and light and later allowed the physical properties of materials to be manipulated for the production of ceramics and metals. The analysis of tools at multiple sites shows that the source stone materials were systematically manipulated with fire to improve their flaking properties. Heat treatment predominates among silcrete tools at approximately 72 thousand years ago (ka) and appears as early as 164 ka at Pinnacle Point, on the south coast of South Africa. Heat treatment demands a sophisticated knowledge of fire and an elevated cognitive ability and appears at roughly the same time as widespread evidence for symbolic behavior.

  5. Metabolic gene profile in early human fetal heart development.

    PubMed

    Iruretagoyena, J I; Davis, W; Bird, C; Olsen, J; Radue, R; Teo Broman, A; Kendziorski, C; Splinter BonDurant, S; Golos, T; Bird, I; Shah, D

    2014-07-01

    The primitive cardiac tube starts beating 6-8 weeks post fertilization in the developing embryo. In order to describe normal cardiac development during late first and early second trimester in human fetuses this study used microarray and pathways analysis and created a corresponding 'normal' database. Fourteen fetal hearts from human fetuses between 10 and 18 weeks of gestational age (GA) were prospectively collected at the time of elective termination of pregnancy. RNA from recovered tissues was used for transcriptome analysis with Affymetrix 1.0 ST microarray chip. From the amassed data we investigated differences in cardiac development within the 10-18 GA period dividing the sample by GA in three groups: 10-12 (H1), 13-15 (H2) and 16-18 (H3) weeks. A fold change of 2 or above adjusted for a false discovery rate of 5% was used as initial cutoff to determine differential gene expression for individual genes. Test for enrichment to identify functional groups was carried out using the Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Array analysis correctly identified the cardiac specific genes, and transcripts reported to be differentially expressed were confirmed by qRT-PCR. Single transcript and Ontology analysis showed first trimester heart expression of myosin-related genes to be up-regulated >5-fold compared with second trimester heart. In contrast the second trimester hearts showed further gestation-related increases in many genes involved in energy production and cardiac remodeling. In conclusion, fetal heart development during the first trimester was dominated by heart-specific genes coding for myocardial development and differentiation. During the second trimester, transcripts related to energy generation and cardiomyocyte communication for contractile coordination/proliferation were more dominant. Transcripts related to fatty acid metabolism can be seen as early as 10 weeks and clearly increase as the heart matures. Retinol

  6. Ovarian control of pituitary hormone secretion in early human pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Emmi, A M; Skurnick, J; Goldsmith, L T; Gagliardi, C L; Schmidt, C L; Kleinberg, D; Weiss, G

    1991-06-01

    To determine the influence of ovarian relaxin on the secretion of pituitary GH and PRL in vivo, we evaluated circulating serum hormone levels in 17 pregnant patients with functional corpora lutea (group I) and compared them to levels in 10 patients with premature ovarian failure (POF; group II) who became pregnant with egg donation and did not have corpora lutea. Group II patients had exogenous hormonal support. Serum relaxin (RLX), GH, PRL, estradiol (E2), and progesterone levels were measured weekly by RIA from weeks 4-8 of pregnancy. Analysis of variance and covariance were used to determine hormonal relationships. Serum RLX was present in the natural pregnancy group, with a mean of 1.94 micrograms/L over the study period. Serum RLX was undetectable in the POF patients (less than 0.16 micrograms/L). No significant difference in PRL or progesterone levels between the two groups was noted. E2 levels showed an upward trend in both groups with time and were significantly higher in patients of the POF group than in group I women (P = 0.001). GH levels were significantly higher in the natural cycle patients (P = 0.02) despite lower E2 levels. These data provide additional support for the concept that RLX production in early pregnancy originates from the corpus luteum. They suggest that a luteal product, probably RLX, stimulates GH secretion in early pregnancy. This is a previously undescribed role for RLX in pituitary physiology during human pregnancy.

  7. Archaeal ancestors of eukaryotes: not so elusive any more.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-10-05

    The origin of eukaryotes is one of the hardest problems in evolutionary biology and sometimes raises the ominous specter of irreducible complexity. Reconstruction of the gene repertoire of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) has revealed a highly complex organism with a variety of advanced features but no detectable evolutionary intermediates to explain their origin. Recently, however, genome analysis of diverse archaea led to the discovery of apparent ancestral versions of several signature eukaryotic systems, such as the actin cytoskeleton and the ubiquitin network, that are scattered among archaea. These findings inspired the hypothesis that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was an unusually complex form with an elaborate intracellular organization. The latest striking discovery made by deep metagenomic sequencing vindicates this hypothesis by showing that in phylogenetic trees eukaryotes fall within a newly identified archaeal group, the Lokiarchaeota, which combine several eukaryotic signatures previously identified in different archaea. The discovery of complex archaea that are the closest living relatives of eukaryotes is most compatible with the symbiogenetic scenario for eukaryogenesis.

  8. [Early morphogenesis of ciliated cells in human oral cavity].

    PubMed

    Kurtova, A I; Chernikov, V P; Savel'ev, S V

    2013-01-01

    Ciliated cells were found in the epithelium of the oral cavity of human embryos and fetuses starting from the seventh week of prenatal development. At the early stages of prenatal development (until the 13th week), cells with cilia cover most of the dorsal surface of the tongue and the soft palate, whereas they are found only near the gland ducts in the circumvallate and foliate lingual papillae after 17 weeks of development. The ultrastructure of the axoneme of cilia corresponds to the structure of motile cilia and is represented by nine microtubule doublets that surround the central pair of microtubule singlets. An immunohistochemical study performed on weeks 10-12 of development identified nerve endings associated with the ciliated cells. Until the 14th week of development, the cytoplasm of ciliated cells is immunopositive for NSE. The spatial distribution of ciliated cells in the tongue epithelium until the 13th week of development is not related to the morphogenesis of lingual papillae, and their role in the human oral cavity during the first trimester of pregnancy is unclear and requires further study.

  9. Immunological characterization of the early human fracture hematoma.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Paula; Gaber, T; Strehl, C; Schmidt-Bleek, K; Lang, A; Huscher, D; Burmester, G R; Schmidmaier, G; Perka, C; Duda, G N; Buttgereit, F

    2016-12-01

    The initial inflammatory phase of fracture healing is of great importance for the clinical outcome. We aimed to develop a detailed time-dependent analysis of the initial fracture hematoma. We analyzed the composition of immune cell subpopulations by flow cytometry and the concentration of cytokines and chemokines by bioplex in 42 samples from human fractures of long bones <72 h post-trauma. The early human fracture hematoma is characterized by maturation of granulocytes and migration of monocytes/macrophages and hematopoietic stem cells. Both T helper cells and cytotoxic T cells proliferate within the fracture hematoma and/or migrate to the fracture site. Humoral immunity characteristics comprise high concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, IFNγ and TNFα, but also elevated concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-1 receptor antagonist and IL-10. Furthermore, we found that cells of the fracture hematoma represent a source for key chemokines. Even under the bioenergetically restricted conditions that exist in the initial fracture hematoma, immune cells are not only present, but also survive, mature, function and migrate. They secrete a cytokine/chemokine cocktail that contributes to the onset of regeneration. We hypothesize that this specific microenvironment of the initial fracture hematoma is among the crucial factors that determine fracture healing.

  10. The early fetal development of human neocortical GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Al-Jaberi, Nahidh; Lindsay, Susan; Sarma, Subrot; Bayatti, Nadhim; Clowry, Gavin J

    2015-03-01

    GABAergic interneurons are crucial to controlling the excitability and responsiveness of cortical circuitry. Their developmental origin may differ between rodents and human. We have demonstrated the expression of 12 GABAergic interneuron-associated genes in samples from human neocortex by quantitative rtPCR from 8 to 12 postconceptional weeks (PCW) and shown a significant anterior to posterior expression gradient, confirmed by in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry for GAD1 and 2, DLX1, 2, and 5, ASCL1, OLIG2, and CALB2. Following cortical plate (CP) formation from 8 to 9 PCW, a proportion of cells were strongly stained for all these markers in the CP and presubplate. ASCL1 and DLX2 maintained high expression in the proliferative zones and showed extensive immunofluorescent double-labeling with the cell division marker Ki-67. CALB2-positive cells increased steadily in the SVZ/VZ from 10 PCW but were not double-labeled with Ki-67. Expression of GABAergic genes was generally higher in the dorsal pallium than in the ganglionic eminences, with lower expression in the intervening ventral pallium. It is widely accepted that the cortical proliferative zones may generate CALB2-positive interneurons from mid-gestation; we now show that the anterior neocortical proliferative layers especially may be a rich source of interneurons in the early neocortex.

  11. Origin and Evolution of Water Oxidation before the Last Common Ancestor of the Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Tanai; Murray, James W.; Rutherford, A. William

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II, the water oxidizing enzyme, altered the course of evolution by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Here, we reconstruct the origin and evolution of water oxidation at an unprecedented level of detail by studying the phylogeny of all D1 subunits, the main protein coordinating the water oxidizing cluster (Mn4CaO5) of Photosystem II. We show that D1 exists in several forms making well-defined clades, some of which could have evolved before the origin of water oxidation and presenting many atypical characteristics. The most ancient form is found in the genome of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS-1 and this has a C-terminus with a higher sequence identity to D2 than to any other D1. Two other groups of early evolving D1 correspond to those expressed under prolonged far-red illumination and in darkness. These atypical D1 forms are characterized by a dramatically different Mn4CaO5 binding site and a Photosystem II containing such a site may assemble an unconventional metal cluster. The first D1 forms with a full set of ligands to the Mn4CaO5 cluster are grouped with D1 proteins expressed only under low oxygen concentrations and the latest evolving form is the dominant type of D1 found in all cyanobacteria and plastids. In addition, we show that the plastid ancestor had a D1 more similar to those in early branching Synechococcus. We suggest each one of these forms of D1 originated from transitional forms at different stages toward the innovation and optimization of water oxidation before the last common ancestor of all known cyanobacteria. PMID:25657330

  12. Origin and Evolution of Water Oxidation before the Last Common Ancestor of the Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Cardona, Tanai; Murray, James W; Rutherford, A William

    2015-05-01

    Photosystem II, the water oxidizing enzyme, altered the course of evolution by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Here, we reconstruct the origin and evolution of water oxidation at an unprecedented level of detail by studying the phylogeny of all D1 subunits, the main protein coordinating the water oxidizing cluster (Mn4CaO5) of Photosystem II. We show that D1 exists in several forms making well-defined clades, some of which could have evolved before the origin of water oxidation and presenting many atypical characteristics. The most ancient form is found in the genome of Gloeobacter kilaueensis JS-1 and this has a C-terminus with a higher sequence identity to D2 than to any other D1. Two other groups of early evolving D1 correspond to those expressed under prolonged far-red illumination and in darkness. These atypical D1 forms are characterized by a dramatically different Mn4CaO5 binding site and a Photosystem II containing such a site may assemble an unconventional metal cluster. The first D1 forms with a full set of ligands to the Mn4CaO5 cluster are grouped with D1 proteins expressed only under low oxygen concentrations and the latest evolving form is the dominant type of D1 found in all cyanobacteria and plastids. In addition, we show that the plastid ancestor had a D1 more similar to those in early branching Synechococcus. We suggest each one of these forms of D1 originated from transitional forms at different stages toward the innovation and optimization of water oxidation before the last common ancestor of all known cyanobacteria.

  13. A rock-inhabiting ancestor for mutualistic and pathogen-rich fungal lineages.

    PubMed

    Gueidan, C; Villaseñor, C R; de Hoog, G S; Gorbushina, A A; Untereiner, W A; Lutzoni, F

    2008-01-01

    Rock surfaces are unique terrestrial habitats in which rapid changes in the intensity of radiation, temperature, water supply and nutrient availability challenge the survival of microbes. A specialised, but diverse group of free-living, melanised fungi are amongst the persistent settlers of bare rocks. Multigene phylogenetic analyses were used to study relationships of ascomycetes from a variety of substrates, with a dataset including a broad sampling of rock dwellers from different geographical locations. Rock-inhabiting fungi appear particularly diverse in the early diverging lineages of the orders Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales. Although these orders share a most recent common ancestor, their lifestyles are strikingly different. Verrucariales are mostly lichen-forming fungi, while Chaetothyriales, by contrast, are best known as opportunistic pathogens of vertebrates (e.g. Cladophialophora bantiana and Exophiala dermatitidis, both agents of fatal brain infections) and saprophytes. The rock-dwelling habit is shown here to be key to the evolution of these two ecologically disparate orders. The most recent common ancestor of Verrucariales and Chaetothyriales is reconstructed as a non-lichenised rock-inhabitant. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest Verrucariales as one of the independent ascomycetes group where lichenisation has evolved on a hostile rock surface that might have favored this shift to a symbiotic lifestyle. Rock-inhabiting fungi are also ancestral to opportunistic pathogens, as they are found in the early diverging lineages of Chaetothyriales. In Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales, specific morphological and physiological traits (here referred to as extremotolerance) evolved in response to stresses in extreme conditions prevailing on rock surfaces. These factors facilitated colonisation of various substrates including the brains of vertebrates by opportunistic fungal pathogens, as well as helped establishment of a stable lichen symbiosis.

  14. A rock-inhabiting ancestor for mutualistic and pathogen-rich fungal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Gueidan, C.; Villaseñor, C. R.; de Hoog, G. S.; Gorbushina, A. A.; Untereiner, W. A.; Lutzoni, F.

    2008-01-01

    Rock surfaces are unique terrestrial habitats in which rapid changes in the intensity of radiation, temperature, water supply and nutrient availability challenge the survival of microbes. A specialised, but diverse group of free-living, melanised fungi are amongst the persistent settlers of bare rocks. Multigene phylogenetic analyses were used to study relationships of ascomycetes from a variety of substrates, with a dataset including a broad sampling of rock dwellers from different geographical locations. Rock-inhabiting fungi appear particularly diverse in the early diverging lineages of the orders Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales. Although these orders share a most recent common ancestor, their lifestyles are strikingly different. Verrucariales are mostly lichen-forming fungi, while Chaetothyriales, by contrast, are best known as opportunistic pathogens of vertebrates (e.g. Cladophialophora bantiana and Exophiala dermatitidis, both agents of fatal brain infections) and saprophytes. The rock-dwelling habit is shown here to be key to the evolution of these two ecologically disparate orders. The most recent common ancestor of Verrucariales and Chaetothyriales is reconstructed as a non-lichenised rock-inhabitant. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest Verrucariales as one of the independent ascomycetes group where lichenisation has evolved on a hostile rock surface that might have favored this shift to a symbiotic lifestyle. Rock-inhabiting fungi are also ancestral to opportunistic pathogens, as they are found in the early diverging lineages of Chaetothyriales. In Chaetothyriales and Verrucariales, specific morphological and physiological traits (here referred to as extremotolerance) evolved in response to stresses in extreme conditions prevailing on rock surfaces. These factors facilitated colonisation of various substrates including the brains of vertebrates by opportunistic fungal pathogens, as well as helped establishment of a stable lichen symbiosis. PMID

  15. Early Release of soluble RAGE After Severe Trauma in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Mitchell J.; Carles, Michel; Brohi, Karim; Calfee, Carolyn S.; Rahn, Pamela; Call, Mariah S; Chesebro, Brian B.; West, Michael A.; Pittet, Jean-François

    2012-01-01

    Objective The receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) recognizes a variety of ligands that play an important role in the posttraumatic inflammatory response. However, whether soluble RAGE (sRAGE) is released early after trauma-hemorrhage in humans and whether such a release is associated with the development of an inflammatory response and coagulopathy is not known and therefore constitutes the aim of the present study. Methods One hundred sixty eight patients were studied as part of a prospective cohort study of severe trauma patients admitted to a single Level 1 Trauma center. Blood was drawn within 10 minutes of arrival to the Emergency Department (ED) before the administration of any fluid resuscitation. sRAGE, TNF-a, IL-6, von Willebrand Factor (vWF), Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), Prothrombin time, (PT), prothrombin fragments 1+2 (PF1+2), soluble thrombomodulin (sTM), protein C (PC), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and D-Dimers (fibrin degradation products) were measured using standard techniques. Base deficit was used as a measure of tissue hypoperfusion. Measurements were compared to outcome measures obtained from the electronic medical record and trauma registry. Results Plasma levels of sRAGE were increased within 30 minutes after severe trauma in humans and correlated with the severity of injury, early posttraumatic coagulopathy and hyperfibrinolysis as well as with endothelial cell activation (angiopoietin-1 and complement). Furthermore, we found that there was a significant relationship between plasma levels of sRAGE and the development of acute renal failure. This relationship was not quite significant for patients who developed acute lung injury (p=.11), although patients with less than 26 ventilator-free days had significantly higher plasma levels of sRAGE than those with more than 26 ventilator-free days. Finally, there was no relationship between plasma levels of sRAGE and mortality rate in trauma patients. Conclusions The results

  16. Renal Vasoconstriction Occurs Early During Shockwave Lithotripsy in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Hsi, Ryan S.; Sorensen, Mathew D.; Paun, Marla; Dunmire, Barbrina; Liu, Ziyue; Bailey, Michael; Harper, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Introduction: In animal models, pretreatment with low-energy shock waves and a pause decreased renal injury from shockwave lithotripsy (SWL). This is associated with an increase in perioperative renal resistive index (RI). A perioperative rise is not seen without the protective protocol, which suggests that renal vasoconstriction during SWL plays a role in protecting the kidney from injury. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether there is an increase in renal RI during SWL in humans. Materials and Methods: Subjects were prospectively recruited from two hospitals. All subjects received an initial 250 shocks at low setting, followed by a 2-minute pause. Treatment power was then increased. Measurements of the renal RI were taken before start of procedure, at 250, after 750, after 1500 shocks, and at the end of the procedure. A linear mixed-effects model was used to compare RIs at the different time points. Results: Fifteen patients were enrolled. Average treatment time was 46 ± 8 minutes. Average RI at pretreatment, after 250, after 750, after 1500 shocks, and post-treatment was 0.67 ± 0.06, 0.69 ± 0.08, 0.71 ± 0.07, 0.73 ± 0.07, and 0.74 ± 0.06, respectively. In adjusted analyses, RI was significantly increased after 750 shocks compared with pretreatment (p = 0.05). Conclusion: Renal RI increases early during SWL in humans with the protective protocol. Monitoring for a rise in RI during SWL is feasible and may provide real-time feedback as to when the kidney is protected. PMID:26239232

  17. A Detailed History of Intron-rich Eukaryotic Ancestors Inferred from a Global Survey of 100 Complete Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2011-01-01

    Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are interrupted by introns, but intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages. Vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants have intron-rich genes, with 6–7 introns per kilobase of coding sequence, whereas most of the other eukaryotes have intron-poor genes. We reconstructed the history of intron gain and loss using a probabilistic Markov model (Markov Chain Monte Carlo, MCMC) on 245 orthologous genes from 99 genomes representing the three of the five supergroups of eukaryotes for which multiple genome sequences are available. Intron-rich ancestors are confidently reconstructed for each major group, with 53 to 74% of the human intron density inferred with 95% confidence for the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA). The results of the MCMC reconstruction are compared with the reconstructions obtained using Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Dollo parsimony methods. An excellent agreement between the MCMC and ML inferences is demonstrated whereas Dollo parsimony introduces a noticeable bias in the estimations, typically yielding lower ancestral intron densities than MCMC and ML. Evolution of eukaryotic genes was dominated by intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several major branches including plants and animals. The highest intron density, 120 to 130% of the human value, is inferred for the last common ancestor of animals. The reconstruction shows that the entire line of descent from LECA to mammals was intron-rich, a state conducive to the evolution of alternative splicing. PMID:21935348

  18. A detailed history of intron-rich eukaryotic ancestors inferred from a global survey of 100 complete genomes.

    PubMed

    Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B; Koonin, Eugene V

    2011-09-01

    Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are interrupted by introns, but intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages. Vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants have intron-rich genes, with 6-7 introns per kilobase of coding sequence, whereas most of the other eukaryotes have intron-poor genes. We reconstructed the history of intron gain and loss using a probabilistic Markov model (Markov Chain Monte Carlo, MCMC) on 245 orthologous genes from 99 genomes representing the three of the five supergroups of eukaryotes for which multiple genome sequences are available. Intron-rich ancestors are confidently reconstructed for each major group, with 53 to 74% of the human intron density inferred with 95% confidence for the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA). The results of the MCMC reconstruction are compared with the reconstructions obtained using Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Dollo parsimony methods. An excellent agreement between the MCMC and ML inferences is demonstrated whereas Dollo parsimony introduces a noticeable bias in the estimations, typically yielding lower ancestral intron densities than MCMC and ML. Evolution of eukaryotic genes was dominated by intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several major branches including plants and animals. The highest intron density, 120 to 130% of the human value, is inferred for the last common ancestor of animals. The reconstruction shows that the entire line of descent from LECA to mammals was intron-rich, a state conducive to the evolution of alternative splicing.

  19. Aberrant Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor as a Signature of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Hunter-Zinck, Haley; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-10-01

    Natural selection inference methods often target one mode of selection of a particular age and strength. However, detecting multiple modes simultaneously, or with atypical representations, would be advantageous for understanding a population's evolutionary history. We have developed an anomaly detection algorithm using distributions of pairwise time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) to simultaneously detect multiple modes of natural selection in whole-genome sequences. As natural selection distorts local genealogies in distinct ways, the method uses pairwise TMRCA distributions, which approximate genealogies at a nonrecombining locus, to detect distortions without targeting a specific mode of selection. We evaluate the performance of our method, TSel, for both positive and balancing selection over different time-scales and selection strengths and compare TSel's performance with that of other methods. We then apply TSel to the Complete Genomics diversity panel, a set of human whole-genome sequences, and recover loci previously inferred to be under positive or balancing selection.

  20. Early Human Occupation on the Northeast Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhode, D.; Madsen, D.; Brantingham, P.; Perrault, C.

    2010-12-01

    The Tibetan Plateau presents great challenges for human occupation: low oxygen, high ultraviolet radiation, harsh seasonal climate, low overall biological productivity. How and when early humans were able to cope physiologically, genetically, and behaviorally with these extremes is important for understanding the history of human adaptive flexibility. Our investigations of prehistoric human settlement on the northeast Tibetan Plateau focus on (a) establishing well-dated evidence for occupation of altitudes >3000 m, (b) the environmental context of high altitude adaptation, and (c) relations of hunting and pastoralism to lower-altitude agrarian systems. We observe two major prehistoric settlement patterns in the Qinghai Lake area. The earliest, ~15,000-7500 yr old, consists of small isolated firehearths with sparse associated stone tools and wild mammal remains (1). Numerous hearths often occur in the same localities, indicating repeated short-duration occupations by small hunting parties. A second pattern, ~9000-4000 yr old, was established during the Holocene climatic optimum. These sites represent prolonged seasonal residential occupation, containing dark anthropogenic midden, hearth and pit constructions, abundant stone tools, occasional ceramics, and abundant diverse faunal remains (including medium-large mammals but lacking domestic sheep/yak)(2). These Plateau-margin base camps allowed greater intensity of use of the high Plateau. Residential occupation was strongly influenced by nearby lower-altitude farming communities; development of the socioeconomic landscape along the Yellow River likely played at least as great a role in Plateau occupation patterns as did Holocene environmental changes. Holocene vegetation changes in the NE Tibetan Plateau have been attributed to climate (3) or anthropogenic modification (4). Our results document changes in shrub/tree presence from ~12,000-4000 BP, similar to pollen records, that likely reflect climate rather than

  1. The Meckel's cartilage in human embryonic and early fetal periods.

    PubMed

    Wyganowska-Świątkowska, Marzena; Przystańska, Agnieszka

    2011-06-01

    The Meckel's cartilage itself and the mandible are derived from the first branchial arch, and their development depends upon the contribution of the cranial neural crest cells. The prenatal development of the Meckel's cartilage, along with its relationship to the developing mandible and the related structures, were studied histologically in human embryos and fetuses. The material was obtained from a collection of the Department of Anatomy, and laboratory procedures were used to prepare sections, which were stained according to standard light-microscopy methods. The formation of the Meckel's cartilage and its related structures was observed and documented. Some critical moments in the development of the Meckel's cartilage are suggested. The sequential development of the Meckel's cartilage started as early as stage 13 (32 days) with the appearance of condensation of mesenchymal cells within the mandibular prominence. During stage 17 (41 days), the primary ossification center of the mandible appeared on the inferior margin of the Meckel's cartilage. The muscular attachments to the Meckel's cartilage in embryos were observed at stage 18 (44 days). Their subsequent movement into the developing mandible during the 10th week seemed to diminish the role of the Meckel's cartilage as the supportive core; simultaneously, the process of regression within the cartilage was induced. During the embryonic period, the bilateral Meckel's cartilages were in closest contact at the posterior surface of their superior margins, preceding formation of the symphyseal cartilage at this site. The event sequence in the development of the Meckel's cartilage is finally discussed.

  2. Early Caregiving and Human Biobehavioral Development: A Comparative Physiology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Hane, Amie A.; Fox, Nathan A.

    2015-01-01

    A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates associations between quality of the early caregiving environment and risk for stress-related illness across the lifespan. The recent research examining associations between early caregiving environments and subsequent development is reviewed, with particular attention to early programming and subsequent malleability of systems underlying stress responsivity. A developmental comparative physiology model is suggested; one in which postnatal programming and phenotypic plasticity act in concert as mechanisms underlying the persisting effects of early care environments for biobehavioral outcomes. PMID:26753173

  3. Early Holocene human remains from the Argentinean Pampas: additional evidence for distinctive cranial morphology of early South Americans.

    PubMed

    Pucciarelli, Héctor M; Perez, S Ivan; Politis, Gustavo G

    2010-10-01

    The cranial morphology of Early Holocene American human samples is characterized by a long and narrow cranial vault, whereas more recent samples exhibit a shorter and wider cranial vault. Two hypotheses have been proposed to account for the morphological differences between early and late-American samples: (a) the migratory hypothesis that suggests that the morphological variation between early and late American samples was the result of a variable number of migratory waves; and (b) the local diversification hypothesis, that is, the morphological differences between early and late American samples were mainly generated by local, random (genetic drift), and nonrandom factors (selection and phenotypic plasticity). We present the first craniometric study of three early skulls from the Argentinean Pampas, dated ∼8,000 cal. years BP (Arroyo Seco 2, Chocorí, and La Tigra), and one associated with mega-faunal remains (Fontezuelas skull). In addition, we studied several Late Holocene samples. We show that the skulls from the Argentinean Pampas are morphologically similar to other Early Holocene American skulls (i.e., Lagoa Santa from Brazil, Tequendama, Checua, and Aguazuque from Colombia, Lauricocha from Peru, and early Mexicans) that exhibit long and narrow cranial vaults. These samples differ from the Late Holocene American samples that exhibit a shorter and wider cranial vault. Our results underscore the important differences in cranial morphology between early and late-American samples. However, we emphasize the need for further studies to discuss alternative hypotheses regarding such differences.

  4. Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenquan; Feng, Binxiao; Xiao, Jingfa; Xia, Zhiqiang; Zhou, Xincheng; Li, Pinghua; Zhang, Weixiong; Wang, Ying; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Xiao, Gong; Liu, Jingxing; Yang, Jun; Chen, Songbi; Rabinowicz, Pablo D; Chen, Xin; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Ceballos, Henan; Lou, Qunfeng; Zou, Meiling; Carvalho, Luiz J C B; Zeng, Changying; Xia, Jing; Sun, Shixiang; Fu, Yuhua; Wang, Haiyan; Lu, Cheng; Ruan, Mengbin; Zhou, Shuigeng; Wu, Zhicheng; Liu, Hui; Kannangara, Rubini Maya; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Neale, Rebecca Louise; Bonde, Maya; Heinz, Nanna; Zhu, Wenli; Wang, Shujuan; Zhang, Yang; Pan, Kun; Wen, Mingfu; Ma, Ping-An; Li, Zhengxu; Hu, Meizhen; Liao, Wenbin; Hu, Wenbin; Zhang, Shengkui; Pei, Jinli; Guo, Anping; Guo, Jianchun; Zhang, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhengwen; Ye, Jianqiu; Ou, Wenjun; Ma, Yaqin; Liu, Xinyue; Tallon, Luke J; Galens, Kevin; Ott, Sandra; Huang, Jie; Xue, Jingjing; An, Feifei; Yao, Qingqun; Lu, Xiaojing; Fregene, Martin; López-Lavalle, L Augusto Becerra; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank M; Chen, Meili; Hu, Songnian; Wu, Guojiang; Zhong, Silin; Ling, Peng; Chen, Yeyuan; Wang, Qinghuang; Liu, Guodao; Liu, Bin; Li, Kaimian; Peng, Ming

    2014-10-10

    Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology.

  5. Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenquan; Feng, Binxiao; Xiao, Jingfa; Xia, Zhiqiang; Zhou, Xincheng; Li, Pinghua; Zhang, Weixiong; Wang, Ying; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Xiao, Gong; Liu, Jingxing; Yang, Jun; Chen, Songbi; Rabinowicz, Pablo D.; Chen, Xin; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Ceballos, Henan; Lou, Qunfeng; Zou, Meiling; Carvalho, Luiz J.C.B.; Zeng, Changying; Xia, Jing; Sun, Shixiang; Fu, Yuhua; Wang, Haiyan; Lu, Cheng; Ruan, Mengbin; Zhou, Shuigeng; Wu, Zhicheng; Liu, Hui; Kannangara, Rubini Maya; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Neale, Rebecca Louise; Bonde, Maya; Heinz, Nanna; Zhu, Wenli; Wang, Shujuan; Zhang, Yang; Pan, Kun; Wen, Mingfu; Ma, Ping-An; Li, Zhengxu; Hu, Meizhen; Liao, Wenbin; Hu, Wenbin; Zhang, Shengkui; Pei, Jinli; Guo, Anping; Guo, Jianchun; Zhang, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhengwen; Ye, Jianqiu; Ou, Wenjun; Ma, Yaqin; Liu, Xinyue; Tallon, Luke J.; Galens, Kevin; Ott, Sandra; Huang, Jie; Xue, Jingjing; An, Feifei; Yao, Qingqun; Lu, Xiaojing; Fregene, Martin; López-Lavalle, L. Augusto Becerra; Wu, Jiajie; You, Frank M.; Chen, Meili; Hu, Songnian; Wu, Guojiang; Zhong, Silin; Ling, Peng; Chen, Yeyuan; Wang, Qinghuang; Liu, Guodao; Liu, Bin; Li, Kaimian; Peng, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology. PMID:25300236

  6. Single origin of Malagasy Carnivora from an African ancestor.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Anne D; Burns, Melissa M; Zehr, Sarah; Delefosse, Thomas; Veron, Geraldine; Goodman, Steven M; Flynn, John J

    2003-02-13

    The Carnivora are one of only four orders of terrestrial mammals living in Madagascar today. All four (carnivorans, primates, rodents and lipotyphlan insectivores) are placental mammals with limited means for dispersal, yet they occur on a large island that has been surrounded by a formidable oceanic barrier for at least 88 million years, predating the age of origin for any of these groups. Even so, as many as four colonizations of Madagascar have been proposed for the Carnivora alone. The mystery of the island's mammalian origins is confounded by its poor Tertiary fossil record, which leaves us with no direct means for estimating dates of initial diversification. Here we use a multi-gene phylogenetic analysis to show that Malagasy carnivorans are monophyletic and thus the product of a single colonization of Madagascar by an African ancestor. Furthermore, a bayesian analysis of divergence ages for Malagasy carnivorans and lemuriforms indicates that their respective colonizations were temporally separated by tens of millions of years. We therefore conclude that a single event, such as vicariance or common dispersal, cannot explain the presence of both groups in Madagascar.

  7. Multiple origins of viral capsid proteins from cellular ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2017-01-01

    Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on earth and show remarkable diversity of genome sequences, replication and expression strategies, and virion structures. Evolutionary genomics of viruses revealed many unexpected connections but the general scenario(s) for the evolution of the virosphere remains a matter of intense debate among proponents of the cellular regression, escaped genes, and primordial virus world hypotheses. A comprehensive sequence and structure analysis of major virion proteins indicates that they evolved on about 20 independent occasions, and in some of these cases likely ancestors are identifiable among the proteins of cellular organisms. Virus genomes typically consist of distinct structural and replication modules that recombine frequently and can have different evolutionary trajectories. The present analysis suggests that, although the replication modules of at least some classes of viruses might descend from primordial selfish genetic elements, bona fide viruses evolved on multiple, independent occasions throughout the course of evolution by the recruitment of diverse host proteins that became major virion components. PMID:28265094

  8. Will man wish to prevail? Some fundamental choices facing humanity early in the Third Millennium

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, L.L.

    1994-10-01

    With the subtle but occasionally vital exception of vaccination-induced immunity to many of the major infectious diseases, no human today is other than virtually identical biologically to those who greeted the dawn of the Second Millennium, nearly 1000 years ago. Culturally, however, we of the West are quite highly evolved from our ancestors of a millennium ago, primarily due to the advent of means for communicating with ever smaller latencies and ever higher bandwidths over ever greater distances in space and time: printed documents have been supplemented in succession by telephony, radio, video and, just now, the first personal communications sets. Also, within a fraction of a human lifetime from the present moment, the first prosthesis for the human brain has appeared and just very recently has become quite ubiquitous: digital computing systems. We are hardly members of the same species, culturally speaking; people of 1000 years ago would be truly and utterly lost in our communications-intensive civilization, and even a highly educated person from those times would swear that a personal computer equipped with a wireless communications module was as at least a familiar, if not a golem. Conversely, a computer-using person from our own times somehow translated back to 1000 A.D. would likely find the profound isolation and the ``informational slowness`` of life then to be acutely intolerable, certainly to a far greater extent than would a citizen of the High Middle Ages translated back to Augustus Caesar`s Rome.

  9. Cell proliferation during the early stages of human eye development.

    PubMed

    Bozanić, Darka; Saraga-Babić, Mirna

    2004-08-01

    The distribution as well as the ultrastructural and biochemical characteristics of proliferating cells in the human eye were investigated in five conceptuses of 5-9 postovulatory weeks, using morphological techniques and Ki-67 immunostaining. The Ki-67 nuclear protein was used as a proliferation marker because of its expression in all phases of the cell cycle except the resting phase (G0). The labelling indices of Ki-67-positive cells were analysed by means of the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test and the Wilcoxon matched-pairs test. In the 5th week, mitotic cells were the most numerous between the two layers of the optic cup, the optic cup and stalk, and between the lens pit and the surface ectoderm. During the 6th week, cells were observed in the lens epithelium covering the whole cavity of the lens vesicle as well as in the neuroblast zone and the pigmented epithelium of the retina. At later stages (7th-9th weeks), Ki-67-positive cells were restricted to the anterior lens epithelium, the outer neuroblast zone, and the pigmented retina. Throughout all stages examined, mitotic figures were found lying exclusively adjacent to the intraretinal space. Early in the lens pit, they were confined to the free epithelial surface, and later were facing the cavity of the lens vesicle. The proliferative activity was the most intensive in the 6th week, whereas it decreased significantly in the later stages. Additionally, when proliferative activities were compared, the peripheral retina appeared to be less mature than the central before the 9th week. In the earliest analysed stage, cell proliferation might be associated with the sculpturing of the optic cup and stalk, the cornea, and the lens. In the 6th week, the most intensive proliferation seems to be involved not only in the further morphogenesis of the optic cup and the lens vesicle but also in the retinal neurogenesis. At later stages, the decreased proliferation might participate in the neurogenesis of the outer neuroblast zone

  10. East African climate pulses and early human evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslin, Mark A.; Brierley, Chris M.; Milner, Alice M.; Shultz, Susanne; Trauth, Martin H.; Wilson, Katy E.

    2014-10-01

    Current evidence suggests that all of the major events in hominin evolution have occurred in East Africa. Over the last two decades, there has been intensive work undertaken to understand African palaeoclimate and tectonics in order to put together a coherent picture of how the environment of East Africa has varied in the past. The landscape of East Africa has altered dramatically over the last 10 million years. It has changed from a relatively flat, homogenous region covered with mixed tropical forest, to a varied and heterogeneous environment, with mountains over 4 km high and vegetation ranging from desert to cloud forest. The progressive rifting of East Africa has also generated numerous lake basins, which are highly sensitive to changes in the local precipitation-evaporation regime. There is now evidence that the presence of precession-driven, ephemeral deep-water lakes in East Africa were concurrent with major events in hominin evolution. It seems the unusual geology and climate of East Africa created periods of highly variable local climate, which, it has been suggested could have driven hominin speciation, encephalisation and dispersal out of Africa. One example is the significant hominin speciation and brain expansion event at ˜1.8 Ma that seems to have been coeval with the occurrence of highly variable, extensive, deep-water lakes. This complex, climatically very variable setting inspired first the variability selection hypothesis, which was then the basis for the pulsed climate variability hypothesis. The newer of the two suggests that the long-term drying trend in East Africa was punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme humidity and aridity. Both hypotheses, together with other key theories of climate-evolution linkages, are discussed in this paper. Though useful the actual evolution mechanisms, which led to early hominins are still unclear and continue to be debated. However, it is clear that an understanding of East African

  11. Structure–Function Relationships of Glycoprotein Hormones and Their Subunits’ Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Cahoreau, Claire; Klett, Danièle; Combarnous, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Glycoprotein hormones (GPHs) are the most complex molecules with hormonal activity. They exist only in vertebrates but the genes encoding their subunits’ ancestors are found in most vertebrate and invertebrate species although their roles are still unknown. In the present report, we review the available structural and functional data concerning GPHs and their subunits’ ancestors. PMID:25767463

  12. The Malthusian parameter of ascents: What prevents the exponential increase of one’s ancestors?

    PubMed Central

    Ohno, Susumu

    1996-01-01

    The reason that the indefinite exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors does not take place is found in the law of sibling interference, which can be expressed by the following simple equation:\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} \\begin{equation*}\\begin{matrix}{\\mathit{N}}_{{\\mathit{n}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{{\\blacksquare}}} \\enskip & \\\\ {\\mathit{ASZ}} \\enskip & \\end{matrix} {\\mathrm{\\hspace{.167em}{\\times}\\hspace{.167em}2\\hspace{.167em}=\\hspace{.167em}}}{\\mathit{N_{n+1},}}\\end{equation*}\\end{document} where Nn is the number of ancestors in the nth generation, ASZ is the average sibling size of these ancestors, and Nn+1 is the number of ancestors in the next older generation (n + 1). Accordingly, the exponential increase in the number of one’s ancestors is an initial anomaly that occurs while ASZ remains at 1. Once ASZ begins to exceed 1, the rate of increase in the number of ancestors is progressively curtailed, falling further and further behind the exponential increase rate. Eventually, ASZ reaches 2, and at that point, the number of ancestors stops increasing for two generations. These two generations, named AN SA and AN SA + 1, are the most critical in the ancestry, for one’s ancestors at that point come to represent all the progeny-produced adults of the entire ancestral population. Thereafter, the fate of one’s ancestors becomes the fate of the entire population. If the population to which one belongs is a successful, slowly expanding one, the number of ancestors would slowly decline as you move toward the remote past. This is because ABZ would exceed 2. Only when ABZ is less than 2 would the number of ancestors increase beyond the AN SA and AN SA + 1 generations. Since the above is an indication of a failing population on the way to

  13. Experimental Evolution of a Facultative Thermophile from a Mesophilic Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Blaby, Ian K.; Lyons, Benjamin J.; Wroclawska-Hughes, Ewa; Phillips, Grier C. F.; Pyle, Tyler P.; Chamberlin, Stephen G.; Benner, Steven A.; Lyons, Thomas J.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental evolution via continuous culture is a powerful approach to the alteration of complex phenotypes, such as optimal/maximal growth temperatures. The benefit of this approach is that phenotypic selection is tied to growth rate, allowing the production of optimized strains. Herein, we demonstrate the use of a recently described long-term culture apparatus called the Evolugator for the generation of a thermophilic descendant from a mesophilic ancestor (Escherichia coli MG1655). In addition, we used whole-genome sequencing of sequentially isolated strains throughout the thermal adaptation process to characterize the evolutionary history of the resultant genotype, identifying 31 genetic alterations that may contribute to thermotolerance, although some of these mutations may be adaptive for off-target environmental parameters, such as rich medium. We undertook preliminary phenotypic analysis of mutations identified in the glpF and fabA genes. Deletion of glpF in a mesophilic wild-type background conferred significantly improved growth rates in the 43-to-48°C temperature range and altered optimal growth temperature from 37°C to 43°C. In addition, transforming our evolved thermotolerant strain (EVG1064) with a wild-type allele of glpF reduced fitness at high temperatures. On the other hand, the mutation in fabA predictably increased the degree of saturation in membrane lipids, which is a known adaptation to elevated temperature. However, transforming EVG1064 with a wild-type fabA allele had only modest effects on fitness at intermediate temperatures. The Evolugator is fully automated and demonstrates the potential to accelerate the selection for complex traits by experimental evolution and significantly decrease development time for new industrial strains. PMID:22020511

  14. The early Upper Paleolithic human skeleton from the Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal) and modern human emergence in Iberia.

    PubMed

    Duarte, C; Maurício, J; Pettitt, P B; Souto, P; Trinkaus, E; van der Plicht, H; Zilhão, J

    1999-06-22

    The discovery of an early Upper Paleolithic human burial at the Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal, has provided evidence of early modern humans from southern Iberia. The remains, the largely complete skeleton of a approximately 4-year-old child buried with pierced shell and red ochre, is dated to ca. 24,500 years B.P. The cranium, mandible, dentition, and postcrania present a mosaic of European early modern human and Neandertal features. The temporal bone has an intermediate-sized juxtamastoid eminence. The mandibular mentum osseum and the dental size and proportions, supported by mandibular ramal features, radial tuberosity orientation, and diaphyseal curvature, as well as the pubic proportions align the skeleton with early modern humans. Body proportions, reflected in femorotibial lengths and diaphyseal robusticity plus tibial condylar displacement, as well as mandibular symphyseal retreat and thoracohumeral muscle insertions, align the skeleton with the Neandertals. This morphological mosaic indicates admixture between regional Neandertals and early modern humans dispersing into southern Iberia. It establishes the complexities of the Late Pleistocene emergence of modern humans and refutes strict replacement models of modern human origins.

  15. Some problems in proving the existence of the universal common ancestor of life on Earth.

    PubMed

    Yonezawa, Takahiro; Hasegawa, Masami

    2012-01-01

    Although overwhelming circumstantial evidence supports the existence of the universal common ancestor of all extant life on Earth, it is still an open question whether the universal common ancestor existed or not. Theobald (Nature 465, 219-222 (2010)) recently challenged this problem with a formal statistical test applied to aligned sequences of conservative proteins sampled from all domains of life and concluded that the universal common ancestor hypothesis holds. However, we point out that there is a fundamental flaw in Theobald's method which used aligned sequences. We show that the alignment gives a strong bias for the common ancestor hypothesis, and we provide an example that Theobald's method supports a common ancestor hypothesis for two apparently unrelated families of protein-encoding sequences (cytb and nd2 of mitochondria). This arouses suspicion about the effectiveness of the "formal" test.

  16. Somatic mutations reveal asymmetric cellular dynamics in the early human embryo.

    PubMed

    Ju, Young Seok; Martincorena, Inigo; Gerstung, Moritz; Petljak, Mia; Alexandrov, Ludmil B; Rahbari, Raheleh; Wedge, David C; Davies, Helen R; Ramakrishna, Manasa; Fullam, Anthony; Martin, Sancha; Alder, Christopher; Patel, Nikita; Gamble, Steve; O'Meara, Sarah; Giri, Dilip D; Sauer, Torril; Pinder, Sarah E; Purdie, Colin A; Borg, Åke; Stunnenberg, Henk; van de Vijver, Marc; Tan, Benita K T; Caldas, Carlos; Tutt, Andrew; Ueno, Naoto T; van 't Veer, Laura J; Martens, John W M; Sotiriou, Christos; Knappskog, Stian; Span, Paul N; Lakhani, Sunil R; Eyfjörd, Jórunn Erla; Børresen-Dale, Anne-Lise; Richardson, Andrea; Thompson, Alastair M; Viari, Alain; Hurles, Matthew E; Nik-Zainal, Serena; Campbell, Peter J; Stratton, Michael R

    2017-03-30

    Somatic cells acquire mutations throughout the course of an individual's life. Mutations occurring early in embryogenesis are often present in a substantial proportion of, but not all, cells in postnatal humans and thus have particular characteristics and effects. Depending on their location in the genome and the proportion of cells they are present in, these mosaic mutations can cause a wide range of genetic disease syndromes and predispose carriers to cancer. They have a high chance of being transmitted to offspring as de novo germline mutations and, in principle, can provide insights into early human embryonic cell lineages and their contributions to adult tissues. Although it is known that gross chromosomal abnormalities are remarkably common in early human embryos, our understanding of early embryonic somatic mutations is very limited. Here we use whole-genome sequences of normal blood from 241 adults to identify 163 early embryonic mutations. We estimate that approximately three base substitution mutations occur per cell per cell-doubling event in early human embryogenesis and these are mainly attributable to two known mutational signatures. We used the mutations to reconstruct developmental lineages of adult cells and demonstrate that the two daughter cells of many early embryonic cell-doubling events contribute asymmetrically to adult blood at an approximately 2:1 ratio. This study therefore provides insights into the mutation rates, mutational processes and developmental outcomes of cell dynamics that operate during early human embryogenesis.

  17. Stable isotope dietary analysis of the Tianyuan 1 early modern human

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yaowu; Shang, Hong; Tong, Haowen; Nehlich, Olaf; Liu, Wu; Zhao, Chaohong; Yu, Jincheng; Wang, Changsui; Trinkaus, Erik; Richards, Michael P.

    2009-01-01

    We report here on the isotopic analysis of the diet of one of the oldest modern humans found in Eurasia, the Tianyuan 1 early modern human dating to ≈40,000 calendar years ago from Tianyuan Cave (Tianyuandong) in the Zhoukoudian region of China. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of the human and associated faunal remains indicate a diet high in animal protein, and the high nitrogen isotope values suggest the consumption of freshwater fish. To confirm this inference, we measured the sulfur isotope values of terrestrial and freshwater animals around the Zhoukoudian area and of the Tianyuan 1 human, which also support the interpretation of a substantial portion of the diet from freshwater fish. This analysis provides the direct evidence for the consumption of aquatic resources by early modern humans in China and has implications for early modern human subsistence and demography. PMID:19581579

  18. Early Differentiation within the Animate Domain: Are Humans Something Special?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauen, Sabina

    2000-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether preverbal infants distinguish between humans and mammals. Study 1 found that 7-, 9-, and 11-month-olds distinguished humans from mammals in an object-examination task. Study 2 found that 7-month-olds but not 5-month-olds showed evidence for category discrimination with the 2-dimensional color photos of toy…

  19. Dynamics of thymus organogenesis and colonization in early human development.

    PubMed

    Farley, Alison M; Morris, Lucy X; Vroegindeweij, Eric; Depreter, Marianne L G; Vaidya, Harsh; Stenhouse, Frances H; Tomlinson, Simon R; Anderson, Richard A; Cupedo, Tom; Cornelissen, Jan J; Blackburn, C Clare

    2013-05-01

    The thymus is the central site of T-cell development and thus is of fundamental importance to the immune system, but little information exists regarding molecular regulation of thymus development in humans. Here we demonstrate, via spatial and temporal expression analyses, that the genetic mechanisms known to regulate mouse thymus organogenesis are conserved in humans. In addition, we provide molecular evidence that the human thymic epithelium derives solely from the third pharyngeal pouch, as in the mouse, in contrast to previous suggestions. Finally, we define the timing of onset of hematopoietic cell colonization and epithelial cell differentiation in the human thymic primordium, showing, unexpectedly, that the first colonizing hematopoietic cells are CD45(+)CD34(int/-). Collectively, our data provide essential information for translation of principles established in the mouse to the human, and are of particular relevance to development of improved strategies for enhancing immune reconstitution in patients.

  20. The environmental contexts of early human occupation of Georgia (Transcaucasia).

    PubMed

    Gabunia, L; Vekua, A; Lordkipanidze, D

    2000-06-01

    The hominid mandible and a third metatarsal found in Dmanisi (Republic of Georgia) are accompanied by a rich faunal assemblage and a core-chopper stone tool industry. The mandible represents a somewhat isolated morphological type of Homo erectus that appears, given the combination of its primitive and advanced traits and specific dental morphology, to be a forerunner of both late H. erectus and early archaic H. sapiens. The faunal assemblage mostly consists of Villafranchian mammals, with the majority of the species assigned to an early phase of the Upper Villafranchian (Late Villanian and Early Biharian). Faunal and paleobotanical evidence as well as the depositional nature of the site indicate that hominid occupation took place in a mosaic environment of open steppe and gallery forests. Both the concentration of resources and the warm climatic conditions in the Dmanisi region at the beginning of the early Pleistocene were favorable for hominid occupation. It is possible that hominids reached the Caucasus through the Levantine corridor, and that the environment of this region allowed them to establish a stronghold and later colonize adjacent areas.

  1. Early environmental effects on epigenetic regulation in humans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We all know our environment affects our risk of disease. But importantly, the health consequences of environmental exposures depend not only on their severity, but also on their timing relative to developmental milestones. The developmental origins hypothesis is based on the fact that certain early ...

  2. Whence genes in pieces: reconstruction of the exon-intron gene structures of the last eukaryotic common ancestor and other ancestral eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotes, protein-coding sequences are interrupted by non-coding sequences known as introns. During mRNA maturation, introns are excised by the spliceosome and the coding regions, exons, are spliced to form the mature coding region. The intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages, from 6 to 7 introns per kb of coding sequence in vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants, to only a few introns across the entire genome in many unicellular eukaryotes. Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods suggest intron-rich ancestors for each major group of eukaryotes. For the last common ancestor of animals, the highest intron density of all extant and extinct eukaryotes was inferred, at 120-130% of the human intron density. Furthermore, an intron density within 53-74% of the human values was inferred for the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Accordingly, evolution of eukaryotic genes in all lines of descent involved primarily intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several branches including plants and animals. These conclusions have substantial biological implications indicating that the common ancestor of all modern eukaryotes was a complex organism with a gene architecture resembling those in multicellular organisms. Alternative splicing most likely initially appeared as an inevitable result of splicing errors and only later was employed to generate structural and functional diversification of proteins.

  3. Early Childhood Education Curricula: Human Rights and Citizenship in Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sounoglou, Marina; Michalopoulou, Aikaterini

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the human rights and the notion of citizenship under the prism of pedagogical science. The methodology that was followed was the experimental method. In a sample of 100 children-experimental group and control group held an intervention program with deepening axes of human rights and the concept of citizenship. The analysis of…

  4. DNA Microarray Analysis of Human Monocytes Early Response Genes upon Infection with Rickettsia rickettsii

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-11-15

    DNA Microarray Analysis of Human Monocytes Early Response Genes upon Infection with Rickettsia rickettsii Chien-Chung Chao Rickettsiae Diseases...TITLE AND SUBTITLE DNA Microarray Analysis of Human Monocytes Early Response Genes upon Infection with Rickettsia rickettsii 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...ANSI Std Z39-18 Rickettsiae • Gram negative coccobacillary bacteria • Obligate intracellular organisms • Arthropod-borne • Cause febrile diseases (mild

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-04

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

  6. In search of the last common ancestor: new findings on wild chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    McGrew, W. C.

    2010-01-01

    Modelling the behaviour of extinct hominins is essential in order to devise useful hypotheses of our species' evolutionary origins for testing in the palaeontological and archaeological records. One approach is to model the last common ancestor (LCA) of living apes and humans, based on current ethological and ecological knowledge of our closest living relations. Such referential modelling is based on rigorous, ongoing field studies of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). This paper reviews recent findings from nature, focusing on those with direct implications for hominin evolution, e.g. apes, using elementary technology to access basic resources such as food and water, or sheltering in caves or bathing as thermoregulatory adaptations. I give preference to studies that directly address key issues, such as whether stone artefacts are detectible before the Oldowan, based on the percussive technology of hammer and anvil use by living apes. Detailed comparative studies of chimpanzees living in varied habitats, from rainforest to savannah, reveal that some behavioural patterns are universal (e.g. shelter construction), while others show marked (e.g. extractive foraging) or nuanced (e.g. courtship) cross-populational variation. These findings allow us to distinguish between retained, primitive traits of the LCA versus derived ones in the human lineage. PMID:20855301

  7. Early T helper cell programming of gene expression in human.

    PubMed

    Tuomela, Soile; Lahesmaa, Riitta

    2013-11-15

    Molecular mechanisms guiding naïve T helper cell differentiation into functionally specified effector cells are intensively studied. The rapidly growing knowledge is mainly achieved by using mouse cells or disease models. Comparatively exiguous data is gathered from human primary cells although they provide the "ultimate model" for immunology in man, have been exploited in many original studies paving the way for the field, and can be analyzed more easily than ever with the help of modern technology and methods. As usage of mouse models is unavoidable in translational research, parallel human and mouse studies should be performed to assure the relevancy of the hypothesis created during the basic research. In this review, we give an overview on the status of the studies conducted with human primary cells aiming at elucidating the mechanisms instructing the priming of T helper cell subtypes. The special emphasis is given to the recent high-throughput studies. In addition, by comparing the human and mouse studies we intend to point out the regulatory mechanisms and questions which are lacking examination with human primary cells.

  8. On the origin and evolution of thermophily: reconstruction of functional precambrian enzymes from ancestors of Bacillus.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Joanne K; Shepherd, Charis; Saul, David J; Demetras, Nicholas J; Haaning, Svend; Monk, Colin R; Daniel, Roy M; Arcus, Vickery L

    2012-02-01

    Thermophily is thought to be a primitive trait, characteristic of early forms of life on Earth, that has been gradually lost over evolutionary time. The genus Bacillus provides an ideal model for studying the evolution of thermophily as it is an ancient taxon and its contemporary species inhabit a range of thermal environments. The thermostability of reconstructed ancestral proteins has been used as a proxy for ancient thermal adaptation. The reconstruction of ancestral "enzymes" has the added advantages of demonstrable activity, which acts as an internal control for accurate inference, and providing insights into the evolution of enzymatic catalysis. Here, we report the reconstruction of the structurally complex core metabolic enzyme LeuB (3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase, E. C. 1.1.1.85) from the last common ancestor (LCA) of Bacillus using both maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference. ML LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus shares only 76% sequence identity with its closest contemporary homolog, yet it is fully functional, thermophilic, and exhibits high values for k(cat), k(cat)/K(M), and ΔG(‡) for unfolding. The Bayesian version of this enzyme is also thermophilic but exhibits anomalous catalytic kinetics. We have determined the 3D structure of the ML enzyme and found that it is more closely aligned with LeuB from deeply branching bacteria, such as Thermotoga maritima, than contemporary Bacillus species. To investigate the evolution of thermophily, three descendents of LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus were also reconstructed. They reveal a fluctuating trend in thermal evolution, with a temporal adaptation toward mesophily followed by a more recent return to thermophily. Structural analysis suggests that the determinants of thermophily in LeuB from the LCA of Bacillus and the most recent ancestor are distinct and that thermophily has arisen in this genus at least twice via independent evolutionary paths. Our results add significant fluctuations to the broad

  9. Early warning signals of regime shifts in coupled human-environment systems.

    PubMed

    Bauch, Chris T; Sigdel, Ram; Pharaon, Joe; Anand, Madhur

    2016-12-20

    In complex systems, a critical transition is a shift in a system's dynamical regime from its current state to a strongly contrasting state as external conditions move beyond a tipping point. These transitions are often preceded by characteristic early warning signals such as increased system variability. However, early warning signals in complex, coupled human-environment systems (HESs) remain little studied. Here, we compare critical transitions and their early warning signals in a coupled HES model to an equivalent environment model uncoupled from the human system. We parameterize the HES model, using social and ecological data from old-growth forests in Oregon. We find that the coupled HES exhibits a richer variety of dynamics and regime shifts than the uncoupled environment system. Moreover, the early warning signals in the coupled HES can be ambiguous, heralding either an era of ecosystem conservationism or collapse of both forest ecosystems and conservationism. The presence of human feedback in the coupled HES can also mitigate the early warning signal, making it more difficult to detect the oncoming regime shift. We furthermore show how the coupled HES can be "doomed to criticality": Strategic human interactions cause the system to remain perpetually in the vicinity of a collapse threshold, as humans become complacent when the resource seems protected but respond rapidly when it is under immediate threat. We conclude that the opportunities, benefits, and challenges of modeling regime shifts and early warning signals in coupled HESs merit further research.

  10. Intestinal microbiology in early life: specific prebiotics can have similar functionalities as human-milk oligosaccharides.

    PubMed

    Oozeer, Raish; van Limpt, Kees; Ludwig, Thomas; Ben Amor, Kaouther; Martin, Rocio; Wind, Richèle D; Boehm, Günther; Knol, Jan

    2013-08-01

    Human milk is generally accepted as the best nutrition for newborns and has been shown to support the optimal growth and development of infants. On the basis of scientific insights from human-milk research, a specific mixture of nondigestible oligosaccharides has been developed, with the aim to improve the intestinal microbiota in early life. The mixture has been extensively studied and has been shown to be safe and to have potential health benefits that are similar to those of human milk. The specific mixture of short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides has been found to affect the development of early microbiota and to increase the Bifidobacterium amounts as observed in human-milk-fed infants. The resulting gut ecophysiology is characterized by high concentrations of lactate, a slightly acidic pH, and specific short-chain fatty acid profiles, which are high in acetate and low in butyrate and propionate. Here, we have summarized the main findings of dietary interventions with these specific oligosaccharides on the gut microbiota in early life. The gut ecophysiology in early life may have consequences for the metabolic, immunologic, and even neurologic development of the child because reports increasingly substantiate the important function of gut microbes in human health. This review highlights major findings in the field of early gut colonization and the potential impact of early nutrition in healthy growth and development.

  11. Early detection of intentional harm in the human amygdala.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Eugenia; Mikulan, Ezequiel; Decety, Jean; Sigman, Mariano; Garcia, María del Carmen; Silva, Walter; Ciraolo, Carlos; Vaucheret, Esteban; Baglivo, Fabricio; Huepe, David; Lopez, Vladimir; Manes, Facundo; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Ibanez, Agustin

    2016-01-01

    A decisive element of moral cognition is the detection of harm and its assessment as intentional or unintentional. Moral cognition engages brain networks supporting mentalizing, intentionality, empathic concern and evaluation. These networks rely on the amygdala as a critical hub, likely through frontotemporal connections indexing stimulus salience. We assessed inferences about perceived harm using a paradigm validated through functional magnetic resonance imaging, eye-tracking and electroencephalogram recordings. During the task, we measured local field potentials in three patients with depth electrodes (n = 115) placed in the amygdala and in several frontal, temporal, and parietal locations. Direct electrophysiological recordings demonstrate that intentional harm induces early activity in the amygdala (<200 ms), which--in turn--predicts intention attribution. The amygdala was the only site that systematically discriminated between critical conditions and predicted their classification of events as intentional. Moreover, connectivity analysis showed that intentional harm induced stronger frontotemporal information sharing at early stages. Results support the 'many roads' view of the amygdala and highlight its role in the rapid encoding of intention and salience--critical components of mentalizing and moral evaluation.

  12. Discontinuity of human presence at Atapuerca during the early Middle Pleistocene: a matter of ecological competition?

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús Angel; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Rodríguez, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the European human settlement is older than 1.2 Ma. However, there is a fierce debate about the continuity or discontinuity of the early human settlement of Europe. In particular, evidence of human presence in the interval 0.7-0.5 Ma is scarce in comparison with evidence for the previous and later periods. Here, we present a case study in which the environmental conditions at Sierra de Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period without evidence of human presence, are compared with the conditions in the previous period, for which a relatively intense human occupation is documented. With this objective in mind, the available resources for a human population and the intensity of competition between secondary consumers during the two periods are compared using a mathematical model. The Gran Dolina site TD8 level, dated to 0.7-0.6 Ma, is taken as representative of the period during which Atapuerca was apparently not occupied by humans. Conditions at TD8 are compared with those of the previous period, represented by the TD6-2 level, which has yielded abundant evidence of intense human occupation. The results show that survival opportunities for a hypothetical human population were lower at TD8 than they were at TD6-2. Increased resource competition between secondary consumers arises as a possible explanation for the absence of human occupation at Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene.

  13. Discontinuity of Human Presence at Atapuerca during the Early Middle Pleistocene: A Matter of Ecological Competition?

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús Angel; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Rodríguez, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the European human settlement is older than 1.2 Ma. However, there is a fierce debate about the continuity or discontinuity of the early human settlement of Europe. In particular, evidence of human presence in the interval 0.7−0.5 Ma is scarce in comparison with evidence for the previous and later periods. Here, we present a case study in which the environmental conditions at Sierra de Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period without evidence of human presence, are compared with the conditions in the previous period, for which a relatively intense human occupation is documented. With this objective in mind, the available resources for a human population and the intensity of competition between secondary consumers during the two periods are compared using a mathematical model. The Gran Dolina site TD8 level, dated to 0.7−0.6 Ma, is taken as representative of the period during which Atapuerca was apparently not occupied by humans. Conditions at TD8 are compared with those of the previous period, represented by the TD6-2 level, which has yielded abundant evidence of intense human occupation. The results show that survival opportunities for a hypothetical human population were lower at TD8 than they were at TD6-2. Increased resource competition between secondary consumers arises as a possible explanation for the absence of human occupation at Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene. PMID:25054305

  14. Apparatus Named after Our Academic Ancestors--II

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    In my previous article on apparatus named after physicists and physics teachers, I discussed five relatively common pieces of apparatus from the 1875-1910 era. Now I will go back to the 18th and early-19th centuries to discuss eponymous apparatus that we are still using in lecture demonstrations. [For Part I, see EJ912907.

  15. Apparatus Named After Our Academic Ancestors — II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenslade, Thomas B.

    2011-01-01

    In my previous article on apparatus named after physicists and physics teachers, I discussed five relatively common pieces of apparatus from the 1875-1910 era. Now I will go back to the 18th and early-19th centuries to discuss eponymous2 apparatus that we are still using in lecture demonstrations.

  16. Evolutionary origins of Hsp90 chaperones and a deep paralogy in their bacterial ancestors.

    PubMed

    Stechmann, Alexandra; Cavalier-Smith, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    The 82-90 kD family of molecular chaperone proteins has homologs in eukaryotes (Hsp90) and many eubacteria (HtpG) but not in Archaebacteria. We used representatives of all four different eukaryotic paralogs (cytosolic, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), chloroplast, mitochondrial) together with numerous eubacterial HtpG proteins for phylogenetic analyses to investigate their evolutionary origins. Our trees confirm that none of the organellar Hsp90s derives from the endosymbionts of early eukaryotes. Contrary to previous suggestions of distant origins through lateral gene transfer (LGT) all eukaryote Hsp90s are related to Gram-positive eubacterial HtpG proteins. The nucleocytosolic, ER and chloroplast Hsp90 paralogs are clearly mutually related. The origin of mitochondrial Hsp90 is more obscure, as these sequences are deeply nested within eubacteria. Our trees also reveal a deep split within eubacteria into a group of mainly long-branching sequences (including the eukaryote mitochondrial Hsp90s) and another group comprising exclusively short-branching HtpG proteins, from which the cytosolic/ER versions probably arose. Both versions are present in several eubacterial phyla, suggesting gene duplication very early in eubacterial evolution and multiple independent losses thereafter. We identified one probable case of LGT within eubacteria. However, multiple losses can simply explain the evolutionary pattern of the eubacterial HtpG paralogs and predominate over LGT. We suggest that the actinobacterial ancestor of eukaryotes harbored genes for both eubacterial HtpG paralogs, as the actinobacterium Streptomyces coelicolor still does; one could have given rise to the mitochondrial Hsp90 and the other, following another duplication event in the ancestral eukaryote, to the cytosolic and ER Hsp90 homologs.

  17. Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation dynamics during early human development.

    PubMed

    Okae, Hiroaki; Chiba, Hatsune; Hiura, Hitoshi; Hamada, Hirotaka; Sato, Akiko; Utsunomiya, Takafumi; Kikuchi, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Atsushi; Suyama, Mikita; Arima, Takahiro

    2014-12-01

    DNA methylation is globally reprogrammed during mammalian preimplantation development, which is critical for normal development. Recent reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) studies suggest that the methylome dynamics are essentially conserved between human and mouse early embryos. RRBS is known to cover 5-10% of all genomic CpGs, favoring those contained within CpG-rich regions. To obtain an unbiased and more complete representation of the methylome during early human development, we performed whole genome bisulfite sequencing of human gametes and blastocysts that covered>70% of all genomic CpGs. We found that the maternal genome was demethylated to a much lesser extent in human blastocysts than in mouse blastocysts, which could contribute to an increased number of imprinted differentially methylated regions in the human genome. Global demethylation of the paternal genome was confirmed, but SINE-VNTR-Alu elements and some other tandem repeat-containing regions were found to be specifically protected from this global demethylation. Furthermore, centromeric satellite repeats were hypermethylated in human oocytes but not in mouse oocytes, which might be explained by differential expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases. These data highlight both conserved and species-specific regulation of DNA methylation during early mammalian development. Our work provides further information critical for understanding the epigenetic processes underlying differentiation and pluripotency during early human development.

  18. A theoretical framework for early human studies: uncertainty, intervention ensembles, and boundaries

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Clinical development of novel therapeutics begins with a coordinated sequence of early phase clinical trials. Such early human studies confront a series of methodological and ethical challenges. In what follows, I propose a theoretical framework for early human studies aimed at informing the negotiation of these challenges. At the outset of clinical development, researchers confront a virtually undifferentiated landscape of uncertainty with respect to three variables: outcomes, their probability of occurrence, and operation dimensions needed to effectuate favorable outcomes. Early human trials transform this uncertain landscape into one where there are grounds for belief about risk and benefit for various combined operation dimensions. To accomplish this, studies set out with two aims. First, they identify a set of operation dimensions that, when combined as a package (intervention ensemble), elicits a reasonable probability of a target outcome. Second, they define the boundaries of dimension values within an intervention ensemble. This latter aim entails exposing at least some volunteers in early studies to treatments that are inactive or excessive. I provide examples that illustrate the way early human studies discover and delimit intervention ensembles, and close by offering some implications of this framework for ethics, methodology, and efficiency in clinical development of new interventions. PMID:22999017

  19. Spatial and temporal arrival patterns of Madagascar's vertebrate fauna explained by distance, ocean currents, and ancestor type.

    PubMed

    Samonds, Karen E; Godfrey, Laurie R; Ali, Jason R; Goodman, Steven M; Vences, Miguel; Sutherland, Michael R; Irwin, Mitchell T; Krause, David W

    2012-04-03

    How, when, and from where Madagascar's vertebrates arrived on the island is poorly known, and a comprehensive explanation for the distribution of its organisms has yet to emerge. We begin to break that impasse by analyzing vertebrate arrival patterns implied by currently existing taxa. For each of 81 clades, we compiled arrival date, source, and ancestor type (obligate freshwater, terrestrial, facultative swimmer, or volant). We analyzed changes in arrival rates, with and without adjusting for clade extinction. Probability of successful transoceanic dispersal is negatively correlated with distance traveled and influenced by ocean currents and ancestor type. Obligate rafters show a decrease in probability of successful transoceanic dispersal from the Paleocene onward, reaching the lowest levels after the mid-Miocene. This finding is consistent with a paleoceanographic model [Ali JR, Huber M (2010) Nature 463:653-656] that predicts Early Cenozoic surface currents periodically conducive to rafting or swimming from Africa, followed by a reconfiguration to present-day flow 15-20 million years ago that significantly diminished the ability for transoceanic dispersal to Madagascar from the adjacent mainland.

  20. Evidence that CRABS CLAW and TOUSLED have conserved their roles in carpel development since the ancestor of the extant angiosperms

    PubMed Central

    Fourquin, Chloé; Vinauger-Douard, Marion; Fogliani, Bruno; Dumas, Christian; Scutt, Charles P.

    2005-01-01

    The carpel is the female reproductive organ specific to flowering plants. We aim to define the genes that controlled carpel development in the common ancestor of this group as a step toward determining the molecular events that were responsible for the evolution of the carpel. CRABS CLAW (CRC) and TOUSLED (TSL) control important aspects of carpel development in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. The basal angiosperm species Amborella trichopoda and Cabomba aquatica very likely represent the two most early diverging groups of flowering plants. We have identified putative orthologues of CRC and TSL from A. trichopoda and C. aquatica, respectively. We demonstrate the expression patterns of these genes in carpels to be very highly conserved, both spatially and temporally, with those of their Arabidopsis orthologues. We argue that CRC and TSL in Arabidopsis are likely to have conserved their respective roles in carpel development since the common ancestor of the living flowering plants. We conclude that a divergent role shown for the CRC orthologue in rice, DROOPING LEAF, most probably arose specifically in the monocot lineage. We show that, in addition to its expression in carpels, the TSL orthologue of C. aquatica is expressed in tissues that contribute to buoyancy and argue that its role in these tissues may have arisen later than its role in carpel development. PMID:15767586

  1. Spatial and temporal arrival patterns of Madagascar's vertebrate fauna explained by distance, ocean currents, and ancestor type

    PubMed Central

    Samonds, Karen E.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Ali, Jason R.; Goodman, Steven M.; Vences, Miguel; Sutherland, Michael R.; Irwin, Mitchell T.; Krause, David W.

    2012-01-01

    How, when, and from where Madagascar's vertebrates arrived on the island is poorly known, and a comprehensive explanation for the distribution of its organisms has yet to emerge. We begin to break that impasse by analyzing vertebrate arrival patterns implied by currently existing taxa. For each of 81 clades, we compiled arrival date, source, and ancestor type (obligate freshwater, terrestrial, facultative swimmer, or volant). We analyzed changes in arrival rates, with and without adjusting for clade extinction. Probability of successful transoceanic dispersal is negatively correlated with distance traveled and influenced by ocean currents and ancestor type. Obligate rafters show a decrease in probability of successful transoceanic dispersal from the Paleocene onward, reaching the lowest levels after the mid-Miocene. This finding is consistent with a paleoceanographic model [Ali JR, Huber M (2010) Nature 463:653–656] that predicts Early Cenozoic surface currents periodically conducive to rafting or swimming from Africa, followed by a reconfiguration to present-day flow 15–20 million years ago that significantly diminished the ability for transoceanic dispersal to Madagascar from the adjacent mainland. PMID:22431643

  2. The Dispersed Archaeal Eukaryome and the Complex Archaeal Ancestor of Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Yutin, Natalya

    2014-01-01

    The ancestral set of eukaryotic genes is a chimera composed of genes of archaeal and bacterial origins thanks to the endosymbiosis event that gave rise to the mitochondria and apparently antedated the last common ancestor of the extant eukaryotes. The proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont is confidently identified as an α-proteobacterium. In contrast, the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes remains elusive, although evidence is accumulating that it could have belonged to a deep lineage within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea. Recent surveys of archaeal genomes show that the apparent ancestors of several key functional systems of eukaryotes, the components of the archaeal “eukaryome,” such as ubiquitin signaling, RNA interference, and actin-based and tubulin-based cytoskeleton structures, are identifiable in different archaeal groups. We suggest that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was a complex form, rooted deeply within the TACK superphylum, that already possessed some quintessential eukaryotic features, in particular, a cytoskeleton, and perhaps was capable of a primitive form of phagocytosis that would facilitate the engulfment of potential symbionts. This putative group of Archaea could have existed for a relatively short time before going extinct or undergoing genome streamlining, resulting in the dispersion of the eukaryome. This scenario might explain the difficulty with the identification of the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes despite the straightforward detection of apparent ancestors to many signature eukaryotic functional systems. PMID:24691961

  3. The dispersed archaeal eukaryome and the complex archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Yutin, Natalya

    2014-04-01

    The ancestral set of eukaryotic genes is a chimera composed of genes of archaeal and bacterial origins thanks to the endosymbiosis event that gave rise to the mitochondria and apparently antedated the last common ancestor of the extant eukaryotes. The proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont is confidently identified as an α-proteobacterium. In contrast, the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes remains elusive, although evidence is accumulating that it could have belonged to a deep lineage within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota, Aigarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea. Recent surveys of archaeal genomes show that the apparent ancestors of several key functional systems of eukaryotes, the components of the archaeal "eukaryome," such as ubiquitin signaling, RNA interference, and actin-based and tubulin-based cytoskeleton structures, are identifiable in different archaeal groups. We suggest that the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes was a complex form, rooted deeply within the TACK superphylum, that already possessed some quintessential eukaryotic features, in particular, a cytoskeleton, and perhaps was capable of a primitive form of phagocytosis that would facilitate the engulfment of potential symbionts. This putative group of Archaea could have existed for a relatively short time before going extinct or undergoing genome streamlining, resulting in the dispersion of the eukaryome. This scenario might explain the difficulty with the identification of the archaeal ancestor of eukaryotes despite the straightforward detection of apparent ancestors to many signature eukaryotic functional systems.

  4. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution.

    PubMed

    Lenti Boero, Daniela

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Edwin Grant Dexter: an early researcher in human behavioral biometeorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Alan E.

    2015-06-01

    Edwin Grant Dexter (1868-1938) was one of the first researchers to study empirically the effects of specific weather conditions on human behavior. Dexter (1904) published his findings in a book, Weather influences. The author's purposes in this article were to (1) describe briefly Dexter's professional life and examine the historical contexts and motivations that led Dexter to conduct some of the first empirical behavioral biometeorological studies of the time, (2) describe the methods Dexter used to examine weather-behavior relationships and briefly characterize the results that he reported in Weather influences, and (3) provide a historical analysis of Dexter's work and assess its significance for human behavioral biometeorology. Dexter's Weather influences, while demonstrating an exemplary approach to weather, health, and behavior relationships, came at the end of a long era of such studies, as health, social, and meteorological sciences were turning to different paradigms to advance their fields. For these reasons, Dexter's approach and contributions may not have been fully recognized at the time and are, consequently, worthy of consideration by contemporary biometeorologists.

  6. Early bone healing events in the human extraction socket.

    PubMed

    Devlin, H; Sloan, P

    2002-12-01

    The tooth extraction socket is unique in terms of a bone-healing defect in that it contains the remnants of periodontal ligament fibroblasts attached to the socket wall. Although these cells have an osteogenic potential in vitro, the origin of cells populating the human extraction socket is unknown and may include bone marrow, periosteum and pericytic cells. Recently, monoclonal antibodies (AML-3, SB-10 and SB-20) have become available which can identify cells undergoing osteogenic differentiation. The aim of this work was to investigate the pattern of osteoblast differentiation in the human extraction socket using these markers. Immunolocalization was used to identify the osteoprogenitor cell population in the extraction sockets of three patients. Runx2 was most strongly expressed by the osteoblasts at the socket margin and in the surrounding marrow spaces. Osteoprogenitor, pre-osteoblast and osteoblast cells surrounded the newly formed trabeculae, and expressed on their cell surface antigens which reacted with the SB-10 and SB-20 antibodies. In a specimen with the tooth and periodontium present, both osteo-blasts and periodontal ligament fibroblasts were immunoreactive with SB-10, and SB-20 and also expressed Runx2. There was heterogeneity of expression of these osteogenic markers e.g. not all osteoblasts expressed Runx2. We have shown that osteoprogenitor cells in the residual periodontal ligament and bone marrow may contribute to bone regeneration following tooth extraction.

  7. Edwin Grant Dexter: an early researcher in human behavioral biometeorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Alan E.

    2014-09-01

    Edwin Grant Dexter (1868-1938) was one of the first researchers to study empirically the effects of specific weather conditions on human behavior. Dexter (1904) published his findings in a book, Weather influences. The author's purposes in this article were to (1) describe briefly Dexter's professional life and examine the historical contexts and motivations that led Dexter to conduct some of the first empirical behavioral biometeorological studies of the time, (2) describe the methods Dexter used to examine weather-behavior relationships and briefly characterize the results that he reported in Weather influences, and (3) provide a historical analysis of Dexter's work and assess its significance for human behavioral biometeorology. Dexter's Weather influences, while demonstrating an exemplary approach to weather, health, and behavior relationships, came at the end of a long era of such studies, as health, social, and meteorological sciences were turning to different paradigms to advance their fields. For these reasons, Dexter's approach and contributions may not have been fully recognized at the time and are, consequently, worthy of consideration by contemporary biometeorologists.

  8. Edwin Grant Dexter: an early researcher in human behavioral biometeorology.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Alan E

    2015-06-01

    Edwin Grant Dexter (1868-1938) was one of the first researchers to study empirically the effects of specific weather conditions on human behavior. Dexter (1904) published his findings in a book, Weather influences. The author's purposes in this article were to (1) describe briefly Dexter's professional life and examine the historical contexts and motivations that led Dexter to conduct some of the first empirical behavioral biometeorological studies of the time, (2) describe the methods Dexter used to examine weather-behavior relationships and briefly characterize the results that he reported in Weather influences, and (3) provide a historical analysis of Dexter's work and assess its significance for human behavioral biometeorology. Dexter's Weather influences, while demonstrating an exemplary approach to weather, health, and behavior relationships, came at the end of a long era of such studies, as health, social, and meteorological sciences were turning to different paradigms to advance their fields. For these reasons, Dexter's approach and contributions may not have been fully recognized at the time and are, consequently, worthy of consideration by contemporary biometeorologists.

  9. Early determination of somatosensory cortex in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Juenger, Hendrik; de Haan, Bianca; Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg; Staudt, Martin; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2011-08-01

    The developing brain possesses a high potential for neuroplasticity. Yet, this remarkable potential of (re-)organization is not a general principle. It seems to vary among different functional systems. Here, we show that distinct brain structures involved in somatosensory processing are already prenatally determined so that a pre- or perinatally acquired (congenital) brain damage of such structures results in a persistent somatosensory deficit. Eleven patients with hemiparesis due to congenital cortico-subcortical unilateral stroke who showed versus not showed a somatosensory deficit were contrasted with magnetic resonance imaging lesion-behavior mapping. The brain areas which were typically damaged in patients with a somatosensory deficit but typically spared in patients without a somatosensory deficit were located in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex (S1, S2) as well as the inferior parietal cortex directly neighboring S1 and S2. The results argue for an early functional determination of primary and secondary somatosensory cortex, without substantial capacities for (re-)organization. They demonstrate that cortical damage of these areas cannot be compensated by shifting the functional representation to undamaged parts of the cortex.

  10. Early Modern Humans and Morphological Variation in Southeast Asia: Fossil Evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos

    PubMed Central

    Demeter, Fabrice; Shackelford, Laura; Westaway, Kira; Duringer, Philippe; Bacon, Anne-Marie; Ponche, Jean-Luc; Wu, Xiujie; Sayavongkhamdy, Thongsa; Zhao, Jian-Xin; Barnes, Lani; Boyon, Marc; Sichanthongtip, Phonephanh; Sénégas, Frank; Karpoff, Anne-Marie; Patole-Edoumba, Elise; Coppens, Yves; Braga, José

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the timing of modern human emergence and occupation in Eastern Eurasia. However a rapid migration out of Africa into Southeast Asia by at least 60 ka is supported by archaeological, paleogenetic and paleoanthropological data. Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1) from Tam Pa Ling‘s cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3. PMID:25849125

  11. Early processing of pitch in the human auditory system.

    PubMed

    Alho, Kimmo; Grimm, Sabine; Mateo-León, Sabina; Costa-Faidella, Jordi; Escera, Carles

    2012-10-01

    Middle-latency auditory evoked potentials, indicating early cortical processing, elicited by pitch changes and repetitions in pure tones and by complex tones with a missing-fundamental pitch were recorded in healthy adults ignoring the sounds while watching a silenced movie. Both for the pure and for the missing-fundamental tones, the Nb middle-latency response was larger for pitch changes (tones preceded by tones of different pitch) than for pitch repetitions (tones preceded by tones of the same pitch). This Nb enhancement was observed even for missing-fundamental tones preceded by repeated tones that had a different missing-fundamental pitch but included all harmonics of the subsequent tone with another missing-fundamental pitch. This finding rules out the possibility that the Nb enhancement in response to a change in missing-fundamental pitch was simply attributable to the activity of auditory cortex neurons responding specifically to the harmonics of missing-fundamental tones. The Nb effect presumably indicates pitch processing at or near the primary auditory cortex, and it was followed by a change-related enhancement of the N1 response, presumably generated in the secondary auditory cortex. This N1 enhancement might have been caused by a mismatch negativity response overlapping with the N1 response. Processing of missing-fundamental pitch was also reflected by the distribution of Nb responses. Tones with a higher missing-fundamental pitch elicited more frontally dominant Nb responses than tones with a lower missing-fundamental pitch. This effect of pitch, not seen for the pure tones, might indicate that the exact location of the Nb generator source in the auditory cortex depends on the missing-fundamental pitch of the eliciting tone.

  12. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  13. Early Preferential Responses to Fear Stimuli in Human Right Dorsal Visual Stream - A Meg Study

    PubMed Central

    Meeren, Hanneke K. M.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2016-01-01

    Emotional expressions of others are salient biological stimuli that automatically capture attention and prepare us for action. We investigated the early cortical dynamics of automatic visual discrimination of fearful body expressions by monitoring cortical activity using magnetoencephalography. We show that right parietal cortex distinguishes between fearful and neutral bodies as early as 80-ms after stimulus onset, providing the first evidence for a fast emotion-attention-action link through human dorsal visual stream. PMID:27095660

  14. The early development and evolution of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Crawford, M A

    1990-01-01

    signal transduction also use high proportions of n-3 fatty acids. However, the n-6 fatty acids also find a place, in the inositol phosphoglyceride (IPG) which appears to be involved with calcium ion transport and hence signal activation and reception. Even in the photoreceptor, the IPG is an arachidonic acid rich phosphoglyceride. THE EVOLUTION OF MAMMALS AND THE LARGE BRAIN: The dominance of n-3 fatty acids in the food chain, persisted until the end of the Cretaceous period when the flowering plants followed on the disappearance of the giant cycads and ferns. A new set of species, the mammals, then evolved with a requirement for n-6 fatty acids for reproduction. This dependance was coincident with the flowering plants which for the first time produced protected seeds: these introduced a rich source of n-6 fatty acids. The brain size of the mammals tended to be relatively larger (that is in relation to body size) by comparison with the previous reptilian or egg laying systems. This process led to the large human brain. A crucial difference between man and other animals, is undoubtedly the extent to which the brain and its peripheral attributes have been developed. This paper will address the possibility that the potential for the evolution of the large human brain may have been released by the evolving human primate occupying an ecological niche which offered a rich source of those nutrients specifically required for the brain. That niche is at the land/water interface.

  15. Ultrastructure of human Leydig cells at early gonadal embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Makabe, S; Naguro, T; Heyn, R; Motta, P M

    1995-01-01

    The ultrastructure of human Leydig cells at different stages of the testicular prenatal development is described by means of transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Between 5 and 7 weeks of gestation (w.g.) the interstitial tissue of the gonad is filled with small undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, migrating primordial germ cells and blood vessels. When the embryo is 7 to 8 weeks-old Leydig cells (LC) appear in basically two morphological patterns, light and dark cells. Their most significative feature is the development of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) as a dense tubulo-vesicular network and the presence of numerous pleomorphic mitochondria with mainly lamellar cristae. At 14 and 16 w.g. the testicular interstitium reaches the maximum development; the cytoplasm of the LC shows a widespread network of anastomosing tubules of the SER and mitochondria with tubular cristae. Fetal LC show a partial cell coat, lack the crystals of Reinke, have few lipid droplets and show no signs of massive cell degeneration, at least until 16 w.g. These ultrastructural modifications in fetal LC are in accordance with the changes in both steroidogenic activity and hCG levels reported by the literature to occur at this stage of development. Junctional complexes were often observed among LC from 7 to 8 w.g. onwards.

  16. The differential role of androgens in early human sex development

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Sexual development in humans is only partly understood at the molecular level. It is dependent on genetic control primarily induced by the sex chromosomal differences between males and females. This leads to the development of the gonads, whereby afterwards the differentiation of the apparent phenotype is controlled by hormone action. Sex steroids may exert permanent and temporary effects. Their organizational features of inducing permanent changes in phenotype occur through genetic control of downstream genes. In this, androgens are the key elements for the differentiation of male internal and external genitalia as well as other sexual organs and general body composition, acting through a single androgen receptor. The androgen receptor is a nuclear transcription factor modulating DNA transcription of respective target genes and thereby driving development and growth in a stringent manner. The specificity of androgen action seems to be a strictly time-controlled process with the androgen receptor acting in concert with different metabolites and an array of cofactors modulating the cellular response and thereby permanently altering the phenotype of any given individual. For every cell programmed by androgens, a specific ‘androgen response index’ must be proposed. PMID:23800242

  17. Human brain mechanisms for the early analysis of voices.

    PubMed

    Warren, J D; Scott, S K; Price, C J; Griffiths, T D

    2006-07-01

    In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated human brain mechanisms that are involved in the analysis of voices as sound sources and in the pre-semantic analysis of voice information. The source of the voice was altered by changing the speaker, and the salience of the voice was altered by changing the amount of spectrotemporal detail. We identified a mechanism for detecting a change in the source of the voice in the posterior superior temporal lobe and anatomically distinct mechanisms for the detailed analysis of voice information in a bilateral network extending from the posterior to the anterior superior temporal lobe surrounding the superior temporal sulcus. The findings are consistent with a processing hierarchy in which general source attributes are analyzed in the posterior superior temporal lobe, abstraction of voice identity features occurs in posterior superior temporal sulcus, and further analysis of voice information occurs in anterior superior temporal sulcus and higher order cortices in the middle and anterior temporal lobe.

  18. [Early life stressful experiences and neuropsychiatric vulnerability: evidences from human and animal models].

    PubMed

    Rincel, Marion; Lépinay, Amandine; Gabory, Anne; Théodorou, Vassilia; Koehl, Muriel; Daugé, Valérie; Maccari, Stefania; Darnaudéry, Muriel

    2016-01-01

    The human newborn is highly dependent on parental care for its survival but also for the healthy development of its brain. A large body of literature demonstrates the impact of early life adversity, even during the prenatal period, on the adult's health. The susceptibility to neuropsychiatric diseases is often potentiated by early stress. If there is an agreement that a critical developmental period exists, the mechanisms underlying the long term effects of early life adversity are still poorly understood. Recent studies in animals highlight the involvement of epigenetic processes in the transmission of such vulnerabilities, notably via modifications in germ cells, which can be transmitted in the next generations.

  19. A late Pleistocene human presence at Huaca Prieta, Peru, and early Pacific Coastal adaptations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dillehay, Tom D.; Bonavia, Duccio; Goodbred, Steve L.; Pino, Mario; Vásquez, Victor; Tham, Teresa Rosales

    2012-05-01

    Archaeological excavations in deep pre-mound levels at Huaca Prieta in northern Peru have yielded new evidence of late Pleistocene cultural deposits that shed insights into the early human occupation of the Pacific coast of South America. Radiocarbon dates place this occupation between ~ 14,200 and 13,300 cal yr BP. The cultural evidence shares certain basic technological and subsistence traits, including maritime resources and simple flake tools, with previously discovered late Pleistocene sites along the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. The results help to expand our knowledge of early maritime societies and human adaption to changing coastal environments.

  20. Manipulation of human early T lymphopoiesis by coculture on human bone marrow stromal cells: potential utility for adoptive immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bing; Ohishi, Kohshi; Orito, Yuki; Nakamori, Yoshiki; Nishikawa, Hiroyoshi; Ino, Kazuko; Suzuki, Kei; Matsumoto, Takeshi; Masuya, Masahiro; Hamada, Hirofumi; Mineno, Junichi; Ono, Ryoichi; Nosaka, Tetsuya; Shiku, Hiroshi; Katayama, Naoyuki

    2013-04-01

    T cell precursors are an attractive target for adoptive immunotherapy. We examined the regulation of human early T lymphopoiesis by human bone marrow stromal cells to explore in vitro manipulation of human T cell precursors in a human-only coculture system. The generation of CD7(+)CD56(-)cyCD3(-) proT cells from human hematopoietic progenitors on telomerized human bone marrow stromal cells was enhanced by stem cell factor, flt3 ligand, and thrombopoietin, but these stimulatory effects were suppressed by interleukin 3. Expression of Notch ligands Delta-1 and -4 on stromal cells additively promoted T cell differentiation into the CD7(+)cyCD3(+) pre-T cell stage, while cell growth was strongly inhibited. By combining these coculture systems, we found that initial coculture with telomerized stromal cells in the presence of stem cell factor, flt3 ligand, and thrombopoietin, followed by coculture on Delta-1- and -4-coexpressing stromal cells led to a higher percentage and number of pre-T cells. Adoptive immunotherapy using peripheral blood T cells transduced with a tumor antigen-specific T cell receptor (TCR) is a promising strategy but has several limitations, such as the risk of forming a chimeric TCR with the endogenous TCR. We demonstrated that incubation of TCR-transduced hematopoietic progenitors with the combination of coculture systems gave rise to CD7(+)TCR(+)CD3(+)CD1a(-) T cell precursors that rapidly proliferated and differentiated under the culture condition to induce mature T cell differentiation. These data show the regulatory mechanism of early T lymphopoiesis on human stromal cells and the potential utility of engineered human stromal cells to manipulate early T cell development for clinical application.

  1. Apparatus Named After Our Academic Ancestors — I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenslade, Thomas B.

    2010-12-01

    Let us now praise famous physicists, and the apparatus named after them, with apologies to the writer of Ecclesiastes. I once compiled a list of about 300 pieces of apparatus known to us as X's Apparatus. Some of the values of X are familiar, like Wheatstone and Kelvin and Faraday, but have you heard of Pickering or Rhumkorff or Barlow? In an earlier article about Packard's apparatus,1 I paid homage to an early-20th-century high school teacher, and other articles have mentioned apparatus by a number of other physicists and physics teachers.2 In many cases the apparatus came directly out of research being done by the physicist, or from the need to show the phenomena of physics in the classroom and lecture hall. Here are more stories about apparatus and their makers, starting with three pieces of apparatus that are related to the development of electron physics in the latter half of the 19th century.

  2. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A; Briggs, Derek E G; Peterson, Kevin J

    2012-04-07

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501-490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans.

  3. A molecular palaeobiological hypothesis for the origin of aplacophoran molluscs and their derivation from chiton-like ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Vinther, Jakob; Sperling, Erik A.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    Aplacophorans have long been argued to be basal molluscs. We present a molecular phylogeny, including the aplacophorans Neomeniomorpha (Solenogastres) and Chaetodermomorpha (Caudofoveata), which recovered instead the clade Aculifera (Aplacophora + Polyplacophora). Our relaxed Bayesian molecular clock estimates an Early Ordovician appearance of the aculiferan crown group consistent with the presence of chiton-like molluscs with seven or eight dorsal shell plates by the Late Cambrian (approx. 501–490 Ma). Molecular, embryological and palaeontological data indicate that aplacophorans, as well as chitons, evolved from a paraphyletic assemblage of chiton-like ancestors. The recovery of cephalopods as a sister group to aculiferans suggests that the plesiomorphic condition in molluscs might be a morphology similar to that found in monoplacophorans. PMID:21976685

  4. High early life mortality in free-ranging dogs is largely influenced by humans.

    PubMed

    Paul, Manabi; Sen Majumder, Sreejani; Sau, Shubhra; Nandi, Anjan K; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-25

    Free-ranging dogs are a ubiquitous part of human habitations in many developing countries, leading a life of scavengers dependent on human wastes for survival. The effective management of free-ranging dogs calls for understanding of their population dynamics. Life expectancy at birth and early life mortality are important factors that shape life-histories of mammals. We carried out a five year-long census based study in seven locations of West Bengal, India, to understand the pattern of population growth and factors affecting early life mortality in free-ranging dogs. We observed high rates of mortality, with only ~19% of the 364 pups from 95 observed litters surviving till the reproductive age; 63% of total mortality being human influenced. While living near people increases resource availability for dogs, it also has deep adverse impacts on their population growth, making the dog-human relationship on streets highly complex.

  5. High early life mortality in free-ranging dogs is largely influenced by humans

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Manabi; Sen Majumder, Sreejani; Sau, Shubhra; Nandi, Anjan K.; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-01

    Free-ranging dogs are a ubiquitous part of human habitations in many developing countries, leading a life of scavengers dependent on human wastes for survival. The effective management of free-ranging dogs calls for understanding of their population dynamics. Life expectancy at birth and early life mortality are important factors that shape life-histories of mammals. We carried out a five year-long census based study in seven locations of West Bengal, India, to understand the pattern of population growth and factors affecting early life mortality in free-ranging dogs. We observed high rates of mortality, with only ~19% of the 364 pups from 95 observed litters surviving till the reproductive age; 63% of total mortality being human influenced. While living near people increases resource availability for dogs, it also has deep adverse impacts on their population growth, making the dog-human relationship on streets highly complex. PMID:26804633

  6. Waves of early transcriptional activation and pluripotency program initiation during human preimplantation development

    PubMed Central

    Vassena, Rita; Boué, Stéphanie; González-Roca, Eva; Aran, Begoña; Auer, Herbert; Veiga, Anna; Belmonte, Juan Carlos Izpisua

    2011-01-01

    The events regulating human preimplantation development are still largely unknown owing to a scarcity of material, ethical and legal limitations and a lack of reliable techniques to faithfully amplify the transcriptome of a single cell. Nonetheless, human embryology is gathering renewed interest due to its close relationship with both stem cell biology and epigenetic reprogramming to pluripotency and their importance in regenerative medicine. Carefully timed genome-wide transcript analyses of single oocytes and embryos uncovered a series of successive waves of embryonic transcriptional initiation that start as early as the 2-cell stage. In addition, we identified the hierarchical activation of genes involved in the regulation of pluripotency. Finally, we developed HumER, a database of human preimplantation gene expression, to serve the scientific community. Importantly, our work links early transcription in the human embryo with the correct execution of the pluripotency program later in development and paves the way for the identification of factors to improve epigenetic reprogramming. PMID:21775417

  7. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  8. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors.

    PubMed

    Cau, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  9. Buds of the tree: the highway to the last universal common ancestor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Farias, Savio Torres; Prosdocimi, Francisco

    2017-04-01

    The last universal common ancestor (LUCA) has been considered as the branching point on which Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes have diverged. However, the increased information relating to viruses' genomes and the perception that many virus genes do not have homologs in other organisms opened a new discussion. Based on these facts, there has emerged the idea of an early LUCA that should be moved further into the past to include viruses, implicating that life should have originated before the appearance of cellular life forms. Another point of view from advocates of the RNA-world suggests that the origin of life happened a long time before organisms were capable of organizing themselves into cellular entities. Relevant data about the origin of ribosomes indicate that the catalytic unit of the large ribosomal subunit is what should actually be considered as the turning point that separated chemistry from biology. Other researchers seem to think that a tRNA was probably some sort of a strange attractor on which life has originated. Here we propose a theoretical synthesis that tries to provide a crosstalk among the theories and define important points on which the origin of life could have been originated and made more complex, taking into account gradualist assumptions. Thus, discussions involving the origin of biological activities in the RNA-world might lead into a world of progenotes on which viruses have been taken part until the appearance of the very first cells. Along this route of complexification, we identified some key points on which researchers may consider life as an emerging principle.

  10. Early and early disseminated phases of Lyme disease in the rhesus monkey: a model for infection in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Philipp, M T; Aydintug, M K; Bohm, R P; Cogswell, F B; Dennis, V A; Lanners, H N; Lowrie, R C; Roberts, E D; Conway, M D; Karaçorlu, M

    1993-01-01

    We demonstrate that Borrelia burgdorferi infection in the rhesus monkey mimics the early and early disseminated phases of human Lyme disease. Clinical, bacteriological, immunological, and pathological signs of infection were investigated during 13 weeks after inoculation of the spirochete. Three animals were given B. burgdorferi (strain JD1) by needle inoculations, six animals were exposed to the bite of B. burgdorferi-infected Ixodes dammini ticks, and three animals were uninfected controls. B. burgdorferi could be recovered from all animals that were given the spirochete. Bacteria were detectable until week 6 postinoculation (p.i.) in blood, until week 8 p.i. in skin biopsies, and at 10 weeks p.i. in the conjunctiva of one of two animals which developed conjunctivitis. Erythema migrans (EM) appeared in one of the three animals infected by needle inoculation and in five of the six animals infected by ticks. Deep dermal perivascular lymphocytic infiltrations (characteristic of human EM) were observed in all animals showing EM clinically. Both EM and conjunctivitis were documented concomitantly with the presence of the spirochete. Lethargy, splenomegaly, and cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis were also noted in some animals, but the direct connection of these signs with the infection was not shown. The appearance rate of immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G antibodies to B. burgdorferi, as well as the antigen spectra recognized, were remarkably similar to those seen in humans. Serum antibodies from infected animals were able to kill B. burgdorferi in vitro in the presence of rhesus complement. The rhesus monkey model appears to be useful for the investigation of the immunology and pathogenesis of Lyme disease and for the development of immunoprophylactic, diagnostic, and chemotherapeutic protocols. Images PMID:8514412

  11. Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Koumandou, V. Lila; Wickstead, Bill; Ginger, Michael L.; van der Giezen, Mark; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryogenesis, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, represents one of the fundamental evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth. This event, which is estimated to have occurred over one billion years ago, remains rather poorly understood. While some well-validated examples of fossil microbial eukaryotes for this time frame have been described, these can provide only basic morphology and the molecular machinery present in these organisms has remained unknown. Complete and partial genomic information has begun to fill this gap, and is being used to trace proteins and cellular traits to their roots and to provide unprecedented levels of resolution of structures, metabolic pathways and capabilities of organisms at these earliest points within the eukaryotic lineage. This is essentially allowing a molecular paleontology. What has emerged from these studies is spectacular cellular complexity prior to expansion of the eukaryotic lineages. Multiple reconstructed cellular systems indicate a very sophisticated biology, which by implication arose following the initial eukaryogenesis event but prior to eukaryotic radiation and provides a challenge in terms of explaining how these early eukaryotes arose and in understanding how they lived. Here, we provide brief overviews of several cellular systems and the major emerging conclusions, together with predictions for subsequent directions in evolution leading to extant taxa. We also consider what these reconstructions suggest about the life styles and capabilities of these earliest eukaryotes and the period of evolution between the radiation of eukaryotes and the eukaryogenesis event itself. PMID:23895660

  12. Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Koumandou, V Lila; Wickstead, Bill; Ginger, Michael L; van der Giezen, Mark; Dacks, Joel B; Field, Mark C

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryogenesis, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, represents one of the fundamental evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth. This event, which is estimated to have occurred over one billion years ago, remains rather poorly understood. While some well-validated examples of fossil microbial eukaryotes for this time frame have been described, these can provide only basic morphology and the molecular machinery present in these organisms has remained unknown. Complete and partial genomic information has begun to fill this gap, and is being used to trace proteins and cellular traits to their roots and to provide unprecedented levels of resolution of structures, metabolic pathways and capabilities of organisms at these earliest points within the eukaryotic lineage. This is essentially allowing a molecular paleontology. What has emerged from these studies is spectacular cellular complexity prior to expansion of the eukaryotic lineages. Multiple reconstructed cellular systems indicate a very sophisticated biology, which by implication arose following the initial eukaryogenesis event but prior to eukaryotic radiation and provides a challenge in terms of explaining how these early eukaryotes arose and in understanding how they lived. Here, we provide brief overviews of several cellular systems and the major emerging conclusions, together with predictions for subsequent directions in evolution leading to extant taxa. We also consider what these reconstructions suggest about the life styles and capabilities of these earliest eukaryotes and the period of evolution between the radiation of eukaryotes and the eukaryogenesis event itself.

  13. Early human occupation of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea during the last interglacial.

    PubMed

    Walter, R C; Buffler, R T; Bruggemann, J H; Guillaume, M M; Berhe, S M; Negassi, B; Libsekal, Y; Cheng, H; Edwards, R L; von Cosel, R; Néraudeau, D; Gagnon, M

    2000-05-04

    The geographical origin of modern humans is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The 'multiregional evolution' hypothesis argues that modern humans evolved semi-independently in Europe, Asia and Africa between 100,000 and 40,000 years ago, whereas the 'out of Africa' hypothesis contends that modern humans evolved in Africa between 200 and 100 kyr ago, migrating to Eurasia at some later time. Direct palaeontological, archaeological and biological evidence is necessary to resolve this debate. Here we report the discovery of early Middle Stone Age artefacts in an emerged reef terrace on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea, which we date to the last interglacial (about 125 kyr ago) using U-Th mass spectrometry techniques on fossil corals. The geological setting of these artefacts shows that early humans occupied coastal areas and exploited near-shore marine food resources in East Africa by this time. Together with similar, tentatively dated discoveries from South Africa this is the earliest well-dated evidence for human adaptation to a coastal marine environment, heralding an expansion in the range and complexity of human behaviour from one end of Africa to the other. This new, wide-spread adaptive strategy may, in part, signal the onset of modern human behaviour, which supports an African origin for modern humans by 125 kyr ago.

  14. Early Identification of Seronegative Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection with Severe Presentation▿

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Bum Sik; Lee, Sun Hee; Kim, Gab Jung; Kee, Mee Kyung; Suh, Soon Deok; Kim, Sung Soon

    2007-01-01

    Specific antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), usually used for diagnosis, almost invariably become detectable within 3 months of exposure. We report on a patient whose HIV infection was identified early by a combined antigen/antibody test, but seroconversion did not occur for 7 months, until the implementation of antiretroviral therapy. PMID:17344360

  15. Biomonitoring of human fetal exposure to environmental chemicals in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Gerard M

    2014-01-01

    The first trimester of human fetal life, a period of extremely rapid development of physiological systems, represents the most rapid growth phase in human life. Interference in the establishment of organ systems may result in abnormal development that may be manifest immediately or programmed for later abnormal function. Exposure to environmental chemicals may be affecting development at these early stages, and yet there is limited knowledge of the quantities and identities of the chemicals to which the fetus is exposed during early pregnancy. Clearly, opportunities for assessing fetal chemical exposure directly are extremely limited. Hence, this review describes indirect means of assessing fetal exposure in early pregnancy to chemicals that are considered disrupters of development. Consideration is given to such matrices as maternal hair, fingernails, urine, saliva, sweat, breast milk, amniotic fluid and blood, and fetal matrices such as cord blood, cord tissue, meconium, placenta, and fetal liver. More than 150 articles that presented data from chemical analysis of human maternal and fetal tissues and fluids were reviewed. Priority was given to articles where chemical analysis was conducted in more than one matrix. Where correlations between maternal and fetal matrices were determined, these articles were included and are highlighted, as these may provide the basis for future investigations of early fetal exposure. The determination of fetal chemical exposure, at the time of rapid human growth and development, will greatly assist regulatory agencies in risk assessments and establishment of advisories for risk management concerning environmental chemicals.

  16. Early Motherhood and Harsh Parenting: The Role of Human, Social, and Cultural Capital

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yookyong

    2009-01-01

    Objective: This study examined the role of maternal human, social, and cultural capital in the relationship between early motherhood and harsh parenting behavior. Methods: This study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCW) Study. Harsh parenting behaviors by mothers who were 19 years or younger at birth of the focal child (n…

  17. Primary Cortical Folding in the Human Newborn: An Early Marker of Later Functional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dubois, J.; Benders, M.; Borradori-Tolsa, C.; Cachia, A.; Lazeyras, F.; Leuchter, R. Ha-Vinh; Sizonenko, S. V.; Warfield, S. K.; Mangin, J. F.; Huppi, P. S.

    2008-01-01

    In the human brain, the morphology of cortical gyri and sulci is complex and variable among individuals, and it may reflect pathological functioning with specific abnormalities observed in certain developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Since cortical folding occurs early during brain development, these structural abnormalities might be…

  18. Early In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Leading to Robust Sample Return and Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanders, G. B.; Larson, W. E.; Interbartolo, M. A.; Mueller, R. P.; Muscatello, A. C.

    2012-06-01

    ISRU to make propellants from Mars resources should be pursued early due to the benefits to Mars sample return and human exploration and synergism with lunar and Mars science objectives. Existing hardware can be used for a low cost/low risk demo 2018.

  19. The early spread and epidemic ignition of HIV-1 in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Faria, Nuno R.; Rambaut, Andrew; Suchard, Marc A.; Baele, Guy; Bedford, Trevor; Ward, Melissa J.; Tatem, Andrew J.; Sousa, João D.; Arinaminpathy, Nimalan; Pépin, Jacques; Posada, David; Peeters, Martine; Pybus, Oliver G.; Lemey, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Thirty years after the discovery of HIV-1, the early transmission, dissemination, and establishment of the virus in human populations remain unclear. Using statistical approaches applied to HIV-1 sequence data from central Africa, we show that from the 1920s Kinshasa (in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo) was the focus of early transmission and the source of pre-1960 pandemic viruses elsewhere. Location and dating estimates were validated using the earliest HIV-1 archival sample, also from Kinshasa. The epidemic histories of HIV-1 group M and nonpandemic group O were similar until ~1960, after which group M underwent an epidemiological transition and outpaced regional population growth. Our results reconstruct the early dynamics of HIV-1 and emphasize the role of social changes and transport networks in the establishment of this virus in human populations. PMID:25278604

  20. Controlled fire use in early humans might have triggered the evolutionary emergence of tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Rebecca H.; Trauer, James M.; Curnoe, Darren; Tanaka, Mark M.

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), a wildly successful group of organisms and the leading cause of death resulting from a single bacterial pathogen worldwide. It is generally accepted that MTBC established itself in human populations in Africa and that animal-infecting strains diverged from human strains. However, the precise causal factors of TB emergence remain unknown. Here, we propose that the advent of controlled fire use in early humans created the ideal conditions for the emergence of TB as a transmissible disease. This hypothesis is supported by mathematical modeling together with a synthesis of evidence from epidemiology, evolutionary genetics, and paleoanthropology. PMID:27457933

  1. Early Pleistocene third metacarpal from Kenya and the evolution of modern human-like hand morphology

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Carol V.; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Plavcan, J. Michael; Brown, Francis H.; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2014-01-01

    Despite discoveries of relatively complete hands from two early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba) and partial hands from another (Australopithecus afarensis), fundamental questions remain about the evolution of human-like hand anatomy and function. These questions are driven by the paucity of hand fossils in the hominin fossil record between 800,000 and 1.8 My old, a time interval well documented for the emergence and subsequent proliferation of Acheulian technology (shaped bifacial stone tools). Modern and Middle to Late Pleistocene humans share a suite of derived features in the thumb, wrist, and radial carpometacarpal joints that is noticeably absent in early hominins. Here we show that one of the most distinctive features of this suite in the Middle Pleistocene to recent human hand, the third metacarpal styloid process, was present ∼1.42 Mya in an East African hominin from Kaitio, West Turkana, Kenya. This fossil thus provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for the evolution of a key shared derived characteristic of modern human and Neandertal hand morphology and suggests that the distinctive complex of radial carpometacarpal joint features in the human hand arose early in the evolution of the genus Homo and probably in Homo erectus sensu lato. PMID:24344276

  2. Early Pleistocene third metacarpal from Kenya and the evolution of modern human-like hand morphology.

    PubMed

    Ward, Carol V; Tocheri, Matthew W; Plavcan, J Michael; Brown, Francis H; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo

    2014-01-07

    Despite discoveries of relatively complete hands from two early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus sediba) and partial hands from another (Australopithecus afarensis), fundamental questions remain about the evolution of human-like hand anatomy and function. These questions are driven by the paucity of hand fossils in the hominin fossil record between 800,000 and 1.8 My old, a time interval well documented for the emergence and subsequent proliferation of Acheulian technology (shaped bifacial stone tools). Modern and Middle to Late Pleistocene humans share a suite of derived features in the thumb, wrist, and radial carpometacarpal joints that is noticeably absent in early hominins. Here we show that one of the most distinctive features of this suite in the Middle Pleistocene to recent human hand, the third metacarpal styloid process, was present ∼1.42 Mya in an East African hominin from Kaitio, West Turkana, Kenya. This fossil thus provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for the evolution of a key shared derived characteristic of modern human and Neandertal hand morphology and suggests that the distinctive complex of radial carpometacarpal joint features in the human hand arose early in the evolution of the genus Homo and probably in Homo erectus sensu lato.

  3. Earliest evidence of modern human life history in North African early Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Tafforeau, Paul; Reid, Donald J; Grün, Rainer; Eggins, Stephen; Boutakiout, Mohamed; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2007-04-10

    Recent developmental studies demonstrate that early fossil hominins possessed shorter growth periods than living humans, implying disparate life histories. Analyses of incremental features in teeth provide an accurate means of assessing the age at death of developing dentitions, facilitating direct comparisons with fossil and modern humans. It is currently unknown when and where the prolonged modern human developmental condition originated. Here, an application of x-ray synchrotron microtomography reveals that an early Homo sapiens juvenile from Morocco dated at 160,000 years before present displays an equivalent degree of tooth development to modern European children at the same age. Crown formation times in the juvenile's macrodont dentition are higher than modern human mean values, whereas root development is accelerated relative to modern humans but is less than living apes and some fossil hominins. The juvenile from Jebel Irhoud is currently the oldest-known member of Homo with a developmental pattern (degree of eruption, developmental stage, and crown formation time) that is more similar to modern H. sapiens than to earlier members of Homo. This study also underscores the continuing importance of North Africa for understanding the origins of human anatomical and behavioral modernity. Corresponding biological and cultural changes may have appeared relatively late in the course of human evolution.

  4. Tracking the complex flow of chromosome rearrangements from the Hominoidea Ancestor to extant Hylobates and Nomascus Gibbons by high-resolution synteny mapping.

    PubMed

    Misceo, Doriana; Capozzi, Oronzo; Roberto, Roberta; Dell'oglio, Maria P; Rocchi, Mariano; Stanyon, Roscoe; Archidiacono, Nicoletta

    2008-09-01

    In this study we characterized the extension, reciprocal arrangement, and orientation of syntenic chromosomal segments in the lar gibbon (Hylobates lar, HLA) by hybridization of a panel of approximately 1000 human BAC clones. Each lar gibbon rearrangement was defined by a splitting BAC clone or by two overlapping clones flanking the breakpoint. A reconstruction of the synteny arrangement of the last common ancestor of all living lesser apes was made by combining these data with previous results in Nomascus leucogenys, Hoolock hoolock, and Symphalangus syndactylus. The definition of the ancestral synteny organization facilitated tracking the cascade of chromosomal changes from the Hominoidea ancestor to the present day karyotype of Hylobates and Nomascus. Each chromosomal rearrangement could be placed within an approximate phylogenetic and temporal framework. We identified 12 lar-specific rearrangements and five previously undescribed rearrangements that occurred in the Hylobatidae ancestor. The majority of the chromosomal differences between lar gibbons and humans are due to rearrangements that occurred in the Hylobatidae ancestor (38 events), consistent with the hypothesis that the genus Hylobates is the most recently evolved lesser ape genus. The rates of rearrangements in gibbons are 10 to 20 times higher than the mammalian default rate. Segmental duplication may be a driving force in gibbon chromosome evolution, because a consistent number of rearrangements involves pericentromeric regions (10 events) and centromere inactivation (seven events). Both phenomena can be reasonably supposed to have strongly contributed to the euchromatic dispersal of segmental duplications typical of pericentromeric regions. This hypothesis can be more fully tested when the sequence of this gibbon species becomes available. The detailed synteny map provided here will, in turn, substantially facilitate sequence assembly efforts.

  5. Digital Literacy Practices and Pedagogical Moments: Human and Non-Human Intertwining in Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lafton, Tove

    2015-01-01

    Various forms of digital devices have established themselves as resources within constructions of professional practices in early childhood education. This article is centred on the question of how we might rethink an example of digital practice based on a Foucauldian understanding of discourse and a rhizomatic understanding of digital practice…

  6. Starch grains on human teeth reveal early broad crop diet in northern Peru

    PubMed Central

    Piperno, Dolores R.; Dillehay, Tom D.

    2008-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the Ñanchoc Valley in northern Peru was an important locus of early and middle Holocene human settlement, and that between 9200 and 5500 14C yr B.P. the valley inhabitants adopted major crop plants such as squash (Cucurbita moschata), peanuts (Arachis sp.), and cotton (Gossypium barbadense). We report here an examination of starch grains preserved in the calculus of human teeth from these sites that provides direct evidence for the early consumption of cultivated squash and peanuts along with two other major food plants not previously detected. Starch from the seeds of Phaseolus and Inga feuillei, the flesh of Cucurbita moschata fruits, and the nuts of Arachis was routinely present on numerous teeth that date to between 8210 and 6970 14C yr B.P. Early plant diets appear to have been diverse and stable through time and were rich in cultivated foods typical of later Andean agriculture. Our data provide early archaeological evidence for Phaseolus beans and I. feuillei, an important tree crop, and indicate that effective food production systems that contributed significant dietary inputs were present in the Ñanchoc region by 8000 14C yr B.P. Starch grain studies of dental remains document plants and edible parts of them not normally preserved in archaeological records and can assume primary roles as direct indicators of ancient human diets and agriculture. PMID:19066222

  7. IL-17A mediates inflammatory and tissue remodelling events in early human tendinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Millar, Neal L.; Akbar, Moeed; Campbell, Abigail L.; Reilly, James H.; Kerr, Shauna C.; McLean, Michael; Frleta-Gilchrist, Marina; Fazzi, Umberto G.; Leach, William J.; Rooney, Brian P.; Crowe, Lindsay A. N.; Murrell, George A. C.; McInnes, Iain B.

    2016-01-01

    Increasingly, inflammatory mediators are considered crucial to the onset and perpetuation of tendinopathy. We sought evidence of interleukin 17A (IL-17A) expression in early human tendinopathy and thereafter, explored mechanisms whereby IL-17A mediated inflammation and tissue remodeling in human tenocytes. Torn supraspinatus tendon (established pathology) and matched intact subscapularis tendon (representing ‘early pathology’) along with control biopsies were collected from patients undergoing shoulder surgery. Markers of inflammation and IL-17A were quantified by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Human tendon cells were derived from hamstring tendon obtained during ACL reconstruction. In vitro effects of IL-17A upon tenocytes were measured using RT-PCR, multiplex cytokine assays, apoptotic proteomic profiling, immunohistochemistry and annexin V FACS staining. Increased expression of IL-17A was detected in ‘early tendinopathy’ compared to both matched samples and non-matched control samples (p < 0.01) by RT-PCR and immunostaining. Double immunofluoresence staining revealed IL-17A expression in leukocyte subsets including mast cells, macrophages and T cells. IL-17A treated tenocytes exhibited increased production of proinflammatory cytokines (p < 0.001), altered matrix regulation (p < 0.01) with increased Collagen type III and increased expression of several apoptosis related factors. We propose IL-17A as an inflammatory mediator within the early tendinopathy processes thus providing novel therapeutic approaches in the management of tendon disorders. PMID:27263531

  8. The Lin28/Let-7 system in early human embryonic tissue and ectopic pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Lozoya, Teresa; Domínguez, Francisco; Romero-Ruiz, Antonio; Steffani, Liliana; Martínez, Sebastián; Monterde, Mercedes; Ferri, Blanca; Núñez, Maria Jose; AinhoaRomero-Espinós; Zamora, Omar; Gurrea, Marta; Sangiao-Alvarellos, Susana; Vega, Olivia; Simón, Carlos; Pellicer, Antonio; Tena-Sempere, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to determine the expression of the elements of the Lin28/Let-7 system, and related microRNAs (miRNAs), in early stages of human placentation and ectopic pregnancy, as a means to assess the potential role of this molecular hub in the pathogenesis of ectopic gestation. Seventeen patients suffering from tubal ectopic pregnancy (cases) and forty-three women with normal on-going gestation that desired voluntary termination of pregnancy (VTOP; controls) were recruited for the study. Embryonic tissues were subjected to RNA extraction and quantitative PCR analyses for LIN28B, Let-7a, miR-132, miR-145 and mir-323-3p were performed. Our results demonstrate that the expression of LIN28B mRNA was barely detectable in embryonic tissue from early stages of gestation and sharply increased thereafter to plateau between gestational weeks 7-9. In contrast, expression levels of Let-7, mir-132 and mir-145 were high in embryonic tissue from early gestations (≤ 6-weeks) and abruptly declined thereafter, especially for Let-7. Opposite trends were detected for mir-323-3p. Embryonic expression of LIN28B mRNA was higher in early stages (≤ 6-weeks) of ectopic pregnancy than in normal gestation. In contrast, Let-7a expression was significantly lower in early ectopic pregnancies, while miR-132 and miR-145 levels were not altered. Expression of mir-323-3p was also suppressed in ectopic embryonic tissue. We are the first to document reciprocal changes in the expression profiles of the gene encoding the RNA-binding protein, LIN28B, and the related miRNAs, Let-7a, mir-132 and mir-145, in early stages of human placentation. This finding suggests the potential involvement of LIN28B/Let-7 (de)regulated pathways in the pathophysiology of ectopic pregnancy in humans.

  9. Size and power required for motion with implication for the evolution of early hominids.

    PubMed

    Wang, W J; Crompton, R H

    2003-09-01

    The fossil record of early hominids (early human ancestors) suggests that their stature and weight had a tendency to increase, but their robusticity (the proportion of radius to length) to decrease. Using a simple musculo-skeletal model, this paper explores possible relationships between size, power required for motion (PRM) and cycle-time, deriving relationships which indicate that PRM per unit of mass and velocity is proportional to robusticity, but inversely proportional to stature. The results derived appear to be in general agreement with published data from physiological experiments. If the material properties of early hominids were similar to those of modern humans and the achievement of minimum PRM was the selective criterion, human stature might tend to increase slightly in human evolution (and, if selective pressures are not removed, might do so in the future but at lower rate). If mobility and stability under loading are the selective criteria, however, human size should not substantially increase in the future.

  10. Digit ratios predict polygyny in early apes, Ardipithecus, Neanderthals and early modern humans but not in Australopithecus.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Emma; Rolian, Campbell; Cashmore, Lisa; Shultz, Susanne

    2011-05-22

    Social behaviour of fossil hominoid species is notoriously difficult to predict owing to difficulties in estimating body size dimorphism from fragmentary remains and, in hominins, low canine size dimorphism. Recent studies have shown that the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D : 4D), a putative biomarker for prenatal androgen effects (PAEs), covaries with intra-sexual competition and social systems across haplorrhines; non-pair-bonded polygynous taxa have significantly lower 2D : 4D ratios (high PAE) than pair-bonded monogamous species. Here, we use proximal phalanx ratios of extant and fossil specimens to reconstruct the social systems of extinct hominoids. Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, Hispanopithecus laietanus and Ardipithecus ramidus have ratios consistent with polygynous extant species, whereas the ratio of Australopithecus afarensis is consistent with monogamous extant species. The early anatomically modern human Qafzeh 9 and Neanderthals have lower digit ratios than most contemporary human populations, indicating increased androgenization and possibly higher incidence of polygyny. Although speculative owing to small sample sizes, these results suggest that digit ratios represent a supplementary approach for elucidating the social systems of fossil hominins.

  11. Human amniotic fluid contaminants alter thyroid hormone signalling and early brain development in Xenopus embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Mughal, Bilal B.; Le Mével, Sébastien; Leemans, Michelle; Lettmann, Mélodie; Spirhanzlova, Petra; Affaticati, Pierre; Jenett, Arnim; Demeneix, Barbara A.

    2017-03-01

    Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development in vertebrates. In humans, abnormal maternal thyroid hormone levels during early pregnancy are associated with decreased offspring IQ and modified brain structure. As numerous environmental chemicals disrupt thyroid hormone signalling, we questioned whether exposure to ubiquitous chemicals affects thyroid hormone responses during early neurogenesis. We established a mixture of 15 common chemicals at concentrations reported in human amniotic fluid. An in vivo larval reporter (GFP) assay served to determine integrated thyroid hormone transcriptional responses. Dose-dependent effects of short-term (72 h) exposure to single chemicals and the mixture were found. qPCR on dissected brains showed significant changes in thyroid hormone-related genes including receptors, deiodinases and neural differentiation markers. Further, exposure to mixture also modified neural proliferation as well as neuron and oligodendrocyte size. Finally, exposed tadpoles showed behavioural responses with dose-dependent reductions in mobility. In conclusion, exposure to a mixture of ubiquitous chemicals at concentrations found in human amniotic fluid affect thyroid hormone-dependent transcription, gene expression, brain development and behaviour in early embryogenesis. As thyroid hormone signalling is strongly conserved across vertebrates the results suggest that ubiquitous chemical mixtures could be exerting adverse effects on foetal human brain development.

  12. A Re-Appraisal of the Early Andean Human Remains from Lauricocha in Peru.

    PubMed

    Fehren-Schmitz, Lars; Llamas, Bastien; Lindauer, Susanne; Tomasto-Cagigao, Elsa; Kuzminsky, Susan; Rohland, Nadin; Santos, Fabrício R; Kaulicke, Peter; Valverde, Guido; Richards, Stephen M; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Seidenberg, Verena; Mallick, Swapan; Cooper, Alan; Reich, David; Haak, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of human remains from the Lauricocha cave in the Central Andean highlands in the 1960's provided the first direct evidence for human presence in the high altitude Andes. The skeletons found at this site were ascribed to the Early to Middle Holocene and represented the oldest known population of Western South America, and thus were used in several studies addressing the early population history of the continent. However, later excavations at Lauricocha led to doubts regarding the antiquity of the site. Here, we provide new dating, craniometric, and genetic evidence for this iconic site. We obtained new radiocarbon dates, generated complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear SNP data from five individuals, and re-analyzed the human remains of Lauricocha to revise the initial morphological and craniometric analysis conducted in the 1960's. We show that Lauricocha was indeed occupied in the Early to Middle Holocene but the temporal spread of dates we obtained from the human remains show that they do not qualify as a single contemporaneous population. However, the genetic results from five of the individuals fall within the spectrum of genetic diversity observed in pre-Columbian and modern Native Central American populations.

  13. A Re-Appraisal of the Early Andean Human Remains from Lauricocha in Peru

    PubMed Central

    Kuzminsky, Susan; Rohland, Nadin; Santos, Fabrício R.; Kaulicke, Peter; Valverde, Guido; Richards, Stephen M.; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Seidenberg, Verena; Mallick, Swapan; Cooper, Alan; Reich, David; Haak, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of human remains from the Lauricocha cave in the Central Andean highlands in the 1960’s provided the first direct evidence for human presence in the high altitude Andes. The skeletons found at this site were ascribed to the Early to Middle Holocene and represented the oldest known population of Western South America, and thus were used in several studies addressing the early population history of the continent. However, later excavations at Lauricocha led to doubts regarding the antiquity of the site. Here, we provide new dating, craniometric, and genetic evidence for this iconic site. We obtained new radiocarbon dates, generated complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear SNP data from five individuals, and re-analyzed the human remains of Lauricocha to revise the initial morphological and craniometric analysis conducted in the 1960’s. We show that Lauricocha was indeed occupied in the Early to Middle Holocene but the temporal spread of dates we obtained from the human remains show that they do not qualify as a single contemporaneous population. However, the genetic results from five of the individuals fall within the spectrum of genetic diversity observed in pre-Columbian and modern Native Central American populations. PMID:26061688

  14. Early and Late Damages in Chromosome 3 of Human Lymphocytes After Radiation Exposure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sunagawa, Mayumi; Mangala, Lingegowda; Zhang, Ye; Kahdim, Munira; Wilson, Bobby; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Wu, Honglu

    2011-01-01

    Tumor formation in humans or animals is a multi-step process. An early stage of cancer development is believed to be genomic instability (GI) which accelerates the mutation rate in the descendants of the cells surviving radiation exposure. GI is defined as elevated or persistent genetic damages occurring many generations after the cells are exposed. While early studies have demonstrated radiation-induced GI in several cell types as detected in endpoints such as mutation, apoptosis and damages in chromosomes, the dependence of GI on the quality of radiation remains uncertain. To investigate GI in human lymphocytes induced by both low- and high-LET radiation, we initially exposed white blood cells collected from healthy subjects to gamma rays in vitro, and cultured the cells for multiple generations. Chromosome aberrations were analyzed in cells collected at first mitosis post irradiation and at several intervals during the culture period. Among a number of biological endpoints planned for the project, the multi-color banding fluorescent in situ hybridization (mBAND) allows identification of inversions that were expected to be stable. We present here early and late chromosome aberrations detected with mBAND in chromosome 3 after gamma exposure. Comparison of chromosome damages in between human lymphocytes and human epithelial cells is also discussed

  15. Human amniotic fluid contaminants alter thyroid hormone signalling and early brain development in Xenopus embryos.

    PubMed

    Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Mughal, Bilal B; Le Mével, Sébastien; Leemans, Michelle; Lettmann, Mélodie; Spirhanzlova, Petra; Affaticati, Pierre; Jenett, Arnim; Demeneix, Barbara A

    2017-03-07

    Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development in vertebrates. In humans, abnormal maternal thyroid hormone levels during early pregnancy are associated with decreased offspring IQ and modified brain structure. As numerous environmental chemicals disrupt thyroid hormone signalling, we questioned whether exposure to ubiquitous chemicals affects thyroid hormone responses during early neurogenesis. We established a mixture of 15 common chemicals at concentrations reported in human amniotic fluid. An in vivo larval reporter (GFP) assay served to determine integrated thyroid hormone transcriptional responses. Dose-dependent effects of short-term (72 h) exposure to single chemicals and the mixture were found. qPCR on dissected brains showed significant changes in thyroid hormone-related genes including receptors, deiodinases and neural differentiation markers. Further, exposure to mixture also modified neural proliferation as well as neuron and oligodendrocyte size. Finally, exposed tadpoles showed behavioural responses with dose-dependent reductions in mobility. In conclusion, exposure to a mixture of ubiquitous chemicals at concentrations found in human amniotic fluid affect thyroid hormone-dependent transcription, gene expression, brain development and behaviour in early embryogenesis. As thyroid hormone signalling is strongly conserved across vertebrates the results suggest that ubiquitous chemical mixtures could be exerting adverse effects on foetal human brain development.

  16. Human amniotic fluid contaminants alter thyroid hormone signalling and early brain development in Xenopus embryos

    PubMed Central

    Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Mughal, Bilal B.; Le Mével, Sébastien; Leemans, Michelle; Lettmann, Mélodie; Spirhanzlova, Petra; Affaticati, Pierre; Jenett, Arnim; Demeneix, Barbara A.

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development in vertebrates. In humans, abnormal maternal thyroid hormone levels during early pregnancy are associated with decreased offspring IQ and modified brain structure. As numerous environmental chemicals disrupt thyroid hormone signalling, we questioned whether exposure to ubiquitous chemicals affects thyroid hormone responses during early neurogenesis. We established a mixture of 15 common chemicals at concentrations reported in human amniotic fluid. An in vivo larval reporter (GFP) assay served to determine integrated thyroid hormone transcriptional responses. Dose-dependent effects of short-term (72 h) exposure to single chemicals and the mixture were found. qPCR on dissected brains showed significant changes in thyroid hormone-related genes including receptors, deiodinases and neural differentiation markers. Further, exposure to mixture also modified neural proliferation as well as neuron and oligodendrocyte size. Finally, exposed tadpoles showed behavioural responses with dose-dependent reductions in mobility. In conclusion, exposure to a mixture of ubiquitous chemicals at concentrations found in human amniotic fluid affect thyroid hormone-dependent transcription, gene expression, brain development and behaviour in early embryogenesis. As thyroid hormone signalling is strongly conserved across vertebrates the results suggest that ubiquitous chemical mixtures could be exerting adverse effects on foetal human brain development. PMID:28266608

  17. Welcome to the Twilight Zone: a forgotten early phase of human evolutionary studies.

    PubMed

    Delisle, Richard G

    2012-06-01

    The field of paleoanthropology arose out of a strange and unacknowledged early phase of development prior to about the 1930s. It is often assumed that a key pillar of the discipline, the unity of humankind--the notion that humans are clearly separated phylogenetically (genealogically) from other non-human primates--was widely accepted from the inception of paleoanthropology around 1860. However, a final consensus on this fundamental question only appeared later on in the 20th century. This paper will focus on two key areas of disagreement, which reveal the unsettled state of this question during this early period: the question of uncertainty with respect to the number, identity and boundary of primate species (including humans) which prevailed in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries; and the matter of uncertainty with respect to the nature of the phylogenetic relationships among the various human populations and the other primate species which prevailed between 1864 and 1931. Consideration of these matters reveals that the modern research structure that paleoanthropologists take for granted today is much more recent than believed.

  18. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid with closely related subgenomes of total size ~2.7 Gb. This makes assembly of chromosomal pseudomolecules very challenging. Here we report genome sequences of cultivated peanut’s diploid ancestors (A. duranensis and A. ipaënsis). We show they...

  19. Effect of reference population size and available ancestor genotypes on imputation of Mexican Holstein genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of reference population size and the availability of information from genotyped ancestors on the accuracy of imputation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were investigated for Mexican Holstein cattle. Three scenarios for reference population size were examined: (1) a local popula...

  20. Genome sequence and annotation of Trichoderma parareesei, the ancestor of the cellulase producer Trichoderma reesei

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Dongqing; Pomraning, Kyle; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; ...

    2015-08-13

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma parareesei is the asexually reproducing ancestor of Trichoderma reesei, the holomorphic industrial producer of cellulase and hemicellulase. Here, we present the genome sequence of the T. parareesei type strain CBS 125925, which contains genes for 9,318 proteins.

  1. Evolution of the most recent common ancestor of a population with no selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Damien; Derrida, Bernard

    2006-05-01

    We consider the evolution of a population of fixed size with no selection. The number of generations G to reach the first common ancestor evolves in time. This evolution can be described by a simple Markov process, which allows one to calculate several characteristics of the time dependence of G. We also study how G is correlated to the genetic diversity.

  2. Analyzing the Rate at Which Languages Lose the Influence of a Common Ancestor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafferty, Anna N.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Klein, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the rate at which languages change can clarify whether similarities across languages are solely the result of cognitive biases or might be partially due to descent from a common ancestor. To demonstrate this approach, we use a simple model of language evolution to mathematically determine how long it should take for the distribution over…

  3. Markov-chain approach to the distribution of ancestors in species of biparental reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caruso, M.; Jarne, C.

    2014-08-01

    We studied how to obtain a distribution for the number of ancestors in species of sexual reproduction. Present models concentrate on the estimation of distributions repetitions of ancestors in genealogical trees. It has been shown that it is not possible to reconstruct the genealogical history of each species along all its generations by means of a geometric progression. This analysis demonstrates that it is possible to rebuild the tree of progenitors by modeling the problem with a Markov chain. For each generation, the maximum number of possible ancestors is different. This presents huge problems for the resolution. We found a solution through a dilation of the sample space, although the distribution defined there takes smaller values with respect to the initial problem. In order to correct the distribution for each generation, we introduced the invariance under a gauge (local) group of dilations. These ideas can be used to study the interaction of several processes and provide a new approach on the problem of the common ancestor. In the same direction, this model also provides some elements that can be used to improve models of animal reproduction.

  4. The compact Brachypodium genome conserves centromeric regions of a common ancestor with wheat and rice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evolution of five chromosomes of Brachypodium distachyon from a 12-chromosome ancestor of all grasses by dysploidy raises an interesting question about the fate of redundant centromeres. Three independent but complementary approaches were pursued to study centromeric region homologies among the ...

  5. Integration of Morphological Data into Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis: Toward the Identikit of the Stylasterid Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Puce, Stefania; Pica, Daniela; Schiaparelli, Stefano; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Stylasteridae is a hydroid family including 29 worldwide-distributed genera, all provided with a calcareous skeleton. They are abundant in shallow and deep waters and represent an important component of marine communities. In the present paper, we studied the evolution of ten morphological characters, currently used in stylasterid taxonomy, using a phylogenetic approach. Our results indicate that stylasterid morphology is highly plastic and that many events of independent evolution and reversion have occurred. Our analysis also allows sketching a possible identikit of the stylasterid ancestor. It had calcareous skeleton, reticulate-granular coenosteal texture, polyps randomly arranged, gastrostyle, and dactylopore spines, while lacking a gastropore lip and dactylostyles. If the ancestor had single or double/multiple chambered gastropore tube is uncertain. These data suggest that the ancestor was similar to the extant genera Cyclohelia and Stellapora. Our investigation is the first attempt to integrate molecular and morphological information to clarify the stylasterid evolutionary scenario and represents the first step to infer the stylasterid ancestor morphology. PMID:27537333

  6. Volcanic ash layers illuminate the resilience of Neanderthals and early modern humans to natural hazards.

    PubMed

    Lowe, John; Barton, Nick; Blockley, Simon; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Cullen, Victoria L; Davies, William; Gamble, Clive; Grant, Katharine; Hardiman, Mark; Housley, Rupert; Lane, Christine S; Lee, Sharen; Lewis, Mark; MacLeod, Alison; Menzies, Martin; Müller, Wolfgang; Pollard, Mark; Price, Catherine; Roberts, Andrew P; Rohling, Eelco J; Satow, Chris; Smith, Victoria C; Stringer, Chris B; Tomlinson, Emma L; White, Dustin; Albert, Paul; Arienzo, Ilenia; Barker, Graeme; Boric, Dusan; Carandente, Antonio; Civetta, Lucia; Ferrier, Catherine; Guadelli, Jean-Luc; Karkanas, Panagiotis; Koumouzelis, Margarita; Müller, Ulrich C; Orsi, Giovanni; Pross, Jörg; Rosi, Mauro; Shalamanov-Korobar, Ljiljiana; Sirakov, Nikolay; Tzedakis, Polychronis C

    2012-08-21

    Marked changes in human dispersal and development during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition have been attributed to massive volcanic eruption and/or severe climatic deterioration. We test this concept using records of volcanic ash layers of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption dated to ca. 40,000 y ago (40 ka B.P.). The distribution of the Campanian Ignimbrite has been enhanced by the discovery of cryptotephra deposits (volcanic ash layers that are not visible to the naked eye) in archaeological cave sequences. They enable us to synchronize archaeological and paleoclimatic records through the period of transition from Neanderthal to the earliest anatomically modern human populations in Europe. Our results confirm that the combined effects of a major volcanic eruption and severe climatic cooling failed to have lasting impacts on Neanderthals or early modern humans in Europe. We infer that modern humans proved a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than natural disasters.

  7. Volcanic ash layers illuminate the resilience of Neanderthals and early modern humans to natural hazards

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, John; Barton, Nick; Blockley, Simon; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Cullen, Victoria L.; Davies, William; Gamble, Clive; Grant, Katharine; Hardiman, Mark; Housley, Rupert; Lane, Christine S.; Lee, Sharen; Lewis, Mark; MacLeod, Alison; Menzies, Martin; Müller, Wolfgang; Pollard, Mark; Price, Catherine; Roberts, Andrew P.; Rohling, Eelco J.; Satow, Chris; Smith, Victoria C.; Stringer, Chris B.; Tomlinson, Emma L.; White, Dustin; Albert, Paul; Arienzo, Ilenia; Barker, Graeme; Borić, Dušan; Carandente, Antonio; Civetta, Lucia; Ferrier, Catherine; Guadelli, Jean-Luc; Karkanas, Panagiotis; Koumouzelis, Margarita; Müller, Ulrich C.; Orsi, Giovanni; Pross, Jörg; Rosi, Mauro; Shalamanov-Korobar, Ljiljiana; Sirakov, Nikolay; Tzedakis, Polychronis C.

    2012-01-01

    Marked changes in human dispersal and development during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition have been attributed to massive volcanic eruption and/or severe climatic deterioration. We test this concept using records of volcanic ash layers of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption dated to ca. 40,000 y ago (40 ka B.P.). The distribution of the Campanian Ignimbrite has been enhanced by the discovery of cryptotephra deposits (volcanic ash layers that are not visible to the naked eye) in archaeological cave sequences. They enable us to synchronize archaeological and paleoclimatic records through the period of transition from Neanderthal to the earliest anatomically modern human populations in Europe. Our results confirm that the combined effects of a major volcanic eruption and severe climatic cooling failed to have lasting impacts on Neanderthals or early modern humans in Europe. We infer that modern humans proved a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than natural disasters. PMID:22826222

  8. [On the road to a new humanity: the reception of psychoanalysis in the early Kinderladen movement].

    PubMed

    Kauders, Anthony D

    2014-01-01

    In the late 1960s a group of students in West Germany founded the so-called Kinderläden (day care centers) in order to experiment with new forms of early childhood education. Members of the early Kinderladen movement in particular pursued a radically utopian approach that, they hoped, would engender new human beings. With the aid of psychoanalytic writings, especially those of Wilhelm Reich, they sought to create subjects that would overcome repressive bourgeois norms and live out their sexuality freely. This reliance on Reich entailed a new interpretation of the "base", as psychoanalytic drive theory supplanted Marxist theory. As such, the early Kinderladen ac- tivists regarded the "basis" of society in biological, psychological, and pedagogic rather than economic terms.

  9. Differences in gene expression between mouse and human for dynamically regulated genes in early embryo.

    PubMed

    Madissoon, Elo; Töhönen, Virpi; Vesterlund, Liselotte; Katayama, Shintaro; Unneberg, Per; Inzunza, Jose; Hovatta, Outi; Kere, Juha

    2014-01-01

    Infertility is a worldwide concern that can be treated with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Improvements in IVF and infertility treatment depend largely on better understanding of the molecular mechanisms for human preimplantation development. Several large-scale studies have been conducted to identify gene expression patterns for the first five days of human development, and many functional studies utilize mouse as a model system. We have identified genes of possible importance for this time period by analyzing human microarray data and available data from online databases. We selected 70 candidate genes for human preimplantation development and investigated their expression in the early mouse development from oocyte to the 8-cell stage. Maternally loaded genes expectedly decreased in expression during development both in human and mouse. We discovered that 25 significantly upregulated genes after fertilization in human included 13 genes whose orthologs in mouse behaved differently and mimicked the expression profile of maternally expressed genes. Our findings highlight many significant differences in gene expression patterns during mouse and human preimplantation development. We also describe four cancer-testis antigen families that are also highly expressed in human embryos: PRAME, SSX, GAGE and MAGEA.

  10. Early Upper Paleolithic in Eastern Europe and implications for the dispersal of modern humans.

    PubMed

    Anikovich, M V; Sinitsyn, A A; Hoffecker, John F; Holliday, Vance T; Popov, V V; Lisitsyn, S N; Forman, Steven L; Levkovskaya, G M; Pospelova, G A; Kuz'mina, I E; Burova, N D; Goldberg, Paul; Macphail, Richard I; Giaccio, Biagio; Praslov, N D

    2007-01-12

    Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating and magnetic stratigraphy indicate Upper Paleolithic occupation-probably representing modern humans-at archaeological sites on the Don River in Russia 45,000 to 42,000 years ago. The oldest levels at Kostenki underlie a volcanic ash horizon identified as the Campanian Ignimbrite Y5 tephra that is dated elsewhere to about 40,000 years ago. The occupation layers contain bone and ivory artifacts, including possible figurative art, and fossil shells imported more than 500 kilometers. Thus, modern humans appeared on the central plain of Eastern Europe as early as anywhere else in northern Eurasia.

  11. Modeling Mycobacterium tuberculosis early granuloma formation in experimental human lung tissue.

    PubMed

    Parasa, Venkata Ramanarao; Rahman, Muhammad Jubayer; Ngyuen Hoang, Anh Thu; Svensson, Mattias; Brighenti, Susanna; Lerm, Maria

    2014-02-01

    The widely used animal models for tuberculosis (TB) display fundamental differences from human TB. Therefore, a validated model that recapitulates human lung TB is attractive for TB research. Here, we describe a unique method for establishment of TB infection in an experimental human lung tissue model. The model is based on cell lines derived from human lungs and primary macrophages from peripheral blood, and displays characteristics of human lung tissue, including evenly integrated macrophages throughout the epithelium, production of extracellular matrix, stratified epithelia and mucus secretion. Establishment of experimental infection in the model tissue with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, resulted in clustering of macrophages at the site of infection, reminiscent of early TB granuloma formation. We quantitated the extent of granuloma formation induced by different strains of mycobacteria and validated our model against findings in other TB models. We found that early granuloma formation is dependent on ESAT-6, which is secreted via the type VII secretion machinery of virulent mycobacteria. Our model, which can facilitate the discovery of the interactions between mycobacteria and host cells in a physiological environment, is the first lung tissue model described for TB.

  12. Isotopic evidence for the diets of European Neanderthals and early modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Michael P.; Trinkaus, Erik

    2009-01-01

    We report here on the direct isotopic evidence for Neanderthal and early modern human diets in Europe. Isotopic methods indicate the sources of dietary protein over many years of life, and show that Neanderthals had a similar diet through time (≈120,000 to ≈37,000 cal BP) and in different regions of Europe. The isotopic evidence indicates that in all cases Neanderthals were top-level carnivores and obtained all, or most, of their dietary protein from large herbivores. In contrast, early modern humans (≈40,000 to ≈27,000 cal BP) exhibited a wider range of isotopic values, and a number of individuals had evidence for the consumption of aquatic (marine and freshwater) resources. This pattern includes Oase 1, the oldest directly dated modern human in Europe (≈40,000 cal BP) with the highest nitrogen isotope value of all of the humans studied, likely because of freshwater fish consumption. As Oase 1 was close in time to the last Neanderthals, these data may indicate a significant dietary shift associated with the changing population dynamics of modern human emergence in Europe. PMID:19706482

  13. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2016-01-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons’ receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604

  14. Sustained live poultry market surveillance contributes to early warnings for human infection with avian influenza viruses

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Shisong; Bai, Tian; Yang, Lei; Wang, Xin; Peng, Bo; Liu, Hui; Geng, Yijie; Zhang, Renli; Ma, Hanwu; Zhu, Wenfei; Wang, Dayan; Cheng, Jinquan; Shu, Yuelong

    2016-01-01

    Sporadic human infections with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N6) virus have been reported in different provinces in China since April 2014. From June 2015 to January 2016, routine live poultry market (LPM) surveillance was conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. H5N6 viruses were not detected until November 2015. The H5N6 virus-positive rate increased markedly beginning in December 2015, and viruses were detected in LPMs in all districts of the city. Coincidently, two human cases with histories of poultry exposure developed symptoms and were diagnosed as H5N6-positive in Shenzhen during late December 2015 and early January 2016. Similar viruses were identified in environmental samples collected in the LPMs and the patients. In contrast to previously reported H5N6 viruses, viruses with six internal genes derived from the H9N2 or H7N9 viruses were detected in the present study. The increased H5N6 virus-positive rate in the LPMs and the subsequent human infections demonstrated that sustained LPM surveillance for avian influenza viruses provides an early warning for human infections. Interventions, such as LPM closures, should be immediately implemented to reduce the risk of human infection with the H5N6 virus when the virus is widely detected during LPM surveillance. PMID:27485495

  15. Sustained live poultry market surveillance contributes to early warnings for human infection with avian influenza viruses.

    PubMed

    Fang, Shisong; Bai, Tian; Yang, Lei; Wang, Xin; Peng, Bo; Liu, Hui; Geng, Yijie; Zhang, Renli; Ma, Hanwu; Zhu, Wenfei; Wang, Dayan; Cheng, Jinquan; Shu, Yuelong

    2016-08-03

    Sporadic human infections with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N6) virus have been reported in different provinces in China since April 2014. From June 2015 to January 2016, routine live poultry market (LPM) surveillance was conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. H5N6 viruses were not detected until November 2015. The H5N6 virus-positive rate increased markedly beginning in December 2015, and viruses were detected in LPMs in all districts of the city. Coincidently, two human cases with histories of poultry exposure developed symptoms and were diagnosed as H5N6-positive in Shenzhen during late December 2015 and early January 2016. Similar viruses were identified in environmental samples collected in the LPMs and the patients. In contrast to previously reported H5N6 viruses, viruses with six internal genes derived from the H9N2 or H7N9 viruses were detected in the present study. The increased H5N6 virus-positive rate in the LPMs and the subsequent human infections demonstrated that sustained LPM surveillance for avian influenza viruses provides an early warning for human infections. Interventions, such as LPM closures, should be immediately implemented to reduce the risk of human infection with the H5N6 virus when the virus is widely detected during LPM surveillance.

  16. Early humans' egalitarian politics: runaway synergistic competition under an adapted veil of ignorance.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Marc

    2014-09-01

    This paper proposes a model of human uniqueness based on an unusual distinction between two contrasted kinds of political competition and political status: (1) antagonistic competition, in quest of dominance (antagonistic status), a zero-sum, self-limiting game whose stake--who takes what, when, how--summarizes a classical definition of politics (Lasswell 1936), and (2) synergistic competition, in quest of merit (synergistic status), a positive-sum, self-reinforcing game whose stake becomes "who brings what to a team's common good." In this view, Rawls's (1971) famous virtual "veil of ignorance" mainly conceals politics' antagonistic stakes so as to devise the principles of a just, egalitarian society, yet without providing any means to enforce these ideals (Sen 2009). Instead, this paper proposes that human uniqueness flourished under a real "adapted veil of ignorance" concealing the steady inflation of synergistic politics which resulted from early humans' sturdy egalitarianism. This proposition divides into four parts: (1) early humans first stumbled on a purely cultural means to enforce a unique kind of within-team antagonistic equality--dyadic balanced deterrence thanks to handheld weapons (Chapais 2008); (2) this cultural innovation is thus closely tied to humans' darkest side, but it also launched the cumulative evolution of humans' brightest qualities--egalitarian team synergy and solidarity, together with the associated synergistic intelligence, culture, and communications; (3) runaway synergistic competition for differential merit among antagonistically equal obligate teammates is the single politically selective mechanism behind the cumulative evolution of all these brighter qualities, but numerous factors to be clarified here conceal this mighty evolutionary driver; (4) this veil of ignorance persists today, which explains why humans' unique prosocial capacities are still not clearly understood by science. The purpose of this paper is to start lifting

  17. Feasibility of terahertz reflectometry for discrimination of human early gastric cancers

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Young Bin; Park, Chan Hyuk; Kim, Hyunki; Kim, Sang-Hoon; Lee, Gyu Min; Noh, Sam Kyu; Jeon, Tae-In; Son, Joo-Hiuk; Huh, Yong-Min; Haam, Seungjoo; Oh, Seung Jae; Lee, Sang Kil; Suh, Jin-Suck

    2015-01-01

    We have investigated the feasibility of THz time-domain reflectometry for the discrimination of human early gastric cancer (EGC) from the normal gastric region. Eight fresh EGC tissues, which were resected by endoscopic submucosal dissection, were studied. Of them, six lesions were well discriminated on THz images and the regions well correlated with tumor regions on pathologically mapped images. Four THz parameters could be suggested for quantitative discrimination of EGCs. PMID:25909023

  18. Constitutively Expressed IFITM3 Protein in Human Endothelial Cells Poses an Early Infection Block to Human Influenza Viruses.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiangjie; Zeng, Hui; Kumar, Amrita; Belser, Jessica A; Maines, Taronna R; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2016-12-15

    A role for pulmonary endothelial cells in the orchestration of cytokine production and leukocyte recruitment during influenza virus infection, leading to severe lung damage, has been recently identified. As the mechanistic pathway for this ability is not fully known, we extended previous studies on influenza virus tropism in cultured human pulmonary endothelial cells. We found that a subset of avian influenza viruses, including potentially pandemic H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 viruses, could infect human pulmonary endothelial cells (HULEC) with high efficiency compared to human H1N1 or H3N2 viruses. In HULEC, human influenza viruses were capable of binding to host cellular receptors, becoming internalized and initiating hemifusion but failing to uncoat the viral nucleocapsid and to replicate in host nuclei. Unlike numerous cell types, including epithelial cells, we found that pulmonary endothelial cells constitutively express a high level of the restriction protein IFITM3 in endosomal compartments. IFITM3 knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) could partially rescue H1N1 virus infection in HULEC, suggesting IFITM3 proteins were involved in blocking human influenza virus infection in endothelial cells. In contrast, selected avian influenza viruses were able to escape IFITM3 restriction in endothelial cells, possibly by fusing in early endosomes at higher pH or by other, unknown mechanisms. Collectively, our study demonstrates that the human pulmonary endothelium possesses intrinsic immunity to human influenza viruses, in part due to the constitutive expression of IFITM3 proteins. Notably, certain avian influenza viruses have evolved to escape this restriction, possibly contributing to virus-induced pneumonia and severe lung disease in humans.

  19. Consequences of early adverse rearing experience (EARE) on development: insights from non-human primate studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bo

    2017-01-01

    Early rearing experiences are important in one's whole life, whereas early adverse rearing experience (EARE) is usually related to various physical and mental disorders in later life. Although there were many studies on human and animals, regarding the effect of EARE on brain development, neuroendocrine systems, as well as the consequential mental disorders and behavioral abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Due to the close genetic relationship and similarity in social organizations with humans, non-human primate (NHP) studies were performed for over 60 years. Various EARE models were developed to disrupt the early normal interactions between infants and mothers or peers. Those studies provided important insights of EARE induced effects on the physiological and behavioral systems of NHPs across life span, such as social behaviors (including disturbance behavior, social deficiency, sexual behavior, etc), learning and memory ability, brain structural and functional developments (including influences on neurons and glia cells, neuroendocrine systems, e.g., hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, etc). In this review, the effects of EARE and the underlying epigenetic mechanisms were comprehensively summarized and the possibility of rehabilitation was discussed. PMID:28271667

  20. Monitoring of human populations for early markers of cadmium toxicity: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, Bruce A.

    2009-08-01

    Exposure of human populations to cadmium (Cd) from air, food and water may produce effects in organs such as the kidneys, liver, lungs, cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems. Since Cd has been identified as a human carcinogen, biomarkers for early detection of susceptibility to cancer are of an importance to public health. The ability to document Cd exposure and uptake of this element through biological monitoring is a first step towards understanding its health effects. Interpretation and application of biological monitoring data for predicting human health outcomes require correlation with biological measures of organ system responses to the documented exposure. Essential to this understanding is the detection and linkage of early biological responses toxic effects in target cell populations. Fortunately, advances in cell biology have resulted in the development of pre-clinical biological markers (biomarkers) that demonstrate measurable and characteristic molecular changes in organ systems following chemical exposures that occur prior to the onset of overt clinical disease or development of cancer. Technical advances have rendered a number of these biomarkers practical for monitoring Cd-exposed human populations. Biomarkers will be increasingly important in relation to monitoring effects from the exposure to new Cd-based high technology materials. For example, cadmium-selenium (CdSe), nano-materials made from combinations of these elements have greatly altered cellular uptake characteristics due to particle size. These differences may greatly alter effects at the target cell level and hence risks for organ toxicities from such exposures. The value of validated biomarkers for early detection of systemic Cd-induced effects in humans cannot be underestimated due to the rapid expansion of nano-material technologies. This review will attempt to briefly summarize the applications, to date, of biomarker endpoints for assessing target organ system effects in

  1. Tools to Support Human Factors and Systems Engineering Interactions During Early Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronesbery, Carroll; Malin, Jane T.; Holden, Kritina; Smith, Danielle Paige

    2006-01-01

    We describe an approach and existing software tool support for effective interactions between human factors engineers and systems engineers in early analysis activities during system acquisition. We examine the tasks performed during this stage, emphasizing those tasks where system engineers and human engineers interact. The Concept of Operations (ConOps) document is an important product during this phase, and particular attention is paid to its influences on subsequent acquisition activities. Understanding this influence helps ConOps authors describe a complete system concept that guides subsequent acquisition activities. We identify commonly used system engineering and human engineering tools and examine how they can support the specific tasks associated with system definition. We identify possible gaps in the support of these tasks, the largest of which appears to be creating the ConOps document itself. Finally, we outline the goals of our future empirical investigations of tools to support system concept definition.

  2. Tools to Support Human Factors and Systems Engineering Interactions During Early Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronesbery, Carroll; Malin, Jane T.; Holden, Kritina; Smith, Danielle Paige

    2005-01-01

    We describe an approach and existing software tool support for effective interactions between human factors engineers and systems engineers in early analysis activities during system acquisition. We examine the tasks performed during this stage, emphasizing those tasks where system engineers and human engineers interact. The Concept of Operations (ConOps) document is an important product during this phase, and particular attention is paid to its influences on subsequent acquisition activities. Understanding this influence helps ConOps authors describe a complete system concept that guides subsequent acquisition activities. We identify commonly used system engineering and human engineering tools and examine how they can support the specific tasks associated with system definition. We identify possible gaps in the support of these tasks, the largest of which appears to be creating the ConOps document itself. Finally, we outline the goals of our future empirical investigations of tools to support system concept definition.

  3. Metacarpal torsion in apes, humans, and early Australopithecus: implications for manipulatory abilities

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Human hands, when compared to that of apes, have a series of adaptations to facilitate manipulation. Numerous studies have shown that Australopithecus afarensis and Au. africanus display some of these adaptations, such as a longer thumb relative to the other fingers, asymmetric heads on the second and fifth metacarpals, and orientation of the second metacarpal joints with the trapezium and capitate away from the sagittal plane, while lacking others such as a very mobile fifth metacarpal, a styloid process on the third, and a flatter metacarpo-trapezium articulation, suggesting some adaptation to manipulation but more limited than in humans. This paper explores variation in metacarpal torsion, a trait said to enhance manipulation, in humans, apes, early australopithecines and specimens from Swartkrans. This study shows that humans are different from large apes in torsion of the third and fourth metacarpals. Humans are also characterized by wedge-shaped bases of the third and fourth metacarpals, making the metacarpal-base row very arched mediolaterally and placing the ulnar-most metacarpals in a position that facilitate opposition to the thumb in power or cradle grips. The third and fourth metacarpals of Au. afarensis are very human-like, suggesting that the medial palm was already well adapted for these kinds of grips in that taxon. Au. africanus present a less clear human-like morphology, suggesting, perhaps, that the medial palm was less suited to human-like manipulation in that taxa than in Au. afarensis. Overall, this study supports previous studies on Au. afarensis and Au. africanus that these taxa had derived hand morphology with some adaptation to human-like power and precision grips and support the hypothesis that dexterous hands largely predated Homo. PMID:26500820

  4. Metacarpal torsion in apes, humans, and early Australopithecus: implications for manipulatory abilities.

    PubMed

    Drapeau, Michelle S M

    2015-01-01

    Human hands, when compared to that of apes, have a series of adaptations to facilitate manipulation. Numerous studies have shown that Australopithecus afarensis and Au. africanus display some of these adaptations, such as a longer thumb relative to the other fingers, asymmetric heads on the second and fifth metacarpals, and orientation of the second metacarpal joints with the trapezium and capitate away from the sagittal plane, while lacking others such as a very mobile fifth metacarpal, a styloid process on the third, and a flatter metacarpo-trapezium articulation, suggesting some adaptation to manipulation but more limited than in humans. This paper explores variation in metacarpal torsion, a trait said to enhance manipulation, in humans, apes, early australopithecines and specimens from Swartkrans. This study shows that humans are different from large apes in torsion of the third and fourth metacarpals. Humans are also characterized by wedge-shaped bases of the third and fourth metacarpals, making the metacarpal-base row very arched mediolaterally and placing the ulnar-most metacarpals in a position that facilitate opposition to the thumb in power or cradle grips. The third and fourth metacarpals of Au. afarensis are very human-like, suggesting that the medial palm was already well adapted for these kinds of grips in that taxon. Au. africanus present a less clear human-like morphology, suggesting, perhaps, that the medial palm was less suited to human-like manipulation in that taxa than in Au. afarensis. Overall, this study supports previous studies on Au. afarensis and Au. africanus that these taxa had derived hand morphology with some adaptation to human-like power and precision grips and support the hypothesis that dexterous hands largely predated Homo.

  5. Immune thrombocytopenic purpura might be an early hematologic manifestation of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection.

    PubMed

    Lai, Shih-Wei; Lin, Hsien-Feng; Lin, Cheng-Li; Liao, Kuan-Fu

    2017-03-01

    Little research focuses on the association between immune thrombocytopenic purpura and human immunodeficiency virus infection in Taiwan. This study investigated whether immune thrombocytopenic purpura might be an early hematologic manifestation of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection in Taiwan. We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study using data of individuals enrolled in Taiwan National Health Insurance Program. There were 5472 subjects aged 1-84 years with a new diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenic purpura as the purpura group since 1998-2010 and 21,887 sex-matched and age-matched, randomly selected subjects without immune thrombocytopenic purpura as the non-purpura group. The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus infection at the end of 2011 was measured in both groups. We used the multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model to measure the hazard ratio and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for the association between immune thrombocytopenic purpura and human immunodeficiency virus infection. The overall incidence of human immunodeficiency virus infection was 6.47-fold higher in the purpura group than that in the non-purpura group (3.78 vs. 0.58 per 10,000 person-years, 95 % CI 5.83-7.18). After controlling for potential confounding factors, the adjusted HR of human immunodeficiency virus infection was 6.3 (95 % CI 2.58-15.4) for the purpura group, as compared with the non-purpura group. We conclude that individuals with immune thrombocytopenic purpura are 6.47-fold more likely to have human immunodeficiency virus infection than those without immune thrombocytopenic purpura. We suggest not all patients, but only those who have risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection should receive testing for undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection when they develop immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

  6. Electrical Excitability of Early Neurons in the Human Cerebral Cortex during the Second Trimester of Gestation

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Anna R.; Filipovic, Radmila; Mo, Zhicheng; Rasband, Matthew N.; Zecevic, Nada

    2009-01-01

    Information about development of the human cerebral cortex (proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neurons) is largely based on postmortem histology. Physiological properties of developing human cortical neurons are difficult to access experimentally and therefore remain largely unexplored. Animal studies have shown that information about the arousal of electrical activity in individual cells within fundamental cortical zones (subventricular zone [SVZ], intermediate zone, subplate [SP], and cortical plate [CP]) is necessary for understanding normal brain development. Here we ask where, in what cortical zone, and when, in what gestational week (gw), human neurons acquire the ability to generate nerve impulses (action potentials [APs]). We performed electrical recordings from individual cells in acute brain slices harvested postmortem from the human fetal cerebral cortex (16–22 gw). Tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ current occurs more frequently among CP cells and with significantly greater peak amplitudes than in SVZ. As early as 16 gw, a relatively small population of CP neurons (27%) was able to generate sodium APs upon direct current injection. Neurons located in the SP exhibited the highest level of cellular differentiation, as judged by their ability to fire repetitive APs. At 19 gw, a fraction of human CP and SP neurons possess βIV spectrin–positive axon initial segments populated with voltage-gated sodium channels (PanNav). These results yield the first physiological characterization of developing human fetal cortical neurons with preserved morphologies in intact surrounding brain tissue. PMID:19015375

  7. Application of Carnegie stages of development to unify human and baboon ultrasound findings early in pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Santolaya-Forgas, Joaquin; De Leon-Luis, Juan; Friel, Lara A; Wolf, Roman

    2007-09-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if very early ultrasonographic measurements obtained from human and baboon are comparable. For this purpose, the gestational, amniotic and yolk sacs, embryonic crown rump length (CRL) and heart rate were measured ultrasonographically between 35 and 47 days from the mean day of a three-day mating period in baboons (n=18) and between 42 to 58 days from fertilization as calculated from the CRL measurements in human pregnancies (n=82). Ultrasonographic measurements from both species were then plotted in the same graph using Carnegie stages of embryonic development as the independent variable to allow for visual comparisons. Mean gestational age at ultrasonographic studies was significantly different for humans and baboons (50.4 vs. 41 days, respectively; p>0.01). Significant correlations (p>0.01) were noted between ultrasonographic measurements and Carnegie stages of development in both humans and baboons. Only the gestational and the yolk sacs were significantly smaller in baboons than in humans (p>0.05). The findings that embryonic CRL, extra-embryonic space and heart rate are very similar between the 17th and 23rd Carnegie developmental stages make the baboon a promising surrogate of human pregnancy for investigations using celocentesis.

  8. The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX): Project Rationale and Design

    PubMed Central

    Slama, Rémy; Robinson, Oliver; Chatzi, Leda; Coen, Muireann; van den Hazel, Peter; Thomsen, Cathrine; Wright, John; Athersuch, Toby J.; Avellana, Narcis; Basagaña, Xavier; Brochot, Celine; Bucchini, Luca; Bustamante, Mariona; Carracedo, Angel; Casas, Maribel; Estivill, Xavier; Fairley, Lesley; van Gent, Diana; Gonzalez, Juan R.; Granum, Berit; Gražulevicˇiene˙, Regina; Gutzkow, Kristine B.; Julvez, Jordi; Keun, Hector C.; Kogevinas, Manolis; McEachan, Rosemary R.C.; Meltzer, Helle Margrete; Sabidó, Eduard; Schwarze, Per E.; Siroux, Valérie; Sunyer, Jordi; Want, Elizabeth J.; Zeman, Florence; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Developmental periods in early life may be particularly vulnerable to impacts of environmental exposures. Human research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure–health effect relationships. The “exposome” concept encompasses the totality of exposures from conception onward, complementing the genome. Objectives: The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX) project is a new collaborative research project that aims to implement novel exposure assessment and biomarker methods to characterize early-life exposure to multiple environmental factors and associate these with omics biomarkers and child health outcomes, thus characterizing the “early-life exposome.” Here we describe the general design of the project. Methods: In six existing birth cohort studies in Europe, HELIX will estimate prenatal and postnatal exposure to a broad range of chemical and physical exposures. Exposure models will be developed for the full cohorts totaling 32,000 mother–child pairs, and biomarkers will be measured in a subset of 1,200 mother–child pairs. Nested repeat-sampling panel studies (n = 150) will collect data on biomarker variability, use smartphones to assess mobility and physical activity, and perform personal exposure monitoring. Omics techniques will determine molecular profiles (metabolome, proteome, transcriptome, epigenome) associated with exposures. Statistical methods for multiple exposures will provide exposure–response estimates for fetal and child growth, obesity, neurodevelopment, and respiratory outcomes. A health impact assessment exercise will evaluate risks and benefits of combined exposures. Conclusions: HELIX is one of the first attempts to describe the early-life exposome of European populations and unravel its relation to omics markers and health in childhood. As proof of concept, it will form an important first step toward the life-course exposome. Citation: Vrijheid M, Slama R, Robinson O, Chatzi L, Coen M, van den Hazel P

  9. Early influences on human energy regulation: thrifty genotypes and thrifty phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Prentice, Andrew M

    2005-12-15

    Early influences on human ingestive behavior and other aspects of energy homeostasis can be defined according to two very different time scales: the evolutionary time frame responsible for selection of behavioral and metabolic traits embedded within the genome; and the life-course time frame responsible for setting the phenotype. Evolutionary influences: Famine has been a constant threat to human survival leading to the selection of thrifty genes. Thriftiness can take many forms: metabolic (an 'energy-sparing' super-efficient metabolism); adipogenic (a propensity to rapid fat gain); physiologic (an ability to switch off non-essential processes); gluttony (a tendency to gorge when food is available); sloth (a tendency to conserve energy through inactivity); or behavioral (hoarding, meanness, theft, etc). Life-course influences: The nutritional environment of the early embryo can have a major impact on its survival, and its immediate and later physiology. Subsequently, the fetus is sensitive to its nutrient supply that in turn is affected by maternal fuel supply and by the constraints of the utero-placental unit. Adaptive plasticity also continues through infancy. Ingestive behavior in terms of appetite and satiety could theoretically be affected by some of these metabolic adaptations. This paper will describe the key elements of the thrifty genotype and phenotype and review the evidence base relating these early effects to differences in ingestive behavior.

  10. The one ancestor per generation rule and three other rules of mitochondrial inheritance.

    PubMed

    Ohno, S

    1997-07-22

    In mammals, at least, a species-specific mechanism exists that eliminates sperm-derived mitochondrial DNA from a fertilized egg. The result is the "one female ancestor per generation" rule and three other rules of mitochondrial inheritance. The second, third, and fourth rules are as follows. (ii) Sublineages of a given mitochondrial line can be generated only during the parallel descents from ancestral sisters. (iii) In a static population in which the production of one female progeny per mated pair per generation has been a rule, several ancient mitochondrial lineages harking back to the female founders of the speciation may persist side by side. (iv) Two or more individuals not related to each other in the recent past may share the identical or nearly identical mitochondrial genome derived from the common female ancestor or ancestral sisters of many generations ago.

  11. Differences and similarities between culture-confirmed human granulocytic anaplasmosis and early lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Wormser, Gary P; Aguero-Rosenfeld, Maria E; Cox, Mary E; Nowakowski, John; Nadelman, Robert B; Holmgren, Diane; McKenna, Donna; Bittker, Susan; Zentmaier, Lois; Cooper, Denise; Liveris, Dionysios; Schwartz, Ira; Horowitz, Harold W

    2013-03-01

    Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of certain Ixodes ticks, which can also transmit Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the cause of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). Although culture can be used to identify patients infected with A. phagocytophilum and is the microbiologic gold standard, few studies have evaluated culture-confirmed patients with HGA. We conducted a prospective study in which blood culture was used to detect HGA infection in patients with a compatible clinical illness. Early Lyme disease was defined by the presence of erythema migrans. The epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory features of 44 patients with culture-confirmed HGA were compared with those of a convenience sample of 62 patients with early Lyme disease. Coinfected patients were excluded. Patients with HGA had more symptoms (P = 0.003) and had a higher body temperature on presentation (P < 0.001) than patients with early Lyme disease. HGA patients were also more likely to have a headache, dizziness, myalgias, abdominal pain, anorexia, leukopenia, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, or elevated liver enzymes. A direct correlation between the number of symptoms and the duration of illness at time of presentation (rho = 0.389, P = 0.009) was observed for HGA patients but not for patients with Lyme disease. In conclusion, although there are overlapping features, culture-confirmed HGA is a more severe illness than early Lyme disease.

  12. Effect of reference population size and available ancestor genotypes on imputation of Mexican Holstein genotypes.

    PubMed

    García-Ruiz, A; Ruiz-Lopez, F J; Wiggans, G R; Van Tassell, C P; Montaldo, H H

    2015-05-01

    The effects of reference population size and the availability of information from genotyped ancestors on the accuracy of imputation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were investigated for Mexican Holstein cattle. Three scenarios for reference population size were examined: (1) a local population of 2,011 genotyped Mexican Holsteins, (2) animals in scenario 1 plus 866 Holsteins in the US genotype database (GDB) with genotyped Mexican daughters, and (3) animals in scenario 1 and all US GDB Holsteins (338,073). Genotypes from 4 chip densities (2 low density, 1 mid density, and 1 high density) were imputed using findhap (version 3) to the 45,195 markers on the mid-density chip. Imputation success was determined by comparing the numbers of SNP with 1 or 2 alleles missing and the numbers of differently predicted SNP (conflicts) among the 3 scenarios. Imputation accuracy improved as chip density and numbers of genotyped ancestors increased, and the percentage of SNP with 1 missing allele was greater than that for 2 missing alleles for all scenarios. The largest numbers of conflicts were found between scenarios 1 and 3. The inclusion of information from direct ancestors (dam or sire) with US GDB genotypes in the imputation of Mexican Holstein genotypes increased imputation accuracy by 1 percentage point for low-density genotypes and by 0.5 percentage points for high-density genotypes, which was about half the gain found with information from all US GDB Holsteins. A larger reference population and the availability of genotyped ancestors improved imputation; animals with genotyped parents in a large reference population had higher imputation accuracy than those with no or few genotyped relatives in a small reference population. For small local populations, including genotypes from other related populations can aid in improving imputation accuracy.

  13. The first modern human dispersals across Africa.

    PubMed

    Rito, Teresa; Richards, Martin B; Fernandes, Verónica; Alshamali, Farida; Cerny, Viktor; Pereira, Luísa; Soares, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of more refined chronologies for climate change and archaeology in prehistoric Africa, and for the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), now make it feasible to test more sophisticated models of early modern human dispersals suggested by mtDNA distributions. Here we have generated 42 novel whole-mtDNA genomes belonging to haplogroup L0, the most divergent clade in the maternal line of descent, and analysed them alongside the growing database of African lineages belonging to L0's sister clade, L1'6. We propose that the last common ancestor of modern human mtDNAs (carried by "mitochondrial Eve") possibly arose in central Africa ~180 ka, at a time of low population size. By ~130 ka two distinct groups of anatomically modern humans co-existed in Africa: broadly, the ancestors of many modern-day Khoe and San populations in the south and a second central/eastern African group that includes the ancestors of most extant worldwide populations. Early modern human dispersals correlate with climate changes, particularly the tropical African "megadroughts" of MIS 5 (marine isotope stage 5, 135-75 ka) which paradoxically may have facilitated expansions in central and eastern Africa, ultimately triggering the dispersal out of Africa of people carrying haplogroup L3 ~60 ka. Two south to east migrations are discernible within haplogroup LO. One, between 120 and 75 ka, represents the first unambiguous long-range modern human dispersal detected by mtDNA and might have allowed the dispersal of several markers of modernity. A second one, within the last 20 ka signalled by L0d, may have been responsible for the spread of southern click-consonant languages to eastern Africa, contrary to the view that these eastern examples constitute relicts of an ancient, much wider distribution.

  14. The common ancestor of archaea and eukarya was not an archaeon.

    PubMed

    Forterre, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    It is often assumed that eukarya originated from archaea. This view has been recently supported by phylogenetic analyses in which eukarya are nested within archaea. Here, I argue that these analyses are not reliable, and I critically discuss archaeal ancestor scenarios, as well as fusion scenarios for the origin of eukaryotes. Based on recognized evolutionary trends toward reduction in archaea and toward complexity in eukarya, I suggest that their last common ancestor was more complex than modern archaea but simpler than modern eukaryotes (the bug in-between scenario). I propose that the ancestors of archaea (and bacteria) escaped protoeukaryotic predators by invading high temperature biotopes, triggering their reductive evolution toward the "prokaryotic" phenotype (the thermoreduction hypothesis). Intriguingly, whereas archaea and eukarya share many basic features at the molecular level, the archaeal mobilome resembles more the bacterial than the eukaryotic one. I suggest that selection of different parts of the ancestral virosphere at the onset of the three domains played a critical role in shaping their respective biology. Eukarya probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses, whereas similar selection pressure (thermoreduction) could explain why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes somehow resemble each other.

  15. The Common Ancestor of Archaea and Eukarya Was Not an Archaeon

    PubMed Central

    Forterre, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    It is often assumed that eukarya originated from archaea. This view has been recently supported by phylogenetic analyses in which eukarya are nested within archaea. Here, I argue that these analyses are not reliable, and I critically discuss archaeal ancestor scenarios, as well as fusion scenarios for the origin of eukaryotes. Based on recognized evolutionary trends toward reduction in archaea and toward complexity in eukarya, I suggest that their last common ancestor was more complex than modern archaea but simpler than modern eukaryotes (the bug in-between scenario). I propose that the ancestors of archaea (and bacteria) escaped protoeukaryotic predators by invading high temperature biotopes, triggering their reductive evolution toward the “prokaryotic” phenotype (the thermoreduction hypothesis). Intriguingly, whereas archaea and eukarya share many basic features at the molecular level, the archaeal mobilome resembles more the bacterial than the eukaryotic one. I suggest that selection of different parts of the ancestral virosphere at the onset of the three domains played a critical role in shaping their respective biology. Eukarya probably evolved toward complexity with the help of retroviruses and large DNA viruses, whereas similar selection pressure (thermoreduction) could explain why the archaeal and bacterial mobilomes somehow resemble each other. PMID:24348094

  16. Heterokont Predator Develorapax marinus gen. et sp. nov. – A Model of the Ochrophyte Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Aleoshin, Vladimir V.; Mylnikov, Alexander P.; Mirzaeva, Gulnara S.; Mikhailov, Kirill V.; Karpov, Sergey A.

    2016-01-01

    Heterotrophic lineages of Heterokonta (or stramenopiles), in contrast to a single monophyletic group of autotrophs, Ochrophyta, form several clades that independently branch off the heterokont stem lineage. The nearest neighbors of Ochrophyta in the phylogenetic tree appear to be almost exclusively bacterivorous, whereas the hypothesis of plastid acquisition by the ancestors of the ochrophyte lineage suggests an ability to engulf eukaryotic alga. In line with this hypothesis, the heterotrophic predator at the base of the ochrophyte lineage may be regarded as a model for the ochrophyte ancestor. Here, we present a new genus and species of marine free-living heterotrophic heterokont Develorapax marinus, which falls into an isolated heterokont cluster, along with the marine flagellate Developayella elegans, and is able to engulf eukaryotic cells. Together with environmental sequences D. marinus and D. elegans form a class-level clade Developea nom. nov. represented by species adapted to different environmental conditions and with a wide geographical distribution. The position of Developea among Heterokonta in large-scale phylogenetic tree is discussed. We propose that members of the Developea clade represent a model for transition from bacterivory to a predatory feeding mode by selection for larger prey. Presumably, such transition in the grazing strategy is possible in the presence of bacterial biofilms or aggregates expected in eutrophic environment, and has likely occurred in the ochrophyte ancestor. PMID:27536283

  17. Evidence for the presence of a cellulase gene in the last common ancestor of bilaterian animals.

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Nathan; Watanabe, Hirofumi; Sugimura, Masahiro

    2003-01-01

    Until recently, the textbook view of cellulose hydrolysis in animals was that gut-resident symbiotic organisms such as bacteria or unicellular eukaryotes are responsible for the cellulases produced. This view has been challenged by the characterization and sequencing of endogenous cellulase genes from some invertebrate animals, including plant-parasitic nematodes, arthropods and a mollusc. Most of these genes are completely unrelated in terms of sequence, and their evolutionary origins remain unclear. In the case of plant-parasitic nematodes, it has been suggested that their ancestor obtained a cellulase gene via horizontal gene transfer from a prokaryote, and similar suggestions have been made about a cellulase gene recently discovered in a sea squirt. To improve understanding about the evolution of animal cellulases, we searched for all known types of these enzymes in GenBank, and performed phylogenetic comparisons. Low phylogenetic resolution was found among most of the sequences examined, however, positional identity in the introns of cellulase genes from a termite, a sea squirt and an abalone provided compelling evidence that a similar gene was present in the last common ancestor of protostomes and deuterostomes. In a different enzyme family, cellulases from beetles and plant-parasitic nematodes were found to cluster together. This result questions the idea of lateral gene transfer into the ancestors of the latter, although statistical tests did not allow this possibility to be ruled out. Overall, our results suggest that at least one family of endogenous cellulases may be more widespread in animals than previously thought. PMID:12952640

  18. Human transgenerational responses to early-life experience: potential impact on development, health and biomedical research

    PubMed Central

    Pembrey, Marcus; Saffery, Richard; Bygren, Lars Olov

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian experiments provide clear evidence of male line transgenerational effects on health and development from paternal or ancestral early-life exposures such as diet or stress. The few human observational studies to date suggest (male line) transgenerational effects exist that cannot easily be attributed to cultural and/or genetic inheritance. Here we summarise relevant studies, drawing attention to exposure sensitive periods in early life and sex differences in transmission and offspring outcomes. Thus, variation, or changes, in the parental/ancestral environment may influence phenotypic variation for better or worse in the next generation(s), and so contribute to common, non-communicable disease risk including sex differences. We argue that life-course epidemiology should be reframed to include exposures from previous generations, keeping an open mind as to the mechanisms that transmit this information to offspring. Finally, we discuss animal experiments, including the role of epigenetic inheritance and non-coding RNAs, in terms of what lessons can be learnt for designing and interpreting human studies. This review was developed initially as a position paper by the multidisciplinary Network in Epigenetic Epidemiology to encourage transgenerational research in human cohorts. PMID:25062846

  19. Matriptase regulates proliferation and early, but not terminal, differentiation of human keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ya-Wen; Wang, Jehng-Kang; Chou, Fen-Pai; Wu, Bai-Yao; Hsiao, Hui-Chung; Chiu, Han; Xu, Zhonghong; Baksh, Adrienne N H; Shi, Galen; Kaul, Malvika; Barndt, Robert; Shanmugam, Victoria K; Johnson, Michael D; Lin, Chen-Yong

    2014-02-01

    Genetic defects in matriptase are linked to two congenital ichthyoses: autosomal recessive ichthyosis with hypotrichosis (ARIH, OMIM 610765) and ichthyosis, follicular atrophoderma, hypotrichosis, and hypohidrosis (IFAH, OMIM 602400). Mouse models with matriptase deficiency indicate an involvement of matriptase in suprabasal keratinocytes in the maintenance of the epidermal barrier. In contrast to what has been reported for mouse skin, we show that in human skin matriptase is primarily expressed in the basal and spinous keratinocytes, but not in the more differentiated keratinocytes of the granular layer. In addition, matriptase zymogen activation was predominantly detected in the basal cells. Furthermore, by using skin organotypic cultures as a model system to monitor the course of human epidermal differentiation, we found elevated matriptase zymogen activation during early stages of epidermal differentiation, coupled with a loss of matriptase expression in the late stages of this process. We also show here that matriptase deficiency in HaCaT cells modestly reduces cell proliferation and temporally affects calcium-induced expression of differentiation markers. These collective data suggest that, unlike mouse matriptase, human matriptase may be involved in the regulation of keratinocyte growth and early differentiation, rather than terminal differentiation, providing mechanistic insights into the pathology of the two congenital ichthyoses: ARIH and IFAH.

  20. Human and mouse TPIT gene mutations cause early onset pituitary ACTH deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Pulichino, Anne-Marie; Vallette-Kasic, Sophie; Couture, Catherine; Gauthier, Yves; Brue, Thierry; David, Michel; Malpuech, Georges; Deal, Cheri; Van Vliet, Guy; De Vroede, Monique; Riepe, Felix G.; Partsch, Carl-Joachim; Sippell, Wolfgang G.; Berberoglu, Merih; Atasay, Begüm; Drouin, Jacques

    2003-01-01

    Tpit is a highly cell-restricted transcription factor that is required for expression of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene and for terminal differentiation of the pituitary corticotroph lineage. Its exclusive expression in pituitary POMC-expressing cells has suggested that its mutation may cause isolated deficiency of pituitary adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). We now show that Tpit-deficient mice constitute a model of isolated ACTH deficiency (IAD) that is very similar to human IAD patients carrying TPIT gene mutations. Through genetic analysis of a panel of IAD patients, we show that TPIT gene mutations are associated at high frequency with early onset IAD, but not with juvenile forms of this deficiency. We identified seven different TPIT mutations, including nonsense, missense, point deletion, and a genomic deletion. This work defines congenital early onset IAD as a relatively homogeneous clinical entity caused by recessive transmission of loss-of-function mutations in the TPIT gene. PMID:12651888

  1. Human and mouse TPIT gene mutations cause early onset pituitary ACTH deficiency.

    PubMed

    Pulichino, Anne-Marie; Vallette-Kasic, Sophie; Couture, Catherine; Gauthier, Yves; Brue, Thierry; David, Michel; Malpuech, Georges; Deal, Cheri; Van Vliet, Guy; De Vroede, Monique; Riepe, Felix G; Partsch, Carl-Joachim; Sippell, Wolfgang G; Berberoglu, Merih; Atasay, Begüm; Drouin, Jacques

    2003-03-15

    Tpit is a highly cell-restricted transcription factor that is required for expression of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene and for terminal differentiation of the pituitary corticotroph lineage. Its exclusive expression in pituitary POMC-expressing cells has suggested that its mutation may cause isolated deficiency of pituitary adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). We now show that Tpit-deficient mice constitute a model of isolated ACTH deficiency (IAD) that is very similar to human IAD patients carrying TPIT gene mutations. Through genetic analysis of a panel of IAD patients, we show that TPIT gene mutations are associated at high frequency with early onset IAD, but not with juvenile forms of this deficiency. We identified seven different TPIT mutations, including nonsense, missense, point deletion, and a genomic deletion. This work defines congenital early onset IAD as a relatively homogeneous clinical entity caused by recessive transmission of loss-of-function mutations in the TPIT gene.

  2. Early ontogeny of the central benzodiazepine receptor in human embryos and fetuses

    SciTech Connect

    Hebebrand, J.; Hofmann, D.; Reichelt, R.; Schnarr, S.; Knapp, M.; Propping, P.; Foedisch, H.J.

    1988-01-01

    The early ontogeny of the central benzodiazepine receptor (BZR) was investigated in human embryos and fetuses between 7 and 26 weeks of gestation. Brain tissue was gained from terminated pregnancies or spontaneous abortions. Binding studies, which were performed with /sup 3/H-flunitrazepam (FNZ), revealed that specific benzodiazepine binding is already detectable at an embryonal age of 7 weeks post conception. Binding at this early stage can be displaced potently by clonazepam and the inverse agonist ..beta..-CCE. Additionally, /sup 3/H-FNZ binding is enhanced by GABA. Thus, benzodiazepine binding is of the central type. Receptor density increases steeply in whole brain between weeks 8 and 11 of gestation. In frontal cortex receptor density increases gradually between weeks 12 and 26 of gestation. No specific fetal disease entity (including trisomy 21) was consistently associated with exceptionally high or low B/sub max/-values.

  3. The human startle reflex and alcohol cue reactivity: effects of early versus late abstinence.

    PubMed

    Saladin, Michael E; Drobes, David J; Coffey, Scott F; Libet, Julian M

    2002-06-01

    This study investigated the human eyeblink startle reflex as a measure of alcohol cue reactivity. Alcohol-dependent participants early (n = 36) and late (n = 34) in abstinence received presentations of alcohol and water cues. Consistent with previous research, greater salivation and higher ratings of urge to drink occurred in response to the alcohol cues. Differential salivary and urge responding to alcohol versus water cues did not vary as a function of abstinence duration. Of special interest was the finding that startle response magnitudes were relatively elevated to alcohol cues, but only in individuals early in abstinence. Affective ratings of alcohol cues suggested that alcohol cues were perceived as aversive. Methodological and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

  4. When right differs from left: human limb directional asymmetry emerges during very early development.

    PubMed

    Van Dongen, Stefan; Galis, Frietson; Ten Broek, Clara; Heikinheimo, Kristiina; Wijnaendts, Liliane C D; Delen, Sofie; Bots, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    The often observed directional asymmetry (DA) in human limb bones may have a genetic/developmental basis and/or could emerge from different mechanical loadings across sides due to handedness. Because behavioural lateralization in itself has a genetic basis, it has been suggested that DA in limbs could develop prenatally as a pre-adaptation to adult life. However, the presence of consistent differences in the size of left and right limb bones in early development is understudied. We study asymmetry in limb bones during early development (10-20 weeks of gestation) in a sample of 178 aborted foetuses. Statistically significant DA was found in several upper and lower limb bones, where the right-hand side was consistently larger than the left. We argue that this pattern is probably the consequence of developmental processes related to internal asymmetric positioning of organs.

  5. Variability of Gene Expression Identifies Transcriptional Regulators of Early Human Embryonic Development

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Yu; Taylor, Deanne; Ovchinnikov, Dmitry A.; Wolvetang, Ernst J.; de Torrenté, Laurence; Mar, Jessica C.

    2015-01-01

    An analysis of gene expression variability can provide an insightful window into how regulatory control is distributed across the transcriptome. In a single cell analysis, the inter-cellular variability of gene expression measures the consistency of transcript copy numbers observed between cells in the same population. Application of these ideas to the study of early human embryonic development may reveal important insights into the transcriptional programs controlling this process, based on which components are most tightly regulated. Using a published single cell RNA-seq data set of human embryos collected at four-cell, eight-cell, morula and blastocyst stages, we identified genes with the most stable, invariant expression across all four developmental stages. Stably-expressed genes were found to be enriched for those sharing indispensable features, including essentiality, haploinsufficiency, and ubiquitous expression. The stable genes were less likely to be associated with loss-of-function variant genes or human recessive disease genes affected by a DNA copy number variant deletion, suggesting that stable genes have a functional impact on the regulation of some of the basic cellular processes. Genes with low expression variability at early stages of development are involved in regulation of DNA methylation, responses to hypoxia and telomerase activity, whereas by the blastocyst stage, low-variability genes are enriched for metabolic processes as well as telomerase signaling. Based on changes in expression variability, we identified a putative set of gene expression markers of morulae and blastocyst stages. Experimental validation of a blastocyst-expressed variability marker demonstrated that HDDC2 plays a role in the maintenance of pluripotency in human ES and iPS cells. Collectively our analyses identified new regulators involved in human embryonic development that would have otherwise been missed using methods that focus on assessment of the average expression

  6. Electromechanical probe and automated indentation maps are sensitive techniques in assessing early degenerated human articular cartilage.

    PubMed

    Sim, Sotcheadt; Chevrier, Anik; Garon, Martin; Quenneville, Eric; Lavigne, Patrick; Yaroshinsky, Alex; Hoemann, Caroline D; Buschmann, Michael D

    2016-06-09

    Recent advances in the development of new drugs to halt or even reverse the progression of Osteoarthritis at an early-stage requires new tools to detect early degeneration of articular cartilage. We investigated the ability of an electromechanical probe and an automated indentation technique to characterize entire human articular surfaces for rapid non-destructive discrimination between early degenerated and healthy articular cartilage. Human cadaveric asymptomatic articular surfaces (4 pairs of distal femurs and 4 pairs of tibial plateaus) were used. They were assessed ex vivo: macroscopically, electromechanically (maps of the electromechanical quantitative parameter, QP, reflecting streaming potentials), mechanically (maps of the instantaneous modulus, IM) and through cartilage thickness. Osteochondral cores were also harvested from healthy and degenerated regions for histological assessment, biochemical analyses and unconfined compression tests. The macroscopic visual assessment delimited three distinct regions on each articular surface: region I was macroscopically degenerated, region II was macroscopically normal but adjacent to region I and region III was the remaining normal articular surface. Thus, each extracted core was assigned to one of the three regions. A mixed effect model revealed that only the QP (p < 0.0001) and IM (p < 0.0001) were able to statistically discriminate the three regions. Effect size was higher for QP and IM than other assessments, indicating greater sensitivity to distinguish early degeneration of cartilage. When considering the mapping feature of the QP and IM techniques, it also revealed bilateral symmetry in a moderately similar distribution pattern between bilateral joints. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. New Archaeological Evidence for an Early Human Presence at Monte Verde, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Dillehay, Tom D.; Ocampo, Carlos; Saavedra, José; Sawakuchi, Andre Oliveira; Vega, Rodrigo M.; Pino, Mario; Collins, Michael B.; Scott Cummings, Linda; Arregui, Iván; Villagran, Ximena S.; Hartmann, Gelvam A.; Mella, Mauricio; González, Andrea; Dix, George

    2015-01-01

    Questions surrounding the chronology, place, and character of the initial human colonization of the Americas are a long-standing focus of debate. Interdisciplinary debate continues over the timing of entry, the rapidity and direction of dispersion, the variety of human responses to diverse habitats, the criteria for evaluating the validity of early sites, and the differences and similarities between colonization in North and South America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of these issues, archaeology still faces challenges in defining interdisciplinary research problems, assessing the reliability of the data, and applying new interpretative models. As the debates and challenges continue, new studies take place and previous research reexamined. Here we discuss recent exploratory excavation at and interdisciplinary data from the Monte Verde area in Chile to further our understanding of the first peopling of the Americas. New evidence of stone artifacts, faunal remains, and burned areas suggests discrete horizons of ephemeral human activity in a sandur plain setting radiocarbon and luminescence dated between at least ~18,500 and 14,500 cal BP. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including sedimentary proxies and artifact analysis, we present the probable anthropogenic origins and wider implications of this evidence. In a non-glacial cold climate environment of the south-central Andes, which is challenging for human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, these horizons provide insight into an earlier context of late Pleistocene human behavior in northern Patagonia. PMID:26580202

  8. Defining the Genomic Signature of Totipotency and Pluripotency during Early Human Development

    PubMed Central

    Galan, Amparo; Diaz-Gimeno, Patricia; Poo, Maria Eugenia; Valbuena, Diana; Sanchez, Eva; Ruiz, Veronica; Dopazo, Joaquin; Montaner, David; Conesa, Ana; Simon, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    The genetic mechanisms governing human pre-implantation embryo development and the in vitro counterparts, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), still remain incomplete. Previous global genome studies demonstrated that totipotent blastomeres from day-3 human embryos and pluripotent inner cell masses (ICMs) from blastocysts, display unique and differing transcriptomes. Nevertheless, comparative gene expression analysis has revealed that no significant differences exist between hESCs derived from blastomeres versus those obtained from ICMs, suggesting that pluripotent hESCs involve a new developmental progression. To understand early human stages evolution, we developed an undifferentiation network signature (UNS) and applied it to a differential gene expression profile between single blastomeres from day-3 embryos, ICMs and hESCs. This allowed us to establish a unique signature composed of highly interconnected genes characteristic of totipotency (61 genes), in vivo pluripotency (20 genes), and in vitro pluripotency (107 genes), and which are also proprietary according to functional analysis. This systems biology approach has led to an improved understanding of the molecular and signaling processes governing human pre-implantation embryo development, as well as enabling us to comprehend how hESCs might adapt to in vitro culture conditions. PMID:23614026

  9. New Archaeological Evidence for an Early Human Presence at Monte Verde, Chile.

    PubMed

    Dillehay, Tom D; Ocampo, Carlos; Saavedra, José; Sawakuchi, Andre Oliveira; Vega, Rodrigo M; Pino, Mario; Collins, Michael B; Scott Cummings, Linda; Arregui, Iván; Villagran, Ximena S; Hartmann, Gelvam A; Mella, Mauricio; González, Andrea; Dix, George

    2015-01-01

    Questions surrounding the chronology, place, and character of the initial human colonization of the Americas are a long-standing focus of debate. Interdisciplinary debate continues over the timing of entry, the rapidity and direction of dispersion, the variety of human responses to diverse habitats, the criteria for evaluating the validity of early sites, and the differences and similarities between colonization in North and South America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of these issues, archaeology still faces challenges in defining interdisciplinary research problems, assessing the reliability of the data, and applying new interpretative models. As the debates and challenges continue, new studies take place and previous research reexamined. Here we discuss recent exploratory excavation at and interdisciplinary data from the Monte Verde area in Chile to further our understanding of the first peopling of the Americas. New evidence of stone artifacts, faunal remains, and burned areas suggests discrete horizons of ephemeral human activity in a sandur plain setting radiocarbon and luminescence dated between at least ~18,500 and 14,500 cal BP. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including sedimentary proxies and artifact analysis, we present the probable anthropogenic origins and wider implications of this evidence. In a non-glacial cold climate environment of the south-central Andes, which is challenging for human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, these horizons provide insight into an earlier context of late Pleistocene human behavior in northern Patagonia.

  10. CSF Levels of Hypocretin-1 (Orexin-A) Peak during Early Infancy in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Aran, Adi; Shors, Irina; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel; Schimmel, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Study Objectives: Hypocretin (orexin) is a unique neuropeptide involved in the consolidation of wakefulness and sleep. Although hypocretin-1 levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are stable after infancy, how levels change in preterm and term human infants is unknown. Design, Patients, and Setting: Hypocretin-1 levels were measured in CSF samples, obtained from 284 preterm (25-37 gestational weeks) and full-term infants in the first 4 months of life and 35 older children (ages 0.5-13 years), in a tertiary hospital. Measurements and Results: Detailed clinical and laboratory data were collected for each of the 319 participants. Based on that data, 108 neurologically intact children were selected (95 infants [43 preterm and 52 term] and 13 older children). CSF hypocretin-1 was measured by direct radioimmunoassay. Hypocretin-1 levels at the first weeks of the 3rd embryonic trimester (gestational age [GA] 28-34 weeks) were 314 ± 65 pg/mL (n = 17). The levels linearly increased during the third trimester and early infancy (r = 0.6), peaking in infants of 2-4 months ages (476 ± 72 pg/mL; n = 16) and decreasing thereafter; hypocretin levels in 2- to 4-month-old infants were significantly higher than those in children 0.5-13 years old (353 ± 78 pg/mL, n = 13; P = 0.0001). Conclusions: The present findings indicate that in human infants, CSF hypocretin-1 increases during the third embryonic trimester and is highest at 4 months of life. Thereafter, and consistent with previously published results, hypocretin levels are lower and stable until the geriatric age. This pattern may reflect the role of hypocretin in the dramatic process of sleep and wakefulness consolidation that occurs during early infancy. Citation: Aran A; Shors I; Lin L; Mignot E; Schimmel MS. CSF levels of hypocretin-1 (orexin-A) peak during early infancy in humans. SLEEP 2012;35(2):187-191. PMID:22294808

  11. Plant foods and the dietary ecology of Neanderthals and early modern humans.

    PubMed

    Henry, Amanda G; Brooks, Alison S; Piperno, Dolores R

    2014-04-01

    One of the most important challenges in anthropology is understanding the disappearance of Neanderthals. Previous research suggests that Neanderthals had a narrower diet than early modern humans, in part because they lacked various social and technological advances that lead to greater dietary variety, such as a sexual division of labor and the use of complex projectile weapons. The wider diet of early modern humans would have provided more calories and nutrients, increasing fertility, decreasing mortality and supporting large population sizes, allowing them to out-compete Neanderthals. However, this model for Neanderthal dietary behavior is based on analysis of animal remains, stable isotopes, and other methods that provide evidence only of animal food in the diet. This model does not take into account the potential role of plant food. Here we present results from the first broad comparison of plant foods in the diets of Neanderthals and early modern humans from several populations in Europe, the Near East, and Africa. Our data comes from the analysis of plant microremains (starch grains and phytoliths) in dental calculus and on stone tools. Our results suggest that both species consumed a similarly wide array of plant foods, including foods that are often considered low-ranked, like underground storage organs and grass seeds. Plants were consumed across the entire range of individuals and sites we examined, and none of the expected predictors of variation (species, geographic region, or associated stone tool technology) had a strong influence on the number of plant species consumed. Our data suggest that Neanderthal dietary ecology was more complex than previously thought. This implies that the relationship between Neanderthal technology, social behavior, and food acquisition strategies must be better explored.

  12. Gene expression analyses of the spatio-temporal relationships of human medulloblastoma subgroups during early human neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Cornelia M; Hawes, Susan M; Kees, Ursula R; Gottardo, Nicholas G; Dallas, Peter B

    2014-01-01

    Medulloblastoma is the most common form of malignant paediatric brain tumour and is the leading cause of childhood cancer related mortality. The four molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma that have been identified - WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4 - have molecular and topographical characteristics suggestive of different cells of origin. Definitive identification of the cell(s) of origin of the medulloblastoma subgroups, particularly the poorer prognosis Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma, is critical to understand the pathogenesis of the disease, and ultimately for the development of more effective treatment options. To address this issue, the gene expression profiles of normal human neural tissues and cell types representing a broad neuro-developmental continuum, were compared to those of two independent cohorts of primary human medulloblastoma specimens. Clustering, co-expression network, and gene expression analyses revealed that WNT and SHH medulloblastoma may be derived from distinct neural stem cell populations during early embryonic development, while the transcriptional profiles of Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma resemble cerebellar granule neuron precursors at weeks 10-15 and 20-30 of embryogenesis, respectively. Our data indicate that Group 3 medulloblastoma may arise through abnormal neuronal differentiation, whereas deregulation of synaptic pruning-associated apoptosis may be driving Group 4 tumorigenesis. Overall, these data provide significant new insight into the spatio-temporal relationships and molecular pathogenesis of the human medulloblastoma subgroups, and provide an important framework for the development of more refined model systems, and ultimately improved therapeutic strategies.

  13. Gene Expression Analyses of the Spatio-Temporal Relationships of Human Medulloblastoma Subgroups during Early Human Neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, Cornelia M.; Hawes, Susan M.; Kees, Ursula R.; Gottardo, Nicholas G.; Dallas, Peter B.

    2014-01-01

    Medulloblastoma is the most common form of malignant paediatric brain tumour and is the leading cause of childhood cancer related mortality. The four molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma that have been identified – WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4 - have molecular and topographical characteristics suggestive of different cells of origin. Definitive identification of the cell(s) of origin of the medulloblastoma subgroups, particularly the poorer prognosis Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma, is critical to understand the pathogenesis of the disease, and ultimately for the development of more effective treatment options. To address this issue, the gene expression profiles of normal human neural tissues and cell types representing a broad neuro-developmental continuum, were compared to those of two independent cohorts of primary human medulloblastoma specimens. Clustering, co-expression network, and gene expression analyses revealed that WNT and SHH medulloblastoma may be derived from distinct neural stem cell populations during early embryonic development, while the transcriptional profiles of Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma resemble cerebellar granule neuron precursors at weeks 10–15 and 20–30 of embryogenesis, respectively. Our data indicate that Group 3 medulloblastoma may arise through abnormal neuronal differentiation, whereas deregulation of synaptic pruning-associated apoptosis may be driving Group 4 tumorigenesis. Overall, these data provide significant new insight into the spatio-temporal relationships and molecular pathogenesis of the human medulloblastoma subgroups, and provide an important framework for the development of more refined model systems, and ultimately improved therapeutic strategies. PMID:25412507

  14. Early influence of auditory stimuli on upper-limb movements in young human infants: an overview.

    PubMed

    Ferronato, Priscilla A M; Domellöf, Erik; Rönnqvist, Louise

    2014-01-01

    Given that the auditory system is rather well developed at the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, it is likely that couplings between acoustics and motor activity can be integrated as early as at the beginning of postnatal life. The aim of the present mini-review was to summarize and discuss studies on early auditory-motor integration, focusing particularly on upper-limb movements (one of the most crucial means to interact with the environment) in association with auditory stimuli, to develop further understanding of their significance with regard to early infant development. Many studies have investigated the relationship between various infant behaviors (e.g., sucking, visual fixation, head turning) and auditory stimuli, and established that human infants can be observed displaying couplings between action and environmental sensory stimulation already from just after birth, clearly indicating a propensity for intentional behavior. Surprisingly few studies, however, have investigated the associations between upper-limb movements and different auditory stimuli in newborns and young infants, infants born at risk for developmental disorders/delays in particular. Findings from studies of early auditory-motor interaction support that the developing integration of sensory and motor systems is a fundamental part of the process guiding the development of goal-directed action in infancy, of great importance for continued motor, perceptual, and cognitive development. At-risk infants (e.g., those born preterm) may display increasing central auditory processing disorders, negatively affecting early sensory-motor integration, and resulting in long-term consequences on gesturing, language development, and social communication. Consequently, there is a need for more studies on such implications.

  15. Early developmental exposures shape trade-offs between acquired and innate immunity in humans

    PubMed Central

    Georgiev, Alexander V.; Kuzawa, Christopher W.; McDade, Thomas W.

    2016-01-01

    Background and objectives Life history theory predicts resource allocation trade-offs between competing functions and processes. We test the hypothesis that relative investment towards innate versus acquired immunity in humans is subject to such trade-offs and that three types of early developmental exposures are particularly salient in shaping adult immunophenotype: (i) pathogen exposure, (ii) nutritional resources; and (iii) extrinsic mortality cues. Methodology We quantified one aspect each of innate and acquired immune function, via C-reactive protein and Epstein–Barr virus antibodies, respectively, in a sample of 1248 men and women from the Philippines (ca. 21.5 years old). Early developmental exposures were assessed via long-term data collected prospectively since participants’ birth (1983–4). We calculated a standardized ratio to assess relative bias towards acquired versus innate immune function and examined its relationship to a suite of predictors via multiple regression. Results In partial support of our predictions, some of the measures of higher pathogen exposure, greater availability of nutritional resources, and lower extrinsic mortality cues in early life were associated with a bias toward acquired immunity in both men and women. The immune profile of women, in particular, appeared to be more sensitive to early life pathogen exposures than those of men. Finally, contrary to prediction, women exhibited a greater relative investment toward innate, not acquired, immunity. Conclusions and implications Early environments can exert considerable influence on the development of immunity. They affect trade-offs between innate and acquired immunity, which show adaptive plasticity and may differ in their influence in men and women. PMID:27530543

  16. Mitochondria, the Cell Cycle, and the Origin of Sex via a Syncytial Eukaryote Common Ancestor.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sriram G; Martin, William F

    2016-07-02

    Theories for the origin of sex traditionally start with an asexual mitosing cell and add recombination, thereby deriving meiosis from mitosis. Though sex was clearly present in the eukaryote common ancestor, the order of events linking the origin of sex and the origin of mitosis is unknown. Here, we present an evolutionary inference for the origin of sex starting with a bacterial ancestor of mitochondria in the cytosol of its archaeal host. We posit that symbiotic association led to the origin of mitochondria and gene transfer to host's genome, generating a nucleus and a dedicated translational compartment, the eukaryotic cytosol, in which-by virtue of mitochondria-metabolic energy was not limiting. Spontaneous protein aggregation (monomer polymerization) and Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP)-dependent macromolecular movement in the cytosol thereby became selectable, giving rise to continuous microtubule-dependent chromosome separation (reduction division). We propose that eukaryotic chromosome division arose in a filamentous, syncytial, multinucleated ancestor, in which nuclei with insufficient chromosome numbers could complement each other through mRNA in the cytosol and generate new chromosome combinations through karyogamy. A syncytial (or coenocytic, a synonym) eukaryote ancestor, or Coeca, would account for the observation that the process of eukaryotic chromosome separation is more conserved than the process of eukaryotic cell division. The first progeny of such a syncytial ancestor were likely equivalent to meiospores, released into the environment by the host's vesicle secretion machinery. The natural ability of archaea (the host) to fuse and recombine brought forth reciprocal recombination among fusing (syngamy and karyogamy) progeny-sex-in an ancestrally meiotic cell cycle, from which the simpler haploid and diploid mitotic cell cycles arose. The origin of eukaryotes was the origin of vertical lineage inheritance, and sex was required to keep vertically

  17. Preference for language in early infancy: the human language bias is not speech specific.

    PubMed

    Krentz, Ursula C; Corina, David P

    2008-01-01

    Fundamental to infants' acquisition of their native language is an inherent interest in the language spoken around them over non-linguistic environmental sounds. The following studies explored whether the bias for linguistic signals in hearing infants is specific to speech, or reflects a general bias for all human language, spoken and signed. Results indicate that 6-month-old infants prefer an unfamiliar, visual-gestural language (American Sign Language) over non-linguistic pantomime, but 10-month-olds do not. These data provide evidence against a speech-specific bias in early infancy and provide insights into those properties of human languages that may underlie this language-general attentional bias.

  18. Early human use of anadromous salmon in North America at 11,500 y ago

    PubMed Central

    Halffman, Carrin M.; Potter, Ben A.; McKinney, Holly J.; Finney, Bruce P.; Rodrigues, Antonia T.; Yang, Dongya Y.; Kemp, Brian M.

    2015-01-01

    Salmon represented a critical resource for prehistoric foragers along the North Pacific Rim, and continue to be economically and culturally important; however, the origins of salmon exploitation remain unresolved. Here we report 11,500-y-old salmon associated with a cooking hearth and human burials from the Upward Sun River Site, near the modern extreme edge of salmon habitat in central Alaska. This represents the earliest known human use of salmon in North America. Ancient DNA analyses establish the species as Oncorhynchus keta (chum salmon), and stable isotope analyses indicate anadromy, suggesting that salmon runs were established by at least the terminal Pleistocene. The early use of this resource has important implications for Paleoindian land use, economy, and expansions into northwest North America. PMID:26392548

  19. Early human use of anadromous salmon in North America at 11,500 y ago.

    PubMed

    Halffman, Carrin M; Potter, Ben A; McKinney, Holly J; Finney, Bruce P; Rodrigues, Antonia T; Yang, Dongya Y; Kemp, Brian M

    2015-10-06

    Salmon represented a critical resource for prehistoric foragers along the North Pacific Rim, and continue to be economically and culturally important; however, the origins of salmon exploitation remain unresolved. Here we report 11,500-y-old salmon associated with a cooking hearth and human burials from the Upward Sun River Site, near the modern extreme edge of salmon habitat in central Alaska. This represents the earliest known human use of salmon in North America. Ancient DNA analyses establish the species as Oncorhynchus keta (chum salmon), and stable isotope analyses indicate anadromy, suggesting that salmon runs were established by at least the terminal Pleistocene. The early use of this resource has important implications for Paleoindian land use, economy, and expansions into northwest North America.

  20. Auditory-driven phase reset in visual cortex: Human electrocorticography reveals mechanisms of early multisensory integration

    PubMed Central

    Mercier, Manuel R.; Foxe, John J.; Fiebelkorn, Ian C.; Butler, John S.; Schwartz, Theodore H.; Molholm, Sophie

    2013-01-01

    Findings in animal models demonstrate that activity within hierarchically early sensory cortical regions can be modulated by cross-sensory inputs through resetting of the phase of ongoing intrinsic neural oscillations. Here, subdural recordings evaluated whether phase resetting by auditory inputs would impact multisensory integration processes in human visual cortex. Results clearly showed auditory-driven phase reset in visual cortices and, in some cases, frank auditory event-related potentials (ERP) were also observed over these regions. Further, when audiovisual bisensory stimuli were presented, this led to robust multisensory integration effects which were observed in both the ERP and in measures of phase concentration. These results extend findings from animal models to human visual cortices, and highlight the impact of cross-sensory phase resetting by a non-primary stimulus on multisensory integration in ostensibly unisensory cortices. PMID:23624493

  1. Radiocarbon dating of interstratified Neanderthal and early modern human occupations at the Chatelperronian type-site.

    PubMed

    Gravina, Brad; Mellars, Paul; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk

    2005-11-03

    The question of the coexistence and potential interaction between the last Neanderthal and the earliest intrusive populations of anatomically modern humans in Europe has recently emerged as a topic of lively debate in the archaeological and anthropological literature. Here we report the results of radiocarbon accelerator dating for what has been reported as an interstratified sequence of late Neanderthal and early anatomically modern occupations at the French type-site of the Chatelperronian, the Grotte des Fées de Châtelperron, in east-central France. The radiocarbon measurements seem to provide the earliest secure dates for the presence of Aurignacian technology--and from this, we infer the presence of anatomically modern human populations--in France.

  2. Human radiation studies: Remembering the early years. Oral history of Julie Langham Grilly, February 3, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    1995-09-01

    Julie Langham Grilly was interviewed by representatives of the US DOE Office of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE) being the widow of Dr. Wright Langham, an investigator of principal interest of the committee. Her extensive experience with research at LANL was also of interest to the committee. Following a brief biographical sketch, Ms. Grilly relates her early postwar experience and her knowledge of Wright Langham`s involvement in animal research at Los Alamos, radiolanthanum tests on monkeys, Eniwetok tissue examinations, research on tritium uptake in humans, plutonium injections, tritium injections, EDTA, and etc. In addition to illuminating her former husband as a researcher and as an individual, she also relates her remembrances of Louis Hempelman, Enrico Fermi, Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, and many others.

  3. How We Got Here: Evolutionary Changes in Skull Shape in Humans & Their Ancestors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2012-01-01

    This activity uses inquiry to investigate how large changes in shape can evolve from small changes in the timing of development. Students measure skull shape in fetal, infant, juvenile, and adult chimpanzees and compare them to adult skulls of "Homo sapiens," "Homo erectus," and "Australopithecus afarensis." They conclude by re-interpreting their…

  4. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution.

  5. Abnormalities in Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Early Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xue; Foryt, Paul; Ochs, Renee; Chung, Jae-Hoon; Wu, Ying; Parrish, Todd

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Limited information is available concerning changes that occur in the brain early in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This investigation evaluated resting-state functional connectivity, which is based on correlations of spontaneous blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) oscillations between brain regions, in 15 subjects within the first year of HIV infection and in 15 age-matched controls. Resting-state fMRI data for each session were concatenated in time across subjects to create a single 4D dataset and decomposed into 36 independent component analysis (ICA) using Multivariate Exploratory Linear Optimized Decomposition into Independent Components. ICA components were back-reconstructed for each subject's 4D data to estimate subject-specific spatial maps using the dual-regression technique. Comparison of spatial maps between HIV and controls revealed significant differences in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) network. Reduced coactivation in left inferior parietal cortex within the LOC network was identified in the HIV subjects. Connectivity strength within this region correlated with performance on tasks involving visual-motor coordination (Grooved Pegboard and Rey Figure Copy) in the HIV group. The findings indicate prominent changes in resting-state functional connectivity of visual networks early in HIV infection. This network may sustain injury in association with the intense viremia and brain viral invasion before immune defenses can contain viral replication. Resting-state functional connectivity may have utility as a noninvasive neuroimaging biomarker for central nervous system impairment in early HIV infection. PMID:22433049

  6. Neural Correlates of Natural Human Echolocation in Early and Late Blind Echolocation Experts

    PubMed Central

    Thaler, Lore; Arnott, Stephen R.; Goodale, Melvyn A.

    2011-01-01

    Background A small number of blind people are adept at echolocating silent objects simply by producing mouth clicks and listening to the returning echoes. Yet the neural architecture underlying this type of aid-free human echolocation has not been investigated. To tackle this question, we recruited echolocation experts, one early- and one late-blind, and measured functional brain activity in each of them while they listened to their own echolocation sounds. Results When we compared brain activity for sounds that contained both clicks and the returning echoes with brain activity for control sounds that did not contain the echoes, but were otherwise acoustically matched, we found activity in calcarine cortex in both individuals. Importantly, for the same comparison, we did not observe a difference in activity in auditory cortex. In the early-blind, but not the late-blind participant, we also found that the calcarine activity was greater for echoes reflected from surfaces located in contralateral space. Finally, in both individuals, we found activation in middle temporal and nearby cortical regions when they listened to echoes reflected from moving targets. Conclusions These findings suggest that processing of click-echoes recruits brain regions typically devoted to vision rather than audition in both early and late blind echolocation experts. PMID:21633496

  7. Changes in Laminin Expression Pattern during Early Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Pook, Martin; Teino, Indrek; Kallas, Ade; Maimets, Toivo; Ingerpuu, Sulev; Jaks, Viljar

    2015-01-01

    Laminin isoforms laminin-511 and -521 are expressed by human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and can be used as a growth matrix to culture these cells under pluripotent conditions. However, the expression of these laminins during the induction of hESC differentiation has not been studied in detail. Furthermore, the data regarding the expression pattern of laminin chains in differentiating hESC is scarce. In the current study we aimed to fill this gap and investigated the potential changes in laminin expression during early hESC differentiation induced by retinoic acid (RA). We found that laminin-511 but not -521 accumulates in the committed cells during early steps of hESC differentiation. We also performed a comprehensive analysis of the laminin chain repertoire and found that pluripotent hESC express a more diverse range of laminin chains than shown previously. In particular, we provide the evidence that in addition to α1, α5, β1, β2 and γ1 chains, hESC express α2, α3, β3, γ2 and γ3 chain proteins and mRNA. Additionally, we found that a variant of laminin α3 chain-145 kDa-accumulated in RA-treated hESC showing that these cells produce prevalently specifically modified version of α3 chain in early phase of differentiation.

  8. Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria induce a common early response in human monocytes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background We infected freshly isolated human peripheral monocytes with live bacteria of three clinically important gram-positive bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Listeria monocytogenes and studied the ensuing early transcriptional response using expression microarrays. Thus the observed response was unbiased by signals originating from other helper and effector cells of the host and was not limited to induction by solitary bacterial constituents. Results Activation of monocytes was demonstrated by the upregulation of chemokine rather than interleukin genes except for the prominent expression of interleukin 23, marking it as the early lead cytokine. This activation was accompanied by cytoskeleton rearrangement signals and a general anti-oxidative stress and anti-apoptotic reaction. Remarkably, the expression profiles also provide evidence that monocytes participate in the regulation of angiogenesis and endothelial function in response to these pathogens. Conclusion Regardless of the invasion properties and survival mechanisms of the pathogens used, we found that the early response comprised of a consistent and common response. The common response was hallmarked by the upregulation of interleukin 23, a rather unexpected finding regarding Listeria infection, as this cytokine has been linked primarily to the control of extracellular bacterial dissemination. PMID:21044323

  9. Measurement of hepatic insulin sensitivity early after the bypass of the proximal small bowel in humans

    PubMed Central

    Herring, R.; Vusirikala, A.; Shojaee‐Moradi, F.; Jackson, N. C.; Chandaria, S.; Jackson, S. N.; Goldstone, A. P.; Hakim, N.; Patel, A. G.; Umpleby, A. M.; Le Roux, C. W.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Objective Unlike gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy procedures, intestinal bypass procedures, Roux‐en‐Y gastric bypass in particular, lead to rapid improvements in glycaemia early after surgery. The bypass of the proximal small bowel may have weight loss and even caloric restriction‐independent glucose‐lowering properties on hepatic insulin sensitivity. In this first human mechanistic study, we examined this hypothesis by investigating the early effects of the duodeno‐jejunal bypass liner (DJBL; GI Dynamics, USA) on the hepatic insulin sensitivity by using the gold standard euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp methodology. Method Seven patients with obesity underwent measurement of hepatic insulin sensitivity at baseline, 1 week after a low‐calorie liquid diet and after a further 1 week following insertion of the DJBL whilst on the same diet. Results Duodeno‐jejunal bypass liner did not improve the insulin sensitivity of hepatic glucose production beyond the improvements achieved with caloric restriction. Conclusions Caloric restriction may be the predominant driver of early increases in hepatic insulin sensitivity after the endoscopic bypass of the proximal small bowel. The same mechanism may be at play after Roux‐en‐Y gastric bypass and explain, at least in part, the rapid improvements in glycaemia.

  10. Early Human Activity (pre-332 BC) in Alexandria, Egypt: New findings in Eastern Harbor Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, J.; Landau, E. A.

    2005-12-01

    Historians have long postulated that a settlement called Rhakotis was present on Egypt's Mediterranean coast in the area subsequently occupied by the city of Alexandria. To date, however, the precise position of that site has not been located in the immediate area of the city founded by Alexander the Great. Also undefined are the earliest phases of occupation that pre-date Alexandria on Pharos Island and in the harbour area. A geoarchaeological project emphasizing sediment cores in Alexandria's Eastern Harbour now provides evidence of human occupation adjacent to these settings prior to establishment of Greece's great port in 332 BC. A radiocarbon-dated stratigraphic unit, defined as Middle Sand (III) and older than the 4th century BC, includes locally produced ceramics, along with rock fragments of non-local origin, and increased content of sand-sized heavy mineral and organic matter. Together, these date at least to Egypt's Late Dynastic Period (712-332 BC). Moreover, the geographic positions of core sites containing these markers indicate that early habitation occurred both at Pharos Island and on the mainland where the future Alexandria would be built. New findings in cores recovered in this marine environment are adding to knowledge of both natural processes and effects of human activity in early Alexandria.

  11. Unpredicted ovulations and conceptions during early pregnancy: an explanatory mechanism of human superfetation.

    PubMed

    Tarín, Juan J; García-Pérez, Miguel A; Hermenegildo, Carlos; Cano, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    In this bioessay, a literature review on human superfetation was performed in order to find epidemiological variables associated with this phenomenon. Thereafter, an explanatory mechanism of superfetation compatible with the endocrinological, histological and physiological changes undergone by women during early pregnancy is proposed. Superfetation can be defined as the ovulation, fertilisation and implantation of a second or additional embryo(s) during pregnancy. The literature review evidences a small discordance in gestational age between dizygotic twins in humans (range: 2-4 weeks; mean ± s.e.m.: 3.3 ± 0.3 weeks). This difference is compatible with a luteal out-of-phase (LOOP; i.e. atypical increase in E2 levels in the mid-luteal phase)-like event occurring between 1 and 3 weeks after the ovulation that allowed the first pregnancy to take place. The LOOP-like event may allow passive sperm transport from the vaginal fornix to the Fallopian tube ipsilateral to the ovulatory ovary and trigger a LH peak and ovulation. Furthermore, during very early pregnancy, the decidual reaction is not yet completed and at least one proximal Fallopian ostium may be opened, allowing the passage of the spermatozoa ascending to the fertilisation site and the extra embryo(s) descending to the implantation site(s).

  12. Early embryonic failure: Expression and imprinted status of candidate genes on human chromosome 21

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, L.S.; Bennett, P.R.; Moore, G.E.

    1994-09-01

    Two cases of maternal uniparental (hetero)disomy for human chromosome 21 (mUPD21) have been identified in a systematic search for UPD in 23 cases of early embryonic failure (EEF). Bi-parental origin of the other chromosome pairs was confirmed using specific VNTR probes or dinucleotide repeat analysis. Both maternally and paternally derived isochromosomes 21q have previously been identified in two individuals with normal phenotypes. Full UPD21 has a different mechanism of origin than uniparental isochromosome 21q and its effect on imprinted genes and phenotypic outcome will therefore not necessarily be the same. EEF associated with mUPD21 suggests that developmentally important genes on HSA 21 may be imprinted such that they are only expressed from either the maternally or paternally derived alleles. We have searched for monoallelic expression of candidate genes on HSA 21 in human pregnancy (CBS, IFNAR, COL6A1) using intragenic DNA polymorphisms. These genes were chosen either because their murine homologues lie in imprinted regions or because they are potentially important in embryogenesis. Once imprinted candidate genes have been identified, their methylation status and expression in normal, early embryonic failure and uniparental disomy 21 pregnancies will be studied. At the same time, a larger number of cases of EEF are being examined to further investigate the incidence of UPD21 in this group.

  13. Desert speleothems reveal climatic window for African exodus of early modern humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaks, Anton; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Ayalon, Avner; Matthews, Alan; Halicz, Ludwik; Frumkin, Amos

    2007-09-01

    One of the first movements of early modern humans out of Africa occurred 130-100 thousand years ago (ka), when they migrated northward to the Levant region. The climatic conditions that accompanied this migration are still under debate. Using high-precision multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) U-Th methods, we dated carbonate cave deposits (speleothems) from the central and southern Negev Desert of Israel, located at the northeastern margin of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. Speleothems grow only when rainwater enters the unsaturated zone, and this study reveals that a major cluster of wet episodes (the last recorded in the area) occurred between 140 and 110 ka. This episodic wet period coincided with increased monsoonal precipitation in the southern parts of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. The disappearance at this time of the desert barrier between central Africa and the Levant, and particularly in the Sinai-Negev land bridge between Africa and Asia, would have created a climatic “window” for early modern human dispersion to the Levant.

  14. Human Macrophage Response to L. (Viannia) panamensis: Microarray Evidence for an Early Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Rojas, Ricardo; Ettinger, Nicholas A.; Tikhonova, Irina; Alexander, Neal D.; Valderrama, Liliana; Hager, Janet; Wilson, Mary E.; Lin, Aiping; Zhao, Hongyu; Saravia, Nancy G.; McMahon-Pratt, Diane

    2012-01-01

    Background Previous findings indicate that susceptibility to Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis infection of monocyte-derived macrophages from patients and asymptomatically infected individuals were associated with the adaptive immune response and clinical outcome. Methodology/Principal Findings To understand the basis for this difference we examined differential gene expression of human monocyte-derived macrophages following exposure to L. (V.) panamensis. Gene activation profiles were determined using macrophages from healthy volunteers cultured with or without stationary phase promastigotes of L. (V.) panamensis. Significant changes in expression (>1.5-fold change; p<0.05; up- or down-regulated) were identified at 0.5, 4 and 24 hours. mRNA abundance profiles varied over time, with the highest level of activation occurring at earlier time points (0.5 and 4 hrs). In contrast to observations for other Leishmania species, most significantly changed mRNAs were up- rather than down-regulated, especially at early time points. Up-regulated transcripts over the first 24 hours belonged to pathways involving eicosanoid metabolism, oxidative stress, activation of PKC through G protein coupled receptors, or mechanism of gene regulation by peroxisome proliferators via PPARα. Additionally, a marked activation of Toll-receptor mediated pathways was observed. Comparison with published microarray data from macrophages infected with L. (Leishmania) chagasi indicate differences in the regulation of genes involved in signaling, motility and the immune response. Conclusions Results show that the early (0.5 to 24 hours) human monocyte-derived macrophage response to L. (Viannia) panamensis is not quiescent, in contrast to published reports examining later response times (48–96 hours). Early macrophage responses are important for the developing cellular response at the site of infection. The kinetics and the mRNA abundance profiles induced by L. (Viannia) panamensis illustrate the

  15. Human Resources Center: An Innovation in Education; General Job Functions (Unofficial); General Plan for Curriculum Organization; Early Childhood Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pontiac City School District, MI.

    The Human Resources Center in Pontiac, Michigan is an educational institution designed to help develop talents and human potential from early childhood through adulthood. The Center offers a new approach to the problems of urban communities through comprehensive planning; education is made to serve a broader role than it has in the past.…

  16. The (Bio)Politicization of Neuroscience in Australian Early Years Policies: Fostering Brain-Resources "as" Human Capital

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millei, Zsuzsa; Joronen, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    At the present, human capital theory (HCT) and neuroscience reasoning are dominant frameworks in early childhood education and care (ECEC) worldwide. Popular since the 1960s, HCT has provided an economic understanding of human beings and offered strategies to manage the population with the promise of bringing improvements to nations. Neuroscience…

  17. A More-than-Social Movement: The Post-Human Condition of Quality in the Early Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arndt, Sonja; Tesar, Marek

    2016-01-01

    This article explores quality in early childhood education by de-elevating the importance of the human subject and experience, and heightening instead a focus on and tensions with the post-human. The argument traces the intricate web of "qualities" woven throughout entanglements of subjects, objects and things that constitute what is…

  18. The Early Development of Human Mirror Mechanisms: Evidence from Electromyographic Recordings at 3 and 6 Months

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turati, Chiara; Natale, Elena; Bolognini, Nadia; Senna, Irene; Picozzi, Marta; Longhi, Elena; Cassia, Viola Macchi

    2013-01-01

    In primates and adult humans direct understanding of others' action is provided by mirror mechanisms matching action observation and action execution (e.g. Casile, Caggiano & Ferrari, 2011). Despite the growing body of evidence detailing the existence of these mechanisms in the adult human brain, their origins and early development are…

  19. Variations of X Chromosome Inactivation Occur in Early Passages of Female Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Dvash, Tamar; Lavon, Neta; Fan, Guoping

    2010-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a dosage compensation mechanism essential for embryonic development and cell physiology. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) derived from inner cell mass (ICM) of blastocyst stage embryos have been used as a model system to understand XCI initiation and maintenance. Previous studies of undifferentiated female hESCs at intermediate passages have shown three possible states of XCI; 1) cells in a pre-XCI state, 2) cells that already exhibit XCI, or 3) cells that never undergo XCI even upon differentiation. In this study, XCI status was assayed in ten female hESC lines between passage 5 and 15 to determine whether XCI variations occur in early passages of hESCs. Our results show that three different states of XCI already exist in the early passages of hESC. In addition, we observe one cell line with skewed XCI and preferential expression of X-linked genes from the paternal allele, while another cell line exhibits random XCI. Skewed XCI in undifferentiated hESCs may be due to clonal selection in culture instead of non-random XCI in ICM cells. We also found that XIST promoter methylation is correlated with silencing of XIST transcripts in early passages of hESCs, even in the pre-XCI state. In conclusion, XCI variations already take place in early passages of hESCs, which may be a consequence of in vitro culture selection during the derivation process. Nevertheless, we cannot rule out the possibility that XCI variations in hESCs may reflect heterogeneous XCI states in ICM cells that stochastically give rise to hESCs. PMID:20593031

  20. Early afterdepolarizations promote transmural reentry in ischemic human ventricles with reduced repolarization reserve

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Sara; Mincholé, Ana; Zacur, Ernesto; Quinn, T. Alexander; Taggart, Peter; Rodriguez, Blanca

    2016-01-01

    Aims Acute ischemia is a major cause of sudden arrhythmic death, further promoted by potassium current blockers. Macro-reentry around the ischemic region and early afterdepolarizations (EADs) caused by electrotonic current have been suggested as potential mechanisms in animal and isolated cell studies. However, ventricular and human-specific arrhythmia mechanisms and their modulation by repolarization reserve remain unclear. The goal of this paper is to unravel multiscale mechanisms underlying the modulation of arrhythmic risk by potassium current (IKr) block in human ventricles with acute regional ischemia. Methods and results A human ventricular biophysically-detailed model, with acute regional ischemia is constructed by integrating experimental knowledge on the electrophysiological ionic alterations caused by coronary occlusion. Arrhythmic risk is evaluated by determining the vulnerable window (VW) for reentry following ectopy at the ischemic border zone. Macro-reentry around the ischemic region is the main reentrant mechanism in the ischemic human ventricle with increased repolarization reserve due to the ATP-sensitive potassium current (IK(ATP)) activation. Prolongation of refractoriness by 4% caused by 30% IKr reduction counteracts the establishment of macro-reentry and reduces the VW for reentry (by 23.5%). However, a further decrease in repolarization reserve (50% IKr reduction) is less anti-arrhythmic despite further prolongation of refractoriness. This is due to the establishment of transmural reentry enabled by electrotonically-triggered EADs in the ischemic border zone. EADs are produced by L-type calcium current (ICaL) reactivation due to prolonged low amplitude electrotonic current injected during the repolarization phase. Conclusions Electrotonically-triggered EADs are identified as a potential mechanism facilitating intramural reentry in a regionally-ischemic human ventricles model with reduced repolarization reserve. PMID:26850675

  1. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium.

  2. Differentiation of early germ cells from human skin-derived stem cells without exogenous gene integration

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Wei; Ma, Hua-Gang; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Sun, Yuan-Chao; Sun, Li-Lan; Sun, Xiao-Feng; Li, Lan; Dyce, Paul; Li, Julang; Shi, Qing-Hua; Shen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Infertility has long been a difficult issue for many couples. The successful differentiation of germ cells and live progeny from pluripotent stem cells brings new hope to the couples suffering with infertility. Here we successfully isolated human fetus skin-derived stem cells (hfSDSCs) from fetus skin tissue and demonstrated that hfSDSCs can be differentiated into early human germ cell-like cells (hGCLCs). These cells express human germ cell markers DAZL and VASA. Moreover, these pluripotent stem cell-derived hGCLCs are free of exogenous gene integration. When hfSDSCs were differentiated in porcine follicle fluid (PFF) conditioned media, which has been shown to promote the differentiation of mouse and porcine SDSCs into oocyte-like cells (OLCs), we observed some vesicular structures formed from hfSDSCs. Moreover, when hfSDSCs were cultured with specific conditioned media, we observed punctate and elongated SCP3 staining foci, indicating the initiation of meiosis. Ploidy analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis indicated that a small percentage of putative 1N populations formed from hfSDSCs when compared with positive controls. In conclusion, our data here, for the first time, demonstrated that hfSDSCs possess the differentiation potential into germ lines, and they may differentiate both male and female hGCLCs in vitro under appropriate conditions. PMID:26347377

  3. Neural correlates of Early Stone Age toolmaking: technology, language and cognition in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich; Toth, Nicholas; Schick, Kathy; Chaminade, Thierry

    2008-06-12

    Archaeological and palaeontological evidence from the Early Stone Age (ESA) documents parallel trends of brain expansion and technological elaboration in human evolution over a period of more than 2Myr. However, the relationship between these defining trends remains controversial and poorly understood. Here, we present results from a positron emission tomography study of functional brain activation during experimental ESA (Oldowan and Acheulean) toolmaking by expert subjects. Together with a previous study of Oldowan toolmaking by novices, these results document increased demands for effective visuomotor coordination and hierarchical action organization in more advanced toolmaking. This includes an increased activation of ventral premotor and inferior parietal elements of the parietofrontal praxis circuits in both the hemispheres and of the right hemisphere homologue of Broca's area. The observed patterns of activation and of overlap with language circuits suggest that toolmaking and language share a basis in more general human capacities for complex, goal-directed action. The results are consistent with coevolutionary hypotheses linking the emergence of language, toolmaking, population-level functional lateralization and association cortex expansion in human evolution.

  4. Human swine influenza A [H1N1]: practical advice for clinicians early in the pandemic.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Dominic A

    2009-09-01

    The influenza pandemic the world was waiting for may have arrived, but the early indications are that the first wave of human swine influenza A [H1N1], also referred to as H1N1 Mexico 09 or "swine flu", is highly transmissible but of no greater virulence than seasonal influenza to date. The new swine flu H1N1 virus is a mixture of avian, porcine and human influenza RNA. With twenty thousand confirmed cases worldwide and 117 deaths within 7 weeks of the first acknowledgement of a possible pandemic by Mexican and WHO experts, the mortality rate is less than 0.1% and the majority of deaths centred upon the origin of the epidemic in Mexico [83%]. Swine flu is thus far a relatively mild illness seen predominantly in those who are healthy and under 25 years of age, perhaps reflecting protection from previous human influenza exposure in older people. As the virus spreads internationally, border protection issues have surfaced and public health initiatives are being progressively rolled out to minimise the transmission. Vaccines are being developed which will be trialled in the coming months with a likely availability by August 2009, in time for the northern hemisphere autumn and winter. Vigilance without alarm appears to be the recommendation so far.

  5. A human xenograft model for testing early events of epithelial neoplastic invasion

    PubMed Central

    McCANDLESS, JOHN R.; CRESS, ANNE E.; RABINOVITZ, ISAAC; PAYNE, CLAIRE M.; BOWDEN, G. TIM; KNOX, J. DAVID; NAGLE, RAY B.

    2017-01-01

    We report on a model of human prostate tumor cell invasion using the SCID (severe combined immunodeficient) mouse diaphragm. Tumor cells were injected into SCID mice intraperitoneally and the diaphragms harvested three to five weeks later. Electron microscopy showed tumor cell penetration of the mesothelial cell layer and adhesion to the underlying basement membrane on the inferior surface of the mouse diaphragm, where colonies developed. Immunohistochemistry showed invasion by tumor cells through the basement membrane into the muscle of the diaphragm, presence of human tumor cells among the muscle cells and the presence of selected proteins on the invasion front of the tumor cells. Digital image analysis enabled quantitative comparison of events in the metastatic cascade by variants of the tumor cell line and evaluation of the effectiveness of a putative tumor inhibitor. Results suggest that the SCID mouse diaphragm model is a convenient, effective, easily oriented and reproducible in vivo model of the early events associated with human prostate tumor cell invasion. PMID:21533373

  6. Early reversal cells in adult human bone remodeling: osteoblastic nature, catabolic functions and interactions with osteoclasts.

    PubMed

    Abdelgawad, Mohamed Essameldin; Delaisse, Jean-Marie; Hinge, Maja; Jensen, Pia Rosgaard; Alnaimi, Ragad Walid; Rolighed, Lars; Engelholm, Lars H; Marcussen, Niels; Andersen, Thomas Levin

    2016-06-01

    The mechanism coupling bone resorption and formation is a burning question that remains incompletely answered through the current investigations on osteoclasts and osteoblasts. An attractive hypothesis is that the reversal cells are likely mediators of this coupling. Their nature is a big matter of debate. The present study performed on human cancellous bone is the first one combining in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry to demonstrate their osteoblastic nature. It shows that the Runx2 and CD56 immunoreactive reversal cells appear to take up TRAcP released by neighboring osteoclasts. Earlier preclinical studies indicate that reversal cells degrade the organic matrix left behind by the osteoclasts and that this degradation is crucial for the initiation of the subsequent bone formation. To our knowledge, this study is the first addressing these catabolic activities in adult human bone through electron microscopy and analysis of molecular markers. Periosteoclastic reversal cells show direct contacts with the osteoclasts and with the demineralized resorption debris. These early reversal cells show (1) ¾-collagen fragments typically generated by extracellular collagenases of the MMP family, (2) MMP-13 (collagenase-3) and (3) the endocytic collagen receptor uPARAP/Endo180. The prevalence of these markers was lower in the later reversal cells, which are located near the osteoid surfaces and morphologically resemble mature bone-forming osteoblasts. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that reversal cells colonizing bone surfaces right after resorption are osteoblast-lineage cells, and extends to adult human bone remodeling their role in rendering eroded surfaces osteogenic.

  7. Brd4 Activates Early Viral Transcription upon Human Papillomavirus 18 Infection of Primary Keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    McKinney, Caleb C.; Kim, Min Jung; Chen, Dan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT  Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) replicate in the cutaneous and mucosal epithelia, and the infectious cycle is synchronous with the differentiation program of the host keratinocytes. The virus initially infects dividing cells in the lower layers of the epithelium, where it establishes a persistent infection. The viral genome is maintained as a low-copy-number, extrachromosomal element in these proliferating cells but switches to the late stage of the life cycle in differentiated cells. The cellular chromatin adaptor protein Brd4 is involved in several stages and processes of the viral life cycle. In concert with the viral transcriptional regulator E2, Brd4 can repress transcription from the early viral promoter. Brd4 and E2 form a complex with the viral genome that associates with host chromosomes to partition the viral genome in dividing cells; Brd4 also localizes to active sites of productive HPV DNA replication. However, because of the difficulties in producing HPV viral particles, the role of Brd4 in modulating viral transcription and replication at the initial stage of infection is unclear. In this study, we have used an HPV18 quasivirus-based genome delivery system to assess the role of Brd4 in the initial infectivity of primary human keratinocytes. We show that, upon infection of primary human keratinocytes with HPV18 quasivirus, Brd4 activates viral transcription and replication. Furthermore, this activation is independent of the functional interaction between Brd4 and the HPV18 E2 protein. PMID:27879331

  8. Early variability in the conceptualisation of "sustainable development and human factors".

    PubMed

    Thatcher, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    The sub-discipline of "sustainable development and human factors" is relatively new, first being used in 2006 with a Technical Committee of the IEA being established only in 2009 and a similar special interest group on "green ergonomics" at the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors being established in 2010. In general though, the definitions and practice of "sustainable development" is highly contentious and ambiguous across a range of disciplines. This paper examines the diversity of definitions and approaches to sustainable development and human factors in the early papers in this sub-discipline. An examination of 45 chapters and papers (from 2008 to 2011) reveals a surprising consistency in the definitions used for sustainable development but also a large proportion of the papers where no definitions are given at all. The majority of papers were, however, biased towards an economic capital and social capital emphasis, which is to be expected of work traditionally in the ergonomics paradigm. Further, most papers were theoretical in nature demonstrating a great opportunity for empirical work. The variability in definitions is discussed in relation to the future challenges facing the growth of this emergent sub-discipline and opportunities for further theoretical and empirical work.

  9. Dynamic expression of calretinin in embryonic and early fetal human cortex

    PubMed Central

    González-Gómez, Miriam; Meyer, Gundela

    2014-01-01

    Calretinin (CR) is one of the earliest neurochemical markers in human corticogenesis. In embryos from Carnegie stages (CS) 17 to 23, calbindin (CB) and CR stain opposite poles of the incipient cortex suggesting early regionalization: CB marks the neuroepithelium of the medial boundary of the cortex with the choroid plexus (cortical hem). By contrast, CR is confined to the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral and caudal ganglionic eminences at the pallial-subpallial boundary (PSB, or antihem), from where CR+/Tbr1- neurons migrate toward piriform cortex and amygdala as a component of the lateral cortical stream. At CS 19, columns of CR+ cells arise in the rostral cortex, and contribute at CS 20 to the “monolayer” of horizontal Tbr1+/CR+ and GAD+ cells in the preplate. At CS 21, the “pioneer cortical plate” appears as a radial aggregation of CR+/Tbr1+ neurons, which cover the entire future neocortex and extend the first corticofugal axons. CR expression in early human corticogenesis is thus not restricted to interneurons, but is also present in the first excitatory projection neurons of the cortex. At CS 21/22, the cortical plate is established following a lateral to medial gradient, when Tbr1+/CR- neurons settle within the pioneer cortical plate, and thus separate superficial and deep pioneer neurons. CR+ pioneer neurons disappear shortly after the formation of the cortical plate. Reelin+ Cajal-Retzius cells begin to express CR around CS21 (7/8 PCW). At CS 21–23, the CR+ SVZ at the PSB is the source of CR+ interneurons migrating into the cortical SVZ. In turn, CB+ interneurons migrate from the subpallium into the intermediate zone following the fibers of the internal capsule. Early CR+ and CB+ interneurons thus have different origins and migratory routes. CR+ cell populations in the embryonic telencephalon take part in a complex sequence of events not analyzed so far in other mammalian species, which may represent a distinctive trait of the initial

  10. Proactive Integration of Planetary Protection Needs Into Early Design Phases of Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Race, Margaret; Conley, Catharine

    yet been developed. Looking ahead, it is recognized that these planetary protection policies will apply to both governmental and non-governmental entities for the more than 100 countries that are signatories to the Outer SpaceTreaty. Fortunately, planetary protection controls for human missions are supportive of many other important mission needs, such as maximizing closed-loop and recycling capabilities to minimize mass required, minimizing exposure of humans to planetary materials for multiple health reasons, and minimizing contamination of planetary samples and environments during exploration and science activities. Currently, there is progress on a number of fronts in translating the basic COSPAR PP Principles and Implementation Guidelines into information that links with early engineering and process considerations. For example, an IAA Study Group on Planetary Protection and Human Missions is engaging robotic and human mission developers and scientists in exploring detailed technical, engineering and operational approaches by which planetary protection objectives can be accomplished for human missions in synergism with robotic exploration and in view of other constraints. This on-going study aims to highlight important information for the early stages of planning, and identify key research and technology development (R&TD) areas for further consideration and work. Such R&TD challenges provide opportunities for individuals, institutions and agencies of emerging countries to be involved in international exploration efforts. In January 2014, the study group presented an Interim Report to the IAA Heads of Agencies Summit in Washington DC. Subsequently, the group has continued to work on expanding the initial technical recommendations and findings, focusing especially on information useful to mission architects and designers as they integrate PP considerations in their varied plans-- scientific, commercial and otherwise. Already the findings and recommendations

  11. The Current State of Early Childhood Education Programs: How Early Childhood Center Directors Manage Their Human Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arend, Lauren E.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Research in the field of early childhood education (ECE) demonstrated the association between skilled directors and high quality programs. Still, most state licensing requirements do not delineate the requisite knowledge or experience necessary to be an effective director. Many ECE directors advance to their position directly from the…

  12. Woodworking activities by early humans: a plant residue analysis on Acheulian stone tools from Peninj (Tanzania).

    PubMed

    Dominguez- Rodrigo, M; Serrallonga, J; Juan-Tresserras, J; Alcala, L; Luque, L

    2001-04-01

    The emergence of the Acheulian stone tool industry, between 1.7 and 1.5 m.y.a., constitutes one of the earliest evidences of complex behavior in the process of human evolution. The major technological breakthrough with the Acheulian industry was the beginning of the manufacture of bifacially shaped heavy-duty tools. Handaxes made with a predetermined form and a high degree of symmetry are the main characteristic of the Acheulian tradition. The tools are shaped through a long knapping sequence with a remarkable increase in the technical skills of the makers, compared with the older Oldowan tradition, implying a high degree of planning and foresight. Until recently, the function of these early bifacial tools remained unknown. A large number of these artefacts were found at Peninj in Tanzania, and phytolith analyses on handaxes have yielded for the first time unambiguous evidence of their function as woodworking tools.

  13. The scent of disease: human body odor contains an early chemosensory cue of sickness.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Mats J; Lundström, Johan N; Kimball, Bruce A; Gordon, Amy R; Karshikoff, Bianka; Hosseini, Nishteman; Sorjonen, Kimmo; Olgart Höglund, Caroline; Solares, Carmen; Soop, Anne; Axelsson, John; Lekander, Mats

    2014-03-01

    Observational studies have suggested that with time, some diseases result in a characteristic odor emanating from different sources on the body of a sick individual. Evolutionarily, however, it would be more advantageous if the innate immune response were detectable by healthy individuals as a first line of defense against infection by various pathogens, to optimize avoidance of contagion. We activated the innate immune system in healthy individuals by injecting them with endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide). Within just a few hours, endotoxin-exposed individuals had a more aversive body odor relative to when they were exposed to a placebo. Moreover, this effect was statistically mediated by the individuals' level of immune activation. This chemosensory detection of the early innate immune response in humans represents the first experimental evidence that disease smells and supports the notion of a "behavioral immune response" that protects healthy individuals from sick ones by altering patterns of interpersonal contact.

  14. Isolated and bilateral simultaneous facial palsy disclosing early human immunodeficiency virus infection

    PubMed Central

    Sathirapanya, Pornchai

    2015-01-01

    Bilateral lower motor neuron type facial palsy is an unusual neurological disorder. There are few reports that associate it with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on initial presentation. A 51-year-old married woman, who was previously healthy and had no risk of HIV infection, presented solely with bilateral simultaneous facial palsy. A positive HIV serology test was confirmed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. Following a short course of oral prednisolone, the patient recovered completely from facial palsy in three months, even though an antiretroviral treatment was suspended. Exclusion of HIV infection in patients with bilateral facial palsy is essential for early diagnosis and management of HIV. PMID:26106247

  15. Human Extravillous Trophoblasts Penetrate Decidual Veins and Lymphatics before Remodeling Spiral Arteries during Early Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    He, Nannan; van Iperen, Liesbeth; de Jong, Danielle; Szuhai, Karoly; Helmerhorst, Frans M.; van der Westerlaken, Lucette A. J.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2017-01-01

    In humans, the defective invasion of the maternal endometrium by fetal extravillous trophoblasts (EVTs) can lead to insufficient perfusion of the placenta, resulting in pregnancy complications that can put both mother and baby at risk. To study the invasion of maternal endometrium between (W)5.5–12 weeks of gestation by EVTs, we combined fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry to determine the presence of (male) EVTs in the vasculature of the maternal decidua. We observed that interstitial mononuclear EVTs directly entered decidual veins and lymphatics from W5.5. This invasion of decidual veins and lymphatics occurred long before endovascular EVTs remodelled decidual spiral arteries. This unexpected early entrance of interstitial mononuclear EVTs in the maternal circulation does not seem to contribute to the materno-placental vascular connection directly, but rather to establish (and expand) the materno-fetal interface through an alternative vascular route. PMID:28081266

  16. Single-cell analysis delineates a trajectory toward the human early otic lineage

    PubMed Central

    Ealy, Megan; Ellwanger, Daniel C.; Kosaric, Nina; Stapper, Andres P.; Heller, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Efficient pluripotent stem cell guidance protocols for the production of human posterior cranial placodes such as the otic placode that gives rise to the inner ear do not exist. Here we use a systematic approach including defined monolayer culture, signaling modulation, and single-cell gene expression analysis to delineate a developmental trajectory for human otic lineage specification in vitro. We found that modulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and WNT signaling combined with FGF and retinoic acid treatments over the course of 18 days generates cell populations that develop chronological expression of marker genes of non-neural ectoderm, preplacodal ectoderm, and early otic lineage. Gene expression along this differentiation path is distinct from other lineages such as endoderm, mesendoderm, and neural ectoderm. Single-cell analysis exposed the heterogeneity of differentiating cells and allowed discrimination of non-neural ectoderm and otic lineage cells from off-target populations. Pseudotemporal ordering of human embryonic stem cell and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived single-cell gene expression profiles revealed an initially synchronous guidance toward non-neural ectoderm, followed by comparatively asynchronous occurrences of preplacodal and otic marker genes. Positive correlation of marker gene expression between both cell lines and resemblance to mouse embryonic day 10.5 otocyst cells implied reasonable robustness of the guidance protocol. Single-cell trajectory analysis further revealed that otic progenitor cell types are induced in monolayer cultures, but further development appears impeded, likely because of lack of a lineage-stabilizing microenvironment. Our results provide a framework for future exploration of stabilizing microenvironments for efficient differentiation of stem cell-generated human otic cell types. PMID:27402757

  17. Influence of growth and transcriptional factors, and signaling molecules on early human pituitary development.

    PubMed

    Bazina, Mirna; Vukojevic, Katarina; Roje, Damir; Saraga-Babic, Mirna

    2009-08-01

    Development and differentiation of the human pituitary gland was investigated in 6 human conceptuses 6-9 postovulatory weeks old, using immunohistochemical technique to investigate appearance of different developmental factors, and immunofluorescent double staining technique with Ki-67 to investigate proliferation. In the developing human pituitary gland, different developmental factors appeared in temporally and spatially restricted patterns, thus contributing to formation of different parts of the gland: adenohypophysis, neurohypophysis and associated mesenchyme. Some growth factors were not primarily involved in cell proliferation (TGF-ss, BMP-2/4 and GATA), but in differentiation of pituitary cells: TGF-ss, BMP-2/4 and GATA probably contributed to differentiation of cells in the mesenchyme at earlier stages, while their influence on differentiation of specific cell types in the adenohypophysis increased with development. At later developmental stages, those factors also influenced the differentiation of cells in the neurohypophysis. FGF-8 and FGF-10 probably participated both in the growth and differentiation of pituitary cells: while FGF-8 could act during early developmental stages, FGF-10 participated in the same processes at later stages of pituitary development. Expression of EGF and VEGF indicated their involvement in proliferation of initially differentiated pituitary cells, and in subsequent differentiation of some cell types in the adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis. In the mesenchyme, expression of VEGF might be related to formation of new blood vessels as well. Precise patterns of appearance of growth and transcription factors, and signaling molecules in developing human pituitary gland seem to be important for cell proliferation, differentiation, and normal morphogenesis of the gland.

  18. Malocclusion in Early Anatomically Modern Human: A Reflection on the Etiology of Modern Dental Misalignment

    PubMed Central

    Sarig, Rachel; Slon, Viviane; Abbas, Janan; May, Hila; Shpack, Nir; Vardimon, Alexander Dan; Hershkovitz, Israel

    2013-01-01

    Malocclusions are common in modern populations. Yet, as the study of occlusion requires an almost intact dentition in both the maxilla and mandible, searching for the ultimate cause of malocclusion is a challenge: relatively little ancient material is available for research on occlusal states. The Qafzeh 9 skull is unique, as its preserved dentition allowed us to investigate the presence and manifestations of malocclusion. The aim of this study was thus to examine the occlusal condition in the Qafzeh 9 specimen in light of modern knowledge regarding the etiology of malocclusion. We revealed a pathologic occlusion in the Qafzeh 9 skull that probably originated in the early developmental stage of the dentition, and was aggravated by forces applied by mastication. When arch continuity is interrupted due to misalignment of teeth as in this case, force transmission is not equal on both sides, causing intra-arch outcomes such as mesialization of the teeth, midline deviation, rotations and the aggravation of crowding. All are evident in the Qafzeh 9 skull: the midline deviates to the left; the incisors rotate mesio-buccally; the left segment is constricted; the left first molar is buccally positioned and the left premolars palatally tilted. The inter-arch evaluation revealed anterior cross bite with functional shift that might affect force transmission and bite force. In conclusion, the findings of the current study suggest that malocclusion of developmental origin was already present in early anatomically modern humans (AMH) (the present case being the oldest known case, dated to ca. 100,000 years); that there is no basis to the notion that early AMH had a better adjustment between teeth and jaw size; and that jaw-teeth size discrepancy could be found in prehistoric populations and is not a recent phenomenon. PMID:24278319

  19. Global Phosphoproteomic Mapping of Early Mitotic Exit in Human Cells Identifies Novel Substrate Dephosphorylation Motifs

    PubMed Central

    McCloy, Rachael A.; Parker, Benjamin L.; Rogers, Samuel; Chaudhuri, Rima; Gayevskiy, Velimir; Hoffman, Nolan J.; Ali, Naveid; Watkins, D. Neil; Daly, Roger J.; James, David E.; Lorca, Thierry; Castro, Anna; Burgess, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Entry into mitosis is driven by the coordinated phosphorylation of thousands of proteins. For the cell to complete mitosis and divide into two identical daughter cells it must regulate dephosphorylation of these proteins in a highly ordered, temporal manner. There is currently a lack of a complete understanding of the phosphorylation changes that occur during the initial stages of mitotic exit in human cells. Therefore, we performed a large unbiased, global analysis to map the very first dephosphorylation events that occur as cells exit mitosis. We identified and quantified the modification of >16,000 phosphosites on >3300 unique proteins during early mitotic exit, providing up to eightfold greater resolution than previous studies. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001559. Only a small fraction (∼10%) of phosphorylation sites were dephosphorylated during early mitotic exit and these occurred on proteins involved in critical early exit events, including organization of the mitotic spindle, the spindle assembly checkpoint, and reformation of the nuclear envelope. Surprisingly this enrichment was observed across all kinase consensus motifs, indicating that it is independent of the upstream phosphorylating kinase. Therefore, dephosphorylation of these sites is likely determined by the specificity of phosphatase/s rather than the activity of kinase/s. Dephosphorylation was significantly affected by the amino acids at and surrounding the phosphorylation site, with several unique evolutionarily conserved amino acids correlating strongly with phosphorylation status. These data provide a potential mechanism for the specificity of phosphatases, and how they co-ordinate the ordered events of mitotic exit. In summary, our results provide a global overview of the phosphorylation changes that occur during the very first stages of mitotic exit, providing novel mechanistic insight into how phosphatase/s specifically regulate this critical

  20. Global Phosphoproteomic Mapping of Early Mitotic Exit in Human Cells Identifies Novel Substrate Dephosphorylation Motifs.

    PubMed

    McCloy, Rachael A; Parker, Benjamin L; Rogers, Samuel; Chaudhuri, Rima; Gayevskiy, Velimir; Hoffman, Nolan J; Ali, Naveid; Watkins, D Neil; Daly, Roger J; James, David E; Lorca, Thierry; Castro, Anna; Burgess, Andrew

    2015-08-01

    Entry into mitosis is driven by the coordinated phosphorylation of thousands of proteins. For the cell to complete mitosis and divide into two identical daughter cells it must regulate dephosphorylation of these proteins in a highly ordered, temporal manner. There is currently a lack of a complete understanding of the phosphorylation changes that occur during the initial stages of mitotic exit in human cells. Therefore, we performed a large unbiased, global analysis to map the very first dephosphorylation events that occur as cells exit mitosis. We identified and quantified the modification of >16,000 phosphosites on >3300 unique proteins during early mitotic exit, providing up to eightfold greater resolution than previous studies. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001559. Only a small fraction (∼ 10%) of phosphorylation sites were dephosphorylated during early mitotic exit and these occurred on proteins involved in critical early exit events, including organization of the mitotic spindle, the spindle assembly checkpoint, and reformation of the nuclear envelope. Surprisingly this enrichment was observed across all kinase consensus motifs, indicating that it is independent of the upstream phosphorylating kinase. Therefore, dephosphorylation of these sites is likely determined by the specificity of phosphatase/s rather than the activity of kinase/s. Dephosphorylation was significantly affected by the amino acids at and surrounding the phosphorylation site, with several unique evolutionarily conserved amino acids correlating strongly with phosphorylation status. These data provide a potential mechanism for the specificity of phosphatases, and how they co-ordinate the ordered events of mitotic exit. In summary, our results provide a global overview of the phosphorylation changes that occur during the very first stages of mitotic exit, providing novel mechanistic insight into how phosphatase/s specifically regulate this critical

  1. Did Viruses Evolve As a Distinct Supergroup from Common Ancestors of Cells?

    PubMed Central

    Harish, Ajith; Abroi, Aare; Gough, Julian; Kurland, Charles

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of viruses according to marker gene phylogenies, as well as their relationships to the ancestors of host cells remains unclear. In a recent article Nasir and Caetano-Anollés reported that their genome-scale phylogenetic analyses based on genomic composition of protein structural-domains identify an ancient origin of the “viral supergroup” (Nasir et al. 2015. A phylogenomic data-driven exploration of viral origins and evolution. Sci Adv. 1(8):e1500527.). It suggests that viruses and host cells evolved independently from a universal common ancestor. Examination of their data and phylogenetic methods indicates that systematic errors likely affected the results. Reanalysis of the data with additional tests shows that small-genome attraction artifacts distort their phylogenomic analyses, particularly the location of the root of the phylogenetic tree of life that is central to their conclusions. These new results indicate that their suggestion of a distinct ancestry of the viral supergroup is not well supported by the evidence. PMID:27497315

  2. Evidence of duplicated Hox genes in the most recent common ancestor of extant scorpions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Santiago, Marc A; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Monod, Lionel; Wheeler, Ward C

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions (order Scorpiones) are unusual among arthropods, both for the extreme heteronomy of their bauplan and for the high gene family turnover exhibited in their genomes. These phenomena appear to be correlated, as two scorpion species have been shown to possess nearly twice the number of Hox genes present in most arthropods. Segmentally offset anterior expression boundaries of a subset of Hox paralogs have been shown to correspond to transitions in segmental identities in the scorpion posterior tagmata, suggesting that posterior heteronomy in scorpions may have been achieved by neofunctionalization of Hox paralogs. However, both the first scorpion genome sequenced and the developmental genetic data are based on exemplars of Buthidae, one of 19 families of scorpions. It is therefore not known whether Hox paralogy is limited to Buthidae or widespread among scorpions. We surveyed 24 high throughput transcriptomes and the single whole genome available for scorpions, in order to test the prediction that Hox gene duplications are common to the order. We used gene tree parsimony to infer whether the paralogy was consistent with a duplication event in the scorpion common ancestor. Here we show that duplicated Hox genes in non-buthid scorpions occur in six of the ten Hox classes. Gene tree topologies and parsimony-based reconciliation of the gene trees are consistent with a duplication event in the most recent common ancestor of scorpions. These results suggest that a Hox paralogy, and by extension the model of posterior patterning established in a buthid, can be extended to non-Buthidae scorpions.

  3. Reconstructing a B-cell clonal lineage. I. Statistical inference of unobserved ancestors.

    PubMed

    Kepler, Thomas B

    2013-01-01

    One of the key phenomena in the adaptive immune response to infection and immunization is affinity maturation, during which antibody genes are mutated and selected, typically resulting in a substantial increase in binding affinity to the eliciting antigen. Advances in technology on several fronts have made it possible to clone large numbers of heavy-chain light-chain pairs from individual B cells and thereby identify whole sets of clonally related antibodies. These collections could provide the information necessary to reconstruct their own history - the sequence of changes introduced into the lineage during the development of the clone - and to study affinity maturation in detail. But the success of such a program depends entirely on accurately inferring the founding ancestor and the other unobserved intermediates. Given a set of clonally related immunoglobulin V-region genes, the method described here allows one to compute the posterior distribution over their possible ancestors, thereby giving a thorough accounting of the uncertainty inherent in the reconstruction. I demonstrate the application of this method on heavy-chain and light-chain clones, assess the reliability of the inference, and discuss the sources of uncertainty.

  4. Pseudogenization of the tooth gene enamelysin (MMP20) in the common ancestor of extant baleen whales.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Cheng, Joyce; Springer, Mark S

    2011-04-07

    Whales in the suborder Mysticeti are filter feeders that use baleen to sift zooplankton and small fish from ocean waters. Adult mysticetes lack teeth, although tooth buds are present in foetal stages. Cladistic analyses suggest that functional teeth were lost in the common ancestor of crown-group Mysticeti. DNA sequences for the tooth-specific genes, ameloblastin (AMBN), enamelin (ENAM) and amelogenin (AMEL), have frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in this taxon, but none of these molecular cavities are shared by all extant mysticetes. Here, we provide the first evidence for pseudogenization of a tooth gene, enamelysin (MMP20), in the common ancestor of living baleen whales. Specifically, pseudogenization resulted from the insertion of a CHR-2 SINE retroposon in exon 2 of MMP20. Genomic and palaeontological data now provide congruent support for the loss of enamel-capped teeth on the common ancestral branch of crown-group mysticetes. The new data for MMP20 also document a polymorphic stop codon in exon 2 of the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), which has enamel-less teeth. These results, in conjunction with the evidence for pseudogenization of MMP20 in Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), another enamel-less species, support the hypothesis that the only unique, non-overlapping function of the MMP20 gene is in enamel formation.

  5. Pseudogenization of the tooth gene enamelysin (MMP20) in the common ancestor of extant baleen whales

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, Robert W.; Gatesy, John; Cheng, Joyce; Springer, Mark S.

    2011-01-01

    Whales in the suborder Mysticeti are filter feeders that use baleen to sift zooplankton and small fish from ocean waters. Adult mysticetes lack teeth, although tooth buds are present in foetal stages. Cladistic analyses suggest that functional teeth were lost in the common ancestor of crown-group Mysticeti. DNA sequences for the tooth-specific genes, ameloblastin (AMBN), enamelin (ENAM) and amelogenin (AMEL), have frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in this taxon, but none of these molecular cavities are shared by all extant mysticetes. Here, we provide the first evidence for pseudogenization of a tooth gene, enamelysin (MMP20), in the common ancestor of living baleen whales. Specifically, pseudogenization resulted from the insertion of a CHR-2 SINE retroposon in exon 2 of MMP20. Genomic and palaeontological data now provide congruent support for the loss of enamel-capped teeth on the common ancestral branch of crown-group mysticetes. The new data for MMP20 also document a polymorphic stop codon in exon 2 of the pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), which has enamel-less teeth. These results, in conjunction with the evidence for pseudogenization of MMP20 in Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), another enamel-less species, support the hypothesis that the only unique, non-overlapping function of the MMP20 gene is in enamel formation. PMID:20861053

  6. Early responses of human cancer cells upon photodynamic treatment monitored by laser phase microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roelofs, Theo A.; Graschew, Georgi; Perevedentseva, Elena V.; Rakowsky, Stefan; Dressler, Cathrin; Beuthan, Juergen; Schlag, Peter M.

    2001-04-01

    Photodynamic treatment of cancer cells is known to eventually cause cell death in most cases. The precise pathways and the time course seem to vary among different cell types and modes of photodynamic treatment. In this contribution, the focus was put on the responses of human colon carcinoma cells HCT-116 within the first 15 minutes after laser irradiation in the presence of Photofrin« II (PII). To monitor the cell response in this early time period laser phase microscopic imaging was used, a method sensitive to changes in overall cell shape and intracellular structures, mediated by changes in the local refractive index. Laser irradiation of cells loaded with PII induced a significant reduction of the phase shifts, which probably reflects the induced damage to the different cellular membrane structures. The data suggest that even within the first 30 s after the onset of laser illumination, a significant reduction of the phase shifts can be detected. These results underline that laser phase microscopy is a suitable diagnostic tool for cellular research, also in the early time domain.

  7. Early short-term treatment with neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies halts SHIV infection in newborn macaques

    PubMed Central

    Hessell, Ann J.; Jaworski, J. Pablo; Epson, Erin; Matsuda, Kenta; Pandey, Shilpi; Kahl, Christoph; Reed, Jason; Sutton, William F.; Hammond, Katherine B.; Cheever, Tracy A.; Barnette, Philip T.; Legasse, Alfred W.; Planer, Shannon; Stanton, Jeffrey J.; Pegu, Amarendra; Chen, Xuejun; Wang, Keyun; Siess, Don; Burke, David; Park, Byung S.; Axthelm, Michael K.; Lewis, Anne; Hirsch, Vanessa M.; Graham, Barney S.; Mascola, John R.; Sacha, Jonah B.; Haigwood, Nancy L.

    2016-01-01

    Prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV remains a major objective where antenatal care is not readily accessible. We tested anti-HIV-1 human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NmAb) as post-exposure therapy in an infant macaque model for intrapartum MTCT. One-month-old rhesus macaques were inoculated orally with SHIVSF162P3. On days 1, 4, 7, and 10 after virus exposure, we injected animals subcutaneously with NmAbs and quantified systemic distribution of NmAbs in multiple tissues within 24 h following administration. Replicating virus was found in multiple tissues by day 1 in animals without treatment. All NmAb-treated macaques were free of virus in blood and tissues at 6 months post-exposure. We detected no anti-SHIV T cell responses in blood or tissues at necropsy, and no virus emerged following CD8+ T cell depletion. These results suggest early passive immunotherapy can eliminate early viral foci and thereby prevent the establishment of viral reservoirs. PMID:26998834

  8. Human muscle precursor cells overexpressing PGC-1α enhance early skeletal muscle tissue formation.

    PubMed

    Haralampieva, Deana; Salemi, Souzan; Dinulovic, Ivana; Sulser, Tullio; M Ametamey, Simon; Handschin, Christoph; Eberli, Daniel

    2017-02-03

    Muscle precursor cells (MPCs) are activated satellite cells capable of muscle fiber reconstruction. Therefore, autologous MPC transplantation is envisioned for the treatment of muscle diseases. However, the density of MPCs, as well as their proliferation and differentiation potential gradually decline with age. The goal of this research was to genetically modify human MPCs (hMPCs) to overexpress the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC-1α), a key regulator of exercise-mediated adaptation, and thereby to enhance early skeletal muscle formation and quality. We were able to confirm the sustained myogenic phenotype of the genetically modified hMPCs. While maintaining their viability and proliferation potential, PGC-1α modified hMPCs showed an enhanced myofiber formation capacity in vitro. Engineered muscle tissues were harvested 1, 2 and 4 weeks after subcutaneous injection of cell-collagen suspensions and histological analysis confirmed the earlier myotube formation in PGC-1α modified samples, predominantly of slow twitch myofibers. Increased contractile protein levels were detected by Western Blot. In summary, by genetically modifying hMPCs to overexpress PGC-1α we were able to promote early muscle fiber formation in vitro and in vivo, with an initial switch to slow type myofibers. Therefore, overexpressing PGC-1α is novel strategy to further enhance skeletal muscle tissue engineering.

  9. Heatwave Early Warning Systems and Adaptation Advice to Reduce Human Health Consequences of Heatwaves

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Dianne; Ebi, Kristie L.; Forsberg, Bertil

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: With climate change, there has been an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwave events. In response to the devastating mortality and morbidity of recent heatwave events, many countries have introduced heatwave early warning systems (HEWS). HEWS are designed to reduce the avoidable human health consequences of heatwaves through timely notification of prevention measures to vulnerable populations. Objective: To identify the key characteristics of HEWS in European countries to help inform modification of current, and development of, new systems and plans. Methods: We searched the internet to identify HEWS policy or government documents for 33 European countries and requested information from relevant organizations. We translated the HEWS documents and extracted details on the trigger indicators, thresholds for action, notification strategies, message intermediaries, communication and dissemination strategies, prevention strategies recommended and specified target audiences. Findings and Conclusions: Twelve European countries have HEWS. Although there are many similarities among the HEWS, there also are differences in key characteristics that could inform improvements in heatwave early warning plans. PMID:22408593

  10. Behavior of homologous chromosomes in early meiotic stages of human spermatocytes as revealed by FISH

    SciTech Connect

    Bar-Am, I.; Avivi, L.; Mukame, E.

    1994-09-01

    The process by which homologous chromosomes recognize each other at the beginning of meiosis, prior to synapsis, is poorly understood. To gain a better understanding as to when, where and how a given chromosome approaches its pairing partner, chromosome behavior at early stages of meiosis in human spermatocytes was studied. Using multi-color FISH with centromeric- and telomeric-specific probes, as well as with whole chromosome DNA libraries, it was clearly aligned. Rather, similarly to non-homologous chromosomes, they were well separated from each other. At the commencement of synapsis, during the process of homology search, homologues underwent a drastic conformational change, elongating into strands that approached each other by their telomeres. Just preceding the co-alignment of the homologous centromeres, telomeres changed their interphase random distribution and occupied a confined region of the nuclear periphery. Following synapsis, telomeres spread over the whole nuclear periphery. These dynamics in the telomeres distribution, which are unique to early stages of meiosis, are presumably related to the role that telomeres play in the process of homology search and the commencement of synapsis.

  11. Early Human Speciation, Brain Expansion and Dispersal Influenced by African Climate Pulses

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration. PMID:24146922

  12. Transcriptional activation of cloned human beta-globin genes by viral immediate-early gene products.

    PubMed

    Green, M R; Treisman, R; Maniatis, T

    1983-11-01

    When the human beta-globin gene is transfected into Hela cells, no beta-globin RNA is detected unless the gene is linked to a viral transcription enhancer. In this paper we show that trans-acting adenovirus and herpesvirus (pseudorabies) transcriptional regulatory proteins can circumvent this enhancer requirement for detectable beta-globin transcription in transient expression assays. The viral gene products can be provided by constitutively expressed, integrated viral genes in established cell lines, by viral infection of permissive cells, or by transfection of cells with bacterial plasmids carrying the viral immediate-early genes. These results demonstrate the utility of transient expression assays for studying regulatory mechanisms involving trans-acting factors. Analysis of beta-globin promoter mutants indicates that between 75 and 128 bp of sequence 5' to the mRNA cap site is required for enhancer-dependent transcription in Hela cells. In contrast, beta-globin transcription in the presence of viral immediate-early gene products requires only 36 bp of 5'-flanking sequence, which includes the TATA box. Thus both cis and trans-acting viral factors activate beta-globin gene transcription in transient expression experiments, but the mechanisms by which they act appear to be fundamentally different.

  13. Endogenous BMPR-IB signaling is required for early osteoblast differentiation of human bone cells.

    PubMed

    Singhatanadgit, Weerachai; Olsen, Irwin

    2011-03-01

    Osteoblast differentiation is tightly regulated by a number of cytokines and growth factors, including bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) which stimulate osteoblast differentiation by signal transduction via three BMP receptors (BMPR-IA, -IB and -II). Although the mechanisms which regulate osteoblast differentiation are not fully understood, it is possible that endogenous BMPR signaling could play an important part in this process. To test this hypothesis, we have examined the expression and the functional significance of BMPR during osteoblast differentiation of primary human bone cells. The results showed that although the expression of BMPR-IA and -II transcripts were constantly expressed while the bone cells underwent osteoblast differentiation, the level of BMPR-IB mRNA was transiently, but significantly, up-regulated by threefold on day 3. This increase in BMPR-IB expression was found to be associated with the significant up-regulation of core binding factor alpha 1 (Cbfa1) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) transcripts as well as the ALP activity, the well-established early markers of osteoblast differentiation. Transfection of bone cells with BMPR-IB small interfering RNA (siRNA) was found to significantly ablate the expression of BMPR-IB which subsequently resulted in reduction of Cbfa1 and ALP mRNA as well as the ALP activity. Moreover, exogenously added BMP-2 failed to rescue osteoblast differentiation of BMPR-IB siRNA-transfected bone cells. In conclusion, the present study has shown that endogenous BMPR-IB signaling is required for early phase of osteoblast differentiation of human bone cells in vitro, suggesting that BMPR-IB could be a therapeutic target for initiating bone healing in vivo.

  14. Early Components of the Complement Classical Activation Pathway in Human Systemic Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lintner, Katherine E.; Wu, Yee Ling; Yang, Yan; Spencer, Charles H.; Hauptmann, Georges; Hebert, Lee A.; Atkinson, John P.; Yu, C. Yung

    2016-01-01

    The complement system consists of effector proteins, regulators, and receptors that participate in host defense against pathogens. Activation of the complement system, via the classical pathway (CP), has long been recognized in immune complex-mediated tissue injury, most notably systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Paradoxically, a complete deficiency of an early component of the CP, as evidenced by homozygous genetic deficiencies reported in human, are strongly associated with the risk of developing SLE or a lupus-like disease. Similarly, isotype deficiency attributable to a gene copy-number (GCN) variation and/or the presence of autoantibodies directed against a CP component or a regulatory protein that result in an acquired deficiency are relatively common in SLE patients. Applying accurate assay methodologies with rigorous data validations, low GCNs of total C4, and heterozygous and homozygous deficiencies of C4A have been shown as medium to large effect size risk factors, while high copy numbers of total C4 or C4A as prevalent protective factors, of European and East-Asian SLE. Here, we summarize the current knowledge related to genetic deficiency and insufficiency, and acquired protein deficiencies for C1q, C1r, C1s, C4A/C4B, and C2 in disease pathogenesis and prognosis of SLE, and, briefly, for other systemic autoimmune diseases. As the complement system is increasingly found to be associated with autoimmune diseases and immune-mediated diseases, it has become an attractive therapeutic target. We highlight the recent developments and offer a balanced perspective concerning future investigations and therapeutic applications with a focus on early components of the CP in human systemic autoimmune diseases. PMID:26913032

  15. The spatiotemporal hormonal orchestration of human folliculogenesis, early embryogenesis and blastocyst implantation.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Craig S; Vadakkadath Meethal, Sivan

    2016-07-15

    The early reproductive events starting with folliculogenesis and ending with blastocyst implantation into the uterine endometrium are regulated by a complex interplay among endocrine, paracrine and autocrine factors. This review examines the spatiotemporal integration of these maternal and embryonic signals that are required for successful reproduction. In coordination with hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) hormones, an intraovarian HPG-like axis regulates folliculogenesis, follicular quiescence, ovulation, follicular atresia, and corpus luteal functions. Upon conception and passage of the zygote through the fallopian tube, the contribution of maternal hormones in the form of paracrine secretions from the endosalpinx to embryonic development declines, with autocrine and paracrine signaling becoming increasingly important as instructional signals for the differentiation of the early zygote/morula into a blastocyst. These maternal and embryonic signals include activin and gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) that are crucial for the synthesis and secretion of the 'pregnancy' hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG in turn signals pre-implantation embryonic cell division and sex steroid production required for stem cell differentiation, and subsequent blastulation, gastrulation, cavitation and blastocyst formation. Upon reaching the uterus, blastocyst hatching occurs under the influence of decreased activin signaling, while the attachment and invasion of the trophoblast into the endometrium appears to be driven by a decrease in activin signaling, and by increased GnRH1 and hCG signaling that allows for tissue remodeling and the controlled invasion of the blastocyst into the uterine endometrium. This review demonstrates the importance of integrative endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine signaling for successful human reproduction.

  16. A Gradualist Scenario for Language Evolution: Precise Linguistic Reconstruction of Early Human (and Neandertal) Grammars.

    PubMed

    Progovac, Ljiljana

    2016-01-01

    In making an argument for the antiquity of language, based on comparative evidence, Dediu and Levinson (2013) express hope that some combinations of structural features will prove so conservative that they will allow deep linguistic reconstruction. I propose that the earliest stages of syntax/grammar as reconstructed in Progovac (2015a), based on a theoretical and data-driven linguistic analysis, provide just such a conservative platform, which would have been commanded also by Neandertals and the common ancestor. I provide a fragment of this proto-grammar, which includes flat verb-noun compounds used for naming and insult (e.g., rattle-snake, cry-baby, scatter-brain), and paratactic (loose) combinations of such flat structures (e.g., Come one, come all; You seek, you find). This flat, binary, paratactic platform is found in all languages, and can be shown to serve as foundation for any further structure building. However, given the degree and nature of variation across languages in elaborating syntax beyond this proto-stage, I propose that hierarchical syntax did not emerge once and uniformly in all its complexity, but rather multiple times, either within Africa, or after dispersion from Africa. If so, then, under the uniregional hypothesis, our common ancestor with Neandertals, H. heidelbergensis, could not have commanded hierarchical syntax, but "only" the proto-grammar. Linguistic reconstructions of this kind are necessary for formulating precise and testable hypotheses regarding language evolution. In addition to the hominin timeline, this reconstruction can also engage, and negotiate between, the fields of neuroscience and genetics, as I illustrate with one specific scenario involving FOXP2 gene.

  17. A Gradualist Scenario for Language Evolution: Precise Linguistic Reconstruction of Early Human (and Neandertal) Grammars

    PubMed Central

    Progovac, Ljiljana

    2016-01-01

    In making an argument for the antiquity of language, based on comparative evidence, Dediu and Levinson (2013) express hope that some combinations of structural features will prove so conservative that they will allow deep linguistic reconstruction. I propose that the earliest stages of syntax/grammar as reconstructed in Progovac (2015a), based on a theoretical and data-driven linguistic analysis, provide just such a conservative platform, which would have been commanded also by Neandertals and the common ancestor. I provide a fragment of this proto-grammar, which includes flat verb-noun compounds used for naming and insult (e.g., rattle-snake, cry-baby, scatter-brain), and paratactic (loose) combinations of such flat structures (e.g., Come one, come all; You seek, you find). This flat, binary, paratactic platform is found in all languages, and can be shown to serve as foundation for any further structure building. However, given the degree and nature of variation across languages in elaborating syntax beyond this proto-stage, I propose that hierarchical syntax did not emerge once and uniformly in all its complexity, but rather multiple times, either within Africa, or after dispersion from Africa. If so, then, under the uniregional hypothesis, our common ancestor with Neandertals, H. heidelbergensis, could not have commanded hierarchical syntax, but “only” the proto-grammar. Linguistic reconstructions of this kind are necessary for formulating precise and testable hypotheses regarding language evolution. In addition to the hominin timeline, this reconstruction can also engage, and negotiate between, the fields of neuroscience and genetics, as I illustrate with one specific scenario involving FOXP2 gene. PMID:27877146

  18. Evolution of influenza A virus nucleoprotein genes: implications for the origins of H1N1 human and classical swine viruses.

    PubMed

    Gorman, O T; Bean, W J; Kawaoka, Y; Donatelli, I; Guo, Y J; Webster, R G

    1991-07-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of 52 published and 37 new nucleoprotein (NP) gene sequences addressed the evolution and origin of human and swine influenza A viruses. H1N1 human and classical swine viruses (i.e., those related to Swine/Iowa/15/30) share a single common ancestor, which was estimated to have occurred in 1912 to 1913. From this common ancestor, human and classical swine virus NP genes have evolved at similar rates that are higher than in avian virus NP genes (3.31 to 3.41 versus 1.90 nucleotide changes per year). At the protein level, human virus NPs have evolved twice as fast as classical swine virus NPs (0.66 versus 0.34 amino acid change per year). Despite evidence of frequent interspecies transmission of human and classical swine viruses, our analysis indicates that these viruses have evolved independently since well before the first isolates in the early 1930s. Although our analysis cannot reveal the original host, the ancestor virus was avianlike, showing only five amino acid differences from the root of the avian virus NP lineage. The common pattern of relationship and origin for the NP and other genes of H1N1 human and classical swine viruses suggests that the common ancestor was an avian virus and not a reassortant derived from previous human or swine influenza A viruses. The new avianlike H1N1 swine viruses in Europe may provide a model for the evolution of newly introduced avian viruses into the swine host reservoir. The NPs of these viruses are evolving more rapidly than those of human or classical swine viruses (4.50 nucleotide changes and 0.74 amino acid change per year), and when these rates are applied to pre-1930s human and classical swine virus NPs, the predicted date of a common ancestor is 1918 rather than 1912 to 1913. Thus, our NP phylogeny is consistent with historical records and the proposal that a short time before 1918, a new H1N1 avianlike virus entered human or swine hosts (O. T. Gorman, R. O. Donis, Y. Kawaoka, and R. G. Webster

  19. Human Disturbance during Early Life Impairs Nestling Growth in Birds Inhabiting a Nature Recreation Area

    PubMed Central

    Remacha, Carolina; Delgado, Juan Antonio; Bulaic, Mateja; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Nature recreation conflicts with conservation, but its impacts on wildlife are not fully understood. Where recreation is not regulated, visitors to natural areas may gather in large numbers on weekends and holidays. This may increase variance in fitness in wild populations, if individuals whose critical life cycle stages coincide with periods of high human disturbance are at a disadvantage. We studied nestling development of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) in a natural area where recreation activities intensify during weekends and other public holidays at picnic and leisure facilities, but not in the surrounding woods. In nests located near recreation facilities, blue tit nestlings that hatched during holidays developed slowly, and fledged with low body mass and poor body condition. However, nestlings that hatched outside of holidays and weekends in these nest boxes developed normally, eventually attaining similar phenotypes as those hatching in the surrounding woods. Within-brood variance in body mass was also higher in broods that began growing during holidays in disturbed areas. Our results show that early disturbance events may have negative consequences for wild birds if they overlap with critical stages of development, unveiling otherwise cryptic impacts of human activities. These new findings may help managers better regulate nature recreation. PMID:27851816

  20. Structural basis for early-onset neurological disorders caused by mutations in human selenocysteine synthase

    PubMed Central

    Puppala, Anupama K.; French, Rachel L.; Matthies, Doreen; Baxa, Ulrich; Subramaniam, Sriram; Simonović, Miljan

    2016-01-01

    Selenocysteine synthase (SepSecS) catalyzes the terminal reaction of selenocysteine, and is vital for human selenoproteome integrity. Autosomal recessive inheritance of mutations in SepSecS–Ala239Thr, Thr325Ser, Tyr334Cys and Tyr429*–induced severe, early-onset, neurological disorders in distinct human populations. Although harboring different mutant alleles, patients presented remarkably similar phenotypes typified by cerebellar and cerebral atrophy, seizures, irritability, ataxia, and extreme spasticity. However, it has remained unclear how these genetic alterations affected the structure of SepSecS and subsequently elicited the development of a neurological pathology. Herein, our biophysical and structural characterization demonstrates that, with the exception of Tyr429*, pathogenic mutations decrease protein stability and trigger protein misfolding. We propose that the reduced stability and increased propensity towards misfolding are the main causes for the loss of SepSecS activity in afflicted patients, and that these factors contribute to disease progression. We also suggest that misfolding of enzymes regulating protein synthesis should be considered in the diagnosis and study of childhood neurological disorders. PMID:27576344

  1. Spinal muscular atrophy during human development: where are the early pathogenic findings?

    PubMed

    Tizzano, Eduardo

    2009-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that affects motor neurons. It is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). The SMN2 gene, which is the highly homologous SMN1 copy that is present in all patients, is unable to prevent the disease. SMA patients can be classified into four groups based on age at onset and acquired milestones (type I or severe acute disease, with onset before 6 months; type II, before 18 months; type III, after 18 months and type IV, in adult life). The human developmental period is believed to play an essential role in SMA pathogenesis. However, the neuropathologic study of SMA comes largely from postnatal necropsy samples, which describe the end-stage of the disease. With the exception of severe congenital SMA (or Type 0 SMA), type I patients tend to present a short but variable presymptomatic period after birth. Our main interest lies in studying SMA during human development so as to gain insight into the mechanism of the disease in the prenatal-presymptomatic stage. In fetuses of 12-15 weeks' gestational age we systematically studied histology, cell death and gene expression in spinal cord and muscle, the key tissues involved in the disease. Furthermore, ultrasound parameters were investigated at these stages. These studies may help to delineate an early intervention in SMA, in particular during the potential therapeutic window.

  2. Automated image classification applied to reconstituted human corneal epithelium for the early detection of toxic damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosta, Giovanni Franco; Urani, Chiara; De Servi, Barbara; Meloni, Marisa

    2010-02-01

    For a long time acute eye irritation has been assessed by means of the DRAIZE rabbit test, the limitations of which are known. Alternative tests based on in vitro models have been proposed. This work focuses on the "reconstituted human corneal epithelium" (R-HCE), which resembles the corneal epithelium of the human eye by thickness, morphology and marker expression. Testing a substance on R-HCE involves a variety of methods. Herewith quantitative morphological analysis is applied to optical microscope images of R-HCE cross sections resulting from exposure to benzalkonium chloride (BAK). The short term objectives and the first results are the analysis and classification of said images. Automated analysis relies on feature extraction by the spectrum-enhancement algorithm, which is made sensitive to anisotropic morphology, and classification based on principal components analysis. The winning strategy has been the separate analysis of the apical and basal layers, which carry morphological information of different types. R-HCE specimens have been ranked by gross damage. The onset of early damage has been detected and an R-HCE specimen exposed to a low BAK dose has been singled out from the negative and positive control. These results provide a proof of principle for the automated classification of the specimens of interest on a purely morphological basis by means of the spectrum enhancement algorithm.

  3. Last glacial megafaunal death assemblage and early human occupation at Lake Menindee, southeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cupper, Matthew L.; Duncan, Jacqui

    2006-09-01

    The Tedford subfossil locality at Lake Menindee preserves a diverse assemblage of marsupials, monotremes and placental rodents. Of the 38 mammal taxa recorded at the site, almost a third are of extinct megafauna. Some of the bones are articulated or semi-articulated and include almost complete skeletons, indicating that aeolian sediments rapidly buried the animals following death. New optical ages show the site dates to the early part of the last glacial (55,700 ± 1300 yr weighted mean age). This is close to the 51,200-39,800 yr Australia-wide extinction age for megafauna suggested by Roberts et al. [2001, Science 292:1888-1892], but like all previous researchers, we cannot conclusively determine whether humans were implicated in the deaths of the animals. Although an intrusive hearth at the site dating to 45,100 ± 1400 yr ago is the oldest evidence of human occupation of the Darling River, no artifacts were identified in situ within the sub-fossil-bearing unit. Non-anthropogenic causes, such as natural senescence or ecosystem stress due to climatic aridity, probably explain the mortality of the faunal assemblage at Lake Menindee.

  4. Eye coding mechanisms in early human face event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Rousselet, Guillaume A; Ince, Robin A A; van Rijsbergen, Nicola J; Schyns, Philippe G

    2014-11-10

    In humans, the N170 event-related potential (ERP) is an integrated measure of cortical activity that varies in amplitude and latency across trials. Researchers often conjecture that N170 variations reflect cortical mechanisms of stimulus coding for recognition. Here, to settle the conjecture and understand cortical information processing mechanisms, we unraveled the coding function of N170 latency and amplitude variations in possibly the simplest socially important natural visual task: face detection. On each experimental trial, 16 observers saw face and noise pictures sparsely sampled with small Gaussian apertures. Reverse-correlation methods coupled with information theory revealed that the presence of the eye specifically covaries with behavioral and neural measurements: the left eye strongly modulates reaction times and lateral electrodes represent mainly the presence of the contralateral eye during the rising part of the N170, with maximum sensitivity before the N170 peak. Furthermore, single-trial N170 latencies code more about the presence of the contralateral eye than N170 amplitudes and early latencies are associated with faster reaction times. The absence of these effects in control images that did not contain a face refutes alternative accounts based on retinal biases or allocation of attention to the eye location on the face. We conclude that the rising part of the N170, roughly 120-170 ms post-stimulus, is a critical time-window in human face processing mechanisms, reflecting predominantly, in a face detection task, the encoding of a single feature: the contralateral eye.

  5. Inhibition of Btk with CC-292 provides early pharmacodynamic assessment of activity in mice and humans.

    PubMed

    Evans, Erica K; Tester, Richland; Aslanian, Sharon; Karp, Russell; Sheets, Michael; Labenski, Matthew T; Witowski, Steven R; Lounsbury, Heather; Chaturvedi, Prasoon; Mazdiyasni, Hormoz; Zhu, Zhendong; Nacht, Mariana; Freed, Martin I; Petter, Russell C; Dubrovskiy, Alex; Singh, Juswinder; Westlin, William F

    2013-08-01

    Targeted therapies that suppress B cell receptor (BCR) signaling have emerged as promising agents in autoimmune disease and B cell malignancies. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) plays a crucial role in B cell development and activation through the BCR signaling pathway and represents a new target for diseases characterized by inappropriate B cell activity. N-(3-(5-fluoro-2-(4-(2-methoxyethoxy)phenylamino)pyrimidin-4-ylamino)phenyl)acrylamide (CC-292) is a highly selective, covalent Btk inhibitor and a sensitive and quantitative assay that measures CC-292-Btk engagement has been developed. This translational pharmacodynamic assay has accompanied CC-292 through each step of drug discovery and development. These studies demonstrate the quantity of Btk bound by CC-292 correlates with the efficacy of CC-292 in vitro and in the collagen-induced arthritis model of autoimmune disease. Recently, CC-292 has entered human clinical trials with a trial design that has provided rapid insight into safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. This first-in-human healthy volunteer trial has demonstrated that a single oral dose of 2 mg/kg CC-292 consistently engaged all circulating Btk protein and provides the basis for rational dose selection in future clinical trials. This targeted covalent drug design approach has enabled the discovery and early clinical development of CC-292 and has provided support for Btk as a valuable drug target for B-cell mediated disorders.

  6. Vestibular activation differentially modulates human early visual cortex and V5/MT excitability and response entropy.

    PubMed

    Seemungal, Barry M; Guzman-Lopez, Jessica; Arshad, Qadeer; Schultz, Simon R; Walsh, Vincent; Yousif, Nada

    2013-01-01

    Head movement imposes the additional burdens on the visual system of maintaining visual acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (i.e., self-motion vs. object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimizing retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher order visuovestibular mechanisms also contribute. Disambiguating self-motion versus object-motion also invokes higher order mechanisms, and a cortical visuovestibular reciprocal antagonism is propounded. Hence, one prediction is of a vestibular modulation of visual cortical excitability and indirect measures have variously suggested none, focal or global effects of activation or suppression in human visual cortex. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced phosphenes to probe cortical excitability, we observed decreased V5/MT excitability versus increased early visual cortex (EVC) excitability, during vestibular activation. In order to exclude nonspecific effects (e.g., arousal) on cortical excitability, response specificity was assessed using information theory, specifically response entropy. Vestibular activation significantly modulated phosphene response entropy for V5/MT but not EVC, implying a specific vestibular effect on V5/MT responses. This is the first demonstration that vestibular activation modulates human visual cortex excitability. Furthermore, using information theory, not previously used in phosphene response analysis, we could distinguish between a specific vestibular modulation of V5/MT excitability from a nonspecific effect at EVC.

  7. Human evolution.

    PubMed

    Wood, B

    1996-12-01

    The common ancestor of modern humans and the great apes is estimated to have lived between 5 and 8 Myrs ago, but the earliest evidence in the human, or hominid, fossil record is Ardipithecus ramidus, from a 4.5 Myr Ethiopian site. This genus was succeeded by Australopithecus, within which four species are presently recognised. All combine a relatively primitive postcranial skeleton, a dentition with expanded chewing teeth and a small brain. The most primitive species in our own genus, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, are little advanced over the australopithecines and with hindsight their inclusion in Homo may not be appropriate. The first species to share a substantial number of features with later Homo is Homo ergaster, or 'early African Homo erectus', which appears in the fossil record around 2.0 Myr. Outside Africa, fossil hominids appear as Homo erectus-like hominids, in mainland Asia and in Indonesia close to 2 Myr ago; the earliest good evidence of 'archaic Homo' in Europe is dated at between 600-700 Kyr before the present. Anatomically modern human, or Homo sapiens, fossils are seen first in the fossil record in Africa around 150 Kyr ago. Taken together with molecular evidence on the extent of DNA variation, this suggests that the transition from 'archaic' to 'modern' Homo may have taken place in Africa.

  8. Acute Molecular Changes in Synovial Fluid Following Human Knee Injury: Association With Early Clinical Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Erin; Freidin, Andrew; Kenny, Mark; Judge, Andrew; Saklatvala, Jeremy; Williams, Andy; Vincent, Tonia L.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether molecules found to be up‐regulated within hours of surgical joint destabilization in the mouse are also elevated in the analogous human setting of acute knee injury, how this molecular response varies between individuals, and whether it is related to patient‐reported outcomes in the 3 months after injury. Methods Seven candidate molecules were analyzed in blood and synovial fluid (SF) from 150 participants with recent structural knee injury at baseline (<8 weeks from injury) and in blood at 14 days and 3 months following baseline. Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score 4 (KOOS4) was obtained at baseline and 3 months. Patient and control samples were compared using Meso Scale Discovery platform assays or enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay. Results Six of the 7 molecules were significantly elevated in human SF immediately after injury: interleukin‐6 (IL‐6), monocyte chemotactic protein 1, matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP‐3), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP‐1), activin A, and tumor necrosis factor–stimulated gene 6 (TSG‐6). There was low‐to‐moderate correlation with blood measurements. Three of the 6 molecules were significantly associated with baseline KOOS4 (those with higher SF IL‐6, TIMP‐1, or TSG‐6 had lower KOOS4). These 3 molecules, MMP‐3, and activin A were all significantly associated with greater improvement in KOOS4 over 3 months, after adjustment for other relevant factors. Of these, IL‐6 alone significantly accounted for the molecular contribution to baseline KOOS4 and change in KOOS4 over 3 months. Conclusion Our findings validate relevant human biomarkers of tissue injury identified in a mouse model. Analysis of SF rather than blood more accurately reflects this response. The response is associated with patient‐reported outcomes over this early period, with SF IL‐6 acting as a single representative marker. Longitudinal outcomes will determine if these molecules are

  9. Rapid one step urine test for human chorionic gonadotrophin in evaluating suspected complications of early pregnancy.

    PubMed Central

    Kingdom, J C; Kelly, T; MacLean, A B; McAllister, E J

    1991-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To determine the ability of a sensitive one step urine test to detect human chorionic gonadotrophin in women with suspected complications of early pregnancy. DESIGN--Test on women presenting to accident and emergency department with gynaecological problems over six months. Results were validated using a quantitative assay for human chorionic gonadotrophin in serum and urine. SETTING--Accident and emergency department and gynaecology wards of a university teaching hospital. SUBJECTS--130 unselected women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Detection of human chorionic gonadotrophin by one step test, presence of ectopic pregnancy, and results of quantitative analysis of chorionic gonadotrophin in serum and urine. RESULTS--79 women had a positive urine test result and 51 a negative result. All 12 women with ectopic pregnancy had a positive test result, although urinary concentration varied from 191 IU/l to 47,800 IU/l. Only one woman, who had a faintly positive result, was found not to be pregnant on subsequent examination. The sensitivity and negative predictive values of the urine test were 100% respectively. 33 women were sent home from the accident and emergency department with normal clinical findings after a negative urine test result. All these women had undetectable concentrations of chorionic gonadotrophin in matched samples of urine and serum. CONCLUSIONS--A simple, rapid one step test for chorionic gonadotrophin should be available for the initial evaluation of emergency gynaecological problems. The additional cost of the test is offset by not admitting those patients whose clinical findings are normal and who have a negative urine test result and by reducing the number of women requiring quantitative assays of chorionic gonadotrophin. Images FIG 1 PMID:2059687

  10. Tracking the fate of iron in early development of human blood flukes.

    PubMed

    Jones, Malcolm K; McManus, Donald P; Sivadorai, Padma; Glanfield, Amber; Moertel, Luke; Belli, Sabina I; Gobert, Geoffrey N

    2007-01-01

    Iron (Fe) is an important trace element found in nearly all organisms, and is used as a cofactor in many biological reactions. One role for Fe in some invertebrates is in stabilization of extracellular matrices. The human blood fluke, Schistosoma japonicum, is responsible for significant human disease in developing and tropical nations. Disease in humans arises from host immunological reaction to parasite eggs that lodge in tissues. Schistosomes require Fe for development in their hosts, and store abundant Fe in vitelline (eggshell-forming) cells of the female system. The understanding of Fe metabolism and functionality are aspects of its biology that may be exploited in future therapeutics. The biology of Fe stores in vitelline cells of S. japonicum was investigated to illuminate possible functions of this element in early development of these parasites. Vitelline Fe is stored in yolk ferritin that is upregulated in females and is also expressed at low levels in egg-stages and adult males. Laser microdissection microscopy, coupled with reverse transcriptase- and real time-PCR amplification of schistosome ferritin sequences, confirmed that the vitelline cells are the likely progenitor cells of yolk ferritin. Assessment of Fe concentrations in whole male and whole female adult worms, eggs and purified eggshells by colorimetric assays and mass spectroscopy demonstrated higher levels of Fe in the female parasite, but also high levels of the element in whole parasite eggs and purified eggshell. Qualitative energy dispersive spectroscopy of purified eggshells, revealed that Fe is abundant in the eggshell, the matrix of which is composed of heavily cross-linked eggshell precursor proteins. Thus, vitelline stores of Fe are implicated in eggshell cross-linking in platyhelminths. These observations emphasise the importance of Fe in schistosome metabolism and egg formation and suggest new avenues for disruption of egg formation in these pathogenic parasites.

  11. Evolutionary population history of early Paleoamerican cranial morphology.

    PubMed

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Strauss, André; Hubbe, Mark

    2017-02-01

    The nature and timing of the peopling of the Americas is a subject of intense debate. In particular, it is unclear whether high levels of between-group craniometric diversity in South America result from multiple migrations or from local diversification processes. Previous attempts to explain this diversity have largely focused on testing alternative dispersal or gene flow models, reaching conflicting or inconclusive results. Here, a novel analytical framework is applied to three-dimensional geometric morphometric data to partition the effects of population divergence from geographically mediated gene flow to understand the ancestry of the early South Americans in the context of global human history. The results show that Paleoamericans share a last common ancestor with contemporary Native American groups outside, rather than inside, the Americas. Therefore, and in accordance with some recent genomic studies, craniometric data suggest that the New World was populated by multiple waves of dispersion from northeast Asia throughout the late Pleistocene and early Holocene.

  12. Evolutionary population history of early Paleoamerican cranial morphology

    PubMed Central

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Strauss, André; Hubbe, Mark

    2017-01-01

    The nature and timing of the peopling of the Americas is a subject of intense debate. In particular, it is unclear whether high levels of between-group craniometric diversity in South America result from multiple migrations or from local diversification processes. Previous attempts to explain this diversity have largely focused on testing alternative dispersal or gene flow models, reaching conflicting or inconclusive results. Here, a novel analytical framework is applied to three-dimensional geometric morphometric data to partition the effects of population divergence from geographically mediated gene flow to understand the ancestry of the early South Americans in the context of global human history. The results show that Paleoamericans share a last common ancestor with contemporary Native American groups outside, rather than inside, the Americas. Therefore, and in accordance with some recent genomic studies, craniometric data suggest that the New World was populated by multiple waves of dispersion from northeast Asia throughout the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. PMID:28261661

  13. Structural differentiation of human uterine luminal and glandular epithelium during early pregnancy: an ultrastructural and immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Demir, R; Kayisli, U A; Celik-Ozenci, C; Korgun, E T; Demir-Weusten, A Y; Arici, A

    2002-01-01

    The differentiation of human endometrial epithelium is a dynamic event that occurs throughout the menstrual cycle and early pregnancy. The structural transformation and differentiation of human uterine luminal and glandular epithelium of early human pregnancy (n=14) was investigated ultrastructurally and immunohistochemically using antibodies against cytokeratin (CT), endothelial marker CD31, Fas, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Ultrastructurally, luminal epithelial cells showed distinctive euchromatic nuclei with prominent nucleoli and relatively loose cell membranes in all poles (apical to basal). Subcellular components were easily recognized in luminal epithelium except in degenerating cells. Mainly two cell types, dark and clear cells, formed the glandular epithelium. In the early gestation period, microvilli were abundant on the apical and apico-lateral poles of these cells. Only a few cytoplasmic projections were observed in dark cells. Numerous cilia were observed on the apical pole of some clear cells, located at the adluminal segment. In contrast, dark cells lacked cilia, nuclear channels, or giant mitochondrial profiles. Glycogen synthesis and apocrine secretion were recognizable for several days during early gestation. The apocrine secretory activity differed among dark cells of the glandular epithelium. The immunoreactivity of PCNA and Fas, and ultrastructural observations in the glandular epithelium suggest that, even in different segments of the same gland, epithelial cells do not regress during early gestation, but proliferate, perhaps representing a resistance against trophoblastic invasion. These morphological and molecular changes suggest that both luminal and glandular epithelium may play an important role in cellular defense and limitation for trophoblastic invasion during early pregnancy since plasma membrane alterations of the surface epithelium take place at the apical, basal and lateral poles compared to early secretory phase

  14. Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support. FY15 Task: Early Manpower Assessment Tool (EMAT) for STAMPS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    1 Annual Progress Report (A003) for Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support FY15 Task: EARLY MANPOWER ASSESSMENT TOOL (EMAT...00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Human Performance Tool Development and Analysis Support 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c...for the development and maintenance of the U.S. Navy’s Leading Edge Architecture got Prototyping Systems (LEAPS) Integrated Digital Environment

  15. Osteoarchaeological Studies of Human Systemic Stress of Early Urbanization in Late Shang at Anyang, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Merrett, Deborah C; Jing, Zhichun; Tang, Jigen; He, Yuling; Yue, Hongbin; Yue, Zhanwei; Yang, Dongya Y

    2016-01-01

    Through the analysis of human skeletal remains and mortuary practice in Yinxu, this study investigates the impact of early urbanization on the commoners during the Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1250-1046 B.C.). A total of 347 individuals examined in this study represent non-elites who were recovered from two different burial contexts (formally buried in lineage cemeteries and randomly scattered in refuse pits). Frequencies of enamel hypoplasia (childhood stress), cribra orbitalia (childhood stress and frailty) and osteoperiostitis (adult stress) were examined to assess systemic stress exposure. Our results reveal that there was no significant difference in the frequency of enamel hypoplasia between two burial groups and between sexes, suggesting these urban commoners experienced similar stresses during childhood, but significantly elevated levels of cribra orbitalia and osteoperiostitis were observed in the refuse pit female cohort. Theoretically, urbanization would have resulted in increased population density in the urban centre, declining sanitary conditions, and increased risk of resource shortage. Biologically, children would be more vulnerable to such physiological disturbance; as a result, high percentages of enamel hypoplasia (80.9% overall) and cribra orbitalia (30.3% overall) are observed in Yin commoners. Adults continued to suffer from stress, resulting in high frequencies of osteoperiostitis (40.0% total adults); in particular, in the refuse pit females who may also reflect a compound impact of gender inequality. Our data show that the non-elite urban population in the capital city of Late Shang Dynasty had experienced extensive stress exposure due to early urbanization with further social stratification only worsening the situation, and eventually contributing to collapse of the Shang Dynasty.

  16. Characterization of human mesenchymal stem cell secretome at early steps of adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Chiellini, Chiara; Cochet, Olivia; Negroni, Luc; Samson, Michel; Poggi, Marjorie; Ailhaud, Gérard; Alessi, Marie-Christine; Dani, Christian; Amri, Ez-Zoubir

    2008-01-01

    Background It is well established that adipose tissue plays a key role in energy storage and release but is also a secretory organ and a source of stem cells. Among different lineages, stem cells are able to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts. As secreted proteins could regulate the balance between both lineages, we aimed at characterizing the secretome of human multipotent adipose-derived stem cell (hMADS) at an early step of commitment to adipocytes and osteoblasts. Results A proteomic approach, using mono-dimensional electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry, allowed us to identify a total of 73 proteins at day 0 and day 3 of adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation. Analysis of identified proteins showed that 52 % corresponded to classical secreted proteins characterized by a signal peptide, that 37 % previously described in the extracellular compartment were devoid of signal peptide and that 11 % neither exhibited a signal peptide nor had been previously described extracellularly. These proteins were classified into 8 clusters according to their function. Quantitative analysis has been performed for 8 candidates: PAI-1, PEDF, BIGH3, PTX3, SPARC, ENO1, GRP78 and MMP2. Among them, PAI-1 was detected at day 0 and day 3 of osteoblast differentiation but never in adipocyte secretome. Furthermore we showed that PAI-1 mRNA was down-regulated in the bone of ovariectomized mice. Conclusion Given its regulation during the early events of hMADS cell differentiation and its status in ovariectomized mice, PAI-1 could play a role in the adipocyte/osteoblast balance and thus in bone diseases such as osteoporosis. PMID:18302751

  17. Vasopressin in preeclampsia: a novel very early human pregnancy biomarker and clinically relevant mouse model.

    PubMed

    Santillan, Mark K; Santillan, Donna A; Scroggins, Sabrina M; Min, James Y; Sandgren, Jeremy A; Pearson, Nicole A; Leslie, Kimberly K; Hunter, Stephen K; Zamba, Gideon K D; Gibson-Corley, Katherine N; Grobe, Justin L

    2014-10-01

    Preeclampsia, a cardiovascular disorder of late pregnancy, is characterized as a low-renin hypertensive state relative to normotensive pregnancy. Because other nonpregnant low-renin hypertensive disorders often exhibit and are occasionally dependent on elevated arginine vasopressin (AVP) secretion, we hypothesized a possible use for plasma AVP measurements in the prediction of preeclampsia. Copeptin is an inert prosegment of AVP that is secreted in a 1:1 molar ratio and exhibits a substantially longer biological half-life compared with AVP, rendering it a clinically useful biomarker of AVP secretion. Copeptin was measured throughout pregnancy in maternal plasma from preeclamptic and control women. Maternal plasma copeptin was significantly higher throughout preeclamptic pregnancies versus control pregnancies. While controlling for clinically significant confounders (age, body mass index, chronic essential hypertension, twin gestation, diabetes mellitus, and history of preeclampsia) using multivariate regression, the association of higher copeptin concentration and the development of preeclampsia remained significant. Receiver operating characteristic analyses reveal that as early as the sixth week of gestation, elevated maternal plasma copeptin concentration is a highly significant predictor of preeclampsia throughout pregnancy. Finally, chronic infusion of AVP during pregnancy (24 ng per hour) is sufficient to phenocopy preeclampsia in C57BL/6J mice, causing pregnancy-specific hypertension, renal glomerular endotheliosis, proteinuria, and intrauterine growth restriction. These data implicate AVP release as a novel predictive biomarker for preeclampsia very early in pregnancy, identify chronic AVP infusion as a novel and clinically relevant model of preeclampsia in mice, and are consistent with a potential causative role for AVP in preeclampsia in humans.

  18. Osteoarchaeological Studies of Human Systemic Stress of Early Urbanization in Late Shang at Anyang, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Merrett, Deborah C.; Jing, Zhichun; Tang, Jigen; He, Yuling; Yue, Hongbin; Yue, Zhanwei; Yang, Dongya Y.

    2016-01-01

    Through the analysis of human skeletal remains and mortuary practice in Yinxu, this study investigates the impact of early urbanization on the commoners during the Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1250–1046 B.C.). A total of 347 individuals examined in this study represent non-elites who were recovered from two different burial contexts (formally buried in lineage cemeteries and randomly scattered in refuse pits). Frequencies of enamel hypoplasia (childhood stress), cribra orbitalia (childhood stress and frailty) and osteoperiostitis (adult stress) were examined to assess systemic stress exposure. Our results reveal that there was no significant difference in the frequency of enamel hypoplasia between two burial groups and between sexes, suggesting these urban commoners experienced similar stresses during childhood, but significantly elevated levels of cribra orbitalia and osteoperiostitis were observed in the refuse pit female cohort. Theoretically, urbanization would have resulted in increased population density in the urban centre, declining sanitary conditions, and increased risk of resource shortage. Biologically, children would be more vulnerable to such physiological disturbance; as a result, high percentages of enamel hypoplasia (80.9% overall) and cribra orbitalia (30.3% overall) are observed in Yin commoners. Adults continued to suffer from stress, resulting in high frequencies of osteoperiostitis (40.0% total adults); in particular, in the refuse pit females who may also reflect a compound impact of gender inequality. Our data show that the non-elite urban population in the capital city of Late Shang Dynasty had experienced extensive stress exposure due to early urbanization with further social stratification only worsening the situation, and eventually contributing to collapse of the Shang Dynasty. PMID:27050400

  19. Changing nuclear landscape and unique PML structures during early epigenetic transitions of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Butler, John T; Hall, Lisa L; Smith, Kelly P; Lawrence, Jeanne B

    2009-07-01

    The complex nuclear structure of somatic cells is important to epigenomic regulation, yet little is known about nuclear organization of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Here we surveyed several nuclear structures in pluripotent and transitioning hESC. Observations of centromeres, telomeres, SC35 speckles, Cajal Bodies, lamin A/C and emerin, nuclear shape and size demonstrate a very different "nuclear landscape" in hESC. This landscape is remodeled during a brief transitional window, concomitant with or just prior to differentiation onset. Notably, hESC initially contain abundant signal for spliceosome assembly factor, SC35, but lack discrete SC35 domains; these form as cells begin to specialize, likely reflecting cell-type specific genomic organization. Concomitantly, nuclear size increases and shape changes as lamin A/C and emerin incorporate into the lamina. During this brief window, hESC exhibit dramatically different PML-defined structures, which in somatic cells are linked to gene regulation and cancer. Unlike the numerous, spherical somatic PML bodies, hES cells often display approximately 1-3 large PML structures of two morphological types: long linear "rods" or elaborate "rosettes", which lack substantial SUMO-1, Daxx, and Sp100. These occur primarily between Day 0-2 of differentiation and become rare thereafter. PML rods may be "taut" between other structures, such as centromeres, but clearly show some relationship with the lamina, where PML often abuts or fills a "gap" in early lamin A/C staining. Findings demonstrate that pluripotent hES cells have a markedly different overall nuclear architecture, remodeling of which is linked to early epigenomic programming and involves formation of unique PML-defined structures.

  20. A proposal of the proteome before the last universal common ancestor (LUCA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Farias, Sávio Torres; Rêgo, Thais Gaudêncio; José, Marco V.

    2016-01-01

    The search for understanding the biological nature of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) has been a theoretical challenge and has sparked intense debate in the scientific community. We reconstructed the ancestral sequences of tRNAs in order to test the hypothesis that these molecules originated the first genes. The results showed that the proteome before LUCA may have been composed of basal energy metabolism, namely, compounds with three carbons in the glycolytic pathway, which operated as a distribution centre of substrates for the development of metabolic pathways of nucleotides, lipids and amino acids. Thus, we present a proposal for metabolism in organisms before LUCA that was the initial core for the assembly of further metabolic pathways.

  1. The genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, the diploid ancestors of cultivated peanut.

    PubMed

    Bertioli, David John; Cannon, Steven B; Froenicke, Lutz; Huang, Guodong; Farmer, Andrew D; Cannon, Ethalinda K S; Liu, Xin; Gao, Dongying; Clevenger, Josh; Dash, Sudhansu; Ren, Longhui; Moretzsohn, Márcio C; Shirasawa, Kenta; Huang, Wei; Vidigal, Bruna; Abernathy, Brian; Chu, Ye; Niederhuth, Chad E; Umale, Pooja; Araújo, Ana Cláudia G; Kozik, Alexander; Kim, Kyung Do; Burow, Mark D; Varshney, Rajeev K; Wang, Xingjun; Zhang, Xinyou; Barkley, Noelle; Guimarães, Patrícia M; Isobe, Sachiko; Guo, Baozhu; Liao, Boshou; Stalker, H Thomas; Schmitz, Robert J; Scheffler, Brian E; Leal-Bertioli, Soraya C M; Xun, Xu; Jackson, Scott A; Michelmore, Richard; Ozias-Akins, Peggy

    2016-04-01

    Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid with closely related subgenomes of a total size of ∼2.7 Gb. This makes the assembly of chromosomal pseudomolecules very challenging. As a foundation to understanding the genome of cultivated peanut, we report the genome sequences of its diploid ancestors (Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis). We show that these genomes are similar to cultivated peanut's A and B subgenomes and use them to identify candidate disease resistance genes, to guide tetraploid transcript assemblies and to detect genetic exchange between cultivated peanut's subgenomes. On the basis of remarkably high DNA identity of the A. ipaensis genome and the B subgenome of cultivated peanut and biogeographic evidence, we conclude that A. ipaensis may be a direct descendant of the same population that contributed the B subgenome to cultivated peanut.

  2. LXRα and LXRβ Nuclear Receptors Evolved in the Common Ancestor of Gnathostomes

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Elza; Ruivo, Raquel; Lopes-Marques, Mónica; Zhang, Huixian; Santos, Miguel M.; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate numerous aspects of the endocrine system. They mediate endogenous and exogenous cues, ensuring a homeostatic control of development and metabolism. Gene duplication, loss and mutation have shaped the repertoire and function of NRs in metazoans. Here, we examine the evolution of a pivotal orchestrator of cholesterol metabolism in vertebrates, the liver X receptors (LXRs). Previous studies suggested that LXRα and LXRβ genes emerged in the mammalian ancestor. However, we show through genome analysis and functional assay that bona fide LXRα and LXRβ orthologues are present in reptiles, coelacanth and chondrichthyans but not in cyclostomes. These findings show that LXR duplicated before gnathostome radiation, followed by asymmetric paralogue loss in some lineages. We suggest that a tighter control of cholesterol levels in vertebrates was achieved through the exploitation of a wider range of oxysterols, an ability contingent on ligand-binding pocket remodeling. PMID:28057729

  3. Adaptive evolution of vertebrate-type cryptochrome in the ancestors of Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Xiao, Jin-Hua; Bian, Sheng-Nan; Gu, Hai-Feng; Huang, Da-Wei

    2013-02-23

    One of the most mysterious aspects of insect clock mechanisms is that some insects, including Hymenoptera and Tribolium, only express a vertebrate-type cryptochrome (cry2). It is unknown whether or not cry2 underwent adaptive evolution in these insects. In the present study, we cloned and sequenced the full-length cry2 from a fig pollinator species, Ceratosolen solmsi (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Agaonidae), and examined the molecular evolution and daily expression of this gene. Our results suggest that cry2 underwent positive selection in the branch leading to hymenopteran insects. The function of CRY2 might have been fixed since undergoing natural selection in the ancestor of Hymenoptera. Male pollinators showed stronger rhythmicity in the host figs, which reflect an adaptation to their life cycles.

  4. Large number of ultraconserved elements were already present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianli; Lee, Alison P; Kodzius, Rimantas; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2009-03-01

    Stephen (2008) identified 13,736 ultraconserved elements (UCEs) in placental mammals and investigated their evolution in opossum, chicken, frog, and fugu. They found that there was a massive expansion of UCEs during tetrapod evolution and the substitution rate in UCEs showed a significant decline in tetrapods compared with fugu, suggesting they were exapted in tetrapods. They considered it unlikely that these elements are ancient but evolved at a higher rate in teleost fishes. In this study, we investigated the evolution of UCEs in a cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark and show that nearly half the UCEs were present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor. The substitution rate in UCEs is higher in fugu than in elephant shark, and approximately one-third of ancient UCEs have diverged beyond recognition in teleost fishes. These data indicate that UCEs have evolved at a higher rate in teleost fishes, which may have implications for their vast diversity and evolutionary success.

  5. Reconstructing the genome of the most recent common ancestor of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Murat, Florent; Armero, Alix; Pont, Caroline; Klopp, Christophe; Salse, Jérôme

    2017-03-13

    We describe here the reconstruction of the genome of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of modern monocots and eudicots, accounting for 95% of extant angiosperms, with its potential repertoire of 22,899 ancestral genes conserved in present-day crops. The MRCA provides a starting point for deciphering the reticulated evolutionary plasticity between species (rapidly versus slowly evolving lineages), subgenomes (pre- versus post-duplication blocks), genomic compartments (stable versus labile loci), genes (ancestral versus species-specific genes) and functions (gained versus lost ontologies), the key mutational forces driving the success of polyploidy in crops. The estimation of the timing of angiosperm evolution, based on MRCA genes, suggested that this group emerged 214 million years ago during the late Triassic era, before the oldest recorded fossil. Finally, the MRCA constitutes a unique resource for scientists to dissect major agronomic traits in translational genomics studies extending from model species to crops.

  6. Phenotype and function of tumor-associated neutrophils and their subsets in early-stage human lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Eruslanov, Evgeniy B

    2017-03-10

    Neutrophils accumulate in many types of human and murine tumors and represent a significant portion of tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells. Our current understanding of the role of neutrophils in tumor development has depended primarily on murine models of cancer. However, there are crucial species differences in the evolution of tumors, genetic diversity, immune and inflammatory responses, and intrinsic biology of neutrophils that might have a profound impact on the tumor development and function of neutrophils in mouse versus human tumors. To date, the majority of experimental approaches to study neutrophils in cancer patients have been limited to the examination of circulating blood neutrophils. The phenotype and function of tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) in humans, particularly in the early stages of tumor development, have not been extensively investigated. Thus, the long-term goal of our work has been to characterize human TANs and determine their specific role in tumor development. Here, we summarize our findings on human TANs obtained from human early stage lung cancer patients. We will describe the phenotypes of different TAN subsets identified in early stage lung tumors, as well as their functional dialog with T cells.

  7. Reptiles and mammals have differentially retained long conserved noncoding sequences from the amniote ancestor.

    PubMed

    Janes, D E; Chapus, C; Gondo, Y; Clayton, D F; Sinha, S; Blatti, C A; Organ, C L; Fujita, M K; Balakrishnan, C N; Edwards, S V

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation.

  8. Quantification of inbreeding due to distant ancestors and its detection using dense single nucleotide polymorphism data.

    PubMed

    Keller, Matthew C; Visscher, Peter M; Goddard, Michael E

    2011-09-01

    Inbreeding depression, which refers to reduced fitness among offspring of related parents, has traditionally been studied using pedigrees. In practice, pedigree information is difficult to obtain, potentially unreliable, and rarely assessed for inbreeding arising from common ancestors who lived more than a few generations ago. Recently, there has been excitement about using SNP data to estimate inbreeding (F) arising from distant common ancestors in apparently "outbred" populations. Statistical power to detect inbreeding depression using SNP data depends on the actual variation in inbreeding in a population, the accuracy of detecting that with marker data, the effect size, and the sample size. No one has yet investigated what variation in F is expected in SNP data as a function of population size, and it is unclear which estimate of F is optimal for detecting inbreeding depression. In the present study, we use theory, simulated genetic data, and real genetic data to find the optimal estimate of F, to quantify the likely variation in F in populations of various sizes, and to estimate the power to detect inbreeding depression. We find that F estimated from runs of homozygosity (Froh), which reflects shared ancestry of genetic haplotypes, retains variation in even large populations (e.g., SD=0.5% when Ne=10,000) and is likely to be the most powerful method of detecting inbreeding effects from among several alternative estimates of F. However, large samples (e.g., 12,000-65,000) will be required to detect inbreeding depression for likely effect sizes, and so studies using Froh to date have probably been underpowered.

  9. Reptiles and Mammals Have Differentially Retained Long Conserved Noncoding Sequences from the Amniote Ancestor

    PubMed Central

    Janes, D.E.; Chapus, C.; Gondo, Y.; Clayton, D.F.; Sinha, S.; Blatti, C.A.; Organ, C.L.; Fujita, M.K.; Balakrishnan, C.N.; Edwards, S.V.

    2011-01-01

    Many noncoding regions of genomes appear to be essential to genome function. Conservation of large numbers of noncoding sequences has been reported repeatedly among mammals but not thus far among birds and reptiles. By searching genomes of chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and green anole (Anolis carolinensis), we quantified the conservation among birds and reptiles and across amniotes of long, conserved noncoding sequences (LCNS), which we define as sequences ≥500 bp in length and exhibiting ≥95% similarity between species. We found 4,294 LCNS shared between chicken and zebra finch and 574 LCNS shared by the two birds and Anolis. The percent of genomes comprised by LCNS in the two birds (0.0024%) is notably higher than the percent in mammals (<0.0003% to <0.001%), differences that we show may be explained in part by differences in genome-wide substitution rates. We reconstruct a large number of LCNS for the amniote ancestor (ca. 8,630) and hypothesize differential loss and substantial turnover of these sites in descendent lineages. By contrast, we estimated a small role for recruitment of LCNS via acquisition of novel functions over time. Across amniotes, LCNS are significantly enriched with transcription factor binding sites for many developmental genes, and 2.9% of LCNS shared between the two birds show evidence of expression in brain expressed sequence tag databases. These results show that the rate of retention of LCNS from the amniote ancestor differs between mammals and Reptilia (including birds) and that this may reflect differing roles and constraints in gene regulation. PMID:21183607

  10. Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Natasha

    2015-01-01

    Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable. PMID:26125972

  11. Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals.

    PubMed

    Will, Manuel; Mackay, Alex; Phillips, Natasha

    2015-01-01

    Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable.

  12. EFFECT OF ARSENICALS ON THE EXPRESSION OF CELL CYCLE PROTEINS AND EARLY SIGNALING EVENTS IN PRIMARY HUMAN KERATINOCYTES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effect of Arsenicals on the Expression of Cell Cycle Proteins and Early Signaling Events in Primary Human Keratinocytes.

    Mudipalli, A, Owen R. D. and R. J. Preston, Environmental Carcinogenesis Division, USEPA, RTP, NC 27711.

    Environmental exposure to arsenic is a m...

  13. Heterogeneity of cell lines derived after transformation of early passage rodent cells by the Ha-ras1 human oncogene.

    PubMed

    Spandidos, D A; Freshney, M; Wilkie, N M

    1985-01-01

    The chromosome patterns of Chinese hamster cell lines derived after immortalization or tumorigenic conversion of early passage cells with recombinants carrying the mutated T24 or the normal human Ha-ras1 gene have been characterized by trypsin-Giemsa banding. Whereas immortalized Chinese hamster cell lines exhibited a near normal karyotype, tumorigenic cell lines were found to have abnormal karyotypes carrying marker chromosomes. Moreover, chromosomal patterns correlated with growth in semisolid media and tumourigenicity in nude mice. Similarly, malignant conversion of early passage Syrian hamster cells, with a recombinant carrying the mutated T24 human Ha-ras1 gene, resulted in cells with a near diploid karyotype. On the other hand, tumorigenic conversion of early passage Wistar rat cells with the same oncogene produced cell lines with heteroploid karyotypes. More chromosomal alterations have been observed during further growth of these cells. It is suggested that the transformed phenotype in these cells may be dependent on the chromosomal instability.

  14. A Study of Early Afterdepolarizations in a Model for Human Ventricular Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Vandersickel, Nele; Kazbanov, Ivan V.; Nuitermans, Anita; Weise, Louis D.; Pandit, Rahul; Panfilov, Alexander V.

    2014-01-01

    Sudden cardiac death is often caused by cardiac arrhythmias. Recently, special attention has been given to a certain arrhythmogenic condition, the long-QT syndrome, which occurs as a result of genetic mutations or drug toxicity. The underlying mechanisms of arrhythmias, caused by the long-QT syndrome, are not fully understood. However, arrhythmias are often connected to special excitations of cardiac cells, called early afterdepolarizations (EADs), which are depolarizations during the repolarizing phase of the action potential. So far, EADs have been studied mainly in isolated cardiac cells. However, the question on how EADs at the single-cell level can result in fibrillation at the tissue level, especially in human cell models, has not been widely studied yet. In this paper, we study wave patterns that result from single-cell EAD dynamics in a mathematical model for human ventricular cardiac tissue. We induce EADs by modeling experimental conditions which have been shown to evoke EADs at a single-cell level: by an increase of L-type Ca currents and a decrease of the delayed rectifier potassium currents. We show that, at the tissue level and depending on these parameters, three types of abnormal wave patterns emerge. We classify them into two types of spiral fibrillation and one type of oscillatory dynamics. Moreover, we find that the emergent wave patterns can be driven by calcium or sodium currents and we find phase waves in the oscillatory excitation regime. From our simulations we predict that arrhythmias caused by EADs can occur during normal wave propagation and do not require tissue heterogeneities. Experimental verification of our results is possible for experiments at the cell-culture level, where EADs can be induced by an increase of the L-type calcium conductance and by the application of I blockers, and the properties of the emergent patterns can be studied by optical mapping of the voltage and calcium. PMID:24427289

  15. Abnormal mitochondrial transport and morphology as early pathological changes in human models of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chong-Chong; Denton, Kyle R; Wang, Zhi-Bo; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Li, Xue-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), characterized by specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons, is caused by mutations in the survival of motor neuron 1, telomeric (SMN1) gene and subsequent decreased levels of functional SMN. How the deficiency of SMN, a ubiquitously expressed protein, leads to spinal motor neuron-specific degeneration in individuals affected by SMA remains unknown. In this study, we examined the role of SMN in mitochondrial axonal transport and morphology in human motor neurons by generating SMA type 1 patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiating these cells into spinal motor neurons. The initial specification of spinal motor neurons was not affected, but these SMA spinal motor neurons specifically degenerated following long-term culture. Moreover, at an early stage in SMA spinal motor neurons, but not in SMA forebrain neurons, the number of mitochondria, mitochondrial area and mitochondrial transport were significantly reduced in axons. Knocking down of SMN expression led to similar mitochondrial defects in spinal motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells, confirming that SMN deficiency results in impaired mitochondrial dynamics. Finally, the application of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) mitigated the impairment in mitochondrial transport and morphology and rescued motor neuron degeneration in SMA long-term cultures. Furthermore, NAC ameliorated the reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential in SMA spinal motor neurons, suggesting that NAC might rescue apoptosis and motor neuron degeneration by improving mitochondrial health. Overall, our data demonstrate that SMN deficiency results in abnormal mitochondrial transport and morphology and a subsequent reduction in mitochondrial health, which are implicated in the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons in SMA.

  16. Role of human cytomegalovirus in the proliferation and invasion of extravillous cytotrophoblasts isolated from early placentae

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tao; Zheng, Xiaofei; Li, Qin; Chen, Juanjuan; Yin, Zongzhi; Xiao, Juan; Zhang, Dandan; Li, Wei; Qiao, Yuan; Chen, Suhua

    2015-01-01

    Aim: We investigated the role of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and its mechanism in extravillous cytotrophoblast (EVT) proliferation and invasion in vitro. Methods: Differential enzymatic digestion combined with gradient centrifugation, was used to isolate primary EVT from human chorionic villi collected from early placentae of healthy pregnant women. HCMV infection was determined by immunofluorescence staining of HCMVpp65 antigen expression. An MTT assay was used to examine the role of HCMV in the proliferation of EVT. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), immunocytochemical staining and Western blots were carried out in a control group (EVT) and a virus group (EVT+HCMV) to examine the expression of major genes and protein in TGF-β/Smad signaling pathways in EVT 48 h after inoculation with HCMV. An in vitro cell invasion assay was performed to analyze the influence of HCMV on EVT invasion. Results: HCMV significantly inhibited the proliferation of EVT 48 h after viral infection (P < 0.05). The expression of TGF-β1, Smad1, Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, and Smad5 genes was significantly increased (P < 0.05), but that of TGF-β2, TGF-β3, TGFβRI, TGFβRII, Smad7, MMP2, and MMP9 was significantly decreased in the virus group 48 h after HCMV infection (P < 0.05). Smad7, MMP-2 and MMP-9 protein levels were significantly decreased and the TGF-β1 protein level was significantly increased in infected EVT (all P < 0.05). Conclusions: HCMV may act on multiple steps of the TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway to impede EVT proliferation and invasion. PMID:26770317

  17. Gene pathway development in human epicardial adipose tissue during early life

    PubMed Central

    Ojha, Shalini; Fainberg, Hernan P.; Wilson, Victoria; Pelella, Giuseppe; Castellanos, Marcos; May, Sean T.; Lotto, Attilio A.; Sacks, Harold; Symonds, Michael E.; Budge, Helen

    2016-01-01

    Studies in rodents and newborn humans demonstrate the influence of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in temperature control and energy balance and a critical role in the regulation of body weight. Here, we obtained samples of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) from neonates, infants, and children in order to evaluate changes in their transcriptional landscape by applying a systems biology approach. Surprisingly, these analyses revealed that the transition to infancy is a critical stage for changes in the morphology of EAT and is reflected in unique gene expression patterns of a substantial proportion of thermogenic gene transcripts (~10%). Our results also indicated that the pattern of gene expression represents a distinct developmental stage, even after the rebound in abundance of thermogenic genes in later childhood. Using weighted gene coexpression network analyses, we found precise anthropometric-specific correlations with changes in gene expression and the decline of thermogenic capacity within EAT. In addition, these results indicate a sequential order of transcriptional events affecting cellular pathways, which could potentially explain the variation in the amount, or activity, of BAT in adulthood. Together, these results provide a resource to elucidate gene regulatory mechanisms underlying the progressive development of BAT during early life. PMID:27699231

  18. Gene pathway development in human epicardial adipose tissue during early life.

    PubMed

    Ojha, Shalini; Fainberg, Hernan P; Wilson, Victoria; Pelella, Giuseppe; Castellanos, Marcos; May, Sean T; Lotto, Attilio A; Sacks, Harold; Symonds, Michael E; Budge, Helen

    2016-08-18

    Studies in rodents and newborn humans demonstrate the influence of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in temperature control and energy balance and a critical role in the regulation of body weight. Here, we obtained samples of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) from neonates, infants, and children in order to evaluate changes in their transcriptional landscape by applying a systems biology approach. Surprisingly, these analyses revealed that the transition to infancy is a critical stage for changes in the morphology of EAT and is reflected in unique gene expression patterns of a substantial proportion of thermogenic gene transcripts (~10%). Our results also indicated that the pattern of gene expression represents a distinct developmental stage, even after the rebound in abundance of thermogenic genes in later childhood. Using weighted gene coexpression network analyses, we found precise anthropometric-specific correlations with changes in gene expression and the decline of thermogenic capacity within EAT. In addition, these results indicate a sequential order of transcriptional events affecting cellular pathways, which could potentially explain the variation in the amount, or activity, of BAT in adulthood. Together, these results provide a resource to elucidate gene regulatory mechanisms underlying the progressive development of BAT during early life.

  19. The Human Factors of an Early Space Accident: Flight 3-65 of the X-15

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barshi, Immanuel; Statler, Irving C.; Orr, Jeb S.

    2015-01-01

    The X-15 was a critical research vehicle in the early days of space flight. On November 15, 1967, the X-15-3 suffered an in-flight breakup. This 191st flight of the X-15 and the 65th flight of this third configuration was the only fatal accident of the X-15 program. This paper presents an analysis, from a human factors perspective, of the events that led up to the accident. The analysis is based on the information contained in the report of the Air Force-NASA Accident Investigation Board (AIB) dated January, 1968. The AIBs analysis addressed, primarily, the events that occurred subsequent to the pilots taking direct control of the reaction control system. The analysis described here suggests that all of the events that caused the accident occurred well before the moment when the pilot switched to direct control. Consequently, the analyses and conclusions regarding the causal factors of, and the contributing factors to, the loss of Flight 3-65 presented here differ from those of the AIB based on the same evidence. Although the accident occurred in 1967, the results of the presented analysis are still relevant today. We present our analysis and discuss its implications for the safety of space operations.

  20. The Human Factors of an Early Space Accident: Flight 3-65 of the X-15

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barshi, Immanuel; Statler, Irving C.; Orr, Jeb S.

    2016-01-01

    The X-15 was a critical research vehicle in the early days of space flight. On November 15, 1967, the X-15-3 suffered an in-flight breakup. This 191st flight of the X-15 and the 65th flight of this third configuration was the only fatal accident of the X-15 program. This paper presents an analysis, from a human factors perspective, of the events that led up to the accident. The analysis is based on the information contained in the report of the Air Force-NASA Accident Investigation Board (AIB) dated January, 1968. The AIBs analysis addressed, primarily, the events that occurred subsequent to the pilot's taking direct control of the reaction control system. The analysis described here suggests that, rather than events following the pilot's switch to direct control, it was the events preceding the switch that led to the accident. Consequently, the analyses and conclusions regarding the causal factors of, and the contributing factors to, the loss of Flight 3-65 presented here differ from those of the AIB based on the same evidence. Although the accident occurred in 1967, the results of the presented analysis are still relevant today. We present our analysis and discuss its implications for the safety of space operations.

  1. [Early anomalies of CD4 and CD20 lymphocyte cycles in human immunodeficiency virus].

    PubMed

    Martini, E; Muller, J Y; Gastal, C; Doinel, C; Meyohas, M C; Roquin, H; Frottier, J; Salmon, C

    1988-11-19

    Circadian variations in the number of circulating lymphocytes and their subpopulations have been observed in healthy subjects. These cyclic changes are characterized by a trough at 8:00 a.m. and a peak at midnight. Using multiple peripheral blood samplings, we were able to confirm that this cycle applied to CD4 T-cells (helpers) and to B-cells (CD20). No cycle of CD8 lymphocytes was observed. In a second stage, for greater comfort of the patient the number of samplings was reduced to two: one at 8:00 a.m. (trough) and one at midnight (peak). This method enabled us to calculate the amplitude of lymphocytes cycles in 18 controls and 74 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive patients. In asymptomatic HIV carriers the amplitude of CD4 cycles was normal in 6/26 cases and that of B-cell cycles in 2/17 cases. In the group of asymptomatic HIV carriers the mean amplitude of the cycles was much less reduced than in the other two groups. These results incite us to believe that the loss of the CD4 T-cell cycles is an early sign of HIV infection antedating the decrease observed in the number of these cells.

  2. Monitoring chicken flock behaviour provides early warning of infection by human pathogen Campylobacter

    PubMed Central

    Colles, Frances M.; Cain, Russell J.; Nickson, Thomas; Smith, Adrian L.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Lunn, Daniel; Dawkins, Marian Stamp

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of gastrointestinal infection in humans, and chicken meat is the major source of infection throughout the world. Strict and expensive on-farm biosecurity measures have been largely unsuccessful in controlling infection and are hampered by the time needed to analyse faecal samples, with the result that Campylobacter status is often known only after a flock has been processed. Our data demonstrate an alternative approach that monitors the behaviour of live chickens with cameras and analyses the ‘optical flow’ patterns made by flock movements. Campylobacter-free chicken flocks have higher mean and lower kurtosis of optical flow than those testing positive for Campylobacter by microbiological methods. We show that by monitoring behaviour in this way, flocks likely to become positive can be identified within the first 7–10 days of life, much earlier than conventional on-farm microbiological methods. This early warning has the potential to lead to a more targeted approach to Campylobacter control and also provides new insights into possible sources of infection that could transform the control of this globally important food-borne pathogen. PMID:26740618

  3. Monitoring chicken flock behaviour provides early warning of infection by human pathogen Campylobacter.

    PubMed

    Colles, Frances M; Cain, Russell J; Nickson, Thomas; Smith, Adrian L; Roberts, Stephen J; Maiden, Martin C J; Lunn, Daniel; Dawkins, Marian Stamp

    2016-01-13

    Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of gastrointestinal infection in humans, and chicken meat is the major source of infection throughout the world. Strict and expensive on-farm biosecurity measures have been largely unsuccessful in controlling infection and are hampered by the time needed to analyse faecal samples, with the result that Campylobacter status is often known only after a flock has been processed. Our data demonstrate an alternative approach that monitors the behaviour of live chickens with cameras and analyses the 'optical flow' patterns made by flock movements. Campylobacter-free chicken flocks have higher mean and lower kurtosis of optical flow than those testing positive for Campylobacter by microbiological methods. We show that by monitoring behaviour in this way, flocks likely to become positive can be identified within the first 7-10 days of life, much earlier than conventional on-farm microbiological methods. This early warning has the potential to lead to a more targeted approach to Campylobacter control and also provides new insights into possible sources of infection that could transform the control of this globally important food-borne pathogen.

  4. Early processing in human LOC is highly responsive to illusory contours but not to salient regions

    PubMed Central

    Shpaner, Marina; Murray, Micah M.; Foxe, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Human electrophysiological studies support a model whereby sensitivity to so-called illusory contour stimuli is first seen within the lateral occipital complex. A challenge to this model posits that the lateral occipital complex is a general site for crude region-based segmentation, based on findings of equivalent hemodynamic activations in the lateral occipital complex to illusory contour and so-called salient region stimuli, a stimulus class that lacks the classic bounding contours of illusory contours. Using high-density electrical mapping of visual evoked potentials, we show that early lateral occipital cortex activity is substantially stronger to illusory contour than to salient region stimuli, while later lateral occipital complex activity is stronger to salient region than to illusory contour stimuli. Our results suggest that equivalent hemodynamic activity to illusory contour and salient region stimuli likely reflects temporally integrated responses, a result of the poor temporal resolution of hemodynamic imaging. The temporal precision of visual evoked potentials is critical for establishing viable models of completion processes and visual scene analysis. We propose that crude spatial segmentation analyses, which are insensitive to illusory contours, occur first within dorsal visual regions, not lateral occipital complex, and that initial illusory contour sensitivity is a function of the lateral occipital complex. PMID:19895562

  5. Early effects of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm secreted products on inflammatory responses of human epithelial keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and venous leg ulcers contribute to a considerable amount of mortality in the U.S. annually. The inability of these wounds to heal has now been associated with the presence of microbial biofilms. The aim of this study was to determine if products secreted by S. aureus biofilms play an active role in chronic wounds by promoting inflammation, which is a hallmark of chronic wounds. Methods In vitro experiments were conducted to examine changes in gene expression profiles and inflammatory response of human epithelial keratinocytes (HEKa) exposed to products secreted by S. aureus grown in biofilms or products secreted by S. aureus grown planktonically. Results After only two hours of exposure, gene expression microarray data showed marked differences in inflammatory, apoptotic, and nitric oxide responses between HEKa cells exposed to S. aureus biofilm conditioned media (BCM) and HEKa cells exposed to S. aureus planktonic conditioned media (PCM). As early as 4 hours post exposure, ELISA results showed significant increases in IL-6, IL-8, TNFα, and CXCL2 production by HEKa cells exposed to BCM compared to HEKa cells exposed to PCM or controls. Nitric oxide assay data also showed significant increases in nitric oxide production by HEKa cells treated with BCM compared to HEKa cells treated with PCM, or controls. Conclusions Taken together, these results support and extend previous findings that indicate products secreted by S. aureus biofilms directly contribute to the chronic inflammation associated with chronic wounds. PMID:24936153

  6. Development of the genital ducts and external genitalia in the early human embryo.

    PubMed

    Sajjad, Yasmin

    2010-10-01

    The course of development of the human genital tract is undifferentiated to the 9th week of development. At this time two symmetrical paired ducts known as the mesonephric (MD) and paramesonephric ducts (PMD) are present, which together with the urogenital sinus provide the tissue sources for internal and external genital development. Normal differentiation of the bipotential external genitalia and reproductive ducts are dependent upon the presence or absence of certain hormones. Masculinization of the internal and external genitalia during fetal development depends on the existence of two discrete testicular hormones. Testosterone secreted from Leydig cells induces the differentiation of the mesonephric ducts into the epididymis, vasa deferentia and seminal vesicles, whereas anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) produced by Sertoli cells induces the regression of the paramesonephric ducts. The absence of AMH action in early fetal life results in the formation of the fallopian tubes, uterus and upper third of the vagina. In some target tissues, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for the masculinization of the urogenital sinus and external genitalia.

  7. Analysis of human dentition from Early Bronze Age: 4000-year-old puzzle.

    PubMed

    Przystańska, Agnieszka; Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska, Dorota; Abreu-Głowacka, Monica; Glapiński, Mariusz; Sroka, Alicja; Rewekant, Artur; Hyrchała, Anna; Bartecki, Bartłomiej; Żaba, Czesław; Kulczyk, Tomasz

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents the first ever paleodontological investigation of human remains from an archeological site in Central Europe dating from the Early Bronze Age and attributed to the Strzyzow Culture. It corroborates the knowledge gained from archeological, anthropological and genetical investigations. Our study aimed to assess dental status, dental morphology and dental pathologies as well as tooth wear and enamel hypoplasia based on visual inspection and stereomicroscopic investigation. The research was supported by CBCT imaging to obtain digital images and 3D reconstructions as well as 2D radiographs essential for dental age estimation. All of the 191 teeth discovered showed morphological similarity, with adult teeth showing similar color, shape and size. A maxillary molar presenting with a unique root morphology and a mandibular molar with a rare occlusal surface were found. Both permanent and deciduous dentition presented significant tooth wear. A few specimens displayed signs of dental caries, periapical pathology and antemortem tooth loss. Three individuals exhibited linear enamel hypoplasia. CBCT provided high-quality 2D images useful for dental age estimation by non-destructive methods. Estimated dental age correlated with the age estimated by other anthropological methods. In one case, this was crucial because of insufficient material for anthropological analysis. The presented studies have proved that besides the skeleton, teeth can be used as a fundamental tool in assessing the overall health and living conditions of paleopopulations. It would seem that there is potential for considerable development to be made in the research and investigation of paleodontological material using CBCT.

  8. Inhibition of human coronavirus NL63 infection at early stages of the replication cycle.

    PubMed

    Pyrc, Krzysztof; Bosch, Berend Jan; Berkhout, Ben; Jebbink, Maarten F; Dijkman, Ronald; Rottier, Peter; van der Hoek, Lia

    2006-06-01

    Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), a recently discovered member of the Coronaviridae family, has spread worldwide and is associated with acute respiratory illness in young children and elderly and immunocompromised persons. Further analysis of HCoV-NL63 pathogenicity seems warranted, in particular because the virus uses the same cellular receptor as severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus. As there is currently no HCoV-NL63-specific and effective vaccine or drug therapy available, we evaluated several existing antiviral drugs and new synthetic compounds as inhibitors of HCoV-NL63, targeting multiple stages of the replication cycle. Of the 28 compounds that we tested, 6 potently inhibited HCoV-NL63 at early steps of the replication cycle. Intravenous immunoglobulins, heptad repeat 2 peptide, small interfering RNA1 (siRNA1), siRNA2, beta-D-N(4)-hydroxycytidine, and 6-azauridine showed 50% inhibitory concentrations of 125 microg/ml, 2 microM, 5 nM, 3 nM, 400 nM, and 32 nM, respectively, and low 50% cytotoxicity concentrations (>10 mg/ml, >40 microM, >200 nM, >200 nM, >100 microM, and 80 microM, respectively). These agents may be investigated further for the treatment of coronavirus infections.

  9. Early Pliocene hominids from Gona, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Semaw, Sileshi; Simpson, Scott W; Quade, Jay; Renne, Paul R; Butler, Robert F; McIntosh, William C; Levin, Naomi; Dominguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Rogers, Michael J

    2005-01-20

    Comparative biomolecular studies suggest that the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, lived during the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene. Fossil evidence of Late Miocene-Early Pliocene hominid evolution is rare and limited to a few sites in Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad. Here we report new Early Pliocene hominid discoveries and their palaeoenvironmental context from the fossiliferous deposits of As Duma, Gona Western Margin (GWM), Afar, Ethiopia. The hominid dental anatomy (occlusal enamel thickness, absolute and relative size of the first and second lower molar crowns, and premolar crown and radicular anatomy) indicates attribution to Ardipithecus ramidus. The combined radioisotopic and palaeomagnetic data suggest an age of between 4.51 and 4.32 million years for the hominid finds at As Duma. Diverse sources of data (sedimentology, faunal composition, ecomorphological variables and stable carbon isotopic evidence from the palaeosols and fossil tooth enamel) indicate that the Early Pliocene As Duma sediments sample a moderate rainfall woodland and woodland/grassland.

  10. Early Transcriptomic Response to LDL and oxLDL in Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

    PubMed Central

    Damián-Zamacona, Salvador; Toledo-Ibelles, Paola; Ibarra-Abundis, Mabel Z.; Uribe-Figueroa, Laura; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Macedo-Alcibia, Karla Paola; Delgado–Coello, Blanca; Mas-Oliva, Jaime; Reyes-Grajeda, Juan Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Background Although nowadays it is well known that the human transcriptome can importantly vary according to external or environmental condition, the reflection of this concept when studying oxidative stress and its direct relationship with gene expression profiling during the process of atherogenesis has not been thoroughly achieved. Objective The ability to analyze genome-wide gene expression through transcriptomics has shown that the genome responds dynamically to diverse stimuli. Here, we describe the transcriptome of human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMC) stimulated by native and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (nLDL and oxLDL respectively), with the aim of assessing the early molecular changes that induce a response in this cell type resulting in a transcriptomic transformation. This expression has been demonstrated in atherosclerotic plaques in vivo and in vitro, particularly in the light of the oxidative modification hypothesis of atherosclerosis. Approach and Results Total RNA was isolated with TRIzol reagent (Life Technologies) and quality estimated using an Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer. The transcriptome of hVSMC under different experimental conditions (1,5 and 24 hours for nLDL and oxLDL) was obtained using the GeneChip Human Gene 1.0 ST (Affymetrix) designed to measure gene expression of 28,869 well-annotated genes. A fixed fold-change cut-off corresponding to ± 2 was used to identify genes exhibiting the most significant variation and statistical significance (P< 0.05), and 8 genes validated by qPCR using Taqman probes. Conclusions 10 molecular processes were significantly affected in hVSMC: Apoptosis and cell cycle, extracellular matrix remodeling, DNA repair, cholesterol efflux, cGMP biosynthesis, endocytic mechanisms, calcium homeostasis, redox balance, membrane trafficking and finally, the immune response to inflammation. The evidence we present supporting the hypothesis for the involvement of oxidative modification of several processes and

  11. A special case of anencephaly in an early-born baby with an exagerated prognastic face: further example for human devolution.

    PubMed

    Tan, Uner

    2008-06-01

    A 7-month-old baby was born in a village near Iskenderun (Turkey) where "Unertan Syndrome" with quadrupedality and primitive cognitive abilities was discovered. The clinical diagnosis was anencephaly. However, his head did not show the classical symptoms of anencephaly because it was covered with bony structures. The baby has an ape-like, prognasthic head with low-set ears and flapped ear flaps. The other parts of the body were similar to humans with broad shoulders and a short neck. This may be a further example of human devolution, which was first reported by Tan (2005, 2006a,b,c). A genetic defect affecting the head development including brain may be responsible for the reappearance of the ape-like head in a human being. This human devolution, or evolution in reverse, suggests that the same gene or gene-pool as well as the interactions between genes may be responsible for the transition from our ancestors into human beings with regard to an orthognasthic head, and brain development.

  12. Human radiation studies: Remembering the early years: Oral history of pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D., conducted October 5, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    This report provides a transcript of an interview with Dr. Clarance Lushbaugh by representatives of the DOE Office of Human Radiation Experiments. Dr. Lushbaugh was chosen for this interview because of his research involving experimental use of irradiation with human beings at Los Alamos and at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Science (ORINS). After a brief biographical sketch Dr. Lushbaugh and his assistant Mrs. Ann Swipe defend their use of total body irradiation using the LETBI (Low Exposure Total Body Irradiation) and the LETBI (Medium Energy Total Body Irradiator). Dr. Lushbaugh also discusses his earlier experiments involving use of nitrogen mustards in chemotherapy application, his early interest in the LD50 for man, his early impressions of low-level spray radiation as introduced by Heubline, anedotal information for his duties a pathologist for Los Alamos, and his developing interest in establishing safer radiation limits for human exposure.

  13. Early-life experiences and the development of adult diseases with a focus on mental illness: The Human Birth Theory.

    PubMed

    Maccari, Stefania; Polese, Daniela; Reynaert, Marie-Line; Amici, Tiziana; Morley-Fletcher, Sara; Fagioli, Francesca

    2017-02-07

    In mammals, early adverse experiences, including mother-pup interactions, shape the response of an individual to chronic stress or to stress-related diseases during adult life. This has led to the elaboration of the theory of the developmental origins of health and disease, in particular adult diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. In addition, in humans, as stated by Massimo Fagioli's Human Birth Theory, birth is healthy and equal for all individuals, so that mental illness develop exclusively in the postnatal period because of the quality of the relationship in the first year of life. Thus, this review focuses on the importance of programming during the early developmental period on the manifestation of adult diseases in both animal models and humans. Considering the obvious differences between animals and humans we cannot systematically move from animal models to humans. Consequently, in the first part of this review, we will discuss how animal models can be used to dissect the influence of adverse events occurring during the prenatal and postnatal periods on the developmental trajectories of the offspring, and in the second part, we will discuss the role of postnatal critical periods on the development of mental diseases in humans. Epigenetic mechanisms that cause reversible modifications in gene expression, driving the development of a pathological phenotype in response to a negative early postnatal environment, may lie at the core of this programming, thereby providing potential new therapeutic targets. The concept of the Human Birth Theory leads to a comprehension of the mental illness as a pathology of the human relationship immediately after birth and during the first year of life.

  14. Short adolescence in early hominids: infantile and adolescent growth of the human femur.

    PubMed

    Tardieu, C

    1998-10-01

    Did the first hominids have a short developmental period similar to that of the great apes or a longer period closer to that of modern humans? Evidence from studies on dental and facial growth favors the first point of view. Additional evidence presented in this report is provided by a morphogenetic analysis of the lower limb. Some morphological modifications undergone by the human femur during infantile and adolescent growth are shown to be excellent markers of different developmental stages. The angular remodelling of the femoral diaphysis, which results in femoral bicondylar angle, is a marker of infancy, while the reshaping of the distal femoral epiphysis is a marker of adolescence. This reshaping of the bony epiphysis consists of the strong projection of the external lip of the femoral trochlea, the increase of the radius of curvature of the external condyle, and the anteroposterior lengthening of the whole epiphysis. The growth spurt in linear dimensions of the femur, characteristic of human adolescence, is shown to be associated with qualitative changes of the distal femoral epiphysis engendered by the late closure of the distal epiphysis. The femur of the first hominids (Australopithecus afarensis) shows only features of infantile growth, whereas characters of both precocious and later growth are typical of later hominids (Homo). The absence of the derived epiphyseal features in Australopithecus would be linked to their early epiphyseal closure and short adolescent growth period; their presence in Homo would have been promoted by their delayed epiphyseal closure and prolonged adolescent growth period. The transition from Australopithecus to Homo appears to have involved a heterochronic process of time hypermorphosis (Gould, [1977], Ontogeny and Phylogeny [Cambridge: Harvard University Press]) in which the size of the femur increases, the epiphysis is modified, and the period of peripubertal growth is prolonged. The shape of the distal epiphyses of KNM

  15. From Toumai to Lucy: climate and orographic forcing on Environment and Early Human

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramstein, Gilles; Contoux, Camille; Sepulchre, Pierre; Schuster, Mathieu; Jost, Anne

    2014-05-01

    This abstract will present a summary of several studies we conducted at LSCE to understand through modeling simulations how the climate and topography variations may drive the evolution/migration of Early Humans. Tectonics and orbital forcing are major forcing factors on environment which act at different time scales. African Uplift spans over Millions of years whereas at low latitudes precession cycles will produce drastic hydrologic variations at the pluri millennial time scale. Therefore, in a first step it is necessary to investigate the impact of long term topographic changes on climate and vegetation. The long term forcing of the African uplift has been first tested and investigated through a set of numerical experiments using different heights for the Rift. We pointed out that this issue was the key factor to explain the dryness of the East part of the Rift associated with the disappearance of the forests when the rift was uplifted during the late Pliocene. Prior to this, much more water penetrates from the Indian Ocean over East Africa and forests can sustain. Therefore, this pattern of Dry East of the Rift and Wet west of the Rift is driven by the uplift and consistent with the evolution of vegetation. On the other side, the Mega Lake Chad (MLC) region was not really sensitive to this topographic change but much more to orbital forcing. Two species of early hominids (Australopithecus bahrelghazali, 3,6 Ma, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Toumai, 7 Ma) were found in this region, associated with other vertebrate fossil remains, which seem to be associated to the presence of the Mega Lake Chad. It is thus crucial to understand how it is possible to produce and sustain such a large lake (350 000 km2) at these latitudes. Through a second series of simulations, we demonstrated that during the Pliocene, occurrences of such megalake episodes were possible (similarly as during most recent Holocene) and may be sustained during half a precession cycle (10 kyr

  16. Human Exposure to Early Morning Anopheles funestus Biting Behavior and Personal Protection Provided by Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets

    PubMed Central

    Moiroux, Nicolas; Damien, Georgia B.; Egrot, Marc; Djenontin, Armel; Chandre, Fabrice; Corbel, Vincent; Killeen, Gerry F.; Pennetier, Cédric

    2014-01-01

    A shift towards early morning biting behavior of the major malaria vector Anopheles funestus have been observed in two villages in south Benin following distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), but the impact of these changes on the personal protection efficacy of LLINs was not evaluated. Data from human and An. funestus behavioral surveys were used to measure the human exposure to An. funestus bites through previously described mathematical models. We estimated the personal protection efficacy provided by LLINs and the proportions of exposure to bite occurring indoors and/or in the early morning. Average personal protection provided by using of LLIN was high (≥80% of the total exposure to bite), but for LLIN users, a large part of remaining exposure occurred outdoors (45.1% in Tokoli-V and 68.7% in Lokohoué) and/or in the early morning (38.5% in Tokoli-V and 69.4% in Lokohoué). This study highlights the crucial role of LLIN use and the possible need to develop new vector control strategies targeting malaria vectors with outdoor and early morning biting behavior. This multidisciplinary approach that supplements entomology with social science and mathematical modeling illustrates just how important it is to assess where and when humans are actually exposed to malaria vectors before vector control program managers, policy-makers and funders conclude what entomological observations imply. PMID:25115830

  17. Combined Genetic and Genealogic Studies Uncover a Large BAP1 Cancer Syndrome Kindred Tracing Back Nine Generations to a Common Ancestor from the 1700s.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Michele; Flores, Erin G; Emi, Mitsuru; Johnson, Todd A; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Behner, Dusty; Hoffman, Harriet; Hesdorffer, Mary; Nasu, Masaki; Napolitano, Andrea; Powers, Amy; Minaai, Michael; Baumann, Francine; Bryant-Greenwood, Peter; Lauk, Olivia; Kirschner, Michaela B; Weder, Walter; Opitz, Isabelle; Pass, Harvey I; Gaudino, Giovanni; Pastorino, Sandra; Yang, Haining

    2015-12-01

    We recently discovered an inherited cancer syndrome caused by BRCA1-Associated Protein 1 (BAP1) germline mutations, with high incidence of mesothelioma, uveal melanoma and other cancers and very high penetrance by age 55. To identify families with the BAP1 cancer syndrome, we screened patients with family histories of multiple mesotheliomas and melanomas and/or multiple cancers. We identified four families that shared an identical BAP1 mutation: they lived across the US and did not appear to be related. By combining family histories, molecular genetics, and genealogical approaches, we uncovered a BAP1 cancer syndrome kindred of ~80,000 descendants with a core of 106 individuals, whose members descend from a couple born in Germany in the early 1700s who immigrated to North America. Their descendants spread throughout the country with mutation carriers affected by multiple malignancies. Our data show that, once a proband is identified, extended analyses of these kindreds, using genomic and genealogical studies to identify the most recent common ancestor, allow investigators to uncover additional branches of the family that may carry BAP1 mutations. Using this knowledge, we have identified new branches of this family carrying BAP1 mutations. We have also implemented early-detection strategies that help identify cancers at early-stage, when they can be cured (melanomas) or are more susceptible to therapy (MM and other malignancies).

  18. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Adam D.; Rigby, Francesca L.; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    A leading hypothesis proposes that increased human life span since 1850 has resulted from decreased exposure to childhood infections, which has reduced chronic inflammation and later-life mortality rates, particularly from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Early-life cohort mortality rate often predicts later-life survival in humans, but such associations could arise from factors other than disease exposure. Additionally, the impact of early-life disease exposure on reproduction remains unknown, and thus previous work ignores a major component of fitness through which selection acts upon life-history strategy. We collected data from seven 18th- and 19th-century Finnish populations experiencing naturally varying mortality and fertility levels. We quantified early-life disease exposure as the detrended child mortality rate from infectious diseases during an individual’s first 5 y, controlling for important social factors. We found no support for an association between early-life disease exposure and all-cause mortality risk after age 15 or 50. We also found no link between early-life disease exposure and probability of death specifically from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer. Independent of survival, there was no evidence to support associations between early-life disease exposure and any of several aspects of reproductive performance, including lifetime reproductive success and age at first birth, in either males or females. Our results do not support the prevailing assertion that exposure to infectious diseases in early life has long-lasting associations with later-life all-cause mortality risk or mortality putatively linked to chronic inflammation. Variation in adulthood conditions could therefore be the most likely source of recent increases in adult life span. PMID:27457937

  19. The Last Universal Common Ancestor: emergence, constitution and genetic legacy of an elusive forerunner

    PubMed Central

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    Background Since the reclassification of all life forms in three Domains (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya), the identity of their alleged forerunner (Last Universal Common Ancestor or LUCA) has been the subject of extensive controversies: progenote or already complex organism, prokaryote or protoeukaryote, thermophile or mesophile, product of a protracted progression from simple replicators to complex cells or born in the cradle of "catalytically closed" entities? We present a critical survey of the topic and suggest a scenario. Results LUCA does not appear to have been a simple, primitive, hyperthermophilic prokaryote but rather a complex community of protoeukaryotes with a RNA genome, adapted to a broad range of moderate temperatures, genetically redundant, morphologically and metabolically diverse. LUCA's genetic redundancy predicts loss of paralogous gene copies in divergent lineages to be a significant source of phylogenetic anomalies, i.e. instances where a protein tree departs from the SSU-rRNA genealogy; consequently, horizontal gene transfer may not have the rampant character assumed by many. Examining membrane lipids suggest LUCA had sn1,2 ester fatty acid lipids from which Archaea emerged from the outset as thermophilic by "thermoreduction," with a new type of membrane, composed of sn2,3 ether isoprenoid lipids; this occurred without major enzymatic reconversion. Bacteria emerged by reductive evolution from LUCA and some lineages further acquired extreme thermophily by convergent evolution. This scenario is compatible with the hypothesis that the RNA to DNA transition resulted from different viral invasions as proposed by Forterre. Beyond the controversy opposing "replication first" to metabolism first", the predictive arguments of theories on "catalytic closure" or "compositional heredity" heavily weigh in favour of LUCA's ancestors having emerged as complex, self-replicating entities from which a genetic code arose under natural selection. Conclusion Life

  20. Biomolecule-Mineral Interactions in the Geochemical Environment on Early Earth and in the Human Body

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahai, N.

    2011-12-01

    We worked on four projects consistent with the broad goals of the grant to investigate (i) the potential impacts of mineral surface chemistry and particle size on the stability and viability of cell membranes, bacteria and human cells and (ii) the influence of biomolecules on mineral nucleation and growth. The projects are of relevance to the origin and early evolution of life, biomineralization, medical mineralogy, and environmental biogeochemistry. The freedom enabled by the five-year grant to explore high-risk scientific areas, and the resulting high impact outcomes, cannot be overstated. We developed an almost entirely new field of Medical Mineralogyy and extended our concepts and knowledge-base to the potential roles of mineral surfaces in the evolution of protocells and the earliest cells. These exciting connections to medical mineralogy, and to the origin and evolution of life on early Earth are fascinating topics to the general public and even to other scientists, especially when the links to mineralogy and geochemistry are highlighted. In brief, we examined the stability of lipid bilayers representing model protocell membranes comprised of phospholipid bilayers with mineral surfaces. We found that the stability of lipid bilayers depends on mineral surface charge and increases as silica glass ~ quartz < rutile ~ mica < corundum. In a second project, we investigated whether the evolution of bacterial extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) may have been driven by nanomineral toxicity. Results showed that EPS does protect against mineral toxicity, and toxicity increases as amorphous SiO2 < β-TiO2 (anatase) < γ-Al2O3. A commonly accepted mechanism for Biomineralization is protein-templated nucleation. We used Molecular Dynamics and Bioinformatics computational chemistry approaches and showed that the random coil structure of a specific peptide promotes formation of an amorphous Ca-PO4 cluster, but not direct templation of hydroxyapatite. The consistency

  1. SPOC1-Mediated Antiviral Host Cell Response Is Antagonized Early in Human Adenovirus Type 5 Infection

    PubMed Central

    Schreiner, Sabrina; Kinkley, Sarah; Bürck, Carolin; Mund, Andreas; Wimmer, Peter; Schubert, Tobias; Groitl, Peter; Will, Hans; Dobner, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about immediate phases after viral infection and how an incoming viral genome complex counteracts host cell defenses, before the start of viral gene expression. Adenovirus (Ad) serves as an ideal model, since entry and onset of gene expression are rapid and highly efficient, and mechanisms used 24–48 hours post infection to counteract host antiviral and DNA repair factors (e.g. p53, Mre11, Daxx) are well studied. Here, we identify an even earlier host cell target for Ad, the chromatin-associated factor and epigenetic reader, SPOC1, recently found recruited to double strand breaks, and playing a role in DNA damage response. SPOC1 co-localized with viral replication centers in the host cell nucleus, interacted with Ad DNA, and repressed viral gene expression at the transcriptional level. We discovered that this SPOC1-mediated restriction imposed upon Ad growth is relieved by its functional association with the Ad major core protein pVII that enters with the viral genome, followed by E1B-55K/E4orf6-dependent proteasomal degradation of SPOC1. Mimicking removal of SPOC1 in the cell, knock down of this cellular restriction factor using RNAi techniques resulted in significantly increased Ad replication, including enhanced viral gene expression. However, depletion of SPOC1 also reduced the efficiency of E1B-55K transcriptional repression of cellular promoters, with possible implications for viral transformation. Intriguingly, not exclusive to Ad infection, other human pathogenic viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, HIV-1, and HCV) also depleted SPOC1 in infected cells. Our findings provide a general model for how pathogenic human viruses antagonize intrinsic SPOC1-mediated antiviral responses in their host cells. A better understanding of viral entry and early restrictive functions in host cells should provide new perspectives for developing antiviral agents and therapies. Conversely, for Ad vectors used in gene therapy, counteracting mechanisms eradicating incoming

  2. Clonal expansion of early to mid-life mitochondrial DNA point mutations drives mitochondrial dysfunction during human ageing.

    PubMed

    Greaves, Laura C; Nooteboom, Marco; Elson, Joanna L; Tuppen, Helen A L; Taylor, Geoffrey A; Commane, Daniel M; Arasaradnam, Ramesh P; Khrapko, Konstantin; Taylor, Robert W; Kirkwood, Thomas B L; Mathers, John C; Turnbull, Douglass M

    2014-09-01

    Age-related decline in the integrity of mitochondria is an important contributor to the human ageing process. In a number of ageing stem cell populations, this decline in mitochondrial function is due to clonal expansion of individual mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) point mutations within single cells. However the dynamics of this process and when these mtDNA mutations occur initially are poorly understood. Using human colorectal epithelium as an exemplar tissue with a well-defined stem cell population, we analysed samples from 207 healthy participants aged 17-78 years using a combination of techniques (Random Mutation Capture, Next Generation Sequencing and mitochondrial enzyme histochemistry), and show that: 1) non-pathogenic mtDNA mutations are present from early embryogenesis or may be transmitted through the germline, whereas pathogenic mtDNA mutations are detected in the somatic cells, providing evidence for purifying selection in humans, 2) pathogenic mtDNA mutations are present from early adulthood (<20 years of age), at both low levels and as clonal expansions, 3) low level mtDNA mutation frequency does not change significantly with age, suggesting that mtDNA mutation rate does not increase significantly with age, and 4) clonally expanded mtDNA mutations increase dramatically with age. These data confirm that clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations, some of which are generated very early in life, is the major driving force behind the mitochondrial dysfunction associated with ageing of the human colorectal epithelium.

  3. Early developmental gene enhancers affect subcortical volumes in the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Becker, Martin; Guadalupe, Tulio; Franke, Barbara; Hibar, Derrek P; Renteria, Miguel E; Stein, Jason L; Thompson, Paul M; Francks, Clyde; Vernes, Sonja C; Fisher, Simon E

    2016-05-01

    Genome-wide association screens aim to identify common genetic variants contributing to the phenotypic variability of complex traits, such as human height or brain morphology. The identified genetic variants are mostly within noncoding genomic regions and the biology of the genotype-phenotype association typically remains unclear. In this article, we propose a complementary targeted strategy to reveal the genetic underpinnings of variability in subcortical brain volumes, by specifically selecting genomic loci that are experimentally validated forebrain enhancers, active in early embryonic development. We hypothesized that genetic variation within these enhancers may affect the development and ultimately the structure of subcortical brain regions in adults. We tested whether variants in forebrain enhancer regions showed an overall enrichment of association with volumetric variation in subcortical structures of >13,000 healthy adults. We observed significant enrichment of genomic loci that affect the volume of the hippocampus within forebrain enhancers (empirical P = 0.0015), a finding which robustly passed the adjusted threshold for testing of multiple brain phenotypes (cutoff of P < 0.0083 at an alpha of 0.05). In analyses of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we identified an association upstream of the ID2 gene with rs7588305 and variation in hippocampal volume. This SNP-based association survived multiple-testing correction for the number of SNPs analyzed but not for the number of subcortical structures. Targeting known regulatory regions offers a way to understand the underlying biology that connects genotypes to phenotypes, particularly in the context of neuroimaging genetics. This biology-driven approach generates testable hypotheses regarding the functional biology of identified associations. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1788-1800, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. NDUFAF5 Hydroxylates NDUFS7 at an Early Stage in the Assembly of Human Complex I.

    PubMed

    Rhein, Virginie F; Carroll, Joe; Ding, Shujing; Fearnley, Ian M; Walker, John E

    2016-07-08

    Complex I (NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase) in mammalian mitochondria is an L-shaped assembly of 45 proteins. One arm lies in the inner membrane, and the other extends about 100 Å into the matrix of the organelle. The extrinsic arm contains binding sites for NADH, the primary electron acceptor FMN, and seven iron-sulfur clusters that form a pathway for electrons linking FMN to the terminal electron acceptor, ubiquinone, which is bound in a tunnel in the region of the junction between the arms. The membrane arm contains four antiporter-like domains, energetically coupled to the quinone site and involved in pumping protons from the matrix into the intermembrane space contributing to the proton motive force. Seven of the subunits, forming the core of the membrane arm, are translated from mitochondrial genes, and the remaining subunits, the products of nuclear genes, are imported from the cytosol. Their assembly is coordinated by at least thirteen extrinsic assembly factor proteins that are not part of the fully assembled complex. They assist in insertion of co-factors and in building up the complex from smaller sub-assemblies. One such factor, NDUFAF5, belongs to the family of seven-β-strand S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases. However, similar to another family member, RdmB, it catalyzes the introduction of a hydroxyl group, in the case of NDUFAF5, into Arg-73 in the NDUFS7 subunit of human complex I. This modification occurs early in the pathway of assembly of complex I, before the formation of the juncture between peripheral and membrane arms.

  5. Estimation of left ventricular operating stiffness from Doppler early filling deceleration time in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, M. J.; Firstenberg, M. S.; Greenberg, N. L.; Smedira, N.; Rodriguez, L.; Prior, D.; Thomas, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    Shortened early transmitral deceleration times (E(DT)) have been qualitatively associated with increased filling pressure and reduced survival in patients with cardiac disease and increased left ventricular operating stiffness (K(LV)). An equation relating K(LV) quantitatively to E(DT) has previously been described in a canine model but not in humans. During several varying hemodynamic conditions, we studied 18 patients undergoing open-heart surgery. Transesophageal echocardiographic two-dimensional volumes and Doppler flows were combined with high-fidelity left atrial (LA) and left ventricular (LV) pressures to determine K(LV). From digitized Doppler recordings, E(DT) was measured and compared against changes in LV and LA diastolic volumes and pressures. E(DT) (180 +/- 39 ms) was inversely associated with LV end-diastolic pressures (r = -0.56, P = 0.004) and net atrioventricular stiffness (r = -0.55, P = 0.006) but had its strongest association with K(LV) (r = -0.81, P < 0.001). K(LV) was predicted assuming a nonrestrictive orifice (K(nonrest)) from E(DT) as K(nonrest) = (0.07/E(DT))(2) with K(LV) = 1.01 K(nonrest) - 0.02; r = 0.86, P < 0.001, DeltaK (K(nonrest) - K(LV)) = 0.02 +/- 0.06 mm Hg/ml. In adults with cardiac disease, E(DT) provides an accurate estimate of LV operating stiffness and supports its application as a practical noninvasive index in the evaluation of diastolic function.

  6. Landscape patterns from plant biomarkers across early human habitats (ca. 1.845 Ma)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magill, C. R.; Ashley, G. M.; Freeman, K. H.

    2012-12-01

    Fine-scale spatial resolution reconstructions of early human (hominin) landscapes are key to understanding environmental and evolutionary processes that have shaped the genus Homo. Spatial distributions of artifacts and fossils are often interpreted in relation to specific landscape features (e.g., woody cover), but archaeological and faunal assemblages are indirect paleoecological indicators and lack stringent spatial constraints. Here, we present carbon-isotopic data for organic matter and plant biomarkers preserved in paleosols from the FLK Zinjanthropus archaeological level 22 (FLK Zinj) at Olduvai Gorge and 15 surrounding sites of stratigraphic equivalency. Plant biomarkers (leaf waxes and lignin oxidation products) reveal distinct differences in plant community composition, which were juxtaposed within just 100s of meters of each other. Central sites (including FLK Zinj) cover about 250 m2 and contain leaf waxes with low δ13C values, which we interpret as evidence for woodland habitat. About 200 m to the north, aquatic leaf waxes and sedge lipids (5-n-alkylresorcinols) occur in conjunction with mound-like tufa deposits, suggesting freshwater wetland habitat. At southern sites, strongly 13C-enriched leaf waxes and lignin components diagnostic for non-woody plant tissues suggest open grassland habitat. Taken together, these data delimit the heterogeneous landscape at FLK Zinj, which has been hinted at by its archaeological assemblage, and reinforce that the site was a 'central place' for hominin activities because it afforded arboreal refuge and freshwater in an otherwise open and arid landscape. Taken together, this study highlights that fine-scale spatial habitat heterogeneities can be preserved by biomarkers in paleosols over geologic timescales.

  7. The early stages of amyloid formation: biophysical and structural characterization of human calcitonin pre-fibrillar assemblies.

    PubMed

    Avidan-Shpalter, Carmit; Gazit, Ehud

    2006-12-01

    Amyloid fibril formation is a nucleation dependent process characterized by a lag-phase prior to the appearance of detectable amyloid fibrils. While the three-dimensional structure of amyloid fibrils at atomic resolution is just beginning to be elucidated, the early process of monomers assembly into oligomers is less understood. Understanding the dynamic processes that lead to the formation of these intermediates is highly important as these assemblies might be the most pathological ones. Here, we investigated the biophysical and structural features characterizing the early stage assemblies formed by the human hormone calcitonin. We calculated the initial nucleus size by experimentally determining the dependence between the lag-time length and the hCT concentrations. We used size exclusion chromatography and dynamic light scattering in order to characterize the dynamic growth process of preliminary intermediates transformed into larger structures. The early structures were visualized using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Annular pore-like structures were observed along with protofibrilar structures. This observed morphology is similar to structures revealed during the fibrillization processes of beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein, and islet amyloid polypeptide, suggesting that these intermediates represent a generic early structure conformation. The results introduced here imply that a variety of intermediate assemblies are formed during the early stages of amyloid fibril formation. The characterizing of their structural features and assembly kinetics will contribute to the rational design of inhibitors directed towards early structure assemblies.

  8. Studies in Historical Replication in Psychology VII: The Relative Utility of "Ancestor Analysis" from Scientific and Educational Vantages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ranney, Michael Andrew

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses, from various vantages, Ryan Tweney's (this issue) pedagogical technique of employing historical replications of psychological experiments with graduate students in psychology. A "prima facie" perspective suggests great promise for this sort of academic "ancestor analysis," particularly given the enthusiasm and skill…

  9. Heritability and Genetic Correlations of Fear-Related Behaviour in Red Junglefowl–Possible Implications for Early Domestication

    PubMed Central

    Agnvall, Beatrix; Jöngren, Markus; Strandberg, Erling; Jensen, Per

    2012-01-01

    Domesticated species differ from their wild ancestors in a number of traits, generally referred to as the domesticated phenotype. Reduced fear of humans is assumed to have been an early prerequisite for the successful domestication of virtually all species. We hypothesized that fear of humans is linked to other domestication related traits. For three generations, we selected Red Junglefowl (ancestors of domestic chickens) solely on the reaction in a standardized Fear of Human-test. In this, the birds were exposed for a gradually approaching human, and their behaviour was continuously scored. This generated three groups of animals, high (H), low (L) and intermediate (I) fearful birds. The birds in each generation were additionally tested in a battery of behaviour tests, measuring aspects of fearfulness, exploration, and sociality. The results demonstrate that the variation in fear response of Red Junglefowl towards humans has a significant genetic component and is genetically correlated to behavioural responses in other contexts, of which some are associated with fearfulness and others with exploration. Hence, selection of Red Junglefowl on low fear for humans can be expected to lead to a correlated change of other behavioural traits over generations. It is therefore likely that domestication may have caused an initial suite of behavioural modifications, even without selection on anything besides tameness. PMID:22536354

  10. Crops gone wild: evolution of weeds and invasives from domesticated ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Ellstrand, Norman C; Heredia, Sylvia M; Leak-Garcia, Janet A; Heraty, Joanne M; Burger, Jutta C; Yao, Li; Nohzadeh-Malakshah, Sahar; Ridley, Caroline E

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of problematic plants, both weeds and invasives, is a topic of increasing interest. Plants that have evolved from domesticated ancestors have certain advantages for study. Because of their economic importance, domesticated plants are generally well-characterized and readily available for ecogenetic comparison with their wild descendants. Thus, the evolutionary history of crop descendants has the potential to be reconstructed in some detail. Furthermore, growing crop progenitors with their problematic descendants in a common environment allows for the identification of significant evolutionary differences that correlate with weediness or invasiveness. We sought well-established examples of invasives and weeds for which genetic and/or ethnobotanical evidence has confirmed their evolution from domesticates. We found surprisingly few cases, only 13. We examine our list for generalizations and then some selected cases to reveal how plant pests have evolved from domesticates. Despite their potential utility, crop descendants remain underexploited for evolutionary study. Promising evolutionary research opportunities for these systems are abundant and worthy of pursuit. PMID:25567942

  11. Divergent genetic mechanisms underlie reversals to radial floral symmetry from diverse zygomorphic flowered ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wenheng; Steinmann, Victor W.; Nikolov, Lachezar; Kramer, Elena M.; Davis, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    Malpighiaceae possess flowers with a unique bilateral symmetry (zygomorphy), which is a hypothesized adaptation associated with specialization on neotropical oil bee pollinators. Gene expression of two representatives of the CYC2 lineage of floral symmetry TCP genes, CYC2A and CYC2B, demarcate the adaxial (dorsal) region of the flower in the characteristic zygomorphic flowers of most Malpighiaceae. Several clades within the family, however, have independently lost their specialized oil bee pollinators and reverted to radial flowers (actinomorphy) like their ancestors. Here, we investigate CYC2 expression associated with four independent reversals to actinomorphy. We demonstrate that these reversals are always associated with alteration of the highly conserved CYC2 expression pattern observed in most New World (NW) Malpighiaceae. In NW Lasiocarpus and Old World (OW) Microsteria, the expression of CYC2-like genes has expanded to include the ventral region of the corolla. Thus, the pattern of gene expression in these species has become radialized, which is comparable to what has been reported in the radial flowered legume clade Cadia. In striking contrast, in NW Psychopterys and OW Sphedamnocarpus, CYC2-like expression is entirely absent or at barely detectable levels. This is more similar to the pattern of CYC2 expression observed in radial flowered Arabidopsis. These results collectively indicate that, regardless of geographic distribution, reversals to similar floral phenotypes in this large tropical angiosperm clade have evolved via different genetic changes from an otherwise highly conserved developmental program. PMID:23970887

  12. Evidence for endothermic ancestors of crocodiles at the stem of archosaur evolution.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Roger S; Bennett-Stamper, Christina L; Johnston, Sonya D; Carrier, David R; Grigg, Gordon C

    2004-01-01

    Physiological, anatomical, and developmental features of the crocodilian heart support the paleontological evidence that the ancestors of living crocodilians were active and endothermic, but the lineage reverted to ectothermy when it invaded the aquatic, ambush predator niche. In endotherms, there is a functional nexus between high metabolic rates, high blood flow rates, and complete separation of high systemic blood pressure from low pulmonary blood pressure in a four-chambered heart. Ectotherms generally lack all of these characteristics, but crocodilians retain a four-chambered heart. However, crocodilians have a neurally controlled, pulmonary bypass shunt that is functional in diving. Shunting occurs outside of the heart and involves the left aortic arch that originates from the right ventricle, the foramen of Panizza between the left and right aortic arches, and the cog-tooth valve at the base of the pulmonary artery. Developmental studies show that all of these uniquely crocodilian features are secondarily derived, indicating a shift from the complete separation of blood flow of endotherms to the controlled shunting of ectotherms. We present other evidence for endothermy in stem archosaurs and suggest that some dinosaurs may have inherited the trait.

  13. Hybrid apomicts trapped in the ecological niches of their sexual ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Mau, Martin; Lovell, John T.; Corral, José M.; Kiefer, Christiane; Koch, Marcus A.; Aliyu, Olawale M.; Sharbel, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction is expected to reduce the adaptive potential to novel or changing environmental conditions, restricting or altering the ecological niche of asexual lineages. Asexual lineages of plants and animals are typically polyploid, an attribute that may influence their genetic variation, plasticity, adaptive potential, and niche breadth. The genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) represents an ideal model to test the relative ecological and biogeographic impacts of reproductive mode and ploidy because it is composed of diploid sexual and both diploid and polyploid asexual (i.e., apomictic) lineages. Here, we demonstrate a strong association between a transcriptionally conserved allele and apomictic seed formation. We then use this allele as a proxy apomixis marker in 1,649 accessions to demonstrate that apomixis is likely to be a common feature across the Boechera phylogeny. Phylogeographic analyses of these data demonstrate (i) species-specific niche differentiation in sexuals, (ii) extensive niche conservation between differing reproductive modes of the same species, (iii) ploidy-specific niche differentiation within and among species, and (iv) occasional niche drift between apomicts and their sexual ancestors. We conclude that ploidy is a substantially stronger and more common driver of niche divergence within and across Boechera species although variation in both traits may not necessarily lead to niche evolution on the species scale. PMID:25902513

  14. Ontogenetic differences in heterostylous plants and implications for development from a herkogamous ancestor.

    PubMed

    Faivre, A E

    2000-06-01

    Alternative ontogenetic pathways among heterostylous species of Rubiaceae may reflect differences in their evolutionary histories. In this study, measurements were taken at different developmental stages on a series of long-styled (LS) and short-styled (SS) buds of the heterostylous taxa Psychotria chiapensis, P. poeppigiana, and Bouvardia ternifolia (all Rubiaceae). Results indicated that modifications in growth rates of stamens relative to corollas in all three species led to differences in anther heights between LS and SS flowers. Distinct style heights for LS and SS flowers of P. chiapensis and P. poeppigiana originate in the earlier stages of bud development and are maintained as styles elongate at equal rates. This contrasts with B. ternifolia, which has differences in style heights resulting from unequal relative growth rates between floral morphs. The "approach herkogamous" floral morphology, defined by having stigmas positioned above anthers, has been proposed as a potential evolutionary precursor for heterostylous taxa. To examine this hypothesis, floral development of two species with approach herkogamous morphologies, Psychotria pittieri and P. brachiata, was compared to that of the three heterostylous taxa. Differences in the relative rates of style elongation for flowers of approach herkogamous versus heterostylous species predict additional steps in the original model for the evolution of heterostyly from an approach herkogamous ancestor. The diversity of heterostylous ontogenies found within Rubiaceae provides insight into potential evolutionary pathways for this sexual system in other angiosperm families.

  15. Structural Similarities between Thiamin-Binding Protein and Thiaminase-I Suggest a Common Ancestor

    SciTech Connect

    Soriano, Erika V.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Hanes, Jeremiah W.; Bale, Shridhar; Begley, Tadhg P.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2008-06-30

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are responsible for the transport of a wide variety of water-soluble molecules and ions into prokaryotic cells. In Gram-negative bacteria, periplasmic-binding proteins deliver ions or molecules such as thiamin to the membrane-bound ABC transporter. The gene for the thiamin-binding protein tbpA has been identified in both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Here we report the crystal structure of TbpA from E. coli with bound thiamin monophosphate. The structure was determined at 2.25 {angstrom} resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiments, despite the presence of nonmerohedral twinning. The crystal structure shows that TbpA belongs to the group II periplasmic-binding protein family. Equilibrium binding measurements showed similar dissociation constants for thiamin, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin pyrophosphate. Analysis of the binding site by molecular modeling demonstrated how TbpA binds all three forms of thiamin. A comparison of TbpA and thiaminase-I, a thiamin-degrading enzyme, revealed structural similarity between the two proteins, especially in domain 1, suggesting that the two proteins evolved from a common ancestor.

  16. The evolution of air resonance power efficiency in the violin and its ancestors.

    PubMed

    Nia, Hadi T; Jain, Ankita D; Liu, Yuming; Alam, Mohammad-Reza; Barnas, Roman; Makris, Nicholas C

    2015-03-08

    The fact that acoustic radiation from a violin at air-cavity resonance is monopolar and can be determined by pure volume change is used to help explain related aspects of violin design evolution. By determining the acoustic conductance of arbitrarily shaped sound holes, it is found that air flow at the perimeter rather than the broader sound-hole area dominates acoustic conductance, and coupling between compressible air within the violin and its elastic structure lowers the Helmholtz resonance frequency from that found for a corresponding rigid instrument by roughly a semitone. As a result of the former, it is found that as sound-hole geometry of the violin's ancestors slowly evolved over centuries from simple circles to complex f-holes, the ratio of inefficient, acoustically inactive to total sound-hole area was decimated, roughly doubling air-resonance power efficiency. F-hole length then slowly increased by roughly 30% across two centuries in the renowned workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri, favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power, through a corresponding power increase of roughly 60%. By evolution-rate analysis, these changes are found to be consistent with mutations arising within the range of accidental replication fluctuations from craftsmanship limitations with subsequent selection favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power.

  17. Fine scale genetic structure in the wild ancestor of maize (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis).

    PubMed

    Van Heerwaarden, Joost; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey; Doebley, John; Glaubitz, Jeffrey C; González, Jose De Jesús Sánchez; Gaut, Brandon S; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2010-03-01

    Analysis of fine scale genetic structure in continuous populations of outcrossing plant species has traditionally been limited by the availability of sufficient markers. We used a set of 468 SNPs to characterize fine-scale genetic structure within and between two dense stands of the wild ancestor of maize, teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis). Our analyses confirmed that teosinte is highly outcrossing and showed little population structure over short distances. We found that the two populations were clearly genetically differentiated, although the actual level of differentiation was low. Spatial autocorrelation of relatedness was observed within both sites but was somewhat stronger in one of the populations. Using principal component analysis, we found evidence for significant local differentiation in the population with stronger spatial autocorrelation. This differentiation was associated with pronounced shifts in the first two principal components along the field. These shifts corresponded to changes in allele frequencies, potentially due to local topographical features. There was little evidence for selection at individual loci as a contributing factor to differentiation. Our results demonstrate that significant local differentiation may, but need not, co-occur with spatial autocorrelation of relatedness. The present study represents one of the most detailed analyses of local genetic structure to date and provides a benchmark for future studies dealing with fine scale patterns of genetic diversity in natural plant populations.

  18. CloudLCA: finding the lowest common ancestor in metagenome analysis using cloud computing.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guoguang; Bu, Dechao; Liu, Changning; Li, Jing; Yang, Jian; Liu, Zhiyong; Zhao, Yi; Chen, Runsheng

    2012-02-01

    Estimating taxonomic content constitutes a key problem in metagenomic sequencing data analysis. However, extracting such content from high-throughput data of next-generation sequencing is very time-consuming with the currently available software. Here, we present CloudLCA, a parallel LCA algorithm that significantly improves the efficiency of determining taxonomic composition in metagenomic data analysis. Results show that CloudLCA (1) has a running time nearly linear with the increase of dataset magnitude, (2) displays linear speedup as the number of processors grows, especially for large datasets, and (3) reaches a speed of nearly 215 million reads each minute on a cluster with ten thin nodes. In comparison with MEGAN, a well-known metagenome analyzer, the speed of CloudLCA is up to 5 more times faster, and its peak memory usage is approximately 18.5% that of MEGAN, running on a fat node. CloudLCA can be run on one multiprocessor node or a cluster. It is expected to be part of MEGAN to accelerate analyzing reads, with the same output generated as MEGAN, which can be import into MEGAN in a direct way to finish the following analysis. Moreover, CloudLCA is a universal solution for finding the lowest common ancestor, and it can be applied in other fields requiring an LCA algorithm.

  19. The evolution of air resonance power efficiency in the violin and its ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Nia, Hadi T.; Jain, Ankita D.; Liu, Yuming; Alam, Mohammad-Reza; Barnas, Roman; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2015-01-01

    The fact that acoustic radiation from a violin at air-cavity resonance is monopolar and can be determined by pure volume change is used to help explain related aspects of violin design evolution. By determining the acoustic conductance of arbitrarily shaped sound holes, it is found that air flow at the perimeter rather than the broader sound-hole area dominates acoustic conductance, and coupling between compressible air within the violin and its elastic structure lowers the Helmholtz resonance frequency from that found for a corresponding rigid instrument by roughly a semitone. As a result of the former, it is found that as sound-hole geometry of the violin's ancestors slowly evolved over centuries from simple circles to complex f-holes, the ratio of inefficient, acoustically inactive to total sound-hole area was decimated, roughly doubling air-resonance power efficiency. F-hole length then slowly increased by roughly 30% across two centuries in the renowned workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri, favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power, through a corresponding power increase of roughly 60%. By evolution-rate analysis, these changes are found to be consistent with mutations arising within the range of accidental replication fluctuations from craftsmanship limitations with subsequent selection favouring instruments with higher air-resonance power. PMID:25792964

  20. Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin.

    PubMed

    van Andel, Tinde R; Meyer, Rachel S; Aflitos, Saulo A; Carney, Judith A; Veltman, Margaretha A; Copetti, Dario; Flowers, Jonathan M; Havinga, Reinout M; Maat, Harro; Purugganan, Michael D; Wing, Rod A; Schranz, M Eric

    2016-10-03

    African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and African cultivation practices are said to have influenced emerging colonial plantation economies in the Americas(1,2). However, the level of impact of African rice practices is difficult to establish because of limited written or botanical records(2,3). Recent findings of O. glaberrima in rice fields of Suriname Maroons bear evidence of the high level of knowledge about rice among African slaves and their descendants, who consecrate it in ancestor rituals(4,5). Here we establish the strong similarity, and hence likely origin, of the first extant New World landrace of O. glaberrima to landraces from the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa. We collected African rice from a Maroon market in Paramaribo, Suriname, propagated it, sequenced its genome(6) and compared it with genomes of 109 accessions representing O. glaberrima diversity across West Africa. By analysing 1,649,769 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in clustering analyses, the Suriname sample appears sister to an Ivory Coast landrace, and shows no evidence of introgression from Asian rice. Whereas the Dutch took most slaves from Ghana, Benin and Central Africa(7), the diaries of slave ship captains record the purchase of food for provisions when sailing along the West African Coast(8), offering one possible explanation for the patterns of genetic similarity. This study demonstrates the utility of genomics in understanding the largely unwritten histories of crop cultures of diaspora communities.

  1. Convergent evolution of Hawaiian and Australo-Pacific honeyeaters from distant songbird ancestors.

    PubMed

    Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Olson, Storrs L

    2008-12-23

    The Hawaiian "honeyeaters," five endemic species of recently extinct, nectar-feeding songbirds in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, looked and acted like Australasian honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and no taxonomist since their discovery on James Cook's third voyage has classified them as anything else. We obtained DNA sequences from museum specimens of Moho and Chaetoptila collected in Hawaii 115-158 years ago. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences supports monophyly of the two Hawaiian genera but, surprisingly, reveals that neither taxon is a meliphagid honeyeater, nor even in the same part of the songbird radiation as meliphagids. Instead, the Hawaiian species are divergent members of a passeridan group that includes deceptively dissimilar families of songbirds (Holarctic waxwings, neotropical silky flycatchers, and palm chats). Here we designate them as a new family, the Mohoidae. A nuclear-DNA rate calibration suggests that mohoids diverged from their closest living ancestor 14-17 mya, coincident with the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of a bird-pollinated plant lineage. Convergent evolution, the evolution of similar traits in distantly related taxa because of common selective pressures, is illustrated well by nectar-feeding birds, but the morphological, behavioral, and ecological similarity of the mohoids to the Australasian honeyeaters makes them a particularly striking example of the phenomenon.

  2. Design Choices: Universal Financing for Early Care and Education. Human Services Policy Center Policy Brief.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brandon, Richard N.; Kagan, Sharon Lynn; Joesch, Jutta M.

    This policy brief describes the components of a computer model to compare different financing approaches for universal early care and education programs as developed by the Financing Universal Early Care and Education (ECE) for America's Children Project. The brief also discusses lessons learned from analyzing key features of existing…

  3. Educating Human Nature: "Nature" and "Nurture" in Early Confucian Moral Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Judson B.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines early Chinese moral education--its curriculum, objectives and the philosophical assumptions underlying them--in its classical Confucian expression. It analyzes early Confucian debates on moral psychology, the Confucian moral curriculum consisting of model emulation, cultural practices and canonical instruction, and the methods…

  4. A human ESC model for MLL-AF4 leukemic fusion gene reveals an impaired early hematopoietic-endothelial specification.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Clara; Montes, Rosa; Melen, Gustavo J; Ramos-Mejia, Verónica; Real, Pedro J; Ayllón, Verónica; Sanchez, Laura; Ligero, Gertrudis; Gutierrez-Aranda, Iván; Fernández, Agustín F; Fraga, Mario F; Moreno-Gimeno, Inmaculada; Burks, Deborah; Plaza-Calonge, María del Carmen; Rodríguez-Manzaneque, Juan C; Menendez, Pablo

    2012-06-01

    The MLL-AF4 fusion gene is a hallmark genomic aberration in high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in infants. Although it is well established that MLL-AF4 arises prenatally during human development, its effects on hematopoietic development in utero remain unexplored. We have created a human-specific cellular system to study early hemato-endothelial development in MLL-AF4-expressing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Functional studies, clonal analysis and gene expression profiling reveal that expression of MLL-AF4 in hESCs has a phenotypic, functional and gene expression impact. MLL-AF4 acts as a global transcriptional activator and a positive regulator of homeobox gene expression in hESCs. Functionally, MLL-AF4 enhances the specification of hemogenic precursors from hESCs but strongly impairs further hematopoietic commitment in favor of an endothelial cell fate. MLL-AF4 hESCs are transcriptionally primed to differentiate towards hemogenic precursors prone to endothelial maturation, as reflected by the marked upregulation of master genes associated to vascular-endothelial functions and early hematopoiesis. Furthermore, we report that MLL-AF4 expression is not sufficient to transform hESC-derived hematopoietic cells. This work illustrates how hESCs may provide unique insights into human development and further our understanding of how leukemic fusion genes, known to arise prenatally, regulate human embryonic hematopoietic specification.

  5. A human ESC model for MLL-AF4 leukemic fusion gene reveals an impaired early hematopoietic-endothelial specification

    PubMed Central

    Bueno, Clara; Montes, Rosa; Melen, Gustavo J; Ramos-Mejia, Verónica; Real, Pedro J; Ayllón, Verónica; Sanchez, Laura; Ligero, Gertrudis; Gutierrez-Aranda, Iván; Fernández, Agustín F; Fraga, Mario F; Moreno-Gimeno, Inmaculada; Burks, Deborah; del Carmen Plaza-Calonge, María; Rodríguez-Manzaneque, Juan C; Menendez, Pablo

    2012-01-01

    The MLL-AF4 fusion gene is a hallmark genomic aberration in high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in infants. Although it is well established that MLL-AF4 arises prenatally during human development, its effects on hematopoietic development in utero remain unexplored. We have created a human-specific cellular system to study early hemato-endothelial development in MLL-AF4-expressing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Functional studies, clonal analysis and gene expression profiling reveal that expression of MLL-AF4 in hESCs has a phenotypic, functional and gene expression impact. MLL-AF4 acts as a global transcriptional activator and a positive regulator of homeobox gene expression in hESCs. Functionally, MLL-AF4 enhances the specification of hemogenic precursors from hESCs but strongly impairs further hematopoietic commitment in favor of an endothelial cell fate. MLL-AF4 hESCs are transcriptionally primed to differentiate towards hemogenic precursors prone to endothelial maturation, as reflected by the marked upregulation of master genes associated to vascular-endothelial functions and early hematopoiesis. Furthermore, we report that MLL-AF4 expression is not sufficient to transform hESC-derived hematopoietic cells. This work illustrates how hESCs may provide unique insights into human development and further our understanding of how leukemic fusion genes, known to arise prenatally, regulate human embryonic hematopoietic specification. PMID:22212479

  6. Surveillance and Early Warning of West Nile Virus Lineage 2 Using Backyard Chickens and Correlation to Human Neuroinvasive Cases.

    PubMed

    Chaintoutis, S C; Dovas, C I; Danis, K; Gewehr, S; Mourelatos, S; Hadjichristodoulou, C; Papanastassopoulou, M

    2015-08-01

    In 2010, a West Nile virus (WNV) epidemic was reported in Central Macedonia, Northern Greece, with 197 neuroinvasive disease (WNND) cases in humans. The following 3 years, WNV spreads to new areas of Greece and human cases reoccurred during the transmission periods. After the initial outbreak, a WNV surveillance system using juvenile backyard chickens was established in Central Macedonia (after the 2011 outbreak) and Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (after the 2012 outbreak). Sera were screened for the presence of antibodies against WNV using cELISA and serum neutralization test, to monitor the spread of WNV and to assess the correlation between the WNV point seroprevalence in chickens and the incidence rates of human WNND cases in the aforementioned areas. WNV seroprevalence in chickens was 10.4% (95% CI: 7-15) in Central Macedonia (2011) and 18.1% (95% CI: 14-23) in Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (2012). Seroprevalence in chickens and incidence rates of human WNND cases in Eastern Macedonia-Thrace were strongly positively correlated (ρ = 0.98, P = 0.005) at the regional unit level, with the incidence of WNND in humans increasing with increasing WNV point seroprevalence in chickens. In Central Macedonia, the correlation was weaker (ρ = 0.68, P = 0.20), apparently due to small number of reported human WNND cases. Another study was also conducted using juvenile backyard chickens in Central Macedonia, aiming to detect early WNV enzootic circulation, before the onset of human cases during 2011 and 2013. The first seroconverted chickens were detected about 1.5 months before the laboratory diagnosis of any human WNND cases in Central Macedonia, for both years. WNV surveillance, using juvenile backyard chickens, was reliable for the identification of areas with WNV enzootic and silent transmission, and for early warning. Timely diffusion of information to public health authorities facilitated the successful implementation of preparedness plans to protect public health.

  7. Plio-Pleistocene vegetation response on orbitally forced climatic cycles in Southern Europe - implications for early human environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruch, Angela; Bertini, Adele

    2013-04-01

    The pace and causes of the early human colonization, in one or several migratory waves from Africa in new environments of the Eurasian continent during the Early Pleistocene, are still a matter of debate. However, climate change is considered a major driving factor of hominin evolution and dispersal patterns. In fact directly or indirectly by its severe influence on vegetation, physiography of landscape, and animal distribution, climate modulates the availability of resources. Plant fossils usually are rare or even absent at hominin sites. Thus, direct evidence on local vegetation and environment is generally missing. Independent from such localities, pollen profiles from the Mediterranean realm show the response of regional vegetation on global climate changes and cyclicity, with distinct spatial and temporal differences. Furthermore, plant fossils provide proxies for climate quantification that can be compared to the global signal, and add data to understanding the regional differentiation of Mediterranean environments. In this presentation we will discuss various palaeobotanical data from Southern Europe to assess Early Pleistocene climate and vegetation in time and space as part of the environment during the first expansions of early humans out of Africa.

  8. Promotion of human early embryonic development and blastocyst outgrowth in vitro using autocrine/paracrine growth factors.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, Kazuhiro; Chen, Yuan; Shu, Yimin; Cheng, Yuan; Qiao, Jie; Behr, Barry; Pera, Renee A Reijo; Hsueh, Aaron J W

    2012-01-01

    Studies using animal models demonstrated the importance of autocrine/paracrine factors secreted by preimplantation embryos and reproductive tracts for embryonic development and implantation. Although in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) is an established procedure, there is no evidence that present culture conditions are optimal for human early embryonic development. In this study, key polypeptide ligands known to be important for early embryonic development in animal models were tested for their ability to improve human early embryo development and blastocyst outgrowth in vitro. We confirmed the expression of key ligand/receptor pairs in cleavage embryos derived from discarded human tri-pronuclear zygotes and in human endometrium. Combined treatment with key embryonic growth factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, colony-stimulating factor, epidermal growth factor, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, and artemin) in serum-free media promoted >2.5-fold the development of tri-pronuclear zygotes to blastocysts. For normally fertilized embryos, day 3 surplus embryos cultured individually with the key growth factors showed >3-fold increases in the development of 6-8 cell stage embryos to blastocysts and >7-fold increase in the proportion of high quality blastocysts based on Gardner's criteria. Growth factor treatment also led to a 2-fold promotion of blastocyst outgrowth in vitro when day 7 surplus hatching blastocysts were used. When failed-to-be-fertilized oocytes were used to perform somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using fibroblasts as donor karyoplasts, inclusion of growth factors increased the progression of reconstructed SCNT embryos to >4-cell stage embryos. Growth factor supplementation of serum-free cultures could promote optimal early embryonic development and implantation in IVF-ET and SCNT procedures. This approach is valuable for infertility

  9. New Insights into Early Human Development: Lessons for Stem Cell Derivation and Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Rossant, Janet; Tam, Patrick P L

    2017-01-05

    Pathways underlying mouse embryonic development have always informed efforts to derive, maintain, and drive differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells. However, direct application of mouse embryology to the human system has not always been successful because of fundamental developmental differences between species. The naive pluripotent state of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), in particular, has been difficult to capture in human ESCs, and appears to be transitory in the human embryo itself. Further studies of human and non-human primate embryo development are needed to untangle the complexities of pluripotency networks across mammalian species.

  10. Edaphics, active tectonics and animal movements in the Kenyan Rift - implications for early human evolution and dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kübler, Simon; Owenga, Peter; Rucina, Stephen; King, Geoffrey C. P.

    2014-05-01

    The quality of soils (edaphics) and the associated vegetation strongly controls the health of grazing animals. Until now, this has hardly been appreciated by paleo-anthropologists who only take into account the availability of water and vegetation in landscape reconstruction attempts. A lack of understanding the importance of the edaphics of a region greatly limits interpretations of the relation between our ancestors and animals over the last few million years. If a region lacks vital trace elements then wild grazing and browsing animals will avoid it and go to considerable length and take major risks to seek out better pasture. As a consequence animals must move around the landscape at different times of the year. In complex landscapes, such as tectonically active rifts, hominins can use advanced group behaviour to gain strategic advantage for hunting. Our study in the southern Kenya rift in the Lake Magadi region shows that the edaphics and active rift structures play a key role in present day animal movements as well as the for the location of an early hominin site at Mt. Olorgesailie. We carried out field analysis based on studying the relationship between the geology and soil development as well as the tectonic geomorphology to identify 'good' and 'bad' regions both in terms of edaphics and accessibility for grazing animals. We further sampled different soils that developed on the volcanic bedrock and sediment sources of the region and interviewed the local Maasai shepherds to learn about present-day good and bad grazing sites. At the Olorgesailie site the rift valley floor is covered with flood trachytes; basalts only occur at Mt. Olorgesailie and farther east up the rift flank. The hominin site is located in lacustrine sediments at the southern edge of a playa that extends north and northwest of Mt. Olorgesailie. The lakebeds are now tilted and eroded by motion on two north-south striking faults. The lake was trapped by basalt flows from Mt. Olorgesailie

  11. Early menarche as an alternative reproductive tactic in human females: an evolutionary approach to reproductive health issues.

    PubMed

    Gillette, Meghan T; Folinsbee, Kaila E

    2012-12-20

    The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period) may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12) can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

  12. Early Impacts of a Human-in-the-Loop Evaluation in a Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byrne, Vicky; Vos, Gordon; Whitmore, Mihriban

    2008-01-01

    The development of a new space vehicle, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), provides Human Factors engineers an excellent opportunity to have an impact early in the design process. This case study highlights a Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) evaluation conducted in a Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility and will describe the human-centered approach and how the findings are impacting design and operational concepts early in space vehicle design. The focus of this HITL evaluation centered on the activities that astronaut crewmembers would be expected to perform within the functional internal volume of the Crew Module (CM) of the space vehicle. The primary objective was to determine if there are aspects of a baseline vehicle configuration that would limit or prevent the performance of dynamically volume-driving activities (e.g. six crewmembers donning their suits in an evacuation scenario). A second objective was to step through concepts of operations for known systems and evaluate them in integrated scenarios. The functional volume for crewmember activities is closely tied to every aspect of system design (e.g. avionics, safety, stowage, seats, suits, and structural support placement). As this evaluation took place before the Preliminary Design Review of the space vehicle with some designs very early in the development, it was not meant to determine definitely that the crewmembers could complete every activity, but rather to provide inputs that could improve developing designs and concepts of operations definition refinement.

  13. Regulation of early human growth: impact on long-term health.

    PubMed

    Koletzko, Berthold; Chourdakis, Michael; Grote, Veit; Hellmuth, Christian; Prell, Christine; Rzehak, Peter; Uhl, Olaf; Weber, Martina

    2014-01-01

    Growth and development are central characteristics of childhood. Deviations from normal growth can indicate serious health challenges. The adverse impact of early growth faltering and malnutrition on later health has long been known. In contrast, the impact of rapid early weight and body fat gain on programming of later disease risk have only recently received increased attention. Numerous observational studies related diet in early childhood and rapid early growth to the risk of later obesity and associated disorders. Causality was confirmed in a large, double-blind randomised trial testing the 'Early Protein Hypothesis'. In this trial we found that attenuation of protein supply in infancy normalized early growth and markedly reduced obesity prevalence in early school age. These results indicate the need to describe and analyse growth patterns and their regulation through diet in more detail and to characterize the underlying metabolic and epigenetic mechanisms, given the potential major relevance for public health and policy. Better understanding of growth patterns and their regulation could have major benefits for the promotion of public health, consumer-orientated nutrition recommendations, and the development of improved food products for specific target populations.

  14. Reexamining human origins in light of Ardipithecus ramidus.

    PubMed

    Lovejoy, C Owen

    2009-10-02

    Referential models based on extant African apes have dominated reconstructions of early human evolution since Darwin's time. These models visualize fundamental human behaviors as intensifications of behaviors observed in living chimpanzees and/or gorillas (for instance, upright feeding, male dominance displays, tool use, culture, hunting, and warfare). Ardipithecus essentially falsifies such models, because extant apes are highly derived relative to our last common ancestors. Moreover, uniquely derived hominid characters, especially those of locomotion and canine reduction, appear to have emerged shortly after the hominid/chimpanzee divergence. Hence, Ardipithecus provides a new window through which to view our clade's earliest evolution and its ecological context. Early hominids and extant apes are remarkably divergent in many cardinal characters. We can no longer rely on homologies with African apes for accounts of our origins and must turn instead to general evolutionary theory. A proposed adaptive suite for the emergence of Ardipithecus from the last common ancestor that we shared with chimpanzees accounts for these principal ape/human differences, as well as the marked demographic success and cognitive efflorescence of later Plio-Pleistocene hominids.

  15. When Humans Become Animals: Development of the Animal Category in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrmann, Patricia A.; Medin, Douglas L.; Waxman, Sandra R.

    2012-01-01

    The current study examines 3- and 5-year-olds' representation of the concept we label "animal" and its two nested concepts--"animal"[subscript contrastive] (including only non-human animals) and "animal"[subscript inclusive] (including both humans and non-human animals). Building upon evidence that naming promotes object categorization, we…

  16. Membrane heredity and early chloroplast evolution.

    PubMed

    Cavalier-Smith, T

    2000-04-01

    Membrane heredity was central to the unique symbiogenetic origin from cyanobacteria of chloroplasts in the ancestor of Plantae (green plants, red algae, glaucophytes) and to subsequent lateral transfers of plastids to form even more complex photosynthetic chimeras. Each symbiogenesis integrated disparate genomes and several radically different genetic membranes into a more complex cell. The common ancestor of Plantae evolved transit machinery for plastid protein import. In later secondary symbiogeneses, signal sequences were added to target proteins across host perialgal membranes: independently into green algal plastids (euglenoids, chlorarachneans) and red algal plastids (alveolates, chromists). Conservatism and innovation during early plastid diversification are discussed.

  17. Isozymatic variation and phylogenetic relationships between henequen (Agave fourcroydes) and its wild ancestor A. angustifolia (Agavaceae).

    PubMed

    Colunga-Garcíamarín, P; Coello-Coello, J; Eguiarte, L E; Piñero, D

    1999-01-01

    Isozymatic variation and phylogenetic relationships among extant henequén (Agave fourcroydes) germplasm and wild populations of its ancestor A. angustifolia in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico were analyzed. Analysis of three isozyme systems using starch gel electrophoresis indicated that while A. angustifolia populations have relatively high levels of variation, within each henequén cultivar all individuals were identical. This result corresponds to previous ethnobotanical and morphological analyses, which indicated severe loss of genetic variation of this domesticated plant as a consequence of the promotion by means of asexual propagation of only one cultivar since the middle of the last century. The three extant cultivars of henequén were distinct from each other. Two of them, Sac Ki (SK) and Yaax Ki (YK), could be matched within the progenitor, but Kitam Ki (KK) has a MDH electrophenotype not found in any of the plants growing inside the Yucatan Peninsula, but found in some A. angustifolia plants growing in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. A parsimony analysis of the morphological data indicated two lineages: that of SK and YK, cultivated cordage plants selected for stronger and longer fibers, whose sister group is the Tropical subdeciduous forest ecotype (SF), and that of all the other wild populations, which also included KK, the cultivated textile plants selected for finer fibers and nearly extinct in Yucatan. These results support the hypothesis of the yucatecan origin of SK and YK from the SF ecotype, as well as the hypothesis of a recent introduction of KK to the Yucatan Peninsula in a domestication trend that probably included also Chelem White (its cultivation being abandoned later).

  18. Molecular Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Nepal: Specific Ancestor Root

    PubMed Central

    Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Sharma, Rabi Prakash; Shrestha, Pradeep Krishna; Suzuki, Rumiko; Uchida, Tomohisa; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Nepal, a low-risk country for gastric cancer, is debatable. To our knowledge, no studies have examined H. pylori virulence factors in Nepal. We determined the prevalence of H. pylori infection by using three different tests, and the genotypes of virulence factors were determined by PCR followed by sequencing. Multilocus sequence typing was used to analyze the population structure of the Nepalese strains. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in dyspeptic patients was 38.4% (56/146), and was significantly related with source of drinking water. In total, 51 strains were isolated and all were cagA-positive. Western-type-cagA (94.1%), cagA pre-EPIYA type with no deletion (92.2%), vacA s1a (74.5%), and m1c (54.9%) were the predominant genotypes. Antral mucosal atrophy levels were significantly higher in patients infected with vacA s1 than in those infected with s2 genotypes (P = 0.03). Several Nepalese strains were H. pylori recombinants with genetic features of South Asian and East Asian genotypes. These included all East-Asian-type-cagA strains, with significantly lesser activity and inflammation in the corpus than the strains of the specific South Asian genotype (P = 0.03 and P = 0.005, respectively). Although the population structure confirmed that most Nepalese strains belonged to the hpAsia2 population, some strains shared hpEurope- and Nepalese-specific components. Nepalese patients infected with strains belonging to hpEurope showed higher inflammation in the antrum than strains from the Nepalese specific population (P = 0.05). These results support that ancestor roots of Kathmandu`s people not only connected with India alone. PMID:26226153

  19. Global gene analysis of oocytes from early stages in human folliculogenesis shows high expression of novel genes in reproduction.

    PubMed

    Markholt, S; Grøndahl, M L; Ernst, E H; Andersen, C Yding; Ernst, E; Lykke-Hartmann, K

    2012-02-01

    The pool of primordial follicles in humans is laid down during embryonic development and follicles can remain dormant for prolonged intervals, often decades, until individual follicles resume growth. The mechanisms that induce growth and maturation of primordial follicles are poorly understood but follicles once activated either continue growth or undergo atresia. We have isolated pure populations of oocytes from human primordial, intermediate and primary follicles using laser capture micro-dissection microscopy and evaluated the global gene expression profiles by whole-genome microarray analysis. The array data were confirmed by qPCR for selected genes. A total of 6301 unique genes were identified as significantly expressed representing enriched specific functional categories such as 'RNA binding', 'translation initiation' and 'structural molecule activity'. Several genes, some not previously known to be associated with early oocyte development, were identified with exceptionally high expression levels, such as the anti-proliferative transmembrane protein with an epidermal growth factor-like and two follistatin-like domains (TMEFF2), the Rho-GTPase-activating protein oligophrenin 1 (OPHN1) and the mitochondrial-encoded ATPase6 (ATP6). Thus, the present study provides not only a technique to capture and perform transcriptome analysis of the sparse material of human oocytes from the earliest follicle stages but further includes a comprehensive basis for our understanding of the regulatory factors and pathways present during early human folliculogenesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  1. Effects of perinatal, late foetal, and early embryonic insults on the cardiovascular phenotype in experimental animal models and humans.

    PubMed

    Meister, Theo Arthur; Rexhaj, Emrush; Rimoldi, Stefano Flavio; Scherrer, Urs; Sartori, Claudio

    2016-11-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality and morbidity in Western countries, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Genetic polymorphisms, once thought to represent a major determinant of cardiovascular risk, individually and collectively, only explain a tiny fraction of phenotypic variation and disease risk in humans. It is now clear that non-genetic factors, i.e., factors that modify gene activity without changing the DNA sequence and that are sensitive to the environment can cause important alterations of the cardiovascular phenotype in experimental animal models and humans. Here, we will review recent studies demonstrating that distinct pathological events during the perinatal (transient perinatal hypoxemia), late foetal (preeclampsia), and early embryonic (assisted reproductive technologies) periods induce profound alterations of the cardiovascular phenotype in humans and experimental animals. Moreover, we will provide evidence that epigenetic modifications are contributing importantly to this problem and are conferring the potential for its transmission to subsequent generations.

  2. Early humans and rapidly changing holocene sea levels in the Queen Charlotte Islands - Hecate Strait, British Columbia, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Josenhans, H.; Fedje, D.; Pienitz, R.; Southon, J.

    1997-07-04

    Marine cores from the continental shelf edge of British Columbia (Canada) demonstrate that sea level at the shelf edge was 153 meters below present 14,000 calendar years ago and more than 30 meters lower than the maximum eustatic low of -120 meters. Dated artifacts, including stone tools, indicate that humans occupied this region by at least 10,200 calendar years before present (B.P.). Local sea level rose rapidly (5 centimeters per year) during the period of early human occupation as a result of eustatic sea-level rise and glacio-isostatic forebulge movement. This shelf edge site was first elevated and then subsided. The exposed shelf edge was available for human occupation and may have served as a migration route during times of lowered sea levels between 13,500 and 9500 {sup 14}C years B.P. 34 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Tempo and mode in human evolution.

    PubMed Central

    McHenry, H M

    1994-01-01

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

  4. When humans become animals: Development of the animal category in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Patricia A; Medin, Douglas L; Waxman, Sandra R

    2012-01-01

    The current study examines 3- and 5-year-olds' representation of the concept we label 'animal' and its two nested concepts -animal(contrastive) (including only non-human animals) and animal(inclusive) (including both humans and non-human animals). Building upon evidence that naming promotes object categorization, we introduced a novel noun for two distinct objects, and analyzed children's patterns of extension. In Experiment 1, children heard a novel noun in conjunction with two non-human animals (dog, bird). Here, both 3- and 5-year-olds readily accessed animal(contrastive) and extended the noun systematically to other (previously un-named) non-human animals. In Experiment 2, children heard a novel noun in conjunction with a human and non-human animal. Here, 5-year-olds (but not 3-year-olds) accessed animal(inclusive) and extended the noun systematically to humans and non-human animals. These results underscore the developmental challenge facing young children as they identify the scope of the fundamental biological term 'animal' and its corresponding, nested concept(s).

  5. Tarp regulates early Chlamydia-induced host cell survival through interactions with the human adaptor protein SHC1.

    PubMed

    Mehlitz, Adrian; Banhart, Sebastian; Mäurer, André P; Kaushansky, Alexis; Gordus, Andrew G; Zielecki, Julia; Macbeath, Gavin; Meyer, Thomas F

    2010-07-12

    Many bacterial pathogens translocate effector proteins into host cells to manipulate host cell functions. Here, we used a protein microarray comprising virtually all human SRC homology 2 (SH2) and phosphotyrosine binding domains to comprehensively and quantitatively assess interactions between host cell proteins and the early phase Chlamydia trachomatis effector protein translocated actin-recruiting phosphoprotein (Tarp), which is rapidly tyrosine phosphorylated upon host cell entry. We discovered numerous novel interactions between human SH2 domains and phosphopeptides derived from Tarp. The adaptor protein SHC1 was among Tarp's strongest interaction partners. Transcriptome analysis of SHC1-dependent gene regulation during infection indicated that SHC1 regulates apoptosis- and growth-related genes. SHC1 knockdown sensitized infected host cells to tumor necrosis factor-induced apoptosis. Collectively, our findings reveal a critical role for SHC1 in early C. trachomatis-induced cell survival and suggest that Tarp functions as a multivalent phosphorylation-dependent signaling hub that is important during the early phase of chlamydial infection.

  6. Interactions between climate change and human activities during the early to mid-Holocene in the eastern Mediterranean basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berger, Jean-Francois; Lespez, Laurent; Kuzucuoğlu, Catherine; Glais, Arthur; Hourani, Fuad; Barra, Adrien; Guilaine, Jean

    2016-09-01

    This paper focuses on early Holocene rapid climate change (RCC) records in the Mediterranean zone, which are under-represented in continental archives (9.2 to 8.2 ka events) and on their impact on prehistoric societies. This lack of data handicaps the general interpretation of climate impacts on human societies, which flourished in recent years. Key questions remain about the impact of early Holocene cooling events on the Mediterranean climate, ecosystems and human societies. In this paper, we discuss some examples from river and lake systems from the eastern to central Mediterranean area (central Anatolia, Cyprus, northeastern and northwestern Greece) that illustrate some palaeohydrological and erosion variations that modified the sustainability of the first Neolithic populations in this region. Results allow us to present direct land-sea correlations and to reconstruct regional long-term trends as well as millennial- to centennial-scale climatic changes. In this context, we question the socio-economic and geographical adaptation capacities of these societies (mobility, technology, economic practices, social organisation) during the "early Holocene" interval (11.7 to 8.2 ka), which corresponds partly to the Sapropel 1 deposition in the eastern Mediterranean sea.

  7. The Early Middle Palaeolithic in Britain: archaeology, settlement history and human behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Mark; Scott, Beccy; Ashton, Nick

    2006-07-01

    A number of archaeological sites dated to MIS 8 and MIS 7 and containing Early Middle Palaeolithic Levalloisian assemblages can now be identified within the British Palaeolithic record. These provide a mixture of high- and low-resolution signatures, which together permit the reconstruction of aspects of early Neanderthal behaviour, settlement history and technological organisation within the British Isles. Much is certainly missing, but it is now possible to begin the task of disentangling the previously conflated Middle Palaeolithic, separating those sites belonging to the Middle Pleistocene from those dating to the last climatic cycle. This paper presents the first attempt to synthesise the data from the Early Middle Palaeolithic and presents some of our preliminary and tentatively held interpretations of what it might mean. Copyright

  8. The origin of life and the last universal common ancestor: do we need a change of perspective?

    PubMed

    Glansdorff, Nicolas; Xu, Ying; Labedan, Bernard

    2009-09-01

    A complete tree with roots, trunk and crown remains an appropriate model to represent all steps of life's development, from the emergence of a unique genetic code up to the last universal common ancestor and its further radiation. Catalytic closure of a mixture of prebiotic polymers is a heuristic alternative to the RNA world. Conjectures about emergence of life in an infinite multiverse should not confuse probability with possibility.

  9. Early Trabecular Development in Human Vertebrae: Overproduction, Constructive Regression, and Refinement

    PubMed Central

    Acquaah, Frank; Robson Brown, Katharine A.; Ahmed, Farah; Jeffery, Nathan; Abel, Richard L.

    2015-01-01

    Early bone development may have a significant impact upon bone health in adulthood. Bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mass are important determinants of adult bone strength. However, several studies have shown that BMD and bone mass decrease after birth. If early development is important for strength, why does this reduction occur? To investigate this, more data characterizing gestational, infant, and childhood bone development are needed in order to compare with adults. The aim of this study is to document early vertebral trabecular bone development, a key fragility fracture site, and infer whether this period is important for adult bone mass and structure. A series of 120 vertebrae aged between 6 months gestation and 2.5 years were visualized using microcomputed tomography. Spherical volumes of interest were defined, thresholded, and measured using 3D bone analysis software (BoneJ, Quant3D). The findings showed that gestation was characterized by increasing bone volume fraction whilst infancy was defined by significant bone loss (≈2/3rds) and the appearance of a highly anisotropic trabecular structure with a predominantly inferior–superior direction. Childhood development progressed via selective thickening of some trabeculae and the loss of others; maintaining bone volume whilst creating a more anisotropic structure. Overall, the pattern of vertebral development is one of gestational overproduction followed by infant “sculpting” of bone tissue during the first year of life (perhaps in order to regulate mineral homeostasis or to adapt to loading environment) and then subsequent refinement during early childhood. Comparison of early bone developmental data in this study with adult bone volume values taken from the literature shows that the loss in bone mass that occurs during the first year of life is never fully recovered. Early development could therefore be important for developing bone strength, but through structural changes in trabecular

  10. Synchrony between growth and reproductive patterns in human females: Early investment in growth among Pumé foragers.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Karen L; Greaves, Russell D

    2010-02-01

    Life history is an important framework for understanding many aspects of ontogeny and reproduction relative to fitness outcomes. Because growth is a key influence on the timing of reproductive maturity and age at first birth is a critical demographic variable predicting lifetime fertility, it raises questions about the synchrony of growth and reproductive strategies. Among the Pumé, a group of South American foragers, young women give birth to their first child on average at age 15.5. Previous research showed that this early age at first birth maximizes surviving fertility under conditions of high infant mortality. In this study we evaluate Pumé growth data to test the expectation that if early reproduction is advantageous, then girls should have a developmental trajectory that best prepares them for young childbearing. Analyses show that comparatively Pumé girls invest in skeletal growth early, enter puberty having achieved a greater proportion of adult body size and grow at low velocities during adolescence. For early reproducers growing up in a food-limited environment, a precocious investment in growth is advantageous because juveniles have no chance of pregnancy and it occurs before the onset of the competing metabolic demands of final reproductive maturation and childbearing. Documenting growth patterns under preindustrial energetic and demographic conditions expands the range of developmental variation not otherwise captured by normative growth standards and contributes to research on human phenotypic plasticity in diverse environments.

  11. An Aboriginal Australian genome reveals separate human dispersals into Asia.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Morten; Guo, Xiaosen; Wang, Yong; Lohmueller, Kirk E; Rasmussen, Simon; Albrechtsen, Anders; Skotte, Line; Lindgreen, Stinus; Metspalu, Mait; Jombart, Thibaut; Kivisild, Toomas; Zhai, Weiwei; Eriksson, Anders; Manica, Andrea; Orlando, Ludovic; De La Vega, Francisco M; Tridico, Silvana; Metspalu, Ene; Nielsen, Kasper; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Muller, Craig; Dortch, Joe; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Lund, Ole; Wesolowska, Agata; Karmin, Monika; Weinert, Lucy A; Wang, Bo; Li, Jun; Tai, Shuaishuai; Xiao, Fei; Hanihara, Tsunehiko; van Driem, George; Jha, Aashish R; Ricaut, François-Xavier; de Knijff, Peter; Migliano, Andrea B; Gallego Romero, Irene; Kristiansen, Karsten; Lambert, David M; Brunak, Søren; Forster, Peter; Brinkmann, Bernd; Nehlich, Olaf; Bunce, Michael; Richards, Michael; Gupta, Ramneek; Bustamante, Carlos D; Krogh, Anders; Foley, Robert A; Lahr, Marta M; Balloux, Francois; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Villems, Richard; Nielsen, Rasmus; Wang, Jun; Willerslev, Eske

    2011-10-07

    We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal into eastern Asia, possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago. This dispersal is separate from the one that gave rise to modern Asians 25,000 to 38,000 years ago. We also find evidence of gene flow between populations of the two dispersal waves prior to the divergence of Native Americans from modern Asian ancestors. Our findings support the hypothesis that present-day Aboriginal Australians descend from the earliest humans to occupy Australia, likely representing one of the oldest continuous populations outside Africa.

  12. The proteomic complexity and rise of the primordial ancestor of diversified life

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The last universal common ancestor represents the primordial cellular organism from which diversified life was derived. This urancestor accumulated genetic information before the rise of organismal lineages and is considered to be either a simple 'progenote' organism with a rudimentary translational apparatus or a more complex 'cenancestor' with almost all essential biological processes. Recent comparative genomic studies support the latter model and propose that the urancestor was similar to modern organisms in terms of gene content. However, most of these studies were based on molecular sequences, which are fast evolving and of limited value for deep evolutionary explorations. Results Here we engage in a phylogenomic study of protein domain structure in the proteomes of 420 free-living fully sequenced organisms. Domains were defined at the highly conserved fold superfamily (FSF) level of structural classification and an iterative phylogenomic approach was used to reconstruct max_set and min_set FSF repertoires as upper and lower bounds of the urancestral proteome. While the functional make up of the urancestral sets was complex, they represent only 5-11% of the 1,420 FSFs of extant proteomes and their make up and reuse was at least 5 and 3 times smaller than proteomes of free-living organisms, repectively. Trees of proteomes reconstructed directly from FSFs or from molecular functions, which included the max_set and min_set as articial taxa, showed that urancestors were always placed at their base and rooted the tree of life in Archaea. Finally, a molecular clock of FSFs suggests the min_set reflects urancestral genetic make up more reliably and confirms diversified life emerged about 2.9 billion years ago during the start of planet oxygenation. Conclusions The minimum urancestral FSF set reveals the urancestor had advanced metabolic capabilities, was especially rich in nucleotide metabolism enzymes, had pathways for the biosynthesis of membrane sn1

  13. Muscle spindle composition and distribution in human young masseter and biceps brachii muscles reveal early growth and maturation.

    PubMed

    Osterlund, Catharina; Liu, Jing-Xia; Thornell, Lars-Eric; Eriksson, Per-Olof

    2011-04-01

    Significant changes in extrafusal fiber type composition take place in the human masseter muscle from young age, 3-7 years, to adulthood, in parallel with jaw-face skeleton growth, changes of dentitions and improvement of jaw functions. As motor and sensory control systems of muscles are interlinked, also the intrafusal fiber population, that is, muscle spindles, should undergo age-related changes in fiber type appearance. To test this hypothesis, we examined muscle spindles in the young masseter muscle and compared the result with previous data on adult masseter spindles. Also muscle spindles in the young biceps brachii muscle were examined. The result showed that muscle spindle composition and distribution were alike in young and adult masseter. As for the adult masseter, young masseter contained exceptionally large muscle spindles, and with the highest spindle density and most complex spindles found in the deep masseter portion. Hence, contrary to our hypothesis, masseter spindles do not undergo major morphological changes between young age and adulthood. Also in the biceps, young spindles were alike adult spindles. Taken together, the results showed that human masseter and biceps muscle spindles are morphologically mature already at young age. We conclude that muscle spindles in the human young masseter and biceps precede the extrafusal fiber population in growth and maturation. This in turn suggests early reflex control and proprioceptive demands in learning and maturation of jaw motor skills. Similarly, well-developed muscle spindles in young biceps reflect early need of reflex control in learning and performing arm motor behavior.

  14. Arab Republic of Egypt: Review of Early Childhood Education and Human Capital Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ushiogi, Morikazu; Tanaka, Shinichira; O'Gara, Chloe; Sprague, David

    This report submitted to the World Bank analyzes the early childhood development (ECD) policies, strategies, and programs in Egypt in 2001. Information was gathered from documents, observations in kindergartens and nurseries, interviews with more than 50 teachers and parents, and a survey of policymakers and program managers in Cairo, Egypt. The…

  15. Calponin-h2: a potential serum marker for the early detection of human breast cancer?

    PubMed

    Debald, Manuel; Jin, Jian-Ping; Linke, Andrea; Walgenbach, Klaus-Jürgen; Rauch, Peter; Zellmer, Angela; Fimmers, Rolf; Kuhn, Walther; Hartmann, Gunther; Walgenbach-Brünagel, Gisela

    2014-11-01

    Early diagnosis is the key for the successful treatment of breast cancer. A serum marker for the early detection of breast cancer could significantly reduce breast cancer morbidity and mortality by bringing the time of diagnosis at an earlier and therefore still curable stage. So far, no biomarker for the early detection is available for the clinical routine. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the use of calponin-h2 as a blood-based biomarker for the early diagnosis of this disease. Using two monoclonal antibodies against calponin-h2, we developed a sandwich ELISA to analyze the serum levels of calponin-h2. In order to evaluate the diagnostic potential of this biomarker, patients with breast cancer (n = 76), benign diseases of the breast (n = 51) and healthy females (n = 24) were analyzed. Serum levels above 10 ng/ml were only observed in patients with breast cancer (n = 8; 10.5%). Further large-scale studies and preanalytic evaluations are necessary to clarify the definite role of calponin-h2 as a biomarker in breast cancer management.

  16. Thermophotonic lock-in imaging of early demineralized and carious lesions in human teeth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabatabaei, Nima; Mandelis, Andreas; Amaechi, Bennett Tochukwu

    2011-07-01

    As an extension of frequency-domain photothermal radiometry, a novel dental-imaging modality, thermophotonic lock-in imaging (TPLI), is introduced. This methodology uses photothermal wave principles and is capable of detecting early carious lesions and cracks on occlusal and approximal surfaces as well as early caries induced by artificial demineralizing solutions. The increased light scattering and absorption within early carious lesions increases the thermal-wave amplitude and shifts the thermal-wave centroid, producing contrast between the carious lesion and the intact enamel in both amplitude and phase images. Samples with artificial and natural occlusal and approximal caries were examined in this study. Thermophotonic effective detection depth is controlled by the modulation frequency according to the well-known concept of thermal diffusion length. TPLI phase images are emissivity normalized and therefore insensitive to the presence of stains. Amplitude images, on the other hand, provide integrated information from deeper enamel regions. It is concluded that the results of our noninvasive, noncontacting imaging methodology exhibit higher sensitivity to very early demineralization than dental radiographs and are in agreement with the destructive transverse microradiography mineral density profiles.

  17. Depictions of Human Bodies in the Illustrations of Early Childhood Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martínez-Bello, Vladimir E.; Martínez-Bello, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    In many Ibero-American countries children in the early childhood education (ECE) system have the opportunity to interact with textbooks on a regular basis. The powerful social function of textbooks in socializing children in primary and secondary school, and in legitimizing what counts as cultural norms and officially sanctioned values and…

  18. Treatment with human immunoglobulin G improves the early disease course in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Zschüntzsch, Jana; Zhang, Yaxin; Klinker, Florian; Makosch, Gregor; Klinge, Lars; Malzahn, Dörthe; Brinkmeier, Heinrich; Liebetanz, David; Schmidt, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe hereditary myopathy. Standard treatment by glucocorticosteroids is limited because of numerous side effects. The aim of this study was to test immunomodulation by human immunoglobulin G (IgG) as treatment in the experimental mouse model (mdx) of DMD. 2 g/kg human IgG compared to human albumin was injected intraperitoneally in mdx mice at the age of 3 and 7 weeks. Advanced voluntary wheel running parameters were recorded continuously. At the age of 11 weeks, animals were killed so that blood, diaphragm, and lower limb muscles could be removed for quantitative PCR, histological analysis and ex vivo muscle contraction tests. IgG compared to albumin significantly improved the voluntary running performance and reduced muscle fatigability in an ex vivo muscle contraction test. Upon IgG treatment, serum creatine kinase values were diminished and mRNA expression levels of relevant inflammatory markers were reduced in the diaphragm and limb muscles. Macrophage infiltration and myopathic damage were significantly ameliorated in the quadriceps muscle. Collectively, this study demonstrates that, in the early disease course of mdx mice, human IgG improves the running performance and diminishes myopathic damage and inflammation in the muscle. Therefore, IgG may be a promising approach for treatment of DMD. Two monthly intraperitoneal injections of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) improved the early 11-week disease phase of mdx mice. Voluntary running was improved and serum levels of creatine kinase were diminished. In the skeletal muscle, myopathic damage was ameliorated and key inflammatory markers such as mRNA expression of SPP1 and infiltration by macrophages were reduced. The study suggests that IgG could be explored as a potential treatment option for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and that pre-clinical long-term studies should be helpful.

  19. RNA interference-mediated targeting of human cytomegalovirus immediate-early or early gene products inhibits viral replication with differential effects on cellular functions.

    PubMed

    Xiaofei, E; Stadler, Bradford M; Debatis, Michelle; Wang, Shixia; Lu, Shan; Kowalik, Timothy F

    2012-05-01

    Viral drug toxicity, resistance, and an increasing immunosuppressed population warrant continued research into new avenues for limiting diseases associated with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). In this study, a small interfering RNA (siRNA), siX3, was designed to target coding sequences within shared exon 3 of UL123 and UL122 transcripts encoding IE1 and IE2 immediate-early proteins of HCMV. Pretreatment of cells with siX3 reduced the levels of viral protein expression, DNA replication, and progeny virus production compared to control siRNA. Two siRNAs against UL54 and overlapping transcripts (UL55-57) were compared to siX3 in HCMV infection and were also found to be effective at inhibiting HCMV replication. Further investigation into the effects of the siRNAs on viral replication showed that pretreatment with each of the siRNAs resulted in an inhibition in the formation of mature replication compartments. The ability of these siRNAs to prevent or reduce certain cytopathic effects associated with HCMV infection was also examined. Infected cells pretreated with siX3, but not siUL54, retained promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein in cellular PML bodies, an essential component of this host intrinsic antiviral defense. DNA damage response proteins, which are localized in nuclear viral replication compartments, were reduced in the siX3- and siUL54-treated cells. siX3, but not siUL54, prevented DNA damage response signaling early after infection. Therapeutic efficacy was demonstrated by treating cells with siRNAs after HCMV replication had commenced. Together, these findings suggest that siRNAs targeting exon 3 of the major IE genes or the UL54-57 transcripts be further studied for their potential development into anti-HCMV therapeutics.

  20. The early Middle Pleistocene archeopaleontological site of Wadi Sarrat (Tunisia) and the earliest record of Bos primigenius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido; Karoui-Yaakoub, Narjess; Oms, Oriol; Amri, Lamjed; López-García, Juan Manuel; Zerai, Kamel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Mtimet, Moncef-Saïd; Espigares, María-Patrocinio; Ben Haj Ali, Nebiha; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Boughdiri, Mabrouk; Agustí, Jordi; Khayati-Ammar, Hayet; Maalaoui, Kamel; El Khir, Maahmoudi Om; Sala, Robert; Othmani, Abdelhak; Hawas, Ramla; Gómez-Merino, Gala; Solè, Àlex; Carbonell, Eudald; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-04-01

    Here we describe the new, rich lacustrine paleontological and archeological site of Wadi Sarrat (Le Kef, northeastern Tunisia), dated to the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, ˜0.7 Ma, by a combination of paleomagnetism and biochronology. This locality preserves the earliest record of auroch, Bos primigenius, the ancestor of the worldwide extant domestic cattle species Bos taurus, which is represented by a nearly complete, giant-sized cranium (specimen OS1). Both the cranial anatomy and the size of this specimen reflect the phylogenetic legacy inherited from its ancestor, the late Early Pleistocene African Bos buiaensis, recorded in the eastern African paleoanthropological site of Buia, Eritrea (1.0 Ma). Given that the latter species is an evolved form of the classical Early Pleistocene African buffalo Pelorovis oldowayensis, the finding of B. primigenius at Wadi Sarrat shows that the genus Bos evolved in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, which coincides with the spread of the Acheulian technocomplex in northern Africa and Europe. Therefore, the lineage of Pelorovis-Bos has been part of the human ecological landscape since the appearance of the genus Homo in the African Early Pleistocene.

  1. Loss of CD44dim Expression from Early Progenitor Cells Marks T-Cell Lineage Commitment in the Human Thymus

    PubMed Central

    Canté-Barrett, Kirsten; Mendes, Rui D.; Li, Yunlei; Vroegindeweij, Eric; Pike-Overzet, Karin; Wabeke, Tamara; Langerak, Anton W.; Pieters, Rob; Staal, Frank J. T.; Meijerink, Jules P. P.

    2017-01-01

    Human T-cell development is less well studied than its murine counterpart due to the lack of genetic tools and the difficulty of obtaining cells and tissues. Here, we report the transcriptional landscape of 11 immature, consecutive human T-cell developmental stages. The changes in gene expression of cultured stem cells on OP9-DL1 match those of ex vivo isolated murine and human thymocytes. These analyses led us to define evolutionary conserved gene signatures that represent pre- and post-αβ T-cell commitment stages. We found that loss of dim expression of CD44 marks human T-cell commitment in early CD7+CD5+CD45dim cells, before the acquisition of CD1a surface expression. The CD44−CD1a− post-committed thymocytes have initiated in frame T-cell receptor rearrangements that are accompanied by loss of capacity to differentiate toward myeloid, B- and NK-lineages, unlike uncommitted CD44dimCD1a− thymocytes. Therefore, loss of CD44 represents a previously unrecognized human thymocyte stage that defines the earliest committed T-cell population in the thymus. PMID:28163708

  2. Genomic and Proteomic Analyses Indicate that Banchine and Campoplegine Polydnaviruses Have Similar, if Not Identical, Viral Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Béliveau, Catherine; Cohen, Alejandro; Stewart, Don; Periquet, Georges; Djoumad, Abdelmadjid; Kuhn, Lisa; Stoltz, Don; Boyle, Brian; Volkoff, Anne-Nathalie; Herniou, Elisabeth A.; Drezen, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Polydnaviruses form a group of unconventional double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses transmitted by endoparasitic wasps during egg laying into caterpillar hosts, where viral gene expression is essential to immature wasp survival. A copy of the viral genome is present in wasp chromosomes, thus ensuring vertical transmission. Polydnaviruses comprise two taxa, Bracovirus and Ichnovirus, shown to have distinct viral ancestors whose genomes were “captured” by ancestral wasps. While evidence indicates that bracoviruses derive from a nudivirus ancestor, the identity of the ichnovirus progenitor remains unknown. In addition, ichnoviruses are found in two ichneumonid wasp subfamilies, Campopleginae and Banchinae, where they constitute morphologically and genomically different virus types. To address the question of whether these two ichnovirus subgroups have distinct ancestors, we used genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic analyses to characterize particle proteins of the banchine Glypta fumiferanae ichnovirus and the genes encoding them. Several proteins were found to be homologous to those identified earlier for campoplegine ichnoviruses while the corresponding genes were located in clusters of the wasp genome similar to those observed previously in a campoplegine wasp. However, for the first time in a polydnavirus system, these clusters also revealed sequences encoding enzymes presumed to form the replicative machinery of the progenitor virus and observed to be overexpressed in the virogenic tissue. Homology searches pointed to nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses as the likely source of these genes. These data, along with an analysis of the chromosomal form of five viral genome segments, provide clear evidence for the relatedness of the banchine and campoplegine ichnovirus ancestors. IMPORTANCE Recent work indicates that the two recognized polydnavirus taxa, Bracovirus and Ichnovirus, are derived from distinct viruses whose genomes integrated into the genomes

  3. Intensifying Antiretroviral Therapy With Raltegravir and Maraviroc During Early Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection Does Not Accelerate HIV Reservoir Reduction

    PubMed Central

    Ostrowski, Mario; Benko, Erika; Yue, Feng Yun; Kim, Connie J.; Huibner, Sanja; Lee, Terry; Singer, Joel; Pankovich, Jim; Laeyendecker, Oliver; Kaul, Rupert; Kandel, Gabor; Kovacs, Colin

    2015-01-01

    Background. Persistent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within the CD4+ T-cell reservoir is an obstacle to eradication. We hypothesized that adding raltegravir and maraviroc to standard combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) during early HIV infection could substantially reduce viral reservoirs as a step towards eradication. Methods. A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot trial enrolled 32 participants with documented early (<6 months) HIV infection to either standard cART (emtricitabine/tenofovir/lopinavir/ritonavir) or intensive cART (standard regimen + raltegravir/maraviroc). Human immunodeficiency v