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Sample records for evolutionary developmental biology

  1. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: annelids.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, David E K

    2012-08-01

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

  2. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: annelids.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, David E K

    2012-08-01

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

  3. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins.

    PubMed

    McClay, David R

    2011-07-01

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

  4. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Cnidaria.

    PubMed

    Technau, Ulrich; Steele, Robert E

    2011-04-01

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

  5. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    McClay, David R.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, William E.; Diggle, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form. PMID:21515816

  8. Charles Darwin and the origins of plant evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Friedman, William E; Diggle, Pamela K

    2011-04-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ota, Kinya G; Abe, Gembu

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. The evolutionary developmental biology of tinkering: an introduction to the challenge.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Daniel E; Hall, Brian K

    2007-01-01

    Recent developments in evolutionary biology have conflicting implications for our understanding of the developmental bases of microevolutionary processes. On the one hand, Darwinian theory predicts that evolution occurs mostly gradually and incrementally through selection on small-scale, heritable changes in phenotype within populations. On the other hand, many discoveries in evolutionary developmental biology--quite a few based on comparisons of distantly related model organisms--suggest that relatively simple transformations of developmental pathways can lead to dramatic, rapid change in phenotype. Here I review the history of and bases for gradualist versus punctuationalist views from a developmental perspective, and propose a framework with which to reconcile them. Notably, while tinkering with developmental pathways can underlie large-scale transformations in body plan, the phenotypic effect of these changes is often modulated by the complexity of the genetic and epigenetic contexts in which they develop. Thus the phenotypic effects of mutations of potentially large effect can manifest themselves rapidly, but they are more likely to emerge more incrementally over evolutionary time via transitional forms as natural selection within populations acts on their expression. To test these hypotheses, and to better understand how developmental shifts underlie microevolutionary change, future research needs to be directed at understanding how complex developmental networks, both genetic and epigenetic, structure the phenotypic effects of particular mutations within populations of organisms.

  14. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students’ Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo-devo.” To assist in efforts to improve evo-devo instruction among undergraduate biology majors, we designed a concept inventory (CI) for evolutionary developmental biology, the EvoDevoCI. The CI measures student understanding of six core evo-devo concepts using four scenarios and 11 multiple-choice items, all inspired by authentic scientific examples. Distracters were designed to represent the common conceptual difficulties students have with each evo-devo concept. The tool was validated by experts and administered at four institutions to 1191 students during preliminary (n = 652) and final (n = 539) field trials. We used student responses to evaluate the readability, difficulty, discriminability, validity, and reliability of the EvoDevoCI, which included items ranging in difficulty from 0.22–0.55 and in discriminability from 0.19–0.38. Such measures suggest the EvoDevoCI is an effective tool for assessing student understanding of evo-devo concepts and the prevalence of associated common conceptual difficulties among both novice and advanced undergraduate biology majors. PMID:24297293

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology. PMID:24006397

  20. Getting to evo-devo: concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.

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

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic effects that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of adults. An evolutionary developmental perspective includes an appreciation of comparative research and we, among others, argue that contrasting the cognition of humans with that of nonhuman primates can provide a framework with which to understand how human cognitive abilities and intelligence evolved. Furthermore, we argue that several aspects of childhood (e.g., play and immature cognition) serve both as deferred adaptations as well as imparting immediate benefits. Intense selection pressure was surely exerted on childhood over human evolutionary history and, as a result, neglecting to consider the early developmental period of children when studying their later adulthood produces an incomplete picture of the evolved adaptations expressed through human behavior and cognition.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Boyce, W Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Eco-Evo-Devo: developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity as evolutionary agents.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Scott F; Bosch, Thomas C G; Ledón-Rettig, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis.

  13. Evo-Devo: evolutionary developmental mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K

    2003-01-01

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

  14. From the "Modern Synthesis" to cybernetics: Ivan Ivanovich Schmalhausen (1884-1963) and his research program for a synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-15

    Ivan I. Schmalhausen was one of the central figures in the Russian development of the "Modern Synthesis" in evolutionary biology. He is widely cited internationally even today. Schmalhausen developed the main principles of his theory facing the danger of death in the totalitarian Soviet Union. His great services to evolutionary and theoretical biology are indisputable. However, the received view of Schmalhausen's contributions to evolutionary biology makes an unbiased reading of his texts difficult. Here we show that taking all of his works into consideration (including those only available in Russian) paints a much more dynamic and exciting picture of what he tried to achieve. Schmalhausen pioneered the integration of a developmental perspective into evolutionary thinking. A main tool for achieving this was his approach to living objects as complex multi-level self-regulating systems. Schmalhausen put enormous effort into bringing this idea into fruition during the final stages of his career by combining evolutionary theory with cybernetics. His results and ideas remain thought-provoking, and his texts are of more than just historical interest.

  15. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  16. Evolutionary biology of language.

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, M A

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Developmental Biology: We Are All Walking Mutants.

    PubMed

    Trainor, Paul A

    2016-01-01

    What is Developmental Biology? Developmental Biology is a discipline that evolved from the collective fields of embryology, morphology, and anatomy, which firmly established that structure underpins function. In its simplest terms, Developmental Biology has come to describe how a single cell becomes a completely formed organism. However, this definition of Developmental Biology is too narrow. Developmental Biology describes the properties of individual cells; their organization into tissues, organs, and organisms; their homeostasis, regeneration, aging, and ultimately death. Developmental Biology provides a context for cellular reprogramming, stem cell biology, regeneration, tissue engineering, evolutionary development and ecology, and involves the reiterated use of the same cellular mechanisms and signaling pathways throughout the lifespan of an organism. Using neural crest cells as an example, this review explores the contribution of Developmental Biology to our understanding of development, evolution, and disease. PMID:26969998

  18. An introduction to evolutionary developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    Machluf, Karin; Liddle, James R; Bjorklund, David F

    2014-04-29

    Evolutionary developmental psychology represents a synthesis of modern evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. Here we introduce the special issue on evolutionary developmental psychology by briefly discussing the history of this field and then summarizing the variety of topics that are covered. In this special issue, leading researchers provide a collection of theoretical and empirical articles that highlight recent findings and propose promising areas for future research.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach.

  20. Evolutionary Design in Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, Kay C.

    Much progress has been achieved in recent years in molecular biology and genetics. The sheer volume of data in the form of biological sequences has been enormous and efficient methods for dealing with these huge amounts of data are needed. In addition, the data alone does not provide information on the workings of biological systems; hence much research effort has focused on designing mathematical and computational models to address problems from molecular biology. Often, the terms bioinformatics and computational biology are used to refer to the research fields concerning themselves with designing solutions to molecular problems in biology. However, there is a slight distinction between bioinformatics and computational biology: the former is concerned with managing the enormous amounts of biological data and extracting information from it, while the latter is more concerned with the design and development of new algorithms to address problems such as protein or RNA folding. However, the boundary is blurry, and there is no consistent usage of the terms. We will use the term bioinformatics to encompass both fields. To cover all areas of research in bioinformatics is beyond the scope of this section and we refer the interested reader to [2] for a general introduction. A large part of what bioinformatics is concerned about is evolution and function of biological systems on a molecular level. Evolutionary computation and evolutionary design are concerned with developing computational systems that "mimic" certain aspects of natural evolution (mutation, crossover, selection, fitness). Much of the inner workings of natural evolutionary systems have been copied, sometimes in modified format into evolutionary computation systems. Artificial neural networks mimic the functioning of simple brain cell clusters. Fuzzy systems are concerned with the "fuzzyness" in decision making, similar to a human expert. These three computational paradigms fall into the category of

  1. Evolutionary biology of cancer.

    PubMed

    Crespi, Bernard; Summers, Kyle

    2005-10-01

    Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages that have escaped controls on replication and by the population-level evolution of genes that influence cancer risk. We describe here how recent evolutionary ecological studies have elucidated the roles of predation by the immune system and competition among normal and cancerous cells in the somatic evolution of cancer. Recent analyses of the evolution of cancer at the population level show how rapid changes in human environments have augmented cancer risk, how strong selection has frequently led to increased cancer risk as a byproduct, and how anticancer selection has led to tumor-suppression systems, tissue designs that slow somatic evolution, constraints on morphological evolution and even senescence itself. We discuss how applications of the tools of ecology and evolutionary biology are poised to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of this disease.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maestripieri, Dario; Roney, James R.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic…

  4. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Ecology and evolutionary biology of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. We performed cytogenetic analyses for chromosomes of one commonly used inbred line of M. lignano (called DV1) and uncovered unexpected chromosome number variation in the form of aneuploidies of the largest chromosomes. These results prompted us to perform karyotypic studies in individual specimens of this and other lines of M. lignano reared under laboratory conditions, as well as in freshly field-collected specimens from different natural populations. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aneuploids and in some cases other numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities in laboratory-reared lines of M. lignano, and some cases of aneuploidy were also found in freshly field-collected specimens. Moreover, karyological analyses were performed in specimens of three further species: Macrostomum sp. 8 (a close relative of M. lignano), M. spirale and M. hystrix. Macrostomum sp. 8 showed a karyotype that was similar to that of M. lignano, with tetrasomy for its largest chromosome being the most common karyotype, while the other two species showed a simpler karyotype that is more typical of the genus Macrostomum. These findings suggest that M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 can be used as new models for studying processes of partial genome duplication in genome evolution. PMID:27755577

  9. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Paaby, Annalise B.; Gibson, Greg

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ioannidis, Stavros

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

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

  12. Cancer research meets evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Pepper, John W; Scott Findlay, C; Kassen, Rees; Spencer, Sabrina L; Maley, Carlo C

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection provides insights into the etiology and treatment of cancer. On a microscopic scale, neoplastic cells meet the conditions for evolution by Darwinian selection: cell reproduction with heritable variability that affects cell survival and replication. This suggests that, like other areas of biological and biomedical research, Darwinian theory can provide a general framework for understanding many aspects of cancer, including problems of great clinical importance. With the availability of raw molecular data increasing rapidly, this theory may provide guidance in translating data into understanding and progress. Several conceptual and analytical tools from evolutionary biology can be applied to cancer biology. Two clinical problems may benefit most from the application of Darwinian theory: neoplastic progression and acquired therapeutic resistance. The Darwinian theory of cancer has especially profound implications for drug development, both in terms of explaining past difficulties, and pointing the way toward new approaches. Because cancer involves complex evolutionary processes, research should incorporate both tractable (simplified) experimental systems, and also longitudinal observational studies of the evolutionary dynamics of cancer in laboratory animals and in human patients. Cancer biology will require new tools to control the evolution of neoplastic cells. PMID:25567847

  13. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-17

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

  15. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology

    PubMed Central

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles—cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations—provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer. PMID:23396885

  16. The renaissance of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    St Johnston, Daniel

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Choroid plexus in developmental and evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Brent Roy; Korzh, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    The blood-cerebrospinal fluid boundary is present at the level of epithelial cells of the choroid plexus. As one of the sources of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the choroid plexus (CP) plays an important role during brain development and function. Its formation has been studied largely in mammalian species. Lately, progress in other model animals, in particular the zebrafish, has brought a deeper understanding of CP formation, due in part to the ability to observe CP development in vivo. At the same time, advances in comparative genomics began providing information, which opens a possibility to understand further the molecular mechanisms involved in evolution of the CP and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid boundary formation. Hence this review focuses on analysis of the CP from developmental and evolutionary perspectives. PMID:25452709

  18. The diversification of developmental biology.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. The Evolutionary Biology of Poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.; Irausquin, Stephanie; Friedman, Robert

    2009-01-01

    The poxviruses (family Poxviridae) are a family of double-stranded viruses including several species that infect humans and their domestic animals, most notably Variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox. The evolutionary biology of these viruses poses numerous questions, for which we have only partial answers at present. Here we review evidence regarding the origin of poxviruses, the frequency of host transfer in poxvirus history, horizontal transfer of host genes to poxviruses, and the population processes accounting for patterns of nucleotide sequence polymorphism. PMID:19833230

  20. Developmental biology of the leech Helobdella.

    PubMed

    Weisblat, David A; Kuo, Dian-Han

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Developmental biology of the leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    WEISBLAT, DAVID A.; KUO, DIAN-HAN

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Evolutionary Biology in the Medical School Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neese, Randolph M.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which a questionnaire was given to deans at North American medical schools to determine which aspects of evolutionary biology are included in the curricula and the factors that influence this. Suggests that most future physicians should learn evolutionary biology as undergraduates if they are to learn it at all. (Author/NB)

  3. The Year in Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Bataillon, Thomas; Bailey, Susan F

    2014-01-01

    The rates and properties of new mutations affecting fitness have implications for a number of outstanding questions in evolutionary biology. Obtaining estimates of mutation rates and effects has historically been challenging, and little theory has been available for predicting the distribution of fitness effects (DFE); however, there have been recent advances on both fronts. Extreme-value theory predicts the DFE of beneficial mutations in well-adapted populations, while phenotypic fitness landscape models make predictions for the DFE of all mutations as a function of the initial level of adaptation and the strength of stabilizing selection on traits underlying fitness. Direct experimental evidence confirms predictions on the DFE of beneficial mutations and favors distributions that are roughly exponential but bounded on the right. A growing number of studies infer the DFE using genomic patterns of polymorphism and divergence, recovering a wide range of DFE. Future work should be aimed at identifying factors driving the observed variation in the DFE. We emphasize the need for further theory explicitly incorporating the effects of partial pleiotropy and heterogeneity in the environment on the expected DFE. PMID:24891070

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  5. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Soyer, Orkun S.; Siegal, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2009-03-15

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

  7. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2009-03-15

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

  8. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

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

  9. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. The proper place of hopeful monsters in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Theissen, Günter

    2006-03-01

    Hopeful monsters are organisms with a profound mutant phenotype that have the potential to establish a new evolutionary lineage. The Synthetic Theory of evolutionary biology has rejected the evolutionary relevance of hopeful monsters, but could not fully explain the mechanism and mode of macroevolution. On the other hand, several lines of evidence suggest that hopeful monsters played an important role during the origin of key innovations and novel body plans by saltational rather than gradual evolution. Homeotic mutants are identified as an especially promising class of hopeful monsters. Examples for animal and plant lineages that may have originated as hopeful monsters are given. Nevertheless, a brief review of the history of the concept of hopeful monsters reveals that it needs refinements and empirical tests if it is to be a useful addition to evolutionary biology. While evolutionary biology is traditionally zoocentric, hopeful monsters might be more relevant for plant than for animal evolution. Even though during recent years developmental genetics has provided detailed knowledge about how hopeful monsters can originate in the first place, we know almost nothing about their performance in natural populations and thus the ultimate difference between hopeful and hopeless. Studying the fitness of candidate hopeful monsters (suitable mutants with profound phenotype) in natural habitats thus remains a considerable challenge for the future.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dremock, Fae, Ed.

    2002-01-01

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

  13. A framework for evolutionary systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Loewe, Laurence

    2009-01-01

    Background Many difficult problems in evolutionary genomics are related to mutations that have weak effects on fitness, as the consequences of mutations with large effects are often simple to predict. Current systems biology has accumulated much data on mutations with large effects and can predict the properties of knockout mutants in some systems. However experimental methods are too insensitive to observe small effects. Results Here I propose a novel framework that brings together evolutionary theory and current systems biology approaches in order to quantify small effects of mutations and their epistatic interactions in silico. Central to this approach is the definition of fitness correlates that can be computed in some current systems biology models employing the rigorous algorithms that are at the core of much work in computational systems biology. The framework exploits synergies between the realism of such models and the need to understand real systems in evolutionary theory. This framework can address many longstanding topics in evolutionary biology by defining various 'levels' of the adaptive landscape. Addressed topics include the distribution of mutational effects on fitness, as well as the nature of advantageous mutations, epistasis and robustness. Combining corresponding parameter estimates with population genetics models raises the possibility of testing evolutionary hypotheses at a new level of realism. Conclusion EvoSysBio is expected to lead to a more detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of life by combining knowledge about well-known biological systems from several disciplines. This will benefit both evolutionary theory and current systems biology. Understanding robustness by analysing distributions of mutational effects and epistasis is pivotal for drug design, cancer research, responsible genetic engineering in synthetic biology and many other practical applications. PMID:19239699

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Developmental and evolutionary history affect survival in stressful environments.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Developmental and Evolutionary History Affect Survival in Stressful Environments

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. The evolutionary biology of sex.

    PubMed

    Charlesworth, Brian

    2006-09-01

    In 1861, Charles Darwin wrote "We do not even in the least know the final cause of sexuality; why new beings should be produced by the union of the two sexual elements, instead of by a process of parthenogenesis". It was hardly possible to begin to answer this question at that time, in view of the contemporary lack of knowledge of genetics and cell biology. Since then, research into the cellular basis of reproduction has shown that sexual reproduction is the norm for the majority of eukaryotes, with huge consequences for their biology. The evolution of sex and some of its consequences are the subject of the series of reviews, and a Primer, in this special issue of Current Biology.

  19. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies.

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  20. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

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

  3. EVOLUTIONARY BIOSCIENCE AS REGULATORY SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Eric H.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Gilbert Gottlieb: intermediator between psychology and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Jay S

    2007-12-01

    This article describes and evaluates Gilbert Gottlieb's role as an intermediator between psychology and evolutionary biology. He proposed that altered developmental conditions gave rise to new behavioral phenotypes (behavioral neophenotypes) that could provide the basis for initiating speciation. As an example, Gottlieb cited sympatric speciation of two species of fruit flies (Rhageletis pomella), which he believed was based on an ontogenetic shift in pupal feeding on apples or hawthorn fruit which determined their adult selection of apple or hawthorn trees for ovipositing. Recent evidence has provided additional links in the process of speciation of these fruit flies. Unlike other efforts to incorporate evolution in psychology, Gottlieb's theoretical contribution was based on actual evolutionary processes including recent developments in the field of evo-devo.

  6. [Modern evolutional developmental biology: mechanical and molecular genetic or phenotypic approaches?].

    PubMed

    Vorob'eva, É I

    2010-01-01

    Heightened interest in the evolutionary problems of developmental biology in the 1980s was due to the success of molecular genetics and disappointment in the synthetic theory of evolution, where the chapters of embryology and developmental biology seem to have been left out. Modern evo-devo, which turned out to be antipodean to the methodology of the synthetic theory of evolution, propagandized in the development of evolutionary problems only the mechanical and molecular genetic approach to the evolution of ontogenesis, based on cellular and intercellular interactions. The phonotypical approach to the evaluation of evolutionary occurrences in ontogenesis, which aids in the joining of the genetic and epigenetic levels of research, the theory of natural selection, the nomogenetic conception, and the problem of the wholeness of the organism in onto- and phylogenesis may be against this. The phenotypic approach to ontogenesis is methodologically the most perspective for evolutionary developmental biology.

  7. Evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental psychology: understanding the evolution of human behavior and development.

    PubMed

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Causey, Kayla

    2010-02-01

    This is an introduction to this special issue on evolutionary psychology (EP) and evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP). We suggest here that, contrary to some common assumptions, mainstream psychology continues to be essentially non Darwinian and that EP and EDP are new approaches that can potentially help us to change this situation. We then present the organization of the special issue (composed of six papers). We conclude that evolution is certainly not the final consideration in psychology, but emphasize its importance as the basis upon which all modern behaviors and development are built.

  8. An extended synthesis for evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2009-06-01

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

  9. Evolutionary problems in centrosome and centriole biology.

    PubMed

    Ross, L; Normark, B B

    2015-05-01

    Centrosomes have been an enigma to evolutionary biologists. Either they have been the subject of ill-founded speculation or they have been ignored. Here, we highlight evolutionary paradoxes and problems of centrosome and centriole evolution and seek to understand them in the light of recent advances in centrosome biology. Most evolutionary accounts of centrosome evolution have been based on the hypothesis that centrosomes are replicators, independent of the nucleus and cytoplasm. It is now clear, however, that this hypothesis is not tenable. Instead, centrosomes are formed de novo each cell division, with the presence of an old centrosome regulating, but not essential for, the assembly of a new one. Centrosomes are the microtubule-organizing centres of cells. They can potentially affect sensory and motor characters (as the basal body of cilia), as well as the movements of chromosomes during cell division. This latter role does not seem essential, however, except in male meiosis, and the reasons for this remain unclear. Although the centrosome is absent in some taxa, when it is present, its structure is extraordinarily conserved: in most taxa across eukaryotes, it does not appear to evolve at all. And yet a few insect groups display spectacular hypertrophy of the centrioles. We discuss how this might relate to the unusual reproductive system found in these insects. Finally, we discuss why the fate of centrosomes in sperm and early embryos might differ between different groups of animals.

  10. Lateral line, otic and epibranchial placodes: developmental and evolutionary links?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Clare V. H.; O’Neill, Paul; McCole, Ruth B.

    2014-01-01

    Two embryonic cell populations, the neural crest and cranial ectodermal placodes, between them give rise to many of the unique characters of vertebrates. Neurogenic placode derivatives are vital for sensing both external and internal stimuli. In this speculative review, we discuss potential developmental and evolutionary relationships between two placode series that are usually considered to be entirely independent: lateral line placodes, which form the mechanosensory and electroreceptive hair cells of the anamniote lateral line system as well as their afferent neurons, and epibranchial placodes (geniculate, petrosal and nodose), which form Phox2b+ visceral sensory neurons with input from both the external and internal environment. We illustrate their development using molecular data we recently obtained in shark embryos, and we describe their derivatives, including the possible geniculate placode origin of a mechanosensory sense organ associated with the first pharyngeal pouch/cleft (the anamniote spiracular organ/amniote paratympanic organ). We discuss how both lateral line and epibranchial placodes can be related in different ways to the otic placode (which forms the inner ear and its afferent neurons), and how both are important for protective somatic reflexes. Finally, we put forward a highly speculative proposal about the original function of the cells whose evolutionary descendants today include the derivatives of the lateral line, otic and epibranchial placodes, namely that they produced sensory receptors and neurons for Phox2b-dependent protective reflex circuits. We hope this review will stimulate both debate and a fresh look at possible developmental and evolutionary relationships between these seemingly disparate and independent placodes. PMID:17638322

  11. NASA Developmental Biology Workshop: A summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Developmental and genetic mechanisms for evolutionary diversification of serial repeats: eyespot size in Bicyclus anynana butterflies.

    PubMed

    Beldade, Patrícia; French, Vernon; Brakefield, Paul Martin

    2008-03-15

    Serially repeated pattern elements on butterfly wings offer the opportunity for integrating genetic, developmental, and functional aspects towards understanding morphological diversification and the evolution of individuality. We use captive populations of Bicyclus anynana butterflies, an emerging model in evolutionary developmental biology, to explore the genetic and developmental basis of compartmentalized changes in eyespot patterns. There is much variation for different aspects of eyespot morphology, and knowledge about the genetic pathways and developmental processes involved in eyespot formation. Also, despite the strong correlations across all eyespots in one butterfly, B. anynana shows great potential for independent changes in the size of individual eyespots. It is, however, unclear to what extent the genetic and developmental processes underlying eyespot formation change in a localized manner to enable such individualization. We use micromanipulations of developing wings to dissect the contribution of different components of eyespot development to quantitative differences in eyespot size on one wing surface. Reciprocal transplants of presumptive eyespot foci between artificial selection lines and controls suggest that while localized antagonistic changes in eyespot size rely mostly on localized changes in focal signal strength, concerted changes depend greatly on epidermal response sensitivities. This potentially reflects differences between the signal-response components of eyespot formation in the degrees of compartmentalization and/or the temporal pattern of selection. We also report on the phenotypic analysis of a number of mutant stocks demonstrating how single alleles can affect different eyespots in concert or independently, and thus contribute to the individualization of serially repeated traits. PMID:17577201

  14. Developmental and genetic mechanisms for evolutionary diversification of serial repeats: eyespot size in Bicyclus anynana butterflies.

    PubMed

    Beldade, Patrícia; French, Vernon; Brakefield, Paul Martin

    2008-03-15

    Serially repeated pattern elements on butterfly wings offer the opportunity for integrating genetic, developmental, and functional aspects towards understanding morphological diversification and the evolution of individuality. We use captive populations of Bicyclus anynana butterflies, an emerging model in evolutionary developmental biology, to explore the genetic and developmental basis of compartmentalized changes in eyespot patterns. There is much variation for different aspects of eyespot morphology, and knowledge about the genetic pathways and developmental processes involved in eyespot formation. Also, despite the strong correlations across all eyespots in one butterfly, B. anynana shows great potential for independent changes in the size of individual eyespots. It is, however, unclear to what extent the genetic and developmental processes underlying eyespot formation change in a localized manner to enable such individualization. We use micromanipulations of developing wings to dissect the contribution of different components of eyespot development to quantitative differences in eyespot size on one wing surface. Reciprocal transplants of presumptive eyespot foci between artificial selection lines and controls suggest that while localized antagonistic changes in eyespot size rely mostly on localized changes in focal signal strength, concerted changes depend greatly on epidermal response sensitivities. This potentially reflects differences between the signal-response components of eyespot formation in the degrees of compartmentalization and/or the temporal pattern of selection. We also report on the phenotypic analysis of a number of mutant stocks demonstrating how single alleles can affect different eyespots in concert or independently, and thus contribute to the individualization of serially repeated traits.

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

    PubMed

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-01

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification. PMID:21490021

  16. The evolutionary consequences of biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Andrew V; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2008-01-01

    A major challenge of invasion biology is the development of a predictive framework that prevents new invasions. This is inherently difficult because different biological characteristics are important at the different stages of invasion: opportunity/transport, establishment and spread. Here, we draw from recent research on a variety of taxa to examine the evolutionary causes and consequences of biological invasions. The process of introduction may favour species with characteristics that promote success in highly disturbed, human-dominated landscapes, thus exerting novel forms of selection on introduced populations. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that multiple introductions can often be critical to the successful establishment and spread of introduced species, as they may be important sources of genetic variation necessary for adaptation in new environments or may permit the introduction of novel traits. Thus, not only should the introduction of new species be prevented, but substantial effort should also be directed to preventing the secondary introduction of previously established species (and even movement of individuals among introduced populations). Modern molecular techniques can take advantage of genetic changes postintroduction to determine the source of introduced populations and their vectors of spread, and to elucidate the mechanisms of success of some invasive species. Moreover, the growing availability of genomic tools will permit the identification of underlying genetic causes of invasive success.

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

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Alex; Lukas, Dieter

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Evolutionary psychology from a developmental systems perspective: comment on Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003).

    PubMed

    Bjorklund, David F

    2003-11-01

    Although agreeing with R. Lickliter and H. Honeycutt (2003) that evolutionary psychology lacks and should adopt a coherent developmental model to explain how evolved mechanisms become expressed in phenotypes, it is argued that adhering to the principles of developmental systems theory, despite enhancing evolutionary psychology, would not change appreciably its basic focus. The concepts of innateness and modularity, what is inherited and what evolves, as well as the possible role of developmental plasticity in the evolution of human cognition are discussed. It is proposed that evolutionary psychology can incorporate the developmental systems perspective into its theorizing, with the end result being a science that more closely reflects human nature.

  19. Conserved developmental processes and the formation of evolutionary novelties: examples from butterfly wings.

    PubMed

    Saenko, Suzanne V; French, Vernon; Brakefield, Paul M; Beldade, Patrícia

    2008-04-27

    The origin and diversification of evolutionary novelties-lineage-specific traits of new adaptive value-is one of the key issues in evolutionary developmental biology. However, comparative analysis of the genetic and developmental bases of such traits can be difficult when they have no obvious homologue in model organisms. The finding that the evolution of morphological novelties often involves the recruitment of pre-existing genes and/or gene networks offers the potential to overcome this challenge. Knowledge about shared developmental processes obtained from extensive studies in model organisms can then be used to understand the origin and diversification of lineage-specific structures. Here, we illustrate this approach in relation to eyespots on the wings of Bicyclus anynana butterflies. A number of spontaneous mutations isolated in the laboratory affect eyespots, lepidopteran-specific features, and also processes that are shared by most insects. We discuss how eyespot mutants with disturbed embryonic development may help elucidate the genetic pathways involved in eyespot formation, and how venation mutants with altered eyespot patterns might shed light on mechanisms of eyespot development. PMID:18192179

  20. Conserved developmental processes and the formation of evolutionary novelties: examples from butterfly wings.

    PubMed

    Saenko, Suzanne V; French, Vernon; Brakefield, Paul M; Beldade, Patrícia

    2008-04-27

    The origin and diversification of evolutionary novelties-lineage-specific traits of new adaptive value-is one of the key issues in evolutionary developmental biology. However, comparative analysis of the genetic and developmental bases of such traits can be difficult when they have no obvious homologue in model organisms. The finding that the evolution of morphological novelties often involves the recruitment of pre-existing genes and/or gene networks offers the potential to overcome this challenge. Knowledge about shared developmental processes obtained from extensive studies in model organisms can then be used to understand the origin and diversification of lineage-specific structures. Here, we illustrate this approach in relation to eyespots on the wings of Bicyclus anynana butterflies. A number of spontaneous mutations isolated in the laboratory affect eyespots, lepidopteran-specific features, and also processes that are shared by most insects. We discuss how eyespot mutants with disturbed embryonic development may help elucidate the genetic pathways involved in eyespot formation, and how venation mutants with altered eyespot patterns might shed light on mechanisms of eyespot development.

  1. Neuroblastoma: developmental biology, cancer genomics and immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Nai-Kong V; Dyer, Michael A

    2013-06-01

    Neuroblastoma is a solid tumour that arises from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Over the past decade, our understanding of this disease has advanced tremendously. The future challenge is to apply the knowledge gained to developing risk-based therapies and, ultimately, improving outcome. In this Review we discuss the key discoveries in the developmental biology, molecular genetics and immunology of neuroblastoma, as well as new translational tools for bringing these promising scientific advances into the clinic.

  2. Neuroblastoma: Developmental Biology, Cancer Genomics, and Immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Nai-Kong V.; Dyer, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor that arises from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Over the past decade, our understanding of this disease has advanced tremendously. The future challenge is to apply the knowledge gained toward developing risk-based therapies and ultimately improving outcome. Here we review the key discoveries in the developmental biology, molecular genetics, and immunology of neuroblastoma, as well as new translational tools to bring these promising scientific advances into the clinic. PMID:23702928

  3. Unleashing Optics and Optoacoustics for Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Ripoll, J; Koberstein-Schwarz, B; Ntziachristos, V

    2015-11-01

    The past decade marked an optical revolution in biology: an unprecedented number of optical techniques were developed and adopted for biological exploration, demonstrating increasing interest in optical imaging and in vivo interrogations. Optical methods have become faster and have reached nanoscale resolution, and are now complemented by optoacoustic (photoacoustic) methods capable of imaging whole specimens in vivo. Never before were so many optical imaging barriers broken in such a short time-frame: with new approaches to optical microscopy and mesoscopy came an increased ability to image biology at unprecedented speed, resolution, and depth. This review covers the most relevant techniques for imaging in developmental biology, and offers an outlook on the next steps for these technologies and their applications.

  4. Unleashing Optics and Optoacoustics for Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Ripoll, J; Koberstein-Schwarz, B; Ntziachristos, V

    2015-11-01

    The past decade marked an optical revolution in biology: an unprecedented number of optical techniques were developed and adopted for biological exploration, demonstrating increasing interest in optical imaging and in vivo interrogations. Optical methods have become faster and have reached nanoscale resolution, and are now complemented by optoacoustic (photoacoustic) methods capable of imaging whole specimens in vivo. Never before were so many optical imaging barriers broken in such a short time-frame: with new approaches to optical microscopy and mesoscopy came an increased ability to image biology at unprecedented speed, resolution, and depth. This review covers the most relevant techniques for imaging in developmental biology, and offers an outlook on the next steps for these technologies and their applications. PMID:26435161

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-19

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

  6. Developmental modularity and the evolutionary diversification of arthropod limbs.

    PubMed

    Williams, T A; Nagy, L M

    2001-10-15

    Segmentation is one of the most salient characteristics of arthropods, and differentiation of segments along the body axis is the basis of arthropod diversification. This article evaluates whether the evolution of segmentation involves the differentiation of already independent units, i.e., do segments evolve as modules? Because arthropod segmental differentiation is commonly equated with differential character of appendages, we analyze appendages by comparing similarities and differences in their development. The comparison of arthropod limbs, even between species, is a comparison of serially repeated structures. Arthropod limbs are not only reiterated along the body axis, but limbs themselves can be viewed as being composed of reiterated parts. The interpretation of such reiterated structures from an evolutionary viewpoint is far from obvious. One common view is that serial repetition is evidence of a modular organization, i.e., repeated structures with a common fundamental identity that develop semi-autonomously and are free to diversify independently. In this article, we evaluate arthropod limbs from a developmental perspective and ask: are all arthropod limbs patterned using a similar set of mechanisms which would reflect that they all share a generic coordinate patterning system? Using Drosophila as a basis for comparison, we find that appendage primordia, positioned along the body using segmental patterning coordinates, do indeed have elements of common identity. However, we do not find evidence of a single coordinate system shared either between limbs or among limb branches. Data concerning the other diagnostic of developmental modularity--semi-autonomy of development--are not currently available for sufficient taxa. Nonetheless, some data comparing patterns of morphogenesis provide evidence that limbs cannot always be temporally or spatially decoupled from the development of their neighbors, suggesting that segment modularity is a derived character.

  7. The developmental toxicity testing of biologics.

    PubMed

    Hazelden, Keith P

    2013-01-01

    The characteristics of biologic drugs, as compared with small molecules, confer significant advantages for both the drug developer and the prospective patients. The necessity for, and the timing of, developmental toxicity testing in the preclinical program must be considered. Choice of an appropriate test system is of particular importance, one that shows pharmacodynamic activity comparable to man. Where the conventional rodent/non-rodent species show such functional cross-reactivity, those species can be used in developmental testing, but often the only relevant species will be a nonhuman primate, in which case an extended study design (the ePPND) should be the default. Such an approach provides appropriate toxicity screening while reducing animal usage.

  8. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity.

  9. The relationship between evolutionary biology and religion.

    PubMed

    Reiss, Michael J

    2009-07-01

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

  10. The relationship between evolutionary biology and religion.

    PubMed

    Reiss, Michael J

    2009-07-01

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

  11. Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of the Amniote Phallus.

    PubMed

    Gredler, Marissa L

    2016-10-01

    An intromittent phallus is used for sperm transfer in most amniote taxa; however, there is extensive variation in external genital morphology within and among the major amniote clades. Amniote phalluses vary in number (paired, single, or rudimentary), spermatic canal morphology (closed tube or open sulcus), and mode of transition between resting and tumescent states (inflation, rotation, eversion, or muscle relaxation). In a phylogenetic context, these varying adult anatomies preclude a clear interpretation for the evolutionary history of amniote external genitalia; as such, multiple hypotheses have been presented for the origin(s) of the amniote phallus. In combination with historic embryological studies, recent comparative developmental analyses have uncovered evidence that, despite extensive morphological variation in adult anatomy, embryonic patterning of the external genitalia is similar among amniotes and begins with emergence of paired swellings adjacent to the cloaca. External genital development in mammals, squamates (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians), Rhyncocephalians (tuataras), turtles, crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles, and gharials), and birds proceeds by iterative sequences of budding and fusion events, initiated by emergence of paired swellings adjacent to the embryonic cloaca. Conservation of the embryonic origins, morphogenetic processes, and molecular genetic mechanisms involved in external genital development across Amniota supports derivation from the common ancestor of amniotes, and suggests that lineage-specific divergence of later patterning events underlies the variation observed in extant adult amniote phallus morphology. PMID:27549197

  12. Messy biology and the origins of evolutionary innovations.

    PubMed

    Tawfik, Dan S

    2010-10-01

    Biological messiness relates to infidelity, heterogeneity, stochastic noise and variation--both genetic and phenotypic--at all levels, from single proteins to organisms. Messiness comes from the complexity and evolutionary history of biological systems and from the high cost of accuracy. For better or for worse, messiness is inherent to biology. It also provides the raw material for physiological and evolutionary adaptations to new challenges.

  13. Developmental "roots" in mature biological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Robert F; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2009-04-01

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

  14. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and developmental biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Evolutionary indirect effects of biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2012-09-01

    Just as ecological indirect effects can have a wide range of consequences for community structure and ecosystem function, theory suggests that evolutionary indirect effects can also influence community dynamics and the outcome of species interactions. There is little empirical evidence documenting such effects, however. Here, I use a multi-generation selection experiment in the field to investigate: (1) how the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic insect herbivore Hypera brunneipennis affect the evolution of anti-herbivore resistance traits in the native plant Lotus wrangelianus and (2) how observed Lotus evolutionary responses to Hypera alter interactions between Lotus and other members of the herbivore community. In one of two study populations, I document rapid evolutionary changes in Lotus resistance to Hypera in response to insecticide treatments that experimentally reduced Hypera abundance, and in response to Medicago-removal treatments that also reduced Hypera abundance. These evolutionary changes in response to Hypera result in reduced attack by aphids. Thus, an evolutionary change caused by one herbivore species alters interactions with other herbivore taxa, an example of an eco-evolutionary feedback. Given that many traits mediate interactions with multiple species, the effects of evolutionary changes in response to one key biotic selective agent may often cascade through interaction webs to influence additional community members.

  16. Exploring evolutionary constraints is a task for an integrative evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Brakefield, P M; Roskam, J C

    2006-12-01

    Judging by the volume of writings about evolutionary constraints, they are an important topic in evolutionary biology. However, their involvement in shaping patterns of evolutionary change from morphological stasis to adaptive radiation remains contentious. This is at least in part because of the paucity of robust analyses of potential examples of constraints, whether of a more absolute or a relative nature. Here, we argue that what is needed to explore the type of constraints and bias on evolutionary change that may emerge from the way in which phenotypic variation is generated is an integrative approach applied to systems that can be tackled at different levels of biological organization. This is illustrated using research on the evolution of patterns in butterfly wing eyespots that has applied a combination of evolutionary genetics and evo-devo to an emerging model species with the beginnings of a comparative approach to describe patterns of variability among the extant taxa of two species-rich genera. PMID:17109328

  17. Exploring evolutionary constraints is a task for an integrative evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Brakefield, P M; Roskam, J C

    2006-12-01

    Judging by the volume of writings about evolutionary constraints, they are an important topic in evolutionary biology. However, their involvement in shaping patterns of evolutionary change from morphological stasis to adaptive radiation remains contentious. This is at least in part because of the paucity of robust analyses of potential examples of constraints, whether of a more absolute or a relative nature. Here, we argue that what is needed to explore the type of constraints and bias on evolutionary change that may emerge from the way in which phenotypic variation is generated is an integrative approach applied to systems that can be tackled at different levels of biological organization. This is illustrated using research on the evolution of patterns in butterfly wing eyespots that has applied a combination of evolutionary genetics and evo-devo to an emerging model species with the beginnings of a comparative approach to describe patterns of variability among the extant taxa of two species-rich genera.

  18. Evolutionary developmental pathology and anthropology: A new field linking development, comparative anatomy, human evolution, morphological variations and defects, and medicine.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Smith, Christopher M; Ziermann, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    We introduce a new subfield of the recently created field of Evolutionary-Developmental-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-Anth): Evolutionary-Developmental-Pathology-and-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-P'Anth). This subfield combines experimental and developmental studies of nonhuman model organisms, biological anthropology, chordate comparative anatomy and evolution, and the study of normal and pathological human development. Instead of focusing on other organisms to try to better understand human development, evolution, anatomy, and pathology, it places humans as the central case study, i.e., as truly model organism themselves. We summarize the results of our recent Evo-Devo-P'Anth studies and discuss long-standing questions in each of the broader biological fields combined in this subfield, paying special attention to the links between: (1) Human anomalies and variations, nonpentadactyly, homeotic transformations, and "nearest neighbor" vs. "find and seek" muscle-skeleton associations in limb+facial muscles vs. other head muscles; (2) Developmental constraints, the notion of "phylotypic stage," internalism vs. externalism, and the "logic of monsters" vs. "lack of homeostasis" views about human birth defects; (3) Human evolution, reversions, atavisms, paedomorphosis, and peromorphosis; (4) Scala naturae, Haeckelian recapitulation, von Baer's laws, and parallelism between phylogeny and development, here formally defined as "Phylo-Devo parallelism"; and (5) Patau, Edwards, and Down syndrome (trisomies 13, 18, 21), atavisms, apoptosis, heart malformations, and medical implications.

  19. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-15

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

  1. Evolutionary psychology and developmental dynamics: comment on Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003).

    PubMed

    Buss, David M; Reeve, H Kern

    2003-11-01

    Evolutionary psychology provides a cogent metatheory for psychological science. It has furnished compelling theories of major domains of human functioning, including mating, parenting, kinship, morality, cooperation, conflict, aggression, and aesthetics. It has produced hundreds of empirical discoveries missed entirely by prior psychologists. Developmental dynamics, properly conceived, can add to the theoretical foundation of evolutionary psychology. But it has not provided alternative theories capable of explaining the many detailed empirical discoveries made by evolutionary' psychologists. Nor has it generated a comparable bounty of new empirical discoveries. By critical scientific standards--theoretical cogency, predictive accuracy, interdisciplinary consistency, and empirical harvest--modern evolutionary psychology fares well compared with alternatives.

  2. Chance as an explanatory factor in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Shanahan, T

    1991-01-01

    Darwinian evolutionary biology has often been criticized for appealing to the notion of 'chance' in its explanations. According to some critics, such appeals exhibit the explanatory poverty of evolutionary theory. In response, defenders of Darwinism sometimes downplay the importance of 'chance' in evolution. I believe that both of these approaches are mistaken. The main thesis of this paper is that the term 'chance' encompasses a number of distinct concepts, and that at least some of these concepts serve essential explanatory functions in evolutionary biology. This claim is defended by way of an historical survey of the major concepts of 'chance' in the history of evolutionary biology, especially the concepts used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Darwin, and Sewall Wright. An examination of their biologies shows how the concepts of 'chance' used cohere with their major scientific objectives and methods. These concepts survive and continue to function as important explanatory factors in contemporary evolutionary biology. Examples of such usage are given, and the explanatory status of 'chance' assessed.

  3. Nomothetics and idiography in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Beloussov, Lev V

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

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

  5. The contribution of statistical physics to evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    de Vladar, Harold P; Barton, Nicholas H

    2011-08-01

    Evolutionary biology shares many concepts with statistical physics: both deal with populations, whether of molecules or organisms, and both seek to simplify evolution in very many dimensions. Often, methodologies have undergone parallel and independent development, as with stochastic methods in population genetics. Here, we discuss aspects of population genetics that have embraced methods from physics: non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, travelling waves and Monte-Carlo methods, among others, have been used to study polygenic evolution, rates of adaptation and range expansions. These applications indicate that evolutionary biology can further benefit from interactions with other areas of statistical physics; for example, by following the distribution of paths taken by a population through time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffith, Joyce A.; Brem, Sarah K.

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary game theory as a framework for studying biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Pintor, Lauren M; Brown, Joel S; Vincent, Thomas L

    2011-04-01

    Although biological invasions pose serious threats to biodiversity, they also provide the opportunity to better understand interactions between the ecological and evolutionary processes structuring populations and communities. However, ecoevolutionary frameworks for studying species invasions are lacking. We propose using game theory and the concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) as a conceptual framework for integrating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of invasions. We suggest that the pathways by which a recipient community may have no ESS provide mechanistic hypotheses for how such communities may be vulnerable to invasion and how invaders can exploit these vulnerabilities. We distinguish among these pathways by formalizing the evolutionary contexts of the invader relative to the recipient community. We model both the ecological and the adaptive dynamics of the interacting species. We show how the ESS concept provides new mechanistic hypotheses for when invasions result in long- or short-term increases in biodiversity, species replacement, and subsequent evolutionary changes.

  9. Developmental palaeobiology of trilobite eyes and its evolutionary significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, A. T.

    2005-06-01

    Understanding of the calcified composite eyes of trilobites, the oldest preserved visual system, has advanced greatly in recent decades. Three types of trilobite eye occur, the more derived abathochroal and schizochroal types having evolved neotenically from holochroal eyes. Comparative morphology and phylogenetic considerations suggest that all three eye-types were underlain by common developmental systems. So far, understanding of these systems has been based entirely on morphological data from fossils, particularly the way the visual surface grew and the patterning of lens emplacement. Lenses characteristically form a hexagonal array comprising horizontal rows and, conspicuously in schizochroal eyes, dorso-ventral files. Because individual trilobites sometimes have eyes with different numbers of files, file number must reflect the operation of a developmental programme rather than being under immediate genetic control. An empirical developmental model has been devised to describe trilobite eye development, with separate rules dealing with the initiation of lens emplacement, growth and differentiation of the visual surface, and the termination of lens emplacement. Rarely, trilobites may have visual surfaces of normal size, but which lack lenses. This confirms that visual surface growth must have been regulated separately from lens emplacement, and is a feature that cannot be accounted for by the existing developmental model. Such a developmental separation is one of a number of similarities shared with Drosophila, the modern arthropod in which eye development is best understood. Many aspects of eye development are conserved in the Euarthropoda, and in bilaterian metazoans in general. A revised model for trilobite eye development is proposed using extant phylogenetic bracketing, interpreting morphological data from the fossils in the context of the hierarchy of developmental controls now becoming known from living animals. This new model suggests that overall eye

  10. Four decades of teaching developmental biology in Germany.

    PubMed

    Grunz, Horst

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Resources for Teaching Evolutionary Biology Labs. An Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComas, William F.

    1991-01-01

    A rationale is presented for the use of inquiry activities in the biology classroom when teaching the concept of evolution. An annotated list of evolution laboratory activities from 18 nontextbook sources is included. Each annotation includes the title, source, major evolutionary concepts, and a brief description. (KR)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. From experimental systems to evolutionary biology: an impossible journey?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2013-01-01

    The historical approach to the sciences has undergone a sea change during recent decades. Maybe the major contribution of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger to this movement was his demonstration of the importance of experimental systems, and of their transformations, in the development of the sciences. To describe these transformations, Hans-Jörg borrows metaphors from evolutionary biology. I want to argue that evolutionary biologists can find in these recent historical studies plenty of models and concepts to address unresolved issues in their discipline. At a time when transdisciplinarity is highly praised, it is useful to provide a precise description of the obstacles that have so far prevented this exchange.

  14. Developmental Dyslexia: A Review of Biological Interactions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galaburda, Albert M.

    1985-01-01

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

  15. Comparative evolutionary and developmental dynamics of the cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Mi-Jeong; Wendel, Jonathan F

    2014-01-01

    The single-celled cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber provides an excellent model to investigate how human selection affects phenotypic evolution. To gain insight into the evolutionary genomics of cotton domestication, we conducted comparative transcriptome profiling of developing cotton fibers using RNA-Seq. Analysis of single-celled fiber transcriptomes from four wild and five domesticated accessions from two developmental time points revealed that at least one-third and likely one-half of the genes in the genome are expressed at any one stage during cotton fiber development. Among these, ~5,000 genes are differentially expressed during primary and secondary cell wall synthesis between wild and domesticated cottons, with a biased distribution among chromosomes. Transcriptome data implicate a number of biological processes affected by human selection, and suggest that the domestication process has prolonged the duration of fiber elongation in modern cultivated forms. Functional analysis suggested that wild cottons allocate greater resources to stress response pathways, while domestication led to reprogrammed resource allocation toward increased fiber growth, possibly through modulating stress-response networks. This first global transcriptomic analysis using multiple accessions of wild and domesticated cottons is an important step toward a more comprehensive systems perspective on cotton fiber evolution. The understanding that human selection over the past 5,000+ years has dramatically re-wired the cotton fiber transcriptome sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture underlying cotton fiber synthesis and phenotypic evolution.

  16. [Evolutionary medicine: an introduction. Evolutionary biology, a missing element in medical teaching].

    PubMed

    Swynghedauw, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this brief review article is to help to reconcile medicine with evolutionary biology, a subject that should be taught in medical school. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that contemporary ills are related to an incompatibility between the environment in which humans currently live and their genomes, which have been shaped by diferent environmental conditions during biological evolution. Human activity has recently induced acute environmental modifications that have profoundly changed the medical landscape. Evolutionary biology is an irreversible, ongoing and discontinuous process characterized by periods of stasis followed by accelerations. Evolutionary biology is determined by genetic mutations, which are selected either by Darwinian selective pressure or randomly by genetic drift. Most medical events result from a genome/environment conflict. Some may be purely genetic, as in monogenic diseases, and others purely environmental, such as traffic accidents. Nevertheless, in most common diseases the clinical landscape is determined by the conflict between these two factors, the genetic elements of which are gradually being unraveled Three examples are examined in depth:--The medical consequences of the greenhouse effect. The absence of excess mortality during recent heat waves suggests that the main determinant of mortality in the 2003 heatwave was heatstroke and old age. The projected long-term effects of global warming call for research on thermolysis, a forgotten branch of physiology.--The hygiene hypothesis postulates that the exponential rise in autoimmune and allergic diseases is linked to lesser exposure to infectious agents, possibly involving counter-regulatory factors such as IL-10.--The recent rise in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rich countries can be considered to result from a conflict between a calorie-rich environment and gene variants that control appetite. These variants are currently being identified by genome

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, John L.

    2009-01-01

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

  18. The developmental basis of an evolutionary diversification of female gametophyte structure in Piper and Piperaceae

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Eric N.; Friedman, William E.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development is a complex, yet homoplasious developmental pattern that is interesting from both evolutionary and developmental perspectives. Piper (Piperaceae) was chosen for this study of Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development because Piperales represent a ‘hotspot’ of female gametophyte developmental evolution and have been the subject of several recent molecular phylogenetic analyses. This wealth of phylogenetic and descriptive data make Piper an excellent candidate for inferring the evolutionary developmental basis for the origin of Fritillaria-type female gametophytes. Methods Developing ovules of Piper peltatum were taken from greenhouse collections, embedded in glycol methacrylate, and serially sectioned. Light microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy were combined to produce three-dimensional computer reconstructions of developing female gametophytes. The ploidies of the developing embryos and endosperms were calculated using microspectrofluorometry. Key Results The data describe female gametophyte development in Piper with highly detailed three-dimensional models, and document two previously unknown arrangements of megaspore nuclei during early development. Also collected were microspectrofluorometric data that indicate that Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development in Piper results in pentaploid endosperm. Conclusions The three-dimensional models resolve previous ambiguities in developmental interpretations of Fritillaria-type female gametophytes in Piper. The newly discovered arrangements of megaspore nuclei that are described allow for the construction of explicit hypotheses of female gametophyte developmental evolution within Piperaceae, and more broadly throughout Piperales. These detailed hypotheses indicate that the common ancestor of Piperaceae minus Verhuellia had a Drusa-type female gametophyte, and that evolutionary transitions to derived tetrasporic female

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clack, Jennifer A.

    2009-05-01

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

  20. The use of information theory in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Adami, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task.

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

    PubMed

    Lickliter, Robert

    2008-12-01

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

  2. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Biological mechanisms underlying evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Goto, Yukiori; Lee, Young-A; Yamaguchi, Yoshie; Jas, Emanuel

    2016-10-01

    Psychotic and mood disorders are brain dysfunctions that are caused by gene environment interactions. Although these disorders are disadvantageous and involve behavioral phenotypes that decrease the reproductive success of afflicted individuals in the modern human society, the prevalence of these disorders have remained constant in the population. Here, we propose several biological mechanisms by which the genes associated with psychotic and mood disorders could be selected for in specific environmental conditions that provide evolutionary bases for explanations of when, why, and where these disorders emerged and have been maintained in humans. We discuss the evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders with specific focuses on the roles of dopamine and serotonin in the conditions of social competitiveness/hierarchy and maternal care and other potential mechanisms, such as social network homophily and symbiosis.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Watts, P C; Thompson, D J

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Social and developmental biology of the myxobacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Shimkets, L J

    1990-01-01

    Myxobacteria are soil bacteria whose unusually social behavior distinguishes them from other groups of procaryotes. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of their social behavior occurs during development, when tens of thousands of cells aggregate and form a colorful fruiting body. Inside the fruiting body the vegetative cells convert into dormant, resistant myxospores. However, myxobacterial social behavior is not restricted to the developmental cycle, and three other social behaviors have been described. Vegetative cells have a multigene social motility system in which cell-cell contact is essential for gliding in multicellular swarms. Cell growth on protein is cooperative in that the growth rate increases with the cell density. Rippling is a periodic behavior in which the cells align themselves in ridges and move in waves. These social behaviors indicate that myxobacterial colonies are not merely collections of individual cells but are societies in which cell behavior is synchronized by cell-cell interactions. The molecular basis of these social behaviors is becoming clear through the use of a combination of behavioral, biochemical, and genetic experimental approaches. Images PMID:1708086

  7. The molecular and developmental biology of keratins

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    Keratins make up the intermediate filaments found in almost all epithelia from fish to mammals, and are the products of multigene families. The great diversity in the form and function of epithelia and the tissue-specific expression of the keratins with their ''pairing rules'' makes the study of epithelial differentiation an excellent paradigm for studying the development regulation of gene expression. This book discusses the following contents: Introduction; The Human Keratin Genes and Their Differential Expression; Expression and Modification of keratins during Terminal Differentiation of Mammalian Epidermis; The Experimental Manipulation of Keratin Expression and Organization in Epithelial Cells and Somatic Cells Hybrids; Patterns of Keratin Expression Define Distinct Pathways of Epithelial Development and Differentiation; Developmental Expression of Human Epidermal Keratins and Filaggrin; Cytokeratins in Oocytes and Preimplantation Embryos of the Mouse; Role of Epidermal Growth Factor in Embryonic Development; Regulation of Keratin Gene Expression during Differentiation of Epidermal and Vaginal Epithelial Cells; Abnormal Development in the Skin of the Pupoid Fetus (pf/pf) Mutant Mouse; Abnormal Keratinization, Recovery of a Normal Phenotype, and Relationship of the Repeated Epilation (Er) Mutant Mouse. Expression of B-Keratin Genes during Development of Avian Skin Appendages; Concluding Remarks and Future Directions. Each chapter includes references and index.

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

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Linda K.

    2000-01-01

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

  10. The tragedy of the commons in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Daniel J; Bargum, Katja; Kokko, Hanna

    2007-12-01

    Garrett Hardin's tragedy of the commons is an analogy that shows how individuals driven by self-interest can end up destroying the resource upon which they all depend. The proposed solutions for humans rely on highly advanced skills such as negotiation, which raises the question of how non-human organisms manage to resolve similar tragedies. In recent years, this question has promoted evolutionary biologists to apply the tragedy of the commons to a wide range of biological systems. Here, we provide tools to categorize different types of tragedy and review different mechanisms, including kinship, policing and diminishing returns that can resolve conflicts that could otherwise end in tragedy. A central open question, however, is how often biological systems are able to resolve these scenarios rather than drive themselves extinct through individual-level selection favouring self-interested behaviours.

  11. Importing the homology concept from biology into developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    Moore, David S

    2013-01-01

    To help introduce the idea of homology into developmental psychology, this article presents some of the concepts, distinctions, and guidelines biologists and philosophers of biology have devised to study homology. Some unresolved issues related to this idea are considered as well. Because homology reflects continuity across time, developmental scientists should find this concept to be useful in the study of psychological/behavioral development, just as biologists have found it essential in the study of the evolution and development of morphological and other characteristics.

  12. Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, J; Dugdale, H L; Radersma, R; Hinsch, M; Buehler, D M; Saul, J; Porter, L; Liker, A; De Cauwer, I; Johnson, P J; Santure, A W; Griffin, A S; Bolund, E; Ross, L; Webb, T J; Feulner, P G D; Winney, I; Szulkin, M; Komdeur, J; Versteegh, M A; Hemelrijk, C K; Svensson, E I; Edwards, H; Karlsson, M; West, S A; Barrett, E L B; Richardson, D S; van den Brink, V; Wimpenny, J H; Ellwood, S A; Rees, M; Matson, K D; Charmantier, A; dos Remedios, N; Schneider, N A; Teplitsky, C; Laurance, W F; Butlin, R K; Horrocks, N P C

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales

    PubMed Central

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-01-01

    Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning. PMID:27113916

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

    PubMed

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-01-01

    Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning. PMID:27113916

  15. Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of the Cardiac Neural Crest: Building a Divided Outflow Tract

    PubMed Central

    Keyte, Anna L.; Alonzo-Johnsen, Martha; Hutson, Mary R.

    2015-01-01

    The cardiac neural crest cells (CNCCs) have played an important role in the evolution and development of the vertebrate cardiovascular system: from reinforcement of the developing aortic arch arteries early in vertebrate evolution, to later orchestration of aortic arch artery remodeling into the great arteries of the heart, and finally outflow tract septation in amniotes. A critical element necessary for the evolutionary advent of outflow tract septation was the co-evolution of the cardiac neural crest cells with the second heart field. This review highlights the major transitions in vertebrate circulatory evolution, explores the evolutionary developmental origins of the CNCCs from the third stream cranial neural crest, and explores candidate signaling pathways in CNCC and outflow tract evolution drawn from our knowledge of DiGeorge Syndrome. PMID:25227322

  16. Evolutionary and developmental origins of the cardiac neural crest: building a divided outflow tract.

    PubMed

    Keyte, Anna L; Alonzo-Johnsen, Martha; Hutson, Mary R

    2014-09-01

    The cardiac neural crest cells (CNCCs) have played an important role in the evolution and development of the vertebrate cardiovascular system: from reinforcement of the developing aortic arch arteries early in vertebrate evolution, to later orchestration of aortic arch artery remodeling into the great arteries of the heart, and finally outflow tract septation in amniotes. A critical element necessary for the evolutionary advent of outflow tract septation was the co-evolution of the cardiac neural crest cells with the second heart field. This review highlights the major transitions in vertebrate circulatory evolution, explores the evolutionary developmental origins of the CNCCs from the third stream cranial neural crest, and explores candidate signaling pathways in CNCC and outflow tract evolution drawn from our knowledge of DiGeorge Syndrome.

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

    PubMed

    Rasheed, Nadia; Amin, Shamsudin H M

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Rasheed, Nadia; Amin, Shamsudin H. M.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. The nematode Pristionchus pacificus as a model system for integrative studies in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; McGaughran, Angela

    2013-05-01

    Comprehensive studies of evolution have historically been hampered by the division among disciplines. Now, as biology moves towards an '-omics' era, it is more important than ever to tackle the evolution of function and form by considering all those research areas involved in the regulation of phenotypes. Here, we review recent attempts to establish the nematode Pristionchus pacificus as a model organism that allows integrative studies of development and evo-devo, with ecology and population genetics. Originally developed for comparative study with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, P. pacificus provided insight into developmental pathways including dauer formation, vulva and gonad development, chemosensation, innate immunity and neurobiology. Its subsequent discovery across a wide geographic distribution in association with scarab beetles enabled its evaluation in a biogeographic context. Development of an evolutionary field station on La Réunion Island, where P. pacificus is present in high abundance across a number of widespread habitat types, allows examination of the microfacets of evolution - processes of natural selection, adaptation and drift among populations can now be examined in this island setting. The combination of laboratory-based functional studies with fieldwork in P. pacificus has the long-term prospective to provide both proximate (mechanistic) and ultimate (evolutionary and ecological) causation and might therefore help to overcome the long-term divide between major areas in biology. PMID:23530614

  20. Evolutionary history of the recruitment of conserved developmental genes in association to the formation and diversification of a novel trait

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The origin and modification of novel traits are important aspects of biological diversification. Studies combining concepts and approaches of developmental genetics and evolutionary biology have uncovered many examples of the recruitment, or co-option, of genes conserved across lineages for the formation of novel, lineage-restricted traits. However, little is known about the evolutionary history of the recruitment of those genes, and of the relationship between them -for example, whether the co-option involves whole or parts of existing networks, or whether it occurs by redeployment of individual genes with de novo rewiring. We use a model novel trait, color pattern elements on butterfly wings called eyespots, to explore these questions. Eyespots have greatly diversified under natural and sexual selection, and their formation involves genetic circuitries shared across insects. Results We investigated the evolutionary history of the recruitment and co-recruitment of four conserved transcription regulators to the larval wing disc region where circular pattern elements develop. The co-localization of Antennapedia, Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt with presumptive (eye)spot organizers was examined in 13 butterfly species, providing the largest comparative dataset available for the system. We found variation between families, between subfamilies, and between tribes. Phylogenetic reconstructions by parsimony and maximum likelihood methods revealed an unambiguous evolutionary history only for Antennapedia, with a resolved single origin of eyespot-associated expression, and many homoplastic events for Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt. The flexibility in the (co-)recruitment of the targeted genes includes cases where different gene combinations are associated with morphologically similar eyespots, as well as cases where identical protein combinations are associated with very different phenotypes. Conclusions The evolutionary history of gene (co-)recruitment is

  1. Inference of Evolutionary Forces Acting on Human Biological Pathways

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Embryonic stem cells: prospects for developmental biology and cell therapy.

    PubMed

    Wobus, Anna M; Boheler, Kenneth R

    2005-04-01

    Stem cells represent natural units of embryonic development and tissue regeneration. Embryonic stem (ES) cells, in particular, possess a nearly unlimited self-renewal capacity and developmental potential to differentiate into virtually any cell type of an organism. Mouse ES cells, which are established as permanent cell lines from early embryos, can be regarded as a versatile biological system that has led to major advances in cell and developmental biology. Human ES cell lines, which have recently been derived, may additionally serve as an unlimited source of cells for regenerative medicine. Before therapeutic applications can be realized, important problems must be resolved. Ethical issues surround the derivation of human ES cells from in vitro fertilized blastocysts. Current techniques for directed differentiation into somatic cell populations remain inefficient and yield heterogeneous cell populations. Transplanted ES cell progeny may not function normally in organs, might retain tumorigenic potential, and could be rejected immunologically. The number of human ES cell lines available for research may also be insufficient to adequately determine their therapeutic potential. Recent molecular and cellular advances with mouse ES cells, however, portend the successful use of these cells in therapeutics. This review therefore focuses both on mouse and human ES cells with respect to in vitro propagation and differentiation as well as their use in basic cell and developmental biology and toxicology and presents prospects for human ES cells in tissue regeneration and transplantation.

  3. Mitonuclear interactions: evolutionary consequences over multiple biological scales

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Jonci N.; Ladoukakis, Emmanuel D.; Enríquez, José A.; Dowling, Damian K.

    2014-01-01

    Fundamental biological processes hinge on coordinated interactions between genes spanning two obligate genomes—mitochondrial and nuclear. These interactions are key to complex life, and allelic variation that accumulates and persists at the loci embroiled in such intergenomic interactions should therefore be subjected to intense selection to maintain integrity of the mitochondrial electron transport system. Here, we compile evidence that suggests that mitochondrial–nuclear (mitonuclear) allelic interactions are evolutionarily significant modulators of the expression of key health-related and life-history phenotypes, across several biological scales—within species (intra- and interpopulational) and between species. We then introduce a new frontier for the study of mitonuclear interactions—those that occur within individuals, and are fuelled by the mtDNA heteroplasmy and the existence of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial gene duplicates and isoforms. Empirical evidence supports the idea of high-resolution tissue- and environment-specific modulation of intraindividual mitonuclear interactions. Predicting the penetrance, severity and expression patterns of mtDNA-induced mitochondrial diseases remains a conundrum. We contend that a deeper understanding of the dynamics and ramifications of mitonuclear interactions, across all biological levels, will provide key insights that tangibly advance our understanding, not only of core evolutionary processes, but also of the complex genetics underlying human mitochondrial disease. PMID:24864313

  4. Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Noble, Denis

    2013-08-01

    The 'Modern Synthesis' (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection. Any role of physiological function in influencing genetic inheritance was excluded. The organism became a mere carrier of the real objects of selection, its genes. We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual. Molecular genetics and genome sequencing have deconstructed this unnecessarily restrictive view of evolution in a way that reintroduces physiological function and interactions with the environment as factors influencing the speed and nature of inherited change. Acquired characteristics can be inherited, and in a few but growing number of cases that inheritance has now been shown to be robust for many generations. The 21st century can look forward to a new synthesis that will reintegrate physiology with evolutionary biology.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

    Biological evolutionary processes select for heritable behaviors providing a survival and reproductive advantage. Accordingly, how we behave is, at least in part, affected by the evolutionary history of our species. This research uses evolutionary psychology as the theoretical perspective for exploring the relationship between a heritable…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-29

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

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

    PubMed

    Piette, Jacques; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mulley, John F

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

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

  12. The cell and developmental biology of alkaloid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    De Luca, V; St Pierre, B

    2000-04-01

    Plants produce unique natural products as a result of gene mutation and subsequent adaptation of metabolic pathways to create new secondary metabolites. However, their biosynthesis and accumulation remains remarkably under the control of the biotic and abiotic environments. Alkaloid biosynthesis, which requires the adaptation of cellular activities to perform specialized metabolism without compromising general homeostasis, is accomplished by restricting product biosynthesis and accumulation to particular cells and to defined times of plant development. The cell and developmental biology of alkaloid biosynthesis, which is remarkably complex, evolved in part by recruiting pre-existing enzymes to perform new functions.

  13. A soul of truth in things erroneous: Popper's "amateurish" evolutionary philosophy in light of contemporary biology.

    PubMed

    Vecchi, Davide; Baravalle, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    This paper will critically assess Popper's evolutionary philosophy. There exists a rich literature on the topic with which we have many reservations. We believe that Popper's evolutionary philosophy should be assessed in light of the intriguing theoretical insights offered, during the last 10 years or so, by the philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology. We will argue that, when analysed in this manner, Popper's ideas concerning the nature of selection, Lamarckism and the theoretical limits of neo-Darwinism can be appreciated in their full biological and philosophical value.

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

    PubMed

    Boyd, Eric S; Peters, John W

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent reduction of dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3), accounts for roughly half of the bioavailable nitrogen supporting extant life. The fundamental requirement for fixed forms of nitrogen for life on Earth, both at present and in the past, has led to broad and significant interest in the origin and evolution of biological N2 fixation. One key question is whether the limited availability of fixed nitrogen was a factor in life's origin or whether there were ample sources of fixed nitrogen produced by abiotic processes or delivered through the weathering of bolide impact materials to support this early life. If the latter, the key questions become what were the characteristics of the environment that precipitated the evolution of this oxygen sensitive process, when did this occur, and how was its subsequent evolutionary history impacted by the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen in the Earth's biosphere. Since the availability of fixed sources of nitrogen capable of supporting early life is difficult to glean from the geologic record, there are limited means to get direct insights into these questions. Indirect insights, however, can be gained through phylogenetic studies of nitrogenase structural gene products and additional gene products involved in the biosynthesis of the complex metal-containing prosthetic groups associated with this enzyme complex. Insights gained from such studies, as reviewed herein, challenge traditional models for the evolution of biological nitrogen fixation and provide the basis for the development of new conceptual models that explain the stepwise evolution of this highly complex life sustaining process.

  15. Evolutionary biology and genetic techniques for insect control.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grazer, Vera M.; Martin, Oliver Y.

    2012-01-01

    It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments. PMID:24832232

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  18. Expansion of biological pathways based on evolutionary inference

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Calvo, Sarah E.; Gutman, Roee

    2014-01-01

    Summary Availability of diverse genomes makes it possible to predict gene function based on shared evolutionary history. This approach can be challenging, however, for pathways whose components do not exhibit a shared history, but rather, consist of distinct “evolutionary modules.” We introduce a computational algorithm, CLIME (clustering by inferred models of evolution), which inputs a eukaryotic species tree, homology matrix, and pathway (gene set) of interest. CLIME partitions the gene set into disjoint evolutionary modules, simultaneously learning the number of modules and a tree-based evolutionary history that defines each module. CLIME then expands each module by scanning the genome for new components that likely arose under the inferred evolutionary model. Application of CLIME to ∼1000 annotated human pathways, organelles and proteomes of yeast, red algae, and malaria, reveals unanticipated evolutionary modularity and novel, co-evolving components. CLIME is freely available and should become increasingly powerful with the growing wealth of eukaryotic genomes. PMID:24995987

  19. Developmental “Roots” in Mature Biological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Morphological integration in the hominin dentition: evolutionary, developmental, and functional factors.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Polly, P David

    2012-04-01

    As the most common and best preserved remains in the fossil record, teeth are central to our understanding of evolution. However, many evolutionary analyses based on dental traits overlook the constraints that limit dental evolution. These constraints are diverse, ranging from developmental interactions between the individual elements of a homologous series (the whole dentition) to functional constraints related to occlusion. This study evaluates morphological integration in the hominin dentition and its effect on dental evolution in an extensive sample of Plio- and Pleistocene hominin teeth using geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods. Results reveal that premolars and molars display significant levels of covariation; that integration is stronger in the mandibular dentition than in the maxillary dentition; and that antagonist teeth, especially first molars, are strongly integrated. Results also show an association of morphological integration and evolution. Stasis is observed in elements with strong functional and/or developmental interactions, namely in first molars. Alternatively, directional evolution (and weaker integration) occurs in the elements with marginal roles in occlusion and mastication, probably in response to other direct or indirect selective pressures. This study points to the need to reevaluate hypotheses about hominin evolution based on dental characters, given the complex scenario in which teeth evolve.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Cell and developmental biology of arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Gutjahr, Caroline; Parniske, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The default mineral nutrient acquisition strategy of land plants is the symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi. Research into the cell and developmental biology of AM revealed fascinating insights into the plasticity of plant cell development and of interorganismic communication. It is driven by the prospect of increased exploitation of AM benefits for sustainable agriculture. The plant cell developmental program for intracellular accommodation of AM fungi is activated by a genetically defined signaling pathway involving calcium spiking in the nucleus as second messenger. Calcium spiking is triggered by chitooligosaccharides released by AM fungi that are probably perceived via LysM domain receptor kinases. Fungal infection and calcium spiking are spatiotemporally coordinated, and only cells committed to accommodating the fungus undergo high-frequency spiking. Delivery of mineral nutrients by AM fungi occurs at tree-shaped hyphal structures, the arbuscules, in plant cortical cells. Nutrients are taken up at a plant-derived periarbuscular membrane, which surrounds fungal hyphae and carries a specific transporter composition that is of direct importance for symbiotic efficiency. An elegant study has unveiled a new and unexpected mechanism for specific protein localization to the periarbuscular membrane, which relies on the timing of gene expression to synchronize protein biosynthesis with a redirection of secretion. The control of AM development by phytohormones is currently subject to active investigation and has led to the rediscovery of strigolactones. Nearly all tested phytohormones regulate AM development, and major insights into the mechanisms of this regulation are expected in the near future.

  4. On the importance of evolution to developmental psychobiology.

    PubMed

    Hill, W L

    1995-03-01

    The term developmental psychobiology implies an integration between psychology and biology. But what segment of biology does the discipline embrace? The present commentary asserts that developmental psychobiology devotes too much attention to structural biology, with its emphasis on proximate mechanisms, and fails to give enough prominence to evolutionary biology and ultimate perspectives. I have attempted to portray the significance of evolution to developmental psychobiology and to elaborate on how developmental psychobiology might contribute to refinements in evolutionary theory, especially recent modifications that advocate a greater role for developmental processes. Methodological suggestions are offered, which would broaden developmental psychobiology's perspective so that a more comprehensive analysis of behavioral development results.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez Pérez, Eréndira; Ruiz Gutiérrez, Rosaura

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Direct Cardiac Reprogramming: From Developmental Biology to Cardiac Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Li; Srivastava, Deepak

    2013-01-01

    Heart disease affects millions worldwide and is a progressive condition involving loss of cardiomyocytes. The human heart has limited endogenous regenerative capacity and is thus an important target for novel regenerative medicine approaches. While cell-based regenerative therapies hold promise, cellular reprogramming of endogenous cardiac fibroblasts, which represent more than half of the cells in the mammalian heart, may be an attractive alternative strategy for regenerating cardiac muscle. Recent advances leveraging years of developmental biology point to the feasibility of generating de novo cardiomyocyte-like cells from terminally differentiated non-myocytes in the heart in situ after ischemic damage. Here, we review the progress in cardiac reprogramming methods and consider the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in refining this technology for regenerative medicine. PMID:24030021

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Gregory D.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-15

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

  10. [The history of development of evolutionary methods in St. Petersburg school of computer simulation in biology].

    PubMed

    Menshutkin, V V; Kazanskiĭ, A B; Levchenko, V F

    2010-01-01

    The history of rise and development of evolutionary methods in Saint Petersburg school of biological modelling is traced and analyzed. Some pioneering works in simulation of ecological and evolutionary processes, performed in St.-Petersburg school became an exemplary ones for many followers in Russia and abroad. The individual-based approach became the crucial point in the history of the school as an adequate instrument for construction of models of biological evolution. This approach is natural for simulation of the evolution of life-history parameters and adaptive processes in populations and communities. In some cases simulated evolutionary process was used for solving a reverse problem, i. e., for estimation of uncertain life-history parameters of population. Evolutionary computations is one more aspect of this approach application in great many fields. The problems and vistas of ecological and evolutionary modelling in general are discussed.

  11. Datamonkey 2010: a suite of phylogenetic analysis tools for evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Delport, Wayne; Poon, Art F Y; Frost, Simon D W; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L

    2010-10-01

    Datamonkey is a popular web-based suite of phylogenetic analysis tools for use in evolutionary biology. Since the original release in 2005, we have expanded the analysis options to include recently developed algorithmic methods for recombination detection, evolutionary fingerprinting of genes, codon model selection, co-evolution between sites, identification of sites, which rapidly escape host-immune pressure and HIV-1 subtype assignment. The traditional selection tools have also been augmented to include recent developments in the field. Here, we summarize the analyses options currently available on Datamonkey, and provide guidelines for their use in evolutionary biology. Availability and documentation: http://www.datamonkey.org.

  12. New facilities and instruments for developmental biology research in space.

    PubMed

    Brinckmann, Enno

    2003-01-01

    Three new ESA facilities will be available for biological experiments in Space, Biopack on the Space Shuttle and two instruments on the International Space Station (ISS): BIOLAB in the European "Columbus" Laboratory and the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) in the US Lab "Destiny". The experiments are housed in standard Experiment Containers, allowing either research in microgravity or acceleration studies with variable g-levels, if mounted on the centrifuges. While Biopack provides only thermal control, BIOLAB and EMCS supply each container with a dedicated atmosphere (controlled CO2, O2 concentration and relative humidity, trace gas removal): EMCS contains also fresh and wastewater reservoirs on its rotors. Power and data lines are available in all the described facilities. Highly automated systems, like BIOLAB's Handling Mechanism and Analysis Instruments, support the telescience concept and help reducing crew time in orbit. A BioGlovebox with its support instruments allows unique research possibilities in Space. The feasibility of experiment hardware inside the containers has been studied by ESA for several kinds of Experiment Support Equipment with potential use for research in Developmental Biology: design concepts for experiments with small eggs, cells and tissues, with small aquatic animals, with insects and with plants are described in this article.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  18. Evolutionary origins of the vertebrate dentition: phylogenetic patterns and developmental evolution.

    PubMed

    Smith, M M; Coates, M I

    1998-01-01

    The theory that teeth evolved from dermal denticles linked with the origin of jaws no longer accounts for the diversity of new data emerging from the fossil record. We have reviewed oropharyngeal dental patterns in all fossil groups of early vertebrates to establish the primitive condition, in order to understand the polarity of change. The evolutionary precedence of dermal denticles before teeth now seems less likely; both may be alternative manifestations of a common morphogenetic system. This developmental system involves regulatory changes affecting the odontode, a fundamental exoskeletal unit, and can explain skeletal diversity. However, tooth and denticle differences may have diverged at loci deep within vertebrate phylogeny, as real differences exist between them. Teeth were conceived as evolving from non-growing odontodes with regulation of precise increase in size, position, sequence of time of development, and polarity of shape. A characteristic feature of teeth is the ability to replace from a developing sequence, programmed with these parameters, prior to demand. Tooth whorls, a feature of denticles in the oropharyngeal region, may be regarded as a preadaptation of this tooth replacement mechanism. The new fossil evidence suggests that teeth may have evolved from these more specialised oropharyngeal denticles in agnathan vertebrates.

  19. Neural crest potential for tooth development in a urodele amphibian: developmental and evolutionary significance.

    PubMed

    Graveson, A C; Smith, M M; Hall, B K

    1997-08-01

    Tooth development in urodele amphibians occurs from a restricted region of anterior cranial neural crest. An in vitro culture system was used to test the odontogenic potential of more caudal regions of neural crest, including an "intermediate region" of neural folds which has never previously been tested for either fate or potential. Explants of different axial levels of neural crest with stomodaeal ectoderm and endoderm demonstrated that odontogenic potential extends not only further caudally than the axial level fated to produce teeth, but also beyond that with potential to produce cartilage. Our results show that chondrogenic potential is found only within the most rostral portion of the intermediate region, but that odontogenic potential extends to its most caudal limit. This separation of skeletogenic cell lineages in the neural crest necessitates a reevaluation of the designations of "cranial" and "trunk" and a reconsideration of the evolutionary implications of developmentally distinct crest-derived mesenchyme populations. The proposal that odontogenic potential extends into the trunk neural crest may be explained as conserved from a phylogenetically older, more extensive skeletogenic ability which produced the exoskeleton of more basal vertebrates. PMID:9245509

  20. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Evolutionary cell biology of chromosome segregation: insights from trypanosomes

    PubMed Central

    Akiyoshi, Bungo; Gull, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Faithful transmission of genetic material is essential for the survival of all organisms. Eukaryotic chromosome segregation is driven by the kinetochore that assembles onto centromeric DNA to capture spindle microtubules and govern the movement of chromosomes. Its molecular mechanism has been actively studied in conventional model eukaryotes, such as yeasts, worms, flies and human. However, these organisms are closely related in the evolutionary time scale and it therefore remains unclear whether all eukaryotes use a similar mechanism. The evolutionary origins of the segregation apparatus also remain enigmatic. To gain insights into these questions, it is critical to perform comparative studies. Here, we review our current understanding of the mitotic mechanism in Trypanosoma brucei, an experimentally tractable kinetoplastid parasite that branched early in eukaryotic history. No canonical kinetochore component has been identified, and the design principle of kinetochores might be fundamentally different in kinetoplastids. Furthermore, these organisms do not appear to possess a functional spindle checkpoint that monitors kinetochore–microtubule attachments. With these unique features and the long evolutionary distance from other eukaryotes, understanding the mechanism of chromosome segregation in T. brucei should reveal fundamental requirements for the eukaryotic segregation machinery, and may also provide hints about the origin and evolution of the segregation apparatus. PMID:23635522

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vlaardingerbroek, Barend; Hachem-El-Masri, Yasmine

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mogi, Kazutaka; Nagasawa, Miho; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Evolutionary Design in Biological Physics and Materials Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Ho, Shih-Ju

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible.

    PubMed

    Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E

    2013-09-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    PubMed Central

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking.

  14. The second wave of evolutionary economics in biology.

    PubMed

    Hammerstein, Peter; Hagen, Edward H

    2005-11-01

    Several core issues in economics and biology overlap substantially. At the theoretical level, these include analogies and differences among rational choice, learning, genetic evolution and cultural evolution. At the empirical level, they include the structure of decision making, its neural basis and, more generally, human nature. We illustrate here the increasingly important collaboration between economics and biology with several characteristic examples, including signaling, markets, statistical reasoning, cooperation, punishment, reputation and social norms. In contrast to the mutual borrowing of ideas during the 1970s and 1980s, we now see the joint exploration of empirical and theoretical issues by biologists and economists that constitutes a second wave of interactions between the two disciplines.

  15. Children's Ability to Learn Evolutionary Explanations for Biological Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shtulman, Andrew; Neal, Cara; Lindquist, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Evolution by natural selection is often relegated to the high school curriculum on the assumption that younger students cannot grasp its complexity. We sought to test that assumption by teaching children ages 4-12 (n = 96) a selection-based explanation for biological adaptation and comparing their success to that of adults…

  16. Development and validation of evolutionary algorithm software as an optimization tool for biological and environmental applications.

    PubMed

    Sys, K; Boon, N; Verstraete, W

    2004-06-01

    A flexible, extendable tool for the optimization of (micro)biological processes and protocols using evolutionary algorithms was developed. It has been tested using three different theoretical optimization problems: 2 two-dimensional problems, one with three maxima and one with five maxima and a river autopurification optimization problem with boundary conditions. For each problem, different evolutionary parameter settings were used for the optimization. For each combination of evolutionary parameters, 15 generations were run 20 times. It has been shown that in all cases, the evolutionary algorithm gave rise to valuable results. Generally, the algorithms were able to detect the more stable sub-maximum even if there existed less stable maxima. The latter is, from a practical point of view, generally more desired. The most important factors influencing the convergence process were the parameter value randomization rate and distribution. The developed software, described in this work, is available for free.

  17. Evolutionary biology and chemical geology: a timely marriage.

    PubMed

    Cintas, Pedro

    2004-07-01

    For more than 150 years natural selection has been perceived to be the overwhelming force in evolution. Only in recent decades have we obtained new insights into environmental and physicochemical factors that participate with selection in a synergic way. Far from denying Darwin's theory, such neglected factors put order to the bewildering range of genotypes and morphologies found in living organisms and, more importantly, they place evolution in a planetary context where biology, geology, and chemistry can easily be integrated.

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

    PubMed

    Key, Brian; Nurcombe, Victor

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Wolf, Yuri I

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain "ribosomal Tree of Life" that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology. PMID

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

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Wolf, Yuri I.

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain “ribosomal Tree of Life” that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology. PMID

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

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Wolf, Yuri I

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain "ribosomal Tree of Life" that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James

    Recent education reform documents emphasize the need for students to develop a rich understanding of evolution's power to integrate knowledge of the natural world. This paper describes a nine-week high school course designed to help students understand evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using Charles Darwin's…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Remembering the forest while viewing the trees: evolutionary thinking in the teaching of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Private and collective interests; conflicts and solutions: the central theme of current thinking in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Wieser, W

    2001-01-01

    The statement made by the population geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973): "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution", is often quoted as a crucially important generalization on the nature of biology. I am inclined to consider as equally important the statement: "Nothing in Evolutionary Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Conflicts between Parts and Systems." This generalization takes account of the dynamic nature of biological phenomena, but also of the fact that the study of transitions from autonomous units to cooperative systems has become one of the most exciting and scientifically rewarding enterprises in all of organismic biology. The problems encountered and the speculations generated in the course of this enterprise will be either of the more unit-centered or of the more system-centered type, most biologists tending to lean towards one or the other. This explains why evolutionary biology is fraught with so many antagonistic attitudes and polarizing points of view. In this essay I want specifically to draw attention to and discuss the following issues which in recent years have polarized biologists: the dual nature of genes; the logic of Hamilton's rule; the relationship between kin selection, signalling networks and systemic manipulation; the semantic problem of progress in evolution; and the evolutionary consequences of the vastly differing time scales over which genotypic and phenotypic information processing occurs in higher animals.

  10. Evolutionary game based control for biological systems with applications in drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaobo; Lenaghan, Scott C; Zhang, Mingjun

    2013-06-01

    Control engineering and analysis of biological systems have become increasingly important for systems and synthetic biology. Unfortunately, no widely accepted control framework is currently available for these systems, especially at the cell and molecular levels. This is partially due to the lack of appropriate mathematical models to describe the unique dynamics of biological systems, and the lack of implementation techniques, such as ultra-fast and ultra-small devices and corresponding control algorithms. This paper proposes a control framework for biological systems subject to dynamics that exhibit adaptive behavior under evolutionary pressures. The control framework was formulated based on evolutionary game based modeling, which integrates both the internal dynamics and the population dynamics. In the proposed control framework, the adaptive behavior was characterized as an internal dynamic, and the external environment was regarded as an external control input. The proposed open-interface control framework can be integrated with additional control algorithms for control of biological systems. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework, an optimal control strategy was developed and validated for drug delivery using the pathogen Giardia lamblia as a test case. In principle, the proposed control framework can be applied to any biological system exhibiting adaptive behavior under evolutionary pressures.

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

    PubMed

    Beltrán, José-Pío

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2011-01-01

    In the evolutionary process, the random transmission and mutation of genes provide biological diversities for natural selection. In order to preserve functional phenotypes between generations, gene networks need to evolve robustly under the influence of random perturbations. Therefore, the robustness of the phenotype, in the evolutionary process, exerts a selection force on gene networks to keep network functions. However, gene networks need to adjust, by variations in genetic content, to generate phenotypes for new challenges in the network’s evolution, ie, the evolvability. Hence, there should be some interplay between the evolvability and network robustness in evolutionary gene networks. In this study, the interplay between the evolvability and network robustness of a gene network and a biochemical network is discussed from a nonlinear stochastic system point of view. It was found that if the genetic robustness plus environmental robustness is less than the network robustness, the phenotype of the biological network is robust in evolution. The tradeoff between the genetic robustness and environmental robustness in evolution is discussed from the stochastic stability robustness and sensitivity of the nonlinear stochastic biological network, which may be relevant to the statistical tradeoff between bias and variance, the so-called bias/variance dilemma. Further, the tradeoff could be considered as an antagonistic pleiotropic action of a gene network and discussed from the systems biology perspective. PMID:22084563

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. On evolutionary causes and evolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Laland, Kevin N

    2015-08-01

    In this essay I consider how biologists understand 'causation' and 'evolutionary process', drawing attention to some idiosyncrasies in the use of these terms. I suggest that research within the evolutionary sciences has been channeled in certain directions and not others by scientific conventions, many of which have now become counterproductive. These include the views (i) that evolutionary processes are restricted to those phenomena that directly change gene frequencies, (ii) that understanding the causes of both ecological change and ontogeny is beyond the remit of evolutionary biology, and (iii) that biological causation can be understood by a dichotomous proximate-ultimate distinction, with developmental processes perceived as solely relevant to proximate causation. I argue that the notion of evolutionary process needs to be broadened to accommodate phenomena such as developmental bias and niche construction that bias the course of evolution, but do not directly change gene frequencies, and that causation in biological systems is fundamentally reciprocal in nature. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Phylogenetic targeting of research effort in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Christian; Nunn, Charles L

    2010-11-01

    Many questions in comparative biology require that new data be collected, either to build a comparative database for the first time or to augment existing data. Given resource limitations in collecting data, the question arises as to which species should be studied to increase the size of comparative data sets. By taking hypotheses, existing data relevant to the hypotheses, and a phylogeny, we show that a method of “phylogenetic targeting” can systematically guide data collection while taking into account potentially confounding variables and competing hypotheses. Phylogenetic targeting selects potential candidates for future data collection, using a flexible scoring system based on differences in pairwise comparisons. We used simulations to assess the performance of phylogenetic targeting, as compared with the less systematic approach of randomly selecting species (as might occur when data have been collected without regard to phylogeny and variation in the traits of interest). The simulations revealed that phylogenetic targeting increased the statistical power to detect correlations and that power increased with the number of species in the tree, even when the number of species studied was held constant. We also developed a Web‐based computer program called PhyloTargeting to implement the approach ( http://phylotargeting.fas.harvard.edu ).

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennis, Maureen

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Evolutionary and biological implications of dental mesial drift in rodents: the case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. A small great history of the sister Societies of Developmental Biology in Spain and Portugal.

    PubMed

    Palmeirim, Isabel; Aréchaga, Juan

    2009-01-01

    We revise the historical evolution of the societies devoted to Developmental Biology from the early activities of the Institut International dEmbryologie (IIE), founded in 1911, with particular emphasis on the more recent constitution of the Spanish Sociedad Española de Biología del Desarrollo (SEBD), founded in 1994, and the Portuguese Sociedade Portuguesa de Biologia do Desenvolvimento (SPBD), founded in 2006. We also describe the role played by The International Journal of Developmental Biology (IJDB) in the constitution of the SEBD and its projection and support to international Developmental Biology societies and individual researchers in the world, according to its mission to be a non-for-profit publication for scientists, by scientists.

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

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P

    2011-01-01

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

  1. The Cell Biology of the Endocytic System from an Evolutionary Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Wideman, Jeremy G.; Leung, Ka Fai; Field, Mark C.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary cell biology can afford an interdisciplinary comparative view that gives insights into both the functioning of modern cells and the origins of cellular systems, including the endocytic organelles. Here, we explore several recent evolutionary cell biology studies, highlighting investigations into the origin and diversity of endocytic systems in eukaryotes. Beginning with a brief overview of the eukaryote tree of life, we show how understanding the endocytic machinery in a select, but diverse, array of organisms provides insights into endocytic system origins and predicts the likely configuration in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Next, we consider three examples in which a comparative approach yielded insight into the function of modern cellular systems. First, using ESCRT-0 as an example, we show how comparative cell biology can discover both lineage-specific novelties (ESCRT-0) as well as previously ignored ancient proteins (Tom1), likely of both evolutionary and functional importance. Second, we highlight the power of comparative cell biology for discovery of previously ignored but potentially ancient complexes (AP5). Finally, using examples from ciliates and trypanosomes, we show that not all organisms possess canonical endocytic pathways, but instead likely evolved lineage-specific mechanisms. Drawing from these case studies, we conclude that a comparative approach is a powerful strategy for advancing knowledge about the general mechanisms and functions of endocytic systems. PMID:24478384

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greve, Werner; Bjorklund, David F.

    2009-01-01

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

  4. A genetic developmental model of iron deficiency: biological aspects.

    PubMed

    Morse, A C; Beard, J L; Jones, B C

    1999-03-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative impact of iron deficiency on growth and development. The present study expands on the published literature by exploring the role of genetics and developmental timing on the impact of iron deficiency on development in two strains of mice. Growth rates, organ weights, and hematological responses to an iron-deficient diet differed by strain and sex. The results from this study provided novel insight into iron metabolism and the impact of iron deficiency in C57 and DBA strains of mice. Future studies should continue to examine the contributions of both genetics and sex to the development of iron deficiency.

  5. The biological basis of language: insight from developmental grammatical impairments.

    PubMed

    van der Lely, Heather K J; Pinker, Steven

    2014-11-01

    Specific language impairment (SLI), a genetic developmental disorder, offers insights into the neurobiological and computational organization of language. A subtype, Grammatical-SLI (G-SLI), involves greater impairments in 'extended' grammatical representations, which are nonlocal, hierarchical, abstract, and composed, than in 'basic' ones, which are local, linear, semantic, and holistic. This distinction is seen in syntax, morphology, and phonology, and may be tied to abnormalities in the left hemisphere and basal ganglia, consistent with new models of the neurobiology of language which distinguish dorsal and ventral processing streams. Delineating neurolinguistic phenotypes promises a better understanding of the effects of genes on the brain circuitry underlying normal and impaired language abilities. PMID:25172525

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

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gordon, Malcolm S; Notar, Julia C

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Left-right asymmetry of the gnathostome skull: its evolutionary, developmental, and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Compagnucci, Claudia; Fish, Jennifer; Depew, Michael J

    2014-06-01

    Much of the gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) evolutionary radiation was dependent on the ability to sense and interpret the environment and subsequently act upon this information through utilization of a specialized mode of feeding involving the jaws. While the gnathostome skull, reflective of the vertebrate baüplan, typically is bilaterally symmetric with right (dextral) and left (sinistral) halves essentially representing mirror images along the midline, both adaptive and abnormal asymmetries have appeared. Herein we provide a basic primer on studies of the asymmetric development of the gnathostome skull, touching briefly on asymmetry as a field of study, then describing the nature of cranial development and finally underscoring evolutionary and functional aspects of left-right asymmetric cephalic development.

  10. Evolutionary and Developmental Changes in the Lateral Frontoparietal Network: A Little Goes a Long Way for Higher-Level Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Vendetti, Michael S.; Bunge, Silvia A.

    2015-01-01

    Relational thinking, or the ability to represent the relations between items, is widespread in the animal kingdom. However, humans are unparalleled in their ability to engage in the higher-order relational thinking required for reasoning and other forms of abstract thought. Here we propose that the versatile reasoning skills observed in humans can be traced back to developmental and evolutionary changes in the lateral frontoparietal network (LFPN). We first identify the regions within the LFPN that are most strongly linked to relational thinking, and show that stronger communication between these regions over the course of development supports improvements in relational reasoning. We then explore differences in the LFPN between humans and other primate species that could explain species differences in the capacity for relational reasoning. We conclude that fairly small neuroanatomical changes in specific regions of the LFPN and their connections have led to big ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes in cognition. PMID:25475185

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

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Patrick; Gluckman, Peter; Hanson, Mark

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Shared developmental and evolutionary origins for neural basis of vocal–acoustic and pectoral–gestural signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bass, Andrew H.; Chagnaud, Boris P.

    2012-01-01

    Acoustic signaling behaviors are widespread among bony vertebrates, which include the majority of living fishes and tetrapods. Developmental studies in sound-producing fishes and tetrapods indicate that central pattern generating networks dedicated to vocalization originate from the same caudal hindbrain rhombomere (rh) 8-spinal compartment. Together, the evidence suggests that vocalization and its morphophysiological basis, including mechanisms of vocal–respiratory coupling that are widespread among tetrapods, are ancestral characters for bony vertebrates. Premotor-motor circuitry for pectoral appendages that function in locomotion and acoustic signaling develops in the same rh8-spinal compartment. Hence, vocal and pectoral phenotypes in fishes share both developmental origins and roles in acoustic communication. These findings lead to the proposal that the coupling of more highly derived vocal and pectoral mechanisms among tetrapods, including those adapted for nonvocal acoustic and gestural signaling, originated in fishes. Comparative studies further show that rh8 premotor populations have distinct neurophysiological properties coding for equally distinct behavioral attributes such as call duration. We conclude that neural network innovations in the spatiotemporal patterning of vocal and pectoral mechanisms of social communication, including forelimb gestural signaling, have their evolutionary origins in the caudal hindbrain of fishes. PMID:22723366

  14. Fire in the Plio-Pleistocene: the functions of hominin fire use, and the mechanistic, developmental and evolutionary consequences.

    PubMed

    Attwell, Laura; Kovarovic, Kris; Kendal, Jeremy

    2015-07-20

    Fire is a powerful natural force that can change landscapes extremely quickly. Hominins have harnessed this resource for their own purposes, with mechanistic and developmental physiological consequences. In addition, the use of fire has niche constructive effects, altering selective environments for genetic and cultural evolution. We review the record for hominin fire use in the Plio-Pleistocene, before considering the various functions for its use, and the resultant mechanistic and developmental consequences. We also adopt the niche construction framework to consider how the use of fire can modify selective environments, and thus have evolutionary consequences at genetic and cultural levels. The light that fire produces may influence photoperiodicity and alter hormonally-controlled bodily rhythms. Fire used for cooking could have extended the range of foods hominins were able to consume, and reduced digestion costs. This may have contributed to the expansion of the hominin brain and facial anatomy, influenced by a higher quality cooked diet. Fire may also have allowed dispersal into northern areas with much cooler climates than the hominin African origin, posing novel problems that affected diet and social behaviour.

  15. Plant evolution at the interface of paleontology and developmental biology: An organism-centered paradigm.

    PubMed

    Rothwell, Gar W; Wyatt, Sarah E; Tomescu, Alexandru M F

    2014-05-30

    Paleontology yields essential evidence for inferring not only the pattern of evolution, but also the genetic basis of evolution within an ontogenetic framework. Plant fossils provide evidence for the pattern of plant evolution in the form of transformational series of structure through time. Developmentally diagnostic structural features that serve as "fingerprints" of regulatory genetic pathways also are preserved by plant fossils, and here we provide examples of how those fingerprints can be used to infer the mechanisms by which plant form and development have evolved. When coupled with an understanding of variations and systematic distributions of specific regulatory genetic pathways, this approach provides an avenue for testing evolutionary hypotheses at the organismal level that is analogous to employing bioinformatics to explore genetics at the genomic level. The positions where specific genes, gene families, and developmental regulatory mechanisms first appear in phylogenies are correlated with the positions where fossils with the corresponding structures occur on the tree, thereby yielding testable hypotheses that extend our understanding of the role of developmental changes in the evolution of the body plans of vascular plant sporophytes. As a result, we now have new and powerful methodologies for characterizing major evolutionary changes in morphology, anatomy, and physiology that have resulted from combinations of genetic regulatory changes and that have produced the synapomorphies by which we recognize major clades of plants.

  16. Developmental dynamics and contemporary evolutionary psychology: status quo or irreconcilable views? Reply to Bjorklund (2003), Krebs (2003), Buss and Reeve (2003), Crawford (2003), and Tooby et Al. (2003).

    PubMed

    Lickliter, Robert; Honeycutt, Hunter

    2003-11-01

    The authors address commentaries by D. F. Bjorklund (2003); D. M. Buss and H. K. Reeve (2003); C. B. Crawford (2003); D. L. Krebs (2003); and J. Tooby, L. Cosmides, and H. C. Barrett (2003) on their analysis of the underlying assumptions of contemporary evolutionary psychology (R. Lickliter & H. Honeycutt, 2003). The authors argue that evolutionary psychology currently offers no coherent framework for how to integrate genetic, environmental, and experiential factors into a theory of behavioral or cognitive phenotypes. The authors propose that this absence is due to a lack of developmental analysis in the major works of evolutionary psychology, resulting in an almost exclusive focus on adaptationist accounts of evolution by natural selection rather than a more broad-based focus on the process and products of evolution by epigenetic developmental dynamics.

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

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Marino; Duboule, Denis

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Differentiation: A Central Topic in Developmental and Cell Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, W. A.

    The concept of "differentiation" encompasses all processes leading to differently specialized cell types, beginning with the progressive divergence of developmental pathways and ending with the successive programming and final elaboration of each particular cell type. Guidance and positional information are provided by external cues, by differentially allotted cytoplasmic determinants such as mRNA for transcription factors, and by cascades of intercellular signals. Eventually cell type specific selector genes, such as the muscle cell determining MyoD/myogenin genes and neural key genes (e.g., achaete scute-C, neurogenin), are switched on which control entire sets of subordinate effector genes. In multiplying cells "cell heredity" based on an epigenetic cellular memory enables transmission of the cell type determining program from parental to daughter cells. This memory can be based on autocatalytic self-activation of cell type specific selector genes and on the enduring action of gene groups such as the Polycomb and thrithorax complexes that code for proteins which bind to DNA sequences called cellular memory modules. These modules confer permanent accessibility (potentiation) or inaccessibility (silencing) upon many different gene loci on the chromosomes.

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

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Marino; Duboule, Denis

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Report of the NASA Mammalian Developmental Biology Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vianello, Angelo; Passamonti, Sabina

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Reproductive Toxicology Division, NHEERL...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrar, M. Jeffrey; Boyer-Pennington, Michelle

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Pregenerative medicine: developmental paradigms in the biology of cardiovascular regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yi, B. Alexander; Wernet, Oliver; Chien, Kenneth R.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to create new functional cardiomyocytes is the holy grail of cardiac regenerative medicine. From studies using model organisms, new insights into the fundamental pathways that drive heart muscle regeneration have begun to arise as well as a growing knowledge of the distinct families of multipotent cardiovascular progenitors that generate diverse lineages during heart development. In this Review, we highlight this intersection of the “pregenerative” biology of heart progenitor cells and heart regeneration and discuss the longer term challenges and opportunities in moving toward a therapeutic goal of regenerative cardiovascular medicine. PMID:20051633

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

    PubMed Central

    Rutishauser, Rolf

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.

  10. Frontiers in genomics: insights into protist evolutionary biology, University of Iowa, May 19-21, 2004.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Katz, Laura A

    2005-01-01

    Protists constitute the bulk of eukaryotic diversity yet their genomes remain relatively unexplored. To address this issue, a workshop entitled, "Frontiers in Genomics: Insights into Protist Evolutionary Biology", was convened at the University of Iowa on June 19-21, 2004. The specific aims of the workshop were to define the role of genomics in the eukaryotic tree of life, to identify challenges in characterizing protist (i.e. microbial eukaryote) genomes, and in proposing specific solutions to these challenges. The findings of the workshop are presented here and in a white paper that provide a set of guidelines for organizing the protist community and for planning and executing a protist genome project.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-17

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

  12. Sequential developmental programmes for retractor muscles of a caenogastropod: reappraisal of evolutionary homologues

    PubMed Central

    Page, L. R.

    1998-01-01

    Evolutionary changes in the development of shell-attached retractor muscles in gastropods are of fundamental importance to theories about the early evolution and subsequent diversification of this molluscan class. Development of the shell-attached retractor muscle (columellar muscle) in a caenogastropod has been studied at the ultrastructural level to test the hypothesis of homology with the post-torsional left retractor muscle (larval velar retractor) in vetigastropod larvae. The vetigastropod muscle has been implicated in the generation of ontogenetic torsion, a morphogenetic twist between body regions that is important to theories about early gastropod evolution. Two shell-attached retractor muscles develop sequentially in the caenogastropod, Polinices lewisii, which is a pattern that has been also identified in previous ultrastructural studies on a vetigastropod and several nudibranch gastropods. The pattern may be a basal and conserved characteristic of gastropods. I found that the first-formed retractor in larvae of P. lewisii is comparable to the larval velar retractor that exists at the time of ontogenetic torsion in the vetigastropod, Haliotis kamtschatkana. However, the post-metamorphic columellar muscle of P. lewisii is derived exclusively from part of the second-formed muscle, which is comparable to the second-formed pedal muscle system in the vetigastropod. I conclude that the post-metamorphic columellar muscle of P. lewisii, is not homologous to the larval velar retractor of the vetigastropod, H. kamtschatkana.

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

    PubMed Central

    Takashima, Shigeo; Gold, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cicchetti, Dante

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  18. Biological invasions in agricultural settings: insights from evolutionary biology and population genetics.

    PubMed

    Guillemaud, Thomas; Ciosi, Marc; Lombaert, Eric; Estoup, Arnaud

    2011-03-01

    Invasion biology and agriculture are intimately related for several reasons and in particular because many agricultural pest species are recent invaders. In this article we suggest that the reconstruction of invasion routes with population genetics-based methods can address fundamental questions in ecology and practical aspects of the management of biological invasions in agricultural settings. We provide a brief description of the methods used to reconstruct invasion routes and describe their main characteristics. In particular, we focus on a scenario--the bridgehead invasion scenario --which had been overlooked until recently. We show that this scenario, in which an invasive population is the source of other invasive populations, is evolutionarily parsimonious and may have played a crucial role in shaping the distribution of many recent agricultural pests.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

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

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Šumbera, Radim

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Šumbera, Radim

    2015-01-01

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

  3. True yams (Dioscorea): a biological and evolutionary link between eudicots and grasses.

    PubMed

    Mignouna, Hodeba D; Abang, Mathew M; Asiedu, Robert; Geeta, R

    2009-11-01

    Dioscorea (true yams) is a large genus that contains species important as food (with edible tubers) or as sources of bioactive substances used in a range of applications. Dioscorea is a major staple food in many parts of the world, especially in West Africa and the Pacific islands, and serves as a famine food in many regions. It is a critically important but neglected crop, which is likely to increase in importance as climate change leads to necessary changes in global food systems. It is a herbaceous, climbing, tropical monocot that looks rather like a dicot, and is part of a lineage that is relatively closely related to the phylogenetically derived group containing the grasses. Therefore, it represents an important biological link between the eudicots and grasses--groups that contain all the model flowering plant species--and has the potential to fill gaps in our knowledge of plant biology and evolution. Yams also offer us the possibility to gain new insights into processes such as tuberization and sex determination, which cannot be studied in current model organisms. This combination of rising importance due to its socioeconomic significance and interesting biology and evolutionary position justify its potential as a model organism. This potential remains to be harnessed, and much of the current work on yam is directed toward its role as a food crop. This aspect will remain important, but its potential for answering questions of basic biological interest will be a major motivation for researchers interested in this organism.

  4. Evolutionary biology of starvation resistance: what we have learned from Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Rion, S; Kawecki, T J

    2007-09-01

    Most animals face periods of food shortage and are thus expected to evolve adaptations enhancing starvation resistance (SR). Most of our knowledge of the genetic and physiological bases of those adaptations, their evolutionary correlates and trade-offs, and patterns of within- and among-population variation, comes from studies on Drosophila. In this review, we attempt to synthesize the various facets of evolutionary biology of SR emerging from those studies. Heritable variation for SR is ubiquitous in Drosophila populations, allowing for large responses to experimental selection. Individual flies can also inducibly increase their SR in response to mild nutritional stress (dietary restriction). Both the evolutionary change and the physiological plasticity involve increased accumulation of lipids, changes in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and reduction in reproduction. They are also typically associated with greater resistance to desiccation and oxidative stress, and with prolonged development and lifespan. These responses are increasingly seen as facets of a shift of the physiology towards a 'survival mode', which helps the animal to survive hard times. The last decade has seen a great progress in revealing the molecular bases of induced responses to starvation, and the first genes contributing to genetic variation in SR have been identified. In contrast, little progress has been made in understanding the ecological significance of SR in Drosophila; in particular it remains unclear to what extent geographical variation in SR reflect differences in natural selection acting on this trait rather than correlated responses to selection on other traits. Drosophila offers a unique opportunity for an integrated study of the manifold aspects of adaptation to nutritional stress. Given that at least some major molecular mechanisms of response to nutritional stress seem common to animals, the insights from Drosophila are likely to apply more generally than just to dipterans

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, H. H.; and others

    1970-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D.

    2014-01-01

    Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities. PMID:25097751

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

    PubMed

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D

    2014-08-01

    Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research

    PubMed Central

    Kockel, Lutz; Huq, Lutfi M.; Ayyar, Anika; Herold, Emma; MacAlpine, Elle; Logan, Madeline; Savvides, Christina; Kim, Grace E. S.; Chen, Jiapei; Clark, Theresa; Duong, Trang; Fazel-Rezai, Vahid; Havey, Deanna; Han, Samuel; Jagadeesan, Ravi; Kim, Eun Soo Jackie; Lee, Diane; Lombardo, Kaelina; Piyale, Ida; Shi, Hansen; Stahr, Lydia; Tung, Dana; Tayvah, Uriel; Wang, Flora; Wang, Ja-Hon; Xiao, Sarah; Topper, Sydni M.; Park, Sangbin; Rotondo, Cheryl; Rankin, Anne E.; Chisholm, Townley W.; Kim, Seung K.

    2016-01-01

    Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila. However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals. PMID:27527793

  14. Student-oriented learning: an inquiry-based developmental biology lecture course.

    PubMed

    Malacinski, George M

    2003-01-01

    In this junior-level undergraduate course, developmental life cycles exhibited by various organisms are reviewed, with special attention--where relevant--to the human embryo. Morphological features and processes are described and recent insights into the molecular biology of gene expression are discussed. Ways are studied in which model systems, including marine invertebrates, amphibia, fruit flies and other laboratory species are employed to elucidate general principles which apply to fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation and organogenesis. Special attention is given to insights into those topics which will soon be researched with data from the Human Genome Project. The learning experience is divided into three parts: Part I is a in which the Socratic (inquiry) method is employed by the instructor (GMM) to organize a review of classical developmental phenomena; Part II represents an in which students study the details related to the surveys included in Part I as they have been reported in research journals; Part III focuses on a class project--the preparation of a spiral bound on a topic of relevance to human developmental biology (e.g.,Textbook of Embryonal Stem Cells). Student response to the use of the Socratic method increases as the course progresses and represents the most successful aspect of the course. PMID:12705660

  15. Gene Ontology-based semantic alignment of biological pathways by evolutionary search.

    PubMed

    Gamalielsson, Jonas; Olsson, Björn

    2008-08-01

    A large number of biological pathways have been elucidated recently, and there is a need for methods to analyze these pathways. One class of methods compares pathways semantically in order to discover parts that are evolutionarily conserved between species or to discover intraspecies similarities. Such methods usually require that the topologies of the pathways being compared are known, i.e. that a query pathway is being aligned to a model pathway. However, sometimes the query only consists of an unordered set of gene products. Previous methods for mapping sets of gene products onto known pathways have not been based on semantic comparison of gene products using ontologies or other abstraction hierarchies. Therefore, we here propose an approach that uses a similarity function defined in Gene Ontology (GO) terms to find semantic alignments when comparing paths in biological pathways where the nodes are gene products. A known pathway graph is used as a model, and an evolutionary algorithm (EA) is used to evolve putative paths from a set of experimentally determined gene products. The method uses a measure of GO term similarity to calculate a match score between gene products, and the fitness value of each candidate path alignment is derived from these match scores. A statistical test is used to assess the significance of evolved alignments. The performance of the method has been tested using regulatory pathways for S. cerevisiae and M. musculus.

  16. Modularity in developmental biology and artificial organs: a missing concept in tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Lenas, Petros; Luyten, Frank P; Doblare, Manuel; Nicodemou-Lena, Eleni; Lanzara, Andreina Elena

    2011-06-01

    Tissue engineering is reviving itself, adopting the concept of biomimetics of in vivo tissue development. A basic concept of developmental biology is the modularity of the tissue architecture according to which intermediates in tissue development constitute semiautonomous entities. Both engineering and nature have chosen the modular architecture to optimize the product or organism development and evolution. Bioartificial tissues do not have a modular architecture. On the contrary, artificial organs of modular architecture have been already developed in the field of artificial organs. Therefore the conceptual support of tissue engineering by the field of artificial organs becomes critical in its new endeavor of recapitulating in vitro the in vivo tissue development.

  17. The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas of philosophy. It looks critically across the life sciences, teasing out conceptual issues and difficulties bringing to bear the tools of philosophical analysis to achieve clarification and understanding. This essay surveys work in all of the major directions of research: evolutionary theory and the units/levels of selection; evolutionary developmental biology; reductionism; ecology; the species problem; teleology; evolutionary epistemology; evolutionary ethics; and progress. There is a comprehensive bibliography.

  18. Budgett’s frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis): a new amphibian embryo for developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Amin, Nirav M.; Womble, Mandy; Ledon-Rettig, Cris; Hull, Margaret; Dickinson, Amanda; Nascone-Yoder, Nanette

    2015-01-01

    The large size and rapid development of amphibian embryos has facilitated ground-breaking discoveries in developmental biology. Here, we describe the embryogenesis of the Budgett’s frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis), an unusual species with eggs that are over twice the diameter of laboratory Xenopus, and embryos that can tolerate higher temperatures to develop into a tadpole four times more rapidly. In addition to detailing their early development, we demonstrate that, like Xenopus, these embryos are amenable to explant culture assays and can express exogenous transcripts in a tissue-specific manner. Moreover, the steep developmental trajectory and large scale of Lepidobatrachus make it exceptionally well-suited for morphogenesis research. For example, the developing organs of the Budgett’s frog are massive compared to those of most model species, and are composed of larger individual cells, thereby affording increased subcellular resolution of early vertebrate organogenesis. Furthermore, we found that complete limb regeneration, which typically requires months to achieve in most vertebrate models, occurs in a matter of days in the Budgett’s tadpole, which substantially accelerates the pace of experimentation. Thus, the unusual combination of the greater size and speed of the Budgett’s frog model provides inimitable advantages for developmental studies—and a novel inroad to address the mechanisms of spatiotemporal scaling during evolution. PMID:26169245

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

    PubMed Central

    Smadbeck, Patrick; Stumpf, Michael P. H.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. [Why do so many arts and social scientists have huge difficulties accepting (evolutionary)biologically based opinions for gender differences].

    PubMed

    Leonhard, Hans-Walter

    2005-09-01

    The contribution deals with the wide-spread rejection of (evolutionary) biological founded statements concerning sex differences by social sciences and arts, which are not based on objective objections, but are ideologically justified. The starting point therefore is to be seen in the justified critique of the biological legitimized racism and sexism in the sixties and seventies of the last century. The continuation of this rejecting position, though the modern biology has changed itself essentially, can be explained psychologically by Festinger's "Theory of Cognitive Dissonance".

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schulz, Armin W

    2016-04-01

    I argue for differences in the cognitive efficiency of different psychologies underlying helping behavior, and present an account of the adaptive pressures that result from these differences. Specifically, I argue that organisms often face pressure to move away from only being egoistically motivated to help: non-egoistic organisms are often able to determine how to help other organisms more quickly and with less recourse to costly cognitive resources like concentration and attention. Furthermore, I also argue that, while these pressures away from pure egoism can lead to the evolution of altruists, they can also lead to the evolution of reciprocation-focused behaviorist helpers or even of reflex-driven helpers (who are neither altruists nor egoists). In this way, I seek to broaden the set of considerations typically taken into account when assessing the evolution of the psychology of helping behavior-which tend to be restricted to matters of reliability-and also try to make clearer the role of evolutionary biological considerations in the discussion of this apparently straightforwardly psychological phenomenon.

  4. The social production of health: critical contributions from evolutionary, biological, and cultural anthropology.

    PubMed

    Levin, Betty Wolder; Browner, C H

    2005-08-01

    In 1946, the newly formed World Health Organization boldly sought to conceptualize "health" as wellbeing in the positive sense, "not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Yet nearly six decades later, researchers are still principally concerned with pathology and its characteristics and consequences. This special issue is the result of an effort to broaden the focus. Anthropologists working from evolutionary, biological and sociocultural perspectives and in diverse geographic regions were asked to examine meanings associated with health and/or to identify social conditions and practices that have contributed to positive physiological and psychological states in particular cultures, times, or across time. Most notable, perhaps, was discovering how difficult it is for Western social scientists to move beyond pathology-based thinking; most authors represented here regard health primarily as the absence of disease. Still, these papers articulate and address questions key to understanding health in and of itself, including: How is health conceptualized? What kinds of social conditions lead to health? And, how do social inequalities affect health? This introduction critically discusses previous work on the subject to contextualize the original research papers offered here.

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

    ScienceCinema

    Wiegel, Detlef

    2016-07-12

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wiegel, Detlef

    2010-03-25

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

  7. Cancer: A Problem of Developmental Biology; Scientific Evidence for Reprogramming and Differentiation Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sell, Stewart; Nicolini, Andrea; Ferrari, Paola; Biava, Pier M

    2016-01-01

    Current medical literature acknowledges that embryonic micro-environment is able to suppress tumor development. Administering carcinogenic substances during organogenesis in fact leads to embryonic malformations, but not to offspring tumor growth. Once organogenesis has ended, administration of carcinogenic substances causes a rise in offspring tumor development. These data indicate that cancer can be considered a deviation in normal development, which can be regulated by factors of the embryonic microenvironment. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that teratoma differentiates into normal tissues once it is implanted in the embryo. Recently, it has been shown that implanting a melanoma in Zebrafish embryo did not result in a tumor development; however, it did in the adult specimen. This demonstrates that cancer cells can differentiate into normal tissues when implanted in the embryo. In addition, it was demonstrated that other tumors can revert into a normal phenotype and/or differentiate into normal tissue when implanted in the embryo. These studies led some authors to define cancer as a problem of developmental biology and to predict the present concept of "cancer stem cells theory". In this review, we record the most important researches about the reprogramming and differentiation treatments of cancer cells to better clarify how the substances taken from developing embryo or other biological substances can induce differentiation of malignant cells. Lastly, a model of cancer has been proposed here, conceived by one of us, which is consistent with the reality, as demonstrated by a great number of researches. This model integrates the theory of the "maturation arrest" of cancer cells as conceived by B. Pierce with the theory which describes cancer as a process of deterministic chaos determined by genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in differentiated cells, which leads a normal cell to become cancerous. All the researches here described demonstrated that cancer

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Herkovits, Jorge

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

    This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate…

  11. Molecular mechanisms of temperature-dependent sex determination in the context of ecological developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yuiko; Crews, David

    2012-05-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is a prime example of phenotypic plasticity in that gonadal sex is determined by the temperature of the incubating egg. In the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta), the effect of temperature can be overridden by exogenous ligands, i.e., sex steroid hormones and steroid metabolism enzyme inhibitors, during the temperature-sensitive period (TSP) of development. Precisely how the physical signal of temperature is transduced into a biological signal that ultimately results in sex determination remains unknown. In this review, we discuss the sex determining pathway underlying TSD by focusing on two candidate sex determining genes, Forkhead box protein L2 (FoxL2) and Doublesex mab3- related transcription factor 1 (Dmrt1). They appear to be involved in transducing the environmental temperature signal into a biological signal that subsequently determines gonadal sex. FoxL2 and Dmrt1 exhibit gonad-typical patterns of expression in response to temperature during the TSP in the red-eared slider turtle. Further, the biologically active ligands regulate the expression of FoxL2 and Dmrt1 during development to modify gonad trajectory. The precise regulatory mechanisms of expression of these genes by temperature or exogenous ligands are not clear. However, the environment often influences developmental gene expression by altering the epigenetic status in regulatory regions. Here, we will discuss if the regulation of FoxL2 and Dmrt1 expression by environment is mediated through epigenetic mechanisms during development in species with TSD.

  12. Framing the future: embryonic stem cells, ethics and the emerging era of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Hurlbut, William B

    2006-04-01

    Throughout the 20(th) century, advances in biology were accomplished largely through the study of biochemical parts apart from their place within the whole organism. This reductive and analytic approach, which has culminated in the sequencing of the human genome, has now led us back to the study of living beings. When applied to human biology, this inquiry re-opens the most fundamental questions concerning the moral meaning of developing life. The current conflict over ES (embryonic stem) cell research is just the first in a series of difficult controversies that will require us to clearly and precisely define the boundaries of humanity that we seek to defend. Through a careful consideration of the social, political, and scientific foundations of our current debate, we may discern the terms of a possible resolution that can sustain social consensus while opening avenues for scientific advance. Four such proposals were discussed in a May 2005 publication by the President's Council on Bioethics, entitled "Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells." One of these methods, altered nuclear transfer, proposes to use the technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), but with a pre-emptive genetic or epigenetic alteration that precludes the integrated and coordinated organization essential for natural embryogenesis. The moral and scientific dimensions of this proposal are discussed as a way forward for embryonic stem cell research as well as a frame for further studies in developmental biology. PMID:16549542

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Teaching critical thinking in a developmental biology course at an American liberal arts college.

    PubMed

    Adams, Dany S

    2003-01-01

    We all expect our students to learn facts and concepts, but more importantly, we want them to learn how to evaluate new information from an educated and skeptical perspective; that is, we want them to become critical thinkers. For many of us who are scientists and teachers, critical thought is either intuitive or we learned it so long ago that it is not at all obvious how to pass on the skills to our students. Explicitly discussing the logic that underlies the experimental basis of developmental biology is an easy and very successful way to teach critical thinking skills. Here, I describe some simple changes to a lecture course that turn the practice of critical thinking into the centerpiece of the learning process. My starting point is the "Evidence and Antibodies" sidelight in Gilbert's Developmental Biology (2000), which I use as an introduction to the ideas of correlation, necessity and sufficiency, and to the kinds of experiments required to gather each type of evidence: observation ("show it"), loss of function ("block it") and gain of function ("move it"). Thereafter, every experiment can be understood quickly by the class and discussed intelligently with a common vocabulary. Both verbal and written reinforcement of these ideas dramatically improve the students' ability to evaluate new information. In particular, they are able to evaluate claims about cause and effect; they become experts at distinguishing between correlation and causation. Because the intellectual techniques are so powerful and the logic so satisfying, the students come to view the critical assessment of knowledge as a fun puzzle and the rigorous thinking behind formulating a question as an exciting challenge.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Anjul Maheshwari

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

  18. NCT and Culture-Conscious Developmental Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vogt, Günter

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Exploring the Evolutionary Relationship of Insulin Receptor Substrate Family Using Computational Biology

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy; Hsu, Minna J.

    2011-01-01

    Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) harbors proteins such as IRS1, IRS2, IRS3, IRS4, IRS5 and IRS6. These key proteins act as vital downstream regulators in the insulin signaling pathway. However, little is known about the evolutionary relationship among the IRS family members. This study explores the potential to depict the evolutionary relationship among the IRS family using bioinformatics, algorithm analysis and mathematical models. PMID:21364910

  2. Developmental biology of Argas neghmei Kohls & Hoogstraal (Acari: Argasidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    González-Acuña, Daniel; Vargas, Pamela; Ardiles, Karen; Parra, Luis; Guglielmone, Alberto

    2010-01-01

    In order to describe the developmental biology of the tick Argas neghmei Kohls & Hoogstraal under laboratory conditions, 40 females and 40 males were collected from chicken coops located in Calama (II Region, Chile). They were fed on chickens and maintained under two laboratory conditions: one group at 30 +/- 5 degrees C and 35 +/- 5 % RH and another at 27 +/- 5 degrees C and 80 +/- 5 % RH, both at 12: 12 h L:D photoperiod. The ticks were observed daily to determine larval feeding periods, preoviposition, oviposition, egg incubation as well as the frequency of egg laying, number of eggs laid, and percentage of larval hatching. Females did not lay eggs at 80 +/- 5% RH, and data on the biology of this tick was obtained only at 35 +/- 5% RH. The life cycle of A. neghmei lasted an average of 269 days. Feeding period of each nymphal stage as well as of adult females between oviposition events lasted less than a day. Females laid on average 1.8 egg batches and egg-laying period lasted on average 14 days, during which about 96 eggs were laid per female.

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

    PubMed Central

    Aiello, Nicole M.; Stanger, Ben Z.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Cancer: A Problem of Developmental Biology; Scientific Evidence for Reprogramming and Differentiation Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sell, Stewart; Nicolini, Andrea; Ferrari, Paola; Biava, Pier M

    2016-01-01

    Current medical literature acknowledges that embryonic micro-environment is able to suppress tumor development. Administering carcinogenic substances during organogenesis in fact leads to embryonic malformations, but not to offspring tumor growth. Once organogenesis has ended, administration of carcinogenic substances causes a rise in offspring tumor development. These data indicate that cancer can be considered a deviation in normal development, which can be regulated by factors of the embryonic microenvironment. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that teratoma differentiates into normal tissues once it is implanted in the embryo. Recently, it has been shown that implanting a melanoma in Zebrafish embryo did not result in a tumor development; however, it did in the adult specimen. This demonstrates that cancer cells can differentiate into normal tissues when implanted in the embryo. In addition, it was demonstrated that other tumors can revert into a normal phenotype and/or differentiate into normal tissue when implanted in the embryo. These studies led some authors to define cancer as a problem of developmental biology and to predict the present concept of "cancer stem cells theory". In this review, we record the most important researches about the reprogramming and differentiation treatments of cancer cells to better clarify how the substances taken from developing embryo or other biological substances can induce differentiation of malignant cells. Lastly, a model of cancer has been proposed here, conceived by one of us, which is consistent with the reality, as demonstrated by a great number of researches. This model integrates the theory of the "maturation arrest" of cancer cells as conceived by B. Pierce with the theory which describes cancer as a process of deterministic chaos determined by genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in differentiated cells, which leads a normal cell to become cancerous. All the researches here described demonstrated that cancer

  5. The Role of Mathematical Models in Understanding Pattern Formation in Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Umulis, David M.

    2016-01-01

    In a Wall Street Journal article published on April 5, 2013, E. O. Wilson attempted to make the case that biologists do not really need to learn any mathematics—whenever they run into difficulty with numerical issues, they can find a technician (aka mathematician) to help them out of their difficulty. He formalizes this in Wilsons Principle No. 1: “It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations.” This reflects a complete misunderstanding of the role of mathematics in all sciences throughout history. To Wilson, mathematics is mere number crunching, but as Galileo said long ago, “The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics…the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word.” Mathematics has moved beyond the geometry-based model of Galileo’s time, and in a rebuttal to Wilson, E. Frenkel has pointed out the role of mathematics in synthesizing the general principles in science (Both point and counter-point are available in Wilson and Frenkel in Notices Am Math Soc 60(7):837–838, 2013). We will take this a step further and show how mathematics has been used to make new and experimentally verified discoveries in developmental biology and how mathematics is essential for understanding a problem that has puzzled experimentalists for decades—that of how organisms can scale in size. Mathematical analysis alone cannot “solve” these problems since the validation lies at the molecular level, but conversely, a growing number of questions in biology cannot be solved without mathematical analysis and modeling. Herein, we discuss a few examples of the productive intercourse between mathematics and biology. PMID:25280665

  6. The role of mathematical models in understanding pattern formation in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Umulis, David M; Othmer, Hans G

    2015-05-01

    In a Wall Street Journal article published on April 5, 2013, E. O. Wilson attempted to make the case that biologists do not really need to learn any mathematics-whenever they run into difficulty with numerical issues, they can find a technician (aka mathematician) to help them out of their difficulty. He formalizes this in Wilsons Principle No. 1: "It is far easier for scientists to acquire needed collaboration from mathematicians and statisticians than it is for mathematicians and statisticians to find scientists able to make use of their equations." This reflects a complete misunderstanding of the role of mathematics in all sciences throughout history. To Wilson, mathematics is mere number crunching, but as Galileo said long ago, "The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics[Formula: see text] the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word." Mathematics has moved beyond the geometry-based model of Galileo's time, and in a rebuttal to Wilson, E. Frenkel has pointed out the role of mathematics in synthesizing the general principles in science (Both point and counter-point are available in Wilson and Frenkel in Notices Am Math Soc 60(7):837-838, 2013). We will take this a step further and show how mathematics has been used to make new and experimentally verified discoveries in developmental biology and how mathematics is essential for understanding a problem that has puzzled experimentalists for decades-that of how organisms can scale in size. Mathematical analysis alone cannot "solve" these problems since the validation lies at the molecular level, but conversely, a growing number of questions in biology cannot be solved without mathematical analysis and modeling. Herein, we discuss a few examples of the productive intercourse between mathematics and biology. PMID:25280665

  7. Developmental Biology of Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Three Cucurbitaceous Hosts at Different Temperature Regimes.

    PubMed

    Mkiga, A M; Mwatawala, M W

    2015-01-01

    Fruit flies are key pests of cucurbits in many parts of the world, including Tanzania. Developmental biology of Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) has been determined across temperature regimes in some cucurbitaceous hosts, in limited geographies. This study was conducted to determine duration and survival rates of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae in three cucurbitaceous hosts, at different temperature regimes. It was hypothesized that temperature and cucurbitaceous hosts influence duration and survival of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae. We conducted experiments in the environmental chamber set at 75 ± 10% RH and a photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h, at temperatures of 20, 25, and 30°. Our results showed that duration and survival of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae differed significantly among the temperature regimes but not among the hosts. Egg incubation period as well as larval and pupal stages were significantly longer (P < 0.0001) at low temperature in all three hosts Likewise, survival rate of all immature stages were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) at higher than lower temperatures. The three hosts, cucumber (Cucumis sativus), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai), and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) did not significantly affect duration or survival rates of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae. The low developmental thresholds were estimated at 15.88, 13.44, and 12.62 for egg, larva and pupa, respectively. These results further confirm that Z. cucurbitae is well adapted to warm climate, which dominates many areas of Tanzania. PMID:26589874

  8. Developmental Biology of Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Three Cucurbitaceous Hosts at Different Temperature Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Mkiga, A. M.; Mwatawala, M. W

    2015-01-01

    Fruit flies are key pests of cucurbits in many parts of the world, including Tanzania. Developmental biology of Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) has been determined across temperature regimes in some cucurbitaceous hosts, in limited geographies. This study was conducted to determine duration and survival rates of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae in three cucurbitaceous hosts, at different temperature regimes. It was hypothesized that temperature and cucurbitaceous hosts influence duration and survival of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae. We conducted experiments in the environmental chamber set at 75 ± 10% RH and a photoperiod of 12:12 (L:D) h, at temperatures of 20, 25, and 30°. Our results showed that duration and survival of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae differed significantly among the temperature regimes but not among the hosts. Egg incubation period as well as larval and pupal stages were significantly longer (P < 0.0001) at low temperature in all three hosts Likewise, survival rate of all immature stages were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) at higher than lower temperatures. The three hosts, cucumber (Cucumis sativus), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai), and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) did not significantly affect duration or survival rates of immature stages of Z. cucurbitae. The low developmental thresholds were estimated at 15.88, 13.44, and 12.62 for egg, larva and pupa, respectively. These results further confirm that Z. cucurbitae is well adapted to warm climate, which dominates many areas of Tanzania. PMID:26589874

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmquist, R.; Jukes, T. H.

    1981-01-01

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

  10. Gradual versus punctuated equilibrium evolution in the Turkana Basin molluscs: evolutionary events or biological invasions?

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Bert; Damme, Dirk Van; Feibel, Craig S

    2008-03-01

    A running controversy in evolutionary thought was Eldredge and Gould's punctuated equilibrium model, which proposes long periods of morphological stasis interspersed with rapid bursts of dramatic evolutionary change. One of the earliest and most iconic pieces of research in support of punctuated equilibrium is the work of Williamson on the Plio-Pleistocene molluscs of the Turkana Basin. Williamson claimed to have found firm evidence for three episodes of rapid evolutionary change separated by long periods of stasis in a high-resolution sequence. Most of the discussions following this report centered on the topics of (eco)phenotype versus genotype and the possible presence of preservational and temporal artifacts. The debate proved inconclusive, leaving Williamson's reports as one of the empirical foundations of the paradigm of punctuated equilibrium. Here we conclusively show Williamson's original interpretations to be highly flawed. The supposed rapid bursts of punctuated evolutionary change represent artifacts resulting from the invasion of extrabasinal faunal elements in the Turkana palaeolakes during wet phases well known from elsewhere in Africa. PMID:17999724

  11. Evolution in Health and Disease: The Role of Evolutionary Biology in the Medical Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Downie, J. R.

    2004-01-01

    Recent work has emphasised the relevance of evolutionary processes to medical thinking and practice. However, medical curricular revisions, in reducing basic science content, have often excluded evolution. This study establishes the extent of inclusion of evolution in UK medical courses, reports on the level of medical student rejection of…

  12. DARWIN'S NECESSARY MISFIT AND THE SLOSHING BUCKET: THE EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY OF EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evolutionary studies suggest that the potential for rapid emergence of novel host-parasite associations appears to be a “built-in feature” of the complex phenomenon that is Darwinian evolution. The current Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) crisis is thus a new manifestation of an old and repeating p...

  13. My Brother's Keeper: A Case Study in Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Kari E.

    2004-01-01

    In this interrupted case, students read about the alarm-calling behavior of a certain type of ground squirrel and then work in groups to develop hypotheses to explain the behavior and describe data that might be used to test their hypotheses. Students are then given real data and asked to interpret the evolutionary relevance of the results.…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the ‘extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism–environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. PMID:26246559

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-22

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the 'extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism-environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology.

  16. Gal4 Driver Transgenic Zebrafish: Powerful Tools to Study Developmental Biology, Organogenesis, and Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, K; Asakawa, K; Hibi, M; Itoh, M; Muto, A; Wada, H

    2016-01-01

    Targeted expression by the Gal4-UAS system is a powerful genetic method to analyze the functions of genes and cells in vivo. Although the Gal4-UAS system has been extensively used in genetic studies in Drosophila, it had not been applied to genetic studies in vertebrates until the mid-2000s. This was mainly due to the lack of an efficient transgenesis tool in model vertebrates, such as the P-transposable element of Drosophila, that can create hundreds or thousands of transgene insertions in different loci on the genome and thereby enables the generation of transgenic lines expressing Gal4 in various tissues and cells via enhancer trapping. This situation was revolutionized when a highly efficient transgenesis method using the Tol2 transposable element was developed in the model vertebrate zebrafish. By using the Tol2 transposon system, we and other labs successfully performed gene trap and enhancer trap screens in combination with the Gal4-UAS system. To date, numerous transgenic fish lines that express engineered versions of Gal4 in specific cells, organs, and tissues have been generated and used for various aspects of biological studies. By constructing transgenic fish lines harboring genes of interest downstream of UAS, the Gal4-expressing cells and tissues in those transgenic fish have been visualized and manipulated via the Gal4-UAS system. In this review, we describe how the Gal4-UAS system works in zebrafish and how transgenic zebrafish that express Gal4 in specific cells, tissues, and organs have been used for the study of developmental biology, organogenesis, and neuroscience.

  17. Gal4 Driver Transgenic Zebrafish: Powerful Tools to Study Developmental Biology, Organogenesis, and Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, K; Asakawa, K; Hibi, M; Itoh, M; Muto, A; Wada, H

    2016-01-01

    Targeted expression by the Gal4-UAS system is a powerful genetic method to analyze the functions of genes and cells in vivo. Although the Gal4-UAS system has been extensively used in genetic studies in Drosophila, it had not been applied to genetic studies in vertebrates until the mid-2000s. This was mainly due to the lack of an efficient transgenesis tool in model vertebrates, such as the P-transposable element of Drosophila, that can create hundreds or thousands of transgene insertions in different loci on the genome and thereby enables the generation of transgenic lines expressing Gal4 in various tissues and cells via enhancer trapping. This situation was revolutionized when a highly efficient transgenesis method using the Tol2 transposable element was developed in the model vertebrate zebrafish. By using the Tol2 transposon system, we and other labs successfully performed gene trap and enhancer trap screens in combination with the Gal4-UAS system. To date, numerous transgenic fish lines that express engineered versions of Gal4 in specific cells, organs, and tissues have been generated and used for various aspects of biological studies. By constructing transgenic fish lines harboring genes of interest downstream of UAS, the Gal4-expressing cells and tissues in those transgenic fish have been visualized and manipulated via the Gal4-UAS system. In this review, we describe how the Gal4-UAS system works in zebrafish and how transgenic zebrafish that express Gal4 in specific cells, tissues, and organs have been used for the study of developmental biology, organogenesis, and neuroscience. PMID:27503354

  18. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K.; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C.; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J.; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  19. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

    PubMed

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  20. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

    PubMed

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr.

  1. Evolutionary innovation in the vertebrate jaw: A derived morphology in anuran tadpoles and its possible developmental origin.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Mats E; Haas, Alexander

    2005-05-01

    The mouthparts of anuran tadpoles are highly derived compared to those of caecilians or salamanders. The suprarostral cartilages support the tadpole's upper beak; the infrarostral cartilages support the lower beak. Both supra- and infrarostral cartilages are absent in other vertebrates. These differences reflect the evolutionary origin of a derived feeding mode in anuran tadpoles. We suggest that these unique cartilages stem from the evolution of new articulations within preexisting cartilages, rather than novel cartilage condensations. We propose testing this hypothesis through a search for similarities in the development of the suprarostral and infrarostral cartilage articulations and of the primary jaw joint. In Xenopus, the gene zax is expressed in a region corresponding to the infrarostral cartilage. This gene is related to the bapx1-gene, which regulates jaw joint development. Further investigation of these genes, as well as other genes with joint-related functions, in anuran craniofacial development may provide a connection between the morphological diversity seen in the vertebrate head and the corresponding diversity in genetic regulatory processes. We believe that the evolution of larval jaws in anurans may shed light on the general evolutionary mechanisms of how new articulations, not only in the jaw region, could have arisen in the vertebrate skull.

  2. Evolutionary innovation in the vertebrate jaw: A derived morphology in anuran tadpoles and its possible developmental origin.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Mats E; Haas, Alexander

    2005-05-01

    The mouthparts of anuran tadpoles are highly derived compared to those of caecilians or salamanders. The suprarostral cartilages support the tadpole's upper beak; the infrarostral cartilages support the lower beak. Both supra- and infrarostral cartilages are absent in other vertebrates. These differences reflect the evolutionary origin of a derived feeding mode in anuran tadpoles. We suggest that these unique cartilages stem from the evolution of new articulations within preexisting cartilages, rather than novel cartilage condensations. We propose testing this hypothesis through a search for similarities in the development of the suprarostral and infrarostral cartilage articulations and of the primary jaw joint. In Xenopus, the gene zax is expressed in a region corresponding to the infrarostral cartilage. This gene is related to the bapx1-gene, which regulates jaw joint development. Further investigation of these genes, as well as other genes with joint-related functions, in anuran craniofacial development may provide a connection between the morphological diversity seen in the vertebrate head and the corresponding diversity in genetic regulatory processes. We believe that the evolution of larval jaws in anurans may shed light on the general evolutionary mechanisms of how new articulations, not only in the jaw region, could have arisen in the vertebrate skull. PMID:15832380

  3. Fighting microbial drug resistance: a primer on the role of evolutionary biology in public health

    PubMed Central

    Perron, Gabriel G; Inglis, R Fredrik; Pennings, Pleuni S; Cobey, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Although microbes have been evolving resistance to antimicrobials for millennia, the spread of resistance in pathogen populations calls for the development of new drugs and treatment strategies. We propose that successful, long-term resistance management requires a better understanding of how resistance evolves in the first place. This is an opportunity for evolutionary biologists to engage in public health, a collaboration that has substantial precedent. Resistance evolution has been an important tool for developing and testing evolutionary theory, especially theory related to the genetic basis of new traits and constraints on adaptation. The present era is no exception. The articles in this issue highlight the breadth of current research on resistance evolution and also its challenges. In this introduction, we review the conceptual advances that have been achieved from studying resistance evolution and describe a path forward. PMID:25861380

  4. Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders

    PubMed Central

    Parker, William; Ollerton, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Industrialized society currently faces a wide range of non-infectious, immune-related pandemics. These pandemics include a variety of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases that are often associated with common environmental triggers and with genetic predisposition, but that do not occur in developing societies. In this review, we briefly present the idea that these pandemics are due to a limited number of evolutionary mismatches, the most damaging being ‘biome depletion’. This particular mismatch involves the loss of species from the ecosystem of the human body, the human biome, many of which have traditionally been classified as parasites, although some may actually be commensal or even mutualistic. This view, evolved from the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, encompasses a broad ecological and evolutionary perspective that considers host-symbiont relations as plastic, changing through ecological space and evolutionary time. Fortunately, this perspective provides a blueprint, termed ‘biome reconstitution’, for disease treatment and especially for disease prevention. Biome reconstitution includes the controlled and population-wide reintroduction (i.e. domestication) of selected species that have been all but eradicated from the human biome in industrialized society and holds great promise for the elimination of pandemics of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. PMID:24481190

  5. The Predictive Power of Evolutionary Biology and the Discovery of Eusociality in the Naked Mole-Rat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braude, Stanton

    1997-01-01

    Discusses how biologists use evolutionary theory and provides examples of how evolutionary biologists test hypotheses on specific modes of selection and evolution. Presents an example of the successful predictive power of one evolutionary hypothesis. Contains 38 references. (DDR)

  6. Beetle horns and horned beetles: emerging models in developmental evolution and ecology.

    PubMed

    Kijimoto, Teiya; Pespeni, Melissa; Beckers, Oliver; Moczek, Armin P

    2013-01-01

    Many important questions in developmental biology increasingly interface with related questions in other biological disciplines such as evolutionary biology and ecology. In this article, we review and summarize recent progress in the development of horned beetles and beetle horns as study systems amenable to the integration of a wide range of approaches, from gene function analysis in the laboratory to population ecological and behavioral studies in the field. Specifically, we focus on three key questions at the current interface of developmental biology, evolutionary biology and ecology: (1) the developmental mechanisms underlying the origin and diversification of novel, complex traits, (2) the relationship between phenotypic diversification and the diversification of genes and transcriptomes, and (3) the role of behavior as a leader or follower in developmental evolution. For each question we discuss how work on horned beetles is contributing to our current understanding of key issues, as well as highlight challenges and opportunities for future studies.

  7. "Evo in the News:" Understanding Evolution and Students' Attitudes toward the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the "Evo in the News" section of the "Understanding Evolution" website on students' attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students' attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were…

  8. Phylogenetic and Biological Significance of Evolutionary Elements from Metazoan Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Jianbo; Zhu, Qingming; Liu, Bin

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary history of living species is usually inferred through the phylogenetic analysis of molecular and morphological information using various mathematical models. New challenges in phylogenetic analysis are centered mostly on the search for accurate and efficient methods to handle the huge amounts of sequence data generated from newer genome sequencing. The next major challenge is the determination of relationships between the evolution of structural elements and their functional implementation, which is largely ignored in previous analyses. Here, we described the discovery of structural elements in metazoan mitochondrial genomes, termed key K-strings, that can serve as a basis for phylogenetic tree construction. Although comprising only a small fraction (0.73%) of all K-strings, these key K-strings are pivotal to the tree construction because they allow for a significant reduction in the computational time required to construct phylogenetic trees, and more importantly, they make significant improvement to the results of phylogenetic inference. The trees constructed from the key K-strings were consistent overall to our current view of metazoan phylogeny and exhibited a more rational topology than the trees constructed by using other conventional methods. Surprisingly, the key K-strings tended to accumulate in the conserved regions of the original sequences, which were most likely due to strong selection pressure. Furthermore, the special structural features of the key K-strings should have some potential applications in the study of the structures and functions relationship of proteins and in the determination of evolutionary trajectory of species. The novelty and potential importance of key K-strings lead us to believe that they are essential evolutionary elements. As such, they may play important roles in the process of species evolution and their physical existence. Further studies could lead to discoveries regarding the relationship between

  9. Exploring Pandora's Box: Potential and Pitfalls of Low Coverage Genome Surveys for Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Leese, Florian; Mayer, Christoph; Agrawal, Shobhit; Dambach, Johannes; Dietz, Lars; Doemel, Jana S.; Goodall-Copstake, William P.; Held, Christoph; Jackson, Jennifer A.; Lampert, Kathrin P.; Linse, Katrin; Macher, Jan N.; Nolzen, Jennifer; Raupach, Michael J.; Rivera, Nicole T.; Schubart, Christoph D.; Striewski, Sebastian; Tollrian, Ralph; Sands, Chester J.

    2012-01-01

    High throughput sequencing technologies are revolutionizing genetic research. With this “rise of the machines”, genomic sequences can be obtained even for unknown genomes within a short time and for reasonable costs. This has enabled evolutionary biologists studying genetically unexplored species to identify molecular markers or genomic regions of interest (e.g. micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial and nuclear genes) by sequencing only a fraction of the genome. However, when using such datasets from non-model species, it is possible that DNA from non-target contaminant species such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other eukaryotic organisms may complicate the interpretation of the results. In this study we analysed 14 genomic pyrosequencing libraries of aquatic non-model taxa from four major evolutionary lineages. We quantified the amount of suitable micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial genomes, known nuclear genes and transposable elements and searched for contamination from various sources using bioinformatic approaches. Our results show that in all sequence libraries with estimated coverage of about 0.02–25%, many appropriate micro- and minisatellites, mitochondrial gene sequences and nuclear genes from different KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways could be identified and characterized. These can serve as markers for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. A central finding of our study is that several genomic libraries suffered from different biases owing to non-target DNA or mobile elements. In particular, viruses, bacteria or eukaryote endosymbionts contributed significantly (up to 10%) to some of the libraries analysed. If not identified as such, genetic markers developed from high-throughput sequencing data for non-model organisms may bias evolutionary studies or fail completely in experimental tests. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the enormous potential of low-coverage genome survey sequences and suggests

  10. Evolutionary and preservational constraints on origins of biologic groups: divergence times of eutherian mammals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foote, M.; Hunter, J. P.; Janis, C. M.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr

    1999-01-01

    Some molecular clock estimates of divergence times of taxonomic groups undergoing evolutionary radiation are much older than the groups' first observed fossil record. Mathematical models of branching evolution are used to estimate the maximal rate of fossil preservation consistent with a postulated missing history, given the sum of species durations implied by early origins under a range of species origination and extinction rates. The plausibility of postulated divergence times depends on origination, extinction, and preservation rates estimated from the fossil record. For eutherian mammals, this approach suggests that it is unlikely that many modern orders arose much earlier than their oldest fossil records.

  11. In the Beginning Was the Familiar Voice Personally Familiar Voices in the Evolutionary and Contemporary Biology of Communication

    PubMed Central

    Sidtis, Diana; Kreiman, Jody

    2011-01-01

    The human voice is described in dialogic linguistics as an embodiment of self in a social context, contributing to expression, perception and mutual exchange of self, consciousness, inner life, and personhood. While these approaches are subjective and arise from phenomenological perspectives, scientific facts about personal vocal identity, and its role in biological development, support these views. It is our purpose to review studies of the biology of personal vocal identity -- the familiar voice pattern-- as providing an empirical foundation for the view that the human voice is an embodiment of self in the social context. Recent developments in the biology and evolution of communication are concordant with these notions, revealing that familiar voice recognition (also known as vocal identity recognition or individual vocal recognition) or contributed to survival in the earliest vocalizing species. Contemporary ethology documents the crucial role of familiar voices across animal species in signaling and perceiving internal states and personal identities. Neuropsychological studies of voice reveal multimodal cerebral associations arising across brain structures involved in memory, emotion, attention, and arousal in vocal perception and production, such that the voice represents the whole person. Although its roots are in evolutionary biology, human competence for processing layered social and personal meanings in the voice, as well as personal identity in a large repertory of familiar voice patterns, has achieved an immense sophistication. PMID:21710374

  12. Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential

    PubMed Central

    Stearns, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    This review is aimed at readers seeking an introductory overview, teaching courses and interested in visionary ideas. It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, host–pathogen interactions and insights from comparisons with other species. It then discusses priorities for translational research, basic research and health management. Its conclusions are that evolutionary thinking should not displace other approaches to medical science, such as molecular medicine and cell and developmental biology, but that evolutionary insights can combine with and complement established approaches to reduce suffering and save lives. Because we are on the cusp of so much new research and innovative insights, it is hard to estimate how much impact evolutionary thinking will have on medicine, but it is already clear that its potential is enormous. PMID:22933370

  13. Quantitative complete tooth variation among east Asians and Native Americans: developmental biology as a tool for the assessment of human divergence.

    PubMed

    Shields, E D

    1996-01-01

    The quantification of total tooth structure derived from X-rays of Vietnamese, Southern Chinese, Mongolians, Western Eskimos, and Peruvian pre-Inca (Huari Empire) populations was used to examine dental divergence and the morphogenetics of change. Multivariate derived distances between the samples helped identify a quasicontinuous web of ethnic groups with two binary clusters ensconced within the web. One cluster was composed of Mongolians, Western Eskimos, and pre-Inca, and the other group consisted of the Southern Chinese and Vietnamese. Mongolians entered the quasicontinuum from a divergent angle (externally influenced) from that of the Southeast Asians. The Chinese and pre-Inca formed the polar samples of the distance superstructure. The pre-Inca sample was the most isolated, its closest neighbor being the Western Eskimos. Univariate and multivariate analyses suggested that the pre-Inca, whose ancestors arrived in America perhaps approximately 30,000 years ago, was the least derived sample. Clearly, microevolutionary change occurred among the samples, but the dental phenotype was resistant to environmental developmental perturbations. An assessment of dental divergence and developmental biology suggested that the overall dental phenotype is a complex multigenic morphological character, and that the observed variation evolved through total genomic drift. The quantified dental phenotype is greater than its highly multigenic algorithm and its development homeostasis is tightly controlled, or canalized, by the deterministic organization of a complex nonlinear epigenetic milieu. The overall dental phenotype quantified here was selectively neutral and a good character to help reconstruct the sequence of human evolution, but if the outlying homeostatic threshold was or will be exceeded in antecedents and descendants, respectively, evolutionary saltation occurs.

  14. Is salamander limb regeneration really perfect? Anatomical and morphogenetic analysis of forelimb muscle regeneration in GFP-transgenic axolotls as a basis for regenerative, developmental, and evolutionary studies.

    PubMed

    Diogo, R; Nacu, E; Tanaka, E M

    2014-06-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most commonly used model organisms in developmental and regenerative studies because it can reconstitute what is believed to be a completely normal anatomical and functional forelimb/hindlimb after amputation. However, to date it has not been confirmed whether each regenerated forelimb muscle is really a "perfect" copy of the original muscle. This study describes the regeneration of the arm, forearm, hand, and some pectoral muscles (e.g., coracoradialis) in transgenic axolotls that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. The observations found that: (1) there were muscle anomalies in 43% of the regenerated forelimbs; (2) however, on average in each regenerated forelimb there are anomalies in only 2.5% of the total number of muscles examined, and there were no significant differences observed in the specific insertion and origin of the other muscles analyzed; (3) one of the most notable and common anomalies (seen in 35% of the regenerated forelimbs) was the presence of a fleshy coracoradialis at the level of the arm; this is a particularly outstanding configuration because in axolotls and in urodeles in general this muscle only has a thin tendon at the level of the arm, and the additional fleshy belly in the regenerated arms is strikingly similar to the fleshy biceps brachii of amniotes, suggesting a remarkable parallel between a regeneration defect and a major phenotypic change that occurred during tetrapod limb evolution; (4) during forelimb muscle regeneration there was a clear proximo-distal and radio-ulnar morphogenetic gradient, as seen in normal development, but also a ventro-dorsal gradient in the order of regeneration, which was not previously described in the literature. These results have broader implications for regenerative, evolutionary, developmental and morphogenetic studies. PMID:24692358

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

    This study explored the use of machine learning to automatically evaluate the accuracy of students' written explanations of evolutionary change. Performance of the Summarization Integrated Development Environment (SIDE) program was compared to human expert scoring using a corpus of 2,260 evolutionary explanations written by 565 undergraduate students in response to two different evolution instruments (the EGALT-F and EGALT-P) that contained prompts that differed in various surface features (such as species and traits). We tested human-SIDE scoring correspondence under a series of different training and testing conditions, using Kappa inter-rater agreement values of greater than 0.80 as a performance benchmark. In addition, we examined the effects of response length on scoring success; that is, whether SIDE scoring models functioned with comparable success on short and long responses. We found that SIDE performance was most effective when scoring models were built and tested at the individual item level and that performance degraded when suites of items or entire instruments were used to build and test scoring models. Overall, SIDE was found to be a powerful and cost-effective tool for assessing student knowledge and performance in a complex science domain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. PMID:26668171

  17. Reflections on Behavior Analysis and Evolutionary Biology: A Selective Review of Evolution Since Darwin—The First 150 Years. Edited by M. A. Bell, D. J. Futuyama, W. F. Eanes, & J. S. Levinton

    PubMed Central

    Donahoe, John W

    2012-01-01

    This review focuses on parallels between the selectionist sciences of evolutionary biology and behavior analysis. In selectionism, complex phenomena are interpreted as the cumulative products of relatively simple processes acting over time—natural selection in evolutionary biology and reinforcement in behavior analysis. Because evolutionary biology is the more mature science, an examination of the factors that led to the triumph of natural selection provides clues whereby reinforcement may achieve a similar fate in the science of behavior.

  18. Plant sexual reproduction during climate change: gene function in natura studied by ecological and evolutionary systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Kentaro K.; Kudoh, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Masaki J.

    2011-01-01

    Background It is essential to understand and predict the effects of changing environments on plants. This review focuses on the sexual reproduction of plants, as previous studies have suggested that this trait is particularly vulnerable to climate change, and because a number of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant genes have been identified. Scope It is proposed that studying gene functions in naturally fluctuating conditions, or gene functions in natura, is important to predict responses to changing environments. First, we discuss flowering time, an extensively studied example of phenotypic plasticity. The quantitative approaches of ecological and evolutionary systems biology have been used to analyse the expression of a key flowering gene, FLC, of Arabidopsis halleri in naturally fluctuating environments. Modelling showed that FLC acts as a quantitative tracer of the temperature over the preceding 6 weeks. The predictions of this model were verified experimentally, confirming its applicability to future climate changes. Second, the evolution of self-compatibility as exemplifying an evolutionary response is discussed. Evolutionary genomic and functional analyses have indicated that A. thaliana became self-compatible via a loss-of-function mutation in the male specificity gene, SCR/SP11. Self-compatibility evolved during glacial–interglacial cycles, suggesting its association with mate limitation during migration. Although the evolution of self-compatibility may confer short-term advantages, it is predicted to increase the risk of extinction in the long term because loss-of-function mutations are virtually irreversible. Conclusions Recent studies of FLC and SCR have identified gene functions in natura that are unlikely to be found in laboratory experiments. The significance of epigenetic changes and the study of non-model species with next-generation DNA sequencers is also discussed. PMID:21852275

  19. Link between insulin resistance and hypertension: What is the evidence from evolutionary biology?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Insulin resistance and hypertension are considered as prototypical “diseases of civilization” that are manifested in the modern environment as plentiful food and sedentary life. The human propensity for insulin resistance and hypertension is a product, at least in part, of our evolutionary history. Adaptation to ancient lifestyle characterized by a low sodium, low-calorie food supply and physical stress to injury response has driven our evolution to shape and preserve a thrifty genotype, which is favorite with energy-saving and sodium conservation. As our civilization evolved, a sedentary lifestyle and sodium- and energy-rich diet, the thrifty genotype is no longer advantageous, and may be maladaptive to disease phenotype, such as hypertension, obesity and insulin resistance syndrome. This article reviews human evolution and the impact of the modern environment on hypertension and insulin resistance. PMID:24485020

  20. Evolutionary connections of biological kingdoms based on protein and nucleic acid sequence evidence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.

    1983-01-01

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic evolutionary trees are developed from protein and nucleic-acid sequences by the methods of numerical taxonomy. Trees are presented for bacterial ferredoxins, 5S ribosomal RNA, c-type cytochromes , cytochromes c2 and c', and 5.8S ribosomal RNA; the implications for early evolution are discussed; and a composite tree showing the branching of the anaerobes, aerobes, archaebacteria, and eukaryotes is shown. Single lines are found for all oxygen-evolving photosynthetic forms and for the salt-loving and high-temperature forms of archaebacteria. It is argued that the eukaryote mitochondria, chloroplasts, and cytoplasmic host material are descended from free-living prokaryotes that formed symbiotic associations, with more than one symbiotic event involved in the evolution of each organelle.

  1. Testing evolutionary hypotheses about human biological adaptation using cross-cultural comparison.

    PubMed

    Mace, Ruth; Jordan, Fiona; Holden, Clare

    2003-09-01

    Physiological data from a range of human populations living in different environments can provide valuable information for testing evolutionary hypotheses about human adaptation. By taking into account the effects of population history, phylogenetic comparative methods can help us determine whether variation results from selection due to particular environmental variables. These selective forces could even be due to cultural traits-which means that gene-culture co-evolution may be occurring. In this paper, we outline two examples of the use of these approaches to test adaptive hypotheses that explain global variation in two physiological traits: the first is lactose digestion capacity in adults, and the second is population sex-ratio at birth. We show that lower than average sex ratio at birth is associated with high fertility, and argue that global variation in sex ratio at birth has evolved as a response to the high physiological costs of producing boys in high fertility populations. PMID:14527632

  2. The evolution of ERMIONE in mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid homeostasis: An evolutionary view from comparative cell biology.

    PubMed

    Wideman, Jeremy G; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A

    2016-08-01

    The ER-mitochondria organizing network (ERMIONE) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is involved in maintaining mitochondrial morphology and lipid homeostasis. ERMES and MICOS are two scaffolding complexes of ERMIONE that contribute to these processes. ERMES is ancient but has been lost in several lineages including animals, plants, and SAR (stramenopiles, alveolates and rhizaria). On the other hand, MICOS is ancient and has remained present in all organisms bearing mitochondrial cristae. The ERMIONE precursor evolved in the α-proteobacterial ancestor of mitochondria which had the central subunit of MICOS, Mic60. The subsequent evolution of ERMIONE and its interactors in eukaryotes reflects the integrative co-evolution of mitochondria and their hosts and the adaptive paths that some lineages have followed in their specialization to certain environments. By approaching the ERMIONE from a perspective of comparative evolutionary cell biology, we hope to shed light on not only its evolutionary history, but also how ERMIONE components may function in organisms other than S. cerevisiae. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The cellular lipid landscape edited by Tim P. Levine and Anant K. Menon.

  3. Linking Automated Data Analysis and Visualization with Applications in Developmental Biology and High-Energy Physics

    SciTech Connect

    Ruebel, Oliver

    2009-11-20

    Knowledge discovery from large and complex collections of today's scientific datasets is a challenging task. With the ability to measure and simulate more processes at increasingly finer spatial and temporal scales, the increasing number of data dimensions and data objects is presenting tremendous challenges for data analysis and effective data exploration methods and tools. Researchers are overwhelmed with data and standard tools are often insufficient to enable effective data analysis and knowledge discovery. The main objective of this thesis is to provide important new capabilities to accelerate scientific knowledge discovery form large, complex, and multivariate scientific data. The research covered in this thesis addresses these scientific challenges using a combination of scientific visualization, information visualization, automated data analysis, and other enabling technologies, such as efficient data management. The effectiveness of the proposed analysis methods is demonstrated via applications in two distinct scientific research fields, namely developmental biology and high-energy physics.Advances in microscopy, image analysis, and embryo registration enable for the first time measurement of gene expression at cellular resolution for entire organisms. Analysis of high-dimensional spatial gene expression datasets is a challenging task. By integrating data clustering and visualization, analysis of complex, time-varying, spatial gene expression patterns and their formation becomes possible. The analysis framework MATLAB and the visualization have been integrated, making advanced analysis tools accessible to biologist and enabling bioinformatic researchers to directly integrate their analysis with the visualization. Laser wakefield particle accelerators (LWFAs) promise to be a new compact source of high-energy particles and radiation, with wide applications ranging from medicine to physics. To gain insight into the complex physical processes of particle

  4. Using parallel evolutionary development for a biologically-inspired computer vision system for mobile robots.

    PubMed

    Wright, Cameron H G; Barrett, Steven F; Pack, Daniel J

    2005-01-01

    We describe a new approach to attacking the problem of robust computer vision for mobile robots. The overall strategy is to mimic the biological evolution of animal vision systems. Our basic imaging sensor is based upon the eye of the common house fly, Musca domestica. The computational algorithms are a mix of traditional image processing, subspace techniques, and multilayer neural networks.

  5. Metaphor, Ambiguity, and Motive in Evolutionary Biology: W. D. Hamilton and the "Gene's Point of View"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journet, Debra

    2005-01-01

    This article analyzes the power of ambiguous metaphors to present scientific novelty. Its focus is a series of papers by the prominent population biologist W. D. Hamilton in which he redefined the meaning of biological altruism. In particular, the article draws on Kenneth Burke's dramatistic pentad to examine why suggestions of motive are so…

  6. Child Development and Evolutionary Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjorklund, David F.; Pellegrini, Anthony D.

    2000-01-01

    Argues that an evolutionary account provides insight into developmental function and individual differences. Outlines some assumptions of evolutionary psychology related to development. Introduces the developmental systems approach, differential influence of natural selection at different points in ontogeny, and development of evolved…

  7. Evolutionary principles and synthetic biology: avoiding a molecular tragedy of the commons with an engineered phage

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In prior work, adding a gene to phage T7 that degraded the host K1 capsule facilitated growth when plated on capsulated hosts. However, the transgenic protein (an endosialidase) is expressed as an exoenzyme, released from the cell at lysis but unattached to the phage particle. There is thus the possibility that the gene will be subject to a tragedy of the commons and be selected against, if the enzyme benefits other genomes. Results This evolutionary perspective was supported in short term experiments. The genome carrying the endosialidase gene was favored on a capsulated host if grown in physical isolation of control genomes (lacking the gene) but was selected against otherwise. Conclusions These results challenge efforts to engineer phages with exoenzymes that degrade biofilm polymers. If biofilms do not facilitate spatially structured phage growth, the transgenic enzymes may be rapidly eliminated from the phage population after release in the environment, even if the transgene benefits overall phage growth on the biofilm. PMID:22947166

  8. [The effect of betain on biology and morphology of developmental stages of Eimeria acervulina in broiler chicks experimentally infected].

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Marcel; Niang, Tania Marcia S; Gomes, Augusto V da C; Lopes, Carlos Wilson G

    2006-01-01

    Purposing to investigate the betaine effect on biology and morphology of developmental stages of Eimeria acervulina, 420 broiler chicks Cobb were experimentally inoculated with 2 x 10(5) sporulated oocysts and housed in battery cages in a block design with five treatments and six replicates each, including a positive control, a group treated with salinomycin and growth promoter plus three levels of betaine as additive in the feed at 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15%. Measurements of oocysts, sporocysts and endogenous stages were performed as morphological parameters, while pre patent and patent periods and sporulation time were taken as biological parameters. Morphology was also associated with the mathematical constant Phi (1.618) to evaluate possible relationship. Betaine was able to cause modifications in both biology and morphology of oocysts and sporocysts, whereas it was weakly able to affect developmental stages based on trophozoites and macrogamonts measurements. According to the measures of sporocysts E. acervulina development was closely related to Phi. PMID:17196124

  9. Molecular Biology of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Progression: Aberrant Activation of Developmental Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Rhim, Andrew D.; Stanger, Ben Z.

    2011-01-01

    Embryonic development marks a period of peak tissue growth and morphogenesis in the mammalian lifecycle. Many of the pathways that underlie cell proliferation and movement are relatively quiescent in adult animals but become reactivated during carcinogenesis. This phenomenon has been particularly well documented in pancreatic cancer, where detailed genetic studies and a robust mouse model have permitted investigators to test the role of various developmental signals in cancer progression. In this chapter, we review current knowledge regarding the signaling pathways that act during pancreatic development and the evidence that the reactivation of developmentally important signals is critical for the pathogenesis of this treatment-refractory malignancy. PMID:21074729

  10. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  11. Multi-objective evolutionary optimization of biological pest control with impulsive dynamics in soybean crops.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Rodrigo T N; da Cruz, André R; Wanner, Elizabeth F; Takahashi, Ricardo H C

    2009-08-01

    The biological pest control in agriculture, an environment-friendly practice, maintains the density of pests below an economic injury level by releasing a suitable quantity of their natural enemies. This work proposes a multi-objective numerical solution to biological pest control for soybean crops, considering both the cost of application of the control action and the cost of economic damages. The system model is nonlinear with impulsive control dynamics, in order to cope more effectively with the actual control action to be applied, which should be performed in a finite number of discrete time instants. The dynamic optimization problem is solved using the NSGA-II, a fast and trustworthy multi-objective genetic algorithm. The results suggest a dual pest control policy, in which the relative price of control action versus the associated additional harvest yield determines the usage of either a low control action strategy or a higher one.

  12. A biological basis for the Oedipus complex: an evolutionary and ethological approach.

    PubMed

    Jonas, A D; Jonas, D F

    1975-06-01

    The authors propose that the Oedipus complex has a strong biological basis that is evident in observations of human prehistoric and nonhuman primate behavior. The groundwork for the oedipal phase is the peaking of human infantile sexuality at age five or six-a vestige of an earlier biological timetable. Other contributing factors include the high level of helplessness of human infants, the resulting high attachment needs, and the prolongation of development phases. Unsuccessful resolution of the oedipal phase may result when the mother's dominant status is lowered. The authors suggest that an understanding of the relationship between sex and rank and an wareness of ethological findings can broaden psychodynamic formulations and enrich the psychoanalytic therapy of sexual problems. PMID:804819

  13. Developmental constraints versus flexibility in morphological evolution.

    PubMed

    Beldade, Patricia; Koops, Kees; Brakefield, Paul M

    2002-04-25

    Evolutionary developmental biology has encouraged a change of research emphasis from the sorting of phenotypic variation by natural selection to the production of that variation through development. Some morphologies are more readily generated than others, and developmental mechanisms can limit or channel evolutionary change. Such biases determine how readily populations are able to respond to selection, and have been postulated to explain stasis in morphological evolution and unexplored morphologies. There has been much discussion about evolutionary constraints but empirical data testing them directly are sparse. The spectacular diversity in butterfly wing patterns is suggestive of how little constrained morphological evolution can be. However, for wing patterns involving serial repeats of the same element, developmental properties suggest that some directions of evolutionary change might be restricted. Here we show that despite the developmental coupling between different eyespots in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, there is great potential for independent changes. This flexibility is consistent with the diversity of wing patterns across species and argues for a dominant role of natural selection, rather than internal constraints, in shaping existing variation. PMID:11976682

  14. Developmental constraints versus flexibility in morphological evolution.

    PubMed

    Beldade, Patricia; Koops, Kees; Brakefield, Paul M

    2002-04-25

    Evolutionary developmental biology has encouraged a change of research emphasis from the sorting of phenotypic variation by natural selection to the production of that variation through development. Some morphologies are more readily generated than others, and developmental mechanisms can limit or channel evolutionary change. Such biases determine how readily populations are able to respond to selection, and have been postulated to explain stasis in morphological evolution and unexplored morphologies. There has been much discussion about evolutionary constraints but empirical data testing them directly are sparse. The spectacular diversity in butterfly wing patterns is suggestive of how little constrained morphological evolution can be. However, for wing patterns involving serial repeats of the same element, developmental properties suggest that some directions of evolutionary change might be restricted. Here we show that despite the developmental coupling between different eyespots in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, there is great potential for independent changes. This flexibility is consistent with the diversity of wing patterns across species and argues for a dominant role of natural selection, rather than internal constraints, in shaping existing variation.

  15. Comparing Activity Patterns, Biological, and Family Factors in Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beutum, Monique Natalie; Cordier, Reinie; Bundy, Anita

    2013-01-01

    The association between motor proficiency and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) suggests children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) may be susceptible to inactivity-related conditions such as cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to compare children with and without DCD on physical activity patterns, activity…

  16. Maternal and fetal toxicity in developmental toxicology bioassays: Weight changes and their biological significance

    EPA Science Inventory

    Standard developmental toxicology bioassays are designed to identify agents with the potential to induce adverse effects in the embryo/fetus. Guidelines call for the inclusion of a dose level(s) that induces “overt maternal toxicity.” The possibility that general maternal toxicit...

  17. Beyond fossil calibrations: realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Hipsley, Christy A.; Müller, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each). Vertebrate taxa were subjects in nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each). Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected in methodological evaluations. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of

  18. Beyond fossil calibrations: realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each). Vertebrate taxa were subjects in nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each). Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected in methodological evaluations. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of

  19. Translational systems biology using an agent-based approach for dynamic knowledge representation: An evolutionary paradigm for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    An, Gary C

    2010-01-01

    The greatest challenge facing the biomedical research community is the effective translation of basic mechanistic knowledge into clinically effective therapeutics. This challenge is most evident in attempts to understand and modulate "systems" processes/disorders, such as sepsis, cancer, and wound healing. Formulating an investigatory strategy for these issues requires the recognition that these are dynamic processes. Representation of the dynamic behavior of biological systems can aid in the investigation of complex pathophysiological processes by augmenting existing discovery procedures by integrating disparate information sources and knowledge. This approach is termed Translational Systems Biology. Focusing on the development of computational models capturing the behavior of mechanistic hypotheses provides a tool that bridges gaps in the understanding of a disease process by visualizing "thought experiments" to fill those gaps. Agent-based modeling is a computational method particularly well suited to the translation of mechanistic knowledge into a computational framework. Utilizing agent-based models as a means of dynamic hypothesis representation will be a vital means of describing, communicating, and integrating community-wide knowledge. The transparent representation of hypotheses in this dynamic fashion can form the basis of "knowledge ecologies," where selection between competing hypotheses will apply an evolutionary paradigm to the development of community knowledge.

  20. Interest in Biology: A Developmental Shift Characterized Using Self-Generated Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet; Yarden, Anat

    2007-01-01

    Identifying students' interests in biology can play an important role in improving existing curricula to meet their needs. An analysis of 1,751 self-generated biological questions raised by children, adolescents, and adults yielded data regarding the different age groups' interests in biology. Research limitations and applications for teaching are…

  1. Where Did You Come From? Where Will You Go? Human Evolutionary Biology Education and American Students' Academic Interests and Achievements, Professional Goals, and Socioscientific Decision-Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class…

  2. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    PubMed

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology.

  3. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations

    PubMed Central

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis K.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. PMID:26865642

  4. Extended inclusive fitness theory: synergy and assortment drives the evolutionary dynamics in biology and economics.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    W.D. Hamilton's Inclusive Fitness Theory explains the conditions that favor the emergence and maintenance of social cooperation. Today we know that these include direct and indirect benefits an agent obtains by its actions, and through interactions with kin and with genetically unrelated individuals. That is, in addition to kin-selection, assortation or homophily, and social synergies drive the evolution of cooperation. An Extended Inclusive Fitness Theory (EIFT) synthesizes the natural selection forces acting on biological evolution and on human economic interactions by assuming that natural selection driven by inclusive fitness produces agents with utility functions that exploit assortation and synergistic opportunities. This formulation allows to estimate sustainable cost/benefit threshold ratios of cooperation among organisms and/or economic agents, using existent analytical tools, illuminating our understanding of the dynamic nature of society, the evolution of cooperation among kin and non-kin, inter-specific cooperation, co-evolution, symbioses, division of labor and social synergies. EIFT helps to promote an interdisciplinary cross fertilization of the understanding of synergy by, for example, allowing to describe the role for division of labor in the emergence of social synergies, providing an integrated framework for the study of both, biological evolution of social behavior and economic market dynamics. Another example is a bio-economic understanding of the motivations of terrorists, which identifies different forms of terrorism.

  5. Extended inclusive fitness theory: synergy and assortment drives the evolutionary dynamics in biology and economics.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    W.D. Hamilton's Inclusive Fitness Theory explains the conditions that favor the emergence and maintenance of social cooperation. Today we know that these include direct and indirect benefits an agent obtains by its actions, and through interactions with kin and with genetically unrelated individuals. That is, in addition to kin-selection, assortation or homophily, and social synergies drive the evolution of cooperation. An Extended Inclusive Fitness Theory (EIFT) synthesizes the natural selection forces acting on biological evolution and on human economic interactions by assuming that natural selection driven by inclusive fitness produces agents with utility functions that exploit assortation and synergistic opportunities. This formulation allows to estimate sustainable cost/benefit threshold ratios of cooperation among organisms and/or economic agents, using existent analytical tools, illuminating our understanding of the dynamic nature of society, the evolution of cooperation among kin and non-kin, inter-specific cooperation, co-evolution, symbioses, division of labor and social synergies. EIFT helps to promote an interdisciplinary cross fertilization of the understanding of synergy by, for example, allowing to describe the role for division of labor in the emergence of social synergies, providing an integrated framework for the study of both, biological evolution of social behavior and economic market dynamics. Another example is a bio-economic understanding of the motivations of terrorists, which identifies different forms of terrorism. PMID:27468393

  6. An integrative and practical evolutionary optimization for a complex, dynamic model of biological networks.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Kazuhiro; Fukano, Yuya; Yamamichi, Shunsuke; Nitta, Daichi; Kurata, Hiroyuki

    2011-05-01

    Computer simulation is an important technique to capture the dynamics of biochemical networks. Numerical optimization is the key to estimate the values of kinetic parameters so that the dynamic model reproduces the behaviors of the existing experimental data. It is required to develop general strategies for the optimization of complex biochemical networks with a huge space of search parameters, under the condition that kinetic and quantitative data are hardly available. We propose an integrative and practical strategy for optimizing a complex dynamic model by using qualitative and incomplete experimental data. The key technologies are the divide and conquer method for reducing the search space, handling of multiple objective functions representing different types of biological behaviors, and design of rule-based objective functions that are suitable for qualitative and error-prone experimental data. This strategy is applied to optimizing a dynamic model of the yeast cell cycle to demonstrate the feasibility of it.

  7. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of termites (Isoptera) illuminates key aspects of their evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Inward, Daegan J G; Vogler, Alfried P; Eggleton, Paul

    2007-09-01

    The first comprehensive combined molecular and morphological phylogenetic analysis of the major groups of termites is presented. This was based on the analysis of three genes (cytochrome oxidase II, 12S and 28S) and worker characters for approximately 250 species of termites. Parsimony analysis of the aligned dataset showed that the monophyly of Hodotermitidae, Kalotermitidae and Termitidae were well supported, while Termopsidae and Rhinotermitidae were both paraphyletic on the estimated cladogram. Within Termitidae, the most diverse and ecologically most important family, the monophyly of Macrotermitinae, Foraminitermitinae, Apicotermitinae, Syntermitinae and Nasutitermitinae were all broadly supported, but Termitinae was paraphyletic. The pantropical genera Termes, Amitermes and Nasutitermes were all paraphyletic on the estimated cladogram, with at least 17 genera nested within Nasutitermes, given the presently accepted generic limits. Key biological features were mapped onto the cladogram. It was not possible to reconstruct the evolution of true workers unambiguously, as it was as parsimonious to assume a basal evolution of true workers and subsequent evolution of pseudergates, as to assume a basal condition of pseudergates and subsequent evolution of true workers. However, true workers were only found in species with either separate- or intermediate-type nests, so that the mapping of nest habit and worker type onto the cladogram were perfectly correlated. Feeding group evolution, however, showed a much more complex pattern, particularly within the Termitidae, where it proved impossible to estimate unambiguously the ancestral state within the family (which is associated with the loss of worker gut flagellates). However, one biologically plausible optimization implies an initial evolution from wood-feeding to fungus-growing, proposed as the ancestral condition within the Termitidae, followed by the very early evolution of soil-feeding and subsequent re

  8. Biological species is the only possible form of existence for higher organisms: the evolutionary meaning of sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Consistent holistic view of sexual species as the highest form of biological existence is presented. The Weismann's idea that sex and recombination provide the variation for the natural selection to act upon is dominated in most discussions of the biological meaning of the sexual reproduction. Here, the idea is substantiated that the main advantage of sex is the opposite: the ability to counteract not only extinction but further evolution as well. Living systems live long owing to their ability to reproduce themselves with a high fidelity. Simple organisms (like bacteria) reach the continued existence due to the high fidelity of individual genome replication. In organisms with a large genome and complex development, the achievable fidelity of DNA replication is not enough for the precise reproduction of the genome. Such species must be capable of surviving and must remain unchanged in spite of the continuous changes of their genes. This problem has no solution in the frame of asexual ("homeogenomic") lineages. They would rapidly degrade and become extinct or blurred out in the course of the reckless evolution. The core outcome of the transition to sexual reproduction was the creation of multiorganismic entity - biological species. Individual organisms forfeited their ability to reproduce autonomously. It implies that individual organisms forfeited their ability to substantive evolution. They evolve as a part of the biological species. In case of obligatory sexuality, there is no such a thing as synchronic multi-level selection. Natural selection cannot select anything that is not a unit of reproduction. Hierarchy in biology implies the functional predestination of the parts for the sake of the whole. A crucial feature of the sexual reproduction is the formation of genomes of individual organisms by random picking them over from the continuously shuffled gene pool instead of the direct replication of the ancestor's genome. A clear anti-evolutionary consequence of

  9. Developmental biology of Streptomyces from the perspective of 100 actinobacterial genome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F

    2014-01-01

    To illuminate the evolution and mechanisms of actinobacterial complexity, we evaluate the distribution and origins of known Streptomyces developmental genes and the developmental significance of actinobacteria-specific genes. As an aid, we developed the Actinoblast database of reciprocal blastp best hits between the Streptomyces coelicolor genome and more than 100 other actinobacterial genomes (http://streptomyces.org.uk/actinoblast/). We suggest that the emergence of morphological complexity was underpinned by special features of early actinobacteria, such as polar growth and the coupled participation of regulatory Wbl proteins and the redox-protecting thiol mycothiol in transducing a transient nitric oxide signal generated during physiologically stressful growth transitions. It seems that some cell growth and division proteins of early actinobacteria have acquired greater importance for sporulation of complex actinobacteria than for mycelial growth, in which septa are infrequent and not associated with complete cell separation. The acquisition of extracellular proteins with structural roles, a highly regulated extracellular protease cascade, and additional regulatory genes allowed early actinobacterial stationary phase processes to be redeployed in the emergence of aerial hyphae from mycelial mats and in the formation of spore chains. These extracellular proteins may have contributed to speciation. Simpler members of morphologically diverse clades have lost some developmental genes. PMID:24164321

  10. Evolutionary Characters, Phenotypes and Ontologies: Curating Data from the Systematic Biology Literature

    PubMed Central

    Dahdul, Wasila M.; Balhoff, James P.; Engeman, Jeffrey; Grande, Terry; Hilton, Eric J.; Kothari, Cartik; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G.; Midford, Peter E.; Vision, Todd J.; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M.

    2010-01-01

    Background The wealth of phenotypic descriptions documented in the published articles, monographs, and dissertations of phylogenetic systematics is traditionally reported in a free-text format, and it is therefore largely inaccessible for linkage to biological databases for genetics, development, and phenotypes, and difficult to manage for large-scale integrative work. The Phenoscape project aims to represent these complex and detailed descriptions with rich and formal semantics that are amenable to computation and integration with phenotype data from other fields of biology. This entails reconceptualizing the traditional free-text characters into the computable Entity-Quality (EQ) formalism using ontologies. Methodology/Principal Findings We used ontologies and the EQ formalism to curate a collection of 47 phylogenetic studies on ostariophysan fishes (including catfishes, characins, minnows, knifefishes) and their relatives with the goal of integrating these complex phenotype descriptions with information from an existing model organism database (zebrafish, http://zfin.org). We developed a curation workflow for the collection of character, taxonomic and specimen data from these publications. A total of 4,617 phenotypic characters (10,512 states) for 3,449 taxa, primarily species, were curated into EQ formalism (for a total of 12,861 EQ statements) using anatomical and taxonomic terms from teleost-specific ontologies (Teleost Anatomy Ontology and Teleost Taxonomy Ontology) in combination with terms from a quality ontology (Phenotype and Trait Ontology). Standards and guidelines for consistently and accurately representing phenotypes were developed in response to the challenges that were evident from two annotation experiments and from feedback from curators. Conclusions/Significance The challenges we encountered and many of the curation standards and methods for improving consistency that we developed are generally applicable to any effort to represent phenotypes

  11. Biasing Opioid Receptors and Cholesterol as a Player in Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Kostic, Milka

    2016-09-22

    Every month the editors of Cell Chemical Biology bring you highlights of the most recent chemical biology literature. Our September 2016 selection includes the discovery of PZM21, a μOR biased agonist with minimal side effects, and the role of cholesterol in Hedgehog signaling pathway. PMID:27662248

  12. Wingless signaling in a large insect, the blowfly Lucilia sericata: a beautiful example of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Mellenthin, Katja; Fahmy, Khalid; Ali, Reda A; Hunding, Axel; Da Rocha, Sol; Baumgartner, Stefan

    2006-02-01

    Blowflies are the primary facultative agent in causing myiasis of domestic sheep in the whole world and, at the same time, it is an important tool for forensic medicine. Surprisingly, and in contrast to its importance, almost no data regarding the embryology and molecular markers are known for this insect. In this report, we present a detailed description of the blowfly Lucilia sericata embryogenesis and of imaginal disc development. The embryogenesis of Lucilia strongly resembles that of Drosophila, despite their apparent size difference. Moreover, imaginal disc development appears to be equally well conserved. Through cloning, expression, and functional studies, we show that the Lucilia Wingless (Wg) protein is highly conserved between the two species. We further show that parasegments are established in Lucilia, however, engrailed expression shows a more dynamic expression pattern than expected in comparison to Drosophila. Over-expression of Lucilia Wingless in Drosophila shows wingless-like wing phenotypes, suggesting that Lucilia Wingless blocks the signalling activity of Drosophila Wingless. Upon injection of wg dsRNA, we observe a "lawn of denticle" phenotype, closely resembling that of Drosophila. Due to the large size of the insect, the distance over which Wingless exerts signalling activity is up to three times larger than in Drosophila, yet the consequences are very similar. Our data demonstrate long-range wingless signaling mechanisms adapted for patterning large domains of naked cuticle and suggest signaling properties of Lucilia Wingless that are distinct from those of Drosophila Wingless.

  13. Waves and patterning in developmental biology: vertebrate segmentation and feather bud formation as case studies

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Ruth E.; Schnell, Santiago; Maini, Philip K.

    2014-01-01

    In this article we will discuss the integration of developmental patterning mechanisms with waves of competency that control the ability of a homogeneous field of cells to react to pattern forming cues and generate spatially heterogeneous patterns. We base our discussion around two well known patterning events that take place in the early embryo: somitogenesis and feather bud formation. We outline mathematical models to describe each patterning mechanism, present the results of numerical simulations and discuss the validity of each model in relation to our example patterning processes. PMID:19557684

  14. INVITED ARTICLE: Partial differential equations for self-organization in cellular and developmental biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, R. E.; Gaffney, E. A.; Maini, P. K.

    2008-11-01

    Understanding the mechanisms governing and regulating the emergence of structure and heterogeneity within cellular systems, such as the developing embryo, represents a multiscale challenge typifying current integrative biology research, namely, explaining the macroscale behaviour of a system from microscale dynamics. This review will focus upon modelling how cell-based dynamics orchestrate the emergence of higher level structure. After surveying representative biological examples and the models used to describe them, we will assess how developments at the scale of molecular biology have impacted on current theoretical frameworks, and the new modelling opportunities that are emerging as a result. We shall restrict our survey of mathematical approaches to partial differential equations and the tools required for their analysis. We will discuss the gap between the modelling abstraction and biological reality, the challenges this presents and highlight some open problems in the field.

  15. Developmental biology of the innate immune response: implications for neonatal and infant vaccine development

    PubMed Central

    Philbin, Victoria Jane; Levy, Ofer

    2009-01-01

    Molecular characterization of mechanisms by which human pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) detect danger signals has greatly expanded our understanding of the innate immune system. PRRs include Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs), retinoic acid inducible gene-like receptors (RLRs) and C-type lectin receptors (CLRs). Characterization of the developmental expression of these systems in the fetus, newborn and infant is incomplete but has yielded important insights into neonatal susceptibility to infection. Activation of PRRs on antigen-presenting cells enhances co-stimulatory function, and thus PRRs agonists are potential vaccine adjuvants, some of which are already in clinical use. Thus study of PRRs has also revealed how previously mysterious immunomodulators are able to mediate their actions, including the vaccine adjuvant aluminum hydroxide (Alum) whose adjuvant activity depends on its ability to activate a cytosolic protein complex known as the Nacht Domain Leucine-Rich Repeat and PYD-Containing Protein 3 (NALP3) inflammasome leading to IL-1ß production. Progress in characterizing PRRs is thus informing and expanding the design of improved adjuvants. This review summarizes recent developments in the field of innate immunity with special emphasis on developmental expression in the fetus, newborn and infant and its implications for the design of more effective neonatal and infant vaccines. PMID:19918215

  16. How insights from cardiovascular developmental biology have impacted the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease.

    PubMed

    Chin, Alvin J; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Lo, Cecilia W

    2012-07-01

    To illustrate the impact developmental biology and genetics have already had on the clinical management of the million infants born worldwide each year with CHD, we have chosen three stories which have had particular relevance for pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses. First, we show how Margaret Kirby's finding of the unexpected contribution of an ectodermal cell population - the cranial neural crest - to the aortic arch arteries and arterial pole of the embryonic avian heart provided a key impetus to the field of cardiovascular patterning. Recognition that a majority of patients affected by the neurocristopathy DiGeorge syndrome have a chromosome 22q11 deletion, have also spurred tremendous efforts to characterize the molecular mechanisms contributing to this pathology, assigning a major role to the transcription factor Tbx1. Second, synthesizing the work of the last two decades by many laboratories on a wide gamut of metazoans (invertebrates, tunicates, agnathans, teleosts, lungfish, amphibians, and amniotes), we review the >20 major modifications and additions to the ancient circulatory arrangement composed solely of a unicameral (one-chambered), contractile myocardial tube and a short proximal aorta. Two changes will be discussed in detail - the interposition of a second cardiac chamber in the circulation and the septation of the cardiac ventricle. By comparing the developmental genetic data of several model organisms, we can better understand the origin of the various components of the multicameral (multi-chambered) heart seen in humans. Third, Martina Brueckner's discovery that a faulty axonemal dynein was responsible for the phenotype of the iv/iv mouse (the first mammalian model of human heterotaxy) focused attention on the biology of cilia. We discuss how even the care of the complex cardiac and non-cardiac anomalies seen in heterotaxy syndrome, which have long seemed impervious to advancements in

  17. How insights from cardiovascular developmental biology have impacted the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease.

    PubMed

    Chin, Alvin J; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Lo, Cecilia W

    2012-07-01

    To illustrate the impact developmental biology and genetics have already had on the clinical management of the million infants born worldwide each year with CHD, we have chosen three stories which have had particular relevance for pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses. First, we show how Margaret Kirby's finding of the unexpected contribution of an ectodermal cell population - the cranial neural crest - to the aortic arch arteries and arterial pole of the embryonic avian heart provided a key impetus to the field of cardiovascular patterning. Recognition that a majority of patients affected by the neurocristopathy DiGeorge syndrome have a chromosome 22q11 deletion, have also spurred tremendous efforts to characterize the molecular mechanisms contributing to this pathology, assigning a major role to the transcription factor Tbx1. Second, synthesizing the work of the last two decades by many laboratories on a wide gamut of metazoans (invertebrates, tunicates, agnathans, teleosts, lungfish, amphibians, and amniotes), we review the >20 major modifications and additions to the ancient circulatory arrangement composed solely of a unicameral (one-chambered), contractile myocardial tube and a short proximal aorta. Two changes will be discussed in detail - the interposition of a second cardiac chamber in the circulation and the septation of the cardiac ventricle. By comparing the developmental genetic data of several model organisms, we can better understand the origin of the various components of the multicameral (multi-chambered) heart seen in humans. Third, Martina Brueckner's discovery that a faulty axonemal dynein was responsible for the phenotype of the iv/iv mouse (the first mammalian model of human heterotaxy) focused attention on the biology of cilia. We discuss how even the care of the complex cardiac and non-cardiac anomalies seen in heterotaxy syndrome, which have long seemed impervious to advancements in

  18. How insights from cardiovascular developmental biology have impacted the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Alvin J.; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Lo, Cecilia W.

    2012-01-01

    To illustrate the impact developmental biology and genetics have already had on the clinical management of the million infants born worldwide each year with CHD, we have chosen three stories which have had particular relevance for pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses. First, we show how Margaret Kirby’s finding of the unexpected contribution of an ectodermal cell population – the cranial neural crest – to the aortic arch arteries and arterial pole of the embryonic avian heart provided a key impetus to the field of cardiovascular patterning. Recognition that a majority of patients affected by the neurocristopathy DiGeorge syndrome have a chromosome 22q11 deletion, have also spurred tremendous efforts to characterize the molecular mechanisms contributing to this pathology, assigning a major role to the transcription factor Tbx1. Second, synthesizing the work of the last two decades by many laboratories on a wide gamut of metazoans (invertebrates, tunicates, agnathans, teleosts, lungfish, amphibians, and amniotes), we review the >20 major modifications and additions to the ancient circulatory arrangement composed solely of a unicameral (one-chambered), contractile myocardial tube and a short proximal aorta. Two changes will be discussed in detail – the interposition of a second cardiac chamber in the circulation and the septation of the cardiac ventricle. By comparing the developmental genetic data of several model organisms, we can better understand the origin of the various components of the multicameral (multi-chambered) heart seen in humans. Third, Martina Brueckner’s discovery that a faulty axonemal dynein was responsible for the phenotype of the iv/iv mouse (the first mammalian model of human heterotaxy) focused attention on the biology of cilia. We discuss how even the care of the complex cardiac and non-cardiac anomalies seen in heterotaxy syndrome, which have long seemed impervious to

  19. Evolutionary thinking: "A conversation with Carter Phipps about the role of evolutionary thinking in modern culture".

    PubMed

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-12-01

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

  20. A developmental approach to predicting neuronal connectivity from small biological datasets: a gradient-based neuron growth model.

    PubMed

    Borisyuk, Roman; Al Azad, Abul Kalam; Conte, Deborah; Roberts, Alan; Soffe, Stephen R

    2014-01-01

    Relating structure and function of neuronal circuits is a challenging problem. It requires demonstrating how dynamical patterns of spiking activity lead to functions like cognitive behaviour and identifying the neurons and connections that lead to appropriate activity of a circuit. We apply a "developmental approach" to define the connectome of a simple nervous system, where connections between neurons are not prescribed but appear as a result of neuron growth. A gradient based mathematical model of two-dimensional axon growth from rows of undifferentiated neurons is derived for the different types of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord of young tadpoles of the frog Xenopus. Model parameters define a two-dimensional CNS growth environment with three gradient cues and the specific responsiveness of the axons of each neuron type to these cues. The model is described by a nonlinear system of three difference equations; it includes a random variable, and takes specific neuron characteristics into account. Anatomical measurements are first used to position cell bodies in rows and define axon origins. Then a generalization procedure allows information on the axons of individual neurons from small anatomical datasets to be used to generate larger artificial datasets. To specify parameters in the axon growth model we use a stochastic optimization procedure, derive a cost function and find the optimal parameters for each type of neuron. Our biologically realistic model of axon growth starts from axon outgrowth from the cell body and generates multiple axons for each different neuron type with statistical properties matching those of real axons. We illustrate how the axon growth model works for neurons with axons which grow to the same and the opposite side of the CNS. We then show how, by adding a simple specification for dendrite morphology, our model "developmental approach" allows us to generate biologically-realistic connectomes.

  1. A Developmental Approach to Predicting Neuronal Connectivity from Small Biological Datasets: A Gradient-Based Neuron Growth Model

    PubMed Central

    Borisyuk, Roman; Azad, Abul Kalam al; Conte, Deborah; Roberts, Alan; Soffe, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Relating structure and function of neuronal circuits is a challenging problem. It requires demonstrating how dynamical patterns of spiking activity lead to functions like cognitive behaviour and identifying the neurons and connections that lead to appropriate activity of a circuit. We apply a “developmental approach” to define the connectome of a simple nervous system, where connections between neurons are not prescribed but appear as a result of neuron growth. A gradient based mathematical model of two-dimensional axon growth from rows of undifferentiated neurons is derived for the different types of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord of young tadpoles of the frog Xenopus. Model parameters define a two-dimensional CNS growth environment with three gradient cues and the specific responsiveness of the axons of each neuron type to these cues. The model is described by a nonlinear system of three difference equations; it includes a random variable, and takes specific neuron characteristics into account. Anatomical measurements are first used to position cell bodies in rows and define axon origins. Then a generalization procedure allows information on the axons of individual neurons from small anatomical datasets to be used to generate larger artificial datasets. To specify parameters in the axon growth model we use a stochastic optimization procedure, derive a cost function and find the optimal parameters for each type of neuron. Our biologically realistic model of axon growth starts from axon outgrowth from the cell body and generates multiple axons for each different neuron type with statistical properties matching those of real axons. We illustrate how the axon growth model works for neurons with axons which grow to the same and the opposite side of the CNS. We then show how, by adding a simple specification for dendrite morphology, our model “developmental approach” allows us to generate biologically-realistic connectomes. PMID:24586794

  2. Coprinus Cinereus: An Ideal Organism for Studies of Genetics and Developmental Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, David; Pukkila, Patricia J.

    1985-01-01

    Ink-cap mushrooms can be easily grown in culture and provide students with ideal material for studying a wide range of biological problems. The life cycle is discussed extensively with hints for inoculating plates, staining, and isolating basidiospores. Exercises are easy, safe, and provide opportunity to demonstrate several microbiological…

  3. Otoconia as test masses in biological accelerometers: what can we learn about their formation from evolutionary studies and from work in microgravity?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.; Donovan, K. M.

    1986-01-01

    This paper reviews previous findings and introduces new material about otolith end organs that help us to understand their functioning and development. In particular, we consider the end organs as biological accelerometers. The otoconia are dealt with as test masses whose substructure and evolutionary trend toward calcite may prove significant in understanding formation requirements. Space-flight helps illuminate the influence of gravity, while right-left asymmetry is suggested by study of certain rat strains.

  4. A Unifying Mathematical Framework for Genetic Robustness, Environmental Robustness, Network Robustness and their Trade-off on Phenotype Robustness in Biological Networks Part I: Gene Regulatory Networks in Systems and Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2013-01-01

    Robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are ubiquitous systematic properties observed in biological systems at different levels. The underlying principles for robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are universal to both complex biological systems and sophisticated engineering systems. In many biological networks, network robustness should be enough to confer intrinsic robustness in order to tolerate intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic robustness for buffering genetic variations, and environmental robustness for resisting environmental disturbances. With this, the phenotypic stability of biological network can be maintained, thus guaranteeing phenotype robustness. This paper presents a survey on biological systems and then develops a unifying mathematical framework for investigating the principles of both robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation in systems and evolutionary biology. Further, from the unifying mathematical framework, it was discovered that the phenotype robustness criterion for biological networks at different levels relies upon intrinsic robustness + genetic robustness + environmental robustness ≦ network robustness. When this is true, the phenotype robustness can be maintained in spite of intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental disturbances. Therefore, the trade-offs between intrinsic robustness, genetic robustness, environmental robustness, and network robustness in systems and evolutionary biology can also be investigated through their corresponding phenotype robustness criterion from the systematic point of view. PMID:23515240

  5. The evolutionary conformation from traditional lecture to active learning in an undergraduate biology course and its effects on student achievement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diederich, Kirsten Bakke

    In response to the declining number of students in the United States entering into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines, there has been an attempt to retain student interest in the sciences through the implementation of more active learning in the classroom. Active learning is defined as any instructional method that requires students do something in the classroom rather than simply listen to a lecture (Herreid, 2006). These student centered approaches provide the students with the opportunity to work cooperatively while developing the skills required for critical inquiry. They also help the students make the connections between what is being taught and how it can be applied in a real world setting. Science education researchers have attempted to analyze the efficacy of active learning. Although they find it difficult to compare the data, they state unequivocally that "Active learning is a better strategy for learning than the traditional didactic lecture format" (Prince, 2004). However, even though research supports the efficacy of active learning, instructors find it difficult to adopt this pedagogy into their classrooms due to concerns such as loss of content knowledge and student resistance. This three year qualitative and quantitative study addressed the level of student learning and satisfaction in an introductory vertebrate biology class at a small liberal arts college. The courses were taught by the same instructor using three pedagogical methods; traditional lecture (TL), problem-based learning (PBL), and case-based learning (CBL). Student grades and levels of assessment were compared between the TL and PBL, while student attrition rates, course satisfaction and views of active and group learning were analyzed across all three sections. The evolutionary confirmations from TL to PBL and ultimately the adoption of CBL as the method of choice are discussed from the view of both the faculty member and the students.

  6. Evolutionary medicine.

    PubMed

    Swynghedauw, B

    2004-04-01

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Evolutionary, or darwinian, medicine takes the view that contemporary diseases result from incompatibility between the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic endowment and the lifestyle and dietary habits in which we are currently living, including the enhanced lifespan, the changes in dietary habits and the lack of physical activity. An evolutionary trait express a genetic polymorphism which finally improve fitness, it needs million years to become functional. A limited genetic diversity is a necessary prerequisite for evolutionary medicine. Nevertheless, search for a genetic endowment would become nearly impossible if the human races were genetically different. From a genetic point of view, homo sapiens, is homogeneous, and the so-called human races have only a socio-economic definition. Historically, Heart Failure, HF, had an infectious origin and resulted from mechanical overload which triggered mechanoconversion by using phylogenically ancient pleiotropic pathways. Adaptation was mainly caused by negative inotropism. Recently, HF was caused by a complex remodelling caused by the trophic effects of mechanics, ischemia, senescence, diabetes and, neurohormones. The generally admitted hypothesis is that cancers were largely caused by a combination of modern reproductive and dietary lifestyles mismatched with genotypic traits, plus the longer time available for a confrontation. Such a concept is illustrated for skin and breast cancers, and also for the link between cancer risk and dietary habits.

  7. Optogenetics in Developmental Biology: using light to control ion flux-dependent signals in Xenopus embryos.

    PubMed

    Spencer Adams, Dany; Lemire, Joan M; Kramer, Richard H; Levin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Developmental bioelectricity, electrical signaling among non-excitable cells, is now known to regulate proliferation, apoptosis, gene expression, and patterning during development. The extraordinary temporal and spatial resolution offered by optogenetics could revolutionize the study of bioelectricity the same way it has revolutionized neuroscience. There is, however, no guide to adapting optogenetics to patterning systems. To fill this gap, we used optogenetic reagents, both proteins and photochemical switches, to vary steady-state bioelectrical properties of non-spiking embryonic cells in Xenopus laevis. We injected mRNA for various proteins, including Channelrhodopsins and Archaerhodopsin, into 1-8 cell embryos, or soaked embryos in media containing photochemical switches, then examined the effect of light and dark on membrane voltage (Vmem) using both electrodes and fluorescent membrane voltage reporters. We also scored tadpoles for known effects of varying Vmem, including left-right asymmetry disruption, hyperpigmentation, and craniofacial phenotypes. The majority of reagents we tested caused a significant increase in the percentage of light-exposed tadpoles showing relevant phenotypes; however, the majority of reagents also induced phenotypes in controls kept in the dark. Experiments on this "dark phenotype" yielded evidence that the direction of ion flux via common optogenetic reagents may be reversed, or unpredictable in non-neural cells. When used in combination with rigorous controls, optogenetics can be a powerful tool for investigating ion-flux based signaling in non-excitable systems. Nonetheless, it is crucial that new reagents be designed with these non-neural cell types in mind.

  8. Evolutionary development of tensegrity structures.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Daniel; Vico, Francisco J

    2010-09-01

    Contributions from the emerging fields of molecular genetics and evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) are greatly benefiting the field of evolutionary computation, initiating a promise of renewal in the traditional methodology. While direct encoding has constituted a dominant paradigm, indirect ways to encode the solutions have been reported, yet little attention has been paid to the benefits of the proposed methods to real problems. In this work, we study the biological properties that emerge by means of using indirect encodings in the context of form-finding problems. A novel indirect encoding model for artificial development has been defined and applied to an engineering structural-design problem, specifically to the discovery of tensegrity structures. This model has been compared with a direct encoding scheme. While the direct encoding performs similarly well to the proposed method, indirect-based results typically outperform the direct-based results in aspects not directly linked to the nature of the problem itself, but to the emergence of properties found in biological organisms, like organicity, generalization capacity, or modularity aspects which are highly valuable in engineering. PMID:20619314

  9. Evolutionary development of tensegrity structures.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Daniel; Vico, Francisco J

    2010-09-01

    Contributions from the emerging fields of molecular genetics and evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) are greatly benefiting the field of evolutionary computation, initiating a promise of renewal in the traditional methodology. While direct encoding has constituted a dominant paradigm, indirect ways to encode the solutions have been reported, yet little attention has been paid to the benefits of the proposed methods to real problems. In this work, we study the biological properties that emerge by means of using indirect encodings in the context of form-finding problems. A novel indirect encoding model for artificial development has been defined and applied to an engineering structural-design problem, specifically to the discovery of tensegrity structures. This model has been compared with a direct encoding scheme. While the direct encoding performs similarly well to the proposed method, indirect-based results typically outperform the direct-based results in aspects not directly linked to the nature of the problem itself, but to the emergence of properties found in biological organisms, like organicity, generalization capacity, or modularity aspects which are highly valuable in engineering.

  10. Developmental Biology and Effects of Adult Diet on Consumption, Longevity, and Fecundity of Colaspis crinicornis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    PubMed

    Miwa, Kentaro; Meinke, Lance J

    2015-01-01

    The chrysomelid beetle Colaspis crinicornis Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) occurs primarily in the Great Plains region of the United States. Little is known about the biology and ecology of this species, but over the last decade, it has become increasingly common in the corn, Zea mays L., and soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, agroecosystem of southeastern Nebraska. As part of a larger comprehensive project to understand the natural history and pest potential of this species, laboratory experiments were conducted to study the developmental biology, morphological characters of immature stages, and the effect of adult diet on consumption, longevity, and fecundity. Females readily deposited egg clusters in the soil, and percentage egg hatch was high under laboratory conditions. Larvae and pupae were confirmed to be soil-dwelling stages. C. crinicornis has relatively short egg, pupal, and adult stages with the majority of its life cycle spent in the larval stage. Results of choice and no-choice adult feeding experiments indicate that diets of corn or soybean leaves did not significantly affect consumption, longevity, or fecundity of adult C. crinicornis, suggesting that corn and soybean leaves are similarly suitable food sources for adults. The ability to effectively utilize tissues from very different plant families as adult food sources suggests that C. crinicornis is polyphagous in the field. PMID:26106090

  11. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Based Developmental Toxicity Assays for Chemical Safety Screening and Systems Biology Data Generation.

    PubMed

    Shinde, Vaibhav; Klima, Stefanie; Sureshkumar, Perumal Srinivasan; Meganathan, Kesavan; Jagtap, Smita; Rempel, Eugen; Rahnenführer, Jörg; Hengstler, Jan Georg; Waldmann, Tanja; Hescheler, Jürgen; Leist, Marcel; Sachinidis, Agapios

    2015-06-17

    Efficient protocols to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells to various tissues in combination with -omics technologies opened up new horizons for in vitro toxicity testing of potential drugs. To provide a solid scientific basis for such assays, it will be important to gain quantitative information on the time course of development and on the underlying regulatory mechanisms by systems biology approaches. Two assays have therefore been tuned here for these requirements. In the UKK test system, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) (or other pluripotent cells) are left to spontaneously differentiate for 14 days in embryoid bodies, to allow generation of cells of all three germ layers. This system recapitulates key steps of early human embryonic development, and it can predict human-specific early embryonic toxicity/teratogenicity, if cells are exposed to chemicals during differentiation. The UKN1 test system is based on hESC differentiating to a population of neuroectodermal progenitor (NEP) cells for 6 days. This system recapitulates early neural development and predicts early developmental neurotoxicity and epigenetic changes triggered by chemicals. Both systems, in combination with transcriptome microarray studies, are suitable for identifying toxicity biomarkers. Moreover, they may be used in combination to generate input data for systems biology analysis. These test systems have advantages over the traditional toxicological studies requiring large amounts of animals. The test systems may contribute to a reduction of the costs for drug development and chemical safety evaluation. Their combination sheds light especially on compounds that may influence neurodevelopment specifically.

  12. Developmental Biology and Effects of Adult Diet on Consumption, Longevity, and Fecundity of Colaspis crinicornis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

    PubMed Central

    Miwa, Kentaro; Meinke, Lance J.

    2015-01-01

    The chrysomelid beetle Colaspis crinicornis Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) occurs primarily in the Great Plains region of the United States. Little is known about the biology and ecology of this species, but over the last decade, it has become increasingly common in the corn, Zea mays L., and soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, agroecosystem of southeastern Nebraska. As part of a larger comprehensive project to understand the natural history and pest potential of this species, laboratory experiments were conducted to study the developmental biology, morphological characters of immature stages, and the effect of adult diet on consumption, longevity, and fecundity. Females readily deposited egg clusters in the soil, and percentage egg hatch was high under laboratory conditions. Larvae and pupae were confirmed to be soil-dwelling stages. C. crinicornis has relatively short egg, pupal, and adult stages with the majority of its life cycle spent in the larval stage. Results of choice and no-choice adult feeding experiments indicate that diets of corn or soybean leaves did not significantly affect consumption, longevity, or fecundity of adult C. crinicornis, suggesting that corn and soybean leaves are similarly suitable food sources for adults. The ability to effectively utilize tissues from very different plant families as adult food sources suggests that C. crinicornis is polyphagous in the field. PMID:26106090

  13. Scientific exchange: Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) and Emil Godlewski (1875-1944) as representatives of a transatlantic developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Fangerau, Heiner; Müller, Irmgard

    2007-09-01

    The German-American physiologist Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) and the Polish embryologist Emil Godlewski, jr. (1875-1944) contributed many valuable works to the body of developmental biology. Jacques Loeb was world famous at the beginning of the twentieth century for his development and demonstration of artificial parthenogenesis in 1899 and his experiments on regeneration. He served as a role model for the younger Polish experimenter Emil Godlewski, who began his career as a researcher like Loeb at the Zoological Station in Naples. Following Godlewski's first visit to Naples in 1901 a close relationship between the two scientists developed. Until Loeb's death in 1924 the two exchanged ideas via correspondence that was only interrupted during the First World War. The aim of the paper is to examine the transatlantic transfer of knowledge in the field of biological experimentation that was fostered by these two protagonists. Using a modification of Bruno Latour's model of the 'Circulatory System of Science' as a heuristic tool, different mechanisms of scientific exchange are displayed. With the help of Loeb's and Godlewski's correspondence the role of scientific communities, methods, allies, the public and institutions in the process of knowledge transfer are analysed. Preconditions for success and failure in transferring science are examined.

  14. Comparative developmental psychology: how is human cognitive development unique?

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Wobber, Victoria; Hughes, Kelly; Santos, Laurie R

    2014-04-29

    The fields of developmental and comparative psychology both seek to illuminate the roots of adult cognitive systems. Developmental studies target the emergence of adult cognitive systems over ontogenetic time, whereas comparative studies investigate the origins of human cognition in our evolutionary history. Despite the long tradition of research in both of these areas, little work has examined the intersection of the two: the study of cognitive development in a comparative perspective. In the current article, we review recent work using this comparative developmental approach to study non-human primate cognition. We argue that comparative data on the pace and pattern of cognitive development across species can address major theoretical questions in both psychology and biology. In particular, such integrative research will allow stronger biological inferences about the function of developmental change, and will be critical in addressing how humans come to acquire species-unique cognitive abilities.

  15. Science as a Way of Knowing IV--Developmental Biology. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (Nashville, TN, December 27-30, 1986).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John A.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    This fourth volume of the Science as a Way of Knowing project contains 12 papers given at a conference in 1986 which was cosponsored by a variety of scientific and science education organizations. The presentations include: (1) "Science as a Way of Knowing--Developmental Biology" (John A. Moore); (2) "Embryonic Induction" (Richard M. Eakin,…

  16. Evolutionary perspectives on human personality. Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Y. Neuman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southard, Ashton C.; Zeigler-Hill, Virgil; Shackelford, Todd K.

    2014-12-01

    Yair Neuman [6] presents many provocative ideas in his interdisciplinary approach to human personality. In this commentary, we focus on his ideas regarding (1) the evolutionary basis of personality and (2) human sperm competition.

  17. Optogenetics in Developmental Biology: using light to control ion flux-dependent signals in Xenopus embryos.

    PubMed

    Spencer Adams, Dany; Lemire, Joan M; Kramer, Richard H; Levin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Developmental bioelectricity, electrical signaling among non-excitable cells, is now known to regulate proliferation, apoptosis, gene expression, and patterning during development. The extraordinary temporal and spatial resolution offered by optogenetics could revolutionize the study of bioelectricity the same way it has revolutionized neuroscience. There is, however, no guide to adapting optogenetics to patterning systems. To fill this gap, we used optogenetic reagents, both proteins and photochemical switches, to vary steady-state bioelectrical properties of non-spiking embryonic cells in Xenopus laevis. We injected mRNA for various proteins, including Channelrhodopsins and Archaerhodopsin, into 1-8 cell embryos, or soaked embryos in media containing photochemical switches, then examined the effect of light and dark on membrane voltage (Vmem) using both electrodes and fluorescent membrane voltage reporters. We also scored tadpoles for known effects of varying Vmem, including left-right asymmetry disruption, hyperpigmentation, and craniofacial phenotypes. The majority of reagents we tested caused a significant increase in the percentage of light-exposed tadpoles showing relevant phenotypes; however, the majority of reagents also induced phenotypes in controls kept in the dark. Experiments on this "dark phenotype" yielded evidence that the direction of ion flux via common optogenetic reagents may be reversed, or unpredictable in non-neural cells. When used in combination with rigorous controls, optogenetics can be a powerful tool for investigating ion-flux based signaling in non-excitable systems. Nonetheless, it is crucial that new reagents be designed with these non-neural cell types in mind. PMID:25896279

  18. Introducing biological realism into the study of developmental plasticity in behaviour.

    PubMed

    Groothuis, Ton G G; Taborsky, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing attention for integrating mechanistic and functional approaches to the study of (behavioural) development. As environments are mostly unstable, it is now often assumed that genetic parental information is in many cases not sufficient for offspring to become optimally adapted to the environment and that early environmental cues, either indirectly via the parents or from direct experience, are necessary to prepare them for a specific environment later in life. To study whether these early developmental processes are adaptive and through which mechanism, not only the early environmental cues but also how they impinge on the later-life environmental context has therefore to be taken into account when measuring the animal's performance. We first discuss at the conceptual level six ways in which interactions between influences of different time windows during development may act (consolidation, cumulative information gathering and priming, compensation, buffering, matching and mismatching, context dependent trait expression). In addition we discuss how different environmental factors during the same time window may interact in shaping the phenotype during development. Next we discuss the pros and cons of several experimental designs for testing these interaction effects, highlighting the necessity for full, reciprocal designs and the importance of adjusting the nature and time of manipulation to the animal's adaptive capacity. We then review support for the interaction effects from both theoretical models and animal experiments in different taxa. This demonstrates indeed the existence of interactions at multiple levels, including different environmental factors, different time windows and between generations. As a consequence, development is a life-long, environment-dependent process and therefore manipulating only the early environment without taking interaction effects with other and later environmental influences into account may lead to wrong

  19. Introducing biological realism into the study of developmental plasticity in behaviour

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing attention for integrating mechanistic and functional approaches to the study of (behavioural) development. As environments are mostly unstable, it is now often assumed that genetic parental information is in many cases not sufficient for offspring to become optimally adapted to the environment and that early environmental cues, either indirectly via the parents or from direct experience, are necessary to prepare them for a specific environment later in life. To study whether these early developmental processes are adaptive and through which mechanism, not only the early environmental cues but also how they impinge on the later-life environmental context has therefore to be taken into account when measuring the animal's performance. We first discuss at the conceptual level six ways in which interactions between influences of different time windows during development may act (consolidation, cumulative information gathering and priming, compensation, buffering, matching and mismatching, context dependent trait expression). In addition we discuss how different environmental factors during the same time window may interact in shaping the phenotype during development. Next we discuss the pros and cons of several experimental designs for testing these interaction effects, highlighting the necessity for full, reciprocal designs and the importance of adjusting the nature and time of manipulation to the animal's adaptive capacity. We then review support for the interaction effects from both theoretical models and animal experiments in different taxa. This demonstrates indeed the existence of interactions at multiple levels, including different environmental factors, different time windows and between generations. As a consequence, development is a life-long, environment-dependent process and therefore manipulating only the early environment without taking interaction effects with other and later environmental influences into account may lead to wrong

  20. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-01-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies. PMID:25567971

  1. Developmental changes in sleep biology and potential effects on adolescent behavior and caffeine use.

    PubMed

    Carskadon, Mary A; Tarokh, Leila

    2014-10-01

    Adolescent development includes changes in the biological regulatory processes for the timing of sleep. Circadian rhythm changes and changes to the sleep-pressure system (sleep homeostasis) during adolescence both favor later timing of sleep. These changes, combined with prevailing social pressures, are responsible for most teens sleeping too late and too little; those who sleep least report consuming more caffeine. Although direct research findings are scarce, the likelihood of use and abuse of caffeine-laden products grows across the adolescent years due, in part, to excessive sleepiness.

  2. "Do I Need to Know This for the Exam?" Using Popular Media, Inquiry-based Laboratories, and a Community of Scientific Practice to Motivate Students to Learn Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madhuri, Marga; Broussard, Christine

    2008-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges instructors face is getting students to connect with the subject in a manner that encourages them to learn. In this essay, we describe the redesign of our Developmental Biology course to foster a deeper connection between students and the field of developmental biology. In our approach, we created a community of…

  3. Deep homology and the origins of evolutionary novelty.

    PubMed

    Shubin, Neil; Tabin, Cliff; Carroll, Sean

    2009-02-12

    Do new anatomical structures arise de novo, or do they evolve from pre-existing structures? Advances in developmental genetics, palaeontology and evolutionary developmental biology have recently shed light on the origins of some of the structures that most intrigued Charles Darwin, including animal eyes, tetrapod limbs and giant beetle horns. In each case, structures arose by the modification of pre-existing genetic regulatory circuits established in early metazoans. The deep homology of generative processes and cell-type specification mechanisms in animal development has provided the foundation for the independent evolution of a great variety of structures.

  4. The genome as a developmental organ

    PubMed Central

    Lamm, Ehud

    2014-01-01

    This paper applies the conceptual toolkit of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo-devo) to the evolution of the genome and the role of the genome in organism development. This challenges both the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, the dominant view in evolutionary theory for much of the 20th century, and the typically unreflective analysis of heredity by evo-devo. First, the history of the marginalization of applying system-thinking to the genome is described. Next, the suggested framework is presented. Finally, its application to the evolution of genome modularity, the evolution of induced mutations, the junk DNA versus ENCODE debate, the role of drift in genome evolution, and the relationship between genome dynamics and symbiosis with microorganisms are briefly discussed. PMID:24882813

  5. Integrating diverse datasets improves developmental enhancer prediction.

    PubMed

    Erwin, Genevieve D; Oksenberg, Nir; Truty, Rebecca M; Kostka, Dennis; Murphy, Karl K; Ahituv, Nadav; Pollard, Katherine S; Capra, John A

    2014-06-01

    Gene-regulatory enhancers have been identified using various approaches, including evolutionary conservation, regulatory protein binding, chromatin modifications, and DNA sequence motifs. To integrate these different approaches, we developed EnhancerFinder, a two-step method for distinguishing developmental enhancers from the genomic background and then predicting their tissue specificity. EnhancerFinder uses a multiple kernel learning approach to integrate DNA sequence motifs, evolutionary patterns, and diverse functional genomics datasets from a variety of cell types. In contrast with prediction approaches that define enhancers based on histone marks or p300 sites from a single cell line, we trained EnhancerFinder on hundreds of experimentally verified human developmental enhancers from the VISTA Enhancer Browser. We comprehensively evaluated EnhancerFinder using cross validation and found that our integrative method improves the identification of enhancers over approaches that consider a single type of data, such as sequence motifs, evolutionary conservation, or the binding of enhancer-associated proteins. We find that VISTA enhancers active in embryonic heart are easier to identify than enhancers active in several other embryonic tissues, likely due to their uniquely high GC content. We applied EnhancerFinder to the entire human genome and predicted 84,301 developmental enhancers and their tissue specificity. These predictions provide specific functional annotations for large amounts of human non-coding DNA, and are significantly enriched near genes with annotated roles in their predicted tissues and lead SNPs from genome-wide association studies. We demonstrate the utility of EnhancerFinder predictions through in vivo validation of novel embryonic gene regulatory enhancers from three developmental transcription factor loci. Our genome-wide developmental enhancer predictions are freely available as a UCSC Genome Browser track, which we hope will enable

  6. Darwin in mind: new opportunities for evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, Johan J; Brown, Gillian R; Richardson, Robert C; Laland, Kevin N

    2011-07-01

    Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields.

  7. Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Johan J.; Brown, Gillian R.; Richardson, Robert C.; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary Psychology (EP) views the human mind as organized into many modules, each underpinned by psychological adaptations designed to solve problems faced by our Pleistocene ancestors. We argue that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology. For instance, many human genes have been subject to recent selective sweeps; humans play an active, constructive role in co-directing their own development and evolution; and experimental evidence often favours a general process, rather than a modular account, of cognition. A redefined EP could use the theoretical insights of modern evolutionary biology as a rich source of hypotheses concerning the human mind, and could exploit novel methods from a variety of adjacent research fields. PMID:21811401

  8. Phase contrast and DIC instrumentation and applications in cell, developmental, and marine biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundlach, Heinz

    1994-05-01

    Nomarski's differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy is discussed in comparison to Zernike's phase contrast (PhC) microscopy. The possibilities and limits of both are demonstrated by various applications. The high contrast and the use of the full numerical aperture of the DIC optics makes it possible to obtain a series of 'optical sections' through rather thick living specimens (e.g. head of water flea, salivary gland of Drosophila, Xenopus nucleolus, sea urchen egg, mouse embryo). PhC and DIC optics are today available for high resolution light microscopy until N.A. 1.4 Oil as well as for long working distance (LWD) optics, mainly combined with inverted biological microscopes.

  9. Estimating evolution of temporal sequence changes: a practical approach to inferring ancestral developmental sequences and sequence heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Luke B; Larsson, Hans C E

    2008-06-01

    Developmental biology often yields data in a temporal context. Temporal data in phylogenetic systematics has important uses in the field of evolutionary developmental biology and, in general, comparative biology. The evolution of temporal sequences, specifically developmental sequences, has proven difficult to examine due to the highly variable temporal progression of development. Issues concerning the analysis of temporal sequences and problems with current methods of analysis are discussed. We present here an algorithm to infer ancestral temporal sequences, quantify sequence heterochronies, and estimate pseudoreplicate consensus support for sequence changes using Parsimov-based genetic inference [PGi]. Real temporal developmental sequence data sets are used to compare PGi with currently used approaches, and PGi is shown to be the most efficient, accurate, and practical method to examine biological data and infer ancestral states on a phylogeny. The method is also expandable to address further issues in developmental evolution, namely modularity. PMID:18570033

  10. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T. Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but many major advances in evolutionary biology from the 20th century are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the distinction between proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are further transforming evolutionary biology and creating yet more opportunities for progress at the interface of evolution with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and others to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine. PMID:22544168

  11. Developmental mechanisms underlying variation in craniofacial disease and evolution.

    PubMed

    Fish, Jennifer L

    2016-07-15

    Craniofacial disease phenotypes exhibit significant variation in penetrance and severity. Although many genetic contributions to phenotypic variation have been identified, genotype-phenotype correlations remain imprecise. Recent work in evolutionary developmental biology has exposed intriguing developmental mechanisms that potentially explain incongruities in genotype-phenotype relationships. This review focuses on two observations from work in comparative and experimental animal model systems that highlight how development structures variation. First, multiple genetic inputs converge on relatively few developmental processes. Investigation of when and how variation in developmental processes occurs may therefore help predict potential genetic interactions and phenotypic outcomes. Second, genetic mutation is typically associated with an increase in phenotypic variance. Several models outlining developmental mechanisms underlying mutational increases in phenotypic variance are discussed using Satb2-mediated variation in jaw size as an example. These data highlight development as a critical mediator of genotype-phenotype correlations. Future research in evolutionary developmental biology focusing on tissue-level processes may help elucidate the "black box" between genotype and phenotype, potentially leading to novel treatment, earlier diagnoses, and better clinical consultations for individuals affected by craniofacial anomalies. PMID:26724698

  12. Developmental plasticity and evolution—quo vadis?

    PubMed Central

    Moczek, A P

    2015-01-01

    The role of developmental (phenotypic) plasticity in ecology and evolution is receiving a growing appreciation among the biologists, and many plasticity-specific concepts have become well established as part of the mainstream evolutionary biological thinking. In this essay, I posit that despite this progress several key perspectives in developmental plasticity remain remarkably traditional, and that it may be time to re-evaluate their continued usefulness in the face of the available evidence as the field looks to its future. Specifically, I discuss the utility of viewing plastic development as ultimately rooted in genes and genomes, and investigate the common notion that the environment—albeit a critical source of information—nevertheless remains passive, external to and separable from the organism responding to it. I end by highlighting conceptual and empirical opportunities that may permit developmental plasticity research to transcend its current boundaries and to continue its contributions toward a holistic and realistic understanding of organismal development and evolution. PMID:26374347

  13. Developmental Gene Regulation and Mechanisms of Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Marine Biological Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have established a cooperative agreement with the formation of a Center for Advanced Studies 'in the Space Life Sciences (CASSLS) at the MBL. This Center serves as an interface between NASA and the basic science community, addressing issues of mutual interest. The Center for Advanced Studies 'in the Space Life Sciences provides a forum for scientists to think and discuss, often for the first time, the role that gravity and aspects of spaceflight may play 'in fundamental cellular and physiologic processes. In addition the Center will sponsor discussions on evolutionary biology. These interactions will inform the community of research opportunities that are of interest to NASA. This workshop is one of a series of symposia, workshops and seminars that will be held at the MBL to advise NASA on a wide variety of topics in the life sciences, including cell biology, developmental biology, mg evolutionary biology, molecular biology, neurobiology, plant biology and systems biology.

  14. Interdisciplinary Lessons for the Teaching of Biology from the Practice of Evo-Devo

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Alan C.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the…

  15. Evolution of regulatory networks: nematode vulva induction as an example of developmental systems drift.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J

    2012-01-01

    Changes in the developmental processes and developmental mechanisms can result in the modification of morphological structures and in the evolution of phenotypic novelty. But how do developmental processes evolve? One striking finding in modern biology is the confrontation of morphological diversity in multicellular organisms with the conserved blueprint of life-the small number of conserved signaling pathways and transcriptional regulators. Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) tries to explain this discrepancy between macroscopic diversity and molecular uniformity. Selected case studies in evo-devo models allowed detailed insight into the mechanisms of evolutionary changes and might help solving this problem. Here, I compare the formation of vulva development between Caenorhabditis elegans and the evo-devo model Pristionchus pacificus. More than 3 decades of work in C. elegans and 15 years in P. pacificus provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms of developmental change during vulva evolution. C. elegans and P. pacificus differ first, in the type of the signaling system used for vulva induction; second, the cells required for the inductive interactions; third, the logic of the signal system, and finally, the sequence and structure of peptide domains in otherwise conserved proteins. Nonetheless, the vulva is formed from the same three cells in both nematodes. I discuss redundancy as an evolutionary mechanism to explain developmental systems drift, a theory predicting conserved morphological structures to be generated by diverse molecular regulatory networks.

  16. [Evolution of evolutionary physiology].

    PubMed

    Natochin, Iu V

    2008-09-01

    In 19th century and at the beginning 20th century, reports appeared in the field of comparative and ontogenetic physiology and the value of these methods for understanding of evolution of functions. The term "evolutionary physiology" was suggested by A. N. Severtsov in 1914. In the beginning of 30s, in the USSR, laboratories for researches in problems of evolutionary physiology were created, the results of these researches having been published. In 1956 in Leningrad, the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology was founded by L. A. Orbeli. He formulates the goals and methods of evolutionary physiology. In the following half a century, the evolutionary physiology was actively developed. The evolutionary physiology solves problems of evolution of function of functions evolution, often involving methods of adjacent sciences, including biochemistry, morphology, molecular biology.

  17. Developmental Plasticity and Developmental Symbiosis: The Return of Eco-Devo.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Scott F

    2016-01-01

    Ecological developmental biology is the study of the interactions between developing organisms and their environments. Organisms have evolved to use the environment as a source of important cues that can alter the trajectory of their development. First, developmental plasticity enables the genome to generate a repertoire of possible phenotypes, and environmental cues are often used to select the phenotype that appears most adaptive at that time. This facilitates evolutionary strategies such as phenotypic accommodation, genetic assimilation, and niche construction. Second, developmental symbiosis, wherein the developing animal utilizes cues from other organisms for normal cell differentiation and morphogenesis, has been found to be ubiquitous. The coevolution of symbiotic microbes and animal cells has often led to the dependency of an animal's development on particular microbial signals, making these cues essential and expected components of normal development.

  18. Biological Transmission of Arboviruses: Reexamination of and New Insights into Components, Mechanisms, and Unique Traits as Well as Their Evolutionary Trends

    PubMed Central

    Kuno, Goro; Chang, Gwong-Jen J.

    2005-01-01

    Among animal viruses, arboviruses are unique in that they depend on arthropod vectors for transmission. Field research and laboratory investigations related to the three components of this unique mode of transmission, virus, vector, and vertebrate host, have produced an enormous amount of valuable information that may be found in numerous publications. However, despite many reviews on specific viruses, diseases, or interests, a systematic approach to organizing the available information on all facets of biological transmission and then to interpret it in the context of the evolutionary process has not been attempted before. Such an attempt in this review clearly demonstrates tremendous progress made worldwide to characterize the viruses, to comprehend disease transmission and pathogenesis, and to understand the biology of vectors and their role in transmission. The rapid progress in molecular biologic techniques also helped resolve many virologic puzzles and yielded highly valuable data hitherto unavailable, such as characterization of virus receptors, the genetic basis of vertebrate resistance to viral infection, and phylogenetic evidence of the history of host range shifts in arboviruses. However, glaring gaps in knowledge of many critical subjects, such as the mechanism of viral persistence and the existence of vertebrate reservoirs, are still evident. Furthermore, with the accumulated data, new questions were raised, such as evolutionary directions of virus virulence and of host range. Although many fundamental questions on the evolution of this unique mode of transmission remained unresolved in the absence of a fossil record, available observations for arboviruses and the information derived from studies in other fields of the biological sciences suggested convergent evolution as a plausible process. Overall, discussion of the diverse range of theories proposed and observations made by many investigators was found to be highly valuable for sorting out the

  19. The developmental genetics of microevolution.

    PubMed

    Stern, David L

    2007-01-01

    What is the relationship between variation that segregates within natural populations and the differences that distinguish species? Many studies over the past century have demonstrated that most of the genetic variation within natural populations that contributes to quantitative traits causes relatively small phenotypic effects. In contrast, the genetic causes of quantitative differences between species are at least sometimes caused by few loci of relatively large effect. In addition, most of the results from evolutionary developmental biology are often discussed as though changes at just a few important 'molecular toolbox' genes provide the key clues to morphological evolution. On the face of it, these divergent results seem incompatible and call into question the neo-Darwinian view that differences between species emerge from precisely the same kinds of variants that segregate much of the time in natural populations. One prediction from the classical model is that many different genes can evolve to generate similar phenotypes. I discuss our studies that demonstrate that similar phenotypes have evolved in multiple lineages of Drosophila by evolution of the same gene, shavenbaby/ovo. This evidence for parallel evolution suggests that svb occupies a privileged position in the developmental network patterning larval trichomes that makes it a favourable target of evolutionary change.

  20. Developmental and evolutionary significance of the mandibular arch and prechordal/premandibular cranium in vertebrates: revising the heterotopy scenario of gnathostome jaw evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Adachi, Noritaka; Wada, Naoyuki; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Sugahara, Fumiaki

    2013-01-01

    The cephalic neural crest produces streams of migrating cells that populate pharyngeal arches and a more rostral, premandibular domain, to give rise to an extensive ectomesenchyme in the embryonic vertebrate head. The crest cells forming the trigeminal stream are the major source of the craniofacial skeleton; however, there is no clear distinction between the mandibular arch and the premandibular domain in this ectomesenchyme. The question regarding the evolution of the gnathostome jaw is, in part, a question about the differentiation of the mandibular arch, the rostralmost component of the pharynx, and in part a question about the developmental fate of the premandibular domain. We address the developmental definition of the mandibular arch in connection with the developmental origin of the trabeculae, paired cartilaginous elements generally believed to develop in the premandibular domain, and also of enigmatic cartilaginous elements called polar cartilages. Based on comparative embryology, we propose that the mandibular arch ectomesenchyme in gnathostomes can be defined as a Dlx1-positive domain, and that the polar cartilages, which develop from the Dlx1-negative premandibular ectomesenchyme, would represent merely posterior parts of the trabeculae. We also show, in the lamprey embryo, early migration of mandibular arch mesenchyme into the premandibular domain, and propose an updated version of the heterotopy theory on the origin of the jaw. PMID:22500853

  1. Developmental and evolutionary significance of the mandibular arch and prechordal/premandibular cranium in vertebrates: revising the heterotopy scenario of gnathostome jaw evolution.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Adachi, Noritaka; Wada, Naoyuki; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Sugahara, Fumiaki

    2013-01-01

    The cephalic neural crest produces streams of migrating cells that populate pharyngeal arches and a more rostral, premandibular domain, to give rise to an extensive ectomesenchyme in the embryonic vertebrate head. The crest cells forming the trigeminal stream are the major source of the craniofacial skeleton; however, there is no clear distinction between the mandibular arch and the premandibular domain in this ectomesenchyme. The question regarding the evolution of the gnathostome jaw is, in part, a question about the differentiation of the mandibular arch, the rostralmost component of the pharynx, and in part a question about the developmental fate of the premandibular domain. We address the developmental definition of the mandibular arch in connection with the developmental origin of the trabeculae, paired cartilaginous elements generally believed to develop in the premandibular domain, and also of enigmatic cartilaginous elements called polar cartilages. Based on comparative embryology, we propose that the mandibular arch ectomesenchyme in gnathostomes can be defined as a Dlx1-positive domain, and that the polar cartilages, which develop from the Dlx1-negative premandibular ectomesenchyme, would represent merely posterior parts of the trabeculae. We also show, in the lamprey embryo, early migration of mandibular arch mesenchyme into the premandibular domain, and propose an updated version of the heterotopy theory on the origin of the jaw.

  2. [Evolutionary development of human psyche in Wilber's integral psychology].

    PubMed

    Koberda, Przemysław

    2008-01-01

    Darwin's evolution theory is fundamental for modern biology. But the logic of evolutionary development seems to have a wider context. Several observations and psychological investigations show convincingly that the extent of the development of human psyche is a continuation of the biological evolution. Developmental levels of consciousness, seen both from the individual and collective perspective, are discussed in the writings by the American investigator and philosopher Ken Wilber. His integral model, which has evoIved into integral psychology, forms a logical and inspiring basis for further scientific deliberations in the fields of psychology and medical sciences.

  3. Rethinking Oedipus: an evolutionary perspective of incest avoidance.

    PubMed

    Erickson, M T

    1993-03-01

    The author presents a biological hypothesis of incest avoidance. Pertinent literature from evolutionary biology, ethology, anthropology, and clinical research is reviewed. Secure early bonding to immediate kin predicts later adaptive kin-directed behaviors, including preferential altruism (kin selection) and incest avoidance. Impaired bonding predicts aberrant kin-directed behavior, including diminished altruism, neglect, and an increased incidence of incest. Failed bonding predicts the highest frequency of incest. Secure bonding to kin may function to establish adaptive kin-directed behaviors, including incest avoidance. Bonding is conceived of as the developmental foundation of a form of social attraction, here called "familial attraction," which is evolutionarily distinct from sexual attraction.

  4. The rise of developmental genetics - a historical account of the fusion of embryology and cell biology with human genetics and the emergence of the Stem Cell Initiative.

    PubMed

    Kidson, S H; Ballo, R; Greenberg, L J

    2016-01-01

    Genetics and cell biology are very prominent areas of biological research with rapid advances being driven by a flood of theoretical, technological and informational knowledge. Big biology and small biology continue to feed off each other. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the productive interactions that have taken place between human geneticists and cell biologists at UCT, and credit is given to the enabling environment created led by Prof. Peter Beighton. The growth of new disciplines and disciplinary mergers that have swept away division of the past to make new exciting syntheses are discussed. We show how our joint research has benefitted from worldwide advances in developmental genetics, cloning and stem cell technologies, genomics, bioinformatics and imaging. We conclude by describing the role of the UCT Stem Cell Initiative and show how we are using induced pluripotent cells to carry out disease-in-the- dish studies on retinal degeneration and fibrosis. PMID:27245528

  5. The rise of developmental genetics - a historical account of the fusion of embryology and cell biology with human genetics and the emergence of the Stem Cell Initiative.

    PubMed

    Kidson, S H; Ballo, R; Greenberg, L J

    2016-05-25

    Genetics and cell biology are very prominent areas of biological research with rapid advances being driven by a flood of theoretical, technological and informational knowledge. Big biology and small biology continue to feed off each other. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the productive interactions that have taken place between human geneticists and cell biologists at UCT, and credit is given to the enabling environment created led by Prof. Peter Beighton. The growth of new disciplines and disciplinary mergers that have swept away division of the past to make new exciting syntheses are discussed. We show how our joint research has benefitted from worldwide advances in developmental genetics, cloning and stem cell technologies, genomics, bioinformatics and imaging. We conclude by describing the role of the UCT Stem Cell Initiative and show how we are using induced pluripotent cells to carry out disease-in-the- dish studies on retinal degeneration and fibrosis.

  6. "Evo in the News": A Pedagogical Tool to Enhance Students' Perceptions of the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Infanti, Lynn M.

    2012-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of the use of the pedagogical tool "Evo in the News" on the attitudes toward and knowledge of biological evolution in a sample of undergraduate non-major biology students at a large, private research university. In addition, this study looked at the initial attitudes of the students and their…

  7. Evolutionary Design of Gene Networks: Forced Evolution by Genomic Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Spirov, A. V.; Zagriychuk, E. A.; Holloway, D. M.

    2014-01-01

    The co-evolution of species with their genomic parasites (transposons) is thought to be one of the primary ways of rewiring gene regulatory networks (GRNs). We develop a framework for conducting evolutionary computations (EC) using the transposon mechanism. We find that the selective pressure of transposons can speed evolutionary searches for solutions and lead to outgrowth of GRNs (through co-option of new genes to acquire insensitivity to the attacking transposons). We test the approach by finding GRNs which can solve a fundamental problem in developmental biology: how GRNs in early embryo development can robustly read maternal signaling gradients, despite continued attacks on the genome by transposons. We observed co-evolutionary oscillations in the abundance of particular GRNs and their transposons, reminiscent of predator-prey or host-parasite dynamics. PMID:25558118

  8. “Do I Need to Know This for the Exam?” Using Popular Media, Inquiry-based Laboratories, and a Community of Scientific Practice to Motivate Students to Learn Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Madhuri, Marga

    2008-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges instructors face is getting students to connect with the subject in a manner that encourages them to learn. In this essay, we describe the redesign of our Developmental Biology course to foster a deeper connection between students and the field of developmental biology. In our approach, we created a community of scientific practice focused on the investigation of environmental impacts on embryonic development and informed by popular and scientific media, the students' own questions, and the instructor. Our goals were to engage students in meaningful ways with the material, to develop students' science process skills, and to enhance students' understanding of broad principles of developmental biology. Though significant challenges arose during implementation, assessments indicate using this approach to teach undergraduate developmental biology was successful. PMID:18316806

  9. Emergence, self-organization and developmental science.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Gary; Callina, Kristina Schmid; Mueller, Megan Kiely

    2013-01-01

    Our understanding is that psychology is a biopsychosocial science as well as a developmental science. Behavioral origins stem from ontogenetic processes, behavioral as well as biological. Biological factors are simply participating factors in behavioral origins and not causal factors. Psychology is not a biological science; it is a unique psychological science, a natural science consistent and compatible with the principles of the other sciences. Accordingly, we show in this chapter how principles and ideas from other sciences play important roles in psychology. While we focus on the concepts from physics of self-organization and emergence, we also address the cosmological and evolutionary biology idea of increased complexity over time, the organizing principle of integrative levels, and the epigenetic processes that are in part responsible for transgenerational trait transmission. Our discussion stresses the developmental science concepts of embodiment and contextualism and how they structure thinking about psychological processes. We conclude with a description of how these ideas support current postpositivist conceptions of relational processes and models in contemporary developmental science. PMID:23834003

  10. Limits in the evolution of biological form: a theoretical morphologic perspective.

    PubMed

    McGhee, George R

    2015-12-01

    Limits in the evolution of biological form can be empirically demonstrated by using theoretical morphospace analyses, and actual analytic examples are given for univalved ammonoid shell form, bivalved brachiopod shell form and helical bryozoan colony form. Limits in the evolution of form in these animal groups can be shown to be due to functional and developmental constraints on possible evolutionary trajectories in morphospace. Future evolutionary-limit research is needed to analyse the possible existence of temporal constraint in the evolution of biological form on Earth, and in the search for the possible existence of functional alien life forms on Titan and Triton that are developmentally impossible for Earth life.

  11. Limits in the evolution of biological form: a theoretical morphologic perspective.

    PubMed

    McGhee, George R

    2015-12-01

    Limits in the evolution of biological form can be empirically demonstrated by using theoretical morphospace analyses, and actual analytic examples are given for univalved ammonoid shell form, bivalved brachiopod shell form and helical bryozoan colony form. Limits in the evolution of form in these animal groups can be shown to be due to functional and developmental constraints on possible evolutionary trajectories in morphospace. Future evolutionary-limit research is needed to analyse the possible existence of temporal constraint in the evolution of biological form on Earth, and in the search for the possible existence of functional alien life forms on Titan and Triton that are developmentally impossible for Earth life. PMID:26640645

  12. Evolutionary Theory under Fire.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewin, Roger

    1980-01-01

    Summarizes events of a conference on evolutionary biology in Chicago entitled: "Macroevolution." Reviews the theory of modern synthesis, a term used to explain Darwinism in terms of population biology and genetics. Issues presented at the conference are discussed in detail. (CS)

  13. Ancestral state reconstructions require biological evidence to test evolutionary hypotheses: A case study examining the evolution of reproductive mode in squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Oliver W; Blackburn, Daniel G; Brandley, Matthew C; Van Dyke, James U; Whittington, Camilla M; Thompson, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    To understand evolutionary transformations it is necessary to identify the character states of extinct ancestors. Ancestral character state reconstruction is inherently difficult because it requires an accurate phylogeny, character state data, and a statistical model of transition rates and is fundamentally constrained by missing data such as extinct taxa. We argue that model based ancestral character state reconstruction should be used to generate hypotheses but should not be considered an analytical endpoint. Using the evolution of viviparity and reversals to oviparity in squamates as a case study, we show how anatomical, physiological, and ecological data can be used to evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary transitions. The evolution of squamate viviparity requires changes to the timing of reproductive events and the successive loss of features responsible for building an eggshell. A reversal to oviparity requires that those lost traits re-evolve. We argue that the re-evolution of oviparity is inherently more difficult than the reverse. We outline how the inviability of intermediate phenotypes might present physiological barriers to reversals from viviparity to oviparity. Finally, we show that ecological data supports an oviparous ancestral state for squamates and multiple transitions to viviparity. In summary, we conclude that the first squamates were oviparous, that frequent transitions to viviparity have occurred, and that reversals to oviparity in viviparous lineages either have not occurred or are exceedingly rare. As this evidence supports conclusions that differ from previous ancestral state reconstructions, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating biological evidence to evaluate model-generated hypotheses.

  14. The second law of thermodynamics is the first law of psychology: evolutionary developmental psychology and the theory of tandem, coordinated inheritances: comment on Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003).

    PubMed

    Tooby, John; Cosmides, Leda; Barrett, H Clark

    2003-11-01

    Organisms inherit a set of environmental regularities as well as genes, and these two inheritances repeatedly encounter each other across generations. This repetition drives natural selection to coordinate the interplay of stably replicated genes with stably persisting environmental regularities, so that this web of interactions produces the reliable development of a functionally organized design. Selection is the only known counterweight to the tendency of physical systems to lose rather than grow functional organization. This means that the individually unique and unpredictable factors in the web of developmental interactions are a disordering threat to normal development. Selection built anti-entropic mechanisms into organisms to orchestrate transactions with environments so that they have some chance of being organization-building and reproduction-enhancing rather than disordering.

  15. Contrasting Evolutionary Dynamics of the Developmental Regulator PAX9, among Bats, with Evidence for a Novel Post-Transcriptional Regulatory Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Caleb D.; Butler, Boyd; Fondon, John W.; Mantilla-Meluk, Hugo; Baker, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Morphological evolution can be the result of natural selection favoring modification of developmental signaling pathways. However, little is known about the genetic basis of such phenotypic diversity. Understanding these mechanisms is difficult for numerous reasons, yet studies in model organisms often provide clues about the major developmental pathways involved. The paired-domain gene, PAX9, is known to be a key regulator of development, particularly of the face and teeth. In this study, using a comparative genetics approach, we investigate PAX9 molecular evolution among mammals, focusing on craniofacially diversified (Phyllostomidae) and conserved (Vespertilionidae) bat families, and extend our comparison to other orders of mammal. Open-reading frame analysis disclosed signatures of selection, in which a small percentage of residues vary, and lineages acquire different combinations of variation through recurrent substitution and lineage specific changes. A few instances of convergence for specific residues were observed between morphologically convergent bat lineages. Bioinformatic analysis for unknown PAX9 regulatory motifs indicated a novel post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism involving a Musashi protein. This regulation was assessed through fluorescent reporter assays and gene knockdowns. Results are compatible with the hypothesis that the number of Musashi binding-elements in PAX9 mRNA proportionally regulates protein translation rate. Although a connection between morphology and binding element frequency was not apparent, results indicate this regulation would vary among craniofacially divergent bat species, but be static among conserved species. Under this model, Musashi’s regulatory control of alternative human PAX9 isoforms would also vary. The presence of Musashi-binding elements within PAX9 of all mammals examined, chicken, zebrafish, and the fly homolog of PAX9, indicates this regulatory mechanism is ancient, originating basal to much of the

  16. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. II. Population dynamics equations can be associated with interpretations.

    PubMed

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D

    2014-08-01

    The use of mathematical equations to analyse population dynamics measurements is being increasingly applied to elucidate complex dynamic processes in biological systems, including cancer. Purely 'empirical' equations may provide sufficient accuracy to support predictions and therapy design. Nevertheless, interpretation of fitting equations in terms of physical and biological propositions can provide additional insights that can be used both to refine models that prove inconsistent with data and to understand the scope of applicability of models that validate. The purpose of this tutorial is to assist readers in mathematically associating interpretations with equations and to provide guidance in choosing interpretations and experimental systems to investigate based on currently available biological knowledge, techniques in mathematical and computational analysis and methods for in vitro and in vivo experiments.

  17. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. II. Population dynamics equations can be associated with interpretations

    PubMed Central

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D.

    2014-01-01

    The use of mathematical equations to analyse population dynamics measurements is being increasingly applied to elucidate complex dynamic processes in biological systems, including cancer. Purely ‘empirical’ equations may provide sufficient accuracy to support predictions and therapy design. Nevertheless, interpretation of fitting equations in terms of physical and biological propositions can provide additional insights that can be used both to refine models that prove inconsistent with data and to understand the scope of applicability of models that validate. The purpose of this tutorial is to assist readers in mathematically associating interpretations with equations and to provide guidance in choosing interpretations and experimental systems to investigate based on currently available biological knowledge, techniques in mathematical and computational analysis and methods for in vitro and in vivo experiments. PMID:25097752

  18. Organisms as natural purposes: the contemporary evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Walsh, D M

    2006-12-01

    Kant's conception of organisms as natural purposes raises a challenge to the adequacy of mechanistic explanation in biology. Certain features of organisms appear to be inexplicable by appeal to mechanical law alone. Some biological phenomena, it seems, can only be accounted for teleologically. Contemporary evolutionary biology has by and large ignored this challenge. It is widely held that Darwin's theory of natural selection gives us an adequate, wholly mechanical account of the nature of organisms. In contemporary biology, the category of the organism plays virtually no explanatory role. Contemporary evolutionary biology is a science of sub-organismal entities-replicators. I argue that recent advances in developmental biology demonstrate the inadequacy of sub-organismal mechanism. The category of the organism, construed as a 'natural purpose' should play an ineliminable role in explaining ontogenetic development and adaptive evolution. According to Kant the natural purposiveness of organisms cannot be demonstrated to be an objective principle in nature, nor can purposiveness figure in genuine explain. I attempt to argue, by appeal to recent work on self-organization, that the purposiveness of organisms is a natural phenomenon, and, by appeal to the apparatus of invariance explanation, that biological purposiveness provides genuine, ineliminable biological explanations.

  19. The ecology and evolutionary biology of cancer: a review of mathematical models of necrosis and tumor cell diversity.

    PubMed

    Nagy, John D

    2005-04-01

    Recent evidence elucidating the relationship between parenchyma cells and otherwise "healthy" cells in malignant neoplasms is forcing cancer biologists to expand beyond the genome-centered, "one-renegade-cell" theory of cancer. As it becomes more and more clear that malignant transformation is context dependent, the usefulness of an evolutionary ecology-based theory of malignant neoplasia becomes increasingly clear. This review attempts to synthesize various theoretical structures built by mathematical oncologists into potential explanations of necrosis and cellular diversity, including both total cell diversity within a tumor and cellular pleomorphism within the parenchyma. The role of natural selection in necrosis and pleomorphism is also examined. The major hypotheses suggested as explanations of these phenomena are outlined in the conclusions section of this review. In every case, mathematical oncologists have built potentially valuable models that yield insight into the causes of necrosis, cell diversity, and nearly every other aspect of malignancy; most make predictions ultimately testable in the lab or clinic. Unfortunately, these advances have gone largely unexploited by the empirical community. Possible reasons why are considered.

  20. Evolutionary biology of plant defenses against herbivory and their predictive implications for endocrine disruptor susceptibility in vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Wynne-Edwards, K E

    2001-01-01

    Hormone disruption is a major, underappreciated component of the plant chemical arsenal, and the historical coevolution between hormone-disrupting plants and herbivores will have both increased the susceptibility of carnivores and diversified the sensitivities of herbivores to man-made endocrine disruptors. Here I review diverse evidence of the influence of plant secondary compounds on vertebrate reproduction, including human reproduction. Three of the testable hypotheses about the evolutionary responses of vertebrate herbivores to hormone-disrupting challenges from their diet are developed. Specifically, the hypotheses are that a) vertebrate herbivores will express steroid hormone receptors in the buccal cavity and/or the vomeronasal organ; b) absolute sex steroid concentrations will be lower in carnivores than in herbivores; and c) herbivore steroid receptors should be more diverse in their binding affinities than carnivore lineages. The argument developed in this review, if empirically validated by support for the specific hypotheses, suggests that a) carnivores will be more susceptible than herbivores to endocrine-disrupting compounds of anthropogenic origin entering their bodies, and b) diverse herbivore lineages will be variably susceptible to any given natural or synthetic contaminant. As screening methods for hormone-disrupting potential are compared and adopted, comparative endocrine physiology research is urgently needed to develop models that predict the broad applicability of those screening results in diverse vertebrate species. PMID:11401754

  1. Cellular Hyperproliferation and Cancer as Evolutionary Variables

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2012-01-01

    Technological advances in biology have begun to dramatically change the way we think about evolution, development, health and disease. The ability to sequence the genomes of many individuals within a population, and across multiple species, has opened the door to the possibility of answering some long-standing and perplexing questions about our own genetic heritage. One such question revolves around the nature of cellular hyperproliferation. This cellular behavior is used to effect wound healing in most animals, as well as, in some animals, the regeneration of lost body parts. Yet at the same time, cellular hyperproliferation is the fundamental pathological condition responsible for cancers in humans. Here, I will discuss why microevolution, macroevolution and developmental biology all have to be taken into consideration when interpreting studies of both normal and malignant hyperproliferation. I will also illustrate how a synthesis of evolutionary sciences and developmental biology through the study of diverse model organisms can inform our understanding of both health and disease. PMID:22975008

  2. Remotely Sensed Predictions and In Situ Observations of Lower Congo River Dynamics in Support of Fish Evolutionary Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardiner, N.; Bjerklie, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Ongoing research into the evolution of fishes in the lower Congo River suggests a close tie between diversity and hydraulic complexity of flow in the channel. For example, fish populations on each side of the rapids at the head of the lower Congo are within 1.5 km of one another, a distance normally allowing for interbreeding in river systems of comparable size, yet these fish populations show about 5% divergence in their mitochondrial DNA signatures. The proximal reason for this divergence is hydraulic complexity: the speed and turbulence of water moving through the thalweg is a barrier to dispersal for these fishes. Further examination of fish diversity suggests additional correlations of evolutionary divergence of fish clades in association with geomorphic and hydraulic features such as deep pools, extensive systems of rapids, alternating sections of fast and slow current, and recurring whirlpools. Due to prohibitive travel costs, limited field time, and the large geographic domain (approximately 400 river km) of the study area, we undertook a nested set of remote sensing analyses to extract habitat features, geomorphic descriptors, and hydraulic parameters including channel forming velocity, depth, channel roughness, slope, and shear stress. Each of these estimated parameters is mapped for each 1 km segment of the river from the rapids described above to below Inga Falls, a massive cataract where several endemic fish species have been identified. To validate remote sensing estimates, we collected depth and velocity data within the river using gps-enabled sonar measurements from a kayak and Doppler profiling from a motor-driven dugout canoe. Observations corroborate remote sensing estimates of geomorphic parameters. Remote sensing-based estimates of channel-forming velocity and depth were less than the observed maximum channel depth but correlated well with channel properties within 1 km reach segments. This correspondence is notable. The empirical models used

  3. Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies

    PubMed Central

    Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M

    2012-01-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often

  4. The interaction between developmental bias and natural selection: from centipede segments to a general hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Arthur, W

    2002-10-01

    Do limitations to the ways in which mutations can alter developmental processes help to determine the direction of phenotypic evolution? In the early days of neo-Darwinism, the answer given to this question was an emphatic 'no'. However, recent work, both theoretical and empirical, argues that the answer should at least be 'sometimes', and possibly even a straightforward 'yes'. Here, I examine the key concept of developmental bias, which encompasses both developmental constraint and developmental drive. I review the case of centipede segment number, which is a particularly clear example of developmental bias, but also a rather unusual one. I then consider how, in general terms, developmental bias and natural selection might interact, with the result that it is their interaction, rather than either process on its own, that determines evolutionary direction. Essentially, the whole argument is about the extent to which phenotypic variation is developmentally structured as opposed to amorphous or random. This issue can be traced back to the very beginning of evolutionary biology, and in particular to a difference of opinion between Darwin and Wallace, who emphasized, respectively, character correlation and character independence.

  5. Introduction to symposium: Poecilogony--a window on larval evolutionary transitions in marine invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Knott, K Emily; McHugh, Damhnait

    2012-07-01

    Poecilogony is the intraspecific variation in developmental mode that has been described in some marine invertebrates. Poecilogonous species produce different larval forms (e.g., free-swimming planktotrophic larvae as well as brooded lecithotrophic or adelphophagic larvae). Poecilogony can be a controversial topic, since it is difficult to identify and characterize the phenomenon with certainty. It has been challenging to determine whether poecilogony represents developmental polymorphism with a genetic basis or developmental polyphenism reflecting plastic responses to environmental cues. Other outstanding questions include whether common mechanisms underlie the developmental variation we observe in poecilogonous species, and whether poecilogony is maintained in different taxa through similar mechanisms or selective pressures. Poecilogonous species provide a unique opportunity to elucidate the cellular, developmental, and genetic mechanisms underlying evolutionary transitions in developmental mode, as well as to help clarify the selective pressures and possible ecological circumstances that might be involved. Here, we describe an integrative approach to the study of poecilogony and its role in larval evolutionary transitions highlighted during a symposium held at the 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

  6. Drosophila Biology in the Genomic Age

    PubMed Central

    Markow, Therese Ann; O'Grady, Patrick M.

    2007-01-01

    Over the course of the past century, flies in the family Drosophilidae have been important models for understanding genetic, developmental, cellular, ecological, and evolutionary processes. Full genome sequences from a total of 12 species promise to extend this work by facilitating comparative studies of gene expression, of molecules such as proteins, of developmental mechanisms, and of ecological adaptation. Here we review basic biological and ecological information of the species whose genomes have recently been completely sequenced in the context of current research. PMID:18039866

  7. Evidence of an evolutionary-developmental trade-off between drag avoidance and tolerance strategies in wave-swept intertidal kelps (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae).

    PubMed

    Starko, Samuel; Martone, Patrick T

    2016-02-01

    Kelps are a clade of morphologically diverse, ecologically important habitat-forming species. Many kelps live in wave-swept environments and are exposed to chronic flow-induced stress. In order to grow and survive in these harsh environments, kelps can streamline (reducing drag coefficient) to avoid drag or to increase attachment and breakage force to tolerate it. We aimed to quantify the drag tolerance and streamlining strategies of kelps from wave-swept intertidal habitats. We measured drag coefficient and tenacity of populations from eight kelp species over a wide range of sizes to determine whether kelps avoid dislodgement by reducing drag coefficient or by increasing tenacity as they grow, and whether these traits are traded off. We employed phylogenetic comparative methods to rule out potentially confounding effects of species' relatedness. There was a significant negative relationship between drag avoidance and tolerance strategies, even after incorporating phylogeny. Kelps that were more tenacious were less able to reduce drag, resulting in a continuum from "tolerators" to "streamliners," with some species demonstrating intermediate, mixed strategies. Drag and tenacity were correlated with geometric properties (i.e., second moment of area) of the stipe in large kelps. Results presented in this study suggest that kelps are either strong or streamlined, but not both. This continuum is consistent with avoidance and tolerance trade-offs that have been documented in many different biological systems and may have widespread implications for the evolution of large macroalgae, perhaps driving morphological diversity within this group.

  8. Eine evolutionsbiologische Betrachtung der menschlichen Fruhentwicklung (An Evolution-Biological Perspective on the Child's Early Development).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keller, Heidi

    1997-01-01

    Presents an evolutionary-biological perspective on the course of human life. Discusses early development during the first few months of a child's life in the context of bonding with regard to the differentiation of diverse strategies of reproduction. Tries to integrate developmental-psychological knowledge and sociobiological assumptions. (DSK)

  9. A gathering of minds: expanding understanding of the origins of biological diversity and the evolution of developmental mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This paper is a short report on the 2012 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting. Charleston, South Carolina, USA. 3-7 January 2012 (abstracts freely available at http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2012/). PMID:22360850

  10. Reproductive and developmental biology of the emerald ash borer parasitoid Spathius galinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) as affected by temperature

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is an invasive pest of serious concern in North America. To complement ongoing biological control efforts, Spathius galinae Belokobylskij and Strazenac (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a recently-described specialist parasitoid of ...

  11. Generation of evolutionary novelty by functional shift.

    PubMed

    Ganfornina, M D; Sánchez, D

    1999-05-01

    That biological features may change their function during evolution has long been recognized. Particularly, the acquisition of new functions by molecules involved in developmental pathways is suspected to cause important morphologic novelties. However, the current terminology describing functional changes during evolution (co-option or recruitment) fails to recognize important biologic distinctions between diverse evolutionary routes involving functional shifts. The main goal of our work is to stress the importance of an apparently trivial distinction: Whether or not the element that adopts a new function (anything from a morphologic structure to a protein domain) is a single or a duplicated element. We propose that natural selection must act in a radically different way, depending on the historic succession of co-option and duplication events; that is, co-option may provide the selective pressure for a subsequent gene duplication or could be a stabilizing factor that helps maintain redundancy after gene duplication. We review the evidence available on functional changes, focusing whenever possible on developmental molecules, and we propose a conceptual framework for the study of functional shifts during evolution with a level of resolution appropriate to the power of our current methodologies.

  12. Developmental Toxicology##

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developmental toxicology encompasses the study of developmental exposures, pharmacokinetics, mechanisms, pathogenesis, and outcomes potentially leading to adverse health effects. Manifestations of developmental toxicity include structural malformations, growth retardation, functi...

  13. Evolutionary Growth of Genome Representations on Artificial Cellular Organisms with Indirect Encodings.

    PubMed

    Nichele, Stefano; Giskeødegård, Andreas; Tufte, Gunnar

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary design targets systems of continuously increasing complexity. Thus, indirect developmental mappings are often a necessity. Varying the amount of genotype information changes the cardinality of the mapping, which in turn affects the developmental process. An open question is how to find the genotype size and representation in which a developmental solution would fit. A restricted pool of genes may not be large enough to encode a solution or may need complex heuristics to find a realistic size. On the other hand, using the whole set of possible regulatory combinations may be intractable. In nature, the genomes of biological organisms are not fixed in size; they slowly evolve and acquire new genes by random gene duplications. Such incremental growth of genome information can be beneficial also in the artificial domain. For an evolutionary and developmental (evo-devo) system based on cellular automata, we investigate an incremental evolutionary growth of genomes without any a priori knowledge on the necessary genotype size. Evolution starts with simple solutions in a low-dimensional space and incrementally increases the genotype complexity by means of gene duplication, allowing the evolution of scalable genomes that are able to adapt genetic information content while compactness and efficiency are retained. The results are consistent when the target phenotypic complexity, the geometry size, and the number of cell states are scaled up. PMID:26606469

  14. Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Healthy post-pregnancy outcomes are contingent upon an informed regimen of prenatal care encouraging healthy maternal consumption habits. In this article, we describe aspects of maternal intake of food, drink, and medication in a population of predominantly Hispanic women in Southern California. Potential implications for unhealthy prenatal dietary choices are discussed. Methods The Food, Beverage, and Medication Intake Questionnaire (FBMIQ) measures common practices of maternal consumption during pregnancy. The FBMIQ was administered to English and Spanish speaking pregnant and recently pregnant (36 weeks pregnant - 8 weeks post-partum) women over the age of 18 who were receiving care from a private medical group in Downey CA. Results A total of 200 women completed the FBMIQ. Consumption habits of healthy foods and beverages, unhealthy foods, unhealthy beverages, and medication are characterized in this article. Data indicate widespread consumption of fresh fruit, meats, milk and juice and indicate most women used prenatal vitamin supplements. Studies in developmental neuroscience have shown that certain substances may cause teratogenic effects on the fetus when ingested by the mother during pregnancy. Those potentially harmful substances included in our study were Bisphenol-A (BPA), methylmercury, caffeine, alcohol and certain medications. Our results show that a proportion of the women surveyed in our study consumed BPA, methylmercury, caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications at varied levels during pregnancy. This represents an interesting finding and suggests a disconnect between scientific data and general recommendations provided to pregnant mothers by obstetricians. Conclusions The results of our study demonstrate that a proportion of pregnant women consume substances that are potentially teratogenic and may impact the health and well being of the offspring. It is important to appraise healthy and unhealthy consumption habits in order to

  15. Evolutionary and Structural Features of the C2, V3 and C3 Envelope Regions Underlying the Differences in HIV-1 and HIV-2 Biology and Infection

    PubMed Central

    Bártolo, Inês; Marcelino, José Maria; Família, Carlos; Quintas, Alexandre; Taveira, Nuno

    2011-01-01

    Background Unlike in HIV-1 infection, the majority of HIV-2 patients produce broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies, control viral replication and survive as elite controllers. The identification of the molecular, structural and evolutionary footprints underlying these very distinct immunological and clinical outcomes may lead to the development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed a side-by-side molecular, evolutionary and structural comparison of the C2, V3 and C3 envelope regions from HIV-1 and HIV-2. These regions contain major antigenic targets and are important for receptor binding. In HIV-2, these regions also have immune modulatory properties. We found that these regions are significantly more variable in HIV-1 than in HIV-2. Within each virus, C3 is the most entropic region followed by either C2 (HIV-2) or V3 (HIV-1). The C3 region is well exposed in the HIV-2 envelope and is under strong diversifying selection suggesting that, like in HIV-1, it may harbour neutralizing epitopes. Notably, however, extreme diversification of C2 and C3 seems to be deleterious for HIV-2 and prevent its transmission. Computer modelling simulations showed that in HIV-2 the V3 loop is much less exposed than C2 and C3 and has a retractile conformation due to a physical interaction with both C2 and C3. The concealed and conserved nature of V3 in the HIV-2 is consistent with its lack of immunodominancy in vivo and with its role in preventing immune activation. In contrast, HIV-1 had an extended and accessible V3 loop that is consistent with its immunodominant and neutralizing nature. Conclusions/Significance We identify significant structural and functional constrains to the diversification and evolution of C2, V3 and C3 in the HIV-2 envelope but not in HIV-1. These studies highlight fundamental differences in the biology and infection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 and in their mode of interaction with the human

  16. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-01-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an…

  17. TOWARD A BIOLOGICALLY BASED DOSE-RESPONSE MODEL FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF 5-FLUOROURACIL IN THE RAT: A MATHEMATICAL CONSTRUCT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biologically based dose-response (BBDR) models comprise one way to incorporate mechanistic information into a dose-response assessment to be used for risk assessments. The chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) has been used as a prototypic compound for the construction of ...

  18. Effect of host plant fertilization on the developmental biology and feeding preference of the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The main objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of host plant fertilization on the survival, immature development, adult fecundity, and the feeding of the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), a primary vector of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf). The development biology of GWSS was studied on co...

  19. Neocortical neurogenesis is not really "neo": a new evolutionary model derived from a comparative study of chick pallial development.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Ikuo K; Hirata, Tatsumi

    2013-01-01

    The neocortex facilitates mammalian adaptive radiation by conferring highly sophisticated cognitive and motor abilities. A unique feature of the mammalian neocortex is its laminar structure in which similar neuronal subtypes are arranged in tangential layers and construct columnar circuits via interlaminar connections. The neocortical layer structure is completely conserved among all mammalian species, including monotremes and marsupials. However, this structure is missing in non-mammalian sister groups, such as birds and reptiles. The evolutionary origins of neocortical layers and cytoarchitectural borders have been the subject of debate over the past century. Using the chicken embryos as a model of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo model), we recently provided evidence suggesting that the evolutionary origin of layer-specific neuron subtypes predates the emergence of laminar structures. Based on this finding, we review the evolutionary conservation and divergence of neocortical development between mammals and non-mammals and discuss how the layered cytoarchitecture of the mammalian neocortex originated during evolution. PMID:23230908

  20. What We Should Know Before Using Tissue Engineering Techniques to Repair Injured Tendons: A Developmental Biology Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chia-Feng; Aschbacher-Smith, Lindsey; Barthelery, Nicolas J.; Dyment, Nathaniel; Butler, David

    2011-01-01

    Tendons connect muscles to bones, and serve as the transmitters of force that allow all the movements of the body. Tenocytes are the basic cellular units of tendons, and produce the collagens that form the hierarchical fiber system of the tendon. Tendon injuries are common, and difficult to repair, particularly in the case of the insertion of tendon into bone. Successful attempts at cell-based repair therapies will require an understanding of the normal development of tendon tissues, including their differentiated regions such as the fibrous mid-section and fibrocartilaginous insertion site. Many genes are known to be involved in the formation of tendon. However, their functional roles in tendon development have not been fully characterized. Tissue engineers have attempted to generate functional tendon tissue in vitro. However, a lack of knowledge of normal tendon development has hampered these efforts. Here we review studies focusing on the developmental mechanisms of tendon development, and discuss the potential applications of a molecular understanding of tendon development to the treatment of tendon injuries. PMID:21314435

  1. Skeletal muscle fiber type: using insights from muscle developmental biology to dissect targets for susceptibility and resistance to muscle disease.

    PubMed

    Talbot, Jared; Maves, Lisa

    2016-07-01

    Skeletal muscle fibers are classified into fiber types, in particular, slow twitch versus fast twitch. Muscle fiber types are generally defined by the particular myosin heavy chain isoforms that they express, but many other components contribute to a fiber's physiological characteristics. Skeletal muscle fiber type can have a profound impact on muscle diseases, including certain muscular dystrophies and sarcopenia, the aging-induced loss of muscle mass and strength. These findings suggest that some muscle diseases may be treated by shifting fiber type characteristics either from slow to fast, or fast to slow phenotypes, depending on the disease. Recent studies have begun to address which components of muscle fiber types mediate their susceptibility or resistance to muscle disease. However, for many diseases it remains largely unclear why certain fiber types are affected. A substantial body of work has revealed molecular pathways that regulate muscle fiber type plasticity and early developmental muscle fiber identity. For instance, recent studies have revealed many factors that regulate muscle fiber type through modulating the activity of the muscle regulatory transcription factor MYOD1. Future studies of muscle fiber type development in animal models will continue to enhance our understanding of factors and pathways that may provide therapeutic targets to treat muscle diseases. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:518-534. doi: 10.1002/wdev.230 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27199166

  2. Evolutionary rescue beyond the models

    PubMed Central

    Gomulkiewicz, Richard; Shaw, Ruth G.

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory model systems and mathematical models have shed considerable light on the fundamental properties and processes of evolutionary rescue. But it remains to determine the extent to which these model-based findings can help biologists predict when evolution will fail or succeed in rescuing natural populations that are facing novel conditions that threaten their persistence. In this article, we present a prospectus for transferring our basic understanding of evolutionary rescue to wild and other non-laboratory populations. Current experimental and theoretical results emphasize how the interplay between inheritance processes and absolute fitness in changed environments drive population dynamics and determine prospects of extinction. We discuss the challenge of inferring these elements of the evolutionary rescue process in field and natural settings. Addressing this challenge will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of population persistence that combines processes of evolutionary rescue with developmental and ecological mechanisms. PMID:23209173

  3. Iridoid and secoiridoid glycosides in a hybrid complex of bush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp., Caprifolicaceae): implications for evolutionary ecology and invasion biology.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Susan R; Bowers, M Deane

    2013-02-01

    Interspecific hybridization among non-native plant species can generate genotypes that are more reproductively successful in the introduced habitat than either parent. One important mechanism that may serve as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in hybrids is increased variation in secondary metabolite chemistry, but still very little is known about patterns of chemical trait introgression in plant hybrid zones. This study examined the occurrence of iridoid and secoiridoid glycosides (IGs), an important group of plant defense compounds, in three species of honeysuckle, Lonicera morrowii A. Gray, Lonicera tatarica L., and their hybrid Lonicera×bella Zabel. (Caprifoliaceae), all of which are considered invasive in various parts of North America. Hybrid genotypes had a diversity of IGs inherited from both parent species, as well as one component not detected in either parent. All three species were similar in that overall concentrations of IGs were significantly higher in fruits than in leaves, and several compounds that were major components of fruits were never found in leaves. However, specific patterns of quantitative distribution among leaves, unripe fruits, and ripe fruits differed among the three species, with a relatively higher allocation to fruits in the hybrid species than for either parent. These patterns likely have important consequences for plant interactions with antagonistic herbivores and pathogens as well as mutualistic seed dispersers, and thus the potential invasiveness of hybrid and parental species in their introduced range. Methods established here for quantitative analysis of IGs will allow for the exploration of many compelling research questions related to the evolutionary ecology and invasion biology of these and other related species in the genus Lonicera.

  4. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    PubMed

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology.

  5. Biological and Rearing Mother Influences on Child ADHD Symptoms: Revisiting the Developmental Interface between Nature and Nurture

    PubMed Central

    Harold, Gordon T.; Leve, Leslie D.; Barrett, Douglas; Elam, Kit; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Natsuaki, Misaki N.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Reiss, David; Thapar, Anita

    2013-01-01

    Background Families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report more negative family relationships than families of children without ADHD. Questions remain as to the role of genetic factors underlying associations between family relationships and children’s ADHD symptoms, and the role of children’s ADHD symptoms as an evocative influence on the quality of relationships experienced within such families. Utilizing the attributes of two genetically sensitive research designs, the present study examined associations between biologically related and non-biologically related maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The combined attributes of the study designs permit assessment of associations while controlling for passive genotype-environment correlation and directly examining evocative genotype-environment correlation (rGE); two relatively under examined confounds of past research in this area. Methods A cross-sectional adoption-at-conception design (Cardiff IVF Study; C-IVF) and a longitudinal adoption-at-birth design (Early Growth and Development Study; EGDS) were used. The C-IVF sample included 160 mothers and children (age 5–8 years). The EGDS sample included 320 linked sets of adopted children (age 6 years), adoptive-, and biologically-related mothers. Questionnaires were used to assess maternal ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. A cross-rater approach was used across measures of maternal behavior (mother reports) and child ADHD symptoms (father reports). Results Significant associations were revealed between rearing mother ADHD symptoms, hostile parenting behavior, and child ADHD symptoms in both samples. Because both samples consisted of genetically-unrelated mothers and children, passive rGE was removed as a possible explanatory factor underlying these associations. Further, path analysis revealed evidence for

  6. Where Did You Come From? Where Will You Go? Human Evolutionary Biology Education and American Students' Academic Interests and Achievements, Professional Goals, and Socioscientific Decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class enrollment, academic achievement, interest in a STEM degree program, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and socioscientific decision-making for a sample of students enrolled full-time at Arizona State University. Given a lack of a priori knowledge of these relationships, the Grounded Theory Method was used and was the foundation for a mixed-methods analysis involving qualitative and quantitative data from one-on-one interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and an online survey. Theory development and hypothesis generation were based on data from 44 students. The survey instrument, developed to test the hypotheses, was completed by 486 undergraduates, age 18--22, who graduated from U.S. public high schools. The results showed that higher exposure to HEB was correlated with greater high school science class enrollment, particularly for advanced biological science classes, and that, for some students, HEB exposure may have influenced their enrollment, because the students found the content interesting and relevant. The results also suggested that students with higher K--12 HEB exposure felt more prepared for undergraduate science coursework. There was a positive correlation between HEB exposure and interest in a STEM degree and an indirect relationship between higher HEB exposure and motivation to pursue a STEM career. Regarding a number of socioscientific issues, including but not limited to climate change, homosexuality, and stem cell research, students' behaviors and decision-making more closely reflected a scientific viewpoint---or less-closely aligned to a religion-based perspective---when students had greater HEB exposure

  7. Differential susceptibility to the environment: an evolutionary--neurodevelopmental theory.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Bruce J; Boyce, W Thomas; Belsky, Jay; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H

    2011-02-01

    Two extant evolutionary models, biological sensitivity to context theory (BSCT) and differential susceptibility theory (DST), converge on the hypothesis that some individuals are more susceptible than others to both negative (risk-promoting) and positive (development-enhancing) environmental conditions. These models contrast with the currently dominant perspective on personal vulnerability and environmental risk: diathesis stress/dual risk. We review challenges to this perspective based on emerging theory and data from the evolutionary, developmental, and health sciences. These challenges signify the need for a paradigm shift in conceptualizing Person x Environment interactions in development. In this context we advance an evolutionary--neurodevelopmental theory, based on DST and BSCT, of the role of neurobiological susceptibility to the environment in regulating environmental effects on adaptation, development, and health. We then outline current thinking about neurogenomic and endophenotypic mechanisms that may underpin neurobiological susceptibility, summarize extant empirical research on differential susceptibility, and evaluate the evolutionary bases and implications of BSCT and DST. Finally, we discuss applied issues including methodological and statistical considerations in conducting differential susceptibility research; issues of ecological, cultural, and racial--ethnic variation in neurobiological susceptibility; and implications of differential susceptibility for designing social programs. We conclude that the differential susceptibility paradigm has far-reaching implications for understanding whether and how much child and adult development responds, for better and for worse, to the gamut of species-typical environmental conditions.

  8. Using evolutionary computations to understand the design and evolution of gene and cell regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Spirov, Alexander; Holloway, David

    2013-07-15

    This paper surveys modeling approaches for studying the evolution of gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Modeling of the design or 'wiring' of GRNs has become increasingly common in developmental and medical biology, as a means of quantifying gene-gene interactions, the response to perturbations, and the overall dynamic motifs of networks. Drawing from developments in GRN 'design' modeling, a number of groups are now using simulations to study how GRNs evolve, both for comparative genomics and to uncover general principles of evolutionary processes. Such work can generally be termed evolution in silico. Complementary to these biologically-focused approaches, a now well-established field of computer science is Evolutionary Computations (ECs), in which highly efficient optimization techniques are inspired from evolutionary principles. In surveying biological simulation approaches, we discuss the considerations that must be taken with respect to: (a) the precision and completeness of the data (e.g. are the simulations for very close matches to anatomical data, or are they for more general exploration of evolutionary principles); (b) the level of detail to model (we proceed from 'coarse-grained' evolution of simple gene-gene interactions to 'fine-grained' evolution at the DNA sequence level); (c) to what degree is it important to include the genome's cellular context; and (d) the efficiency of computation. With respect to the latter, we argue that developments in computer science EC offer the means to perform more complete simulation searches, and will lead to more comprehensive biological predictions.

  9. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  10. Comparative approaches in evolutionary psychology: molecular neuroscience meets the mind.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak; Moskal, Joseph R; Panksepp, Jules B; Kroes, Roger A

    2002-12-01

    Evolutionary psychologists often overlook a wealth of information existing between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate phenotypic level. This commonly ignored level of biological organization is the ongoing activity of neurobiological systems. In this paper, we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic weaknesses of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational view that focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various basic psychological features across mammalian species. Such an approach offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of evolutionary psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as biochemistry, physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology and the neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an example of this through our impending work using gene microarray technology to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during aggressive and playful social interactions. Through a focus on functional homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved, subcortical emotional and motivational brain systems, neuroevolutionary psychobiology can reveal ancient features of the human mind that are still shared with other animals. Claims regarding evolved, uniquely human, psychological constructs should be constrained by the rigorous evidentiary standards that are routine in other sciences.

  11. Comparative approaches in evolutionary psychology: molecular neuroscience meets the mind.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak; Moskal, Joseph R; Panksepp, Jules B; Kroes, Roger A

    2002-12-01

    Evolutionary psychologists often overlook a wealth of information existing between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate phenotypic level. This commonly ignored level of biological organization is the ongoing activity of neurobiological systems. In this paper, we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic weaknesses of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational view that focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various basic psychological features across mammalian species. Such an approach offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of evolutionary psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as biochemistry, physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology and the neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an example of this through our impending work using gene microarray technology to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during aggressive and playful social interactions. Through a focus on functional homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved, subcortical emotional and motivational brain systems, neuroevolutionary psychobiology can reveal ancient features of the human mind that are still shared with other animals. Claims regarding evolved, uniquely human, psychological constructs should be constrained by the rigorous evidentiary standards that are routine in other sciences. PMID:12496741

  12. Evolutionary awareness.

    PubMed

    Gorelik, Gregory; Shackelford, Todd K

    2014-08-27

    In this article, we advance the concept of "evolutionary awareness," a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities-which we refer to as "intergenerational extended phenotypes"-by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  13. Development as a Factor in the Evolution of Modularity in Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, Jessica

    Biological networks and other systems tend to be modular in structure, with reuse of motifs and the ability to be separated into semi-independent units. The evolutionary forces that produce this modularity are a topic of active research, as modular solutions rarely emerge from models of biological evolution. Through simulations combining evolution and development, I investigate the role that development plays in the emergence of modularity, using a popular metric for network modularity and representing non-network structures as networks in which building blocks are nodes and connections between them are arcs. Preliminary results show that the modularities of structures evolved by an L-systems-based evolutionary developmental algorithm are higher than those evolved by a non-developmental evolutionary algorithm that models evolution in the same way. To ensure that these results are not specific to a single algorithm, I am conducting evolutionary developmental simulations using other methods for simulating development, evolving both networks and building-block structures. This study sheds light on the role of development as a factor in the origin of modularity in biological networks and other biological systems.

  14. Evolutionary theory of cancer.

    PubMed

    Attolini, Camille Stephan-Otto; Michor, Franziska

    2009-06-01

    As Theodosius Dobzhansky famously noted in 1973, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," and cancer is no exception to this rule. Our understanding of cancer initiation, progression, treatment, and resistance has advanced considerably by regarding cancer as the product of evolutionary processes. Here we review the literature of mathematical models of cancer evolution and provide a synthesis and discussion of the field.

  15. Developmental Toxicity

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter provides an overview the developmental toxicity resulting from exposure to perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs). The majority of studies of PFAA-induced developmental toxicity have examined effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) a...

  16. Developmental Screening

    MedlinePlus

    Learn More about Your Child’s Development: Developmental Monitoring and Screening Taking a first step, waving “bye-bye,” and pointing to something interesting are all developmental milestones, ...

  17. Developmental Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bibb, T. Clifford

    1998-01-01

    Outlines steps developmental educators need to take to win the cooperation of more students. Argues also that developmental educators must include computer literacy in their understanding of literacy. (SR)

  18. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    PubMed

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  19. Report on 2nd Royan Institute International Summer School on developmental biology and stem cells Tehran, Iran, 17-22nd July 2011.

    PubMed

    Newgreen, Donald; Grounds, Miranda; Jesuthasan, Suresh; Rashidi, Hassan; Familari, Mary

    2012-03-01

    The 2nd Royan Institute International Summer School was built around the topic of stem cells and grounding in the discipline of developmental biology. The meeting provided not only direct transfer of technical and intellectual information, the normal process in scientific meetings, but was also a forum for the exchange of personal ideas of science as a creative pursuit. This summer school introduced aspiring young Iranian scientists to international researchers and exposed the latter to a rich culture that highly values learning and education, attested by the confident, intelligent young men and women who asked probing questions and who were eager to participate in the workshops. Hossein Baharvand's dedication and passion for science have led to an impressive record of national and international peer-reviewed publications and an increasing number of students who pursue science in Iran, and shows how the right people can create an environment where good science, good science education and motivation will flourish. This report summarizes some of the activities of the workshop in the Royan Institute and the impressions of the visiting scientists in the wider context of the scientific and cultural heritage of Iran.

  20. On the bifurcation of blood vessels--Wilhelm Roux's doctoral thesis (Jena 1878)--a seminal work for biophysical modelling in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Kurz, H; Sandau, K; Christ, B

    1997-02-01

    Wilhelm Roux's doctoral thesis described the relationship between the angle and diameter of bifurcating blood vessels. We have re-read this work in the light of biophysics and developmental biology and found two remarkable aspects hidden among a multitude of observations, rules and exceptions to these rules. First, the author identified the major determinants involved in vascular development; genetics, cybernetics, and mechanics; moreover, he knew that he could not deal with the genetic and regulatory aspects, and could hardly treat the mechanical part adequately. Second, he was deeply convinced that the laws of physics determine the design of organisms, and that a necessity for optimality was inherent in development. We combined the analysis of diameter relationships with the requirement for optimality in a stochastic biophysical model, and concluded that a constant wall-stress condition could define a minimum wall-tissue optimum during arterial development. Hence, almost 120 years after Wilhelm Roux's pioneering work, our model indicates one possible way in which physical laws have determined the evolution of regulatory and structural properties in vessel wall development. PMID:9059737