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Sample records for exhibit contrasting evolutionary

  1. Contrasting evolutionary patterns in Drosophila immune receptors.

    PubMed

    Jiggins, Francis M; Kim, Kang-Wook

    2006-12-01

    Vertebrate immune system molecules that bind directly to parasites are commonly subject to strong directional natural selection, probably because they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race with parasites. We have investigated whether similar patterns of evolution are seen in components of the Drosophila immune system that bind parasite-derived molecules. In insects, TEPs (thioester-containing proteins) function as opsonins, binding to parasites and promoting their phagocytosis or encapsulation. The Drosophila melanogaster genome encodes four TEPs, three of which are upregulated after an immune challenge. We report that two of these three Drosophila genes evolve rapidly under positive selection and that, in both TepI and TepII, the "bait-like region" (also known as the variable region) shows the strongest signature of positive selection. This region may be the site of proteolytic cleavage that leads to the activation of the molecule. It is possible that the proteolytic activation of TEPs is a target of host-parasite coevolution, with parasites evolving to prevent proteolysis, which in turn favors mutations in the bait-like region that restore the response. We also sequenced three gram-negative binding proteins (GNBPs) and two immune-induced peptides with strong homology to the GNBPs. In contrast to the Tep genes, the GNBP genes are highly conserved. We discuss the reasons why different components of the immune system have such different patterns of evolution.

  2. Yellow fever virus exhibits slower evolutionary dynamics than dengue virus.

    PubMed

    Sall, Amadou A; Faye, Ousmane; Diallo, Mawlouth; Firth, Cadhla; Kitchen, Andrew; Holmes, Edward C

    2010-01-01

    Although yellow fever has historically been one of the most important viral infections of humans, relatively little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape its genetic diversity. Similarly, there is limited information on the molecular epidemiology of yellow fever virus (YFV) in Africa even though it most likely first emerged on this continent. Through an analysis of complete E gene sequences, including a newly acquired viral collection from Central and West Africa (Senegal, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Mauritania), we show that YFV exhibits markedly lower rates of evolutionary change than dengue virus, despite numerous biological similarities between these two viruses. From this observation, along with a lack of clock-like evolutionary behavior in YFV, we suggest that vertical transmission, itself characterized by lower replication rates, may play an important role in the evolution of YFV in its enzootic setting. Despite a reduced rate of nucleotide substitution, phylogenetic patterns and estimates of times to common ancestry in YFV still accord well with the dual histories of colonialism and the slave trade, with areas of sylvatic transmission (such as Kedougou, Senegal) acting as enzootic/epidemic foci.

  3. Contrasting the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of influenza spatial transmission

    PubMed Central

    Viboud, Cécile; Nelson, Martha I.; Tan, Yi; Holmes, Edward C.

    2013-01-01

    In the past decade, rapid increases in the availability of high-resolution molecular and epidemiological data, combined with developments in statistical and computational methods to simulate and infer migration patterns, have provided key insights into the spatial dynamics of influenza A viruses in humans. In this review, we contrast findings from epidemiological and molecular studies of influenza virus transmission at different spatial scales. We show that findings are broadly consistent in large-scale studies of inter-regional or inter-hemispheric spread in temperate regions, revealing intense epidemics associated with multiple viral introductions, followed by deep troughs driven by seasonal bottlenecks. However, aspects of the global transmission dynamics of influenza viruses are still debated, especially with respect to the existence of tropical source populations experiencing high levels of genetic diversity and the extent of prolonged viral persistence between epidemics. At the scale of a country or community, epidemiological studies have revealed spatially structured diffusion patterns in seasonal and pandemic outbreaks, which were not identified in molecular studies. We discuss the role of sampling issues in generating these conflicting results, and suggest strategies for future research that may help to fully integrate the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of influenza virus over space and time. PMID:23382422

  4. Contrasting evolutionary patterns in two reef-corals and their possible relationship to life history traits

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, A.B.

    1985-01-01

    Multivariate statistical analyses have been used to redefine species within two genera of reef-corals (Porites and Montastraea) and to trace their evolutionary patterns through a continuous sequence from late Miocene to early Pliocene time. The material studied consists of populations sampled at regular intervals through four stratigraphic sections in the northern Dominican Republic. The results show that species in the first genus (Porites) have relatively short durations, morphologic stability, and narrow spatial distributions. Their overall evolutionary history is characterized by short periods of radiation and widespread extinction, separated by longer periods of stasis. In contrast, species in the second genus (Montastraea) exhibit various different durations and distributions and directional morphologic trends. These differences in patterns may be related to the dissimilar life histories of the two genera. Patterns in the first genus appear more common in organisms having high larval recruitment, high mortality, high genetic variation, and less morphologic distance between species. Patterns in the second genus occur more frequently in slower growing, phenotypically plastic organisms experiencing less recruitment and mortality and showing more morphologic distance between species.

  5. Evolutionary origins of human handedness: evaluating contrasting hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Cochet, Hélène; Byrne, Richard W

    2013-07-01

    Variation in methods and measures, resulting in past dispute over the existence of population handedness in nonhuman great apes, has impeded progress into the origins of human right-handedness and how it relates to the human hallmark of language. Pooling evidence from behavioral studies, neuroimaging and neuroanatomy, we evaluate data on manual and cerebral laterality in humans and other apes engaged in a range of manipulative tasks and in gestural communication. A simplistic human/animal partition is no longer tenable, and we review four (nonexclusive) possible drivers for the origin of population-level right-handedness: skilled manipulative activity, as in tool use; communicative gestures; organizational complexity of action, in particular hierarchical structure; and the role of intentionality in goal-directed action. Fully testing these hypotheses will require developmental and evolutionary evidence as well as modern neuroimaging data.

  6. Evolutionary Divergences in Root Exudate Composition among Ecologically-Contrasting Helianthus Species

    PubMed Central

    Bowsher, Alan W.; Ali, Rifhat; Harding, Scott A.; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Donovan, Lisa A.

    2016-01-01

    Plant roots exude numerous metabolites into the soil that influence nutrient availability. Although root exudate composition is hypothesized to be under selection in low fertility soils, few studies have tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic framework. In this study, we examined root exudates of three pairs of Helianthus species chosen as phylogenetically-independent contrasts with respect to native soil nutrient availability. Under controlled environmental conditions, seedlings were grown to the three-leaf-pair stage, then transferred to either high or low nutrient treatments. After five days of nutrient treatments, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis of root exudates, and detected 37 metabolites across species. When compared in the high nutrient treatment, species native to low nutrient soils exhibited overall higher exudation than their sister species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs, providing support for repeated evolutionary shifts in response to native soil fertility. Species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils responded similarly to low nutrient treatments with increased exudation of organic acids (fumaric, citric, malic acids) and glucose, potentially as a mechanism to enhance nutrition acquisition. However, species native to low nutrient soils also responded to low nutrient treatments with a larger decrease in exudation of amino acids than species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs. This indicates that species native to low nutrient soils have evolved a unique sensitivity to changes in nutrient availability for some, but not all, root exudates. Overall, these repeated evolutionary divergences between species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils provide evidence for the adaptive value of root exudation, and its plasticity, in contrasting soil environments. PMID:26824236

  7. Evolutionary Divergences in Root Exudate Composition among Ecologically-Contrasting Helianthus Species.

    PubMed

    Bowsher, Alan W; Ali, Rifhat; Harding, Scott A; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Donovan, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Plant roots exude numerous metabolites into the soil that influence nutrient availability. Although root exudate composition is hypothesized to be under selection in low fertility soils, few studies have tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic framework. In this study, we examined root exudates of three pairs of Helianthus species chosen as phylogenetically-independent contrasts with respect to native soil nutrient availability. Under controlled environmental conditions, seedlings were grown to the three-leaf-pair stage, then transferred to either high or low nutrient treatments. After five days of nutrient treatments, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis of root exudates, and detected 37 metabolites across species. When compared in the high nutrient treatment, species native to low nutrient soils exhibited overall higher exudation than their sister species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs, providing support for repeated evolutionary shifts in response to native soil fertility. Species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils responded similarly to low nutrient treatments with increased exudation of organic acids (fumaric, citric, malic acids) and glucose, potentially as a mechanism to enhance nutrition acquisition. However, species native to low nutrient soils also responded to low nutrient treatments with a larger decrease in exudation of amino acids than species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs. This indicates that species native to low nutrient soils have evolved a unique sensitivity to changes in nutrient availability for some, but not all, root exudates. Overall, these repeated evolutionary divergences between species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils provide evidence for the adaptive value of root exudation, and its plasticity, in contrasting soil environments. PMID:26824236

  8. Evolutionary Divergences in Root Exudate Composition among Ecologically-Contrasting Helianthus Species.

    PubMed

    Bowsher, Alan W; Ali, Rifhat; Harding, Scott A; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Donovan, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Plant roots exude numerous metabolites into the soil that influence nutrient availability. Although root exudate composition is hypothesized to be under selection in low fertility soils, few studies have tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic framework. In this study, we examined root exudates of three pairs of Helianthus species chosen as phylogenetically-independent contrasts with respect to native soil nutrient availability. Under controlled environmental conditions, seedlings were grown to the three-leaf-pair stage, then transferred to either high or low nutrient treatments. After five days of nutrient treatments, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis of root exudates, and detected 37 metabolites across species. When compared in the high nutrient treatment, species native to low nutrient soils exhibited overall higher exudation than their sister species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs, providing support for repeated evolutionary shifts in response to native soil fertility. Species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils responded similarly to low nutrient treatments with increased exudation of organic acids (fumaric, citric, malic acids) and glucose, potentially as a mechanism to enhance nutrition acquisition. However, species native to low nutrient soils also responded to low nutrient treatments with a larger decrease in exudation of amino acids than species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs. This indicates that species native to low nutrient soils have evolved a unique sensitivity to changes in nutrient availability for some, but not all, root exudates. Overall, these repeated evolutionary divergences between species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils provide evidence for the adaptive value of root exudation, and its plasticity, in contrasting soil environments.

  9. Two Hymenophyllaceae species from contrasting natural environments exhibit a homoiochlorophyllous strategy in response to desiccation stress.

    PubMed

    Flores-Bavestrello, Alejandra; Król, Marianna; Ivanov, Alexander G; Hüner, Norman P A; García-Plazaola, José Ignacio; Corcuera, Luis J; Bravo, León A

    2016-02-01

    Hymenophyllaceae is a desiccation tolerant family of Pteridophytes which are poikilohydric epiphytes. Their fronds are composed by a single layer of cells and lack true mesophyll cells and stomata. Although they are associated with humid and shady environments, their vertical distribution varies along the trunk of the host plant with some species inhabiting the drier sides with a higher irradiance. The aim of this work was to compare the structure and function of the photosynthetic apparatus during desiccation and rehydration in two species, Hymenophyllum dentatum and Hymenoglossum cruentum, isolated from a contrasting vertical distribution along the trunk of their hosts. Both species were subjected to desiccation and rehydration kinetics to analyze frond phenotypic plasticity, as well as the structure, composition and function of the photosynthetic apparatus. Minimal differences in photosynthetic pigments were observed upon dehydration. Measurements of ϕPSII (effective quantum yield of PSII), ϕNPQ (quantum yield of the regulated energy dissipation of PSII), ϕNO (quantum yield of non-regulated energy dissipation of PSII), and TL (thermoluminescence) indicate that both species convert a functional photochemical apparatus into a structure which exhibits maximum quenching capacity in the dehydrated state with minimal changes in photosynthetic pigments and polypeptide compositions. This dehydration-induced conversion in the photosynthetic apparatus is completely reversible upon rehydration. We conclude that H. dentatum and H. cruentum are homoiochlorophyllous with respect to desiccation stress and exhibited no correlation between inherent desiccation tolerance and the vertical distribution along the host tree trunk. PMID:26720213

  10. Wheat syntenome unveils new evidences of contrasted evolutionary plasticity between paleo- and neoduplicated subgenomes.

    PubMed

    Pont, Caroline; Murat, Florent; Guizard, Sébastien; Flores, Raphael; Foucrier, Séverine; Bidet, Yannick; Quraishi, Umar Masood; Alaux, Michael; Doležel, Jaroslav; Fahima, Tzion; Budak, Hikmet; Keller, Beat; Salvi, Silvio; Maccaferri, Marco; Steinbach, Delphine; Feuillet, Catherine; Quesneville, Hadi; Salse, Jérôme

    2013-12-01

    Bread wheat derives from a grass ancestor structured in seven protochromosomes followed by a paleotetraploidization to reach a 12 chromosomes intermediate and a neohexaploidization (involving subgenomes A, B and D) event that finally shaped the 21 modern chromosomes. Insights into wheat syntenome in sequencing conserved orthologous set (COS) genes unravelled differences in genomic structure (such as gene conservation and diversity) and genetical landscape (such as recombination pattern) between ancestral as well as recent duplicated blocks. Contrasted evolutionary plasticity is observed where the B subgenome appears more sensitive (i.e. plastic) in contrast to A as dominant (i.e. stable) in response to the neotetraploidization and D subgenome as supra-dominant (i.e. pivotal) in response to the neohexaploidization event. Finally, the wheat syntenome, delivered through a public web interface PlantSyntenyViewer at http://urgi.versailles.inra.fr/synteny-wheat, can be considered as a guide for accelerated dissection of major agronomical traits in wheat.

  11. Characterization of the Avian Trojan Gene Family Reveals Contrasting Evolutionary Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Petrov, Petar; Syrjänen, Riikka; Smith, Jacqueline; Gutowska, Maria Weronika; Uchida, Tatsuya; Vainio, Olli; Burt, David W

    2015-01-01

    “Trojan” is a leukocyte-specific, cell surface protein originally identified in the chicken. Its molecular function has been hypothesized to be related to anti-apoptosis and the proliferation of immune cells. The Trojan gene has been localized onto the Z sex chromosome. The adjacent two genes also show significant homology to Trojan, suggesting the existence of a novel gene/protein family. Here, we characterize this Trojan family, identify homologues in other species and predict evolutionary constraints on these genes. The two Trojan-related proteins in chicken were predicted as a receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase and a transmembrane protein, bearing a cytoplasmic immuno-receptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We identified the Trojan gene family in ten other bird species and found related genes in three reptiles and a fish species. The phylogenetic analysis of the homologues revealed a gradual diversification among the family members. Evolutionary analyzes of the avian genes predicted that the extracellular regions of the proteins have been subjected to positive selection. Such selection was possibly a response to evolving interacting partners or to pathogen challenges. We also observed an almost complete lack of intracellular positively selected sites, suggesting a conserved signaling mechanism of the molecules. Therefore, the contrasting patterns of selection likely correlate with the interaction and signaling potential of the molecules. PMID:25803627

  12. Vampire bats exhibit evolutionary reduction of bitter taste receptor genes common to other bats.

    PubMed

    Hong, Wei; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-08-01

    The bitter taste serves as an important natural defence against the ingestion of poisonous foods and is thus believed to be indispensable in animals. However, vampire bats are obligate blood feeders that show a reduced behavioural response towards bitter-tasting compounds. To test whether bitter taste receptor genes (T2Rs) have been relaxed from selective constraint in vampire bats, we sampled all three vampire bat species and 11 non-vampire bats, and sequenced nine one-to-one orthologous T2Rs that are assumed to be functionally conserved in all bats. We generated 85 T2R sequences and found that vampire bats have a significantly greater percentage of pseudogenes than other bats. These results strongly suggest a relaxation of selective constraint and a reduction of bitter taste function in vampire bats. We also found that vampire bats retain many intact T2Rs, and that the taste signalling pathway gene Calhm1 remains complete and intact with strong functional constraint. These results suggest the presence of some bitter taste function in vampire bats, although it is not likely to play a major role in food selection. Together, our study suggests that the evolutionary reduction of bitter taste function in animals is more pervasive than previously believed, and highlights the importance of extra-oral functions of taste receptor genes.

  13. Vampire bats exhibit evolutionary reduction of bitter taste receptor genes common to other bats.

    PubMed

    Hong, Wei; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-08-01

    The bitter taste serves as an important natural defence against the ingestion of poisonous foods and is thus believed to be indispensable in animals. However, vampire bats are obligate blood feeders that show a reduced behavioural response towards bitter-tasting compounds. To test whether bitter taste receptor genes (T2Rs) have been relaxed from selective constraint in vampire bats, we sampled all three vampire bat species and 11 non-vampire bats, and sequenced nine one-to-one orthologous T2Rs that are assumed to be functionally conserved in all bats. We generated 85 T2R sequences and found that vampire bats have a significantly greater percentage of pseudogenes than other bats. These results strongly suggest a relaxation of selective constraint and a reduction of bitter taste function in vampire bats. We also found that vampire bats retain many intact T2Rs, and that the taste signalling pathway gene Calhm1 remains complete and intact with strong functional constraint. These results suggest the presence of some bitter taste function in vampire bats, although it is not likely to play a major role in food selection. Together, our study suggests that the evolutionary reduction of bitter taste function in animals is more pervasive than previously believed, and highlights the importance of extra-oral functions of taste receptor genes. PMID:24966321

  14. A normalized contrast-encoding model exhibits bright/dark asymmetries similar to early visual neurons.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Emily A

    2016-04-01

    Biological sensory systems share a number of organizing principles. One such principle is the formation of parallel streams. In the visual system, information about bright and dark features is largely conveyed via two separate streams: theONandOFFpathways. While brightness and darkness can be considered symmetric and opposite forms of visual contrast, the response properties of cells in theONandOFFpathways are decidedly asymmetric. Here, we ask whether a simple contrast-encoding model predicts asymmetries for brights and darks that are similar to the asymmetries found in theONandOFFpathways. Importantly, this model does not include any explicit differences in how the visual system represents brights and darks, but it does include a common normalization mechanism. The phenomena captured by the model include (1) nonlinear contrast response functions, (2) greater nonlinearities in the responses to darks, and (3) larger responses to dark contrasts. We report a direct, quantitative comparison between these model predictions and previously published electrophysiological measurements from the retina and thalamus (guinea pig and cat, respectively). This work suggests that the simple computation of visual contrast may account for a range of early visual processing nonlinearities. Assessing explicit models of sensory representations is essential for understanding which features of neuronal activity these models can and cannot predict, and for investigating how early computations may reverberate through the sensory pathways. PMID:27044852

  15. A normalized contrast-encoding model exhibits bright/dark asymmetries similar to early visual neurons.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Emily A

    2016-04-01

    Biological sensory systems share a number of organizing principles. One such principle is the formation of parallel streams. In the visual system, information about bright and dark features is largely conveyed via two separate streams: theONandOFFpathways. While brightness and darkness can be considered symmetric and opposite forms of visual contrast, the response properties of cells in theONandOFFpathways are decidedly asymmetric. Here, we ask whether a simple contrast-encoding model predicts asymmetries for brights and darks that are similar to the asymmetries found in theONandOFFpathways. Importantly, this model does not include any explicit differences in how the visual system represents brights and darks, but it does include a common normalization mechanism. The phenomena captured by the model include (1) nonlinear contrast response functions, (2) greater nonlinearities in the responses to darks, and (3) larger responses to dark contrasts. We report a direct, quantitative comparison between these model predictions and previously published electrophysiological measurements from the retina and thalamus (guinea pig and cat, respectively). This work suggests that the simple computation of visual contrast may account for a range of early visual processing nonlinearities. Assessing explicit models of sensory representations is essential for understanding which features of neuronal activity these models can and cannot predict, and for investigating how early computations may reverberate through the sensory pathways.

  16. Contrasted evolutionary constraints on secreted and non-secreted proteomes of selected Actinobacteria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Actinobacteria have adapted to contrasted ecological niches such as the soil, and among others to plants or animals as pathogens or symbionts. Mycobacterium genus contains mostly pathogens that cause a variety of mammalian diseases, among which the well-known leprosy and tuberculosis, it also has saprophytic relatives. Streptomyces genus is mostly a soil microbe known for its secondary metabolites, it contains also plant pathogens, animal pathogens and symbionts. Frankia, a nitrogen-fixing actinobacterium establishes a root symbiosis with dicotyledonous pionneer plants. Pathogens and symbionts live inside eukaryotic cells and tissues and interact with their cellular environment through secreted proteins and effectors transported through transmembrane systems; nevertheless they also need to avoid triggering host defense reactions. A comparative genome analysis of the secretomes of symbionts and pathogens allows a thorough investigation of selective pressures shaping their evolution. In the present study, the rates of silent mutations to non-silent mutations in secretory proteins were assessed in different strains of Frankia, Streptomyces and Mycobacterium, of which several genomes have recently become publicly available. Results It was found that secreted proteins as a whole have a stronger purifying evolutionary rate (non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions or Ka/Ks ratio) than the non-secretory proteins in most of the studied genomes. This difference becomes statistically significant in cases involving obligate symbionts and pathogens. Amongst the Frankia, secretomes of symbiotic strains were found to have undergone evolutionary trends different from those of the mainly saprophytic strains. Even within the secretory proteins, the signal peptide part has a higher Ka/Ks ratio than the mature part. Two contrasting trends were noticed amongst the Frankia genomes regarding the relation between selection strength (i.e. Ka/Ks ratio) and the codon adaptation

  17. Contrasting Evolutionary Patterns of Functional Connectivity in Sensorimotor and Cognitive Regions after Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Huaigui; Tian, Tian; Qin, Wen; Li, Kuncheng; Yu, Chunshui

    2016-01-01

    The human brain is a highly connected and integrated system. Local stroke lesions can evoke reorganization in multiple functional networks. However, the temporally-evolving patterns in different functional networks after stroke remain unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the dynamic evolutionary patterns of functional connectivity density (FCD) and strength (FCS) of the brain after subcortical stroke involving in the motor pathways. Eight male patients with left subcortical infarctions were longitudinally examined at five time points within a year. Voxel-wise FCD analysis was used to identify brain regions with significant dynamic changes. The temporally-evolving patterns in FCD and FCS in these regions were analyzed by a mixed-effects model. Associations between these measures and clinical variables were also explored in stroke patients. Voxel-wise analysis revealed dynamic FCD changes only in the sensorimotor and cognitive regions after stroke. FCD and FCS in the sensorimotor regions decreased initially, as compared to controls, remaining at lower levels for months, and finally returned to normal levels. In contrast, FCD and FCS in the cognitive regions increased initially, remaining at higher levels for months, and finally returned to normal levels. Most of these measures were correlated with patients’ motor scores. These findings suggest a network-specific dynamic functional reorganization after stroke. Besides the sensorimotor regions, the spared cognitive regions may also play an important role in stroke recovery. PMID:27147993

  18. Different gardens, different results: native and introduced populations exhibit contrasting phenotypes across common gardens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jennifer L; Auge, Harald; Maron, John L

    2008-08-01

    Invasive plants may respond through adaptive evolution and/or phenotypic plasticity to new environmental conditions where they are introduced. Although many studies have focused on evolution of invaders particularly in the context of testing the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis, few consistent patterns have emerged. Many tests of the EICA hypothesis have been performed in only one environment; such assessments may be misleading if plants that perform one way at a particular site respond differently across sites. Single common garden tests ignore the potential for important contributions of both genetic and environmental factors to affect plant phenotype. Using a widespread invader in North America, Cynoglossum officinale, we established reciprocal common gardens in the native range (Europe) and introduced range (North America) to assess genetically based differences in size, fecundity, flowering phenology and threshold flowering size between native and introduced genotypes as well as the magnitude of plasticity in these traits. In addition, we grew plants at three nutrient levels in a pot experiment in one garden to test for plasticity across a different set of conditions. We did not find significant genetically based differences between native and introduced populations in the traits we measured; in our experiments, introduced populations of C. officinale were larger and more fecund, but only in common garden experiments in the native range. We found substantial population-level plasticity for size, fecundity and date of first flowering, with plants performing better in a garden in Germany than in Montana. Differentiation of native populations in the magnitude of plasticity was much stronger than that of introduced populations, suggesting an important role for founder effects. We did not detect evidence of an evolutionary change in threshold flowering size. Our study demonstrates that detecting genetically based differences in traits

  19. Fish and Phytoplankton Exhibit Contrasting Temporal Species Abundance Patterns in a Dynamic North Temperate Lake

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Gretchen J. A.; Carey, Cayelan C.

    2015-01-01

    Temporal patterns of species abundance, although less well-studied than spatial patterns, provide valuable insight to the processes governing community assembly. We compared temporal abundance distributions of two communities, phytoplankton and fish, in a north temperate lake. We used both 17 years of observed relative abundance data as well as resampled data from Monte Carlo simulations to account for the possible effects of non-detection of rare species. Similar to what has been found in other communities, phytoplankton and fish species that appeared more frequently were generally more abundant than rare species. However, neither community exhibited two distinct groups of “core” (common occurrence and high abundance) and “occasional” (rare occurrence and low abundance) species. Both observed and resampled data show that the phytoplankton community was dominated by occasional species appearing in only one year that exhibited large variation in their abundances, while the fish community was dominated by core species occurring in all 17 years at high abundances. We hypothesize that the life-history traits that enable phytoplankton to persist in highly dynamic environments may result in communities dominated by occasional species capable of reaching high abundances when conditions allow. Conversely, longer turnover times and broad environmental tolerances of fish may result in communities dominated by core species structured primarily by competitive interactions. PMID:25651399

  20. Fish and phytoplankton exhibit contrasting temporal species abundance patterns in a dynamic north temperate lake.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Gretchen J A; Carey, Cayelan C

    2015-01-01

    Temporal patterns of species abundance, although less well-studied than spatial patterns, provide valuable insight to the processes governing community assembly. We compared temporal abundance distributions of two communities, phytoplankton and fish, in a north temperate lake. We used both 17 years of observed relative abundance data as well as resampled data from Monte Carlo simulations to account for the possible effects of non-detection of rare species. Similar to what has been found in other communities, phytoplankton and fish species that appeared more frequently were generally more abundant than rare species. However, neither community exhibited two distinct groups of "core" (common occurrence and high abundance) and "occasional" (rare occurrence and low abundance) species. Both observed and resampled data show that the phytoplankton community was dominated by occasional species appearing in only one year that exhibited large variation in their abundances, while the fish community was dominated by core species occurring in all 17 years at high abundances. We hypothesize that the life-history traits that enable phytoplankton to persist in highly dynamic environments may result in communities dominated by occasional species capable of reaching high abundances when conditions allow. Conversely, longer turnover times and broad environmental tolerances of fish may result in communities dominated by core species structured primarily by competitive interactions. PMID:25651399

  1. Ocean biogeochemistry exhibits contrasting responses to a large scale reduction in dust deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagliabue, A.; Bopp, L.; Aumont, O.

    2008-01-01

    Dust deposition of iron is thought to be an important control on ocean biogeochemistry and air-sea CO2 exchange. In this study, we examine the impact of a large scale, yet climatically realistic, reduction in the aeolian Fe input during a 240 year transient simulation. In contrast to previous studies, we find that the ocean biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen are relatively insensitive (globally) to a 60% reduction in Fe input from dust. Net primary productivity (NPP) is reduced in the Fe limited regions, but the excess macronutrients that result are able to fuel additional NPP elsewhere. Overall, NPP and air-sea CO2 exchange are only reduced by around 3% between 1860 and 2100. While the nitrogen cycle is perturbed more significantly (by ~15%), reduced N2 fixation is balanced by a concomitant decline in denitrification. Feedbacks between N2 fixation and denitrification are controlled by variability in surface utilization of inorganic nitrogen and subsurface oxygen consumption, as well as the direct influence of Fe on N2 fixation. Overall, there is relatively little impact of reduced aeolian Fe input (<4%) on cumulative CO2 fluxes over 240 years. The lower sensitivity of our model to changes in dust input is primarily due to the more detailed representation of the continental shelf Fe, which was absent in previous models.

  2. Ocean biogeochemistry exhibits contrasting responses to a large scale reduction in dust deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagliabue, A.; Bopp, L.; Aumont, O.

    2007-08-01

    Dust deposition of iron is thought to be an important control on ocean biogeochemistry and air-sea CO2 exchange. In this study, we examine the impact of a large scale, yet climatically realistic, reduction in the aeolian Fe input during a 240 year transient simulation. In contrast to previous studies, we find that the ocean biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen are relatively insensitive to a 60% reduction in Fe input from dust. Net primary productivity (NPP) is reduced in the Fe limited regions, but the excess macronutrients that result are able to fuel additional NPP elsewhere. Overall, NPP and air-sea CO2 exchange are only reduced by around 3% between 1860 and 2100. While the nitrogen cycle is perturbed more significantly (by ~15%), reduced N2 fixation is balanced by a concomitant decline in denitrification. Feedbacks between N2 fixation and denitrification are controlled by variability in surface utilization of inorganic nitrogen and subsurface oxygen consumption, as well as the direct influence of Fe on N2 fixation. Overall, there is relatively little impact of reduced aeolian Fe input (<4%) on cumulative CO2 fluxes over 240 years. The lower sensitivity of our model to changes in dust input is primarily due to the more detailed representation of the continental shelf Fe, which was absent in previous models.

  3. Contrasted patterns of variation and evolutionary convergence at the antiviral OAS1 gene in old world primates.

    PubMed

    Fish, Ian; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2015-09-01

    The oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) enzyme acts as an innate sensor of viral infection and plays a major role in the defense against a wide diversity of viruses. Polymorphisms at OAS1 have been shown to correlate with differential susceptibility to several infections of great public health significance, including hepatitis C virus, SARS coronavirus, and West Nile virus. Population genetics analyses in hominoids have revealed interesting evolutionary patterns. In Central African chimpanzee, OAS1 has evolved under long-term balancing selection, resulting in the persistence of polymorphisms since the origin of hominoids, whereas human populations have acquired and retained OAS1 alleles from Neanderthal and Denisovan origin. We decided to further investigate the evolution of OAS1 in primates by characterizing intra-specific variation in four species commonly used as models in infectious disease research: the rhesus macaque, the cynomolgus macaque, the olive baboon, and the Guinea baboon. In baboons, OAS1 harbors a very low level of variation. In contrast, OAS1 in macaques exhibits a level of polymorphism far greater than the genomic average, which is consistent with the action of balancing selection. The region of the enzyme that directly interacts with viral RNA, the RNA-binding domain, contains a number of polymorphisms likely to affect the RNA-binding affinity of OAS1. This strongly suggests that pathogen-driven balancing selection acting on the RNA-binding domain of OAS1 is maintaining variation at this locus. Interestingly, we found that a number of polymorphisms involved in RNA-binding were shared between macaques and chimpanzees. This represents an unusual case of convergent polymorphism.

  4. Contrasted patterns of variation and evolutionary convergence at the antiviral OAS1 gene in old world primates.

    PubMed

    Fish, Ian; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2015-09-01

    The oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) enzyme acts as an innate sensor of viral infection and plays a major role in the defense against a wide diversity of viruses. Polymorphisms at OAS1 have been shown to correlate with differential susceptibility to several infections of great public health significance, including hepatitis C virus, SARS coronavirus, and West Nile virus. Population genetics analyses in hominoids have revealed interesting evolutionary patterns. In Central African chimpanzee, OAS1 has evolved under long-term balancing selection, resulting in the persistence of polymorphisms since the origin of hominoids, whereas human populations have acquired and retained OAS1 alleles from Neanderthal and Denisovan origin. We decided to further investigate the evolution of OAS1 in primates by characterizing intra-specific variation in four species commonly used as models in infectious disease research: the rhesus macaque, the cynomolgus macaque, the olive baboon, and the Guinea baboon. In baboons, OAS1 harbors a very low level of variation. In contrast, OAS1 in macaques exhibits a level of polymorphism far greater than the genomic average, which is consistent with the action of balancing selection. The region of the enzyme that directly interacts with viral RNA, the RNA-binding domain, contains a number of polymorphisms likely to affect the RNA-binding affinity of OAS1. This strongly suggests that pathogen-driven balancing selection acting on the RNA-binding domain of OAS1 is maintaining variation at this locus. Interestingly, we found that a number of polymorphisms involved in RNA-binding were shared between macaques and chimpanzees. This represents an unusual case of convergent polymorphism. PMID:26156123

  5. Contrasting evolutionary histories of two introns of the duchenne muscular dystrophy gene, Dmd, in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Nachman, M W; Crowell, S L

    2000-01-01

    The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Dmd) locus lies in a region of the X chromosome that experiences a high rate of recombination and is thus expected to be relatively unaffected by the effects of selection on nearby genes. To provide a picture of nucleotide variability at a high-recombination locus in humans, we sequenced 5. 4 kb from two introns of Dmd in a worldwide sample of 41 alleles from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. These same regions were also sequenced in one common chimpanzee and one orangutan. Dramatically different patterns of genetic variation were observed at these two introns, which are separated by >500 kb of DNA. Nucleotide diversity at intron 44 pi = 0.141% was more than four times higher than nucleotide diversity at intron 7 pi = 0.034% despite similar levels of divergence for these two regions. Intron 7 exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium extending over 10 kb and also showed a significant excess of rare polymorphisms. In contrast, intron 44 exhibited little linkage disequilibrium and no skew in the frequency distribution of segregating sites. Intron 7 was much more variable in Africa than in other continents, while intron 44 displayed similar levels of variability in different geographic regions. Comparison of intraspecific polymorphism to interspecific divergence using the HKA test revealed a significant reduction in variability at intron 7 relative to intron 44, and this effect was most pronounced in the non-African samples. These results are best explained by positive directional selection acting at or near intron 7 and demonstrate that even genes in regions of high recombination may be influenced by selection at linked sites. PMID:10924480

  6. The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Moran, Yehu

    2015-01-01

    Animal venoms are theorized to evolve under the significant influence of positive Darwinian selection in a chemical arms race scenario, where the evolution of venom resistance in prey and the invention of potent venom in the secreting animal exert reciprocal selection pressures. Venom research to date has mainly focused on evolutionarily younger lineages, such as snakes and cone snails, while mostly neglecting ancient clades (e.g., cnidarians, coleoids, spiders and centipedes). By examining genome, venom-gland transcriptome and sequences from the public repositories, we report the molecular evolutionary regimes of several centipede and spider toxin families, which surprisingly accumulated low-levels of sequence variations, despite their long evolutionary histories. Molecular evolutionary assessment of over 3500 nucleotide sequences from 85 toxin families spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom has unraveled a contrasting evolutionary strategy employed by ancient and evolutionarily young clades. We show that the venoms of ancient lineages remarkably evolve under the heavy constraints of negative selection, while toxin families in lineages that originated relatively recently rapidly diversify under the influence of positive selection. We propose that animal venoms mostly employ a ‘two-speed’ mode of evolution, where the major influence of diversifying selection accompanies the earlier stages of ecological specialization (e.g., diet and range expansion) in the evolutionary history of the species–the period of expansion, resulting in the rapid diversification of the venom arsenal, followed by longer periods of purifying selection that preserve the potent toxin pharmacopeia–the period of purification and fixation. However, species in the period of purification may re-enter the period of expansion upon experiencing a major shift in ecology or environment. Thus, we highlight for the first time the significant roles of purifying and episodic selections in

  7. The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Moran, Yehu

    2015-10-01

    Animal venoms are theorized to evolve under the significant influence of positive Darwinian selection in a chemical arms race scenario, where the evolution of venom resistance in prey and the invention of potent venom in the secreting animal exert reciprocal selection pressures. Venom research to date has mainly focused on evolutionarily younger lineages, such as snakes and cone snails, while mostly neglecting ancient clades (e.g., cnidarians, coleoids, spiders and centipedes). By examining genome, venom-gland transcriptome and sequences from the public repositories, we report the molecular evolutionary regimes of several centipede and spider toxin families, which surprisingly accumulated low-levels of sequence variations, despite their long evolutionary histories. Molecular evolutionary assessment of over 3500 nucleotide sequences from 85 toxin families spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom has unraveled a contrasting evolutionary strategy employed by ancient and evolutionarily young clades. We show that the venoms of ancient lineages remarkably evolve under the heavy constraints of negative selection, while toxin families in lineages that originated relatively recently rapidly diversify under the influence of positive selection. We propose that animal venoms mostly employ a 'two-speed' mode of evolution, where the major influence of diversifying selection accompanies the earlier stages of ecological specialization (e.g., diet and range expansion) in the evolutionary history of the species-the period of expansion, resulting in the rapid diversification of the venom arsenal, followed by longer periods of purifying selection that preserve the potent toxin pharmacopeia-the period of purification and fixation. However, species in the period of purification may re-enter the period of expansion upon experiencing a major shift in ecology or environment. Thus, we highlight for the first time the significant roles of purifying and episodic selections in shaping animal

  8. The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Moran, Yehu

    2015-10-01

    Animal venoms are theorized to evolve under the significant influence of positive Darwinian selection in a chemical arms race scenario, where the evolution of venom resistance in prey and the invention of potent venom in the secreting animal exert reciprocal selection pressures. Venom research to date has mainly focused on evolutionarily younger lineages, such as snakes and cone snails, while mostly neglecting ancient clades (e.g., cnidarians, coleoids, spiders and centipedes). By examining genome, venom-gland transcriptome and sequences from the public repositories, we report the molecular evolutionary regimes of several centipede and spider toxin families, which surprisingly accumulated low-levels of sequence variations, despite their long evolutionary histories. Molecular evolutionary assessment of over 3500 nucleotide sequences from 85 toxin families spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom has unraveled a contrasting evolutionary strategy employed by ancient and evolutionarily young clades. We show that the venoms of ancient lineages remarkably evolve under the heavy constraints of negative selection, while toxin families in lineages that originated relatively recently rapidly diversify under the influence of positive selection. We propose that animal venoms mostly employ a 'two-speed' mode of evolution, where the major influence of diversifying selection accompanies the earlier stages of ecological specialization (e.g., diet and range expansion) in the evolutionary history of the species-the period of expansion, resulting in the rapid diversification of the venom arsenal, followed by longer periods of purifying selection that preserve the potent toxin pharmacopeia-the period of purification and fixation. However, species in the period of purification may re-enter the period of expansion upon experiencing a major shift in ecology or environment. Thus, we highlight for the first time the significant roles of purifying and episodic selections in shaping animal

  9. Stem responses to damage: the evolutionary ecology of Quercus species in contrasting fire regimes.

    PubMed

    Romero, Claudia; Bolker, Benjamin M; Edwards, Christine E

    2009-01-01

    * The ability of tree stems to recover from damage is critical for tree survival and may explain species distributions across disturbance regimes. Two primary responses to stem damage, decay compartmentalization and wound closure, act in concert to limit decay and pathogen spread. A previous study demonstrated a tradeoff between wound responses that varied with anatomical traits, but its wide taxonomic range made it hard to analyze responses in an evolutionary context. * Here, we tested the stem wound responses of 13 species of Quercus inhabiting three habitats across a gradient of fire intensity. We also quantified anatomical and structural traits and phylogenetic position, in order to assess the relative contributions of ecological adaptation and phylogenetic history in determining traits. * Xylem anatomical traits were phylogenetically constrained, while phloem traits and damage responses varied with habitat. Across habitats, hammock and sandhill species closed bark wounds effectively, whereas scrub species limited the spread of xylem decay. There was a tradeoff between wound closure and decay compartmentalization within the white+live oaks. * The fact that some wound response traits are phylogenetically constrained while others respond to ecological pressures suggests that damage responses integrate mechanisms operating at several levels within plants. PMID:19140949

  10. The contrasted evolutionary fates of deep-sea chemosynthetic mussels (Bivalvia, Bathymodiolinae)a

    PubMed Central

    Thubaut, Justine; Puillandre, Nicolas; Faure, Baptiste; Cruaud, Corinne; Samadi, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Bathymodiolinae are giant mussels that were discovered at hydrothermal vents and harboring chemosynthetic symbionts. Due to their close phylogenetic relationship with seep species and tiny mussels from organic substrates, it was hypothesized that they gradually evolved from shallow to deeper environments, and specialized in decaying organic remains, then in seeps, and finally colonized deep-sea vents. Here, we present a multigene phylogeny that reveals that most of the genera are polyphyletic and/or paraphyletic. The robustness of the phylogeny allows us to revise the genus-level classification. Organic remains are robustly supported as the ancestral habitat for Bathymodiolinae. However, rather than a single step toward colonization of vents and seeps, recurrent habitat shifts from organic substrates to vents and seeps occurred during evolution, and never the reverse. This new phylogenetic framework challenges the gradualist scenarios “from shallow to deep.” Mussels from organic remains tolerate a large range of ecological conditions and display a spectacular species diversity contrary to vent mussels, although such habitats are yet underexplored compared to vents and seeps. Overall, our data suggest that for deep-sea mussels, the high specialization to vent habitats provides ecological success in this harsh habitat but also brings the lineage to a kind of evolutionary dead end. PMID:24363902

  11. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study.

  12. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study. PMID:22998613

  13. Contrasting evolutionary patterns and target specificities among three Tourist-like MITE families in the maize genome.

    PubMed

    Zerjal, Tatiana; Joets, Johann; Alix, Karine; Grandbastien, Marie-Angèle; Tenaillon, Maud I

    2009-09-01

    Miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are short, non autonomous DNA elements that are widespread and abundant in plant genomes. The high sequence and size conservation observed in many MITE families suggest that they have spread recently throughout their respective host genomes. Here we present a maize genome wide analysis of three Tourist-like MITE families, mPIF, and two previously uncharacterized families, ZmV1 and Zead8. We undertook a bioinformatic analysis of MITE insertion sites, developed methyl-sensitive transposon display (M-STD) assays to estimate the associated level of CpG methylation at MITE flanking regions, and conducted a population genetics approach to investigate MITE patterns of expansion. Our results reveal that the three MITE families insert into genomic regions that present specific molecular features: they are preferentially AT rich, present low level of cytosine methylation as compared to the LTR retrotransposon Grande, and target site duplications are flanked by large and conserved palindromic sequences. Moreover, the analysis of MITE distances from predicted genes shows that 73% of 263 copies are inserted at less than 5 kb from the nearest predicted gene, and copies from Zead8 family are significantly more abundant upstream of genes. By employing a population genetic approach we identified contrasting patterns of expansion among the three MITE families. All elements seem to have inserted roughly 1 million years ago but ZmV1 and Zead8 families present evidences for activity of several master copies within the last 0.4 Mya.

  14. Activatable Water-Soluble Probes Enhance Tumor Imaging by Responding to Dysregulated pH and Exhibiting High Tumor-to-Liver Fluorescence Emission Contrast.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hu; Kos, Petra; Yan, Yunfeng; Zhou, Kejin; Miller, Jason B; Elkassih, Sussana; Siegwart, Daniel J

    2016-07-20

    Dysregulated pH has been recognized as a universal tumor microenvironment signature that can delineate tumors from normal tissues. Existing fluorescent probes that activate in response to pH are hindered by either fast clearance (in the case of small molecules) or high liver background emission (in the case of large particles). There remains a need to design water-soluble, long circulating, pH-responsive nanoprobes with high tumor-to-liver contrast. Herein, we report a modular chemical strategy to create acidic pH-sensitive and water-soluble fluorescent probes for high in vivo tumor detection and minimal liver activation. A combination of a modified Knoevenagel reaction and PEGylation yielded a series of NIR BODIPY fluorophores with tunable pKas, high quantum yield, and optimal orbital energies to enable photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) activation in response to pH. After intravenous administration, Probe 5c localized to tumors and provided excellent tumor-to-liver contrast (apparent T/L = 3) because it minimally activates in the liver. This phenomenon was further confirmed by direct ex vivo imaging experiments on harvested organs. Because no targeting ligands were required, we believe that this report introduces a versatile strategy to directly synthesize soluble probes with broad potential utility including fluorescence-based image-guided surgery, cancer diagnosis, and theranostic nanomedicine.

  15. Avian influenza viruses that cause highly virulent infections in humans exhibit distinct replicative properties in contrast to human H1N1 viruses

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Philippe F.; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Paradis, Éric; Mendoza, Emelissa; Coombs, Kevin M.; Kobasa, Darwyn; Beauchemin, Catherine A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Avian influenza viruses present an emerging epidemiological concern as some strains of H5N1 avian influenza can cause severe infections in humans with lethality rates of up to 60%. These have been in circulation since 1997 and recently a novel H7N9-subtyped virus has been causing epizootics in China with lethality rates around 20%. To better understand the replication kinetics of these viruses, we combined several extensive viral kinetics experiments with mathematical modelling of in vitro infections in human A549 cells. We extracted fundamental replication parameters revealing that, while both the H5N1 and H7N9 viruses replicate faster and to higher titers than two low-pathogenicity H1N1 strains, they accomplish this via different mechanisms. While the H7N9 virions exhibit a faster rate of infection, the H5N1 virions are produced at a higher rate. Of the two H1N1 strains studied, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain exhibits the longest eclipse phase, possibly indicative of a less effective neuraminidase activity, but causes infection more rapidly than the seasonal strain. This explains, in part, the pandemic strain’s generally slower growth kinetics and permissiveness to accept mutations causing neuraminidase inhibitor resistance without significant loss in fitness. Our results highlight differential growth properties of H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9 influenza viruses. PMID:27080193

  16. Avian influenza viruses that cause highly virulent infections in humans exhibit distinct replicative properties in contrast to human H1N1 viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Philippe F.; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Paradis, Éric; Mendoza, Emelissa; Coombs, Kevin M.; Kobasa, Darwyn; Beauchemin, Catherine A. A.

    2016-04-01

    Avian influenza viruses present an emerging epidemiological concern as some strains of H5N1 avian influenza can cause severe infections in humans with lethality rates of up to 60%. These have been in circulation since 1997 and recently a novel H7N9-subtyped virus has been causing epizootics in China with lethality rates around 20%. To better understand the replication kinetics of these viruses, we combined several extensive viral kinetics experiments with mathematical modelling of in vitro infections in human A549 cells. We extracted fundamental replication parameters revealing that, while both the H5N1 and H7N9 viruses replicate faster and to higher titers than two low-pathogenicity H1N1 strains, they accomplish this via different mechanisms. While the H7N9 virions exhibit a faster rate of infection, the H5N1 virions are produced at a higher rate. Of the two H1N1 strains studied, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain exhibits the longest eclipse phase, possibly indicative of a less effective neuraminidase activity, but causes infection more rapidly than the seasonal strain. This explains, in part, the pandemic strain’s generally slower growth kinetics and permissiveness to accept mutations causing neuraminidase inhibitor resistance without significant loss in fitness. Our results highlight differential growth properties of H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9 influenza viruses.

  17. Contrasting evolutionary patterns of 28S and ITS rRNA genes reveal high intragenomic variation in Cephalenchus (Nematoda): Implications for species delimitation.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Tiago José; Baldwin, James Gordon

    2016-05-01

    Concerted evolution is often assumed to be the evolutionary force driving multi-family genes, including those from ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat, to complete homogenization within a species, although cases of non-concerted evolution have been also documented. In this study, sequence variation of 28S and ITS ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes in the genus Cephalenchus is assessed at three different levels, intragenomic, intraspecific, and interspecific. The findings suggest that not all Cephalenchus species undergo concerted evolution. High levels of intraspecific polymorphism, mostly due to intragenomic variation, are found in Cephalenchus sp1 (BRA-01). Secondary structure analyses of both rRNA genes and across different species show a similar substitution pattern, including mostly compensatory (CBC) and semi-compensatory (SBC) base changes, thus suggesting the functionality of these rRNA copies despite the variation found in some species. This view is also supported by low sequence variation in the 5.8S gene in relation to the flanking ITS-1 and ITS-2 as well as by the existence of conserved motifs in the former gene. It is suggested that potential cross-fertilization in some Cephalenchus species, based on inspection of female reproductive system, might contribute to both intragenomic and intraspecific polymorphism of their rRNA genes. These results reinforce the potential implications of intragenomic and intraspecific genetic diversity on species delimitation, especially in biodiversity studies based solely on metagenetic approaches. Knowledge of sequence variation will be crucial for accurate species diversity estimation using molecular methods.

  18. Outdoor Exhibits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) at the John C. Stennis Space Center has exhibits located in front of the Visitors Center. These boat-shaped buoys are moored in areas of the ocean that experience hostile environmental conditions. The instruments installed gather information and relay it to the National Weather Service by satellite. Nomad buoys are 20 feet long and weigh 13,900 pounds. They provide information on wind speed and direction, humidity levels, air and sea surface temperature and air pressure. U.S. Coast Guard ships transport buoys to their mooring sites.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Evolving from static to dynamic signals: evolutionary compensation between two communicative signals

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Emília P.; Ossip-Klein, Alison G.; Zúñiga-Vega, J. Jaime; García, Cuauhcihuatl Vital; Campos, Stephanie M.; Hews, Diana K.

    2015-01-01

    Signals that convey related information may impose selection on each other, creating evolutionary links between different components of the communicative repertoire. Here, we ask about the consequences of the evolutionary loss of one signal (a colour patch) on another (a motion display) in Sceloporus lizards. We present data on male lizards of four species: two pairs of sister taxa representing two independent evolutionary losses of the static colour patch (Sceloporus cozumelae and Sceloporus parvus; Sceloporus siniferus and Sceloporus merriami). Males of the two species that have undergone an evolutionary loss of blue-belly patches (S. cozumelae, S. siniferus) were less active than their blue-bellied sister taxa (S. parvus, S. merriami), consistent with the suggestion that the belly patches were lost to reduce conspicuousness of species with high predation pressure. In contrast, the headbob display appears to have become more, rather than less, conspicuous over evolutionary time. The colour patch is exhibited primarily during aggressive encounters, whereas headbob displays are multifunction signals used in several different contexts, including aggressive encounters. Males of species that have lost the colour patch produced more motion displays, and the structure of those motion displays were more similar to those produced during combat. In both evolutionary episodes, a static colour signal appears to have been replaced by dynamic motion displays that can be turned off in the presence of predators and other unwanted receivers. The predominant pattern is one of evolutionary compensation and interactions between multiple signals that convey related information. PMID:25892737

  4. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    PubMed

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality.

  5. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    PubMed

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality. PMID:18208338

  6. Contrastive Lexicology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartmann, R. R. K.

    This paper deals with the relation between etymologically related words in different languages. A survey is made of seven stages in the development of contrastive lexicology. These are: prelinguistic word studies, semantics, lexicography, translation, foreign language learning, bilingualism, and finally contrastive analysis. Concerning contrastive…

  7. Evolutionary dynamics of social dilemmas in structured heterogeneous populations

    PubMed Central

    Santos, F. C.; Pacheco, J. M.; Lenaerts, Tom

    2006-01-01

    Real populations have been shown to be heterogeneous, in which some individuals have many more contacts than others. This fact contrasts with the traditional homogeneous setting used in studies of evolutionary game dynamics. We incorporate heterogeneity in the population by studying games on graphs, in which the variability in connectivity ranges from single-scale graphs, for which heterogeneity is small and associated degree distributions exhibit a Gaussian tale, to scale-free graphs, for which heterogeneity is large with degree distributions exhibiting a power-law behavior. We study the evolution of cooperation, modeled in terms of the most popular dilemmas of cooperation. We show that, for all dilemmas, increasing heterogeneity favors the emergence of cooperation, such that long-term cooperative behavior easily resists short-term noncooperative behavior. Moreover, we show how cooperation depends on the intricate ties between individuals in scale-free populations. PMID:16484371

  8. Evolutionary dynamics of social dilemmas in structured heterogeneous populations.

    PubMed

    Santos, F C; Pacheco, J M; Lenaerts, Tom

    2006-02-28

    Real populations have been shown to be heterogeneous, in which some individuals have many more contacts than others. This fact contrasts with the traditional homogeneous setting used in studies of evolutionary game dynamics. We incorporate heterogeneity in the population by studying games on graphs, in which the variability in connectivity ranges from single-scale graphs, for which heterogeneity is small and associated degree distributions exhibit a Gaussian tale, to scale-free graphs, for which heterogeneity is large with degree distributions exhibiting a power-law behavior. We study the evolution of cooperation, modeled in terms of the most popular dilemmas of cooperation. We show that, for all dilemmas, increasing heterogeneity favors the emergence of cooperation, such that long-term cooperative behavior easily resists short-term noncooperative behavior. Moreover, we show how cooperation depends on the intricate ties between individuals in scale-free populations. PMID:16484371

  9. Contrast Materials

    MedlinePlus

    ... or other reactions to contrast materials are rare, radiology departments are well-equipped to deal with them. ... is given. However, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Urogenital Radiology ...

  10. Ethics on Exhibit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vick, Randy M.

    2011-01-01

    This article discusses ethical questions raised by an exhibition of work by an artist with a history of mental illness and the exhibition's relevance to art therapy and “outsider art” discourse on the subject. Considerations for how such an exhibit could be handled had the circumstances included an art therapist and art therapy client are…

  11. Contrast lipocryolysis

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Hernán; Melamed, Graciela

    2014-01-01

    Alternative crystal structures are possible for all lipids and each different crystal structure is called a polymorphic form. Inter-conversion between polymorphisms would imply the possibility of leaning crystal formation toward the most effective polymorphism for adipocyte destruction. Food industry has been tempering lipids for decades. Tempering technology applied to lipocryolysis gave birth to “contrast lipocryolysis”, which involves pre- and post-lipocryolysis fat layer heating as part of a specific tempering protocol. In this study, we evaluated the skinfold thickness of 10 subjects after a single contrast lipocryolysis session and witnessed important and fast reductions. PMID:25068088

  12. A Teaching Aids Exhibition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahanja, Salah

    1985-01-01

    Describes an exhibition for the benefit of teachers of English in Arab Primary Schools, which was prepared by third-year students at the Teachers College for Arab Teachers. The exhibition included games, songs, audiovisual aids, crossword puzzles, vocabulary, spelling booklets, preposition aids, and worksheet and lesson planning aids. (SED)

  13. Communicating Science through Exhibitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, P.; Harold, J.; Morrow, C.

    It is critically important for the public to better understand the scientific process. Museum exhibitions are an important part of informal science education that can effectively reach public audiences as well as school groups. They provide an important gateway for the public to learn about compelling scientific endeavors. There are many ways for scientists to help develop science exhibitions. The Space Science Institute (SSI) is a national leader in producing traveling science exhibitions and their associated educational programming (i.e. interactive websites, educator workshops, public talks, instructional materials). Two of its exhibitions, Space Weather Center and MarsQuest, are currently on tour. Another exhibition, Alien Earths, is in development. The Space Weather Center was developed in partnership with various research missions at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. MarsQuest is a 5000 square-foot traveling exhibition. The exhibit's second 3-year tour began this January at the Detroit Science Center. It is enabling millions of Americans to share in the excitement of the scientific exploration of Mars and to learn more about their own planet in the process. The 3,000 square-foot traveling exhibition, called Alien Earths, will bring origins-related research and discoveries to students and the American public. Alien Earths has four interrelated exhibit areas: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, PlanetQuest, and Search for Life. Exhibit visitors will explore the awesome events surrounding the birth of stars and planets; they will join scientists in the hunt for planets outside our solar system including those that may be in ``habitable zones'' around other stars; and finally they will be able to learn about how scientists are looking for signs of life beyond Earth. Besides the exhibits, SSI is also developing interactive web sites based on exhibit themes. New technologies are transforming the Web from a static medium to an interactive environment with tremendous

  14. The Development of Validated Museum Exhibits. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicol, Elizabeth H.

    Exhibit development, as conceived in this report, is an evolutionary process, drawing the museum visitor into the collaborative venture of testing and improving the exhibits. The findings of contemporary learning research were put to work in the arrangement of activities and specimens that engaged children through self-instructional sequences. The…

  15. New Hurricane Exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    A new exhibit in StenniSphere depicting NASA's role in hurricane prediction and research and SSC's role in helping the region recover from Hurricane Katrina. The cyclone-shaped exhibit focuses on the effects of the Aug. 29, 2005 storm and outlines how NASA is working to improve weather forecasting. Through photos, 3-D models and digital animations, the exhibit tells the story of what happened inside the storm and how NASA's scientific research can increase the accuracy of hurricane tracking and modeling.

  16. Test Control Center exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Have you ever wondered how the engineers at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., test fire a Space Shuttle Main Engine? The Test Control Center exhibit at StenniSphere can answer your questions by simulating the test firing of a Space Shuttle Main Engine. A recreation of one of NASA's test control centers, the exhibit explains and portrays the 'shake, rattle and roar' that happens during a real test firing.

  17. Communicating Science through Exhibitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, Paul

    2005-04-01

    It is critically important for the public to better understand the scientific process. Museum exhibitions are an important part of informal science education that can effectively reach public audiences as well as school groups. They provide an important gateway for the public to learn about compelling scientific endeavors. Science exhibitions also provide a marvelous opportunity for scientists to become engaged in the exhibit development process. The Space Science Institute (SSI) is a national leader in producing traveling science exhibitions and their associated educational programming (i.e. interactive websites, educator workshops, public talks, instructional materials). The focus of this presentation will be on two of its exhibit projects: MarsQuest (on tour for four years) and Alien Earths (its tour began early in 2005). MarsQuest is enabling millions of Americans to share in the excitement of the scientific exploration of Mars and to learn more about their own planet in the process. Alien Earths will bring origins-related research and discoveries to students and the American public. It has four interrelated exhibit areas: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, Planet Quest, and Search for Life. Exhibit visitors will explore the awesome events surrounding the birth of stars and planets; they will join scientists in the hunt for planets outside our solar system including those that may be in ``habitable zones'' around other stars; and finally they will be able to learn about how scientists are looking for signs of life beyond Earth. SSI is also developing interactive web sites based on exhibit themes. New technologies are transforming the Web from a static medium to an interactive environment with tremendous potential for informal education and inquiry-based investigations. This talk will focus on the role informal science projects play in effectively communicating science to a broad, public audience.

  18. Computational Physics and Evolutionary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontana, Walter

    2000-03-01

    One aspect of computational physics deals with the characterization of statistical regularities in materials. Computational physics meets biology when these materials can evolve. RNA molecules are a case in point. The folding of RNA sequences into secondary structures (shapes) inspires a simple biophysically grounded genotype-phenotype map that can be explored computationally and in the laboratory. We have identified some statistical regularities of this map and begin to understand their evolutionary consequences. (1) ``typical shapes'': Only a small subset of shapes realized by the RNA folding map is typical, in the sense of containing shapes that are realized significantly more often than others. Consequence: evolutionary histories mostly involve typical shapes, and thus exhibit generic properties. (2) ``neutral networks'': Sequences folding into the same shape are mutationally connected into a network that reaches across sequence space. Consequence: Evolutionary transitions between shapes reflect the fraction of boundary shared by the corresponding neutral networks in sequence space. The notion of a (dis)continuous transition can be made rigorous. (3) ``shape space covering'': Given a random sequence, a modest number of mutations suffices to reach a sequence realizing any typical shape. Consequence: The effective search space for evolutionary optimization is greatly reduced, and adaptive success is less dependent on initial conditions. (4) ``plasticity mirrors variability'': The repertoire of low energy shapes of a sequence is an indicator of how much and in which ways its energetically optimal shape can be altered by a single point mutation. Consequence: (i) Thermodynamic shape stability and mutational robustness are intimately linked. (ii) When natural selection favors the increase of stability, extreme mutational robustness -- to the point of an evolutionary dead-end -- is produced as a side effect. (iii) The hallmark of robust shapes is modularity.

  19. Swamp to Space exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The menacing-looking alligator is really harmless. It is one of the realistic props to help convince visitors that the feel of the swamp is real in StenniSphere's Swamp to Space exhibit at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss. The historical section of the Swamp to Space exhibit tells the story of why and how Stennis Space Center came to be. It also pays tribute to the families who moved their homes to make way for the space age in Mississippi.

  20. Exhibition in Sight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasserman, Burton

    1978-01-01

    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is known primarily as an architect. However, he also designed chairs and tables. Discusses an exhibit held in New York City a few months ago which showed how well the famous architect achieved his goals in the area of furniture design. (Author/RK)

  1. Exhibition in Sight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasserman, Burton

    1978-01-01

    One of the most offbeat exhibitions presented in the last several years was the widely celebrated Warhol-Wyeth duo show, "Portraits of Each Other", held at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Discusses their paintings and their diametrically different personalities. (Author/RK)

  2. Variant evolutionary trees under phenotypic variance.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kinya; Isoda, Yutaka

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary branching, which is a coevolutionary phenomenon of the development of two or more distinctive traits from a single trait in a population, is the issue of recent studies on adaptive dynamics. In previous studies, it was revealed that trait variance is a minimum requirement for evolutionary branching, and that it does not play an important role in the formation of an evolutionary pattern of branching. Here we demonstrate that the trait evolution exhibits various evolutionary branching paths starting from an identical initial trait to different evolutional terminus traits as determined by only changing the assumption of trait variance. The key feature of this phenomenon is the topological configuration of equilibria and the initial point in the manifold of dimorphism from which dimorphic branches develop. This suggests that the existing monomorphic or polymorphic set in a population is not an unique inevitable consequence of an identical initial phenotype.

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    PubMed

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

    Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.

  6. Starship 2040 Exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This photograph shows onlookers viewing displays within the Starship 2040 exhibit on display at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama. Developed by the Space Transportation Directorate at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the Starship 2040 exhibit is housed in a 48-ft (14.6-m) tractor and trailer rig, permitting it to travel around the Nation, demonstrating NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like 40 years from now. All the irnovations suggested aboard the exhibit (automated vehicle health monitoring systems, high-energy propulsion drive, navigational aids, and emergency and safety systems) are based on concepts and technologies now being studied at NASA Centers and partner institutions around the Nation. NASA is the Nation's premier agency for development of the space transportation system, including future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems, the keys to a 'real' Starship 2040, require revolutionary advances in critical aerospace technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical, and propellantless propulsion systems to new energy sources such as space solar power or antimatter propulsion. These and other advances are now being studied, developed, and tested at NASA field centers and partner institutions all over the Nation.

  7. Starship 2040 Exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This photograph shows Justin Varnadore, son of a Marshall TV employee, at the controls of one of the many displays within the Starship 2040 exhibit on display at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama. Developed by the Space Transportation Directorate at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the Starship 2040 exhibit is housed in a 48-ft (14.6-m) tractor and trailer rig, permitting it to travel around the Nation, demonstrating NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like 40 years from now. All the irnovations suggested aboard the exhibit (automated vehicle health monitoring systems, high-energy propulsion drive, navigational aids, and emergency and safety systems) are based on concepts and technologies now being studied at NASA Centers and partner institutions around the Nation. NASA is the Nation's premier agency for development of the space transportation system, including future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems, the keys to a 'real' Starship 2040, require revolutionary advances in critical aerospace technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical, and propellantless propulsion systems to new energy sources such as space solar power or antimatter propulsion. These and other advances are now being studied, developed, and tested at NASA field centers and partner institutions all over the Nation.

  8. Starship 2040 Exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This photograph shows the Starship 2040 leaving the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) for the exhibit site. Developed by the Space Transportation Directorate at MSFC, the Starship 2040 exhibit is housed in a 48-ft (14.6-m) tractor and trailer rig, permitting it to travel around the Nation, demonstrating NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like 40 years from now. All the irnovations suggested aboard the exhibit, automated vehicle health monitoring systems, high-energy propulsion drive, navigational aids and emergency and safety systems, are based on concepts and technologies now being studied at NASA Centers and partner institutions around the Nation. NASA is the nation's premier agency for development of the space transportation system, including future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems, the keys to a 'real' Starship 2040, require revolutionary advances in critical aerospace technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical, and propellantless propulsion systems to new energy sources such as space solar power or antimatter propulsion. These and other advances are now being studied, developed, and tested at NASA field centers and partner institutions all over the Nation.

  9. Online Exhibits & Concept Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douma, M.

    2009-12-01

    Presenting the complexity of geosciences to the public via the Internet poses a number of challenges. For example, utilizing various - and sometimes redundant - Web 2.0 tools can quickly devour limited time. Do you tweet? Do you write press releases? Do you create an exhibit or concept map? The presentation will provide participants with a context for utilizing Web 2.0 tools by briefly highlighting methods of online scientific communication across several dimensions. It will address issues of: * breadth and depth (e.g. from narrow topics to well-rounded views), * presentation methods (e.g. from text to multimedia, from momentary to enduring), * sources and audiences (e.g. for experts or for the public, content developed by producers to that developed by users), * content display (e.g. from linear to non-linear, from instructive to entertaining), * barriers to entry (e.g. from an incumbent advantage to neophyte accessible, from amateur to professional), * cost and reach (e.g. from cheap to expensive), and * impact (e.g. the amount learned, from anonymity to brand awareness). Against this backdrop, the presentation will provide an overview of two methods of online information dissemination, exhibits and concept maps, using the WebExhibits online museum (www.webexhibits.org) and SpicyNodes information visualization tool (www.spicynodes.org) as examples, with tips on how geoscientists can use either to communicate their science. Richly interactive online exhibits can serve to engage a large audience, appeal to visitors with multiple learning styles, prompt exploration and discovery, and present a topic’s breadth and depth. WebExhibits, which was among the first online museums, delivers interactive information, virtual experiments, and hands-on activities to the public. While large, multidisciplinary exhibits on topics like “Color Vision and Art” or “Calendars Through the Ages” require teams of scholars, user interface experts, professional writers and editors

  10. Knowledge Guided Evolutionary Algorithms in Financial Investing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmer, Hayden

    2013-01-01

    A large body of literature exists on evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, decision trees, codified knowledge, and knowledge management systems; however, the intersection of these computing topics has not been widely researched. Moving through the set of all possible solutions--or traversing the search space--at random exhibits no control…

  11. Contrasting coloration in terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Here I survey, collate and synthesize contrasting coloration in 5000 species of terrestrial mammals focusing on black and white pelage. After briefly reviewing alternative functional hypotheses for coloration in mammals, I examine nine colour patterns and combinations on different areas of the body and for each mammalian taxon to try to identify the most likely evolutionary drivers of contrasting coloration. Aposematism and perhaps conspecific signalling are the most consistent explanations for black and white pelage in mammals; background matching may explain white pelage. Evidence for contrasting coloration is being involved in crypsis through pattern blending, disruptive coloration or serving other functions, such as signalling dominance, lures, reducing eye glare or in temperature regulation has barely moved beyond anecdotal stages of investigation. Sexual dichromatism is limited in this taxon and its basis is unclear. Astonishingly, the functional significance of pelage coloration in most large charismatic black and white mammals that were new to science 150 years ago still remains a mystery. PMID:18990666

  12. Space Shuttle Cockpit exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Want to sit in the cockpit of the Space Shuttle and watch astronauts work in outer space? At StenniSphere, you can do that and much more. StenniSphere, the visitor center at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., presents 14,000-square-feet of interactive exhibits that depict America's race for space as well as a glimpse of the future. StenniSphere is open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

  13. Smithsonian climate change exhibits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    2006-05-01

    Two new museum exhibits, ``Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely'' and ``Atmosphere: Change is in the Air'' opened 15 April at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and the U.S. National Science Foundation. In ``Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely,'' anecdotes from indigenous polar people reveal how climate changes have affected life within the last 50 years. For example, as permafrost melts and sea ice shrinks, plant distributions and animal migration patterns are changing, severely affecting culture.

  14. Starship 2040 Exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This photograph shows the Starship 2040 on display at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama. Developed by the Space Transportation Directorate at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the Starship 2040 exhibit is housed in a 48-ft (14.6-m) tractor and trailer rig, permitting it to travel around the Nation, demonstrating NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like 40 years from now. All the irnovations suggested aboard the exhibit (automated vehicle health monitoring systems, high-energy propulsion drive, navigational aids, and emergency and safety systems) are based on concepts and technologies now being studied at NASA Centers and partner institutions around the Nation. NASA is the Nation's premier agency for development of the space transportation system, including future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems, the keys to a 'real' Starship 2040, require revolutionary advances in critical aerospace technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical, and propellantless propulsion systems to new energy sources such as space solar power or antimatter propulsion. These and other advances are now being studied, developed, and tested at NASA field centers and partner institutions all over the Nation.

  15. The Evolutionary Basis of Risky Adolescent Behavior: Implications for Science, Policy, and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Bruce J.; Del Giudice, Marco; Dishion, Thomas J.; Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; Gray, Peter; Griskevicius, Vladas; Hawley, Patricia H.; Jacobs, W. Jake; James, Jenee; Volk, Anthony A.; Wilson, David Sloan

    2012-01-01

    This article proposes an evolutionary model of risky behavior in adolescence and contrasts it with the prevailing developmental psychopathology model. The evolutionary model contends that understanding the evolutionary functions of adolescence is critical to explaining why adolescents engage in risky behavior and that successful intervention…

  16. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    PubMed

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game.

  17. Evolutionary constraints or opportunities?

    PubMed Central

    Sharov, Alexei A.

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is traditionally viewed as a leading factor of evolution, whereas variation is assumed to be random and non-directional. Any order in variation is attributed to epigenetic or developmental constraints that can hinder the action of natural selection. In contrast I consider the positive role of epigenetic mechanisms in evolution because they provide organisms with opportunities for rapid adaptive change. Because the term “constraint” has negative connotations, I use the term “regulated variation” to emphasize the adaptive nature of phenotypic variation, which helps populations and species to survive and evolve in changing environments. The capacity to produce regulated variation is a phenotypic property, which is not described in the genome. Instead, the genome acts as a switchboard, where mostly random mutations switch “on” or “off” preexisting functional capacities of organism components. Thus, there are two channels of heredity: informational (genomic) and structure-functional (phenotypic). Functional capacities of organisms most likely emerged in a chain of modifications and combinations of more simple ancestral functions. The role of DNA has been to keep records of these changes (without describing the result) so that they can be reproduced in the following generations. Evolutionary opportunities include adjustments of individual functions, multitasking, connection between various components of an organism, and interaction between organisms. The adaptive nature of regulated variation can be explained by the differential success of lineages in macro-evolution. Lineages with more advantageous patterns of regulated variation are likely to produce more species and secure more resources (i.e., long-term lineage selection). PMID:24769155

  18. Evolutionary constraints or opportunities?

    PubMed

    Sharov, Alexei A

    2014-04-22

    Natural selection is traditionally viewed as a leading factor of evolution, whereas variation is assumed to be random and non-directional. Any order in variation is attributed to epigenetic or developmental constraints that can hinder the action of natural selection. In contrast I consider the positive role of epigenetic mechanisms in evolution because they provide organisms with opportunities for rapid adaptive change. Because the term "constraint" has negative connotations, I use the term "regulated variation" to emphasize the adaptive nature of phenotypic variation, which helps populations and species to survive and evolve in changing environments. The capacity to produce regulated variation is a phenotypic property, which is not described in the genome. Instead, the genome acts as a switchboard, where mostly random mutations switch "on" or "off" preexisting functional capacities of organism components. Thus, there are two channels of heredity: informational (genomic) and structure-functional (phenotypic). Functional capacities of organisms most likely emerged in a chain of modifications and combinations of more simple ancestral functions. The role of DNA has been to keep records of these changes (without describing the result) so that they can be reproduced in the following generations. Evolutionary opportunities include adjustments of individual functions, multitasking, connection between various components of an organism, and interaction between organisms. The adaptive nature of regulated variation can be explained by the differential success of lineages in macro-evolution. Lineages with more advantageous patterns of regulated variation are likely to produce more species and secure more resources (i.e., long-term lineage selection).

  19. Evolutionary constraints or opportunities?

    PubMed

    Sharov, Alexei A

    2014-09-01

    Natural selection is traditionally viewed as a leading factor of evolution, whereas variation is assumed to be random and non-directional. Any order in variation is attributed to epigenetic or developmental constraints that can hinder the action of natural selection. In contrast I consider the positive role of epigenetic mechanisms in evolution because they provide organisms with opportunities for rapid adaptive change. Because the term "constraint" has negative connotations, I use the term "regulated variation" to emphasize the adaptive nature of phenotypic variation, which helps populations and species to survive and evolve in changing environments. The capacity to produce regulated variation is a phenotypic property, which is not described in the genome. Instead, the genome acts as a switchboard, where mostly random mutations switch "on" or "off" preexisting functional capacities of organism components. Thus, there are two channels of heredity: informational (genomic) and structure-functional (phenotypic). Functional capacities of organisms most likely emerged in a chain of modifications and combinations of more simple ancestral functions. The role of DNA has been to keep records of these changes (without describing the result) so that they can be reproduced in the following generations. Evolutionary opportunities include adjustments of individual functions, multitasking, connection between various components of an organism, and interaction between organisms. The adaptive nature of regulated variation can be explained by the differential success of lineages in macro-evolution. Lineages with more advantageous patterns of regulated variation are likely to produce more species and secure more resources (i.e., long-term lineage selection).

  20. Microsatellite landscape evolutionary dynamics across 450 million years of vertebrate genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Adams, Richard H; Blackmon, Heath; Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Schield, Drew R; Card, Daren C; Andrew, Audra L; Waynewood, Nyimah; Castoe, Todd A

    2016-05-01

    The evolutionary dynamics of simple sequence repeats (SSRs or microsatellites) across the vertebrate tree of life remain largely undocumented and poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed patterns of genomic microsatellite abundance and evolution across 71 vertebrate genomes. The highest abundances of microsatellites exist in the genomes of ray-finned fishes, squamate reptiles, and mammals, while crocodilian, turtle, and avian genomes exhibit reduced microsatellite landscapes. We used comparative methods to infer evolutionary rates of change in microsatellite abundance across vertebrates and to highlight particular lineages that have experienced unusually high or low rates of change in genomic microsatellite abundance. Overall, most variation in microsatellite content, abundance, and evolutionary rate is observed among major lineages of reptiles, yet we found that several deeply divergent clades (i.e., squamate reptiles and mammals) contained relatively similar genomic microsatellite compositions. Archosauromorph reptiles (turtles, crocodilians, and birds) exhibit reduced genomic microsatellite content and the slowest rates of microsatellite evolution, in contrast to squamate reptile genomes that have among the highest rates of microsatellite evolution. Substantial branch-specific shifts in SSR content in primates, monotremes, rodents, snakes, and fish are also evident. Collectively, our results support multiple major shifts in microsatellite genomic landscapes among vertebrates. PMID:27064176

  1. Transmissible cancers in an evolutionary context.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Belov, Katherine

    2016-07-01

    Cancer is an evolutionary and ecological process in which complex interactions between tumour cells and their environment share many similarities with organismal evolution. Tumour cells with highest adaptive potential have a selective advantage over less fit cells. Naturally occurring transmissible cancers provide an ideal model system for investigating the evolutionary arms race between cancer cells and their surrounding micro-environment and macro-environment. However, the evolutionary landscapes in which contagious cancers reside have not been subjected to comprehensive investigation. Here, we provide a multifocal analysis of transmissible tumour progression and discuss the selection forces that shape it. We demonstrate that transmissible cancers adapt to both their micro-environment and macro-environment, and evolutionary theories applied to organisms are also relevant to these unique diseases. The three naturally occurring transmissible cancers, canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) and Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) and the recently discovered clam leukaemia, exhibit different evolutionary phases: (i) CTVT, the oldest naturally occurring cell line is remarkably stable; (ii) DFTD exhibits the signs of stepwise cancer evolution; and (iii) clam leukaemia shows genetic instability. While all three contagious cancers carry the signature of ongoing and fairly recent adaptations to selective forces, CTVT appears to have reached an evolutionary stalemate with its host, while DFTD and the clam leukaemia appear to be still at a more dynamic phase of their evolution. Parallel investigation of contagious cancer genomes and transcriptomes and of their micro-environment and macro-environment could shed light on the selective forces shaping tumour development at different time points: during the progressive phase and at the endpoint. A greater understanding of transmissible cancers from an evolutionary ecology perspective will provide novel avenues for

  2. The palaeontological exhibition: a venue for dialogue.

    PubMed

    Murriello, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the dialogue between museums and their visitors enables museums to subsist, undergo transformations and become consolidated as socially valued cultural venues. The Museo de La Plata (Argentina) was created in the late nineteenth century as a natural history museum, and this study shows that currently the museum is valued socially as a venue for family leisure and education, at which people make sense to the objects exhibited through characteristics conferred upon them by both the institution and the visitor. Nevertheless, such dialogue is somehow affected by the museographic proposal and the public interpretation of the institutional narrative, which could be analysed within the frame of contextual learning. As a consequence, the evolutionary idea that the museum aims to communicate is distorted by the public. This article highlights the importance of considering the visitors' interpretations when planning museum exhibitions, a perspective that has been rather absent in the Argentinian museums.

  3. Evolutionary Phase Transitions in Random Environments.

    PubMed

    Skanata, Antun; Kussell, Edo

    2016-07-15

    We present analytical results for long-term growth rates of structured populations in randomly fluctuating environments, which we apply to predict how cellular response networks evolve. We show that networks which respond rapidly to a stimulus will evolve phenotypic memory exclusively under random (i.e., nonperiodic) environments. We identify the evolutionary phase diagram for simple response networks, which we show can exhibit both continuous and discontinuous transitions. Our approach enables exact analysis of diverse evolutionary systems, from viral epidemics to emergence of drug resistance. PMID:27472146

  4. Evolutionary Phase Transitions in Random Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skanata, Antun; Kussell, Edo

    2016-07-01

    We present analytical results for long-term growth rates of structured populations in randomly fluctuating environments, which we apply to predict how cellular response networks evolve. We show that networks which respond rapidly to a stimulus will evolve phenotypic memory exclusively under random (i.e., nonperiodic) environments. We identify the evolutionary phase diagram for simple response networks, which we show can exhibit both continuous and discontinuous transitions. Our approach enables exact analysis of diverse evolutionary systems, from viral epidemics to emergence of drug resistance.

  5. 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

  6. Evolutionary tree reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheeseman, Peter; Kanefsky, Bob

    1990-01-01

    It is described how Minimum Description Length (MDL) can be applied to the problem of DNA and protein evolutionary tree reconstruction. If there is a set of mutations that transform a common ancestor into a set of the known sequences, and this description is shorter than the information to encode the known sequences directly, then strong evidence for an evolutionary relationship has been found. A heuristic algorithm is described that searches for the simplest tree (smallest MDL) that finds close to optimal trees on the test data. Various ways of extending the MDL theory to more complex evolutionary relationships are discussed.

  7. 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

  8. Evolutionary Mechanisms for Loneliness

    PubMed Central

    Cacioppo, John T.; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Boomsma, Dorret I.

    2013-01-01

    Robert Weiss (1973) conceptualized loneliness as perceived social isolation, which he described as a gnawing, chronic disease without redeeming features. On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence. However, evolutionary time and evolutionary forces operate at such a different scale of organization than we experience in everyday life that personal experience is not sufficient to understand the role of loneliness in human existence. Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats. We review evidence on the heritability of loneliness and outline an evolutionary theory of loneliness, with an emphasis on its potential adaptive value in an evolutionary timescale. PMID:24067110

  9. Evolutionary behavioral genetics

    PubMed Central

    Zietsch, Brendan P.; de Candia, Teresa R; Keller, Matthew C.

    2014-01-01

    We describe the scientific enterprise at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics—a field that could be termed Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics—and how modern genetic data is revolutionizing our ability to test questions in this field. We first explain how genetically informative data and designs can be used to investigate questions about the evolution of human behavior, and describe some of the findings arising from these approaches. Second, we explain how evolutionary theory can be applied to the investigation of behavioral genetic variation. We give examples of how new data and methods provide insight into the genetic architecture of behavioral variation and what this tells us about the evolutionary processes that acted on the underlying causal genetic variants. PMID:25587556

  10. Rethinking evolutionary individuality

    PubMed Central

    Ereshefsky, Marc; Pedroso, Makmiller

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers whether multispecies biofilms are evolutionary individuals. Numerous multispecies biofilms have characteristics associated with individuality, such as internal integrity, division of labor, coordination among parts, and heritable adaptive traits. However, such multispecies biofilms often fail standard reproductive criteria for individuality: they lack reproductive bottlenecks, are comprised of multiple species, do not form unified reproductive lineages, and fail to have a significant division of reproductive labor among their parts. If such biofilms are good candidates for evolutionary individuals, then evolutionary individuality is achieved through other means than frequently cited reproductive processes. The case of multispecies biofilms suggests that standard reproductive requirements placed on individuality should be reconsidered. More generally, the case of multispecies biofilms indicates that accounts of individuality that focus on single-species eukaryotes are too restrictive and that a pluralistic and open-ended account of evolutionary individuality is needed. PMID:26039982

  11. The major evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Szathmáry, E; Smith, J M

    1995-03-16

    There is no theoretical reason to expect evolutionary lineages to increase in complexity with time, and no empirical evidence that they do so. Nevertheless, eukaryotic cells are more complex than prokaryotic ones, animals and plants are more complex than protists, and so on. This increase in complexity may have been achieved as a result of a series of major evolutionary transitions. These involved changes in the way information is stored and transmitted.

  12. Exploration dynamics in evolutionary games.

    PubMed

    Traulsen, Arne; Hauert, Christoph; De Silva, Hannelore; Nowak, Martin A; Sigmund, Karl

    2009-01-20

    Evolutionary game theory describes systems where individual success is based on the interaction with others. We consider a system in which players unconditionally imitate more successful strategies but sometimes also explore the available strategies at random. Most research has focused on how strategies spread via genetic reproduction or cultural imitation, but random exploration of the available set of strategies has received less attention so far. In genetic settings, the latter corresponds to mutations in the DNA, whereas in cultural evolution, it describes individuals experimenting with new behaviors. Genetic mutations typically occur with very small probabilities, but random exploration of available strategies in behavioral experiments is common. We term this phenomenon "exploration dynamics" to contrast it with the traditional focus on imitation. As an illustrative example of the emerging evolutionary dynamics, we consider a public goods game with cooperators and defectors and add punishers and the option to abstain from the enterprise in further scenarios. For small mutation rates, cooperation (and punishment) is possible only if interactions are voluntary, whereas moderate mutation rates can lead to high levels of cooperation even in compulsory public goods games. This phenomenon is investigated through numerical simulations and analytical approximations.

  13. Exploration dynamics in evolutionary games.

    PubMed

    Traulsen, Arne; Hauert, Christoph; De Silva, Hannelore; Nowak, Martin A; Sigmund, Karl

    2009-01-20

    Evolutionary game theory describes systems where individual success is based on the interaction with others. We consider a system in which players unconditionally imitate more successful strategies but sometimes also explore the available strategies at random. Most research has focused on how strategies spread via genetic reproduction or cultural imitation, but random exploration of the available set of strategies has received less attention so far. In genetic settings, the latter corresponds to mutations in the DNA, whereas in cultural evolution, it describes individuals experimenting with new behaviors. Genetic mutations typically occur with very small probabilities, but random exploration of available strategies in behavioral experiments is common. We term this phenomenon "exploration dynamics" to contrast it with the traditional focus on imitation. As an illustrative example of the emerging evolutionary dynamics, we consider a public goods game with cooperators and defectors and add punishers and the option to abstain from the enterprise in further scenarios. For small mutation rates, cooperation (and punishment) is possible only if interactions are voluntary, whereas moderate mutation rates can lead to high levels of cooperation even in compulsory public goods games. This phenomenon is investigated through numerical simulations and analytical approximations. PMID:19124771

  14. Major evolutionary transitions in individuality

    PubMed Central

    West, Stuart A.; Fisher, Roberta M.; Gardner, Andy; Kiers, E. Toby

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of life on earth has been driven by a small number of major evolutionary transitions. These transitions have been characterized by individuals that could previously replicate independently, cooperating to form a new, more complex life form. For example, archaea and eubacteria formed eukaryotic cells, and cells formed multicellular organisms. However, not all cooperative groups are en route to major transitions. How can we explain why major evolutionary transitions have or haven’t taken place on different branches of the tree of life? We break down major transitions into two steps: the formation of a cooperative group and the transformation of that group into an integrated entity. We show how these steps require cooperation, division of labor, communication, mutual dependence, and negligible within-group conflict. We find that certain ecological conditions and the ways in which groups form have played recurrent roles in driving multiple transitions. In contrast, we find that other factors have played relatively minor roles at many key points, such as within-group kin discrimination and mechanisms to actively repress competition. More generally, by identifying the small number of factors that have driven major transitions, we provide a simpler and more unified description of how life on earth has evolved. PMID:25964342

  15. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Gillian R.; Dickins, Thomas E.; Sear, Rebecca; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. PMID:21199836

  16. Evolutionary dynamics on random structures

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, S.M.; Reidys, C.M. |

    1997-04-01

    In this paper the authors consider the evolutionary dynamics of populations of sequences, under a process of selection at the phenotypic level of structures. They use a simple graph-theoretic representation of structures which captures well the properties of the mapping between RNA sequences and their molecular structure. Each sequence is assigned to a structure by means of a sequence-to-structure mapping. The authors make the basic assumption that every fitness landscape can be factorized through the structures. The set of all sequences that map into a particular random structure can then be modeled as a random graph in sequence space, the so-called neutral network. They analyze in detail how an evolving population searches for new structures, in particular how they switch from one neutral network to another. They verify that transitions occur directly between neutral networks, and study the effects of different population sizes and the influence of the relatedness of the structures on these transitions. In fitness landscapes where several structures exhibit high fitness, the authors then study evolutionary paths on the structural level taken by the population during its search. They present a new way of expressing structural similarities which are shown to have relevant implications for the time evolution of the population.

  17. 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

  18. Evolutionary psychology of spatial representations in the hominidae.

    PubMed

    Haun, Daniel B M; Call, Josep; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C

    2006-09-01

    Comparatively little is known about the inherited primate background underlying human cognition, the human cognitive "wild-type." Yet it is possible to trace the evolution of human cognitive abilities and tendencies by contrasting the skills of our nearest cousins, not just chimpanzees, but all the extant great apes, thus showing what we are likely to have inherited from the common ancestor. By looking at human infants early in cognitive development, we can also obtain insights into native cognitive biases in our species. Here, we focus on spatial memory, a central cognitive domain. We show, first, that all nonhuman great apes and 1-year-old human infants exhibit a preference for place over feature strategies for spatial memory. This suggests the common ancestor of all great apes had the same preference. We then examine 3-year-old human children and find that this preference reverses. Thus, the continuity between our species and the other great apes is masked early in human ontogeny. These findings, based on both phylogenetic and ontogenetic contrasts, open up the prospect of a systematic evolutionary psychology resting upon the cladistics of cognitive preferences. PMID:16950112

  19. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution.

  20. 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.

  1. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

  2. Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed

    Gillings, Michael R

    2014-09-01

    Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects up to 80% of women, often leading to significant personal, social and economic costs. When apparently maladaptive states are widespread, they sometimes confer a hidden advantage, or did so in our evolutionary past. We suggest that PMS had a selective advantage because it increased the chance that infertile pair bonds would dissolve, thus improving the reproductive outcomes of women in such partnerships. We confirm predictions arising from the hypothesis: PMS has high heritability; gene variants associated with PMS can be identified; animosity exhibited during PMS is preferentially directed at current partners; and behaviours exhibited during PMS may increase the chance of finding a new partner. Under this view, the prevalence of PMS might result from genes and behaviours that are adaptive in some societies, but are potentially less appropriate in modern cultures. Understanding this evolutionary mismatch might help depathologize PMS, and suggests solutions, including the choice to use cycle-stopping contraception.

  3. Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed Central

    Gillings, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects up to 80% of women, often leading to significant personal, social and economic costs. When apparently maladaptive states are widespread, they sometimes confer a hidden advantage, or did so in our evolutionary past. We suggest that PMS had a selective advantage because it increased the chance that infertile pair bonds would dissolve, thus improving the reproductive outcomes of women in such partnerships. We confirm predictions arising from the hypothesis: PMS has high heritability; gene variants associated with PMS can be identified; animosity exhibited during PMS is preferentially directed at current partners; and behaviours exhibited during PMS may increase the chance of finding a new partner. Under this view, the prevalence of PMS might result from genes and behaviours that are adaptive in some societies, but are potentially less appropriate in modern cultures. Understanding this evolutionary mismatch might help depathologize PMS, and suggests solutions, including the choice to use cycle-stopping contraception. PMID:25469168

  4. Ecological and evolutionary traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Runge, M.C.; Sherman, P.W.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms often rely on environmental cues to make behavioral and life-history decisions. However, in environments that have been altered suddenly by humans, formerly reliable cues might no longer be associated with adaptive outcomes. In such cases, organisms can become 'trapped' by their evolutionary responses to the cues and experience reduced survival or reproduction. Ecological traps occur when organisms make poor habitat choices based on cues that correlated formerly with habitat quality. Ecological traps are part of a broader phenomenon, evolutionary traps, involving a dissociation between cues that organisms use to make any behavioral or life-history decision and outcomes normally associated with that decision. A trap can lead to extinction if a population falls below a critical size threshold before adaptation to the novel environment occurs. Conservation and management protocols must be designed in light of, rather than in spite of, the behavioral mechanisms and evolutionary history of populations and species to avoid 'trapping' them.

  5. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of evaluative beliefs to undermine their justification. This paper aims to clarify the premises and presuppositions of EDAs—a form of argument that is increasingly put to use in normative ethics. I argue that such arguments face serious obstacles. It is often overlooked, for example, that they presuppose the truth of metaethical objectivism. More importantly, even if objectivism is assumed, the use of EDAs in normative ethics is incompatible with a parallel and more sweeping global evolutionary debunking argument that has been discussed in recent metaethics. After examining several ways of responding to this global debunking argument, I end by arguing that even if we could resist it, this would still not rehabilitate the current targeted use of EDAs in normative ethics given that, if EDAs work at all, they will in any case lead to a truly radical revision of our evaluative outlook. PMID:21949447

  6. Human nutrition: evolutionary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Barnicot, N A

    2005-01-01

    In recent decades, much new evidence relating to the ape forerunners of modern humans has come to hand and diet appears to be an important factor. At some stage, there must have been a transition from a largely vegetarian ape diet to a modern human hunting economy providing significant amounts of meat. On an even longer evolutionary time scale the change was more complex. The mechanisms of evolutionary change are now better understood than they were in Darwin's time, thanks largely to great advances in genetics, both experimental and theoretical. It is virtually certain that diet, as a major component of the human environment, must have exerted evolutionary effects, but researchers still have little good evidence. PMID:17393680

  7. Investigating human evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    WOOD, BERNARD

    2000-01-01

    We rely on fossils for the interpretation of more than 95% of our evolutionary history. Fieldwork resulting in the recovery of fresh fossil evidence is an important component of reconstructing human evolutionary history, but advances can also be made by extracting additional evidence for the existing fossil record, and by improving the methods used to interpret the fossil evidence. This review shows how information from imaging and dental microstructure has contributed to improving our understanding of the hominin fossil record. It also surveys recent advances in the use of the fossil record for phylogenetic inference. PMID:10999269

  8. The fastest evolutionary trajectory

    PubMed Central

    Traulsen, Arne; Iwasa, Yoh; Nowak, Martin A.

    2008-01-01

    Given two mutants, A and B, separated by n mutational steps, what is the evolutionary trajectory which allows a homogeneous population of A to reach B in the shortest time? We show that the optimum evolutionary trajectory (fitness landscape) has the property that the relative fitness increase between any two consecutive steps is constant. Hence, the optimum fitness landscape between A and B is given by an exponential function. Our result is precise for small mutation rates and excluding back mutations. We discuss deviations for large mutation rates and including back mutations. For very large mutation rates, the optimum fitness landscape is flat and has a single peak at type B. PMID:17900629

  9. Hybridization facilitates evolutionary rescue

    PubMed Central

    Stelkens, Rike B; Brockhurst, Michael A; Hurst, Gregory D D; Greig, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    The resilience of populations to rapid environmental degradation is a major concern for biodiversity conservation. When environments deteriorate to lethal levels, species must evolve to adapt to the new conditions to avoid extinction. Here, we test the hypothesis that evolutionary rescue may be enabled by hybridization, because hybridization increases genetic variability. Using experimental evolution, we show that interspecific hybrid populations of Saccharomyces yeast adapt to grow in more highly degraded environments than intraspecific and parental crosses, resulting in survival rates far exceeding those of their ancestors. We conclude that hybridization can increase evolutionary responsiveness and that taxa able to exchange genes with distant relatives may better survive rapid environmental change. PMID:25558281

  10. Contrasting reproductive strategies of triploid hybrid males in vertebrate mating systems.

    PubMed

    Pruvost, N B M; Mikulíček, P; Choleva, L; Reyer, H-U

    2015-01-01

    The scarcity of parthenogenetic vertebrates is often attributed to their 'inferior' mode of clonal reproduction, which restricts them to self-reproduce their own genotype lineage and leaves little evolutionary potential with regard to speciation and evolution of sexual reproduction. Here, we show that for some taxa, such uniformity does not hold. Using hybridogenetic water frogs (Pelophylax esculentus) as a model system, we demonstrate that triploid hybrid males from two geographic regions exhibit very different reproductive modes. With an integrative data set combining field studies, crossing experiments, flow cytometry and microsatellite analyses, we found that triploid hybrids from Central Europe are rare, occur in male sex only and form diploid gametes of a single clonal lineage. In contrast, triploid hybrids from north-western Europe are widespread, occur in both sexes and produce recombined haploid gametes. These differences translate into contrasting reproductive roles between regions. In Central Europe, triploid hybrid males sexually parasitize diploid hybrids and just perpetuate their own genotype--which is the usual pattern in parthenogens. In north-western Europe, on the other hand, the triploid males are gamete donors for diploid hybrids, thereby stabilizing the mixed 2n-3n hybrid populations. By demonstrating these contrasting roles in male reproduction, we draw attention to a new significant evolutionary potential for animals with nonsexual reproduction, namely reproductive plasticity.

  11. The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Bernd; Rangel, Antonio; Wibral, Matthias; Falk, Armin

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy—its real value—and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency—its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions. PMID:19307555

  12. The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion.

    PubMed

    Weber, Bernd; Rangel, Antonio; Wibral, Matthias; Falk, Armin

    2009-03-31

    Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy-its real value-and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency-its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions.

  13. Phenological responses to climate change do not exhibit phylogenetic signal in a subalpine plant community.

    PubMed

    CaraDonna, Paul J; Inouye, David W

    2015-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships may underlie species-specific phenological sensitivities to abiotic variation and may help to predict these responses to climate change. Although shared evolutionary history may mediate both phenology and phenological sensitivity to abiotic variation, few studies have explicitly investigated whether this is the case. We explore phylogenetic signal in flowering phenology and in phenological sensitivity to temperature and snowmelt using a 39-year record of flowering from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA that includes dates of first, peak, and last flowering, and flowering duration for 60 plant species in a subalpine plant community. Consistent with other studies, we found evidence in support of phylogenetic signal in first flowering date. However, the strength and significance of that signal were inconsistent across other measures of flowering in this plant community: peak flowering date exhibited the strongest phylogenetic signal, followed by first flowering date; last flowering date and duration of flowering exhibited patterns indistinguishable from random trait evolution. In contrast to first and peak flowering date, phenological sensitivities of all flowering measures to temperature and snowmelt did not exhibit a phylogenetic signal. These findings show that within ecological communities, phylogenetic signal in phenology does not necessarily imply phylogenetic signal in phenological sensitivities to abiotic variation.

  14. Phenological responses to climate change do not exhibit phylogenetic signal in a subalpine plant community.

    PubMed

    CaraDonna, Paul J; Inouye, David W

    2015-02-01

    Phylogenetic relationships may underlie species-specific phenological sensitivities to abiotic variation and may help to predict these responses to climate change. Although shared evolutionary history may mediate both phenology and phenological sensitivity to abiotic variation, few studies have explicitly investigated whether this is the case. We explore phylogenetic signal in flowering phenology and in phenological sensitivity to temperature and snowmelt using a 39-year record of flowering from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA that includes dates of first, peak, and last flowering, and flowering duration for 60 plant species in a subalpine plant community. Consistent with other studies, we found evidence in support of phylogenetic signal in first flowering date. However, the strength and significance of that signal were inconsistent across other measures of flowering in this plant community: peak flowering date exhibited the strongest phylogenetic signal, followed by first flowering date; last flowering date and duration of flowering exhibited patterns indistinguishable from random trait evolution. In contrast to first and peak flowering date, phenological sensitivities of all flowering measures to temperature and snowmelt did not exhibit a phylogenetic signal. These findings show that within ecological communities, phylogenetic signal in phenology does not necessarily imply phylogenetic signal in phenological sensitivities to abiotic variation. PMID:26240857

  15. 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

  16. Origins of evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Ellen

    2014-04-01

    An 'evolutionary transition in individuality' or 'major transition' is a transformation in the hierarchical level at which natural selection operates on a population. In this article I give an abstract (i.e. level-neutral and substrate-neutral) articulation of the transition process in order to precisely understand how such processes can happen, especially how they can get started. PMID:24736161

  17. 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…

  18. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

    This paper draws on the philosophy of Karl Popper to present a descriptive evolutionary epistemology that offers philosophical solutions to the following related problems: "What happens when learning takes place?" and "What happens in human learning?" It provides a detailed analysis of how learning takes place without any direct transfer of…

  19. Evolutionary pattern search algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, W.E.

    1995-09-19

    This paper defines a class of evolutionary algorithms called evolutionary pattern search algorithms (EPSAs) and analyzes their convergence properties. This class of algorithms is closely related to evolutionary programming, evolutionary strategie and real-coded genetic algorithms. EPSAs are self-adapting systems that modify the step size of the mutation operator in response to the success of previous optimization steps. The rule used to adapt the step size can be used to provide a stationary point convergence theory for EPSAs on any continuous function. This convergence theory is based on an extension of the convergence theory for generalized pattern search methods. An experimental analysis of the performance of EPSAs demonstrates that these algorithms can perform a level of global search that is comparable to that of canonical EAs. We also describe a stopping rule for EPSAs, which reliably terminated near stationary points in our experiments. This is the first stopping rule for any class of EAs that can terminate at a given distance from stationary points.

  20. Evolutionary Theories of Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Fitch, J P

    2005-04-29

    Current, mid-term and long range technologies for detection of pathogens and toxins are briefly described in the context of performance metrics and operational scenarios. Predictive (evolutionary) and speculative (revolutionary) assessments are given with trade-offs identified, where possible, among competing performance goals.

  1. [Schizophrenia and evolutionary psychopathology].

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Oguz; Kéri, Szabolcs

    2007-01-01

    Evolution can shape any characteristic appearing as a phenotype that is genetically rooted and possesses a long history. The stress-diathesis model suggests that psychiatric disorders have some genetic roots, and therefore the theory of evolution may be relevant for psychiatry. Schizophrenia is present in every human culture with approximately the same incidence. The great evolutionary paradox is: how can such illness persist despite fundamental reproductive disadvantages? Since the 1960s, several evolutionary explanations have been raised to explain the origins of schizophrenia. This article reviews all the major evolutionary theories about the possible origins of this disease. On the one hand, some researchers have proposed that schizophrenia is an evolutionary disadvantageous byproduct of human brain evolution (e.g. the evolution of hemispheric specialization, social brain or language skills). On the other hand, others have suggested that a compensatory advantage must exist either in the biological system of patients with schizophrenia (e.g. resistance against infectious diseases), or within the social domain (e.g. greater creativity of the relatives). According to some theories, shamanism and religion demonstrate some similarities to psychosis and provide clues regarding the origins of schizophrenia. At the end of this article we discuss this last theory in detail listing arguments for and against.

  2. 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)

  3. Superiority, competition, and opportunism in the evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Benton, Michael J; Ruta, Marcello; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2008-09-12

    The rise and diversification of the dinosaurs in the Late Triassic, from 230 to 200 million years ago, is a classic example of an evolutionary radiation with supposed competitive replacement. A comparison of evolutionary rates and morphological disparity of basal dinosaurs and their chief "competitors," the crurotarsan archosaurs, shows that dinosaurs exhibited lower disparity and an indistinguishable rate of character evolution. The radiation of Triassic archosaurs as a whole is characterized by declining evolutionary rates and increasing disparity, suggesting a decoupling of character evolution from body plan variety. The results strongly suggest that historical contingency, rather than prolonged competition or general "superiority," was the primary factor in the rise of dinosaurs.

  4. Evolutionary history of exon shuffling.

    PubMed

    França, Gustavo S; Cancherini, Douglas V; de Souza, Sandro J

    2012-06-01

    Exon shuffling has been characterized as one of the major evolutionary forces shaping both the genome and the proteome of eukaryotes. This mechanism was particularly important in the creation of multidomain proteins during animal evolution, bringing a number of functional genetic novelties. Here, genome information from a variety of eukaryotic species was used to address several issues related to the evolutionary history of exon shuffling. By comparing all protein sequences within each species, we were able to characterize exon shuffling signatures throughout metazoans. Intron phase (the position of the intron regarding the codon) and exon symmetry (the pattern of flanking introns for a given exon or block of adjacent exons) were features used to evaluate exon shuffling. We confirmed previous observations that exon shuffling mediated by phase 1 introns (1-1 exon shuffling) is the predominant kind in multicellular animals. Evidence is provided that such pattern was achieved since the early steps of animal evolution, supported by a detectable presence of 1-1 shuffling units in Trichoplax adhaerens and a considerable prevalence of them in Nematostella vectensis. In contrast, Monosiga brevicollis, one of the closest relatives of metazoans, and Arabidopsis thaliana, showed no evidence of 1-1 exon or domain shuffling above what it would be expected by chance. Instead, exon shuffling events are less abundant and predominantly mediated by phase 0 introns (0-0 exon shuffling) in those non-metazoan species. Moreover, an intermediate pattern of 1-1 and 0-0 exon shuffling was observed for the placozoan T. adhaerens, a primitive animal. Finally, characterization of flanking intron phases around domain borders allowed us to identify a common set of symmetric 1-1 domains that have been shuffled throughout the metazoan lineage.

  5. Investigating Evolutionary Dynamics of RHA1 Operons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yong; Geng, Dandan; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Zhang, Shaoqiang

    2016-01-01

    Grouping genes as operons is an important genomic feature of prokaryotic organisms. The comprehensive understanding of the operon organizations would be helpful to decipher transcriptional mechanisms, cellular pathways, and the evolutionary landscape of prokaryotic genomes. Although thousands of prokaryotes have been sequenced, genome-wide investigation of the evolutionary dynamics (division and recombination) of operons among these genomes remains unexplored. Here, we systematically analyzed the operon dynamics of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 (RHA1), an oleaginous bacterium with high potential applications in biofuel, by comparing 340 prokaryotic genomes that were carefully selected from different genera. Interestingly, 99% of RHA1 operons were observed to exhibit evolutionary events of division and recombination among the 340 compared genomes. An operon that encodes all enzymes related to histidine biosynthesis in RHA1 (His-operon) was found to be segmented into smaller gene groups (sub-operons) in diverse genomes. These sub-operons were further reorganized with different functional genes as novel operons that are related to different biochemical processes. Comparatively, the operons involved in the functional categories of lipid transport and metabolism are relatively conserved among the 340 compared genomes. At the pathway level, RHA1 operons found to be significantly conserved were involved in ribosome synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid synthesis. These analyses provide evolutionary insights of operon organization and the dynamic associations of various biochemical pathways in different prokaryotes. PMID:27398020

  6. 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.

  7. Evolutionary Determinants of Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Greaves, Mel

    2015-01-01

    ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’ Th. Dobzhansky, 1973 Our understanding of cancer is being transformed by exploring clonal diversity, drug resistance and causation within an evolutionary framework. The therapeutic resilience of advanced cancer is a consequence of its character as complex, dynamic and adaptive ecosystem engendering robustness, underpinned by genetic diversity and epigenetic plasticity. The risk of mutation-driven escape by self-renewing cells is intrinsic to multicellularity but is countered by multiple restraints facilitating increasing complexity and longevity of species. But our own has disrupted this historical narrative by rapidly escalating intrinsic risk. Evolutionary principles illuminate these challenges and provide new avenues to explore for more effective control. PMID:26193902

  8. Evolutionary game theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, John Maynard

    1986-10-01

    It is often the case that the best thing for an animal or plant to do depends on what other members of the population are doing. In more technical language, the fitnesses of different phenotypes are frequency-dependent. Evolutionary game theory has been developed to analyse such cases. In this paper I aim to do three things. First, I describe the concepts of evolutionary game theory in the context of a simple game, the Hawk-Dove game, and compare them with the concepts of classical game theory originating with Von Neumann and Morgenstern (1953) [1]. Second, I list some of the applications of the theory. Finally, I suggest how the theory can tell us something about the evolution of learning.

  9. Predicting evolutionary dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balazsi, Gabor

    We developed an ordinary differential equation-based model to predict the evolutionary dynamics of yeast cells carrying a synthetic gene circuit. The predicted aspects included the speed at which the ancestral genotype disappears from the population; as well as the types of mutant alleles that establish in each environmental condition. We validated these predictions by experimental evolution. The agreement between our predictions and experimental findings suggests that cellular and population fitness landscapes can be useful to predict short-term evolution.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary theory and teleology.

    PubMed

    O'Grady, R T

    1984-04-21

    The order within and among living systems can be explained rationally by postulating a process of descent with modification, effected by factors which are extrinsic or intrinsic to the organisms. Because at the time Darwin proposed his theory of evolution there was no concept of intrinsic factors which could evolve, he postulated a process of extrinsic effects--natural selection. Biological order was thus seen as an imposed, rather than an emergent, property. Evolutionary change was seen as being determined by the functional efficiency (adaptedness) of the organism in its environment, rather than by spontaneous changes in intrinsically generated organizing factors. The initial incompleteness of Darwin's explanatory model, and the axiomatization of its postulates in neo-Darwinism, has resulted in a theory of functionalism, rather than structuralism. As such, it introduces an unnecessary teleology which confounds evolutionary studies and reduces the usefulness of the theory. This problem cannot be detected from within the neo-Darwinian paradigm because the different levels of end-directed activity--teleomatic, teleonomic, and teleological--are not recognized. They are, in fact, considered to influence one another. The theory of nonequilibrium evolution avoids these problems by returning to the basic principles of biological order and developing a structuralist explanation of intrinsically generated change. Extrinsic factors may affect the resultant evolutionary pattern, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient for evolution to occur.

  12. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    PubMed

    Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R

    2016-10-19

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'.

  13. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    PubMed Central

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

  14. Evolutionary consequences of autopolyploidy.

    PubMed

    Parisod, Christian; Holderegger, Rolf; Brochmann, Christian

    2010-04-01

    Autopolyploidy is more common in plants than traditionally assumed, but has received little attention compared with allopolyploidy. Hence, the advantages and disadvantages of genome doubling per se compared with genome doubling coupled with hybridizations in allopolyploids remain unclear. Autopolyploids are characterized by genomic redundancy and polysomic inheritance, increasing effective population size. To shed light on the evolutionary consequences of autopolyploidy, we review a broad range of studies focusing on both synthetic and natural autopolyploids encompassing levels of biological organization from genes to evolutionary lineages. The limited evidence currently available suggests that autopolyploids neither experience strong genome restructuring nor wide reorganization of gene expression during the first generations following genome doubling, but that these processes may become more important in the longer term. Biogeographic and ecological surveys point to an association between the formation of autopolyploid lineages and environmental change. We thus hypothesize that polysomic inheritance may provide a short-term evolutionary advantage for autopolyploids compared to diploid relatives when environmental change enforces range shifts. In addition, autopolyploids should possess increased genome flexibility, allowing them to adapt and persist across heterogeneous landscapes in the long run. PMID:20070540

  15. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    PubMed

    Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R

    2016-10-19

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. PMID:27619705

  16. Polycatechol Nanoparticle MRI Contrast Agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiwen; Huang, Yuran; Wang, Zhao; Carniato, Fabio; Xie, Yijun; Patterson, Joseph P; Thompson, Matthew P; Andolina, Christopher M; Ditri, Treffly B; Millstone, Jill E; Figueroa, Joshua S; Rinehart, Jeffrey D; Scadeng, Miriam; Botta, Mauro; Gianneschi, Nathan C

    2016-02-01

    Amphiphilic triblock copolymers containing Fe(III) -catecholate complexes formulated as spherical- or cylindrical-shaped micellar nanoparticles (SMN and CMN, respectively) are described as new T1-weighted agents with high relaxivity, low cytotoxicity, and long-term stability in biological fluids. Relaxivities of both SMN and CMN exceed those of established gadolinium chelates across a wide range of magnetic field strengths. Interestingly, shape-dependent behavior is observed in terms of the particles' interactions with HeLa cells, with CMN exhibiting enhanced uptake and contrast via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compared with SMN. These results suggest that control over soft nanoparticle shape will provide an avenue for optimization of particle-based contrast agents as biodiagnostics. The polycatechol nanoparticles are proposed as suitable for preclinical investigations into their viability as gadolinium-free, safe, and effective imaging agents for MRI contrast enhancement. PMID:26681255

  17. Citizen Science Reveals Unexpected Continental-Scale Evolutionary Change in a Model Organism

    PubMed Central

    Silvertown, Jonathan; Cook, Laurence; Cameron, Robert; Dodd, Mike; McConway, Kevin; Worthington, Jenny; Skelton, Peter; Anton, Christian; Bossdorf, Oliver; Baur, Bruno; Schilthuizen, Menno; Fontaine, Benoît; Sattmann, Helmut; Bertorelle, Giorgio; Correia, Maria; Oliveira, Cristina; Pokryszko, Beata; Ożgo, Małgorzata; Stalažs, Arturs; Gill, Eoin; Rammul, Üllar; Sólymos, Péter; Féher, Zoltan; Juan, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis). This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern affecting shell albedo in the majority of populations within its native range in Europe. We tested for evolutionary changes in shell albedo that might have been driven by the warming of the climate in Europe over the last half century by compiling an historical dataset for 6,515 native populations of C. nemoralis and comparing this with new data on nearly 3,000 populations. The new data were sampled mainly in 2009 through the Evolution MegaLab, a citizen science project that engaged thousands of volunteers in 15 countries throughout Europe in the biggest such exercise ever undertaken. A known geographic cline in the frequency of the colour phenotype with the highest albedo (yellow) was shown to have persisted and a difference in colour frequency between woodland and more open habitats was confirmed, but there was no general increase in the frequency of yellow shells. This may have been because snails adapted to a warming climate through behavioural thermoregulation. By contrast, we detected an unexpected decrease in the frequency of Unbanded shells and an increase in the Mid-banded morph. Neither of these evolutionary changes appears to be a direct response to climate change, indicating that the influence of other selective agents, possibly related to changing predation pressure and habitat change with effects on micro-climate. PMID:21556137

  18. Evolutionary annotation of conserved long non-coding RNAs in major mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Bu, DeChao; Luo, HaiTao; Jiao, Fei; Fang, ShuangSang; Tan, ChengFu; Liu, ZhiYong; Zhao, Yi

    2015-08-01

    Mammalian genomes contain tens of thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that have been implicated in diverse biological processes. However, the lncRNA transcriptomes of most mammalian species have not been established, limiting the evolutionary annotation of these novel transcripts. Based on RNA sequencing data from six tissues of nine species, we built comprehensive lncRNA catalogs (4,142-42,558 lncRNAs) covering the major mammalian species. Compared to protein- coding RNAs, expression of lncRNAs exhibits striking lineage specificity. Notably, although 30%-99% human lncRNAs are conserved across different species on DNA locus level, only 20%-27% of these conserved lncRNA loci are detected to transcription, which represents a stark contrast to the proportion of conserved protein-coding genes (48%-80%). This finding provides a valuable resource for experimental scientists to study the mechanisms of lncRNAs. Moreover, we constructed lncRNA expression phylogenetic trees across nine mammals and demonstrated that lncRNA expression profiles can reliably determine phylogenic placement in a manner similar to their coding counterparts. Our data also reveal that the evolutionary rate of lncRNA expression varies among tissues and is significantly higher than those for protein-coding genes. To streamline the processes of browsing lncRNAs and detecting their evolutionary statuses, we integrate all the data produced in this study into a database named PhyloNONCODE (http://www.bioinfo.org/phyloNoncode). Our work starts to place mammalian lncRNAs in an evolutionary context and represent a rich resource for comparative and functional analyses of this critical layer of genome.

  19. Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organism.

    PubMed

    Silvertown, Jonathan; Cook, Laurence; Cameron, Robert; Dodd, Mike; McConway, Kevin; Worthington, Jenny; Skelton, Peter; Anton, Christian; Bossdorf, Oliver; Baur, Bruno; Schilthuizen, Menno; Fontaine, Benoît; Sattmann, Helmut; Bertorelle, Giorgio; Correia, Maria; Oliveira, Cristina; Pokryszko, Beata; Ożgo, Małgorzata; Stalažs, Arturs; Gill, Eoin; Rammul, Üllar; Sólymos, Péter; Féher, Zoltan; Juan, Xavier

    2011-04-27

    Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis). This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern affecting shell albedo in the majority of populations within its native range in Europe. We tested for evolutionary changes in shell albedo that might have been driven by the warming of the climate in Europe over the last half century by compiling an historical dataset for 6,515 native populations of C. nemoralis and comparing this with new data on nearly 3,000 populations. The new data were sampled mainly in 2009 through the Evolution MegaLab, a citizen science project that engaged thousands of volunteers in 15 countries throughout Europe in the biggest such exercise ever undertaken. A known geographic cline in the frequency of the colour phenotype with the highest albedo (yellow) was shown to have persisted and a difference in colour frequency between woodland and more open habitats was confirmed, but there was no general increase in the frequency of yellow shells. This may have been because snails adapted to a warming climate through behavioural thermoregulation. By contrast, we detected an unexpected decrease in the frequency of Unbanded shells and an increase in the Mid-banded morph. Neither of these evolutionary changes appears to be a direct response to climate change, indicating that the influence of other selective agents, possibly related to changing predation pressure and habitat change with effects on micro-climate.

  20. Exhibitions: Facing Outward, Pointing Inward

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Joseph P.

    2007-01-01

    The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Exhibitions Project of the early 1990s produced a range of work that continues to inform the practice of using exhibitions as a "360 degree" method of transforming teaching and learning, community connections, school design, and assessment. Among that work was this paper coupling the origins of exhibitions…

  1. The evolutionary conservation of DNA polymerase. alpha

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, M.A.; Korn, D.; Wang, T.S.F. )

    1988-08-25

    The evolutionary conservation of DNA polymerase {alpha} was assessed by immunological and molecular genetic approaches. Four anti-human KB cell DNA polymerase {alpha} monoclonal antibodies were tested for their ability to recognize a phylogenetically broad array of eukaryotic DNA polymerases. While the single non-neutralizing antibody used in this study recognizes higher mammalian (human, simian, canine, and bovine) polymerases only, three neutralizing antibodies exhibit greater, but variable, extents of cross-reactivity among vertebrate species. Genomic Southern hybridization studies with the cDNA of the human DNA polymerase {alpha} catalytic polypeptide identify the existence of many consensus DNA sequences within the DNA polymerase genes of vertebrate, invertebrate, plant and unicellular organisms. These findings illustrate the differential evolutionary conservation of four unique epitopes on DNA sequences, presumably reflective of critical functional domains, in the DNA polymerase genes from a broad diversity of living forms.

  2. Against the Odds Exhibition Opens

    MedlinePlus

    ... LA and Vox Populi organizations. Photo courtesy of Bill Branson At the exhibition, HIV and AIDS were topics addressed by Dr. Victoria Cargill (right), Director of Clinical Studies and Director of Minority ...

  3. Characterizing Phase Transitions in a Model of Neutral Evolutionary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Adam; King, Dawn; Bahar, Sonya

    2013-03-01

    An evolutionary model was recently introduced for sympatric, phenotypic evolution over a variable fitness landscape with assortative mating (Dees & Bahar 2010). Organisms in the model are described by coordinates in a two-dimensional phenotype space, born at random coordinates with limited variation from their parents as determined by a mutation parameter, mutability. The model has been extended to include both neutral evolution and asexual reproduction in Scott et al (submitted). It has been demonstrated that a second order, non-equilibrium phase transition occurs for the temporal dynamics as the mutability is varied, for both the original model and for neutral conditions. This transition likely belongs to the directed percolation universality class. In contrast, the spatial dynamics of the model shows characteristics of an ordinary percolation phase transition. Here, we characterize the phase transitions exhibited by this model by determining critical exponents for the relaxation times, characteristic lengths, and cluster (species) mass distributions. Missouri Research Board; J.S. McDonnell Foundation

  4. 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

  5. Greenhouse Earth: A Traveling Exhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Booth, W.H.; Caesar, S.

    1992-09-01

    The Franklin Institute Science Museum provided an exhibit entitled the Greenhouse Earth: A Traveling Exhibition. This 3500 square-foot exhibit on global climate change was developed in collaboration with the Association of Science-Technology Centers. The exhibit opened at The Franklin Institute on February 14, 1992, welcoming 291,000 visitors over its three-month stay. During its three-year tour, Greenhouse Earth will travel to ten US cities, reaching two million visitors. Greenhouse Earth aims to deepen public understanding of the scientific issues of global warming and the conservation measures that can be taken to slow its effects. The exhibit features hands-on exhibitry, interactive computer programs and videos, a theater production, a demonstration cart,'' guided tours, and lectures. supplemental educational programs at the Institute included a teachers preview, a symposium on climate change, and a satellite field trip.'' The development of Greenhouse Earth included front-end and formative evaluation procedures. Evaluation includes interviews with visitors, prototypes, and summative surveys for participating museums. During its stay in Philadelphia, Greenhouse Earth was covered by the local and national press, with reviews in print and broadcast media. Greenhouse Earth is the first large-scale museum exhibit to address global climate change.

  6. Deontic Reasoning with Emotional Content: Evolutionary Psychology or Decision Theory?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perham, Nick; Oaksford, Mike

    2005-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the contrasting predictions of the evolutionary and decision-theoretic approaches to deontic reasoning. Two experiments embedded a hazard management (HM) rule in a social contract scenario that should lead to competition between innate modules. A 3rd experiment used a pure HM task. Threatening material was also…

  7. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Mengistu, Henok; Huizinga, Joost; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2016-06-01

    Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. PMID:27280881

  8. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Mengistu, Henok; Huizinga, Joost; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2016-06-01

    Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  9. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy

    PubMed Central

    Huizinga, Joost; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Hierarchical organization—the recursive composition of sub-modules—is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force–the cost of connections–promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. PMID:27280881

  10. Evolutionary optimization of protein folding.

    PubMed

    Debès, Cédric; Wang, Minglei; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Gräter, Frauke

    2013-01-01

    Nature has shaped the make up of proteins since their appearance, [Formula: see text]3.8 billion years ago. However, the fundamental drivers of structural change responsible for the extraordinary diversity of proteins have yet to be elucidated. Here we explore if protein evolution affects folding speed. We estimated folding times for the present-day catalog of protein domains directly from their size-modified contact order. These values were mapped onto an evolutionary timeline of domain appearance derived from a phylogenomic analysis of protein domains in 989 fully-sequenced genomes. Our results show a clear overall increase of folding speed during evolution, with known ultra-fast downhill folders appearing rather late in the timeline. Remarkably, folding optimization depends on secondary structure. While alpha-folds showed a tendency to fold faster throughout evolution, beta-folds exhibited a trend of folding time increase during the last [Formula: see text]1.5 billion years that began during the "big bang" of domain combinations. As a consequence, these domain structures are on average slow folders today. Our results suggest that fast and efficient folding of domains shaped the universe of protein structure. This finding supports the hypothesis that optimization of the kinetic and thermodynamic accessibility of the native fold reduces protein aggregation propensities that hamper cellular functions. PMID:23341762

  11. On evolutionary systems.

    PubMed

    Alvarez de Lorenzana, J M; Ward, L M

    1987-01-01

    This paper develops a metatheoretical framework for understanding evolutionary systems (systems that develop in ways that increase their own variety). The framework addresses shortcomings seen in other popular systems theories. It concerns both living and nonliving systems, and proposes a metahierarchy of hierarchical systems. Thus, it potentially addresses systems at all descriptive levels. We restrict our definition of system to that of a core system whose parts have a different ontological status than the system, and characterize the core system in terms of five global properties: minimal length interval, minimal time interval, system cycle, total receptive capacity, and system potential. We propose two principles through the interaction of which evolutionary systems develop. The Principle of Combinatorial Expansion describes how a core system realizes its developmental potential through a process of progressive differentiation of the single primal state up to a limit stage. The Principle of Generative Condensation describes how the components of the last stage of combinatorial expansion condense and become the environment for and components of new, enriched systems. The early evolution of the Universe after the "big bang" is discussed in light of these ideas as an example of the application of the framework.

  12. On evolutionary systems.

    PubMed

    Alvarez de Lorenzana, J M; Ward, L M

    1987-01-01

    This paper develops a metatheoretical framework for understanding evolutionary systems (systems that develop in ways that increase their own variety). The framework addresses shortcomings seen in other popular systems theories. It concerns both living and nonliving systems, and proposes a metahierarchy of hierarchical systems. Thus, it potentially addresses systems at all descriptive levels. We restrict our definition of system to that of a core system whose parts have a different ontological status than the system, and characterize the core system in terms of five global properties: minimal length interval, minimal time interval, system cycle, total receptive capacity, and system potential. We propose two principles through the interaction of which evolutionary systems develop. The Principle of Combinatorial Expansion describes how a core system realizes its developmental potential through a process of progressive differentiation of the single primal state up to a limit stage. The Principle of Generative Condensation describes how the components of the last stage of combinatorial expansion condense and become the environment for and components of new, enriched systems. The early evolution of the Universe after the "big bang" is discussed in light of these ideas as an example of the application of the framework. PMID:3689299

  13. Evolutionary models of binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Rensbergen, Walter; Mennekens, Nicki; de Greve, Jean-Pierre; Jansen, Kim; de Loore, Bert

    2011-07-01

    We have put on CDS a catalog containing 561 evolutionary models of binaries: J/A+A/487/1129 (Van Rensbergen+, 2008). The catalog covers a grid of binaries with a B-type primary at birth, different values for the initial mass ratio and a wide range of initial orbital periods. The evolution was calculated with the Brussels code in which we introduced the spinning up and the creation of a hot spot on the gainer or its accretion disk, caused by impacting mass coming from the donor. When the kinetic energy of fast rotation added to the radiative energy of the hot spot exceeds the binding energy, a fraction of the transferred matter leaves the system: the evolution is liberal during a short lasting era of rapid mass transfer. The spin-up of the gainer was modulated using both strong and weak tides. The catalog shows the results for both types. For comparison, we included the evolutionary tracks calculated with the conservative assumption. Binaries with an initial primary below 6 Msolar show hardly any mass loss from the system and thus evolve conservatively. Above this limit differences between liberal and conservative evolution grow with increasing initial mass of the primary star.

  14. Evolutionary status of Polaris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadeyev, Yu. A.

    2015-05-01

    Hydrodynamic models of short-period Cepheids were computed to determine the pulsation period as a function of evolutionary time during the first and third crossings of the instability strip. The equations of radiation hydrodynamics and turbulent convection for radial stellar pulsations were solved with the initial conditions obtained from the evolutionary models of Population I stars (X = 0.7, Z = 0.02) with masses from 5.2 to 6.5 M⊙ and the convective core overshooting parameter 0.1 ≤ αov ≤ 0.3. In Cepheids with period of 4 d the rate of pulsation period change during the first crossing of the instability strip is over 50 times larger than that during the third crossing. Polaris is shown to cross the instability strip for the first time and to be the fundamental mode pulsator. The best agreement between the predicted and observed rates of period change was obtained for the model with mass of 5.4 M⊙ and the overshooting parameter αov = 0.25. The bolometric luminosity and radius are L = 1.26 × 103 L⊙ and R = 37.5 R⊙, respectively. In the HR diagram, Polaris is located at the red edge of the instability strip.

  15. A triphenylamine-based benzoxazole derivative as a high-contrast piezofluorochromic material induced by protonation.

    PubMed

    Xue, Pengchong; Chen, Peng; Jia, Junhui; Xu, Qiuxia; Sun, Jiabao; Yao, Boqi; Zhang, Zhenqi; Lu, Ran

    2014-03-11

    A triphenylamine-based benzoxazole derivative exhibits a low contrast piezofluorochromic behavior under external pressure, and a high-contrast fluorescence change induced by protonation can be observed.

  16. [Contrast sensitivity in glaucoma].

    PubMed

    Bartos, D

    1989-05-01

    Author reports on results of the contrast sensitivity examinations using the Cambridge low-contrast lattice test supplied by Clement Clarke International LTD, in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. In glaucoma patients there was observed statistically significant decrease of the contrast sensitivity. In patients with ocular hypertension decrease of the contrast sensitivity was in patients affected by corresponding changes of the visual field and of the optical disc. The main advantages of the Cambridge low-contrast lattice test were simplicity, rapidity and precision of its performance. PMID:2743444

  17. Evolutionary change in physiological phenotypes along the human lineage

    PubMed Central

    Vining, Alexander Q.; Nunn, Charles L.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Research in evolutionary medicine provides many examples of how evolution has shaped human susceptibility to disease. Traits undergoing rapid evolutionary change may result in associated costs or reduce the energy available to other traits. We hypothesize that humans have experienced more such changes than other primates as a result of major evolutionary change along the human lineage. We investigated 41 physiological traits across 50 primate species to identify traits that have undergone marked evolutionary change along the human lineage. Methodology: We analysed the data using two Bayesian phylogenetic comparative methods. One approach models trait covariation in non-human primates and predicts human phenotypes to identify whether humans are evolutionary outliers. The other approach models adaptive shifts under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution to assess whether inferred shifts are more common on the human branch than on other primate lineages. Results: We identified four traits with strong evidence for an evolutionary increase on the human lineage (amylase, haematocrit, phosphorus and monocytes) and one trait with strong evidence for decrease (neutrophilic bands). Humans exhibited more cases of distinct evolutionary change than other primates. Conclusions and Implications: Human physiology has undergone increased evolutionary change compared to other primates. Long distance running may have contributed to increases in haematocrit and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, while dietary changes are likely related to increases in amylase. In accordance with the pathogen load hypothesis, human monocyte levels were increased, but many other immune-related measures were not. Determining the mechanisms underlying conspicuous evolutionary change in these traits may provide new insights into human disease. PMID:27615376

  18. Virulence in malaria: an evolutionary viewpoint.

    PubMed Central

    Mackinnon, Margaret J; Read, Andrew F

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites cause much morbidity and mortality to their human hosts. From our evolutionary perspective, this is because virulence is positively associated with parasite transmission rate. Natural selection therefore drives virulence upwards, but only to the point where the cost to transmission caused by host death begins to outweigh the transmission benefits. In this review, we summarize data from the laboratory rodent malaria model, Plasmodium chabaudi, and field data on the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum, in relation to this virulence trade-off hypothesis. The data from both species show strong positive correlations between asexual multiplication, transmission rate, infection length, morbidity and mortality, and therefore support the underlying assumptions of the hypothesis. Moreover, the P. falciparum data show that expected total lifetime transmission of the parasite is maximized in young children in whom the fitness cost of host mortality balances the fitness benefits of higher transmission rates and slower clearance rates, thus exhibiting the hypothesized virulence trade-off. This evolutionary explanation of virulence appears to accord well with the clinical and molecular explanations of pathogenesis that involve cytoadherence, red cell invasion and immune evasion, although direct evidence of the fitness advantages of these mechanisms is scarce. One implication of this evolutionary view of virulence is that parasite populations are expected to evolve new levels of virulence in response to medical interventions such as vaccines and drugs. PMID:15306410

  19. Deconstructing Darwin: Evolutionary theory in context.

    PubMed

    Hull, David L

    2005-01-01

    The topic of this paper is external versus internal explanations, first, of the genesis of evolutionary theory and, second, its reception. Victorian England was highly competitive and individualistic. So was the view of society promulgated by Malthus and the theory of evolution set out by Charles Darwin and A.R. Wallace. The fact that Darwin and Wallace independently produced a theory of evolution that was just as competitive and individualistic as the society in which they lived is taken as evidence for the impact that society has on science. The same conclusion is reached with respect to the reception of evolutionary theory. Because Darwin's contemporaries lived in such a competitive and individualistic society, they were prone to accept a theory that exhibited these same characteristics. The trouble is that Darwin and Wallace did not live in anything like the same society and did not formulate the same theory. Although the character of Victorian society may have influenced the acceptance of evolutionary theory, it was not the competitive, individualistic theory that Darwin and Wallace set out but a warmer, more comforting theory.

  20. Evolutionary anatomy and phyletic implication of the extrinsic cardiac nervous system in the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta, Primates) in comparisons with Strepsirrhines and New World monkeys.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Thorington, Richard W; Murakami, Kunio; Sato, Fumi

    2013-05-01

    To provide information on evolutionary morphological differences and similarities between Tarsiformes (tarsiers) and other primates (Strepsirrhini and Platyrrhini), we examined the previously undescribed extrinsic cardiac nervous system (ECNS) and surrounding structures in three Philippine tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta). We found that the complicated ECNS morphology shows little variation in contrast to significant anatomical diversity of the surrounding somatic structures in tarsiers as reported in our previous primate studies. Further, our comparative morphological data on the ECNS show the following aspects of evolutionary anatomical significance; (1) the traits of the general relationship between the superior cervical ganglion and the spinal nerves are common to the Tarsii and Strepsirrhini, (2) the traits of the general composition of the cervicothoracic ganglion, its communicating branches to spinal nerves, and its cardiac nerve are common to the Tarsii and Platyrrhini, and (3) the traits of the general relationship between the middle cervical ganglion and the spinal nerves and its cardiac nerve are common among Strepsirrhini, Tarsii, and Platyrrhini. Therefore, the general anatomical characteristics of the ECNS in tarsiers retain a primitive state for some traits and exhibit a derived state for others. These characteristics of the ECNS also reflect an evolutionary history without the modification and specialization as seen in the surrounding somatic structures. It may play a key role in unifying future studies on molecular phylogeny and updating evolutionary anatomical information. PMID:23444325

  1. Considering High-Tech Exhibits?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Routman, Emily

    1994-01-01

    Discusses a variety of high-tech exhibit media used in The Living World, an educational facility operated by The Saint Louis Zoo. Considers the strengths and weaknesses of holograms, video, animatronics, video-equipped microscopes, and computer interactives. Computer interactives are treated with special attention. (LZ)

  2. 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.

  3. Wolbachia: Evolutionary novelty in a rickettsial bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Cort L; Karr, Timothy L

    2001-01-01

    Background Although closely related, the alpha-proteobacteria Wolbachia and the Rickettsiacae (Rickettsia and Ehrlichia), employ different evolutionary life history strategies. Wolbachia are obligate endocellular symbionts that infect an extraordinary host range and, in contrast to the infectious and pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, profoundly influence host reproductive biology. Results Phylogenies of the Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Wolbachia were independently inferred from 16S rDNA sequences and GroEL amino acid sequences. Topologies inferred from both sets of sequence data were consistent with one another, and both indicate the genus Wolbachia shared a common ancestor most recently with Ehrlichia. These two genera are a sister group to the genus Rickettsia. Mapping biological properties onto this phylogeny reveals that manipulation of host reproduction, characteristic of Wolbachia strains, is a derived characteristic. This evolutionary novelty is accompanied by the loss of the ability to infect vertebrate hosts. Conclusions Because of the contrasting transmission strategies employed by each, Wolbachia is expected to maximize efficiency of vertical transmission, while Ehrlichia and Rickettsia will optimize horizontal transfer of infection. Wolbachia manipulation of host reproduction could thus be viewed as strategy employed by this bacterium to foster its own propagation via vertical transmission. PMID:11734058

  4. Stimulus Contrast and Retinogeniculate Signal Processing.

    PubMed

    Rathbun, Daniel L; Alitto, Henry J; Warland, David K; Usrey, W Martin

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal signals conveying luminance contrast play a key role in nearly all aspects of perception, including depth perception, texture discrimination, and motion perception. Although much is known about the retinal mechanisms responsible for encoding contrast information, relatively little is known about the relationship between stimulus contrast and the processing of neuronal signals between visual structures. Here, we describe simultaneous recordings from monosynaptically connected retinal ganglion cells and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons in the cat to determine how stimulus contrast affects the communication of visual signals between the two structures. Our results indicate that: (1) LGN neurons typically reach their half-maximal response at lower contrasts than their individual retinal inputs and (2) LGN neurons exhibit greater contrast-dependent phase advance (CDPA) than their retinal inputs. Further analyses suggests that increased sensitivity relies on spatial convergence of multiple retinal inputs, while increased CDPA is achieved, in part, on temporal summation of arriving signals. PMID:26924964

  5. Stimulus Contrast and Retinogeniculate Signal Processing

    PubMed Central

    Rathbun, Daniel L.; Alitto, Henry J.; Warland, David K.; Usrey, W. Martin

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal signals conveying luminance contrast play a key role in nearly all aspects of perception, including depth perception, texture discrimination, and motion perception. Although much is known about the retinal mechanisms responsible for encoding contrast information, relatively little is known about the relationship between stimulus contrast and the processing of neuronal signals between visual structures. Here, we describe simultaneous recordings from monosynaptically connected retinal ganglion cells and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons in the cat to determine how stimulus contrast affects the communication of visual signals between the two structures. Our results indicate that: (1) LGN neurons typically reach their half-maximal response at lower contrasts than their individual retinal inputs and (2) LGN neurons exhibit greater contrast-dependent phase advance (CDPA) than their retinal inputs. Further analyses suggests that increased sensitivity relies on spatial convergence of multiple retinal inputs, while increased CDPA is achieved, in part, on temporal summation of arriving signals. PMID:26924964

  6. Stimulus Contrast and Retinogeniculate Signal Processing.

    PubMed

    Rathbun, Daniel L; Alitto, Henry J; Warland, David K; Usrey, W Martin

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal signals conveying luminance contrast play a key role in nearly all aspects of perception, including depth perception, texture discrimination, and motion perception. Although much is known about the retinal mechanisms responsible for encoding contrast information, relatively little is known about the relationship between stimulus contrast and the processing of neuronal signals between visual structures. Here, we describe simultaneous recordings from monosynaptically connected retinal ganglion cells and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons in the cat to determine how stimulus contrast affects the communication of visual signals between the two structures. Our results indicate that: (1) LGN neurons typically reach their half-maximal response at lower contrasts than their individual retinal inputs and (2) LGN neurons exhibit greater contrast-dependent phase advance (CDPA) than their retinal inputs. Further analyses suggests that increased sensitivity relies on spatial convergence of multiple retinal inputs, while increased CDPA is achieved, in part, on temporal summation of arriving signals.

  7. 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…

  8. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    PubMed

    Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne

    2016-01-01

    One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.

  9. Observability in dynamic evolutionary models.

    PubMed

    López, I; Gámez, M; Carreño, R

    2004-02-01

    In the paper observability problems are considered in basic dynamic evolutionary models for sexual and asexual populations. Observability means that from the (partial) knowledge of certain phenotypic characteristics the whole evolutionary process can be uniquely recovered. Sufficient conditions are given to guarantee observability for both sexual and asexual populations near an evolutionarily stable state.

  10. How competition affects evolutionary rescue

    PubMed Central

    Osmond, Matthew Miles; de Mazancourt, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Populations facing novel environments can persist by adapting. In nature, the ability to adapt and persist will depend on interactions between coexisting individuals. Here we use an adaptive dynamic model to assess how the potential for evolutionary rescue is affected by intra- and interspecific competition. Intraspecific competition (negative density-dependence) lowers abundance, which decreases the supply rate of beneficial mutations, hindering evolutionary rescue. On the other hand, interspecific competition can aid evolutionary rescue when it speeds adaptation by increasing the strength of selection. Our results clarify this point and give an additional requirement: competition must increase selection pressure enough to overcome the negative effect of reduced abundance. We therefore expect evolutionary rescue to be most likely in communities which facilitate rapid niche displacement. Our model, which aligns to previous quantitative and population genetic models in the absence of competition, provides a first analysis of when competitors should help or hinder evolutionary rescue. PMID:23209167

  11. Contrast Intravasation During Hysterosalpingography

    PubMed Central

    Bhoil, Rohit; Sood, Dinesh; Sharma, Tanupriya; Sood, Shilpa; Sharma, Jiten; Kumar, Nitesh; Ahluwalia, Ajay; Parekh, Dipen; Mistry, Kewal A.; Sood, Saurav

    2016-01-01

    Summary Hysterosalpingography is an imaging method to evaluate the endometrial and uterine morphology and fallopian tube patency. Contrast intravasation implies backflow of injected contrast into the adjoining vessels mostly the veins and may be related to factors altering endometrial vascularity and permeability. Radiologists and gynaecologists should be well acquainted with the technique of hysterosalpingography, its interpretation, and intravasation of contrast agents for safer procedure and to minimize the associated complications. PMID:27279925

  12. Balamuthia mandrillaris exhibits metalloprotease activities.

    PubMed

    Matin, Abdul; Stins, Monique; Kim, Kwang Sik; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2006-06-01

    Balamuthia mandrillaris is a recently identified protozoan pathogen that can cause fatal granulomatous encephalitis. However, the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of B. mandrillaris encephalitis remain unclear. Because proteases may play a role in the central nervous system (CNS) pathology, we used spectrophotometric, cytopathic and zymographic assays to assess protease activities of B. mandrillaris. Using two clinical isolates of B. mandrillaris (from human and baboon), we observed that B. mandrillaris exhibits protease activities. Zymographic assays revealed major protease bands of approximate molecular weights in the region of 40-50 kDa on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels using gelatin as substrate. The protease bands were inhibited with 1,10-phenanthroline, suggesting metallo-type proteases. The proteolytic activities were observed over a pH range of 5-11 with maximum activity at neutral pH and at 42 degrees C. Balamuthia mandrillaris proteases exhibit properties to degrade extracellular matrix (ECM), which provide structural and functional support to the brain tissue. This is shown by degradation of collagen I and III (major components of collagenous ECM), elastin (elastic fibrils of ECM), plasminogen (involved in proteolytic degradation of ECM), as well as other substrates such as casein and gelatin but not haemoglobin. However, these proteases exhibited a minimal role in B. mandrillaris-mediated host cell death in vitro using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). This was shown using broad-spectrum matrix metalloprotease inhibitors, GM 6001 and GM 1489, which had no effect on B. mandrillaris-mediated HBMEC cytotoxicity. This is the first demonstration that B. mandrillaris exhibits metalloproteases, which may play important role(s) in the ECM degradation and thus in CNS pathology. PMID:16706791

  13. Human genomic disease variants: A neutral evolutionary explanation

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Joel T.; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J.; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J.; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-01-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease. PMID:22665443

  14. RNA based evolutionary optimization.

    PubMed

    Schuster, P

    1993-12-01

    The notion of an RNA world has been introduced for a prebiotic scenario that is dominated by RNA molecules and their properties, in particular their capabilities to act as templates for reproduction and as catalysts for several cleavage and ligation reactions of polynucleotides and polypeptides. This notion is used here also for simple experimental assays which are well suited to study evolution in the test tube. In molecular evolution experiments fitness is determined in essence by the molecular structures of RNA molecules. Evidence is presented for adaptation to environment in cell-free media. RNA based molecular evolution experiments have led to interesting spin-offs in biotechnology, commonly called 'applied molecular evolution', which make use of Darwinian trial-and-error strategies in order to synthesize new pharmacological compounds and other advanced materials on a biological basis. Error-propagation in RNA replication leads to formation of mutant spectra called 'quasispecies'. An increase in the error rate broadens the mutant spectrum. There exists a sharply defined threshold beyond which heredity breaks down and evolutionary adaptation becomes impossible. Almost all RNA viruses studied so far operate at conditions close to this error threshold. Quasispecies and error thresholds are important for an understanding of RNA virus evolution, and they may help to develop novel antiviral strategies. Evolution of RNA molecules can be studied and interpreted by considering secondary structures. The notion of sequence space introduces a distance between pairs of RNA sequences which is tantamount to counting the minimal number of point mutations required to convert the sequences into each other. The mean sensitivity of RNA secondary structures to mutation depends strongly on the base pairing alphabet: structures from sequences which contain only one base pair (GC or AU are much less stable against mutation than those derived from the natural (AUGC) sequences

  15. Behavioral Contrast in Infants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fagen, Jeffrey W.

    This study used the behavioral contrast paradigm to assess the excitatory and inhibitory capabilities of young infants. Behavioral contrast is described as the phenomenon whereby the rates of responding in the presence of two stimuli, both of which were previously associated with reinforcement, change in opposite directions when only one of them…

  16. Evolutionary theory, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology.

    PubMed

    Stein, Dan J

    2006-07-01

    Darwin's seminal publications in the nineteenth century laid the foundation for an evolutionary approach to psychology and psychiatry. Advances in 20th century evolutionary theory facilitated the development of evolutionary psychology and psychiatry as recognized areas of scientific investigation. In this century, advances in understanding the molecular basis of evolution, of the mind, and of psychopathology, offer the possibility of an integrated approach to understanding the proximal (psychobiological) and distal (evolutionary) mechanisms of interest to psychiatry and psychopharmacology. There is, for example, growing interest in the question of whether specific genetic variants mediate psychobiological processes that have evolutionary value in specific contexts, and of the implications of this for understanding the vulnerability to psychopathology and for considering the advantages and limitations of pharmacotherapy. The evolutionary value, and gene-environmental mediation, of early life programming is potentially a particularly rich area of investigation. Although evolutionary approaches to psychology and to medicine face important conceptual and methodological challenges, current work is increasingly sophisticated, and may prove to be an important foundational discipline for clinicians and researchers in psychiatry and psychopharmacology.

  17. Crows spontaneously exhibit analogical reasoning.

    PubMed

    Smirnova, Anna; Zorina, Zoya; Obozova, Tanya; Wasserman, Edward

    2015-01-19

    Analogical reasoning is vital to advanced cognition and behavioral adaptation. Many theorists deem analogical thinking to be uniquely human and to be foundational to categorization, creative problem solving, and scientific discovery. Comparative psychologists have long been interested in the species generality of analogical reasoning, but they initially found it difficult to obtain empirical support for such thinking in nonhuman animals (for pioneering efforts, see [2, 3]). Researchers have since mustered considerable evidence and argument that relational matching-to-sample (RMTS) effectively captures the essence of analogy, in which the relevant logical arguments are presented visually. In RMTS, choice of test pair BB would be correct if the sample pair were AA, whereas choice of test pair EF would be correct if the sample pair were CD. Critically, no items in the correct test pair physically match items in the sample pair, thus demanding that only relational sameness or differentness is available to support accurate choice responding. Initial evidence suggested that only humans and apes can successfully learn RMTS with pairs of sample and test items; however, monkeys have subsequently done so. Here, we report that crows too exhibit relational matching behavior. Even more importantly, crows spontaneously display relational responding without ever having been trained on RMTS; they had only been trained on identity matching-to-sample (IMTS). Such robust and uninstructed relational matching behavior represents the most convincing evidence yet of analogical reasoning in a nonprimate species, as apes alone have spontaneously exhibited RMTS behavior after only IMTS training.

  18. Collaborative virtual environments art exhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolinsky, Margaret; Anstey, Josephine; Pape, Dave E.; Aguilera, Julieta C.; Kostis, Helen-Nicole; Tsoupikova, Daria

    2005-03-01

    This panel presentation will exhibit artwork developed in CAVEs and discuss how art methodologies enhance the science of VR through collaboration, interaction and aesthetics. Artists and scientists work alongside one another to expand scientific research and artistic expression and are motivated by exhibiting collaborative virtual environments. Looking towards the arts, such as painting and sculpture, computer graphics captures a visual tradition. Virtual reality expands this tradition to not only what we face, but to what surrounds us and even what responds to our body and its gestures. Art making that once was isolated to the static frame and an optimal point of view is now out and about, in fully immersive mode within CAVEs. Art knowledge is a guide to how the aesthetics of 2D and 3D worlds affect, transform, and influence the social, intellectual and physical condition of the human body through attention to psychology, spiritual thinking, education, and cognition. The psychological interacts with the physical in the virtual in such a way that each facilitates, enhances and extends the other, culminating in a "go together" world. Attention to sharing art experience across high-speed networks introduces a dimension of liveliness and aliveness when we "become virtual" in real time with others.

  19. Crows spontaneously exhibit analogical reasoning.

    PubMed

    Smirnova, Anna; Zorina, Zoya; Obozova, Tanya; Wasserman, Edward

    2015-01-19

    Analogical reasoning is vital to advanced cognition and behavioral adaptation. Many theorists deem analogical thinking to be uniquely human and to be foundational to categorization, creative problem solving, and scientific discovery. Comparative psychologists have long been interested in the species generality of analogical reasoning, but they initially found it difficult to obtain empirical support for such thinking in nonhuman animals (for pioneering efforts, see [2, 3]). Researchers have since mustered considerable evidence and argument that relational matching-to-sample (RMTS) effectively captures the essence of analogy, in which the relevant logical arguments are presented visually. In RMTS, choice of test pair BB would be correct if the sample pair were AA, whereas choice of test pair EF would be correct if the sample pair were CD. Critically, no items in the correct test pair physically match items in the sample pair, thus demanding that only relational sameness or differentness is available to support accurate choice responding. Initial evidence suggested that only humans and apes can successfully learn RMTS with pairs of sample and test items; however, monkeys have subsequently done so. Here, we report that crows too exhibit relational matching behavior. Even more importantly, crows spontaneously display relational responding without ever having been trained on RMTS; they had only been trained on identity matching-to-sample (IMTS). Such robust and uninstructed relational matching behavior represents the most convincing evidence yet of analogical reasoning in a nonprimate species, as apes alone have spontaneously exhibited RMTS behavior after only IMTS training. PMID:25532894

  20. Early Childhood Commercial Exhibit Controversies: 1890 and 1990.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewes, Dorothy W.

    The controversy over the contrast between early childhood principles and the commercial exhibits at the 1990 annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children prompted a search for historical antecedents. Research disclosed that the first popular linking of Froebelian kindergarten curriculum and manufactured equipment…

  1. Compressive Phase Contrast Tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Maia, Filipe; MacDowell, Alastair; Marchesini, Stefano; Padmore, Howard A.; Parkinson, Dula Y.; Pien, Jack; Schirotzek, Andre; Yang, Chao

    2010-09-01

    When x-rays penetrate soft matter, their phase changes more rapidly than their amplitude. Interference effects visible with high brightness sources creates higher contrast, edge enhanced images. When the object is piecewise smooth (made of big blocks of a few components), such higher contrast datasets have a sparse solution. We apply basis pursuit solvers to improve SNR, remove ring artifacts, reduce the number of views and radiation dose from phase contrast datasets collected at the Hard X-Ray Micro Tomography Beamline at the Advanced Light Source. We report a GPU code for the most computationally intensive task, the gridding and inverse gridding algorithm (non uniform sampled Fourier transform).

  2. Ferrimagnetic susceptibility contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bach-Gansmo, T

    1993-01-01

    Contrast agents based on superparamagnetic particles have been in clinical development for more than 5 years, and the complexity of their effects is still not elucidated. The relaxivities are frequently used to give an idea of their efficacy, but these parameters can only be used if they are concentration independent. For large superparamagnetic systems, the evolution of the transverse magnetization is biexponential, after an initial loss of magnetization. Both these characteristics of large superparamagnetic systems should lead to prudence in using the relaxivities as indicators of contrast medium efficacy. Susceptibility induced artefacts have been associated with the use of superparamagnetic contrast agents since the first imaging evaluation took place. The range of concentrations where good contrast effect was achieved without inducing artefacts, as well as blurring and metal artefacts were evaluated. The influence of motion on the induction of artefacts was studied, and compared to the artefacts induced by a paramagnetic agent subject to motion. With a suitable concentration of a negative contrast agent, a signal void could be achieved in the region prone to motion, and no artefacts were induced. If the concentration was too high, a displacement of the region close to the contrast agent was observed. The artefacts occurred in a volume surrounding the contrast agent, i.e., also outside the imaging plane. In comparison a positive, paramagnetic contrast agent induced heavy artefacts in the phase encoding direction, appearing as both high intensity regions and black holes, in a mosaic pattern. Clinical trials of the oral contrast agent OMP for abdominal MR imaging showed this agent to be safe and efficacious. OMP increased the diagnostic efficacy of abdominal MR imaging in 2 of 3 cases examined, with a significant decrease in motion artefacts. Susceptibility contrast agents may also be of use in the evaluation of small lesions in the liver. Particulate material

  3. 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

  4. Army ants: an evolutionary bestseller?

    PubMed

    Berghoff, Stefanie M

    2003-09-01

    Army ants are characterized by a complex combination of behavioral and morphological traits. Molecular data now indicate that army ant behavior has a unique evolutionary origin and has been conserved for over more than 100 million years.

  5. Molluscan Evolutionary Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    In the last 20 years there have been dramatic advances in techniques of high-throughput DNA sequencing, most recently accelerated by the Human Genome Project, a program that has determined the three billion base pair code on which we are based. Now this tremendous capability is being directed at other genome targets that are being sampled across the broad range of life. This opens up opportunities as never before for evolutionary and organismal biologists to address questions of both processes and patterns of organismal change. We stand at the dawn of a new 'modern synthesis' period, paralleling that of the early 20th century when the fledgling field of genetics first identified the underlying basis for Darwin's theory. We must now unite the efforts of systematists, paleontologists, mathematicians, computer programmers, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and others in the pursuit of discovering what genomics can teach us about the diversity of life. Genome-level sampling for mollusks to date has mostly been limited to mitochondrial genomes and it is likely that these will continue to provide the best targets for broad phylogenetic sampling in the near future. However, we are just beginning to see an inroad into complete nuclear genome sequencing, with several mollusks and other eutrochozoans having been selected for work about to begin. Here, we provide an overview of the state of molluscan mitochondrial genomics, highlight a few of the discoveries from this research, outline the promise of broadening this dataset, describe upcoming projects to sequence whole mollusk nuclear genomes, and challenge the community to prepare for making the best use of these data.

  6. Evolutionary status of Be stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorec, J.; Frémat, Y.; Cidale, L.

    2004-12-01

    Fundamental parameters of nearly 50 field Be stars have been determined. Correcting these parameters from gravity darkening effects induced the fast rotation, we deduced the evolutionary phase of the studied stars. We show that the evolutionary phase at which appear the Be phenomenon is mass dependent: the smaller the stellar mass the elder the phase in the main sequence at which the Be phenomenon seem to appear.

  7. Evolutionary Dynamics and Global Diversity of Influenza A Virus

    PubMed Central

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Hosseini, Parviez R.; Mazet, Jonna A. K.; Daszak, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The increasing number of zoonotic infections caused by influenza A virus (IAV) subtypes of avian origin (e.g., H5N1 and H7N9) in recent years underscores the need to better understand the factors driving IAV evolution and diversity. To evaluate the current feasibility of global analyses to contribute to this aim, we evaluated information in the public domain to explore IAV evolutionary dynamics, including nucleotide substitution rates and selection pressures, using 14 IAV subtypes in 32 different countries over a 12-year period (2000 to 2011). Using geospatial information from 39,785 IAV strains, we examined associations between subtype diversity and socioeconomic, biodiversity, and agricultural indices. Our analyses showed that nucleotide substitution rates for 11 of the 14 evaluated subtypes tended to be higher in Asian countries, particularly in East Asia, than in Canada and the United States. Similarly, at a regional level, subtypes H5N1, H5N2, and H6N2 exhibited significantly higher substitution rates in East Asia than in North America. In contrast, the selection pressures (measured as ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous evolutionary changes [dN/dS ratios]) acting on individual subtypes showed little geographic variation. We found that the strongest predictors for the detected subtype diversity at the country level were reporting effort (i.e., total number of strains reported) and health care spending (an indicator of economic development). Our analyses also identified major global gaps in IAV reporting (including a lack of sequences submitted from large portions of Africa and South America and a lack of geolocation information) and in broad subtype testing which, until addressed, will continue to hinder efforts to track the evolution and diversity of IAV around the world. IMPORTANCE In recent years, an increasing number of influenza A virus (IAV) subtypes, including H5N1, H7N9, and H10N8, have been detected in humans. High fatality rates have led

  8. Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT).

    PubMed

    Nunn, Charles L; Cooper, Natalie

    2015-01-01

    For traits showing correlated evolution, one trait may evolve more slowly than the other, producing evolutionary lag. The species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT) uses an independent contrasts based approach to detect evolutionary lag on a phylogeny. We investigated the statistical performance of SPELT in relation to degree of lag, sample size (species pairs), and strength of association between traits. We simulated trait evolution under two models: one in which trait X changes during speciation and the lagging trait Y catches up as a function of time since speciation; and another in which trait X evolves in a random walk and the lagging trait Y is a function of X at a previous time period. Type I error rates under "no lag" were close to the expected level of 5%, indicating that the method is not prone to false-positives. Simulation results suggest that reasonable statistical power (80%) is reached with around 140 species pairs, although the degree of lag and trait associations had additional influences on power. We applied the method to two datasets and discuss how estimation of a branch length scaling parameter (κ) can be used with SPELT to detect lag.

  9. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate–Vertebrate Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Thomas E.; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V.

    2016-01-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression. PMID:26715626

  10. Life Beyond Earth and the Evolutionary Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    For many astronomers, the progressive development of life has been seen as a natural occurrence given proper environmental conditions on a planet: even though such beings would not be identical to humans, there would be significant parallels. A striking contrast is seen in writings of nonphysical scientists, who have held more widely differing views. But within this diversity, reasons for differences become more apparent when we see how views about extraterrestrials can be related to the differential emphasis placed on modern evolutionary theory by scientists of various disciplines. One clue to understanding the differences between the biologists, paleontologists, and anthropologists who speculated on extraterrestrials is suggested by noting who wrote on the subject. Given the relatively small number of commentators on the topic, it seems more than coincidental that four of the major contributors to the evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s are among them. Upon closer examination it is evident that the exobiological arguments of Theodosius Dobzhansky and George Gaylord Simpson and, less directly, of H. J. Muller and Ernst Mayr are all related to their earlier work in formulating synthetic evolution. By examining the variety of views held by nonphysical scientists, we can see that there were significant disagreements between them about evolution into the 1960s. By the mid-1980s, many believed that "higher" life, particularly intelligent life, probably occurs quite infrequently in the universe; nevertheless, some held out the possibility that convergence of intelligence could occur across worlds. Regardless of the final conclusions these scientists reached about the likely prevalence of extraterrestrial intelligence, the use of evolutionary arguments to support their positions became increasingly common.

  11. Evolutionary distinctiveness of fatty acid and polyketide synthesis in eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Kohli, Gurjeet S; John, Uwe; Van Dolah, Frances M; Murray, Shauna A

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acids, which are essential cell membrane constituents and fuel storage molecules, are thought to share a common evolutionary origin with polyketide toxins in eukaryotes. While fatty acids are primary metabolic products, polyketide toxins are secondary metabolites that are involved in ecologically relevant processes, such as chemical defence, and produce the adverse effects of harmful algal blooms. Selection pressures on such compounds may be different, resulting in differing evolutionary histories. Surprisingly, some studies of dinoflagellates have suggested that the same enzymes may catalyse these processes. Here we show the presence and evolutionary distinctiveness of genes encoding six key enzymes essential for fatty acid production in 13 eukaryotic lineages for which no previous sequence data were available (alveolates: dinoflagellates, Vitrella, Chromera; stramenopiles: bolidophytes, chrysophytes, pelagophytes, raphidophytes, dictyochophytes, pinguiophytes, xanthophytes; Rhizaria: chlorarachniophytes, haplosporida; euglenids) and 8 other lineages (apicomplexans, bacillariophytes, synurophytes, cryptophytes, haptophytes, chlorophyceans, prasinophytes, trebouxiophytes). The phylogeny of fatty acid synthase genes reflects the evolutionary history of the organism, indicating selection to maintain conserved functionality. In contrast, polyketide synthase gene families are highly expanded in dinoflagellates and haptophytes, suggesting relaxed constraints in their evolutionary history, while completely absent from some protist lineages. This demonstrates a vast potential for the production of bioactive polyketide compounds in some lineages of microbial eukaryotes, indicating that the evolution of these compounds may have played an important role in their ecological success. PMID:26784357

  12. The importance of an evolutionary perspective in conservation policy planning.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Craig C; Potter, Sally

    2013-12-01

    Prioritization of taxa for conservation must rest on a foundation of correctly identified species boundaries, enhanced by an understanding of evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, we can incorporate both evolutionary and ecological processes into efforts to sustain biodiversity. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Malaney & Cook (2013) highlight the critical value of an evolutionary biogeographical approach, combining multilocus phylogeography with climatic niche modelling to infer phylogenetically weighted conservation priorities for evolutionary lineages of jumping mice across North America. Remarkably, they find that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), long debated as a threatened taxon, in fact represents the southern terminus of a relatively uniform lineage that expanded well into Alaska during the Holocene. By contrast, some other relictual and phylogenetically divergent taxa of jumping mice likely warrant greater conservation priority. This study highlights the value of integrative approaches that place current taxonomy in a broader evolutionary context to identify taxa for conservation assessment, but also highlights the challenges in maintaining potential for adaptive responses to environmental change. PMID:24138133

  13. When do evolutionary food web models generate complex networks?

    PubMed

    Allhoff, Korinna T; Drossel, Barbara

    2013-10-01

    Evolutionary foodweb models are used to build food webs by the repeated addition of new species. Population dynamics leads to the extinction or establishment of a newly added species, and possibly to the extinction of other species. The food web structure that emerges after some time is a highly nontrivial result of the evolutionary and dynamical rules. We investigate the evolutionary food web model introduced by Loeuille and Loreau (2005), which characterizes species by their body mass as the only evolving trait. Our goal is to find the reasons behind the model's remarkable robustness and its capability to generate various and stable networks. In contrast to other evolutionary food web models, this model requires neither adaptive foraging nor allometric scaling of metabolic rates with body mass in order to produce complex networks that do not eventually collapse to trivial structures. Our study shows that this is essentially due to the fact that the difference in niche value between predator and prey as well as the feeding range are constrained so that they remain within narrow limits under evolution. Furthermore, competition between similar species is sufficiently strong, so that a trophic level can accommodate several species. We discuss the implications of these findings and argue that the conditions that stabilize other evolutionary food web models have similar effects because they also prevent the occurrence of extreme specialists or extreme generalists that have in general a higher fitness than species with a moderate niche width.

  14. The importance of an evolutionary perspective in conservation policy planning.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Craig C; Potter, Sally

    2013-12-01

    Prioritization of taxa for conservation must rest on a foundation of correctly identified species boundaries, enhanced by an understanding of evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, we can incorporate both evolutionary and ecological processes into efforts to sustain biodiversity. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Malaney & Cook (2013) highlight the critical value of an evolutionary biogeographical approach, combining multilocus phylogeography with climatic niche modelling to infer phylogenetically weighted conservation priorities for evolutionary lineages of jumping mice across North America. Remarkably, they find that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), long debated as a threatened taxon, in fact represents the southern terminus of a relatively uniform lineage that expanded well into Alaska during the Holocene. By contrast, some other relictual and phylogenetically divergent taxa of jumping mice likely warrant greater conservation priority. This study highlights the value of integrative approaches that place current taxonomy in a broader evolutionary context to identify taxa for conservation assessment, but also highlights the challenges in maintaining potential for adaptive responses to environmental change.

  15. Evolutionary distinctiveness of fatty acid and polyketide synthesis in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Kohli, Gurjeet S; John, Uwe; Van Dolah, Frances M; Murray, Shauna A

    2016-08-01

    Fatty acids, which are essential cell membrane constituents and fuel storage molecules, are thought to share a common evolutionary origin with polyketide toxins in eukaryotes. While fatty acids are primary metabolic products, polyketide toxins are secondary metabolites that are involved in ecologically relevant processes, such as chemical defence, and produce the adverse effects of harmful algal blooms. Selection pressures on such compounds may be different, resulting in differing evolutionary histories. Surprisingly, some studies of dinoflagellates have suggested that the same enzymes may catalyse these processes. Here we show the presence and evolutionary distinctiveness of genes encoding six key enzymes essential for fatty acid production in 13 eukaryotic lineages for which no previous sequence data were available (alveolates: dinoflagellates, Vitrella, Chromera; stramenopiles: bolidophytes, chrysophytes, pelagophytes, raphidophytes, dictyochophytes, pinguiophytes, xanthophytes; Rhizaria: chlorarachniophytes, haplosporida; euglenids) and 8 other lineages (apicomplexans, bacillariophytes, synurophytes, cryptophytes, haptophytes, chlorophyceans, prasinophytes, trebouxiophytes). The phylogeny of fatty acid synthase genes reflects the evolutionary history of the organism, indicating selection to maintain conserved functionality. In contrast, polyketide synthase gene families are highly expanded in dinoflagellates and haptophytes, suggesting relaxed constraints in their evolutionary history, while completely absent from some protist lineages. This demonstrates a vast potential for the production of bioactive polyketide compounds in some lineages of microbial eukaryotes, indicating that the evolution of these compounds may have played an important role in their ecological success. PMID:26784357

  16. Prevalence and Dynamics of Ribosomal DNA Micro-heterogeneity Are Linked to Population History in Two Contrasting Yeast Species

    PubMed Central

    James, Stephen A.; West, Claire; Davey, Robert P.; Dicks, Jo; Roberts, Ian N.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the considerable number and taxonomic breadth of past and current genome sequencing projects, many of which necessarily encompass the ribosomal DNA, detailed information on the prevalence and evolutionary significance of sequence variation in this ubiquitous genomic region are severely lacking. Here, we attempt to address this issue in two closely related yet contrasting yeast species, the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. By drawing on existing datasets from the Saccharomyces Genome Resequencing Project, we identify a rich seam of ribosomal DNA sequence variation, characterising 1,068 and 970 polymorphisms in 34 S. cerevisiae and 26 S. paradoxus strains respectively. We discover the two species sets exhibit distinct mutational profiles. Furthermore, we show for the first time that unresolved rDNA sequence variation resulting from imperfect concerted evolution of the ribosomal DNA region follows a U-shaped allele frequency distribution in each species, similar to loci that evolve under non-concerted mechanisms but arising through rather different evolutionary processes. Finally, we link differences between the shapes of these allele frequency distributions to the two species’ contrasting population histories. PMID:27345953

  17. Prevalence and Dynamics of Ribosomal DNA Micro-heterogeneity Are Linked to Population History in Two Contrasting Yeast Species.

    PubMed

    James, Stephen A; West, Claire; Davey, Robert P; Dicks, Jo; Roberts, Ian N

    2016-01-01

    Despite the considerable number and taxonomic breadth of past and current genome sequencing projects, many of which necessarily encompass the ribosomal DNA, detailed information on the prevalence and evolutionary significance of sequence variation in this ubiquitous genomic region are severely lacking. Here, we attempt to address this issue in two closely related yet contrasting yeast species, the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. By drawing on existing datasets from the Saccharomyces Genome Resequencing Project, we identify a rich seam of ribosomal DNA sequence variation, characterising 1,068 and 970 polymorphisms in 34 S. cerevisiae and 26 S. paradoxus strains respectively. We discover the two species sets exhibit distinct mutational profiles. Furthermore, we show for the first time that unresolved rDNA sequence variation resulting from imperfect concerted evolution of the ribosomal DNA region follows a U-shaped allele frequency distribution in each species, similar to loci that evolve under non-concerted mechanisms but arising through rather different evolutionary processes. Finally, we link differences between the shapes of these allele frequency distributions to the two species' contrasting population histories. PMID:27345953

  18. Clonality and Evolutionary History of Rhabdomyosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jun S.; Yohe, Marielle E.; Song, Young K.; Hurd, Laura; Liao, Hongling; Catchpoole, Daniel; Skapek, Stephen X.; Barr, Frederic G.; Hawkins, Douglas S.; Khan, Javed

    2015-01-01

    To infer the subclonality of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and predict the temporal order of genetic events for the tumorigenic process, and to identify novel drivers, we applied a systematic method that takes into account germline and somatic alterations in 44 tumor-normal RMS pairs using deep whole-genome sequencing. Intriguingly, we find that loss of heterozygosity of 11p15.5 and mutations in RAS pathway genes occur early in the evolutionary history of the PAX-fusion-negative-RMS (PFN-RMS) subtype. We discover several early mutations in non-RAS mutated samples and predict them to be drivers in PFN-RMS including recurrent mutation of PKN1. In contrast, we find that PAX-fusion-positive (PFP) subtype tumors have undergone whole-genome duplication in the late stage of cancer evolutionary history and have acquired fewer mutations and subclones than PFN-RMS. Moreover we predict that the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion event occurs earlier than the whole genome duplication. Our findings provide information critical to the understanding of tumorigenesis of RMS. PMID:25768946

  19. Cheating and the evolutionary stability of mutualisms.

    PubMed

    Ferriere, Régis; Bronstein, Judith L; Rinaldi, Sergio; Law, Richard; Gauduchon, Mathias

    2002-04-22

    Interspecific mutualisms have been playing a central role in the functioning of all ecosystems since the early history of life. Yet the theory of coevolution of mutualists is virtually nonexistent, by contrast with well-developed coevolutionary theories of competition, predator-prey and host-parasite interactions. This has prevented resolution of a basic puzzle posed by mutualisms: their persistence in spite of apparent evolutionary instability. The selective advantage of 'cheating', that is, reaping mutualistic benefits while providing fewer commodities to the partner species, is commonly believed to erode a mutualistic interaction, leading to its dissolution or reciprocal extinction. However, recent empirical findings indicate that stable associations of mutualists and cheaters have existed over long evolutionary periods. Here, we show that asymmetrical competition within species for the commodities offered by mutualistic partners provides a simple and testable ecological mechanism that can account for the long-term persistence of mutualisms. Cheating, in effect, establishes a background against which better mutualists can display any competitive superiority. This can lead to the coexistence and divergence of mutualist and cheater phenotypes, as well as to the coexistence of ecologically similar, but unrelated mutualists and cheaters.

  20. Toward a theory of evolutionary computation.

    PubMed

    Eberbach, Eugene

    2005-10-01

    We outline a theory of evolutionary computation using a formal model of evolutionary computation--the Evolutionary Turing Machine--which is introduced as the extension of the Turing Machine model. Evolutionary Turing Machines provide a better and a more complete model for evolutionary computing than conventional Turing Machines, algorithms, and Markov chains. The convergence and convergence rate are defined and investigated in terms of this new model. The sufficient conditions needed for the completeness and optimality of evolutionary search are investigated. In particular, the notion of the total optimality as an instance of the multiobjective optimization of the Universal Evolutionary Turing Machine is introduced. This provides an automatic way to deal with the intractability of evolutionary search by optimizing the quality of solutions and search costs simultaneously. Based on a new model a very flexible classification of optimization problem hardness for the evolutionary techniques is proposed. The expressiveness of evolutionary computation is investigated. We show that the problem of the best evolutionary algorithm is undecidable independently of whether the fitness function is time dependent or fixed. It is demonstrated that the evolutionary computation paradigm is more expressive than Turing Machines, and thus the conventional computer science based on them. We show that an Evolutionary Turing Machine is able to solve nonalgorithmically the halting problem of the Universal Turing Machine and, asymptotically, the best evolutionary algorithm problem. In other words, the best evolutionary algorithm does not exist, but it can be potentially indefinitely approximated using evolutionary techniques.

  1. Psychophysical contrast calibration

    PubMed Central

    To, Long; Woods, Russell L; Goldstein, Robert B; Peli, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Electronic displays and computer systems offer numerous advantages for clinical vision testing. Laboratory and clinical measurements of various functions and in particular of (letter) contrast sensitivity require accurately calibrated display contrast. In the laboratory this is achieved using expensive light meters. We developed and evaluated a novel method that uses only psychophysical responses of a person with normal vision to calibrate the luminance contrast of displays for experimental and clinical applications. Our method combines psychophysical techniques (1) for detection (and thus elimination or reduction) of display saturating nonlinearities; (2) for luminance (gamma function) estimation and linearization without use of a photometer; and (3) to measure without a photometer the luminance ratios of the display’s three color channels that are used in a bit-stealing procedure to expand the luminance resolution of the display. Using a photometer we verified that the calibration achieved with this procedure is accurate for both LCD and CRT displays enabling testing of letter contrast sensitivity to 0.5%. Our visual calibration procedure enables clinical, internet and home implementation and calibration verification of electronic contrast testing. PMID:23643843

  2. [Contrast media in echography].

    PubMed

    Derchi, L E; Rizzatto, G; Solbiati, L

    1992-09-01

    In medical US, the use of specific contrast media to increase the echogenicity of structures and organs changes their absorption of the US beam, and modifies the through-transmission velocity. This can be of great diagnostic value. Contrast media can help depict vessels and cavities, increase the sensitivity of Doppler examination, and make the differentiation of normal and pathologic tissues easier. The products which are currently available do not completely fulfill the needs of clinical researchers. The first papers reporting on some clinical applications of these contrast media in humans are now appearing in literature. Contrast media for diagnostic US can be classified in five groups: 1) free gas bubbles; 2) stabilized gas bubbles; 3) colloidal suspensions; 4) emulsions; 5) aqueous solutions. These agents are quite different, as to both chemical and physical features and distribution within living tissues. Different clinical applications are thus possible for each of them; a unique contrast medium which will meet all the needs of the various clinical situations seems inconceivable at present. Most probably, a variety of products will develop, each with its own application field; in clinical practice, it seems likely that different products will be used, according to the specific clinical needs.

  3. Evolutionary comparison between viral lysis rate and latent period.

    PubMed

    Bonachela, Juan A; Levin, Simon A

    2014-03-21

    Marine viruses shape the structure of the microbial community. They are, thus, a key determinant of the most important biogeochemical cycles in the planet. Therefore, a correct description of the ecological and evolutionary behavior of these viruses is essential to make reliable predictions about their role in marine ecosystems. The infection cycle, for example, is indistinctly modeled in two very different ways. In one representation, the process is described including explicitly a fixed delay between infection and offspring release. In the other, the offspring are released at exponentially distributed times according to a fixed release rate. By considering obvious quantitative differences pointed out in the past, the latter description is widely used as a simplification of the former. However, it is still unclear how the dichotomy "delay versus rate description" affects long-term predictions of host-virus interaction models. Here, we study the ecological and evolutionary implications of using one or the other approaches, applied to marine microbes. To this end, we use mathematical and eco-evolutionary computational analysis. We show that the rate model exhibits improved competitive abilities from both ecological and evolutionary perspectives in steady environments. However, rate-based descriptions can fail to describe properly long-term microbe-virus interactions. Moreover, additional information about trade-offs between life-history traits is needed in order to choose the most reliable representation for oceanic bacteriophage dynamics. This result affects deeply most of the marine ecosystem models that include viruses, especially when used to answer evolutionary questions. PMID:24361326

  4. 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.

  5. Contrast gain-control in stereo depth and cyclopean contrast perception.

    PubMed

    Hou, Fang; Huang, Chang-Bing; Liang, Ju; Zhou, Yifeng; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2013-01-01

    Although human observers can perceive depth from stereograms with considerable contrast difference between the images presented to the two eyes (Legge & Gu, 1989), how contrast gain control functions in stereo depth perception has not been systematically investigated. Recently, we developed a multipathway contrast gain-control model (MCM) for binocular phase and contrast perception (Huang, Zhou, Lu, & Zhou, 2011; Huang, Zhou, Zhou, & Lu, 2010) based on a contrast gain-control model of binocular phase combination (Ding & Sperling, 2006). To extend the MCM to simultaneously account for stereo depth and cyclopean contrast perception, we manipulated the contrasts (ranging from 0.08 to 0.4) of the dynamic random dot stereograms (RDS) presented to the left and right eyes independently and measured both disparity thresholds for depth perception and perceived contrasts of the cyclopean images. We found that both disparity threshold and perceived contrast depended strongly on the signal contrasts in the two eyes, exhibiting characteristic binocular contrast gain-control properties. The results were well accounted for by an extended MCM model, in which each eye exerts gain control on the other eye's signal in proportion to its own signal contrast energy and also gain control over the other eye's gain control; stereo strength is proportional to the product of the signal strengths in the two eyes after contrast gain control, and perceived contrast is computed by combining contrast energy from the two eyes. The new model provided an excellent account of our data (r(2) = 0.945), as well as some challenging results in the literature.

  6. Contrast gain-control in stereo depth and cyclopean contrast perception

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Fang; Huang, Chang-Bing; Liang, Ju; Zhou, Yifeng; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2013-01-01

    Although human observers can perceive depth from stereograms with considerable contrast difference between the images presented to the two eyes (Legge & Gu, 1989), how contrast gain control functions in stereo depth perception has not been systematically investigated. Recently, we developed a multipathway contrast gain-control model (MCM) for binocular phase and contrast perception (Huang, Zhou, Lu, & Zhou, 2011; Huang, Zhou, Zhou, & Lu, 2010) based on a contrast gain-control model of binocular phase combination (Ding & Sperling, 2006). To extend the MCM to simultaneously account for stereo depth and cyclopean contrast perception, we manipulated the contrasts (ranging from 0.08 to 0.4) of the dynamic random dot stereograms (RDS) presented to the left and right eyes independently and measured both disparity thresholds for depth perception and perceived contrasts of the cyclopean images. We found that both disparity threshold and perceived contrast depended strongly on the signal contrasts in the two eyes, exhibiting characteristic binocular contrast gain-control properties. The results were well accounted for by an extended MCM model, in which each eye exerts gain control on the other eye's signal in proportion to its own signal contrast energy and also gain control over the other eye's gain control; stereo strength is proportional to the product of the signal strengths in the two eyes after contrast gain control, and perceived contrast is computed by combining contrast energy from the two eyes. The new model provided an excellent account of our data (r2 = 0.945), as well as some challenging results in the literature. PMID:23820024

  7. Subwavelength Lattice Optics by Evolutionary Design

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a new class of structured optical materials—lattice opto-materials—that can manipulate the flow of visible light into a wide range of three-dimensional profiles using evolutionary design principles. Lattice opto-materials are based on the discretization of a surface into a two-dimensional (2D) subwavelength lattice whose individual lattice sites can be controlled to achieve a programmed optical response. To access a desired optical property, we designed a lattice evolutionary algorithm that includes and optimizes contributions from every element in the lattice. Lattice opto-materials can exhibit simple properties, such as on- and off-axis focusing, and can also concentrate light into multiple, discrete spots. We expanded the unit cell shapes of the lattice to achieve distinct, polarization-dependent optical responses from the same 2D patterned substrate. Finally, these lattice opto-materials can also be combined into architectures that resemble a new type of compound flat lens. PMID:25380062

  8. Metamorphic proteins mediate evolutionary transitions of structure.

    PubMed

    Yadid, Itamar; Kirshenbaum, Noam; Sharon, Michal; Dym, Orly; Tawfik, Dan S

    2010-04-20

    The primary sequence of proteins usually dictates a single tertiary and quaternary structure. However, certain proteins undergo reversible backbone rearrangements. Such metamorphic proteins provide a means of facilitating the evolution of new folds and architectures. However, because natural folds emerged at the early stages of evolution, the potential role of metamorphic intermediates in mediating evolutionary transitions of structure remains largely unexplored. We evolved a set of new proteins based on approximately 100 amino acid fragments derived from tachylectin-2--a monomeric, 236 amino acids, five-bladed beta-propeller. Their structures reveal a unique pentameric assembly and novel beta-propeller structures. Although identical in sequence, the oligomeric subunits adopt two, or even three, different structures that together enable the pentameric assembly of two propellers connected via a small linker. Most of the subunits adopt a wild-type-like structure within individual five-bladed propellers. However, the bridging subunits exhibit domain swaps and asymmetric strand exchanges that allow them to complete the two propellers and connect them. Thus, the modular and metamorphic nature of these subunits enabled dramatic changes in tertiary and quaternary structure, while maintaining the lectin function. These oligomers therefore comprise putative intermediates via which beta-propellers can evolve from smaller elements. Our data also suggest that the ability of one sequence to equilibrate between different structures can be evolutionary optimized, thus facilitating the emergence of new structures.

  9. Evolutionary Stability in the Asymmetric Volunteer's Dilemma

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yao-Tang

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that in public goods games, contributors are either strong or weak players and each individual has an equal probability of exhibiting cooperation. It is difficult to explain why the public good is produced by strong individuals in some cooperation systems, and by weak individuals in others. Viewing the asymmetric volunteer's dilemma game as an evolutionary game, we find that whether the strong or the weak players produce the public good depends on the initial condition (i.e., phenotype or initial strategy of individuals). These different evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS) associated with different initial conditions, can be interpreted as the production modes of public goods of different cooperation systems. A further analysis revealed that the strong player adopts a pure strategy but mixed strategies for the weak players to produce the public good, and that the probability of volunteering by weak players decreases with increasing group size or decreasing cost-benefit ratio. Our model shows that the defection probability of a “strong” player is greater than the “weak” players in the model of Diekmann (1993). This contradicts Selten's (1980) model that public goods can only be produced by a strong player, is not an evolutionarily stable strategy, and will therefore disappear over evolutionary time. Our public good model with ESS has thus extended previous interpretations that the public good can only be produced by strong players in an asymmetric game. PMID:25111781

  10. Quiescent Fibroblasts Exhibit High Metabolic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lemons, Johanna M. S.; Feng, Xiao-Jiang; Bennett, Bryson D.; Legesse-Miller, Aster; Johnson, Elizabeth L.; Raitman, Irene; Pollina, Elizabeth A.; Rabitz, Herschel A.; Rabinowitz, Joshua D.; Coller, Hilary A.

    2010-01-01

    Many cells in mammals exist in the state of quiescence, which is characterized by reversible exit from the cell cycle. Quiescent cells are widely reported to exhibit reduced size, nucleotide synthesis, and metabolic activity. Much lower glycolytic rates have been reported in quiescent compared with proliferating lymphocytes. In contrast, we show here that primary human fibroblasts continue to exhibit high metabolic rates when induced into quiescence via contact inhibition. By monitoring isotope labeling through metabolic pathways and quantitatively identifying fluxes from the data, we show that contact-inhibited fibroblasts utilize glucose in all branches of central carbon metabolism at rates similar to those of proliferating cells, with greater overflow flux from the pentose phosphate pathway back to glycolysis. Inhibition of the pentose phosphate pathway resulted in apoptosis preferentially in quiescent fibroblasts. By feeding the cells labeled glutamine, we also detected a “backwards” flux in the tricarboxylic acid cycle from α-ketoglutarate to citrate that was enhanced in contact-inhibited fibroblasts; this flux likely contributes to shuttling of NADPH from the mitochondrion to cytosol for redox defense or fatty acid synthesis. The high metabolic activity of the fibroblasts was directed in part toward breakdown and resynthesis of protein and lipid, and in part toward excretion of extracellular matrix proteins. Thus, reduced metabolic activity is not a hallmark of the quiescent state. Quiescent fibroblasts, relieved of the biosynthetic requirements associated with generating progeny, direct their metabolic activity to preservation of self integrity and alternative functions beneficial to the organism as a whole. PMID:21049082

  11. Aspiration of Barium Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes Santos, Cristina; Steen, Bárbara

    2014-01-01

    The aspiration of barium contrast is a rare complication that may occur during studies of the digestive tract. Barium is an inert material that can cause anywhere from an asymptomatic mechanical obstruction to serious symptoms of respiratory distress that can result in patient death. We present the case of a 79-year-old male patient in whom we observed the presence of contrast medium residue in the lung parenchyma as an incidental finding during hospitalization. When the patient's medical file was reviewed, images were found of a barium swallow study that the patient had undergone months earlier, and we were able to observe the exact moment of the aspiration of the contrast material. The patient had been asymptomatic since the test. PMID:25309769

  12. Contrast image correction method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schettini, Raimondo; Gasparini, Francesca; Corchs, Silvia; Marini, Fabrizio; Capra, Alessandro; Castorina, Alfio

    2010-04-01

    A method for contrast enhancement is proposed. The algorithm is based on a local and image-dependent exponential correction. The technique aims to correct images that simultaneously present overexposed and underexposed regions. To prevent halo artifacts, the bilateral filter is used as the mask of the exponential correction. Depending on the characteristics of the image (piloted by histogram analysis), an automated parameter-tuning step is introduced, followed by stretching, clipping, and saturation preserving treatments. Comparisons with other contrast enhancement techniques are presented. The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) experiment on grayscale images gives the greatest preference score for our algorithm.

  13. 17 CFR 232.102 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... Regulation S-T (17 CFR 232.311(b)). (b) Amendments to all exhibits shall be filed in electronic format... designation “CE” (confirming electronic) should be placed next to the listed exhibit in the exhibit index....

  14. Evolutionary inevitability of sexual antagonism.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim; Clark, Andrew G

    2014-02-01

    Sexual antagonism, whereby mutations are favourable in one sex and disfavourable in the other, is common in natural populations, yet the root causes of sexual antagonism are rarely considered in evolutionary theories of adaptation. Here, we explore the evolutionary consequences of sex-differential selection and genotype-by-sex interactions for adaptation in species with separate sexes. We show that sexual antagonism emerges naturally from sex differences in the direction of selection on phenotypes expressed by both sexes or from sex-by-genotype interactions affecting the expression of such phenotypes. Moreover, modest sex differences in selection or genotype-by-sex effects profoundly influence the long-term evolutionary trajectories of populations with separate sexes, as these conditions trigger the evolution of strong sexual antagonism as a by-product of adaptively driven evolutionary change. The theory demonstrates that sexual antagonism is an inescapable by-product of adaptation in species with separate sexes, whether or not selection favours evolutionary divergence between males and females.

  15. Evolutionary genetics of maternal effects

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Jason B.; Wade, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Maternal genetic effects (MGEs), where genes expressed by mothers affect the phenotype of their offspring, are important sources of phenotypic diversity in a myriad of organisms. We use a single‐locus model to examine how MGEs contribute patterns of heritable and nonheritable variation and influence evolutionary dynamics in randomly mating and inbreeding populations. We elucidate the influence of MGEs by examining the offspring genotype‐phenotype relationship, which determines how MGEs affect evolutionary dynamics in response to selection on offspring phenotypes. This approach reveals important results that are not apparent from classic quantitative genetic treatments of MGEs. We show that additive and dominance MGEs make different contributions to evolutionary dynamics and patterns of variation, which are differentially affected by inbreeding. Dominance MGEs make the offspring genotype‐phenotype relationship frequency dependent, resulting in the appearance of negative frequency‐dependent selection, while additive MGEs contribute a component of parent‐of‐origin dependent variation. Inbreeding amplifies the contribution of MGEs to the additive genetic variance and, therefore enhances their evolutionary response. Considering evolutionary dynamics of allele frequency change on an adaptive landscape, we show that this landscape differs from the mean fitness surface, and therefore, under some condition, fitness peaks can exist but not be “available” to the evolving population. PMID:26969266

  16. The major synthetic evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Solé, Ricard

    2016-08-19

    Evolution is marked by well-defined events involving profound innovations that are known as 'major evolutionary transitions'. They involve the integration of autonomous elements into a new, higher-level organization whereby the former isolated units interact in novel ways, losing their original autonomy. All major transitions, which include the origin of life, cells, multicellular systems, societies or language (among other examples), took place millions of years ago. Are these transitions unique, rare events? Have they instead universal traits that make them almost inevitable when the right pieces are in place? Are there general laws of evolutionary innovation? In order to approach this problem under a novel perspective, we argue that a parallel class of evolutionary transitions can be explored involving the use of artificial evolutionary experiments where alternative paths to innovation can be explored. These 'synthetic' transitions include, for example, the artificial evolution of multicellular systems or the emergence of language in evolved communicating robots. These alternative scenarios could help us to understand the underlying laws that predate the rise of major innovations and the possibility for general laws of evolved complexity. Several key examples and theoretical approaches are summarized and future challenges are outlined.This article is part of the themed issue 'The major synthetic evolutionary transitions'. PMID:27431528

  17. The major synthetic evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Solé, Ricard

    2016-08-19

    Evolution is marked by well-defined events involving profound innovations that are known as 'major evolutionary transitions'. They involve the integration of autonomous elements into a new, higher-level organization whereby the former isolated units interact in novel ways, losing their original autonomy. All major transitions, which include the origin of life, cells, multicellular systems, societies or language (among other examples), took place millions of years ago. Are these transitions unique, rare events? Have they instead universal traits that make them almost inevitable when the right pieces are in place? Are there general laws of evolutionary innovation? In order to approach this problem under a novel perspective, we argue that a parallel class of evolutionary transitions can be explored involving the use of artificial evolutionary experiments where alternative paths to innovation can be explored. These 'synthetic' transitions include, for example, the artificial evolution of multicellular systems or the emergence of language in evolved communicating robots. These alternative scenarios could help us to understand the underlying laws that predate the rise of major innovations and the possibility for general laws of evolved complexity. Several key examples and theoretical approaches are summarized and future challenges are outlined.This article is part of the themed issue 'The major synthetic evolutionary transitions'.

  18. Environmental changes bridge evolutionary valleys

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Barrett; Ostermeier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    In the basic fitness landscape metaphor for molecular evolution, evolutionary pathways are presumed to follow uphill steps of increasing fitness. How evolution can cross fitness valleys is an open question. One possibility is that environmental changes alter the fitness landscape such that low-fitness sequences reside on a hill in alternate environments. We experimentally test this hypothesis on the antibiotic resistance gene TEM-15 β-lactamase by comparing four evolutionary strategies shaped by environmental changes. The strategy that included initial steps of selecting for low antibiotic resistance (negative selection) produced superior alleles compared with the other three strategies. We comprehensively examined possible evolutionary pathways leading to one such high-fitness allele and found that an initially deleterious mutation is key to the allele’s evolutionary history. This mutation is an initial gateway to an otherwise relatively inaccessible area of sequence space and participates in higher-order, positive epistasis with a number of neutral to slightly beneficial mutations. The ability of negative selection and environmental changes to provide access to novel fitness peaks has important implications for natural evolutionary mechanisms and applied directed evolution. PMID:26844293

  19. 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

  20. The major synthetic evolutionary transitions

    PubMed Central

    Solé, Ricard

    2016-01-01

    Evolution is marked by well-defined events involving profound innovations that are known as ‘major evolutionary transitions'. They involve the integration of autonomous elements into a new, higher-level organization whereby the former isolated units interact in novel ways, losing their original autonomy. All major transitions, which include the origin of life, cells, multicellular systems, societies or language (among other examples), took place millions of years ago. Are these transitions unique, rare events? Have they instead universal traits that make them almost inevitable when the right pieces are in place? Are there general laws of evolutionary innovation? In order to approach this problem under a novel perspective, we argue that a parallel class of evolutionary transitions can be explored involving the use of artificial evolutionary experiments where alternative paths to innovation can be explored. These ‘synthetic’ transitions include, for example, the artificial evolution of multicellular systems or the emergence of language in evolved communicating robots. These alternative scenarios could help us to understand the underlying laws that predate the rise of major innovations and the possibility for general laws of evolved complexity. Several key examples and theoretical approaches are summarized and future challenges are outlined. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The major synthetic evolutionary transitions’. PMID:27431528

  1. Structural symmetry in evolutionary games

    PubMed Central

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    In evolutionary game theory, an important measure of a mutant trait (strategy) is its ability to invade and take over an otherwise-monomorphic population. Typically, one quantifies the success of a mutant strategy via the probability that a randomly occurring mutant will fixate in the population. However, in a structured population, this fixation probability may depend on where the mutant arises. Moreover, the fixation probability is just one quantity by which one can measure the success of a mutant; fixation time, for instance, is another. We define a notion of homogeneity for evolutionary games that captures what it means for two single-mutant states, i.e. two configurations of a single mutant in an otherwise-monomorphic population, to be ‘evolutionarily equivalent’ in the sense that all measures of evolutionary success are the same for both configurations. Using asymmetric games, we argue that the term ‘homogeneous’ should apply to the evolutionary process as a whole rather than to just the population structure. For evolutionary matrix games in graph-structured populations, we give precise conditions under which the resulting process is homogeneous. Finally, we show that asymmetric matrix games can be reduced to symmetric games if the population structure possesses a sufficient degree of symmetry. PMID:26423436

  2. Evolutionary genomics of environmental pollution.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Chemical toxins have been a persistent source of evolutionary challenges throughout the history of life, and deep within the genomic storehouse of evolutionary history lay ancient adaptations to diverse chemical poisons. However, the rate of change of contemporary environments mediated by human-introduced pollutants is rapidly screening this storehouse and severely testing the adaptive potential of many species. In this chapter, we briefly review the deep history of evolutionary adaptation to environmental toxins, and then proceed to describe the attributes of stressors and populations that may facilitate contemporary adaptation to pollutants introduced by humans. We highlight that phenotypes derived to enable persistence in polluted habitats may be multi-dimensional, requiring global genome-scale tools and approaches to uncover their mechanistic basis, and include examples of recent progress in the field. The modern tools of genomics offer promise for discovering how pollutants interact with genomes on physiological timescales, and also for discovering what genomic attributes of populations may enable resistance to pollutants over evolutionary timescales. Through integration of these sophisticated genomics tools and approaches with an understanding of the deep historical forces that shaped current populations, a more mature understanding of the mechanistic basis of contemporary ecological-evolutionary dynamics should emerge.

  3. Evolutionary genetics of maternal effects.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Jason B; Wade, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    Maternal genetic effects (MGEs), where genes expressed by mothers affect the phenotype of their offspring, are important sources of phenotypic diversity in a myriad of organisms. We use a single-locus model to examine how MGEs contribute patterns of heritable and nonheritable variation and influence evolutionary dynamics in randomly mating and inbreeding populations. We elucidate the influence of MGEs by examining the offspring genotype-phenotype relationship, which determines how MGEs affect evolutionary dynamics in response to selection on offspring phenotypes. This approach reveals important results that are not apparent from classic quantitative genetic treatments of MGEs. We show that additive and dominance MGEs make different contributions to evolutionary dynamics and patterns of variation, which are differentially affected by inbreeding. Dominance MGEs make the offspring genotype-phenotype relationship frequency dependent, resulting in the appearance of negative frequency-dependent selection, while additive MGEs contribute a component of parent-of-origin dependent variation. Inbreeding amplifies the contribution of MGEs to the additive genetic variance and, therefore enhances their evolutionary response. Considering evolutionary dynamics of allele frequency change on an adaptive landscape, we show that this landscape differs from the mean fitness surface, and therefore, under some condition, fitness peaks can exist but not be "available" to the evolving population. PMID:26969266

  4. The Evolutionary Roots of Human Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Laurie R.; Rosati, Alexandra G.

    2015-01-01

    Humans exhibit a suite of biases when making economic decisions. We review recent research on the origins of human decision making by examining whether similar choice biases are seen in nonhuman primates, our closest phylogenetic relatives. We propose that comparative studies can provide insight into four major questions about the nature of human choice biases that cannot be addressed by studies of our species alone. First, research with other primates can address the evolution of human choice biases and identify shared versus human-unique tendencies in decision making. Second, primate studies can constrain hypotheses about the psychological mechanisms underlying such biases. Third, comparisons of closely related species can identify when distinct mechanisms underlie related biases by examining evolutionary dissociations in choice strategies. Finally, comparative work can provide insight into the biological rationality of economically irrational preferences. PMID:25559115

  5. Structure properties of evolutionary spatially embedded networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hui, Z.; Li, W.; Cai, X.; Greneche, J. M.; Wang, Q. A.

    2013-04-01

    This work is a modeling of evolutionary networks embedded in one or two dimensional configuration space. The evolution is based on two attachments depending on degree and spatial distance. The probability for a new node n to connect with a previous node i at distance r follows aki∑jkj+(1-a)rni-α∑jrnj-α, where ki is the degree of node i, α and a are tunable parameters. In spatial driven model (a=0), the spatial distance distribution follows the power-law feature. The mean topological distance l and the clustering coefficient C exhibit phase transitions at same critical values of α which change with the dimensionality d of the embedding space. When a≠0, the degree distribution follows the "shifted power law" (SPL) which interpolates between exponential and scale-free distributions depending on the value of a.

  6. Gecko adhesion: evolutionary nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Autumn, Kellar; Gravish, Nick

    2008-05-13

    If geckos had not evolved, it is possible that humans would never have invented adhesive nanostructures. Geckos use millions of adhesive setae on their toes to climb vertical surfaces at speeds of over 1ms-1. Climbing presents a significant challenge for an adhesive in requiring both strong attachment and easy rapid removal. Conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) are either strong and difficult to remove (e.g. duct tape) or weak and easy to remove (e.g. sticky notes). The gecko adhesive differs dramatically from conventional adhesives. Conventional PSAs are soft viscoelastic polymers that degrade, foul, self-adhere and attach accidentally to inappropriate surfaces. In contrast, gecko toes bear angled arrays of branched, hair-like setae formed from stiff, hydrophobic keratin that act as a bed of angled springs with similar effective elastic modulus to that of PSAs. Setae are self-cleaning and maintain function for months during repeated use in dirty conditions. Setae are an anisotropic 'frictional adhesive' in that adhesion requires maintenance of a proximally directed shear load, enabling either a tough bond or spontaneous detachment. Gecko-like synthetic adhesives may become the glue of the future-and perhaps the screw of the future as well.

  7. Science, providence, and progress at the Great Exhibition.

    PubMed

    Cantor, Geoffrey

    2012-09-01

    The Great Exhibition of 1851 is generally interpreted as a thoroughly secular event that celebrated progress in science, technology, and industry. In contrast to this perception, however, the exhibition was viewed by many contemporaries as a religious event of considerable importance. Although some religious commentators were highly critical of the exhibition and condemned the display of artifacts in the Crystal Palace as giving succor to materialism, others incorporated science and technology into their religious frameworks. Drawing on sermons, tracts, and the religious periodical press, this essay pays close attention to the ways in which science and technology were endowed with providentialist significance and particularly examines the notion of human progress used by a number of Christian writers, especially Congregationalists, who set scientific and technological progress within a teleological religious perspective. This discussion sheds fresh light not only on the Great Exhibition itself but also on the deployment of natural theology in mid-nineteenth-century Britain.

  8. Phonation in Tonal Contrasts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuang, Jianjing

    2013-01-01

    Phonation is used in many tonal languages, but how it should be incorporated into tonal systems is not well understood. The purpose of this dissertation thus is to examine the role of phonation in tonal contrasts, and to investigate how phonation and pitch interact in the tonal space. This dissertation presents close studies of tonal contrasts…

  9. Directionality in Contrastive Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Carl

    A contrastive analysis (CA) does not require commitment to directionality. Even asymmetrical interlingual correspondence can be handled by adirectional statements. If well executed, a CA is capable of handling three pairs of L2 learning phenomena: (1) going from language A to language B and vice versa; (2) productive and receptive command; and (3)…

  10. Complex dark-field contrast in grating-based x-ray phase contrast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yi; Tang, Xiangyang

    2015-03-01

    Without assuming that the sub-pixel microstructures of an object to be imaged distribute in space randomly, we investigate the influence of the object's microstructures on grating-based x-ray phase contrast imaging. Our theoretical analysis and 3D computer simulation study based on the paraxial Fresnel-Kirchhoff theory show that the existing dark-field contrast can be generalized into a complex dark-field contrast in a way such that its imaginary part quantifies the effect of the object's sub-pixel microstructures on the phase of intensity oscillations. A method based on the phase-attenuation duality that holds for soft tissues to be imaged at high x-ray energies is proposed to retrieve the imaginary part of the complex dark-field contrast for imaging. In comparison to the existing dark-field contrast, the imaginary part of complex dark-field contrast exhibits significantly stronger selectivity on the shape of the object's sub-pixel microstructures. Thus the x-ray imaging corresponding to the imaginary part of complex dark-field contrast can provide additional and complementary information to that corresponding to the attenuation contrast, phase contrast and the existing dark-field contrast.

  11. Evolutionary psychology and intelligence research.

    PubMed

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    This article seeks to unify two subfields of psychology that have hitherto stood separately: evolutionary psychology and intelligence research/differential psychology. I suggest that general intelligence may simultaneously be an evolved adaptation and an individual-difference variable. Tooby and Cosmides's (1990a) notion of random quantitative variation on a monomorphic design allows us to incorporate heritable individual differences in evolved adaptations. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, which is one consequence of the integration of evolutionary psychology and intelligence research, can potentially explain why less intelligent individuals enjoy TV more, why liberals are more intelligent than conservatives, and why night owls are more intelligent than morning larks, among many other findings. The general approach proposed here will allow us to integrate evolutionary psychology with any other aspect of differential psychology.

  12. Evolutionary engineering for industrial microbiology.

    PubMed

    Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

  13. Theoretical developments in evolutionary computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, David B.

    1999-11-01

    Recent developments in the theory of evolutionary computation offer evidence and proof that overturns several conventionally held beliefs. In particular, the no free lunch theorem and other related theorems show that there can be no best evolutionary algorithm, and that no particular variation operator or selection mechanism provides a general advantage over another choice. Furthermore, the fundamental nature of the notion of schema processing is called into question by recent theory that shows that the schema theorem does not hold when schema fitness is stochastic. Moreover, the analysis that underlies schema theory, namely the k- armed bandit analysis, does not generate a sampling plan that yields an optimal allocation of trials, as has been suggested in the literature for almost 25 years. The importance of these new findings is discussed in the context of future progress in the field of evolutionary computation.

  14. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    de Vladar, Harold P.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-01-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild. PMID:26640653

  15. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    de Vladar, Harold P; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-12-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild.

  16. Evolutionary models of interstellar chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Sheo S.

    1987-01-01

    The goal of evolutionary models of interstellar chemistry is to understand how interstellar clouds came to be the way they are, how they will change with time, and to place them in an evolutionary sequence with other celestial objects such as stars. An improved Mark II version of an earlier model of chemistry in dynamically evolving clouds is presented. The Mark II model suggests that the conventional elemental C/O ratio less than one can explain the observed abundances of CI and the nondetection of O2 in dense clouds. Coupled chemical-dynamical models seem to have the potential to generate many observable discriminators of the evolutionary tracks. This is exciting, because, in general, purely dynamical models do not yield enough verifiable discriminators of the predicted tracks.

  17. An inquiry into evolutionary inquiry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donovan, Samuel S.

    2005-11-01

    While evolution education has received a great deal of attention within the science education research community it still poses difficult teaching and learning challenges. Understanding evolutionary biology has been given high priority in national science education policy because of its role in coordinating our understanding of the life sciences, its importance in our intellectual history, its role in the perception of humans' position in nature, and its impact on our current medical, agricultural, and conservation practices. The rhetoric used in evolution education policy statements emphasizes familiarity with the nature of scientific inquiry as an important learning outcome associated with understanding evolution but provide little guidance with respect to how one might achieve this goal. This dissertation project explores the nature of evolutionary inquiry and how understanding the details of disciplinary reasoning can inform evolution education. The first analysis involves recasting the existing evolution education research literature to assess educational outcomes related to students ability to reason about data using evolutionary biology methods and models. This is followed in the next chapter by a detailed historical and philosophical characterization of evolutionary biology with the goal of providing a richer context for considering what exactly it is we want students to know about evolution as a discipline. Chapter 4 describes the development and implementation of a high school evolution curriculum that engages students with many aspects of model based reasoning. The final component of this reframing of evolution education involves an empirical study characterizing students' understanding of evolutionary biology as a modeling enterprise. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of evolution education and explores the implications of foregrounding disciplinary reasoning as an educational outcome. The analyses are coordinated with one another in the sense

  18. The evolutionary psychology of violence.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Aaron T

    2010-02-01

    This paper reviews theory and research on the evolutionary psychology of violence. First, I examine evidence suggesting that humans have experienced an evolutionary history of violence. Next, I discuss violence as a context-sensitive strategy that might have provided benefits to our ancestors under certain circumstances. I then focus on the two most common forms of violence that plague humans -violence over status contests and intimate partner violence- outlining psychological mechanisms involved in each. Finally, I suggest that greater progress will be made by shifting the study from contexts to mechanisms.

  19. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    PubMed

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

    An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses.

  20. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    PubMed

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

    An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses. PMID:27328100

  1. Deep evolutionary origins of neurobiology

    PubMed Central

    Mancuso, Stefano

    2009-01-01

    It is generally assumed, both in common-sense argumentations and scientific concepts, that brains and neurons represent late evolutionary achievements which are present only in more advanced animals. Here we overview recently published data clearly revealing that our understanding of bacteria, unicellular eukaryotic organisms, plants, brains and neurons, rooted in the Aristotelian philosophy is flawed. Neural aspects of biological systems are obvious already in bacteria and unicellular biological units such as sexual gametes and diverse unicellular eukaryotic organisms. Altogether, processes and activities thought to represent evolutionary ‘recent’ specializations of the nervous system emerge rather to represent ancient and fundamental cell survival processes. PMID:19513267

  2. 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.

  3. Long Distance Dispersal of Zooplankton Endemic to Isolated Mountaintops - an Example of an Ecological Process Operating on an Evolutionary Time Scale

    PubMed Central

    Vanschoenwinkel, Bram; Mergeay, Joachim; Pinceel, Tom; Waterkeyn, Aline; Vandewaerde, Hanne; Seaman, Maitland; Brendonck, Luc

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings suggest a convergence of time scales between ecological and evolutionary processes which is usually explained in terms of rapid micro evolution resulting in evolution on ecological time scales. A similar convergence, however, can also emerge when slow ecological processes take place on evolutionary time scales. A good example of such a slow ecological process is the colonization of remote aquatic habitats by passively dispersed zooplankton. Using variation at the protein coding mitochondrial COI gene, we investigated the balance between mutation and migration as drivers of genetic diversity in two Branchipodopsis fairy shrimp species (Crustacea, Anostraca) endemic to remote temporary rock pool clusters at the summit of isolated mountaintops in central South Africa. We showed that both species colonized the region almost simultaneously c. 0.8 My ago, but exhibit contrasting patterns of regional genetic diversity and demographic history. The haplotype network of the common B. cf. wolfi showed clear evidence of 11 long distance dispersal events (up to 140 km) with five haplotypes that are shared among distant inselbergs, as well as some more spatially isolated derivates. Similar patterns were not observed for B. drakensbergensis presumably since this rarer species experienced a genetic bottleneck. We conclude that the observed genetic patterns reflect rare historic colonization events rather than frequent ongoing gene flow. Moreover, the high regional haplotype diversity combined with a high degree of haplotype endemicity indicates that evolutionary- (mutation) and ecological (migration) processes in this system operate on similar time scales. PMID:22102865

  4. Exhibits Enhanced by Stand-Alone Computers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Rennes, Eve C.

    Both the development and evaluation of one of a set of computer programs designed for use by visitors as adjuncts to museum exhibits are described. Museum displays used were (1) a static, behind-glass exhibit on evolution; (2) a hands-on primitive stone age tools exhibit; and (3) a Foucault pendulum. A computer placed next to each exhibit served…

  5. 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.

  6. Chromatography: concepts and contrasts

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.M.

    1988-01-01

    As the author states in the Preface, this text attempts to provide a unified approach to chromatography (hence the title) by way of contrasting similarities and differences between gas chromatography (GC), column liquid chromatography (LC), and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). This book is also said to be pitched at an elementary level, suitable for most newcomers to the field (e.g., advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students in the academic world, as well as bench-level chemists in industry).

  7. Polychromatic diffraction contrast tomography

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.; Reischig, P.; Adrien, J.; Peetermans, S.; Ludwig, W.

    2014-11-15

    This tutorial review introduces the use of polychromatic radiation for 3D grain mapping using X-ray diffraction contrast tomography. The objective is to produce a 3D map of the grain shapes and orientations within a bulk, millimeter-sized polycrystalline sample. The use of polychromatic radiation enables the standard synchrotron X-ray technique to be applied in a wider range of contexts: 1) Using laboratory X-ray sources allows a much wider application of the diffraction contrast tomography technique. 2) Neutron sources allow large samples, or samples containing high Z elements to be studied. 3) Applied to synchrotron sources, smaller samples may be treated, or faster measurements may be possible. Challenges and particularities in the data acquisition and processing, and the limitations of the different variants, are discussed. - Highlights: • We present a tutorial review of polychromatic diffraction contrast tomography techniques. • The use of polychromatic radiation allows the standard synchrotron DCT technique to be extended to a range of other sources. • The characteristics and limitations of all variants of the techniques are derived, discussed and compared. • Examples using laboratory X-ray and cold neutron radiation are presented. • Suggestions for the future development of these techniques are presented.

  8. Peripheral venous contrast echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Seward, J B; Tajik, A J; Hagler, D J; Ritter, D G

    1977-02-01

    Contrast echocardiography is the technique of injecting various echo-producing agents into the bloodstream and, with standard echocardiographic techniques, observing the blood flow patterns as revealed by the resulting cloud of echoes. These techniques have only recently been utilized to evaluate various cardiac defects. Two physical properties of these agents characterize their usefulness: (1) clouds of echoes can be observed downstream as well as at the injection site, and (2) the echo-producing quality of these agents is completely lost with a single transit through either the pulmonary or the systemic capillary bed. Thus, detection of resultant echoes in both the venous and the arterial blood pool is indicative of abnormal shunting. In 60 patients with a spectrum of cardiac defects and a wide range in age of presentation, studies were made of (1) the feasibility of performing contrast echocardiography with superficial peripheral venous injections, and (2) the clinical usefulness of this relatively noninvasive technique in detecting and localizing intracardiac right ot left shunting. Most superficial peripheral veins could be utilized, and the resultant contrast echograms were reproducible and similar in quality to those obtained more central (caval) injections. Right to left shunts could be localized in the atrial, ventricular or intrapulmonary level. Characteristic flow patterns were also recognized for tricuspid atresia and common ventricle.

  9. Euryhalinity in an evolutionary context

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schultz, Eric T.; McCormick, Stephen D.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Farrell, Anthony Peter; Brauner, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the evolutionary importance and taxonomic distribution of euryhalinity. Euryhalinity refers to broad halotolerance and broad halohabitat distribution. Salinity exposure experiments have demonstrated that species vary tenfold in their range of tolerable salinity levels, primarily because of differences in upper limits. Halotolerance breadth varies with the species’ evolutionary history, as represented by its ordinal classification, and with the species’ halohabitat. Freshwater and seawater species tolerate brackish water; their empirically-determined fundamental haloniche is broader than their realized haloniche, as revealed by the halohabitats they occupy. With respect to halohabitat distribution, a minority of species (<10%) are euryhaline. Habitat-euryhalinity is prevalent among basal actinopterygian fishes, is largely absent from orders arising from intermediate nodes, and reappears in the most derived taxa. There is pronounced family-level variability in the tendency to be halohabitat-euryhaline, which may have arisen during a burst of diversification following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction. Low prevalence notwithstanding, euryhaline species are potent sources of evolutionary diversity. Euryhalinity is regarded as a key innovation trait whose evolution enables exploitation of new adaptive zone, triggering cladogenesis. We review phylogenetically-informed studies that demonstrate freshwater species diversifying from euryhaline ancestors through processes such as landlocking. These studies indicate that some euryhaline taxa are particularly susceptible to changes in halohabitat and subsequent diversification, and some geographic regions have been hotspots for transitions to freshwater. Comparative studies on mechanisms among multiple taxa and at multiple levels of biological integration are needed to clarify evolutionary pathways to, and from, euryhalinity.

  10. Erotomanic stalking in evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Brüne, Martin

    2003-01-01

    Erotomania, the delusion of being loved by another person, comprises marked sex differences concerning prevalence rates and behavior. Whereas traditional psychiatry has considered erotomania to be almost entirely restricted to women, recent studies have revealed that criminal offenses associated with the condition occur much more frequently in men. The main hypothesis of this article is that these findings may be explained in terms of evolutionary theory. Erotomania, accordingly, may be viewed as a pathological variant of a specific sexual strategy that evolved under selection pressures of the human environment of evolutionary adaptedness. The overt behavior is related to the pursuit of long-term mating, its potentially beneficial effect on inclusive fitness of the individual, and disparate strategies of the sexes to ensure sexual fidelity of the potential partner. Therefore, the evolutionary approach provides a plausible explanation as to why forensically relevant erotomania prevails in men. The pathological process of delusional misinterpretation of perceived signals from the social environment itself may result from poor reality testing due to a failure of social meta-cognition. The evolutionary perspective may provide additional insights into the nature of sex-specific behaviors and may improve our understanding of forensically relevant behaviors. PMID:12579619

  11. Evolutionary Psychology and Intelligence Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    This article seeks to unify two subfields of psychology that have hitherto stood separately: evolutionary psychology and intelligence research/differential psychology. I suggest that general intelligence may simultaneously be an evolved adaptation and an individual-difference variable. Tooby and Cosmides's (1990a) notion of random quantitative…

  12. Current Issues in Evolutionary Paleontology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scully, Erik Paul

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the contributions made by the field of paleontology to theories in geology and biology. Suggests that the two best examples of modern evolutionary paleontology relate to the theory of punctuated equilibria, and the possibility that mass extinctions may be cyclic. (TW)

  13. Evolutionary Perspective in Child Growth

    PubMed Central

    Hochberg, Ze’ev

    2011-01-01

    Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child’s growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment. PMID:23908815

  14. Evolutionary perspective in child growth.

    PubMed

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2011-07-01

    Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child's growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment.

  15. Understanding evolutionary potential in virtual CPU instruction set architectures.

    PubMed

    Bryson, David M; Ofria, Charles

    2013-01-01

    We investigate fundamental decisions in the design of instruction set architectures for linear genetic programs that are used as both model systems in evolutionary biology and underlying solution representations in evolutionary computation. We subjected digital organisms with each tested architecture to seven different computational environments designed to present a range of evolutionary challenges. Our goal was to engineer a general purpose architecture that would be effective under a broad range of evolutionary conditions. We evaluated six different types of architectural features for the virtual CPUs: (1) genetic flexibility: we allowed digital organisms to more precisely modify the function of genetic instructions, (2) memory: we provided an increased number of registers in the virtual CPUs, (3) decoupled sensors and actuators: we separated input and output operations to enable greater control over data flow. We also tested a variety of methods to regulate expression: (4) explicit labels that allow programs to dynamically refer to specific genome positions, (5) position-relative search instructions, and (6) multiple new flow control instructions, including conditionals and jumps. Each of these features also adds complication to the instruction set and risks slowing evolution due to epistatic interactions. Two features (multiple argument specification and separated I/O) demonstrated substantial improvements in the majority of test environments, along with versions of each of the remaining architecture modifications that show significant improvements in multiple environments. However, some tested modifications were detrimental, though most exhibit no systematic effects on evolutionary potential, highlighting the robustness of digital evolution. Combined, these observations enhance our understanding of how instruction architecture impacts evolutionary potential, enabling the creation of architectures that support more rapid evolution of complex solutions to a

  16. How quickly do brains catch up with bodies? A comparative method for detecting evolutionary lag.

    PubMed Central

    Deaner, R O; Nunn, C L

    1999-01-01

    A trait may be at odds with theoretical expectation because it is still in the process of responding to a recent selective force. Such a situation can be termed evolutionary lag. Although many cases of evolutionary lag have been suggested, almost all of the arguments have focused on trait fitness. An alternative approach is to examine the prediction that trait expression is a function of the time over which the trait could evolve. Here we present a phylogenetic comparative method for using this 'time' approach and we apply the method to a long-standing lag hypothesis: evolutionary changes in brain size lag behind evolutionary changes in body size. We tested the prediction in primates that brain mass contrast residuals, calculated from a regression of pairwise brain mass contrasts on positive pairwise body mass contrasts, are correlated with the time since the paired species diverged. Contrary to the brain size lag hypothesis, time since divergence was not significantly correlated with brain mass contrast residuals. We found the same result when we accounted for socioecology, used alternative body mass estimates and used male rather than female values. These tests do not support the brain size lag hypothesis. Therefore, body mass need not be viewed as a suspect variable in comparative neuroanatomical studies and relative brain size should not be used to infer recent evolutionary changes in body size. PMID:10331289

  17. Evolutionary Channels for the Formation of Double Neutron Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Jeff J.; Farr, W. M.; Kalogera, V.; Willems, B.

    2015-03-01

    We analyze binary population models of double-neutron stars and compare results to the accurately measured orbital periods and eccentricities of the eight known such systems in our Galaxy. In contrast to past similar studies, we especially focus on the dominant evolutionary channels (we identify three); for the first time, we use a detailed understanding of the evolutionary history of three double neutron stars as actual constraints on the population models. We find that the evolutionary constraints derived from the double pulsar are particularly tight, and less than half of the examined models survive the full set of constraints. The top-likelihood surviving models yield constraints on the key binary evolution parameters, but most interestingly reveal (1) the need for electron-capture supernovae from relatively low-mass degenerate, progenitor cores, and (2) the most likely evolutionary paths for the rest of the known double neutron stars. In particular, we find that J1913+16 likely went through a phase of Case BB mass transfer, and J1906+0746 and J1756-2251 are consistent with having been formed in electron-capture supernovae.

  18. 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.

  19. Contrast and depth perception: effects of texture contrast and area contrast.

    PubMed

    Ichihara, Shigeru; Kitagawa, Norimichi; Akutsu, Hiromi

    2007-01-01

    Many objects in natural scenes have textures on their surfaces. Contrast of the texture surfaces (the texture contrast) reduces when the viewing distance increases. Similarly, contrast between the surfaces of the objects and the background (the area contrast) reduces when the viewing distance increases. The texture contrast and the area contrast were defined by the contrast between random dots, and by the contrast between the average luminance of the dot pattern and the luminance of the background, respectively. To examine how these two types of contrast influence depth perception, we ran two experiments. In both experiments two areas of random-dot patterns were presented against a uniform background, and participants rated relative depth between the two areas. We found that the rated depth of the patterned areas increased with increases in texture contrast. Furthermore, the effect of the texture contrast on depth judgment increased when the area contrast became low.

  20. Evolutionary branching under multi-dimensional evolutionary constraints.

    PubMed

    Ito, Hiroshi; Sasaki, Akira

    2016-10-21

    The fitness of an existing phenotype and of a potential mutant should generally depend on the frequencies of other existing phenotypes. Adaptive evolution driven by such frequency-dependent fitness functions can be analyzed effectively using adaptive dynamics theory, assuming rare mutation and asexual reproduction. When possible mutations are restricted to certain directions due to developmental, physiological, or physical constraints, the resulting adaptive evolution may be restricted to subspaces (constraint surfaces) with fewer dimensionalities than the original trait spaces. To analyze such dynamics along constraint surfaces efficiently, we develop a Lagrange multiplier method in the framework of adaptive dynamics theory. On constraint surfaces of arbitrary dimensionalities described with equality constraints, our method efficiently finds local evolutionarily stable strategies, convergence stable points, and evolutionary branching points. We also derive the conditions for the existence of evolutionary branching points on constraint surfaces when the shapes of the surfaces can be chosen freely. PMID:27444402

  1. Why are some people left-handed? An evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Llaurens, V.; Raymond, M.; Faurie, C.

    2008-01-01

    Since prehistoric times, left-handed individuals have been ubiquitous in human populations, exhibiting geographical frequency variations. Evolutionary explanations have been proposed for the persistence of the handedness polymorphism. Left-handedness could be favoured by negative frequency-dependent selection. Data have suggested that left-handedness, as the rare hand preference, could represent an important strategic advantage in fighting interactions. However, the fact that left-handedness occurs at a low frequency indicates that some evolutionary costs could be associated with left-handedness. Overall, the evolutionary dynamics of this polymorphism are not fully understood. Here, we review the abundant literature available regarding the possible mechanisms and consequences of left-handedness. We point out that hand preference is heritable, and report how hand preference is influenced by genetic, hormonal, developmental and cultural factors. We review the available information on potential fitness costs and benefits acting as selective forces on the proportion of left-handers. Thus, evolutionary perspectives on the persistence of this polymorphism in humans are gathered for the first time, highlighting the necessity for an assessment of fitness differences between right- and left-handers. PMID:19064347

  2. Adaptive noise cancellation based on beehive pattern evolutionary digital filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaojun; Shao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary digital filtering (EDF) exhibits the advantage of avoiding the local optimum problem by using cloning and mating searching rules in an adaptive noise cancellation system. However, convergence performance is restricted by the large population of individuals and the low level of information communication among them. The special beehive structure enables the individuals on neighbour beehive nodes to communicate with each other and thus enhance the information spread and random search ability of the algorithm. By introducing the beehive pattern evolutionary rules into the original EDF, this paper proposes an improved beehive pattern evolutionary digital filter (BP-EDF) to overcome the defects of the original EDF. In the proposed algorithm, a new evolutionary rule which combines competing cloning, complete cloning and assistance mating methods is constructed to enable the individuals distributed on the beehive to communicate with their neighbours. Simulation results are used to demonstrate the improved performance of the proposed algorithm in terms of convergence speed to the global optimum compared with the original methods. Experimental results also verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in extracting feature signals that are contaminated by significant amounts of noise during the fault diagnosis task.

  3. Science Education Through a Museum Exhibit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaparian, Azad; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Describes the polywater exhibit at the Worcester Science Center in Massachusetts. Curiosity and interest are stimulated in young people by allowing them to handle the materials in the exhibit and by providing them with instructions for making polywater. (JR)

  4. Learning by Doing, Creating a Museum Exhibit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Main, Sarah; Kallquist, Dierdre

    2000-01-01

    Describes an exhibit called Kid's Kitchen, built within a major exhibit called Biodiversity: Life Supporting Life, in order to discuss environmental prompts hidden within the kitchen designed to surprise students and get them thinking. (ASK)

  5. On Establishing Underlying Tonal Contrast

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snider, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Phonological field work is largely about establishing contrast in comparable environments. The notion of phonological contrast, however, can be confusing, particularly in its application to tone analysis. Does it mean phonemic contrast in the structuralist sense, or does it mean underlying contrast in the generative sense? Many linguists, in…

  6. Did sulfate availability facilitate the evolutionary expansion of chlorophyll a+c phytoplankton in the oceans?

    PubMed

    Ratti, S; Knoll, A H; Giordano, M

    2011-07-01

    During the Mesozoic Era, dinoflagellates, coccolithophorids and diatoms became prominent primary producers in the oceans, succeeding an earlier biota in which green algae and cyanobacteria had been proportionally more abundant. This transition occurred during an interval marked by increased sulfate concentration in seawater. To test whether increasing sulfate availability facilitated the evolutionary transition in marine phytoplankton, the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp., the green alga Tetraselmis suecica and three algae containing chlorophyll a+c (the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, the dinoflagellate Protoceratium reticulatum and the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi) were grown in media containing 1, 5, 10, 20, or 30 mm SO(4) (2-) . The cyanobacterium and the green alga showed no growth response to varying [SO(4) (2-) ]. By contrast, the three chlorophyll a+c algae showed improved growth with higher [SO(4) (2-) ], but only up to 10 mm. The chlorophyll a+c algae, but not the green alga or cyanobacterium, also showed lower C:S with higher [SO(4) (2-) ]. When the same experiment was repeated in the presence of a ciliate predator (Euplotes sp.), T. suecica and T. weissflogii increased their specific growth rate in most treatments, whereas the growth rate of Synechococcus sp. was not affected or decreased in the presence of grazers. In a third experiment, T. suecica, T. weissflogii, P. reticulatum and Synechococcus sp. were grown in conditions approximating modern, earlier Paleozoic and Proterozoic seawater. In these treatments, sulfate availability, nitrogen source, metal availability and Pco(2) varied. Monospecific cultures exhibited their highest growth rates in the Proterozoic treatment. In mixed culture, T. weissflogii outgrew other species in modern seawater and T.suecica outgrew the others in Paleozoic water. Synechococcus sp. grew best in Proterozoic seawater, but did not outgrow eukaryotic species in any treatment. Collectively, our results suggest that

  7. 32 CFR 705.24 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... shopping centers, malls, etc.) provided it is clearly established that such areas are places the general... exhibits may be forwarded to the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center via the local Navy recruiter with an information copy to the Chief of Information. The primary mission of the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center is...

  8. 32 CFR 705.24 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... shopping centers, malls, etc.) provided it is clearly established that such areas are places the general... exhibits may be forwarded to the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center via the local Navy recruiter with an information copy to the Chief of Information. The primary mission of the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center is...

  9. 32 CFR 705.24 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... shopping centers, malls, etc.) provided it is clearly established that such areas are places the general... exhibits may be forwarded to the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center via the local Navy recruiter with an information copy to the Chief of Information. The primary mission of the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center is...

  10. 32 CFR 705.24 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... shopping centers, malls, etc.) provided it is clearly established that such areas are places the general... exhibits may be forwarded to the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center via the local Navy recruiter with an information copy to the Chief of Information. The primary mission of the Navy Recruiting Exhibit Center is...

  11. 29 CFR 2200.70 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Relating to Labor (Continued) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION RULES OF PROCEDURE Hearings... separate file designated for rejected exhibits. (e) Return of physical exhibits. A party may on motion request the return of a physical exhibit within 30 days after expiration of the time for filing a...

  12. 29 CFR 2200.70 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Relating to Labor (Continued) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION RULES OF PROCEDURE Hearings... separate file designated for rejected exhibits. (e) Return of physical exhibits. A party may on motion request the return of a physical exhibit within 30 days after expiration of the time for filing a...

  13. 29 CFR 2200.70 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Relating to Labor (Continued) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION RULES OF PROCEDURE Hearings... separate file designated for rejected exhibits. (e) Return of physical exhibits. A party may on motion request the return of a physical exhibit within 30 days after expiration of the time for filing a...

  14. Evolutionary inspirations for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Yu; Chen, Ling-Ling; Li, Xue-Juan; Zhang, Jian

    2010-10-01

    Conceptual innovations are needed to address the challenge of 'more investments, fewer drugs' in the pharmaceutical industry. Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 150 years ago, evolution has been a central concept in biology. In this article, we show that evolutionary concepts are also helpful to streamline the drug-discovery pipeline through facilitating the discovery of targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, the antioxidant paradox can be addressed by an evolutionary methodology. Through examining the evolved biological roles of natural polyphenols (which dominate current antioxidant drug discovery), we reveal that polyphenols (particularly flavonoids) are not evolved for scavenging free radicals. This finding provides new clues to understanding why the strong in vitro antioxidant activities of polyphenols cannot be translated into in vivo effects. Polyphenols have evolved a superior ability to bind various proteins, so we also argue that they are good starting points for multi-target drugs. PMID:20724009

  15. Evolutionary model of stock markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaldasch, Joachim

    2014-12-01

    The paper presents an evolutionary economic model for the price evolution of stocks. Treating a stock market as a self-organized system governed by a fast purchase process and slow variations of demand and supply the model suggests that the short term price distribution has the form a logistic (Laplace) distribution. The long term return can be described by Laplace-Gaussian mixture distributions. The long term mean price evolution is governed by a Walrus equation, which can be transformed into a replicator equation. This allows quantifying the evolutionary price competition between stocks. The theory suggests that stock prices scaled by the price over all stocks can be used to investigate long-term trends in a Fisher-Pry plot. The price competition that follows from the model is illustrated by examining the empirical long-term price trends of two stocks.

  16. Ultimate Realities: Deterministic and Evolutionary

    PubMed Central

    Moxley, Roy A

    2007-01-01

    References to ultimate reality commonly turn up in the behavioral literature as references to determinism. However, this determinism is often difficult to interpret. There are different kinds of determinisms as well as different kinds of ultimate realities for a behaviorist to consider. To clarify some of the issues involved, the views of ultimate realities are treated as falling along a continuum, with extreme views of complete indeterminism and complete determinism at either end and various mixes in between. Doing so brings into play evolutionary realities and the movement from indeterminism to determinism, as in Peirce's evolutionary cosmology. In addition, this framework helps to show how the views of determinism by B. F. Skinner and other behaviorists have shifted over time. PMID:22478489

  17. Evolutionary inspirations for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Yu; Chen, Ling-Ling; Li, Xue-Juan; Zhang, Jian

    2010-10-01

    Conceptual innovations are needed to address the challenge of 'more investments, fewer drugs' in the pharmaceutical industry. Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 150 years ago, evolution has been a central concept in biology. In this article, we show that evolutionary concepts are also helpful to streamline the drug-discovery pipeline through facilitating the discovery of targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, the antioxidant paradox can be addressed by an evolutionary methodology. Through examining the evolved biological roles of natural polyphenols (which dominate current antioxidant drug discovery), we reveal that polyphenols (particularly flavonoids) are not evolved for scavenging free radicals. This finding provides new clues to understanding why the strong in vitro antioxidant activities of polyphenols cannot be translated into in vivo effects. Polyphenols have evolved a superior ability to bind various proteins, so we also argue that they are good starting points for multi-target drugs.

  18. Eco-evolutionary dynamics: disentangling phenotypic, environmental and population fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Ezard, Thomas H G; Côté, Steeve D; Pelletier, Fanie

    2009-06-12

    Decomposing variation in population growth into contributions from both ecological and evolutionary processes is of fundamental concern, particularly in a world characterized by rapid responses to anthropogenic threats. Although the impact of ecological change on evolutionary response has long been acknowledged, the converse has predominantly been neglected, especially empirically. By applying a recently published conceptual framework, we assess and contrast the relative importance of phenotypic and environmental variability on annual population growth in five ungulate populations. In four of the five populations, the contribution of phenotypic variability was greater than the contribution of environmental variability, although not significantly so. The similarity in the contributions of environment and phenotype suggests that neither is worthy of neglect. Population growth is a consequence of multiple processes, which strengthens arguments advocating integrated approaches to assess how populations respond to their environments.

  19. Evolutionary speed of species invasions.

    PubMed

    García-Ramos, Gisela; Rodríguez, Diego

    2002-04-01

    Successful invasion may depend of the capacity of a species to adjust genetically to a spatially varying environment. This research modeled a species invasion by examining the interaction between a quantitative genetic trait and population density. It assumed: (I) a quantitative genetic trait describes the adaptation of an individual to its local ecological conditions; (2) populations far from the local optimum grow more slowly than those near the optimum; and (3) the evolution of a trait depends on local population density, because differences in local population densities cause asymmetrical gene flow. This genetics-density interaction determined the propagation speed of populations. Numerical simulations showed that populations spread by advancing as two synchronic traveling waves, one for population density and one for trait adaptation. The form of the density wave was a step front that advances homogenizing populations at their carrying capacity; the adaptation wave was a curve with finite slope that homogenizes populations at full adaptation. The largest speed of population expansion, for a dimensionless analysis, corresponded to an almost homogeneous spatial environment when this model approached an ecological description such as the Fisher-Skellam's model. A large genetic response also favored faster speeds. Evolutionary speeds, in a natural scale, showed a wide range of rates that were also slower compared to models that only consider demographics. This evolutionary speed increased with high heritability, strong stabilizing selection, and high intrinsic growth rate. It decreased for steeper environmental gradients. Also indicated was an optimal dispersal rate over which evolutionary speed declined. This is expected because dispersal moves individuals further, but homogenizes populations genetically, making them maladapted. The evolutionary speed was compared to observed data. Furthermore, a moderate increase in the speed of expansion was predicted for

  20. Exaptation, adaptation, and evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Armin

    2013-01-01

    One of the most well known methodological criticisms of evolutionary psychology is Gould's claim that the program pays too much attention to adaptations, and not enough to exaptations. Almost as well known is the standard rebuttal of that criticism: namely, that the study of exaptations in fact depends on the study of adaptations. However, as I try to show in this paper, it is premature to think that this is where this debate ends. First, the notion of exaptation that is commonly used in this debate is different from the one that Gould and Vrba originally defined. Noting this is particularly important, since, second, the standard reply to Gould's criticism only works if the criticism is framed in terms of the former notion of exaptation, and not the latter. However, third, this ultimately does not change the outcome of the debate much, as evolutionary psychologists can respond to the revamped criticism of their program by claiming that the original notion of exaptation is theoretically and empirically uninteresting. By discussing these issues further, I also seek to determine, more generally, which ways of approaching the adaptationism debate in evolutionary biology are useful, and which not.

  1. 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

  2. Evolutionary routes to stable ownership.

    PubMed

    Hare, D; Reeve, H K; Blossey, B

    2016-06-01

    Ownership can evolve in potentially any species. Drawing on insights from across disciplines, we distinguish between possession and ownership and present species-neutral criteria for ownership, defined as respect for possession. We use a variant of the tug-of-war evolutionary game to demonstrate how ownership can evolve in the form of a new, biologically realistic strategy, Restraint With Retaliation (RWR). In our game, resource holding potential (RHP) is assumed to be equal between interactants, and resource holding asymmetry determines whether ownership is adaptive. RWR will be evolutionarily stable when the ratio of resource holdings between interactants is relatively low, but not when this ratio is sufficiently high. We offer RWR as one evolutionary route to ownership among many, and discuss how ownership unites previously described behavioural phenomena across taxa. We propose that some but not all mechanisms of territory formation and maintenance can be considered ownership, and show that territories are not the only resources that can be owned. We argue that ownership can be a powerful cooperative solution to tragedies of the commons and problems of collective action throughout the biological world. We advance recent scholarship that has begun to investigate the biological importance of ownership, and we call for a comprehensive account of its evolutionary logic and taxonomic distribution. We propose that ownership should be considered a fundamental, unifying biological phenomenon. PMID:26991035

  3. Evolutionary routes to stable ownership.

    PubMed

    Hare, D; Reeve, H K; Blossey, B

    2016-06-01

    Ownership can evolve in potentially any species. Drawing on insights from across disciplines, we distinguish between possession and ownership and present species-neutral criteria for ownership, defined as respect for possession. We use a variant of the tug-of-war evolutionary game to demonstrate how ownership can evolve in the form of a new, biologically realistic strategy, Restraint With Retaliation (RWR). In our game, resource holding potential (RHP) is assumed to be equal between interactants, and resource holding asymmetry determines whether ownership is adaptive. RWR will be evolutionarily stable when the ratio of resource holdings between interactants is relatively low, but not when this ratio is sufficiently high. We offer RWR as one evolutionary route to ownership among many, and discuss how ownership unites previously described behavioural phenomena across taxa. We propose that some but not all mechanisms of territory formation and maintenance can be considered ownership, and show that territories are not the only resources that can be owned. We argue that ownership can be a powerful cooperative solution to tragedies of the commons and problems of collective action throughout the biological world. We advance recent scholarship that has begun to investigate the biological importance of ownership, and we call for a comprehensive account of its evolutionary logic and taxonomic distribution. We propose that ownership should be considered a fundamental, unifying biological phenomenon.

  4. Exogenous contrast agents for thermoacoustic imaging: An investigation into the underlying sources of contrast

    SciTech Connect

    Ogunlade, Olumide Beard, Paul

    2015-01-15

    Purpose: Thermoacoustic imaging at microwave excitation frequencies is limited by the low differential contrast exhibited by high water content tissues. To overcome this, exogenous thermoacoustic contrast agents based on gadolinium compounds, iron oxide, and single wall carbon nanotubes have previously been suggested and investigated. However, these previous studies did not fully characterize the electric, magnetic, and thermodynamic properties of these agents thus precluding identification of the underlying sources of contrast. To address this, measurements of the complex permittivity, complex permeability, DC conductivity, and Grüneisen parameter have been made. These measurements allowed the origins of the contrast provided by each substance to be identified. Methods: The electric and magnetic properties of the contrast agents were characterized at 3 GHz using two rectangular waveguide cavities. The DC conductivity was measured separately using a conductivity meter. Thermoacoustic signals were then acquired and compared to those generated in water. Finally, 3D electromagnetic simulations were used to decouple the different contributions to the absorbed power density. Results: It was found that the gadolinium compounds provided appreciable electric contrast but not originating from the gadolinium itself. The contrast was either due to dissociation of the gadolinium salt which increased ionic conductivity or its nondissociated polar fraction which increased dielectric polarization loss or a combination of both. In addition, very high concentrations were required to achieve appreciable contrast, to the extent that the Grüneisen parameter increased significantly and became a source of contrast. Iron oxide particles were found to produce low but measurable dielectric contrast due to dielectric polarization loss, but this is attributed to the coating of the particles not the iron oxide. Single wall carbon nanotubes did not provide measurable contrast of any type

  5. Effect of handling on positive and negative contrast effects.

    PubMed

    Fagen, J W; Rycek, R F

    1980-01-01

    The effects of early handling on the exhibition of positive and negative contrast effects were investigated. Over two 4-day testing sessions, animals were given alternating 1-min access periods to 2 bottles containing either 32 or 4% sucrose solutions. Measures of lick rate and latency to switch bottles revealed that both handled and nonhandled animals exhibited contrast effects of equal magnitudes. The results did not support an emotional interpretation of contrast effects but were interpreted as support for the perceptual theory of this phenomenon.

  6. Eco-evolutionary community dynamics: covariation between diversity and invasibility across temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Stegen, James C; Enquist, Brian J; Ferrière, Régis

    2012-10-01

    Understanding biodiversity gradients is a long-standing challenge, and progress requires theory unifying ecology and evolution. Here, we unify concepts related to the speed of evolution, the influence of species richness on diversification, and niche-based coexistence. We focus on the dynamics, through evolutionary time, of community invasibility and species richness across a broad thermal gradient. In our framework, the evolution of body size influences the ecological structure and dynamics of a trophic network, and organismal metabolism ties temperature to eco-evolutionary processes. The framework distinguishes ecological invasibility (governed by ecological interactions) from evolutionary invasibility (governed by local ecology and constraints imposed by small phenotypic effects of mutation). The model yields four primary predictions: (1) ecological invasibility declines through time and with increasing temperature; (2) average evolutionary invasibility across communities increases and then decreases through time as the richness-temperature gradient flattens; (3) in the early stages of diversification, richness and evolutionary invasibility both increase with increasing temperature; and (4) at equilibrium, richness does not vary with temperature, yet evolutionary invasibility decreases with increasing temperature. These predictions emerge from the "evolutionary-speed" hypothesis, which attempts to account for latitudinal species richness gradients by invoking faster biological rates in warmer, tropical regions. The model contrasts with predictions from other richness-gradient hypotheses, such as "niche conservatism" and "species energy." Empirically testing our model's predictions should help distinguish among these hypotheses. PMID:22976016

  7. Determination of contrast media administration to achieve a targeted contrast enhancement in CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahbaee, Pooyan; Li, Yuan; Segars, Paul; Marin, Daniele; Nelson, Rendon; Samei, Ehsan

    2015-03-01

    Contrast enhancement is a key component of CT imaging and offer opportunities for optimization. The design and optimization of new techniques however requires orchestration with the scan parameters and further a methodology to relate contrast enhancement and injection function. In this study, we used such a methodology to develop a method, analytical inverse method, to predict the required injection function to achieve a desired contrast enhancement in a given organ by incorporation of a physiologically based compartmental model. The method was evaluated across 32 different target contrast enhancement functions for aorta, kidney, stomach, small intestine, and liver. The results exhibited that the analytical inverse method offers accurate performance with error in the range of 10% deviation between the predicted and desired organ enhancement curves. However, this method is incapable of predicting the injection function based on the liver enhancement. The findings of this study can be useful in optimizing contrast medium injection function as well as the scan timing to provide more consistency in the way that the contrast enhanced CT examinations are performed. To our knowledge, this work is one of the first attempts to predict the contrast material injection function for a desired organ enhancement curve.

  8. Chimpanzees and bonobos exhibit emotional responses to decision outcomes.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Hare, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The interface between cognition, emotion, and motivation is thought to be of central importance in understanding complex cognitive functions such as decision-making and executive control in humans. Although nonhuman apes have complex repertoires of emotional expression, little is known about the role of affective processes in ape decision-making. To illuminate the evolutionary origins of human-like patterns of choice, we investigated decision-making in humans' closest phylogenetic relatives, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus). In two studies, we examined these species' temporal and risk preferences, and assessed whether apes show emotional and motivational responses in decision-making contexts. We find that (1) chimpanzees are more patient and more risk-prone than are bonobos, (2) both species exhibit affective and motivational responses following the outcomes of their decisions, and (3) some emotional and motivational responses map onto species-level and individual-differences in decision-making. These results indicate that apes do exhibit emotional responses to decision-making, like humans. We explore the hypothesis that affective and motivational biases may underlie the psychological mechanisms supporting value-based preferences in these species.

  9. Superconductive microstrip exhibiting negative differential resistivity

    DOEpatents

    Huebener, R.P.; Gallus, D.E.

    1975-10-28

    A device capable of exhibiting negative differential electrical resistivity over a range of values of current and voltage is formed by vapor- depositing a thin layer of a material capable of exhibiting superconductivity on an insulating substrate, establishing electrical connections at opposite ends of the deposited strip, and cooling the alloy into its superconducting range. The device will exhibit negative differential resistivity when biased in the current- induced resistive state.

  10. Phase Contrast Imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Menk, Ralf Hendrik

    2008-11-13

    All standard (medical) x-ray imaging technologies, rely primarily on the amplitude properties of the incident radiation, and do not depend on its phase. This is unchanged since the discovery by Roentgen that the intensity of an x-ray beam, as measured by the exposure on a film, was related to the relative transmission properties of an object. However, recently various imaging techniques have emerged which depend on the phase of the x-rays as well as the amplitude. Phase becomes important when the beam is coherent and the imaging system is sensitive to interference phenomena. Significant new advances have been made in coherent optic theory and techniques, which now promise phase information in medical imaging. The development of perfect crystal optics and the increasing availability of synchrotron radiation facilities have contributed to a significant increase in the application of phase based imaging in materials and life sciences. Unique source characteristics such as high intensity, monochromaticity, coherence and high collimating provide an ideal source for advanced imaging. Phase contrast imaging has been applied in both projection and computed tomography modes, and recent applications have been made in the field of medical imaging. Due to the underlying principle of X-ray detection conventional image receptors register only intensities of wave fields and not their phases. During the last decade basically five different methods were developed that translate the phase information into intensity variations. These methods are based on measuring the phase shift {phi} directly (using interference phenomena), the gradient {nabla}{sub {phi}}, or the Laplacian {nabla}{sup 2}{phi}. All three methods can be applied to polychromatic X-ray sources keeping in mind that the native source is synchrotron radiation, featuring monochromatic and reasonable coherent X-ray beams. Due to the vast difference in the coefficients that are driven absorption and phase effects (factor 1

  11. Lethal mutagenesis and evolutionary epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Martin, Guillaume; Gandon, Sylvain

    2010-06-27

    The lethal mutagenesis hypothesis states that within-host populations of pathogens can be driven to extinction when the load of deleterious mutations is artificially increased with a mutagen, and becomes too high for the population to be maintained. Although chemical mutagens have been shown to lead to important reductions in viral titres for a wide variety of RNA viruses, the theoretical underpinnings of this process are still not clearly established. A few recent models sought to describe lethal mutagenesis but they often relied on restrictive assumptions. We extend this earlier work in two novel directions. First, we derive the dynamics of the genetic load in a multivariate Gaussian fitness landscape akin to classical quantitative genetics models. This fitness landscape yields a continuous distribution of mutation effects on fitness, ranging from deleterious to beneficial (i.e. compensatory) mutations. We also include an additional class of lethal mutations. Second, we couple this evolutionary model with an epidemiological model accounting for the within-host dynamics of the pathogen. We derive the epidemiological and evolutionary equilibrium of the system. At this equilibrium, the density of the pathogen is expected to decrease linearly with the genomic mutation rate U. We also provide a simple expression for the critical mutation rate leading to extinction. Stochastic simulations show that these predictions are accurate for a broad range of parameter values. As they depend on a small set of measurable epidemiological and evolutionary parameters, we used available information on several viruses to make quantitative and testable predictions on critical mutation rates. In the light of this model, we discuss the feasibility of lethal mutagenesis as an efficient therapeutic strategy.

  12. Recognition memory reveals just how CONTRASTIVE contrastive accenting really is

    PubMed Central

    Fraundorf, Scott H.; Watson, Duane G.; Benjamin, Aaron S.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of pitch accenting on memory were investigated in three experiments. Participants listened to short recorded discourses that contained contrast sets with two items (e.g. British scientists and French scientists); a continuation specified one item from the set. Pitch accenting on the critical word in the continuation was manipulated between non-contrastive (H* in the ToBI system) and contrastive (L+H*). On subsequent recognition memory tests, the L+H* accent increased hits to correct statements and correct rejections of the contrast item (Experiments 1–3), but did not impair memory for other parts of the discourse (Experiment 2). L+H* also did not facilitate correct rejections of lures not in the contrast set (Experiment 3), indicating that contrastive accents do not simply strengthen the representation of the target item. These results suggest comprehenders use pitch accenting to encode and update information about multiple elements in a contrast set. PMID:20835405

  13. Episodic chromosomal evolution in Planipapillus (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae): a phylogenetic approach to evolutionary dynamics and speciation.

    PubMed

    Rockman, Matthew V; Rowell, David M

    2002-01-01

    Planipapillus, a clade of onychophorans from southeastern Australia, exhibits substantial chromosomal variation. In the context of a robust phylogeny based on nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data, we evaluate models of chromosomal evolution and speciation that differ in the roles assigned to selection, mutation, and drift. Permutation tests suggest that all chromosome rearrangements in the clade have been centric fusions and, on the basis of parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods with independent estimates of branch lengths, we conclude that at least 31 centric fusions have been fixed in Planipapillus. A likelihood-ratio test approach, which is independent of our point estimates of ancestral states, rejects an evolutionary model in which the mutation rate is constant and centric fusions are effectively neutral. In contrast to the nucleotide sequence data, which are consistent with neutrality and rate constancy, centric fusions in Planipapillus are underdominant, spontaneous fusion rates vary among lineages, or both. We predict an inverse relationship between rates of chromosomal evolution and historical population size. Chromosomal evolution may play a role in speciation in Planipapillus, both by interactions between centric fusions with monobrachial homology and by the accumulation of multiple weakly underdominant fusions.

  14. High inbreeding, limited recombination and divergent evolutionary patterns between two sympatric morel species in China

    PubMed Central

    Du, Xi-Hui; Zhao, Qi; Xu, Jianping; Yang, Zhu L.

    2016-01-01

    As highly prized, popular mushrooms, morels are widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, with China as a modern centre of speciation and diversity. Overharvesting of morels has caused concern over how to effectively preserve their biological and genetic diversity. However, little is known about their population biology and life cycle. In this study, we selected two sympatric phylogenetic species, Mel-13 (124 collections from 11 geographical locations) and Morchella eohespera (156 collections from 14 geographical locations), using fragments of 4 DNA sequences, to analyse their genetic structure. Our results indicated significant differentiation among geographic locations in both species, whereas no obvious correlation between genetic and geographic distance was identified in either species. M. eohespera exhibited a predominantly clonal population structure with limited recombination detected in only 1 of the 14 geographic locations. In contrast, relatively frequent recombination was identified in 6 of the 11 geographic locations of Mel-13. Our analysis indicated that the sympatric species Mel-13 and M. eohespera might have divergent evolutionary patterns, with the former showing signatures of recent population expansion and the latter being relatively stable. Interestingly, we found no heterozygosity but strong evidence for genealogical incongruence, indicating a high level of inbreeding and hybridisation among morel species. PMID:26928176

  15. High inbreeding, limited recombination and divergent evolutionary patterns between two sympatric morel species in China.

    PubMed

    Du, Xi-Hui; Zhao, Qi; Xu, Jianping; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-03-01

    As highly prized, popular mushrooms, morels are widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, with China as a modern centre of speciation and diversity. Overharvesting of morels has caused concern over how to effectively preserve their biological and genetic diversity. However, little is known about their population biology and life cycle. In this study, we selected two sympatric phylogenetic species, Mel-13 (124 collections from 11 geographical locations) and Morchella eohespera (156 collections from 14 geographical locations), using fragments of 4 DNA sequences, to analyse their genetic structure. Our results indicated significant differentiation among geographic locations in both species, whereas no obvious correlation between genetic and geographic distance was identified in either species. M. eohespera exhibited a predominantly clonal population structure with limited recombination detected in only 1 of the 14 geographic locations. In contrast, relatively frequent recombination was identified in 6 of the 11 geographic locations of Mel-13. Our analysis indicated that the sympatric species Mel-13 and M. eohespera might have divergent evolutionary patterns, with the former showing signatures of recent population expansion and the latter being relatively stable. Interestingly, we found no heterozygosity but strong evidence for genealogical incongruence, indicating a high level of inbreeding and hybridisation among morel species.

  16. Major evolutionary transitions of life, metabolic scaling and the number and size of mitochondria and chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Okie, Jordan G; Smith, Val H; Martin-Cereceda, Mercedes

    2016-05-25

    We investigate the effects of trophic lifestyle and two types of major evolutionary transitions in individuality-the endosymbiotic acquisition of organelles and development of multicellularity-on organellar and cellular metabolism and allometry. We develop a quantitative framework linking the size and metabolic scaling of eukaryotic cells to the abundance, size and metabolic scaling of mitochondria and chloroplasts and analyse a newly compiled, unprecedented database representing unicellular and multicellular cells covering diverse phyla and tissues. Irrespective of cellularity, numbers and total volumes of mitochondria scale linearly with cell volume, whereas chloroplasts scale sublinearly and sizes of both organelles remain largely invariant with cell size. Our framework allows us to estimate the metabolic scaling exponents of organelles and cells. Photoautotrophic cells and organelles exhibit photosynthetic scaling exponents always less than one, whereas chemoheterotrophic cells and organelles have steeper respiratory scaling exponents close to one. Multicellularity has no discernible effect on the metabolic scaling of organelles and cells. In contrast, trophic lifestyle has a profound and uniform effect, and our results suggest that endosymbiosis fundamentally altered the metabolic scaling of free-living bacterial ancestors of mitochondria and chloroplasts, from steep ancestral scaling to a shallower scaling in their endosymbiotic descendants. PMID:27194700

  17. Evolutionary Constraints to Viroid Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Elena, Santiago F.; Gómez, Gustavo; Daròs, José-Antonio

    2009-01-01

    We suggest that viroids are trapped into adaptive peaks as the result of adaptive constraints. The first one is imposed by the necessity to fold into packed structures to escape from RNA silencing. This creates antagonistic epistases, which make future adaptive trajectories contingent upon the first mutation and slow down the rate of adaptation. This second constraint can only be surpassed by increasing genetic redundancy or by recombination. Eigen’s paradox imposes a limit to the increase in genome complexity in the absence of mechanisms reducing mutation rate. Therefore, recombination appears as the only possible route to evolutionary innovation in viroids. PMID:21994548

  18. Metabolism at evolutionary optimal States.

    PubMed

    Rabbers, Iraes; van Heerden, Johan H; Nordholt, Niclas; Bachmann, Herwig; Teusink, Bas; Bruggeman, Frank J

    2015-01-01

    Metabolism is generally required for cellular maintenance and for the generation of offspring under conditions that support growth. The rates, yields (efficiencies), adaptation time and robustness of metabolism are therefore key determinants of cellular fitness. For biotechnological applications and our understanding of the evolution of metabolism, it is necessary to figure out how the functional system properties of metabolism can be optimized, via adjustments of the kinetics and expression of enzymes, and by rewiring metabolism. The trade-offs that can occur during such optimizations then indicate fundamental limits to evolutionary innovations and bioengineering. In this paper, we review several theoretical and experimental findings about mechanisms for metabolic optimization. PMID:26042723

  19. Evolutionary shaping of demographic schedules

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary processes of natural selection may be expected to leave their mark on age patterns of survival and reproduction. Demographic theory includes three main strands—mutation accumulation, stochastic vitality, and optimal life histories. This paper reviews the three strands and, concentrating on mutation accumulation, extends a mathematical result with broad implications concerning the effect of interactions between small age-specific effects of deleterious mutant alleles. Empirical data from genomic sequencing along with prospects for combining strands of theory hold hope for future progress. PMID:25024186

  20. 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

  1. Policy folklists and evolutionary theory

    PubMed Central

    O’Neill, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Policy folklists present a set of alleged historical facts seen as relevant to some social issue. Although the validity of these folklists is dubious, leaders and writers circulate them in the media, variants arise, and the lists continue on, sometimes for decades. Folklists are repeated because their messages are appealing and their users are credible. Because folklists are on the record, we can examine their origins and changes. This report draws an analogy with evolutionary theory and suggests that biological mechanisms of self-repair, boundary maintenance, plasticity, speciation, and predation have significant interpretations for folklists, and clarify how the lists win the credence of otherwise skeptical people. PMID:25024210

  2. Metabolism at Evolutionary Optimal States

    PubMed Central

    Rabbers, Iraes; van Heerden, Johan H.; Nordholt, Niclas; Bachmann, Herwig; Teusink, Bas; Bruggeman, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Metabolism is generally required for cellular maintenance and for the generation of offspring under conditions that support growth. The rates, yields (efficiencies), adaptation time and robustness of metabolism are therefore key determinants of cellular fitness. For biotechnological applications and our understanding of the evolution of metabolism, it is necessary to figure out how the functional system properties of metabolism can be optimized, via adjustments of the kinetics and expression of enzymes, and by rewiring metabolism. The trade-offs that can occur during such optimizations then indicate fundamental limits to evolutionary innovations and bioengineering. In this paper, we review several theoretical and experimental findings about mechanisms for metabolic optimization. PMID:26042723

  3. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.

  4. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    PubMed

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  5. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    PubMed

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  6. Evolutionary dynamics on interdependent populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Gardeñes, Jesús; Gracia-Lázaro, Carlos; Floría, Luis Mario; Moreno, Yamir

    2012-11-01

    Although several mechanisms can promote cooperative behavior, there is no general consensus about why cooperation survives when the most profitable action for an individual is to defect, especially when the population is well mixed. Here we show that when a replicator such as evolutionary game dynamics takes place on interdependent networks, cooperative behavior is fixed on the system. Remarkably, we analytically and numerically show that this is even the case for well-mixed populations. Our results open the path to mechanisms able to sustain cooperation and can provide hints for controlling its rise and fall in a variety of biological and social systems.

  7. Maximized Posttest Contrasts: A Clarification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hollingsworth, Holly

    1980-01-01

    A solution to some problems of maximized contrasts for analysis of variance situations when the cell sizes are unequal is offered. It is demonstrated that a contrast is maximized relative to the analysis used to compute the sum of squares between groups. Interpreting a maximum contrast is discussed. (Author/GK)

  8. Contrastive Analysis and Language Tendencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ree, Joe J.

    The purpose of this paper is to show that: (1) language universals have much to offer to students of contrastive linguistics, and (2) in order to make contrastive analysis more meaningful, one ought to go beyond cataloguing mere contrastive structure statements and capture underlying structural tendencies. Some characteristics of word order in…

  9. Life history determines genetic structure and evolutionary potential of host–parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Luke G.; Thrall, Peter H.; Burdon, Jeremy J.; Linde, Celeste C.

    2009-01-01

    Measures of population genetic structure and diversity of disease-causing organisms are commonly used to draw inferences regarding their evolutionary history and potential to generate new variation in traits that determine interactions with their hosts. Parasite species exhibit a range of population structures and life-history strategies, including different transmission modes, life-cycle complexity, off-host survival mechanisms and dispersal ability. These are important determinants of the frequency and predictability of interactions with host species. Yet the complex causal relationships between spatial structure, life history and the evolutionary dynamics of parasite populations are not well understood. We demonstrate that a clear picture of the evolutionary potential of parasitic organisms and their demographic and evolutionary histories can only come from understanding the role of life history and spatial structure in influencing population dynamics and epidemiological patterns. PMID:18947899

  10. Dynamics of evolutionary radiation under ecological neutrality.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takanori Mizuno; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-10-01

    The most spectacular phenomenon of evolutionary biota is the explosive radiation that occurs in depauperate environments in which there are fewer competitors and predators, such as oceanic islands and crater lakes. Adaptation to divergent niches has been proposed as a major cause for this accelerated speciation. Here, we show that neutral mutation, genetic drift, and neutral community dynamics are sufficient to lead to radiation. In addition, these processes yield overshooting dynamics with a decline in species richness in the later stages of radiation. We constructed an ecologically neutral model for a community on an island with a uniform environment. For the speciation process, we introduced a null model with minimal assumptions in which the incompatibilities between alleles in different lineages evolve by a random accumulation of mutations via genetic drift. Our simulations showed that the speciation rate, extinction rate and genetic variation of the species colonizing the island rapidly increased to a sharp peak followed by a decrease that approached zero. Because the extinction rate reached a peak later than the speciation rate, the species richness initially increased, but declined in the later stage, exhibiting "overshooting". The highest species richness was found for the largest island at the largest initial population size. Accordingly, speciation is accelerated by the large population size of depauperate biota, whereas it is decelerated with increasing species richness from the decreasing population size. Explosive radiation without ecological divergence can occur in depauperate environments via neutral stochastic processes. PMID:27297287

  11. The evolutionary history of division of labour

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Carl

    2012-01-01

    Functional specialization, or division of labour (DOL), of parts within organisms and colonies is common in most multi-cellular, colonial and social organisms, but it is far from ubiquitous. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the evolutionary origins of DOL; the basic feature common to all of them is that functional differences can arise easily. These mechanisms cannot explain the many groups of colonial and social animals that exhibit no DOL despite up to 500 million years of evolution. Here, I propose a new hypothesis, based on a multi-level selection theory, which predicts that a reproductive DOL is required to evolve prior to subsequent functional specialization. I test this hypothesis using a dataset consisting of the type of DOL for living and extinct colonial and social animals. The frequency distribution of DOL and the sequence of its acquisition confirm that reproductive specialization evolves prior to functional specialization. A corollary of this hypothesis is observed in colonial, social and also within multi-cellular organisms; those species without a reproductive DOL have a smaller range of internal variation, in terms of the number of polymorphs or cell types, than species with a reproductive DOL. PMID:21561969

  12. Evolutionary model of the personal income distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaldasch, Joachim

    2012-11-01

    The aim of this work is to develop a qualitative picture of the personal income distribution. Treating an economy as a self-organized system the key idea of the model is that the income distribution contains competitive and non-competitive contributions. The presented model distinguishes between three main income classes. 1. Capital income from private firms is shown to be the result of an evolutionary competition between products. A direct consequence of this competition is Gibrat’s law suggesting a lognormal income distribution for small private firms. Taking into account an additional preferential attachment mechanism for large private firms the income distribution is supplemented by a power law (Pareto) tail. 2. Due to the division of labor a diversified labor market is seen as a non-competitive market. In this case wage income exhibits an exponential distribution. 3. Also included is income from a social insurance system. It can be approximated by a Gaussian peak. A consequence of this theory is that for short time intervals a fixed ratio of total labor (total capital) to net income exists (Cobb-Douglas relation). A comparison with empirical high resolution income data confirms this pattern of the total income distribution. The theory suggests that competition is the ultimate origin of the uneven income distribution.

  13. Evolutionary Structure Prediction of Stoichiometric Compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Qiang; Oganov, Artem

    2014-03-01

    In general, for a given ionic compound AmBn\\ at ambient pressure condition, its stoichiometry reflects the valence state ratio between per chemical specie (i.e., the charges for each anion and cation). However, compounds under high pressure exhibit significantly behavior, compared to those analogs at ambient condition. Here we developed a method to solve the crystal structure prediction problem based on the evolutionary algorithms, which can predict both the stable compounds and their crystal structures at arbitrary P,T-conditions, given just the set of chemical elements. By applying this method to a wide range of binary ionic systems (Na-Cl, Mg-O, Xe-O, Cs-F, etc), we discovered a lot of compounds with brand new stoichimetries which can become thermodynamically stable. Further electronic structure analysis on these novel compounds indicates that several factors can contribute to this extraordinary phenomenon: (1) polyatomic anions; (2) free electron localization; (3) emergence of new valence states; (4) metallization. In particular, part of the results have been confirmed by experiment, which warrants that this approach can play a crucial role in new materials design under extreme pressure conditions. This work is funded by DARPA (Grants No. W31P4Q1210008 and W31P4Q1310005), NSF (EAR-1114313 and DMR-1231586).

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26632984

  16. Encountering Nanotechnology in an Interactive Exhibition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murriello, Sandra E.; Knobel, Marcelo

    2008-01-01

    This article offers findings from a learning sciences-informed evaluation of a nanoscience and nanotechnology exhibition called Nano-Aventura (NanoAdventure), based on four interactive-collaborative games and two narrated videos. This traveling exhibition was developed in Brazil by the Museu Exploratorio de Ciencias for children and teenagers…

  17. Strategies for Determining Exhibit Effectiveness. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shettel, Harris H.; And Others

    This project was designed to develop research strategies and hypotheses for evaluating the effectiveness of exhibits. An exhibit on the role of the Federal Government in science and technology was used as the subject matter. Two basic groups of viewers were used, casual viewers and paid experimental viewers. Both were tested on knowledge gained…

  18. Memory and Mourning: An Exhibit History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eberle, Scott G.

    2005-01-01

    Mounted by the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, in 1993, and traveling nationally thereafter, the exhibit Memory and Mourning provided historical and contemporary perspectives to help museum guests explore their own reactions to loss and grief. In the process the exhibit's development team encountered a range of philosophical, historical,…

  19. Science Fiction Exhibits as STEM Gateways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robie, Samantha

    Women continue to hold less than a quarter of all STEM jobs in the United States, prompting many museums to develop programs and exhibits with the express goal of interesting young girls in scientific fields. At the same time, a number of recent museum exhibits have harnessed the popularity of pop culture and science fiction in order to interest general audiences in STEM subject matter, as well as using the exhibits as springboards to expand or shift mission goals and focus. Because science fiction appears to be successful at raising interest in STEM fields, it may be an effective way to garner the interest of young girls in STEM in particular. This research seeks to describe the ways in which museums are currently using science fiction exhibits to interest young girls in STEM fields and careers. Research focused on four institutions across the country hosting three separate exhibits, and included staff interviews and content analysis of exhibit descriptions, promotional materials, a summative evaluation and supplementary exhibit productions. In some ways, science fiction exhibits do serve young girls, primarily through the inclusion of female role models, staff awareness, and prototype testing to ensure interactives are attractive to girls as well as to boys. However, STEM appears to be underutilized, which may be partly due to a concern within the field that the outcome of targeting a specific gender could be construed as "stereotyping".

  20. Learning4Life on the Exhibit Floor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Margaret

    2009-01-01

    The exhibit floor is a wealth of knowledge. One can read, view, and listen to information presented in many formats. Somewhere on the exhibit floor there are experts on every topic, ready and waiting for one's questions. But like any research topic, frequently a structured search is required to find the best answers. This article discusses how to…

  1. Contrast-dependent OFF-dominance in cat primary visual cortex facilitates discrimination of stimuli with natural contrast statistics.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kefei; Yao, Haishan

    2014-06-01

    Both theoretical and experimental studies suggest that response properties in the visual system are shaped by signals in the natural environment. Recent studies showed that, in the primary visual cortex (V1), neurons preferring light decrements (OFF stimuli) outnumber those preferring light increments (ON stimuli). However, it is not clear whether the OFF-dominance in V1 neurons is related to the contrast statistics in natural images. By analysing the distribution of negative and positive contrasts in natural images at several spatial scales, we showed that optimal coding of the natural contrast signals would lead to a contrast-dependent OFF-dominant response, with a stronger degree of OFF-dominance at a higher contrast. Using bright and dark stimuli at various contrast levels to measure the receptive fields of neurons in cat V1, we found an increasing degree of OFF-dominance of the neuronal population as the contrast was increased. By modeling receptive fields exhibiting OFF- and ON-dominance, we found that contrast-dependent OFF-dominance facilitated the discrimination of stimuli with natural contrast distribution. Thus, by matching contrast-dependent OFF-dominance to the statistics of contrast distribution in natural images, V1 neurons may better discriminate contrast information in natural scenes.

  2. Language as an evolutionary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brighton, Henry; Smith, Kenny; Kirby, Simon

    2005-09-01

    John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry argued that human language signified the eighth major transition in evolution: human language marked a new form of information transmission from one generation to another [Maynard Smith J, Szathmáry E. The major transitions in evolution. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press; 1995]. According to this view language codes cultural information and as such forms the basis for the evolution of complexity in human culture. In this article we develop the theory that language also codes information in another sense: languages code information on their own structure. As a result, languages themselves provide information that influences their own survival. To understand the consequences of this theory we discuss recent computational models of linguistic evolution. Linguistic evolution is the process by which languages themselves evolve. This article draws together this recent work on linguistic evolution and highlights the significance of this process in understanding the evolution of linguistic complexity. Our conclusions are that: (1) the process of linguistic transmission constitutes the basis for an evolutionary system, and (2), that this evolutionary system is only superficially comparable to the process of biological evolution.

  3. The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide

    PubMed Central

    Aubin, Henri-Jean; Berlin, Ivan; Kornreich, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent—Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a “suicidal” feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory. PMID:24351787

  4. Behavior Trees for Evolutionary Robotics.

    PubMed

    Scheper, Kirk Y W; Tijmons, Sjoerd; de Visser, Cornelis C; de Croon, Guido C H E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary Robotics allows robots with limited sensors and processing to tackle complex tasks by means of sensory-motor coordination. In this article we show the first application of the Behavior Tree framework on a real robotic platform using the evolutionary robotics methodology. This framework is used to improve the intelligibility of the emergent robotic behavior over that of the traditional neural network formulation. As a result, the behavior is easier to comprehend and manually adapt when crossing the reality gap from simulation to reality. This functionality is shown by performing real-world flight tests with the 20-g DelFly Explorer flapping wing micro air vehicle equipped with a 4-g onboard stereo vision system. The experiments show that the DelFly can fully autonomously search for and fly through a window with only its onboard sensors and processing. The success rate of the optimized behavior in simulation is 88%, and the corresponding real-world performance is 54% after user adaptation. Although this leaves room for improvement, it is higher than the 46% success rate from a tuned user-defined controller. PMID:26606468

  5. Behavior Trees for Evolutionary Robotics.

    PubMed

    Scheper, Kirk Y W; Tijmons, Sjoerd; de Visser, Cornelis C; de Croon, Guido C H E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary Robotics allows robots with limited sensors and processing to tackle complex tasks by means of sensory-motor coordination. In this article we show the first application of the Behavior Tree framework on a real robotic platform using the evolutionary robotics methodology. This framework is used to improve the intelligibility of the emergent robotic behavior over that of the traditional neural network formulation. As a result, the behavior is easier to comprehend and manually adapt when crossing the reality gap from simulation to reality. This functionality is shown by performing real-world flight tests with the 20-g DelFly Explorer flapping wing micro air vehicle equipped with a 4-g onboard stereo vision system. The experiments show that the DelFly can fully autonomously search for and fly through a window with only its onboard sensors and processing. The success rate of the optimized behavior in simulation is 88%, and the corresponding real-world performance is 54% after user adaptation. Although this leaves room for improvement, it is higher than the 46% success rate from a tuned user-defined controller.

  6. Physical foundations of evolutionary theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Annila, Arto; Salthe, Stanley

    2010-10-01

    The theory of evolution by natural selection is herein subsumed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The mathematical form of evolutionary theory is based on a re-examination of the probability concept that underlies statistical physics. Probability regarded as physical must include, in addition to isoenergic combinatorial configurations, also energy in conditional circumstances. Consequently, entropy as an additive logarithmic probability measure is found to be a function of the free energy, and the process toward the maximum entropy state is found equivalent to evolution toward the free energy minimum in accordance with the basic maxim of chemical thermodynamics. The principle of increasing entropy when given as an equation of motion reveals that expansion, proliferation, differentiation, diversification, and catalysis are all ways for a system to evolve toward the stationary state in its respective surroundings. Intriguingly, the equation of evolution cannot be solved when there remain degrees of freedom to consume the free energy, and hence evolutionary trajectories of a non-Hamiltonian system remain intractable. Finally, when to-and-from flows of energy are balanced between a system and its surroundings, the system is at the Lyapunov-stable stationary state. The principle of maximal energy dispersal, equivalent to the maximal rate of entropy production, gives rise to the ubiquitous characteristics, conventions, and regularities found in nature, where thermodynamics makes no demarcation line between animate and inanimate.

  7. Evolutionary expansion of the Monogenea.

    PubMed

    Kearn, G C

    1994-12-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the monogeneans has taken place in parallel with the diversification of the fish-like vertebrates. In this article the main trends in monogenean evolution are traced from a hypothetical skin-parasitic ancestor on early vertebrates. Special consideration is given to the following topics: early divergence between skin feeders and blood feeders; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to skin; transfer from host to host, viviparity and the success of the gyrodactylids; predation on skin parasites and camouflage; colonization of the buccal and branchial cavities; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to the gills; phoresy in gill parasites; the development of endoparasitism and the origin of the cestodes; the success of dactylogyroidean gill parasites; the uniqueness of the polyopisthocotyleans; ovoviviparity and the colonization of the tetrapods. Host specificity has been the guiding force of coevolution between monogeneans and their vertebrate hosts, but the establishment of monogeneans on unrelated hosts sharing the same environment (host-switching) may have been underestimated. Host-switching has provided significant opportunities for evolutionary change of direction and is probably responsible for the establishment of monogeneans on cephalopod molluscs, on the hippopotamus and possibly on chelonians. There are indications that host-switching may be more common in monogeneans that spread by direct transfer of adults/juveniles from host to host. A limitation on the further expansion of monogeneans is the need for water for the dispersal of the infective larva (oncomiracidium).

  8. Measuring Evolutionary Isolation for Conservation.

    PubMed

    Redding, David W; Mazel, Florent; Mooers, Arne Ø

    2014-01-01

    Conservation planning needs to account for limited resources when choosing those species on which to focus attention and resources. Currently, funding is biased to small sections of the tree of life, such as raptors and carnivores. One new approach for increasing the diversity of species under consideration considers how many close relatives a species has in its evolutionary tree. At least eleven different ways to measure this characteristic on phylogenies for the purposes of setting species-specific priorities for conservation have been proposed. We find that there is much redundancy within the current set, with three pairs of metrics being essentially identical. Non-redundant metrics represent different trade-offs between the unique evolutionary history represented by a species verses its average distance to all other species. Depending on which metric is used, species priority lists can differ as much as 85% for the top 100 species. We call for some consensus on the theory behind these metrics and suggest that all future developments are compared to the current published set, and offer scripts to aid such comparisons.

  9. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the "equilibrium state" by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  10. [Evolutionary endocrinology: a pending matter].

    PubMed

    Zafón, Carles

    2012-01-01

    Twenty years have passed since the foundational article of what is now known as evolutionary medicine (EM) was published. This young medical discipline examines, following Darwinian principles, susceptibility to certain diseases and how we react to them. In short, EM analyzes the final cause of the disease from a historical perspective. Over the years, EM has been introduced in various medical areas in very different ways. While it has found a role in some fields such as infectious diseases and oncology, its contribution in other areas has been quite limited. In endocrinology, EM has only gained prominence as a basis for the so-called "diseases of civilization", including diabetes mellitus and obesity. However, many experts suggest that it may have a much higher potential. The aim of this paper is to provide a view about what evolutionary medicine is. Some examples of how EM may contribute to progress of our specialty are also given. There is no doubt that evolution enriches medicine, but medicine also offers knowledge to evolution. PMID:22113050

  11. 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

  12. The evolutionary puzzle of suicide.

    PubMed

    Aubin, Henri-Jean; Berlin, Ivan; Kornreich, Charles

    2013-12-09

    Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution's first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent-Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a "suicidal" feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory.

  13. DED: Database of Evolutionary Distances.

    PubMed

    Veeramachaneni, Vamsi; Makalowski, Wojciech

    2005-01-01

    A large database of homologous sequence alignments with good estimates of evolutionary distances can be a valuable resource for molecular evolutionary studies and phylogenetic research in particular. We recently created a database containing 159,921 transcripts from human, mouse, rat, zebrafish and fugu species. Approximately 1,000 homology groups were identified with the help of Ensembl homology evidence. At the macro-level, the database allows us to answer queries of the form: 1. What is the average k-distance between 5' untranslated regions of human and mouse? 2. List the 10 groups with the highest K(a)/K(s) ratio between mouse and rat. 3. List all identical proteins between human and rat. Researchers interested in specific proteins can use a simple web interface to retrieve the homology groups of interest, examine all pairwise distances between members of the group and study the conservation of exon-intron gene structures using a graphical interface. The database is available at http://warta.bio.psu.edu/DED/.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Perceived contrast in complex images

    PubMed Central

    Haun, Andrew M.; Peli, Eli

    2013-01-01

    To understand how different spatial frequencies contribute to the overall perceived contrast of complex, broadband photographic images, we adapted the classification image paradigm. Using natural images as stimuli, we randomly varied relative contrast amplitude at different spatial frequencies and had human subjects determine which images had higher contrast. Then, we determined how the random variations corresponded with the human judgments. We found that the overall contrast of an image is disproportionately determined by how much contrast is between 1 and 6 c/°, around the peak of the contrast sensitivity function (CSF). We then employed the basic components of contrast psychophysics modeling to show that the CSF alone is not enough to account for our results and that an increase in gain control strength toward low spatial frequencies is necessary. One important consequence of this is that contrast constancy, the apparent independence of suprathreshold perceived contrast and spatial frequency, will not hold during viewing of natural images. We also found that images with darker low-luminance regions tended to be judged as having higher overall contrast, which we interpret as the consequence of darker local backgrounds resulting in higher band-limited contrast response in the visual system. PMID:24190908

  17. Evolutionary patterns of genic DNA methylation vary across land plants.

    PubMed

    Takuno, Shohei; Ran, Jin-Hua; Gaut, Brandon S

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about patterns of genic DNA methylation across the plant kingdom or about the evolutionary processes that shape them. To characterize gene-body methylation (gbM) within exons, we have gathered single-base resolution methylome data that span the phylogenetic breadth of land plants. We find that a basal land plant, Marchantia polymorpha, lacks any evident signal of gbM within exons, but conifers have high levels of both CG and CHG (where H is A, C or T) methylation in expressed genes. To begin to understand the evolutionary forces that shape gbM, we first tested for correlations in methylation levels across orthologues(1,2). Genic CG methylation levels, but not CHG or CHH levels, are correlated across orthologues for species as distantly related as ferns and angiosperms. Hence, relative levels of CG methylation are a consistent property across genes, even for species that diverged ∼400 million years ago(3,4). In contrast, genic CHG methylation correlates with genome size, suggesting that the host epigenetic response to transposable elements also affects genes. Altogether, our data indicate that the evolutionary forces acting on DNA methylation vary substantially across species, genes and methylation contexts. PMID:27249194

  18. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  19. Top predators induce the evolutionary diversification of intermediate predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct. PMID:26431773

  20. Quantitative evolutionary dynamics using high-resolution lineage tracking.

    PubMed

    Levy, Sasha F; Blundell, Jamie R; Venkataram, Sandeep; Petrov, Dmitri A; Fisher, Daniel S; Sherlock, Gavin

    2015-03-12

    Evolution of large asexual cell populations underlies ∼30% of deaths worldwide, including those caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and cancer. However, the dynamics underlying these evolutionary processes remain poorly understood because they involve many competing beneficial lineages, most of which never rise above extremely low frequencies in the population. To observe these normally hidden evolutionary dynamics, we constructed a sequencing-based ultra high-resolution lineage tracking system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that allowed us to monitor the relative frequencies of ∼500,000 lineages simultaneously. In contrast to some expectations, we found that the spectrum of fitness effects of beneficial mutations is neither exponential nor monotonic. Early adaptation is a predictable consequence of this spectrum and is strikingly reproducible, but the initial small-effect mutations are soon outcompeted by rarer large-effect mutations that result in variability between replicates. These results suggest that early evolutionary dynamics may be deterministic for a period of time before stochastic effects become important.

  1. Top predators induce the evolutionary diversification of intermediate predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct.

  2. EvoOligo: oligonucleotide probe design with multiobjective evolutionary algorithms.

    PubMed

    Shin, Soo-Yong; Lee, In-Hee; Cho, Young-Min; Yang, Kyung-Ae; Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2009-12-01

    Probe design is one of the most important tasks in successful deoxyribonucleic acid microarray experiments. We propose a multiobjective evolutionary optimization method for oligonucleotide probe design based on the multiobjective nature of the probe design problem. The proposed multiobjective evolutionary approach has several distinguished features, compared with previous methods. First, the evolutionary approach can find better probe sets than existing simple filtering methods with fixed threshold values. Second, the multiobjective approach can easily incorporate the user's custom criteria or change the existing criteria. Third, our approach tries to optimize the combination of probes for the given set of genes, in contrast to other tools that independently search each gene for qualifying probes. Lastly, the multiobjective optimization method provides various sets of probe combinations, among which the user can choose, depending on the target application. The proposed method is implemented as a platform called EvoOligo and is available for service on the web. We test the performance of EvoOligo by designing probe sets for 19 types of Human Papillomavirus and 52 genes in the Arabidopsis Calmodulin multigene family. The design results from EvoOligo are proven to be superior to those from well-known existing probe design tools, such as OligoArray and OligoWiz.

  3. Evolutionary psychology: its programs, prospects, and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Neher, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The emerging specialty of evolutionary psychology presents a challenge to mainstream psychology. It proposes that cognitive, notjust more fundamental, traits in humans are grounded in dedicated evolutionary programs. Specifically, it maintains that the common assumption in psychology-that the complexities of our psyches have been largely freed from evolutionary constraints and are instead based in a general learning capacity-is mistaken. The major premises of evolutionary psychology are examined in light of arguments and evidence presented by both supporters and detractors. Although some of these premises are well grounded, others are questionable and limit the development of the specialty and its integration into mainstream psychology.

  4. An introduction to comparative evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer; Shackelford, Todd K

    2013-07-18

    Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press) proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of "comparative evolutionary psychology." This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate comparative and evolutionary approaches within their particular areas of study. We showcase the key contributions of these articles and highlight several empirical and theoretical challenges, as well as key future directions, for comparative evolutionary psychology.

  5. Child murder by parents and evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Susan Hatters; Cavney, James; Resnick, Phillip J

    2012-12-01

    This article explores the contribution of evolutionary theory to the understanding of causation and motive in filicide cases and also reviews special issues in the forensic evaluation of alleged perpetrators of filicide. Evolutionary social psychology seeks to understand the context in which our brains evolved, to understand human behaviors. The authors propose evolutionary theory as a framework theory to meaningfully appreciate research about filicide. Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens, this article reviews the research on filicide over the past 40 years, and describes epidemiologic and typologic studies of filicide, and theoretical analyses from a range of disciplines.

  6. Child murder by parents and evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Susan Hatters; Cavney, James; Resnick, Phillip J

    2012-12-01

    This article explores the contribution of evolutionary theory to the understanding of causation and motive in filicide cases and also reviews special issues in the forensic evaluation of alleged perpetrators of filicide. Evolutionary social psychology seeks to understand the context in which our brains evolved, to understand human behaviors. The authors propose evolutionary theory as a framework theory to meaningfully appreciate research about filicide. Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens, this article reviews the research on filicide over the past 40 years, and describes epidemiologic and typologic studies of filicide, and theoretical analyses from a range of disciplines. PMID:23107563

  7. Exact solution of an evolutionary model without aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onody, Roberto N.; de Medeiros, Nazareno G. F.

    1999-09-01

    We introduce an age-structured asexual population model containing all the relevant features of evolutionary aging theories. Beneficial as well as deleterious mutations, heredity, and arbitrary fecundity are present and managed by natural selection. An exact solution without aging is found. We show that fertility is associated with generalized forms of the Fibonacci sequence, while mutations and natural selection are merged into an integral equation which is solved by Fourier series. Average survival probabilities and Malthusian growth exponents are calculated and indicate that the system may exhibit mutational meltdown. The relevance of the model in the context of fissile reproduction groups like many protozoa and coelenterates is discussed.

  8. Evolutionary triangulation: informing genetic association studies with evolutionary evidence.

    PubMed

    Huang, Minjun; Graham, Britney E; Zhang, Ge; Harder, Reed; Kodaman, Nuri; Moore, Jason H; Muglia, Louis; Williams, Scott M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic studies of human diseases have identified many variants associated with pathogenesis and severity. However, most studies have used only statistical association to assess putative relationships to disease, and ignored other factors for evaluation. For example, evolution is a factor that has shaped disease risk, changing allele frequencies as human populations migrated into and inhabited new environments. Since many common variants differ among populations in frequency, as does disease prevalence, we hypothesized that patterns of disease and population structure, taken together, will inform association studies. Thus, the population distributions of allelic risk variants should reflect the distributions of their associated diseases. Evolutionary Triangulation (ET) exploits this evolutionary differentiation by comparing population structure among three populations with variable patterns of disease prevalence. By selecting populations based on patterns where two have similar rates of disease that differ substantially from a third, we performed a proof of principle analysis for this method. We examined three disease phenotypes, lactase persistence, melanoma, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. We show that for lactase persistence, a phenotype with a simple genetic architecture, ET identifies the key gene, lactase. For melanoma, ET identifies several genes associated with this disease and/or phenotypes related to it, such as skin color genes. ET was less obviously successful for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, perhaps because of the small effect sizes in known risk loci and recent environmental changes that have altered disease risk. Alternatively, ET may have revealed new genes involved in conferring disease risk for diabetes that did not meet nominal GWAS significance thresholds. We also compared ET to another method used to filter for phenotype associated genes, population branch statistic (PBS), and show that ET performs better in identifying genes known to associate with

  9. Evolutionary triangulation: informing genetic association studies with evolutionary evidence.

    PubMed

    Huang, Minjun; Graham, Britney E; Zhang, Ge; Harder, Reed; Kodaman, Nuri; Moore, Jason H; Muglia, Louis; Williams, Scott M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic studies of human diseases have identified many variants associated with pathogenesis and severity. However, most studies have used only statistical association to assess putative relationships to disease, and ignored other factors for evaluation. For example, evolution is a factor that has shaped disease risk, changing allele frequencies as human populations migrated into and inhabited new environments. Since many common variants differ among populations in frequency, as does disease prevalence, we hypothesized that patterns of disease and population structure, taken together, will inform association studies. Thus, the population distributions of allelic risk variants should reflect the distributions of their associated diseases. Evolutionary Triangulation (ET) exploits this evolutionary differentiation by comparing population structure among three populations with variable patterns of disease prevalence. By selecting populations based on patterns where two have similar rates of disease that differ substantially from a third, we performed a proof of principle analysis for this method. We examined three disease phenotypes, lactase persistence, melanoma, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. We show that for lactase persistence, a phenotype with a simple genetic architecture, ET identifies the key gene, lactase. For melanoma, ET identifies several genes associated with this disease and/or phenotypes related to it, such as skin color genes. ET was less obviously successful for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, perhaps because of the small effect sizes in known risk loci and recent environmental changes that have altered disease risk. Alternatively, ET may have revealed new genes involved in conferring disease risk for diabetes that did not meet nominal GWAS significance thresholds. We also compared ET to another method used to filter for phenotype associated genes, population branch statistic (PBS), and show that ET performs better in identifying genes known to associate with

  10. Evolutionary rescue: linking theory for conservation and medicine.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Helen K; Martin, Guillaume; Martin, Oliver Y; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Evolutionary responses that rescue populations from extinction when drastic environmental changes occur can be friend or foe. The field of conservation biology is concerned with the survival of species in deteriorating global habitats. In medicine, in contrast, infected patients are treated with chemotherapeutic interventions, but drug resistance can compromise eradication of pathogens. These contrasting biological systems and goals have created two quite separate research communities, despite addressing the same central question of whether populations will decline to extinction or be rescued through evolution. We argue that closer integration of the two fields, especially of theoretical understanding, would yield new insights and accelerate progress on these applied problems. Here, we overview and link mathematical modelling approaches in these fields, suggest specific areas with potential for fruitful exchange, and discuss common ideas and issues for empirical testing and prediction. PMID:25558278

  11. Evolutionary rescue: linking theory for conservation and medicine

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Helen K; Martin, Guillaume; Martin, Oliver Y; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary responses that rescue populations from extinction when drastic environmental changes occur can be friend or foe. The field of conservation biology is concerned with the survival of species in deteriorating global habitats. In medicine, in contrast, infected patients are treated with chemotherapeutic interventions, but drug resistance can compromise eradication of pathogens. These contrasting biological systems and goals have created two quite separate research communities, despite addressing the same central question of whether populations will decline to extinction or be rescued through evolution. We argue that closer integration of the two fields, especially of theoretical understanding, would yield new insights and accelerate progress on these applied problems. Here, we overview and link mathematical modelling approaches in these fields, suggest specific areas with potential for fruitful exchange, and discuss common ideas and issues for empirical testing and prediction. PMID:25558278

  12. Contrasting evolutionary patterns of Lower Permian shelf and basinal facies, Midland basin, Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Mazzullo, S.J.; Reid, A.M.

    1987-05-01

    The evolution of carbonate and siliciclastic shelf-to-basin depositional systems of the Lower Permian in the Midland basin was influenced by eustatic fluctuations, changing shelf-margin biota, and concurrent tectonism. The development of these systems from Wolfcampian to Leonardian time (28-m.y. duration) involved seven distinct phases that are recognized seismically as third and lesser order cycles. These phases are (1) highstand progradational shelf carbonate packages, separated by low-stand deltaic and basinal shales, deposited during relatively long-term eustatic cycles (early Wolfcampian); the component carbonate systems evolved from ramps to distally steepened ramps associated with nonframe-building algal reefs and grainstones, with little resedimented foreshelf detritus; (2) dominantly carbonate deposition during the middle and early late Wolfcampian, with construction of offlapping (but laterally juxtaposed) progradational shelves with steep platform margins deposited during a lengthy period of stillstand and/or slow submergence; dolomitized platform-margin facies are composed of marine-cemented, sponge-algal reefs and grainstones, with resedimented carbonate megabreccia to micrite channels and lobes in the contiguous shale basin; (3) shelf emergence and erosion during a major late middle(.) to late Wolfcampian lowstand contemporaneous with basinwide tectonism, with mass wastage into the basin of the terminal Wolfcampian platform-margin carbonate section; (4) regional transgression and black shale deposition followed by a repeat of Phase 2 type systems in the latest Wolfcampian to earliest Leonardian but under arid conditions; rapid vertical platform margin accretion by dolomitized, marine-cemented, sponge-algal-coral reefs and grainstones, and deposition of thick foreshelf megabreccia wedges, aprons, channels, and lobes;

  13. Genetic structure along an elevational gradient in Hawaiian honeycreepers reveals contrasting evolutionary responses to avian malaria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eggert, L.S.; Terwilliger, L.A.; Woodworth, B.L.; Hart, P.J.; Palmer, D.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2008-01-01

    Background. The Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) are one of the best-known examples of an adaptive radiation, but their persistence today is threatened by the introduction of exotic pathogens and their vector, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Historically, species such as the amakihi (Hemignathus virens), the apapane (Himatione sanguinea), and the iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) were found from the coastal lowlands to the high elevation forests, but by the late 1800's they had become extremely rare in habitats below 900 m. Recently, however, populations of amakihi and apapane have been observed in low elevation habitats. We used twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate patterns of genetic structure, and to infer responses of these species to introduced avian malaria along an elevational gradient on the eastern flanks of Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. Results. Our results indicate that amakihi have genetically distinct, spatially structured populations that correspond with altitude. We detected very few apapane and no iiwi in low-elevation habitats, and genetic results reveal only minimal differentiation between populations at different altitudes in either of these species. Conclusion. Our results suggest that amakihi populations in low elevation habitats have not been recolonized by individuals from mid or high elevation refuges. After generations of strong selection for pathogen resistance, these populations have rebounded and amakihi have become common in regions in which they were previously rare or absent. ?? 2008 Eggert et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  14. Contrasting Patterns of Evolutionary Diversification in the Olfactory Repertoires of Reptile and Bird Genomes.

    PubMed

    Vandewege, Michael W; Mangum, Sarah F; Gabaldón, Toni; Castoe, Todd A; Ray, David A; Hoffmann, Federico G

    2016-03-01

    Olfactory receptors (ORs) are membrane proteins that mediate the detection of odorants in the environment, and are the largest vertebrate gene family. Comparative studies of mammalian genomes indicate that OR repertoires vary widely, even between closely related lineages, as a consequence of frequent OR gains and losses. Several studies also suggest that mammalian OR repertoires are influenced by life history traits. Sauropsida is a diverse group of vertebrates group that is the sister group to mammals, and includes birds, testudines, squamates, and crocodilians, and represents a natural system to explore predictions derived from mammalian studies. In this study, we analyzed olfactory receptor (OR) repertoire variation among several representative species and found that the number of intact OR genes in sauropsid genomes analyzed ranged over an order of magnitude, from 108 in the green anole to over 1,000 in turtles. Our results suggest that different sauropsid lineages have highly divergent OR repertoire composition that derive from lineage-specific combinations of gene expansions, losses, and retentions of ancestral OR genes. These differences also suggest that varying degrees of adaption related to life history have shaped the unique OR repertoires observed across sauropsid lineages. PMID:26865070

  15. Contrasting Patterns of Evolutionary Diversification in the Olfactory Repertoires of Reptile and Bird Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Vandewege, Michael W.; Mangum, Sarah F.; Gabaldón, Toni; Castoe, Todd A.; Ray, David A.; Hoffmann, Federico G.

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory receptors (ORs) are membrane proteins that mediate the detection of odorants in the environment, and are the largest vertebrate gene family. Comparative studies of mammalian genomes indicate that OR repertoires vary widely, even between closely related lineages, as a consequence of frequent OR gains and losses. Several studies also suggest that mammalian OR repertoires are influenced by life history traits. Sauropsida is a diverse group of vertebrates group that is the sister group to mammals, and includes birds, testudines, squamates, and crocodilians, and represents a natural system to explore predictions derived from mammalian studies. In this study, we analyzed olfactory receptor (OR) repertoire variation among several representative species and found that the number of intact OR genes in sauropsid genomes analyzed ranged over an order of magnitude, from 108 in the green anole to over 1,000 in turtles. Our results suggest that different sauropsid lineages have highly divergent OR repertoire composition that derive from lineage-specific combinations of gene expansions, losses, and retentions of ancestral OR genes. These differences also suggest that varying degrees of adaption related to life history have shaped the unique OR repertoires observed across sauropsid lineages. PMID:26865070

  16. Evolutionary diversification of cryophilic Grylloblatta species (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae) in alpine habitats of California

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Climate in alpine habitats has undergone extreme variation during Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs, resulting in repeated expansion and contraction of alpine glaciers. Many cold-adapted alpine species have responded to these climatic changes with long-distance range shifts. These species typically exhibit shallow genetic differentiation over a large geographical area. In contrast, poorly dispersing organisms often form species complexes within mountain ranges, such as the California endemic ice-crawlers (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae: Grylloblatta). The diversification pattern of poorly dispersing species might provide more information on the localized effects of historical climate change, the importance of particular climatic events, as well as the history of dispersal. Here we use multi-locus genetic data to examine the phylogenetic relationships and geographic pattern of diversification in California Grylloblatta. Results Our analysis reveals a pattern of deep genetic subdivision among geographically isolated populations of Grylloblatta in California. Alpine populations diverged from low elevation populations and subsequently diversified. Using a Bayesian relaxed clock model and both uncalibrated and calibrated measurements of time to most recent common ancestor, we reconstruct the temporal diversification of alpine Grylloblatta populations. Based on calibrated relaxed clock estimates, evolutionary diversification of Grylloblatta occurred during the Pliocene-Pleistocene epochs, with an initial dispersal into California during the Pliocene and species diversification in alpine clades during the middle Pleistocene epoch. Conclusions Grylloblatta species exhibit a high degree of genetic subdivision in California with well defined geographic structure. Distinct glacial refugia can be inferred within the Sierra Nevada, corresponding to major, glaciated drainage basins. Low elevation populations are sister to alpine populations, suggesting alpine

  17. Scalable computing for evolutionary genomics.

    PubMed

    Prins, Pjotr; Belhachemi, Dominique; Möller, Steffen; Smant, Geert

    2012-01-01

    Genomic data analysis in evolutionary biology is becoming so computationally intensive that analysis of multiple hypotheses and scenarios takes too long on a single desktop computer. In this chapter, we discuss techniques for scaling computations through parallelization of calculations, after giving a quick overview of advanced programming techniques. Unfortunately, parallel programming is difficult and requires special software design. The alternative, especially attractive for legacy software, is to introduce poor man's parallelization by running whole programs in parallel as separate processes, using job schedulers. Such pipelines are often deployed on bioinformatics computer clusters. Recent advances in PC virtualization have made it possible to run a full computer operating system, with all of its installed software, on top of another operating system, inside a "box," or virtual machine (VM). Such a VM can flexibly be deployed on multiple computers, in a local network, e.g., on existing desktop PCs, and even in the Cloud, to create a "virtual" computer cluster. Many bioinformatics applications in evolutionary biology can be run in parallel, running processes in one or more VMs. Here, we show how a ready-made bioinformatics VM image, named BioNode, effectively creates a computing cluster, and pipeline, in a few steps. This allows researchers to scale-up computations from their desktop, using available hardware, anytime it is required. BioNode is based on Debian Linux and can run on networked PCs and in the Cloud. Over 200 bioinformatics and statistical software packages, of interest to evolutionary biology, are included, such as PAML, Muscle, MAFFT, MrBayes, and BLAST. Most of these software packages are maintained through the Debian Med project. In addition, BioNode contains convenient configuration scripts for parallelizing bioinformatics software. Where Debian Med encourages packaging free and open source bioinformatics software through one central project

  18. Scalable computing for evolutionary genomics.

    PubMed

    Prins, Pjotr; Belhachemi, Dominique; Möller, Steffen; Smant, Geert

    2012-01-01

    Genomic data analysis in evolutionary biology is becoming so computationally intensive that analysis of multiple hypotheses and scenarios takes too long on a single desktop computer. In this chapter, we discuss techniques for scaling computations through parallelization of calculations, after giving a quick overview of advanced programming techniques. Unfortunately, parallel programming is difficult and requires special software design. The alternative, especially attractive for legacy software, is to introduce poor man's parallelization by running whole programs in parallel as separate processes, using job schedulers. Such pipelines are often deployed on bioinformatics computer clusters. Recent advances in PC virtualization have made it possible to run a full computer operating system, with all of its installed software, on top of another operating system, inside a "box," or virtual machine (VM). Such a VM can flexibly be deployed on multiple computers, in a local network, e.g., on existing desktop PCs, and even in the Cloud, to create a "virtual" computer cluster. Many bioinformatics applications in evolutionary biology can be run in parallel, running processes in one or more VMs. Here, we show how a ready-made bioinformatics VM image, named BioNode, effectively creates a computing cluster, and pipeline, in a few steps. This allows researchers to scale-up computations from their desktop, using available hardware, anytime it is required. BioNode is based on Debian Linux and can run on networked PCs and in the Cloud. Over 200 bioinformatics and statistical software packages, of interest to evolutionary biology, are included, such as PAML, Muscle, MAFFT, MrBayes, and BLAST. Most of these software packages are maintained through the Debian Med project. In addition, BioNode contains convenient configuration scripts for parallelizing bioinformatics software. Where Debian Med encourages packaging free and open source bioinformatics software through one central project

  19. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-01-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  20. The evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fordyce, James A

    2006-06-01

    Phenotypic plasticity describes the capacity of a genotype to exhibit a range of phenotypes in response to variation in the environment. Environmental variation encompasses both abiotic and biotic components of the environment, including interactions among organisms. The strength and outcome of many ecological interactions, ranging from antagonism to mutualism, are mediated through the phenotypically plastic responses of one or more players in the interaction. Herein, three broadly defined, non-mutually exclusive, evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity are discussed. (1) The predictable plastic response of one partner can favor behaviors, physiological responses, and life history traits of an interacting partner that manipulate, circumvent, or ameliorate the response of that partner. (2) Phenotypic plasticity can generate substantial spatial and temporal variation within and among populations. Such phenotypic variation can depend on the density and identity of interacting players in an ecological community, and can ultimately affect the evolutionary outcome of ecological interactions. (3) Phenotypic plasticity affects the strength and direction of natural selection. Ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity are ubiquitous in nature, and the potential evolutionary consequences of these interactions illustrate the complexity inherent in understanding evolution in a community context.

  1. Does the evolutionary conservation of microsatellite loci imply function?

    SciTech Connect

    Shriver, M.D.; Deka, R.; Ferrell, R.E.

    1994-09-01

    Microsatellites are highly polymorphic tandem arrays of short (1-6 bp) sequence motifs which have been found widely distributed in the genomes of all eukaryotes. We have analyzed allele frequency data on 16 microsatellite loci typed in the great apes (human, chimp, orangutan, and gorilla). The majority of these loci (13) were isolated from human genomic libraries; three were cloned from chimpanzee genomic DNA. Most of these loci are not only present in all apes species, but are polymorphic with comparable levels of heterozygosity and have alleles which overlap in size. The extent of divergence of allele frequencies among these four species were studies using the stepwise-weighted genetic distance (Dsw), which was previously shown to conform to linearity with evolutionary time since divergence for loci where mutations exist in a stepwise fashion. The phylogenetic tree of the great apes constructed from this distance matrix was consistent with the expected topology, with a high bootstrap confidence (82%) for the human/chimp clade. However, the allele frequency distributions of these species are 10 times more similar to each other than expected when they were calibrated with a conservative estimate of the time since separation of humans and the apes. These results are in agreement with sequence-based surveys of microsatellites which have demonstrated that they are highly (90%) conserved over short periods of evolutionary time (< 10 million years) and moderately (30%) conserved over long periods of evolutionary time (> 60-80 million years). This evolutionary conservation has prompted some authors to speculate that there are functional constraints on microsatellite loci. In contrast, the presence of directional bias of mutations with constraints and/or selection against aberrant sized alleles can explain these results.

  2. Insights into the evolutionary features of human neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Panda, Arup; Begum, Tina; Ghosh, Tapash Chandra

    2012-01-01

    Comparative analyses between human disease and non-disease genes are of great interest in understanding human disease gene evolution. However, the progression of neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) involving amyloid formation in specific brain regions is still unknown. Therefore, in this study, we mainly focused our analysis on the evolutionary features of human NDD genes with respect to non-disease genes. Here, we observed that human NDD genes are evolutionarily conserved relative to non-disease genes. To elucidate the conserved nature of NDD genes, we incorporated the evolutionary attributes like gene expression level, number of regulatory miRNAs, protein connectivity, intrinsic disorder content and relative aggregation propensity in our analysis. Our studies demonstrate that NDD genes have higher gene expression levels in favor of their lower evolutionary rates. Additionally, we observed that NDD genes have higher number of different regulatory miRNAs target sites and also have higher interaction partners than the non-disease genes. Moreover, miRNA targeted genes are known to have higher disorder content. In contrast, our analysis exclusively established that NDD genes have lower disorder content. In favor of our analysis, we found that NDD gene encoded proteins are enriched with multi interface hubs (party hubs) with lower disorder contents. Since, proteins with higher disorder content need to adapt special structure to reduce their aggregation propensity, NDD proteins found to have elevated relative aggregation propensity (RAP) in support of their lower disorder content. Finally, our categorical regression analysis confirmed the underlined relative dominance of protein connectivity, 3'UTR length, RAP, nature of hubs (singlish/multi interface) and disorder content for such evolutionary rates variation between human NDD genes and non-disease genes.

  3. Exhibit of School Architecture, 1997. Special Section.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Architect, 1998

    1998-01-01

    Presents selected winners of the Texas 1997 Exhibit of School Architecture Design Competition. The Caudill and honor award winning projects are listed along with facility photos, brief descriptions, project credits, and the names of the construction companies used. (GR)

  4. Exhibit of School Architecture, 1996. Special Section.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Architect, 1997

    1997-01-01

    Presents selected winners of the Texas 1996 Exhibit of School Architecture Design Competition. The Caudill and honor award-winning projects are listed along with facility photos, brief descriptions, project credits, and the names of the construction companies used. (GR)

  5. The Making of a Museum Exhibition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bleecker, Samuel E.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses the preparation of the Reptile and Amphibian exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. Various steps involved in developing the ten showcases in a six-year period are presented. (SA)

  6. 18 CFR 32.2 - Required exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... of operating such facilities. Exhibit B. A general or key map on a scale not greater than 20 miles to... facilities used for the generation and transmission of electric energy, indicating on said map the...

  7. 18 CFR 32.2 - Required exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... of operating such facilities. Exhibit B. A general or key map on a scale not greater than 20 miles to... facilities used for the generation and transmission of electric energy, indicating on said map the...

  8. 18 CFR 32.2 - Required exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... of operating such facilities. Exhibit B. A general or key map on a scale not greater than 20 miles to... facilities used for the generation and transmission of electric energy, indicating on said map the...

  9. 28 CFR 5.201 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... the existing or proposed activities engaged in or to be engaged in, including political activities, by... be filed as exhibit C: (1) A copy of the registrant's charter, articles of incorporation...

  10. 28 CFR 5.201 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... the existing or proposed activities engaged in or to be engaged in, including political activities, by... be filed as exhibit C: (1) A copy of the registrant's charter, articles of incorporation...

  11. 32 CFR 705.24 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... public of the Navy's mission and operations. (2) To disseminate technical and scientific information. (3... naval equipment, models, devices and information and orientation material placed on public display for information purposes before audiences at conventions, conferences, seminars, demonstrations, exhibits,...

  12. Communicating Complex Sciences by Means of Exhibitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, S.

    2011-12-01

    Earth Sciences will have to take over the leading role in global sustainable policy and in discussions about climate change. Efforts to raise attention within the politically responsible communities as well as in the public are getting more and more support by executive and advisory boards all over the world. But how can you successfully communicate complex sciences? For example, to start communication about climate change, the first step is to encourage people to be concerned about climate change. After that, one has to start thinking about how to present data and how to include the presented data into an unprejudiced context. Therefore, the communication toolbox offers various methods to reach diverse audiences. The R&D programme GEOTECHNOLOGIEN conducts roving exhibitions as one of its most successful communication tools. With roving exhibitions GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is able to get in touch with different audiences at once. The main purpose and theme of these exhibitions is to convey the everyday means of climate change to the visitors. It is within the responsibility of science to communicate the effects of a phenomenon like climate change as well as the impact of research results to the everyday life of people. Currently, a GEOTECHNOLOGIEN roving exhibition on remote sensing with satellites deals with various issues of environmental research, including a chapter on climate change. By following the 3M-concept (Meaning - Memorable - Moving), exhibitions allow to connect the visitors daily environment and personal experiences with the presented issues and objects. Therefore, hands-on exhibits, exciting multimedia effects and high-tech artefacts have to be combined with interpretive text elements to highlight the daily significance of the scientific topics and the exhibition theme respectively. To create such an exhibition, strong conceptual planning has to be conducted. This includes the specification of stern financial as well as time wise milestones. In addition

  13. Evolutionary model of an anonymous consumer durable market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaldasch, Joachim

    2011-07-01

    An analytic model is presented that considers the evolution of a market of durable goods. The model suggests that after introduction goods spread always according to a Bass diffusion. However, this phase will be followed by a diffusion process for durable consumer goods governed by a variation-selection-reproduction mechanism and the growth dynamics can be described by a replicator equation. The theory suggests that products play the role of species in biological evolutionary models. It implies that the evolution of man-made products can be arranged into an evolutionary tree. The model suggests that each product can be characterized by its product fitness. The fitness space contains elements of both sites of the market, supply and demand. The unit sales of products with a higher product fitness compared to the mean fitness increase. Durables with a constant fitness advantage replace other goods according to a logistic law. The model predicts in particular that the mean price exhibits an exponential decrease over a long time period for durable goods. The evolutionary diffusion process is directly related to this price decline and is governed by Gompertz equation. Therefore it is denoted as Gompertz diffusion. Describing the aggregate sales as the sum of first, multiple and replacement purchase the product life cycle can be derived. Replacement purchase causes periodic variations of the sales determined by the finite lifetime of the good (Juglar cycles). The model suggests that both, Bass- and Gompertz diffusion may contribute to the product life cycle of a consumer durable. The theory contains the standard equilibrium view of a market as a special case. It depends on the time scale, whether an equilibrium or evolutionary description is more appropriate. The evolutionary framework is used to derive also the size, growth rate and price distribution of manufacturing business units. It predicts that the size distribution of the business units (products) is lognormal

  14. Evolutionary Adaptations to Dietary Changes

    PubMed Central

    Luca, F.; Perry, G.H.; Di Rienzo, A.

    2014-01-01

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area. PMID:20420525

  15. Alcoholism's evolutionary and cultural origins.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ernest L

    2010-12-01

    Alcoholism's heritability has been convincingly documented but the question of why a disorder that is so damaging to the individual and to society should continue to persist is still baffling. A widely held assumption is that whatever genotype is involved, its components must originally have conferred survival value else it would never have evolved. The corollary to that assumption is that when conditions favoring that genotype changed, the former advantages became detrimental. However, the genotype has persisted because it does not affect sexual function, if at all, until after peak productive years. An appreciation of the evolutionary biology and the historical-cultural context associated with alcohol consumption may lead not only to a better understanding of this disorder but to treatment alternatives based on that understanding.

  16. The evolutionary origins of friendship.

    PubMed

    Seyfarth, Robert M; Cheney, Dorothy L

    2012-01-01

    Convergent evidence from many species reveals the evolutionary origins of human friendship. In horses, elephants, hyenas, dolphins, monkeys, and chimpanzees, some individuals form friendships that last for years. Bonds occur among females, among males, or between males and females. Genetic relatedness affects friendships. In species where males disperse, friendships are more likely among females. If females disperse, friendships are more likely among males. Not all friendships, however, depend on kinship; many are formed between unrelated individuals. Friendships often involve cooperative interactions that are separated in time. They depend, at least in part, on the memory and emotions associated with past interactions. Applying the term "friendship" to animals is not anthropomorphic: Many studies have shown that the animals themselves recognize others' relationships. Friendships are adaptive. Male allies have superior competitive ability and improved reproductive success; females with the strongest, most enduring friendships experience less stress, higher infant survival, and live longer. PMID:21740224

  17. Evolutionary Industrial Physical Model Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrascal, Alberto; Alberdi, Amaia

    Both complexity and lack of knowledge associated to physical processes makes physical models design an arduous task. Frequently, the only available information about the physical processes are the heuristic data obtained from experiments or at best a rough idea on what are the physical principles and laws that underlie considered physical processes. Then the problem is converted to find a mathematical expression which fits data. There exist traditional approaches to tackle the inductive model search process from data, such as regression, interpolation, finite element method, etc. Nevertheless, these methods either are only able to solve a reduced number of simple model typologies, or the given black-box solution does not contribute to clarify the analyzed physical process. In this paper a hybrid evolutionary approach to search complex physical models is proposed. Tests carried out on a real-world industrial physical process (abrasive water jet machining) demonstrate the validity of this approach.

  18. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  19. Genomic clocks and evolutionary timescales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair Hedges, S.; Kumar, Sudhir

    2003-01-01

    For decades, molecular clocks have helped to illuminate the evolutionary timescale of life, but now genomic data pose a challenge for time estimation methods. It is unclear how to integrate data from many genes, each potentially evolving under a different model of substitution and at a different rate. Current methods can be grouped by the way the data are handled (genes considered separately or combined into a 'supergene') and the way gene-specific rate models are applied (global versus local clock). There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these approaches, and the optimal method has not yet emerged. Fortunately, time estimates inferred using many genes or proteins have greater precision and appear to be robust to different approaches.

  20. EPR: an Advanced Evolutionary Design

    SciTech Connect

    Czech, Juergen; Bouteille, Francois; Hudson, Greg

    2004-07-01

    This paper presents the main features of the EPR, an evolutionary design product that builds on French N4 plants (Chooz and Civaux) and Konvoi, the most recent reactor series built in Germany. This Franco-German project was driven by a common French and German desire to cooperate in several areas. In January 2001, Framatome SA and Siemens AG merged their nuclear activities to form Framatome ANP with three regional entities in France, Germany and the USA. The recent decision of Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) to select the EPR for construction in Olkiluoto of the fifth Nuclear Power Plant in Finland gave a new impetus to the project. Framatome ANP is committed to put the FOAK EPR in commercial operation on May 1, 2009. This challenging time schedule will set a new reference for 'Generation III +' LWR's. (authors)

  1. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    PubMed

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area. PMID:20420525

  2. When Do Children Exhibit a "Yes" Bias?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okanda, Mako; Itakura, Shoji

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated whether one hundred and thirty-five 3- to 6-year-old children exhibit a yes bias to various yes-no questions and whether their knowledge status affects the production of a yes bias. Three-year-olds exhibited a yes bias to all yes-no questions such as "preference-object" and "knowledge-object" questions pertaining to…

  3. An Astrobiology Microbes Exhibit and Education Module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Allen, Jaclyn S.; Stocco, Karen; Tobola, Kay; Olendzenski, Lorraine

    2001-01-01

    Telling the story of NASA-sponsored scientific research to the public in exhibits is best done by partnerships of scientists and museum professionals. Likewise, preparing classroom activities and training teachers to use them should be done by teams of teachers and scientists. Here we describe how we used such partnerships to develop a new astrobiology augmentation to the Microbes! traveling exhibit and a companion education module. "Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract."

  4. Reaching the Public through Traveling Exhibitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, P. B.; Harold, J. B.; Morrow, C. A.

    2004-11-01

    The Space Science Institute (SSI) of Boulder, Colorado has recently developed two museum exhibits called Alien Earths and MarsQuest. It has just started to develop another exhibit called Giant Planets. These exhibitions provide research scientists the opportunity to engage in a number of activities that are vital to the success of these major outreach programs. Alien Earths was developed in partnership with various research missions. The focus of the presentation will be on MarsQuest and Giant Planets. MarsQuest is a 5000 square-foot, \\$3M, traveling exhibition that is now touring the country. The exhibit's second 3-year tour will enable millions of Americans to share in the excitement of the scientific exploration of Mars and learn more about their own planet in the process. The associated planetarium show and education program will also be described, with particular emphasis on workshops to orient museum staff (e.g. museum educators and docents) and workshops for master educators near host museums and science centers. The workshops make innovative connections between the exhibition's interactive experiences and lesson plans aligned with the National Science Education Standards. These exhibit programs are good models for actively involving scientists and their discoveries to help improve informal science education in the museum community and for forging a stronger connection between formal and informal education. The presentation will also discuss how Giant Planets, a proposed 3500 square-foot traveling exhibition on the mysteries and discoveries of the outer planets, will be able to take advantage of the connections and resources that have been developed by the MarsQuest project.

  5. [All-Russian hygienic exhibitions and museums].

    PubMed

    Kuzybaeva, M P

    2011-01-01

    The material about the popularization of hygiene and health education in Russia in the second half of the 19th century to early 20th century through exhibition and museum activities has been collected for the first time and analyzed in the paper. The role of scientists and scientific medical societies in this process is noted. The significance of museum and exhibition activities in this area for the development of medical science is defined.

  6. Pattern specificity of contrast adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Anstis, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Contrast adaptation is specific to precisely localised edges, so that adapting to a flickering photograph makes one less sensitive to that same photograph, but not to similar photographs. When two low-contrast photos, A and B, are transparently superimposed, then adapting to a flickering high-contrast B leaves no net afterimage, but it makes B disappear from the A+B picture, which now simply looks like A. PMID:25165518

  7. Extreme Ultraviolet Phase Contrast Imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Denbeaux, Gregory; Garg, Rashi; Aquila, Andy; Barty, Anton; Goldberg, Kenneth; Gullikson, Eric; Liu, Yanwei; Wood, Obert

    2005-11-01

    The conclusions of this report are: (1) zone plate microscopy provides high resolution imaging of EUV masks; (2) using phase plates in the back focal plane of the objective lens can provide contrast mechanisms for measurement of the phase shift from defects on the mask; (3) the first high resolution EUV Zernike phase contrast images have been acquired; and (4) future work will include phase contrast mode in reflection from an EUV mask to directly measure the reflectivity and phase shift from defects.

  8. Evolutionary genomics of dog domestication.

    PubMed

    Wayne, Robert K; vonHoldt, Bridgett M

    2012-02-01

    We review the underlying principles and tools used in genomic studies of domestic dogs aimed at understanding the genetic changes that have occurred during domestication. We show that there are two principle modes of evolution within dogs. One primary mode that accounts for much of the remarkable diversity of dog breeds is the fixation of discrete mutations of large effect in individual lineages that are then crossed to various breed groupings. This transfer of mutations across the dog evolutionary tree leads to the appearance of high phenotypic diversity that in actuality reflects a small number of major genes. A second mechanism causing diversification involves the selective breeding of dogs within distinct phenotypic or functional groups, which enhances specific group attributes such as heading or tracking. Such progressive selection leads to a distinct genetic structure in evolutionary trees such that functional and phenotypic groups cluster genetically. We trace the origin of the nuclear genome in dogs based on haplotype-sharing analyses between dogs and gray wolves and show that contrary to previous mtDNA analyses, the nuclear genome of dogs derives primarily from Middle Eastern or European wolves, a result more consistent with the archeological record. Sequencing analysis of the IGF1 gene, which has been the target of size selection in small breeds, further supports this conclusion. Finally, we discuss how a black coat color mutation that evolved in dogs has transformed North American gray wolf populations, providing a first example of a mutation that appeared under domestication and selectively swept through a wild relative. PMID:22270221

  9. Evolutionary History of Tissue Kallikreins

    PubMed Central

    Pavlopoulou, Athanasia; Pampalakis, Georgios; Michalopoulos, Ioannis; Sotiropoulou, Georgia

    2010-01-01

    The gene family of human kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) encodes proteins with diverse and pleiotropic functions in normal physiology as well as in disease states. Currently, the most widely known KLK is KLK3 or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that has applications in clinical diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer. The KLK gene family encompasses the largest contiguous cluster of serine proteases in humans which is not interrupted by non-KLK genes. This exceptional and unique characteristic of KLKs makes them ideal for evolutionary studies aiming to infer the direction and timing of gene duplication events. Previous studies on the evolution of KLKs were restricted to mammals and the emergence of KLKs was suggested about 150 million years ago (mya). In order to elucidate the evolutionary history of KLKs, we performed comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of KLK homologous proteins in multiple genomes including those that have been completed recently. Interestingly, we were able to identify novel reptilian, avian and amphibian KLK members which allowed us to trace the emergence of KLKs 330 mya. We suggest that a series of duplication and mutation events gave rise to the KLK gene family. The prominent feature of the KLK family is that it consists of tandemly and uninterruptedly arrayed genes in all species under investigation. The chromosomal co-localization in a single cluster distinguishes KLKs from trypsin and other trypsin-like proteases which are spread in different genetic loci. All the defining features of the KLKs were further found to be conserved in the novel KLK protein sequences. The study of this unique family will further assist in selecting new model organisms for functional studies of proteolytic pathways involving KLKs. PMID:21072173

  10. Sex differences in science museum exhibit attraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arámbula Greenfield, Teresa

    This study examines the relative attraction of hands-on, interactive science museum exhibits for females and males. Studies have demonstrated that such exhibits can be effective learning experiences for children, with both academic and affective benefits. Other studies have shown that girls and boys do not always experience the same science-related educational opportunities and that, even when they do, they do not necessarily receive the same benefits from them. These early differences can lead to more serious educational and professional disparities later in life. As interactive museum exhibits represent a science experience that is-readily available to both girls and boys, the question arose as to whether they were being used similarly by the two groups as well as by adult women and men. It was found that both girls and boys used all types of exhibits, but that girls were more likely than boys to use puzzles and exhibits focusing on the human body; boys were more likely than girls to use computers and exhibits illustrating physical science principles. However, this was less true of children accompanied by adults (parents) than it was of unaccompanied children on school field trips who roamed the museum more freely.Received: 16 February 1994; Revised: 3 February 1995;

  11. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, P.H.; Brainard, J.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Ryan, R.R.

    1997-12-30

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC{sub 16}H{sub 14}N{sub 6}. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques. 10 figs.

  12. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, Paul H.; Brainard, James R.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Ryan, Robert R.

    1997-01-01

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC.sub.16 H.sub.14 N.sub.6. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

  13. Amazonian Amerindians exhibit high variability of KIR profiles.

    PubMed

    Ewerton, Paloma Daguer; Leite, Mauro de Meira; Magalhães, Milena; Sena, Leonardo; Melo dos Santos, Eduardo José

    2007-08-01

    Natural killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) mediate cell lysis through the recognition of human leukocyte antigen class I complexes in target cells, playing an important role in innate immune response. In this context, disease-based selective pressures could be relevant, leaving signatures detected by population studies. However, most population studies on KIR variability have focused on Europe and Asia, while Americas, Oceania, and Africa remain poorly studied. The aim of this study was to analyze the variability of KIR genes in Amerindian tribes from the Amazon region to infer about their evolutionary history. KIR profiles were estimated in 40 individuals from six Amazonian Amerindian tribes using single specific primer polymerase chain reaction. Twenty-five different profiles were identified, and surprisingly, the haplogroup A frequency was the lowest observed in human populations (16%). Results showed also that KIR variability was higher in this group in contrast to Venezuelan Amerindians. Principal components analysis evidenced that Amerindians formed a separated group from other worldwide populations and showed a higher intraethnic differentiation in comparison to other ethnic groups. Such pattern may reflect small effective size and intense genetic drift. However, because of the role of KIR in immune response, selective pressures cannot be entirely ruled out.

  14. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    PubMed Central

    Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Heino, Mikko; Day, Troy; Smith, Thomas B; Fitt, Gary; Bergstrom, Carl T; Oakeshott, John; Jørgensen, Peter S; Zalucki, Myron P; Gilchrist, George; Southerton, Simon; Sih, Andrew; Strauss, Sharon; Denison, Robert F; Carroll, Scott P

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology. PMID:25567966

  15. Toward a unifying framework for evolutionary processes

    PubMed Central

    Paixão, Tiago; Badkobeh, Golnaz; Barton, Nick; Çörüş, Doğan; Dang, Duc-Cuong; Friedrich, Tobias; Lehre, Per Kristian; Sudholt, Dirk; Sutton, Andrew M.; Trubenová, Barbora

    2015-01-01

    The theory of population genetics and evolutionary computation have been evolving separately for nearly 30 years. Many results have been independently obtained in both fields and many others are unique to its respective field. We aim to bridge this gap by developing a unifying framework for evolutionary processes that allows both evolutionary algorithms and population genetics models to be cast in the same formal framework. The framework we present here decomposes the evolutionary process into its several components in order to facilitate the identification of similarities between different models. In particular, we propose a classification of evolutionary operators based on the defining properties of the different components. We cast several commonly used operators from both fields into this common framework. Using this, we map different evolutionary and genetic algorithms to different evolutionary regimes and identify candidates with the most potential for the translation of results between the fields. This provides a unified description of evolutionary processes and represents a stepping stone towards new tools and results to both fields. PMID:26215686

  16. Oversimplifying Evolutionary Psychology Leads to Explanatory Gaps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tate, Chuck; Ledbetter, Jay N.

    2010-01-01

    Comments on Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations by Confer et al. They argued that SST cannot explain the existence of either homosexuality or suicide within the human species. We contend that a sufficiently nuanced evolutionary position has no difficulties explaining either phenomenon. Also in this…

  17. 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)

  18. Algorithmic Mechanism Design of Evolutionary Computation

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Yan

    2015-01-01

    We consider algorithmic design, enhancement, and improvement of evolutionary computation as a mechanism design problem. All individuals or several groups of individuals can be considered as self-interested agents. The individuals in evolutionary computation can manipulate parameter settings and operations by satisfying their own preferences, which are defined by an evolutionary computation algorithm designer, rather than by following a fixed algorithm rule. Evolutionary computation algorithm designers or self-adaptive methods should construct proper rules and mechanisms for all agents (individuals) to conduct their evolution behaviour correctly in order to definitely achieve the desired and preset objective(s). As a case study, we propose a formal framework on parameter setting, strategy selection, and algorithmic design of evolutionary computation by considering the Nash strategy equilibrium of a mechanism design in the search process. The evaluation results present the efficiency of the framework. This primary principle can be implemented in any evolutionary computation algorithm that needs to consider strategy selection issues in its optimization process. The final objective of our work is to solve evolutionary computation design as an algorithmic mechanism design problem and establish its fundamental aspect by taking this perspective. This paper is the first step towards achieving this objective by implementing a strategy equilibrium solution (such as Nash equilibrium) in evolutionary computation algorithm. PMID:26257777

  19. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    PubMed

    Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Heino, Mikko; Day, Troy; Smith, Thomas B; Fitt, Gary; Bergstrom, Carl T; Oakeshott, John; Jørgensen, Peter S; Zalucki, Myron P; Gilchrist, George; Southerton, Simon; Sih, Andrew; Strauss, Sharon; Denison, Robert F; Carroll, Scott P

    2011-03-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology.

  20. Contrasting patterns of X/Y polymorphism distinguish Carica papaya from other sex chromosome systems.

    PubMed

    Weingartner, Laura A; Moore, Richard C

    2012-12-01

    The sex chromosomes of the tropical crop papaya (Carica papaya) are evolutionarily young and consequently allow for the examination of evolutionary mechanisms that drive early sex chromosome divergence. We conducted a molecular population genetic analysis of four X/Y gene pairs from a collection of 45 wild papaya accessions. These population genetic analyses reveal striking differences in the patterns of polymorphism between the X and Y chromosomes that distinguish them from other sex chromosome systems. In most sex chromosome systems, the Y chromosome displays significantly reduced polymorphism levels, whereas the X chromosome maintains a level of polymorphism that is comparable to autosomal loci. However, the four papaya sex-linked loci that we examined display diversity patterns that are opposite this trend: the papaya X alleles exhibit significantly reduced polymorphism levels, whereas the papaya Y alleles maintain greater than expected levels of diversity. Our analyses suggest that selective sweeps in the regions of the X have contributed to this pattern while also revealing geographically restricted haplogroups on the Y. We discuss the possible role sexual selection and/or genomic conflict have played in shaping the contrasting patterns of polymorphism found for the papaya X and Y chromosomes.

  1. Asymmetrical Gene Flow in a Hybrid Zone of Hawaiian Schiedea (Caryophyllaceae) Species with Contrasting Mating Systems

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Lisa E.; Culley, Theresa M.; Weller, Stephen G.; Sakai, Ann K.; Kuenzi, Ashley; Roy, Tilottama; Wagner, Warren L.; Nepokroeff, Molly

    2011-01-01

    Asymmetrical gene flow, which has frequently been documented in naturally occurring hybrid zones, can result from various genetic and demographic factors. Understanding these factors is important for determining the ecological conditions that permitted hybridization and the evolutionary potential inherent in hybrids. Here, we characterized morphological, nuclear, and chloroplast variation in a putative hybrid zone between Schiedea menziesii and S. salicaria, endemic Hawaiian species with contrasting breeding systems. Schiedea menziesii is hermaphroditic with moderate selfing; S. salicaria is gynodioecious and wind-pollinated, with partially selfing hermaphrodites and largely outcrossed females. We tested three hypotheses: 1) putative hybrids were derived from natural crosses between S. menziesii and S. salicaria, 2) gene flow via pollen is unidirectional from S. salicaria to S. menziesii and 3) in the hybrid zone, traits associated with wind pollination would be favored as a result of pollen-swamping by S. salicaria. Schiedea menziesii and S. salicaria have distinct morphologies and chloroplast genomes but are less differentiated at the nuclear loci. Hybrids are most similar to S. menziesii at chloroplast loci, exhibit nuclear allele frequencies in common with both parental species, and resemble S. salicaria in pollen production and pollen size, traits important to wind pollination. Additionally, unlike S. menziesii, the hybrid zone contains many females, suggesting that the nuclear gene responsible for male sterility in S. salicaria has been transferred to hybrid plants. Continued selection of nuclear genes in the hybrid zone may result in a population that resembles S. salicaria, but retains chloroplast lineage(s) of S. menziesii. PMID:21949765

  2. Evolutionary theory in letters to the editor.

    PubMed

    Silva, Eric Orion; Lowe, Clayton Cory

    2015-05-01

    This research note presents the results of a content analysis of 234 letters to the editors that discuss evolutionary theory and were published in American newspapers. We find that letters to the editor both support and hinder the cause of teaching evolutionary theory in American secondary schools. On the one hand, anti-evolutionary theory messages are marginalized in the letters section. This marginalization signals a low level of legitimacy for creationism. It might also contribute to the sense of tension that sustains creationist identities. On the other hand, relatively few letters explicitly note the fact that scientists or the scientific community accept evolution. Interestingly, the obscuration of the scientific community's support for evolutionary theory occurs both in letters supporting and opposing evolutionary theory.

  3. Evolutionary theory in letters to the editor.

    PubMed

    Silva, Eric Orion; Lowe, Clayton Cory

    2015-05-01

    This research note presents the results of a content analysis of 234 letters to the editors that discuss evolutionary theory and were published in American newspapers. We find that letters to the editor both support and hinder the cause of teaching evolutionary theory in American secondary schools. On the one hand, anti-evolutionary theory messages are marginalized in the letters section. This marginalization signals a low level of legitimacy for creationism. It might also contribute to the sense of tension that sustains creationist identities. On the other hand, relatively few letters explicitly note the fact that scientists or the scientific community accept evolution. Interestingly, the obscuration of the scientific community's support for evolutionary theory occurs both in letters supporting and opposing evolutionary theory. PMID:25540333

  4. Evolutionary rescue in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Cunningham, Curry J; Westley, Peter A H

    2014-09-01

    Evolutionary rescue occurs when adaptive evolutionary change restores positive growth to declining populations and prevents extinction. Here we outline the diagnostic features of evolutionary rescue and distinguish this phenomenon from demographic and genetic rescue. We then synthesize the rapidly accumulating theoretical and experimental studies of evolutionary rescue, highlighting the demographic, genetic, and extrinsic factors that affect the probability of rescue. By doing so, we clarify the factors to target through management and conservation. Additionally, we identify several putative cases of evolutionary rescue in nature, but conclude that compelling evidence remains elusive. We conclude with a horizon scan of where the field might develop, highlighting areas of potential application, and suggest areas where experimental evaluation will help to evaluate theoretical predictions. PMID:25038023

  5. The emergence of an `evolutionary geomorphology'?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiger, Johannes; Corenblit, Dov

    2012-09-01

    Earth surface processes and landforms are modified through the actions of many microorganisms, plants and animals. As organism-driven landform modifications are sometimes to the advantage of the organism, some of these landform features have become adaptive functional components of ecosystems, concurrently affecting and responding to ecological and evolutionary processes. These recent eco-evolutionary insights, focused on feedback among geomorphologic, ecological and evolutionary processes, are currently leading to the emergence of what has been called an `evolutionary geomorphology', with explicit consideration of feedbacks among the evolution of organisms, ecosystem structure and function and landform organization at the Earth surface. Here we provide an overview in the form of a commentary of this emerging sub-discipline in geosciences and ask whether the use of the term `evolutionary geomorphology' is appropriate or rather misleading.

  6. Using Comparative Planetology in Exhibit Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, P. B.; Harold, J. B.; Morrow, C. A.

    2004-12-01

    It is critically important for the public to better understand the scientific process. Museum exhibitions are an important part of informal science education that can effectively reach public audiences as well as school groups. They provide an important gateway for the public to learn about compelling scientific endeavors. The Space Science Institute (SSI) is a national leader in producing traveling science exhibitions and their associated educational programming (i.e. interactive websites, educator workshops, public talks, instructional materials). The focus of this presentation will be on three of its exhibit projects: MarsQuest (currently on tour), Alien Earths (in fabrication), and Giant Planets (in development). MarsQuest is enabling millions of Americans to share in the excitement of the scientific exploration of Mars and to learn more about their own planet in the process. Alien Earths will bring origins-related research and discoveries to students and the American public. It has four interrelated exhibit areas: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, PlanetQuest, and Search for Life. Exhibit visitors will explore the awesome events surrounding the birth of stars and planets; they will join scientists in the hunt for planets outside our solar system including those that may be in "habitable zones" around other stars; and finally they will be able to learn about how scientists are looking for signs of life beyond Earth. Giant Planets: Exploring the Outer Solar System will take advantage of the excitement generated by the Cassini mission and bring planetary and origins research and discoveries to students and the public. It will be organized around four thematic areas: Our Solar System; Colossal Worlds; Moons, Rings, and Fields; and Make Space for Kids. Giant Planets will open in 2007. This talk will focus on the importance of making Earth comparisons in the conceptual design of each exhibit and will show several examples of how these comparisons were manifested in

  7. The evolutionary origins of Southeast Asian Ovalocytosis.

    PubMed

    Paquette, A M; Harahap, A; Laosombat, V; Patnode, J M; Satyagraha, A; Sudoyo, H; Thompson, M K; Yusoff, N M; Wilder, J A

    2015-08-01

    Southeast Asian Ovalocytosis (SAO) is a common red blood cell disorder that is maintained as a balanced polymorphism in human populations. In individuals heterozygous for the SAO-causing mutation there are minimal detrimental effects and well-documented protection from severe malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum; however, the SAO-causing mutation is fully lethal in utero when homozygous. The present-day high frequency of SAO in Island Southeast Asia indicates the trait is maintained by strong heterozygote advantage. Our study elucidates the evolutionary origin of SAO by characterizing DNA sequence variation in a 9.5 kilobase region surrounding the causal mutation in the SLC4A1 gene. We find substantial haplotype diversity among SAO chromosomes and estimate the age of the trait to be approximately 10,005 years (95% CI: 4930-23,200 years). This date is far older than any other human malaria-resistance trait examined previously in Southeast Asia, and considerably pre-dates the widespread adoption of agriculture associated with the spread of speakers of Austronesian languages some 4000 years ago. Using a genealogy-based method we find no evidence of historical positive selection acting on SAO (s=0.0, 95% CI: 0.0-0.03), in sharp contrast to the strong present-day selection coefficient (e.g., 0.09) estimated from the frequency of this recessively lethal trait. This discrepancy may be due to a recent increase in malaria-driven selection pressure following the spread of agriculture, with SAO targeted as a standing variant by positive selection in malarial populations. PMID:26047685

  8. Peripheral contrast sensitivity and attention in myopia.

    PubMed

    Kerber, Kristen L; Thorn, Frank; Bex, Peter J; Vera-Diaz, Fuensanta A

    2016-08-01

    Disruption of normal visual experience or changes in the normal interaction between central and peripheral retinal input may lead to the development of myopia. In order to examine the relationship between peripheral contrast sensitivity and myopia, we manipulated attentional load for foveal vision in emmetropes and myopes while observers detected targets with peripheral vision. Peripheral contrast detection thresholds were measured binocularly using vertical Gabor stimuli presented at three eccentricities (±8°, 17°, 30°) in a spatial 2 alternative forced choice task. Contrast thresholds were measured in young adult (mean age 24.5±2.6years) emmetropes (n=17; group SE: +0.19±0.32D) and myopes (n=25; group SE: -3.74±1.99D). Attention at central fixation was manipulated with: (1) a low attention task, requiring simple fixation; or (2) a high attention task, which required subjects to perform a mathematical task. We found that at 30° all subjects exhibited lower contrast sensitivity (higher thresholds). In addition, myopes (Wilcoxon, p<0.01), but not emmetropes (Wilcoxon, p=0.1), had a significant decrease in sensitivity at 30° during the high attention task. However, the attention dependent threshold increase for myopes was not significantly greater than for emmetropes (Wilcoxon, p=0.27). Attentional load did not increase thresholds at 8° or 17° for either refractive group. These data indicate that myopes experience a greater decrease in contrast sensitivity in the far periphery than emmetropes when attention is deployed in central vision. PMID:27264028

  9. Peripheral contrast sensitivity and attention in myopia.

    PubMed

    Kerber, Kristen L; Thorn, Frank; Bex, Peter J; Vera-Diaz, Fuensanta A

    2016-08-01

    Disruption of normal visual experience or changes in the normal interaction between central and peripheral retinal input may lead to the development of myopia. In order to examine the relationship between peripheral contrast sensitivity and myopia, we manipulated attentional load for foveal vision in emmetropes and myopes while observers detected targets with peripheral vision. Peripheral contrast detection thresholds were measured binocularly using vertical Gabor stimuli presented at three eccentricities (±8°, 17°, 30°) in a spatial 2 alternative forced choice task. Contrast thresholds were measured in young adult (mean age 24.5±2.6years) emmetropes (n=17; group SE: +0.19±0.32D) and myopes (n=25; group SE: -3.74±1.99D). Attention at central fixation was manipulated with: (1) a low attention task, requiring simple fixation; or (2) a high attention task, which required subjects to perform a mathematical task. We found that at 30° all subjects exhibited lower contrast sensitivity (higher thresholds). In addition, myopes (Wilcoxon, p<0.01), but not emmetropes (Wilcoxon, p=0.1), had a significant decrease in sensitivity at 30° during the high attention task. However, the attention dependent threshold increase for myopes was not significantly greater than for emmetropes (Wilcoxon, p=0.27). Attentional load did not increase thresholds at 8° or 17° for either refractive group. These data indicate that myopes experience a greater decrease in contrast sensitivity in the far periphery than emmetropes when attention is deployed in central vision.

  10. Faithful Contrastive Features in Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tesar, Bruce

    2006-01-01

    This article pursues the idea of inferring aspects of phonological underlying forms directly from surface contrasts by looking at optimality theoretic linguistic systems (Prince & Smolensky, 1993/2004). The main result proves that linguistic systems satisfying certain conditions have the faithful contrastive feature property: Whenever 2 distinct…

  11. Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects.

    PubMed

    Krupenye, Christopher; Rosati, Alexandra G; Hare, Brian

    2015-02-01

    Humans exhibit framing effects when making choices, appraising decisions involving losses differently from those involving gains. To directly test for the evolutionary origin of this bias, we examined decision-making in humans' closest living relatives: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We presented the largest sample of non-humans to date (n = 40) with a simple task requiring minimal experience. Apes made choices between a 'framed' option that provided preferred food, and an alternative option that provided a constant amount of intermediately preferred food. In the gain condition, apes experienced a positive 'gain' event in which the framed option was initially presented as one piece of food but sometimes was augmented to two. In the loss condition, apes experienced a negative 'loss' event in which they initially saw two pieces but sometimes received only one. Both conditions provided equal pay-offs, but apes chose the framed option more often in the positive 'gain' frame. Moreover, male apes were more susceptible to framing than were females. These results suggest that some human economic biases are shared through common descent with other apes and highlight the importance of comparative work in understanding the origins of individual differences in human choice. PMID:25672997

  12. Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects.

    PubMed

    Krupenye, Christopher; Rosati, Alexandra G; Hare, Brian

    2015-02-01

    Humans exhibit framing effects when making choices, appraising decisions involving losses differently from those involving gains. To directly test for the evolutionary origin of this bias, we examined decision-making in humans' closest living relatives: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We presented the largest sample of non-humans to date (n = 40) with a simple task requiring minimal experience. Apes made choices between a 'framed' option that provided preferred food, and an alternative option that provided a constant amount of intermediately preferred food. In the gain condition, apes experienced a positive 'gain' event in which the framed option was initially presented as one piece of food but sometimes was augmented to two. In the loss condition, apes experienced a negative 'loss' event in which they initially saw two pieces but sometimes received only one. Both conditions provided equal pay-offs, but apes chose the framed option more often in the positive 'gain' frame. Moreover, male apes were more susceptible to framing than were females. These results suggest that some human economic biases are shared through common descent with other apes and highlight the importance of comparative work in understanding the origins of individual differences in human choice.

  13. Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects

    PubMed Central

    Krupenye, Christopher; Rosati, Alexandra G.; Hare, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Humans exhibit framing effects when making choices, appraising decisions involving losses differently from those involving gains. To directly test for the evolutionary origin of this bias, we examined decision-making in humans' closest living relatives: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We presented the largest sample of non-humans to date (n = 40) with a simple task requiring minimal experience. Apes made choices between a ‘framed’ option that provided preferred food, and an alternative option that provided a constant amount of intermediately preferred food. In the gain condition, apes experienced a positive ‘gain’ event in which the framed option was initially presented as one piece of food but sometimes was augmented to two. In the loss condition, apes experienced a negative ‘loss' event in which they initially saw two pieces but sometimes received only one. Both conditions provided equal pay-offs, but apes chose the framed option more often in the positive ‘gain’ frame. Moreover, male apes were more susceptible to framing than were females. These results suggest that some human economic biases are shared through common descent with other apes and highlight the importance of comparative work in understanding the origins of individual differences in human choice. PMID:25672997

  14. Measurement of visual contrast sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vongierke, H. E.; Marko, A. R.

    1985-04-01

    This invention involves measurement of the visual contrast sensitivity (modulation transfer) function of a human subject by means of linear or circular spatial frequency pattern on a cathode ray tube whose contrast is automatically decreasing or increasing depending on the subject pressing or releasing a hand-switch button. The threshold of detection of the pattern modulation is found by the subject by adjusting the contrast to values which vary about the subject's threshold thereby determining the threshold and also providing by the magnitude of the contrast fluctuations between reversals some estimate of the variability of the subject's absolute threshold. The invention also involves the slow automatic sweeping of the spatial frequency of the pattern over the spatial frequencies after preset time intervals or after threshold has been defined at each frequency by a selected number of subject-determined threshold crossings; i.e., contrast reversals.

  15. Evolutionary trends in arvicolids and the endemic murid Mikrotia - New data and a critical overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maul, Lutz C.; Masini, Federico; Parfitt, Simon A.; Rekovets, Leonid; Savorelli, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    The study of evolutionary rates dates back to the work of Simpson and Haldane in the 1940s. Small mammals, especially Plio-Pleistocene arvicolids (voles and lemmings), are particularly suited for such studies because they have an unusually complete fossil record and exhibit significant evolutionary change through time. In recent decades, arvicolids have been the focus of intensive research devoted to the tempo and mode of evolutionary change and the identification of trends in dental evolution that can be used to correlate and date fossil sites. These studies have raised interesting questions about whether voles and lemmings had unique evolutionary trajectories, or show convergent evolutionary patterns with other hypsodont rodents. Here we review evolutionary patterns in selected arvicolid lineages and endemic Messinian murids (Mikrotia spp.) and discuss reasons for convergence in dental morphology in these two groups of hypsodont rodents. The results substantiate previously detected patterns, but the larger dataset shows that some trends are less regular than previous studies have suggested. With the exception of a pervasive and sustained trend towards increased hypsodonty, our results show that other features do not follow consistent patterns in all lineages, exhibiting a mosaic pattern comprising stasis, variable rate evolution and gradual unidirectional change through time. Evidence for higher evolutionary rates is found in lineages apparently undergoing adaptations to new ecological niches. In the case of Mikrotia, Microtus voles and the water vole (Mimomys-Arvicola) lineage, a shift to a fossorial lifestyle appears to have been an important driving force in their evolution. For other characters, different causes can be invoked; for example a shift to a semi-aquatic lifestyle may be responsible for the trend towards increasing size in Arvicola. Biochronological application of the data should take into account the complexity and biases of the data.

  16. Ionic versus nonionic contrast use.

    PubMed

    Stolberg, H O; McClennan, B L

    1991-01-01

    It has taken many years of research, development and intense scientific investigation to produce intravascular contrast media. Research on relations between chemical structure, animal toxicity, and water-solubility has produced a number of highly water-soluble, iodinated compounds for use in diagnostic radiology as intravascular contrast agents. The currently used intravascular agents may be classified into four groups according to their chemical structure: 1. Ionic monomers 2. Ionic monoacid dimers 3. Nonionic monomers 4. Nonionic dimers It is the objective of this publication to review the history and development of intravascular contrast media as well as their properties, general effects and clinical use. The four types of contrast media differ significantly in their chemical structure and physico-chemical properties, and these differences determine their osmotoxicity, chemotoxicity, and ion toxicity. We analyze the organ specific toxic effects of intravascular contrast media upon the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the renal system. We also review the secondary effects, clinical manifestations, and the incidence of adverse events associated with different types of contrast. The choice of contrast media has become critical since the introduction of nonionic agents because their toxicological and pharmacological properties differ from those of the ionic agents. The application of basic concepts involved in the use of contrast media in excretory urography, computed tomography, angiography, and angiocardiography is discussed, and the advantages of the use of nonionic contrast agents are outlined. Economic and ethical issues are presented with emphasis upon strategies to reduce the risk associated with the injection of intravascular contrast and to curtail consumption according to rational principles of use. PMID:2049958

  17. Evolutionary morphology of the rabbit skull.

    PubMed

    Kraatz, Brian; Sherratt, Emma

    2016-01-01

    The skull of leporids (rabbits and hares) is highly transformed, typified by pronounced arching of the dorsal skull and ventral flexion of the facial region (i.e., facial tilt). Previous studies show that locomotor behavior influences aspects of cranial shape in leporids, and here we use an extensive 3D geometric morphometrics dataset to further explore what influences leporid cranial diversity. Facial tilt angle, a trait that strongly correlates with locomotor mode, significantly predicts the cranial shape variation captured by the primary axis of cranial shape space, and describes a small proportion (13.2%) of overall cranial shape variation in the clade. However, locomotor mode does not correlate with overall cranial shape variation in the clade, because there are two district morphologies of generalist species, and saltators and cursorial species have similar morphologies. Cranial shape changes due to phyletic size change (evolutionary allometry) also describes a small proportion (12.5%) of cranial shape variation in the clade, but this is largely driven by the smallest living leporid, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). By integrating phylogenetic history with our geometric morphometric data, we show that the leporid cranium exhibits weak phylogenetic signal and substantial homoplasy. Though these results make it difficult to reconstruct what the 'ancestral' leporid skull looked like, the fossil records suggest that dorsal arching and facial tilt could have occurred before the origin of the crown group. Lastly, our study highlights the diversity of cranial variation in crown leporids, and highlights a need for additional phylogenetic work that includes stem (fossil) leporids and includes morphological data that captures the transformed morphology of rabbits and hares.

  18. Evolutionary morphology of the rabbit skull

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma

    2016-01-01

    The skull of leporids (rabbits and hares) is highly transformed, typified by pronounced arching of the dorsal skull and ventral flexion of the facial region (i.e., facial tilt). Previous studies show that locomotor behavior influences aspects of cranial shape in leporids, and here we use an extensive 3D geometric morphometrics dataset to further explore what influences leporid cranial diversity. Facial tilt angle, a trait that strongly correlates with locomotor mode, significantly predicts the cranial shape variation captured by the primary axis of cranial shape space, and describes a small proportion (13.2%) of overall cranial shape variation in the clade. However, locomotor mode does not correlate with overall cranial shape variation in the clade, because there are two district morphologies of generalist species, and saltators and cursorial species have similar morphologies. Cranial shape changes due to phyletic size change (evolutionary allometry) also describes a small proportion (12.5%) of cranial shape variation in the clade, but this is largely driven by the smallest living leporid, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). By integrating phylogenetic history with our geometric morphometric data, we show that the leporid cranium exhibits weak phylogenetic signal and substantial homoplasy. Though these results make it difficult to reconstruct what the ‘ancestral’ leporid skull looked like, the fossil records suggest that dorsal arching and facial tilt could have occurred before the origin of the crown group. Lastly, our study highlights the diversity of cranial variation in crown leporids, and highlights a need for additional phylogenetic work that includes stem (fossil) leporids and includes morphological data that captures the transformed morphology of rabbits and hares. PMID:27688967

  19. Evolutionary morphology of the rabbit skull.

    PubMed

    Kraatz, Brian; Sherratt, Emma

    2016-01-01

    The skull of leporids (rabbits and hares) is highly transformed, typified by pronounced arching of the dorsal skull and ventral flexion of the facial region (i.e., facial tilt). Previous studies show that locomotor behavior influences aspects of cranial shape in leporids, and here we use an extensive 3D geometric morphometrics dataset to further explore what influences leporid cranial diversity. Facial tilt angle, a trait that strongly correlates with locomotor mode, significantly predicts the cranial shape variation captured by the primary axis of cranial shape space, and describes a small proportion (13.2%) of overall cranial shape variation in the clade. However, locomotor mode does not correlate with overall cranial shape variation in the clade, because there are two district morphologies of generalist species, and saltators and cursorial species have similar morphologies. Cranial shape changes due to phyletic size change (evolutionary allometry) also describes a small proportion (12.5%) of cranial shape variation in the clade, but this is largely driven by the smallest living leporid, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). By integrating phylogenetic history with our geometric morphometric data, we show that the leporid cranium exhibits weak phylogenetic signal and substantial homoplasy. Though these results make it difficult to reconstruct what the 'ancestral' leporid skull looked like, the fossil records suggest that dorsal arching and facial tilt could have occurred before the origin of the crown group. Lastly, our study highlights the diversity of cranial variation in crown leporids, and highlights a need for additional phylogenetic work that includes stem (fossil) leporids and includes morphological data that captures the transformed morphology of rabbits and hares. PMID:27688967

  20. Evolutionary morphology of the rabbit skull

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma

    2016-01-01

    The skull of leporids (rabbits and hares) is highly transformed, typified by pronounced arching of the dorsal skull and ventral flexion of the facial region (i.e., facial tilt). Previous studies show that locomotor behavior influences aspects of cranial shape in leporids, and here we use an extensive 3D geometric morphometrics dataset to further explore what influences leporid cranial diversity. Facial tilt angle, a trait that strongly correlates with locomotor mode, significantly predicts the cranial shape variation captured by the primary axis of cranial shape space, and describes a small proportion (13.2%) of overall cranial shape variation in the clade. However, locomotor mode does not correlate with overall cranial shape variation in the clade, because there are two district morphologies of generalist species, and saltators and cursorial species have similar morphologies. Cranial shape changes due to phyletic size change (evolutionary allometry) also describes a small proportion (12.5%) of cranial shape variation in the clade, but this is largely driven by the smallest living leporid, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). By integrating phylogenetic history with our geometric morphometric data, we show that the leporid cranium exhibits weak phylogenetic signal and substantial homoplasy. Though these results make it difficult to reconstruct what the ‘ancestral’ leporid skull looked like, the fossil records suggest that dorsal arching and facial tilt could have occurred before the origin of the crown group. Lastly, our study highlights the diversity of cranial variation in crown leporids, and highlights a need for additional phylogenetic work that includes stem (fossil) leporids and includes morphological data that captures the transformed morphology of rabbits and hares.

  1. THE TRENDS HIGH-CONTRAST IMAGING SURVEY. III. A FAINT WHITE DWARF COMPANION ORBITING HD 114174

    SciTech Connect

    Crepp, Justin R.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Gianninas, Alexandros; Kilic, Mukremin; Wright, Jason T.

    2013-09-01

    The nearby Sun-like star HD 114174 exhibits a strong and persistent Doppler acceleration indicating the presence of an unseen distant companion. We have acquired high-contrast imaging observations of this star using NIRC2 at Keck and report the direct detection of the body responsible for causing the ''trend''. HD 114174 B has a projected separation of 692 {+-} 9 mas (18.1 AU) and is 10.75 {+-} 0.12 mag (contrast of 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -5}) fainter than its host in the K-band, requiring aggressive point-spread function subtraction to identify. Our astrometric time baseline of 1.4 yr demonstrates physical association through common proper motion. We find that the companion has absolute magnitude, M{sub J} = 13.97 {+-} 0.11, and colors, J - K = 0.12 {+-} 0.16 mag. These characteristics are consistent with an Almost-Equal-To T3 dwarf, initially leading us to believe that HD 114174 B was a substellar object. However, a dynamical analysis that combines radial velocity measurements with available imaging data indicates a minimum mass of 0.260 {+-} 0.010 M{sub Sun }. We conclude that HD 114174 B must be a white dwarf. Assuming a hydrogen-rich composition, atmospheric and evolutionary model fits yield an effective temperature T{sub eff} = 8200 {+-} 4000 K, surface gravity log g = 8.90 {+-} 0.02, and cooling age of t{sub c} Almost-Equal-To 3.4 Gyr, which is consistent with the 4.7{sup +2.3}{sub -2.6} Gyr host star isochronal age estimate. HD 114174 B is a benchmark object located only 26.14 {+-} 0.37 pc from the Sun. It may be studied at a level of detail comparable to Sirius and Procyon, and used to understand the link between the mass of white dwarf remnants with that of their progenitors.

  2. Evolutionary psychology. Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations.

    PubMed

    Confer, Jaime C; Easton, Judith A; Fleischman, Diana S; Goetz, Cari D; Lewis, David M G; Perilloux, Carin; Buss, David M

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology has emerged over the past 15 years as a major theoretical perspective, generating an increasing volume of empirical studies and assuming a larger presence within psychological science. At the same time, it has generated critiques and remains controversial among some psychologists. Some of the controversy stems from hypotheses that go against traditional psychological theories; some from empirical findings that may have disturbing implications; some from misunderstandings about the logic of evolutionary psychology; and some from reasonable scientific concerns about its underlying framework. This article identifies some of the most common concerns and attempts to elucidate evolutionary psychology's stance pertaining to them. These include issues of testability and falsifiability; the domain specificity versus domain generality of psychological mechanisms; the role of novel environments as they interact with evolved psychological circuits; the role of genes in the conceptual structure of evolutionary psychology; the roles of learning, socialization, and culture in evolutionary psychology; and the practical value of applied evolutionary psychology. The article concludes with a discussion of the limitations of current evolutionary psychology.

  3. Maximum likelihood inference of reticulate evolutionary histories.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yun; Dong, Jianrong; Liu, Kevin J; Nakhleh, Luay

    2014-11-18

    Hybridization plays an important role in the evolution of certain groups of organisms, adaptation to their environments, and diversification of their genomes. The evolutionary histories of such groups are reticulate, and methods for reconstructing them are still in their infancy and have limited applicability. We present a maximum likelihood method for inferring reticulate evolutionary histories while accounting simultaneously for incomplete lineage sorting. Additionally, we propose methods for assessing confidence in the amount of reticulation and the topology of the inferred evolutionary history. Our method obtains accurate estimates of reticulate evolutionary histories on simulated datasets. Furthermore, our method provides support for a hypothesis of a reticulate evolutionary history inferred from a set of house mouse (Mus musculus) genomes. As evidence of hybridization in eukaryotic groups accumulates, it is essential to have methods that infer reticulate evolutionary histories. The work we present here allows for such inference and provides a significant step toward putting phylogenetic networks on par with phylogenetic trees as a model of capturing evolutionary relationships. PMID:25368173

  4. 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.

  5. Contrasting effects of intralocus sexual conflict on sexually antagonistic coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Pennell, Tanya M.; de Haas, Freek J. H.; Morrow, Edward H.; van Doorn, G. Sander

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary conflict between the sexes can induce arms races in which males evolve traits that are detrimental to the fitness of their female partners, and vice versa. This interlocus sexual conflict (IRSC) has been proposed as a cause of perpetual intersexual antagonistic coevolution with wide-ranging evolutionary consequences. However, theory suggests that the scope for perpetual coevolution is limited, if traits involved in IRSC are subject to pleiotropic constraints. Here, we consider a biologically plausible form of pleiotropy that has hitherto been ignored in treatments of IRSC and arrive at drastically different conclusions. Our analysis is based on a quantitative genetic model of sexual conflict, in which genes controlling IRSC traits have side effects in the other sex, due to incompletely sex-limited gene expression. As a result, the genes are exposed to intralocus sexual conflict (IASC), a tug-of-war between opposing male- and female-specific selection pressures. We find that the interaction between the two forms of sexual conflict has contrasting effects on antagonistic coevolution: Pleiotropic constraints stabilize the dynamics of arms races if the mating traits are close to evolutionary equilibrium but can prevent populations from ever reaching such a state. Instead, the sexes are drawn into a continuous cycle of arms races, causing the buildup of IASC, alternated by phases of IASC resolution that trigger the next arms race. These results encourage an integrative perspective on the biology of sexual conflict and generally caution against relying exclusively on equilibrium stability analysis. PMID:26755609

  6. Endocrine Proxies Can Simplify Endocrine Complexity to Enable Evolutionary Prediction.

    PubMed

    Davidowitz, Goggy

    2016-08-01

    It is well understood that much of evolutionary change is mediated through the endocrine system with growing interest to identify how this occurs. This however, causes a conflict of sorts. To understand endocrine mechanism, a focus on detail is required. In contrast, to understand evolutionary change, reduction to a few key traits is essential. Endocrine proxies, measurable traits that accurately reflect specific hormonal titers or the timing of specific hormonal events, can reduce endocrine complexity to a few traits that enable predictions of how the endocrine system regulates evolutionary change. In the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta, Sphingidae), three endocrine proxies, measured on 5470 individuals, were used to test explicit predictions of how the endocrine system regulates the response to 10 generations of simultaneous selection on body size and development time. The critical weight (CW) reflects the variation in the cessation of juvenile hormone (JH) secretion in the last larval instar, the interval to cessation of growth (ICG) reflects the variation in prothoracicotropic hormone and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Growth rate (GR) reflects the nutrient signaling pathways, primarily the insulin and TOR This is a standard identity similar to DNA signaling pathways. These three endocrine proxies explained 99% and 93% of the variation in body size and development time, respectively, following the 10 generations of simultaneous selection. When the two focal traits, body size and development time, were selected in the same direction, both to either increase or both to decrease, the response to selection was determined primarily by the CW and the ICG, proxies for the developmental hormones JH and 20E, and constrained by GR. In contrast, when the two focal traits were selected in opposite directions, one to increase and the other to decrease, the response to selection was determined primarily by the insulin and TOR signaling pathways as measured by their proxy, GR, and

  7. Endocrine Proxies Can Simplify Endocrine Complexity to Enable Evolutionary Prediction.

    PubMed

    Davidowitz, Goggy

    2016-08-01

    It is well understood that much of evolutionary change is mediated through the endocrine system with growing interest to identify how this occurs. This however, causes a conflict of sorts. To understand endocrine mechanism, a focus on detail is required. In contrast, to understand evolutionary change, reduction to a few key traits is essential. Endocrine proxies, measurable traits that accurately reflect specific hormonal titers or the timing of specific hormonal events, can reduce endocrine complexity to a few traits that enable predictions of how the endocrine system regulates evolutionary change. In the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta, Sphingidae), three endocrine proxies, measured on 5470 individuals, were used to test explicit predictions of how the endocrine system regulates the response to 10 generations of simultaneous selection on body size and development time. The critical weight (CW) reflects the variation in the cessation of juvenile hormone (JH) secretion in the last larval instar, the interval to cessation of growth (ICG) reflects the variation in prothoracicotropic hormone and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Growth rate (GR) reflects the nutrient signaling pathways, primarily the insulin and TOR This is a standard identity similar to DNA signaling pathways. These three endocrine proxies explained 99% and 93% of the variation in body size and development time, respectively, following the 10 generations of simultaneous selection. When the two focal traits, body size and development time, were selected in the same direction, both to either increase or both to decrease, the response to selection was determined primarily by the CW and the ICG, proxies for the developmental hormones JH and 20E, and constrained by GR. In contrast, when the two focal traits were selected in opposite directions, one to increase and the other to decrease, the response to selection was determined primarily by the insulin and TOR signaling pathways as measured by their proxy, GR, and

  8. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-01-01

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of ‘natural pedagogy’ in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species. PMID:21357237

  9. 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

  10. Evolutionary games in the multiverse.

    PubMed

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-03-23

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts.

  11. Evolutionary games in the multiverse

    PubMed Central

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts. PMID:20212124

  12. Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2012-09-01

    Our well-being depends on both our personal success and the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation an essential trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remains elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly rich social dynamics that explain why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding, coming from over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utilization of network reciprocity. This may explain why, despite its success, rewarding is not as firmly embedded into our societal organization as punishment.

  13. Evolutionary dynamics of taxonomic structure

    PubMed Central

    Foote, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species among genera and higher taxa has largely untapped potential to reveal among-clade variation in rates of origination and extinction. The probability distribution of the number of species within a genus is modelled with a stochastic, time-homogeneous birth–death model having two parameters: the rate of species extinction, μ, and the rate of genus origination, γ, each scaled as a multiple of the rate of within-genus speciation, λ. The distribution is more sensitive to γ than to μ, although μ affects the size of the largest genera. The species : genus ratio depends strongly on both γ and μ, and so is not a good diagnostic of evolutionary dynamics. The proportion of monotypic genera, however, depends mainly on γ, and so may provide an index of the genus origination rate. Application to living marine molluscs of New Zealand shows that bivalves have a higher relative rate of genus origination than gastropods. This is supported by the analysis of palaeontological data. This concordance suggests that analysis of living taxonomic distributions may allow inference of macroevolutionary dynamics even without a fossil record. PMID:21865239

  14. Evolutionary games in the multiverse.

    PubMed

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-03-23

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts. PMID:20212124

  15. The optimal polarizations for achieving maximum contrast in radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swartz, A. A.; Yueh, H. A.; Kong, J. A.; Novak, L. M.; Shin, R. T.

    1988-01-01

    There is considerable interest in determining the optimal polarizations that maximize contrast between two scattering classes in polarimetric radar images. A systematic approach is presented for obtaining the optimal polarimetric matched filter, i.e., that filter which produces maximum contrast between two scattering classes. The maximization procedure involves solving an eigenvalue problem where the eigenvector corresponding to the maximum contrast ratio is an optimal polarimetric matched filter. To exhibit the physical significance of this filter, it is transformed into its associated transmitting and receiving polarization states, written in terms of horizontal and vertical vector components. For the special case where the transmitting polarization is fixed, the receiving polarization which maximizes the contrast ratio is also obtained. Polarimetric filtering is then applies to synthetic aperture radar images obtained from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is shown, both numerically and through the use of radar imagery, that maximum image contrast can be realized when data is processed with the optimal polarimeter matched filter.

  16. Judder-Induced Edge Flicker at Zero Spatial Contrast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larimer, James; Feng, Christine; Gille, Jennifer; Cheung, Victor

    2004-01-01

    Judder is a motion artifact that degrades the quality of video imagery. Smooth motion appears jerky and can appear to flicker along the leading and trailing edge of the moving object. In a previous paper, we demonstrated that the strength of the edge flicker signal depended upon the brightness of the scene and the contrast of the moving object relative to the background. Reducing the contrast between foreground and background reduced the flicker signal. In this report, we show that the contrast signal required for judder-induced edge flicker is due to temporal contrast and not simply to spatial contrast. Bars made of random dots of the same dot density as the background exhibit edge flicker when moved at sufficient rate.

  17. After Terror Charges, Artist Exhibits Academic Freedom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Robin

    2008-01-01

    Steven Kurtz, a professor of visual studies at the State University of New York, has been working with various bacteria as part of his counterculture exhibit artworks for nearly 20 years. Four years ago, federal agents raided his home in a bioterrorism investigation. The federal agents had been called to the house by local police officers…

  18. 18 CFR 153.8 - Required exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... LNG, evidence that an appropriate and qualified concern will properly and safely receive or deliver such LNG, including a report containing detailed engineering and design information. The Commission... Office of Energy Projects, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426; (6) Exhibit E-1. If the...

  19. 28 CFR 68.43 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Exhibits. 68.43 Section 68.43 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (CONTINUED) RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS BEFORE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES IN CASES INVOLVING ALLEGATIONS OF UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT OF ALIENS,...

  20. Creating Cross-Cultural Exhibits in Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamura, Kazuyo; Erickson, Virginia; Ford, Viktoria

    Theory and practice of the Cross-Cultural Arts Exhibit project initiated by the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) is described in this paper. The project was developed based on the concept of post-museum. Instead of transmitting values and knowledge, communication in the post-museum stresses the…

  1. 18 CFR 50.7 - Applications: exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... required supporting equipment, such as insulation medium pressurizing or forced cooling; (iii) Cathodic protection scheme; and (iv) Type of dielectric fluid and safeguards used to limit potential spills in...) Exhibit H—System analysis data. An analysis evaluating the impact the proposed facilities will have on...

  2. 17 CFR 232.102 - Exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... pursuant to the schedule's general instructions. See Rule 311(b) of Regulation S-T (17 CFR 232.311(b)). (b... registered investment company or a business development company). (d) Each electronic filing requiring... AND REGULATIONS FOR ELECTRONIC FILINGS Electronic Filing Requirements § 232.102 Exhibits. (a)...

  3. 18 CFR 50.7 - Applications: exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Applications: exhibits. 50.7 Section 50.7 Conservation of Power and Water Resources FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY REGULATIONS UNDER THE FEDERAL POWER ACT APPLICATIONS FOR PERMITS TO SITE...

  4. 18 CFR 50.7 - Applications: exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... relation to the project and other principal interconnected system elements, as well as power flow and loss... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Applications: exhibits. 50.7 Section 50.7 Conservation of Power and Water Resources FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY...

  5. 18 CFR 50.7 - Applications: exhibits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Applications: exhibits. 50.7 Section 50.7 Conservation of Power and Water Resources FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION... destination of the project; (ii) Design voltage rating (kV); (iii) Operating voltage rating (kV); (iv)...

  6. Computational and evolutionary aspects of language.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Martin A; Komarova, Natalia L; Niyogi, Partha

    2002-06-01

    Language is our legacy. It is the main evolutionary contribution of humans, and perhaps the most interesting trait that has emerged in the past 500 million years. Understanding how darwinian evolution gives rise to human language requires the integration of formal language theory, learning theory and evolutionary dynamics. Formal language theory provides a mathematical description of language and grammar. Learning theory formalizes the task of language acquisition it can be shown that no procedure can learn an unrestricted set of languages. Universal grammar specifies the restricted set of languages learnable by the human brain. Evolutionary dynamics can be formulated to describe the cultural evolution of language and the biological evolution of universal grammar.

  7. MarsQuest: A National Traveling Exhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. W.; Dusenbery, P. B.

    1998-09-01

    With the successful landing of Mars Pathfinder and the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor, a new decade of Mars exploration has commenced. MarsQuest, a 5000 square foot traveling exhibition, is being developed to further bring the excitement and discoveries of this "Decade of Mars Exploration" to the public. MarsQuest is partially funded by the Informal Science Education Program of the National Science Foundation and NASA's Office of Space Science. The Space Science Institute (SSI) in Boulder, CO, is leading the project. Scientific and educational advisors from many different universities and government laboratories, most of whom are directly involved in the active and planned Mars missions, will ensure the scientific accuracy, timeliness, and relevance of the key concepts presented in the exhibition and accompanying programs. The traveling exhibit is the primary element of the MarsQuest project. The exhibition experience, carefully keyed to current events in Mars exploration, will transport visitors to the surface of the Red Planet via large murals, dioramas, and numerous interactive displays. There they will have the opportunity to share in the spirit and thrill of exploration, and come to appreciate the similarities and differences between Earth and Mars. A planetarium show, geared to the goals of the MarsQuest project, will be an important sensory addition to the traveling exhibit. The planetarium/star-theater venue presents a unique environment where audience members can literally be surrounded by Mars images. Education and outreach programs comprise the remainder of the MarsQuest project. The goal of these is to make scientific concepts and scientific and engineering processes understandable to students via Mars-inspired curricula. MarsQuest will open in late-1999, traveling to about nine sites throughout the United States and reaching an estimated two to three million children and adults during its planned three-year tour. Mars - coming soon to a museum near

  8. Small intestine contrast injection (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... and throat, through the stomach into the small intestine. When in place, contrast dye is introduced and ... means of demonstrating whether or not the small intestine is normal when abnormality is suspected.

  9. Visual maladaptation in contrast domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pajak, Dawid; Cadík, Martin; Aydin, Tunç O.; Myszkowski, Karol; Seidel, Hans-Peter

    2010-02-01

    In this work we simulate the effect of the human eye's maladaptation to visual perception over time through a supra-threshold contrast perception model that comprises adaptation mechanisms. Specifically, we attempt to visualize maladapted vision on a display device. Given the scene luminance, the model computes a measure of perceived multi-scale contrast by taking into account spatially and temporally varying contrast sensitivity in a maladapted state, which is then processed by the inverse model and mapped to a desired display's luminance assuming perfect adaptation. Our system simulates the effect of maladaptation locally, and models the shifting of peak spatial frequency sensitivity in maladapted vision in addition to the uniform decrease in contrast sensitivity among all frequencies. Through our GPU implementation we demonstrate the visibility loss of scene details due to maladaptation over time at an interactive speed.

  10. Identical inferences about correlated evolution arise from ancestral state reconstruction and independent contrasts.

    PubMed

    Elliot, Michael G

    2015-01-01

    Inferences about the evolution of continuous traits based on reconstruction of ancestral states have often been considered more error-prone than analysis of independent contrasts. Here we show that both methods in fact yield identical estimators for the correlation coefficient and regression gradient of correlated traits, indicating that reconstructed ancestral states are a valid source of information about correlated evolution. We show that the independent contrast associated with a pair of sibling nodes on a phylogenetic tree can be expressed in terms of the maximum likelihood ancestral state function at those nodes and their common parent. This expression gives rise to novel formulae for independent contrasts for any model of evolution admitting of a local likelihood function. We thus derive new formulae for independent contrasts applicable to traits evolving under directional drift, and use simulated data to show that these directional contrasts provide better estimates of evolutionary model parameters than standard independent contrasts, when traits in fact evolve with a directional tendency.

  11. Analysis of a Rapid Evolutionary Radiation Using Ultraconserved Elements: Evidence for a Bias in Some Multispecies Coalescent Methods.

    PubMed

    Meiklejohn, Kelly A; Faircloth, Brant C; Glenn, Travis C; Kimball, Rebecca T; Braun, Edward L

    2016-07-01

    Rapid evolutionary radiations are expected to require large amounts of sequence data to resolve. To resolve these types of relationships many systematists believe that it will be necessary to collect data by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and use multispecies coalescent ("species tree") methods. Ultraconserved element (UCE) sequence capture is becoming a popular method to leverage the high throughput of NGS to address problems in vertebrate phylogenetics. Here we examine the performance of UCE data for gallopheasants (true pheasants and allies), a clade that underwent a rapid radiation 10-15 Ma. Relationships among gallopheasant genera have been difficult to establish. We used this rapid radiation to assess the performance of species tree methods, using ∼600 kilobases of DNA sequence data from ∼1500 UCEs. We also integrated information from traditional markers (nuclear intron data from 15 loci and three mitochondrial gene regions). Species tree methods exhibited troubling behavior. Two methods [Maximum Pseudolikelihood for Estimating Species Trees (MP-EST) and Accurate Species TRee ALgorithm (ASTRAL)] appeared to perform optimally when the set of input gene trees was limited to the most variable UCEs, though ASTRAL appeared to be more robust than MP-EST to input trees generated using less variable UCEs. In contrast, the rooted triplet consensus method implemented in Triplec performed better when the largest set of input gene trees was used. We also found that all three species tree methods exhibited a surprising degree of dependence on the program used to estimate input gene trees, suggesting that the details of likelihood calculations (e.g., numerical optimization) are important for loci with limited phylogenetic information. As an alternative to summary species tree methods we explored the performance of SuperMatrix Rooted Triple - Maximum Likelihood (SMRT-ML), a concatenation method that is consistent even when gene trees exhibit topological differences

  12. Naturally segregating loci exhibit epistasis for fitness

    PubMed Central

    Monnahan, Patrick J.; Kelly, John K.

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which gene interaction or epistasis contributes to fitness variation within populations remains poorly understood, despite its importance to a myriad of evolutionary questions. Here, we report a multi-year field study estimating fitness of Mimulus guttatus genetic lines in which pairs of naturally segregating loci exist in an otherwise uniform background. An allele at QTL x5b—a locus originally mapped for its effect on flower size—positively affects survival if combined with one genotype at quantitative trait locus x10a (aa) but has negative effects when combined with the other genotypes (Aa and AA). The viability differences between genotypes parallel phenotypic differences for the time and node at which a plant flowers. Viability is negatively correlated with fecundity across genotypes, indicating antagonistic pleiotropy for fitness components. This trade-off reduces the genetic variance for total fitness relative to the individual fitness components and thus may serve to maintain variation. Additionally, we find that the effects of each locus and their interaction often vary with the environment. PMID:26246336

  13. A theory of behavioral contrast.

    PubMed

    Killeen, Peter R

    2014-11-01

    The reinforcers that maintain target instrumental responses also reinforce other responses that compete with them for expression. This competition, and its imbalance at points of transition between different schedules of reinforcement, causes behavioral contrast. The imbalance is caused by differences in the rates at which different responses come under the control of component stimuli. A model for this theory of behavioral contrast is constructed by expanding the coupling coefficient of MPR (Killeen, 1994). The coupling coefficient gives the degree of association of a reinforcer with the target response (as opposed to other competing responses). Competing responses, often identified as interim or adjunctive or superstitious behavior, are intrinsic to reinforcement schedules, especially interval schedules. In addition to that base-rate of competition, additional competing responses may spill over from the prior component, causing initial contrast; and they may be modulated by conditioned reinforcement or punishment from stimuli associated with subsequent component change, causing terminal contrast. A formalization of these hypotheses employed (a) a hysteresis model of off-target responses giving rise to initial contrast, and (b) a competing traces model of the suppression or enhancement of ongoing competitive responses by signals of following-schedule transition. The theory was applied to transient contrast, the following schedule effect, and the component duration effect. PMID:25244535

  14. A theory of behavioral contrast.

    PubMed

    Killeen, Peter R

    2014-11-01

    The reinforcers that maintain target instrumental responses also reinforce other responses that compete with them for expression. This competition, and its imbalance at points of transition between different schedules of reinforcement, causes behavioral contrast. The imbalance is caused by differences in the rates at which different responses come under the control of component stimuli. A model for this theory of behavioral contrast is constructed by expanding the coupling coefficient of MPR (Killeen, 1994). The coupling coefficient gives the degree of association of a reinforcer with the target response (as opposed to other competing responses). Competing responses, often identified as interim or adjunctive or superstitious behavior, are intrinsic to reinforcement schedules, especially interval schedules. In addition to that base-rate of competition, additional competing responses may spill over from the prior component, causing initial contrast; and they may be modulated by conditioned reinforcement or punishment from stimuli associated with subsequent component change, causing terminal contrast. A formalization of these hypotheses employed (a) a hysteresis model of off-target responses giving rise to initial contrast, and (b) a competing traces model of the suppression or enhancement of ongoing competitive responses by signals of following-schedule transition. The theory was applied to transient contrast, the following schedule effect, and the component duration effect.

  15. Mean Protein Evolutionary Distance: A Method for Comparative Protein Evolution and Its Application

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Proteins are under tight evolutionary constraints, so if a protein changes it can only do so in ways that do not compromise its function. In addition, the proteins in an organism evolve at different rates. Leveraging the history of patristic distance methods, a new method for analysing comparative protein evolution, called Mean Protein Evolutionary Distance (MeaPED), measures differential resistance to evolutionary pressure across viral proteomes and is thereby able to point to the proteins’ roles. Different species’ proteomes can also be compared because the results, consistent across virus subtypes, concisely reflect the very different lifestyles of the viruses. The MeaPED method is here applied to influenza A virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), dengue virus, rotavirus A, polyomavirus BK and measles, which span the positive and negative single-stranded, doubled-stranded and reverse transcribing RNA viruses, and double-stranded DNA viruses. From this analysis, host interaction proteins including hemagglutinin (influenza), and viroporins agnoprotein (polyomavirus), p7 (hepatitis C) and VPU (HIV) emerge as evolutionary hot-spots. By contrast, RNA-directed RNA polymerase proteins including L (measles), PB1/PB2 (influenza) and VP1 (rotavirus), and internal serine proteases such as NS3 (dengue and hepatitis C virus) emerge as evolutionary cold-spots. The hot spot influenza hemagglutinin protein is contrasted with the related cold spot H protein from measles. It is proposed that evolutionary cold-spot proteins can become significant targets for second-line anti-viral therapeutics, in cases where front-line vaccines are not available or have become ineffective due to mutations in the hot-spot, generally more antigenically exposed proteins. The MeaPED package is available from www.pam1.bcs.uwa.edu.au/~michaelw/ftp/src/meaped.tar.gz. PMID:23613826

  16. How mutation affects evolutionary games on graphs.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin; Traulsen, Arne; Tarnita, Corina E; Nowak, Martin A

    2012-04-21

    Evolutionary dynamics are affected by population structure, mutation rates and update rules. Spatial or network structure facilitates the clustering of strategies, which represents a mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. Mutation dilutes this effect. Here we analyze how mutation influences evolutionary clustering on graphs. We introduce new mathematical methods to evolutionary game theory, specifically the analysis of coalescing random walks via generating functions. These techniques allow us to derive exact identity-by-descent (IBD) probabilities, which characterize spatial assortment on lattices and Cayley trees. From these IBD probabilities we obtain exact conditions for the evolution of cooperation and other game strategies, showing the dual effects of graph topology and mutation rate. High mutation rates diminish the clustering of cooperators, hindering their evolutionary success. Our model can represent either genetic evolution with mutation, or social imitation processes with random strategy exploration.

  17. [Evolutionary medicine: an emergent basic science].

    PubMed

    Spotorno, Angel E

    2005-02-01

    Evolutionary Medicine is an emergent basic science that offers new and varied perspectives to the comprehension of human health. The application of classic evolutionary theories (descent with modification, and natural selection) to the human organism, to its pathogens, and their mutual co-evolution, provides new explanations about why we get sick, how we can prevent this, and how we can heal. Medicine has focused mainly on the proximate or immediate causes of diseases and the treatment of symptoms, and very little on its evolutionary or mediate causes. For instance, the present human genome and phenotypes are essentially paleolithic ones: they are not adapted to modern life style, thus favoring the so-called diseases of civilization (ie: ateroesclerosis, senescence, myopia, phobias, panic attacks, stress, reproductive cancers). With the evolutionary approach, post-modern medicine is detecting better the vulnerabilities, restrictions, biases, adaptations and maladaptations of human body, its actual diseases, and its preventions.

  18. Evolutionary fire ecology: lessons learned from pines.

    PubMed

    Pausas, Juli G

    2015-05-01

    Macroevolutionary studies of the genus Pinus provide the oldest current evidence of fire as an evolutionary pressure on plants and date back to ca. 125 million years ago (Ma). Microevolutionary studies show that fire traits are variable within and among populations, especially among those subject to different fire regimes. In addition, there is increasing evidence of an inherited genetic basis to variability in fire traits. Added together, pines provide compelling evidence that fire can exert an evolutionary pressure on plants and, thus, shape biodiversity. In addition, evolutionary fire ecology is providing insights to improve the management of pine forests under changing conditions. The lessons learned from pines may guide research on the evolutionary ecology of other taxa.

  19. Teaching Evolutionary Theory as General Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Paul

    1984-01-01

    Provides a rationale for including evolution as part of a college general education curriculum, discussing the content of evolutionary theory, instructional principles, Darwin's contributions, evolution and religion, and the relationship of evolution with current events. (DMM)

  20. 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

  1. Evolutionary origins of leadership and followership.

    PubMed

    Van Vugt, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Drawing upon evolutionary logic, leadership is reconceptualized in terms of the outcome of strategic interactions among individuals who are following different, yet complementary, decision rules to solve recurrent coordination problems. This article uses the vast psychological literature on leadership as a database to test several evolutionary hypotheses about the origins of leadership and followership in humans. As expected, leadership correlates with initiative taking, trait measures of intelligence, specific task competencies, and several indicators of generosity. The review finds no link between leadership and dominance. The evolutionary analysis accounts for reliable age, health, and sex differences in leadership emergence. In general, evolutionary theory provides a useful, integrative framework for studying leader-follower relationships and generates various novel research hypotheses.

  2. Evolutionary interaction networks of insect pathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Boomsma, Jacobus J; Jensen, Annette B; Meyling, Nicolai V; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    Lineages of insect pathogenic fungi are concentrated in three major clades: Hypocreales (several genera), Entomophthoromycota (orders Entomophthorales and Neozygitales), and Onygenales (genus Ascosphaera). Our review focuses on aspects of the evolutionary biology of these fungi that have remained underemphasized in previous reviews. To ensure integration with the better-known domains of insect pathology research, we followed a conceptual framework formulated by Tinbergen, asking complementary questions on mechanism, ontogeny, phylogeny, and adaptation. We aim to provide an introduction to the merits of evolutionary approaches for readers with a background in invertebrate pathology research and to make the insect pathogenic fungi more accessible as model systems for evolutionary biologists. We identify a number of questions in which fundamental research can offer novel insights into the evolutionary forces that have shaped host specialization and life-history traits such as spore number and size, somatic growth rate, toxin production, and interactions with host immune systems.

  3. How Evolutionary Biologists Reconstruct History: Patterns & Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Robert A.

    2004-01-01

    Focusing on specific modes of evolutionally inquiry is important for students to achieve a mature understanding about evolutionary biology. Presenting evolution as rhetoric of conclusions would only confuse the minds of students.

  4. Scheduling Earth Observing Satellites with Evolutionary Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Globus, Al; Crawford, James; Lohn, Jason; Pryor, Anna

    2003-01-01

    We hypothesize that evolutionary algorithms can effectively schedule coordinated fleets of Earth observing satellites. The constraints are complex and the bottlenecks are not well understood, a condition where evolutionary algorithms are often effective. This is, in part, because evolutionary algorithms require only that one can represent solutions, modify solutions, and evaluate solution fitness. To test the hypothesis we have developed a representative set of problems, produced optimization software (in Java) to solve them, and run experiments comparing techniques. This paper presents initial results of a comparison of several evolutionary and other optimization techniques; namely the genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, squeaky wheel optimization, and stochastic hill climbing. We also compare separate satellite vs. integrated scheduling of a two satellite constellation. While the results are not definitive, tests to date suggest that simulated annealing is the best search technique and integrated scheduling is superior.

  5. 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

  6. Evolutionary contingency and SETI revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirkovic, Milan M.

    2014-07-01

    The well-known argument against the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) due to George Gaylord Simpson is re-analyzed almost half a century later, in the light of our improved understanding of preconditions for the emergence of life and intelligence brought about by the ongoing "astrobiological revolution". Simpson's argument has been enormously influential, in particular in biological circles, and it arguably fueled the most serious opposition to SETI programmes and their funding. I argue that both proponents and opponents of Simpson's argument have occasionally mispresented its core content. Proponents often oversimplify it as just another consequence of biological contingency, thus leaving their position open to general arguments limiting the scope of contingency in evolution (such as the recent argument of Geerat Vermeij based on selection effects in the fossil record). They also tend to neglect that the argument has been presented as essentially atemporal, while referring to entities and processes that are likely to change over time; this has become even less justifiable as our astrobiological knowledge increased in recent years. Opponents have failed to see that the weaknesses in Simpson's position could be removed by restructuring of the argument; I suggest one way of such restructuring, envisioned long ago in the fictional context by Stanislaw Lem. While no firm consensus has emerged on the validity of Simpson's argument so far, I suggest that, contrary to the original motivation, today it is less an anti-SETI argument, and more an astrobiological research programme. In this research programme, SETI could be generalized into a platform for testing some of the deepest assumptions about evolutionary continuity and the relative role of contingency versus convergence on unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

  7. Wolbachia versus dengue: Evolutionary forecasts.

    PubMed

    Bull, James J; Turelli, Michael

    2013-01-01

    A novel form of biological control is being applied to the dengue virus. The agent is the maternally transmitted bacterium Wolbachia, naturally absent from the main dengue vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Three Wolbachia-based control strategies have been proposed. One is suppression of mosquito populations by large-scale releases of males incompatible with native females; this intervention requires ongoing releases. The other interventions transform wild mosquito populations with Wolbachia that spread via the frequency-dependent fitness advantage of Wolbachia-infected females; those interventions potentially require just a single, local release for area-wide disease control. One of these latter strategies uses Wolbachia that shortens mosquito life, indirectly preventing viral maturation/transmission. The other strategy uses Wolbachia that block viral transmission. All interventions can be undermined by viral, bacterial or mosquito evolution; viral virulence in humans may also evolve. We examine existing theory, experiments and comparative evidence to motivate predictions about evolutionary outcomes. (i) The life-shortening strategy seems the most likely to be thwarted by evolution. (ii) Mosquito suppression has a reasonable chance of working locally, at least in the short term, but long-term success over large areas is challenging. (iii) Dengue blocking faces strong selection for viral resistance but may well persist indefinitely at some level. Virulence evolution is not mathematically predictable, but comparative data provide no precedent for Wolbachia increasing dengue virulence. On balance, our analysis suggests that the considerable possible benefits of these technologies outweigh the known negatives, but the actual risk is largely unknown. PMID:24481199

  8. Evolutionary transgenomics: prospects and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Correa, Raul; Baum, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Many advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of species differences have arisen from transformation experiments, which allow us to study the effect of genes from one species (the donor) when placed in the genetic background of another species (the recipient). Such interspecies transformation experiments are usually focused on candidate genes – genes that, based on work in model systems, are suspected to be responsible for certain phenotypic differences between the donor and recipient species. We suggest that the high efficiency of transformation in a few plant species, most notably Arabidopsis thaliana, combined with the small size of typical plant genes and their cis-regulatory regions allow implementation of a screening strategy that does not depend upon a priori candidate gene identification. This approach, transgenomics, entails moving many large genomic inserts of a donor species into the wild type background of a recipient species and then screening for dominant phenotypic effects. As a proof of concept, we recently conducted a transgenomic screen that analyzed more than 1100 random, large genomic inserts of the Alabama gladecress Leavenworthia alabamica for dominant phenotypic effects in the A. thaliana background. This screen identified one insert that shortens fruit and decreases A. thaliana fertility. In this paper we discuss the principles of transgenomic screens and suggest methods to help minimize the frequencies of false positive and false negative results. We argue that, because transgenomics avoids committing in advance to candidate genes it has the potential to help us identify truly novel genes or cryptic functions of known genes. Given the valuable knowledge that is likely to be gained, we believe the time is ripe for the plant evolutionary community to invest in transgenomic screens, at least in the mustard family Brassicaceae where many species are amenable to efficient transformation. PMID:26579137

  9. Evolutionary Design of Controlled Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masters, Brett P.; Crawley, Edward F.

    1997-01-01

    Basic physical concepts of structural delay and transmissibility are provided for simple rod and beam structures. Investigations show the sensitivity of these concepts to differing controlled-structures variables, and to rational system modeling effects. An evolutionary controls/structures design method is developed. The basis of the method is an accurate model formulation for dynamic compensator optimization and Genetic Algorithm based updating of sensor/actuator placement and structural attributes. One and three dimensional examples from the literature are used to validate the method. Frequency domain interpretation of these controlled structure systems provide physical insight as to how the objective is optimized and consequently what is important in the objective. Several disturbance rejection type controls-structures systems are optimized for a stellar interferometer spacecraft application. The interferometric designs include closed loop tracking optics. Designs are generated for differing structural aspect ratios, differing disturbance attributes, and differing sensor selections. Physical limitations in achieving performance are given in terms of average system transfer function gains and system phase loss. A spacecraft-like optical interferometry system is investigated experimentally over several different optimized controlled structures configurations. Configurations represent common and not-so-common approaches to mitigating pathlength errors induced by disturbances of two different spectra. Results show that an optimized controlled structure for low frequency broadband disturbances achieves modest performance gains over a mass equivalent regular structure, while an optimized structure for high frequency narrow band disturbances is four times better in terms of root-mean-square pathlength. These results are predictable given the nature of the physical system and the optimization design variables. Fundamental limits on controlled performance are discussed

  10. Inflection Classes, Gender, and the Principle of Contrast.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carstairs-McCarthy, Andrew

    1994-01-01

    Clark's 1987 Principle of Contrast seems inconsistent with the synonymy exhibited by inflectional affixes in languages with inflection classes. But if inflection class membership identifies the inflection class of the lexemes to which it attaches, then inflection affixation complies with this principle. Grammatical implications are suggested. (76…

  11. Multimodal audio guide for museums and exhibitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebbensleben, Sandra; Dittmann, Jana; Vielhauer, Claus

    2006-02-01

    In our paper we introduce a new Audio Guide concept for exploring buildings, realms and exhibitions. Actual proposed solutions work in most cases with pre-defined devices, which users have to buy or borrow. These systems often go along with complex technical installations and require a great degree of user training for device handling. Furthermore, the activation of audio commentary related to the exhibition objects is typically based on additional components like infrared, radio frequency or GPS technology. Beside the necessity of installation of specific devices for user location, these approaches often only support automatic activation with no or limited user interaction. Therefore, elaboration of alternative concepts appears worthwhile. Motivated by these aspects, we introduce a new concept based on usage of the visitor's own mobile smart phone. The advantages in our approach are twofold: firstly the Audio Guide can be used in various places without any purchase and extensive installation of additional components in or around the exhibition object. Secondly, the visitors can experience the exhibition on individual tours only by uploading the Audio Guide at a single point of entry, the Audio Guide Service Counter, and keeping it on her or his personal device. Furthermore, since the user usually is quite familiar with the interface of her or his phone and can thus interact with the application device easily. Our technical concept makes use of two general ideas for location detection and activation. Firstly, we suggest an enhanced interactive number based activation by exploiting the visual capabilities of modern smart phones and secondly we outline an active digital audio watermarking approach, where information about objects are transmitted via an analog audio channel.

  12. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command exhibit entrance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    StenniSphere at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., invites visitors to discover why America comes to Stennis Space Center before going into space. Designed to entertain while educating, StenniSphere includes informative displays and exhibits from NASA and other agencies located at Stennis, such as this one from the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. Visitors can 'travel' three-dimensionally under the sea and check on the weather back home in the Weather Center.

  13. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command exhibit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Designed to entertain while educating, StenniSphere at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., includes informative displays and exhibits from NASA and other agencies located at Stennis, such as this one from the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. Visitors can 'travel' three-dimensionally under the sea and check on the weather back home in the Weather Center. StenniSphere is open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

  14. Humanism and multiculturalism: an evolutionary alliance.

    PubMed

    Comas-Diaz, Lillian

    2012-12-01

    Humanism and multiculturalism are partners in an evolutionary alliance. Humanistic and multicultural psychotherapies have historically influenced each other. Humanism represents the third force in psychotherapy, while multiculturalism embodies the fourth developmental stage. Multiculturalism embraces humanistic values grounded in collective and social justice contexts. Examples of multicultural humanistic constructs include contextualism, holism, and liberation. Certainly, the multicultural-humanistic connection is a necessary shift in the evolution of psychotherapy. Humanism and multiculturalism participate in the development of an inclusive and evolutionary psychotherapy. PMID:23205825

  15. Evolutionary Game Theory Analysis of Tumor Progression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Amy; Liao, David; Sturm, James; Austin, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Evolutionary game theory applied to two interacting cell populations can yield quantitative prediction of the future densities of the two cell populations based on the initial interaction terms. We will discuss how in a complex ecology that evolutionary game theory successfully predicts the future densities of strains of stromal and cancer cells (multiple myeloma), and discuss the possible clinical use of such analysis for predicting cancer progression. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.

  16. Ecological aspects of the evolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Bock, Walter J

    2003-03-01

    Darwin in his On the Origin of species made it clear that evolutionary change depends on the combined action of two different causes, the first being the origin of genetically based phenotypic variation in the individual organisms comprising the population and the second being the action of selective agents of the external environment placing demands on the individual organisms. For over a century following Darwin, most evolutionists focused on the origin of inherited variation and its transmission; many workers continue to regard genetics to be the core of evolutionary theory. Far less attention has been given to the exact nature of the selective agents with most evolutionists still treating this cause imprecisely to the detriment of our understanding of both nomological and historical evolutionary theory. Darwin was vague in the meaning of his new concept of "Natural Selection," using it interchangeably as one of the causes for evolutionary change and as the final outcome (= evolutionary change). In 1930, natural selection was defined clearly as "non-random, differential reproduction of genes" by R. Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane which is a statement of the outcome of evolutionary process and which omits mention of the causes bringing about this change. Evolutionists quickly accepted this outcome definition of natural selection, and have used interchangeably selection both as a cause and as the result of evolutionary change, causing great confusion. Herein, the details will be discussed of how the external environment (i.e., the environment-phenotype interaction) serves as selective agents and exerts demands on the phenotypic organisms. Included are the concepts of fitness and of the components of fitness (= adaptations) which are respectively (a) survival, (b) direct reproductive and (c) indirect reproductive features. Finally, it will be argued that historical-narrative analyses of organisms, including classification and phylogenetic history, are possible only with

  17. Humanism and multiculturalism: an evolutionary alliance.

    PubMed

    Comas-Diaz, Lillian

    2012-12-01

    Humanism and multiculturalism are partners in an evolutionary alliance. Humanistic and multicultural psychotherapies have historically influenced each other. Humanism represents the third force in psychotherapy, while multiculturalism embodies the fourth developmental stage. Multiculturalism embraces humanistic values grounded in collective and social justice contexts. Examples of multicultural humanistic constructs include contextualism, holism, and liberation. Certainly, the multicultural-humanistic connection is a necessary shift in the evolution of psychotherapy. Humanism and multiculturalism participate in the development of an inclusive and evolutionary psychotherapy.

  18. Art exhibit focuses on African astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-07-01

    Connections between Africans and astronomy are the focus of a new exhibition in the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D. C. "African Cosmos: Stellar Arts," which includes artwork, cultural items, and scientific displays from ancient to contemporary times, is the first major exhibit "that brings together arts and science focused on Africa's contribution to keen observations of the heavens over time," curator Christine Mullen Kreamer said at a 20 June news briefing. Among the exhibit's nearly 100 objects are an ancient Egyptian mummy board that includes a representation of the sky goddess Nut, sculptures by the Dogon people of Mali depicting figures in relation to the cosmos, a video that uses data from two square degrees of the Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Evolution Survey, and a nearly floor-to-ceiling "Rainbow Serpent" constructed of plastic containers by Benin artist Hazoume. An untitled acrylic painting (Figure 1) by South African Gavin Jantjes evokes a myth of the Khoi San people of southern Africa, as it portrays a girl throwing evening fire embers into the night sky, where they remained as the Milky Way.

  19. Bumblebees exhibit the memory spacing effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toda, Nicholas R. T.; Song, Jeremy; Nieh, James C.

    2009-10-01

    Associative learning is key to how bees recognize and return to rewarding floral resources. It thus plays a major role in pollinator floral constancy and plant gene flow. Honeybees are the primary model for pollinator associative learning, but bumblebees play an important ecological role in a wider range of habitats, and their associative learning abilities are less well understood. We assayed learning with the proboscis extension reflex (PER), using a novel method for restraining bees (capsules) designed to improve bumblebee learning. We present the first results demonstrating that bumblebees exhibit the memory spacing effect. They improve their associative learning of odor and nectar reward by exhibiting increased memory acquisition, a component of long-term memory formation, when the time interval between rewarding trials is increased. Bombus impatiens forager memory acquisition (average discrimination index values) improved by 129% and 65% at inter-trial intervals (ITI) of 5 and 3 min, respectively, as compared to an ITI of 1 min. Memory acquisition rate also increased with increasing ITI. Encapsulation significantly increases olfactory memory acquisition. Ten times more foragers exhibited at least one PER response during training in capsules as compared to traditional PER harnesses. Thus, a novel conditioning assay, encapsulation, enabled us to improve bumblebee-learning acquisition and demonstrate that spaced learning results in better memory consolidation. Such spaced learning likely plays a role in forming long-term memories of rewarding floral resources.

  20. When do children exhibit a "yes" bias?

    PubMed

    Okanda, Mako; Itakura, Shoji

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated whether one hundred and thirty-five 3- to 6-year-old children exhibit a yes bias to various yes-no questions and whether their knowledge status affects the production of a yes bias. Three-year-olds exhibited a yes bias to all yes-no questions such as preference-object and knowledge-object questions pertaining to objects, and knowledge-face questions pertaining to facial expressions. Four-year-olds tended to say "yes" only to knowledge-object questions. Five-year-olds did not show any strong response tendency. Six-year-olds exhibited a nay-saying bias to knowledge-face questions. Also, 3-year-olds could indicate the correct option when asked questions with 2 response options. It suggested that 3-year-olds tended to inappropriately say "yes" to yes-no questions, although they knew the answers to the questions. The mechanism of a yes bias was discussed.

  1. The E = mc{sup 2} exhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, D.; Peshkin, M.

    1995-08-01

    The goal of this DOE-supported exhibition is to demystify Einstein`s formula E = mc{sup 2} by illustrating the interchangeability of matter (m) and energy (E), c{sup 2} being the exchange rate. The exhibition has two major parts, {open_quotes}matter into energy{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}energy into matter{close_quotes}, plus a video to connect them. {open_quotes}Matter into energy{close_quotes} has now been completed and has been placed on the museum floor. Positrons from a {sup 22}Na source are annihilated to produce gamma rays that are caught in NaI detectors. The viewer can alter the alignment of the detectors and observe the consequences for the rates of single and coincident counts. The viewer can also observe the effects of placing absorbers in front of the counters. Prototype explanatory graphics were placed around the exhibit and those will probably be changed after we have some experience with their effectiveness. The connecting video is in the process of being produced in collaboration with Fermilab. A cloud chamber for {open_quotes}energy into matter{close_quotes}, where gamma rays from a small Th source will produce observable pairs, was purchased and work to make the pairs visible has commenced.

  2. Characterizing behavioural 'characters': an evolutionary framework.

    PubMed

    Araya-Ajoy, Yimen G; Dingemanse, Niels J

    2014-02-01

    Biologists often study phenotypic evolution assuming that phenotypes consist of a set of quasi-independent units that have been shaped by selection to accomplish a particular function. In the evolutionary literature, such quasi-independent functional units are called 'evolutionary characters', and a framework based on evolutionary principles has been developed to characterize them. This framework mainly focuses on 'fixed' characters, i.e. those that vary exclusively between individuals. In this paper, we introduce multi-level variation and thereby expand the framework to labile characters, focusing on behaviour as a worked example. We first propose a concept of 'behavioural characters' based on the original evolutionary character concept. We then detail how integration of variation between individuals (cf. 'personality') and within individuals (cf. 'individual plasticity') into the framework gives rise to a whole suite of novel testable predictions about the evolutionary character concept. We further propose a corresponding statistical methodology to test whether observed behaviours should be considered expressions of a hypothesized evolutionary character. We illustrate the application of our framework by characterizing the behavioural character 'aggressiveness' in wild great tits, Parus major.

  3. 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.

  4. Extinction as the loss of evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    Erwin, Douglas H.

    2008-01-01

    Current plant and animal diversity preserves at most 1–2% of the species that have existed over the past 600 million years. But understanding the evolutionary impact of these extinctions requires a variety of metrics. The traditional measurement is loss of taxa (species or a higher category) but in the absence of phylogenetic information it is difficult to distinguish the evolutionary depth of different patterns of extinction: the same species loss can encompass very different losses of evolutionary history. Furthermore, both taxic and phylogenetic measures are poor metrics of morphologic disparity. Other measures of lost diversity include: functional diversity, architectural components, behavioral and social repertoires, and developmental strategies. The canonical five mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic reveals the loss of different, albeit sometimes overlapping, aspects of loss of evolutionary history. The end-Permian mass extinction (252 Ma) reduced all measures of diversity. The same was not true of other episodes, differences that may reflect their duration and structure. The construction of biodiversity reflects similarly uneven contributions to each of these metrics. Unraveling these contributions requires greater attention to feedbacks on biodiversity and the temporal variability in their contribution to evolutionary history. Taxic diversity increases after mass extinctions, but the response by other aspects of evolutionary history is less well studied. Earlier views of postextinction biotic recovery as the refilling of empty ecospace fail to capture the dynamics of this diversity increase. PMID:18695248

  5. Evolutionary theories of aging and longevity.

    PubMed

    Gavrilov, Leonid A; Gavrilova, Natalia S

    2002-02-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide students and researchers entering the field of aging studies with an introduction to the evolutionary theories of aging, as well as to orient them in the abundant modern scientific literature on evolutionary gerontology. The following three major evolutionary theories of aging are discussed: 1) the theory of programmed death suggested by August Weismann, 2) the mutation accumulation theory of aging suggested by Peter Medawar, and 3) the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging suggested by George Williams. We also discuss a special case of the antagonistic pleiotropy theory, the disposable soma theory developed by Tom Kirkwood and Robin Holliday. The theories are compared with each other as well as with recent experimental findings. At present the most viable evolutionary theories are the mutation accumulation theory and the antagonistic pleiotropy theory; these theories are not mutually exclusive, and they both may become a part of a future unifying theory of aging. Evolutionary theories of aging are useful because they open new opportunities for further research by suggesting testable predictions, but they have also been harmful in the past when they were used to impose limitations on aging studies. At this time, the evolutionary theories of aging are not ultimate completed theories, but rather a set of ideas that themselves require further elaboration and validation. This theoretical review article is written for a wide readership. PMID:12806021

  6. Assessment of student conceptions of evolutionary trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blacquiere, Luke

    Biologists use evolutionary trees to depict hypotheses about the relationships among taxa. Trees possess lines that represent lineages, internal nodes that represent where lineages become evolutionarily isolated from one another and terminal nodes that represent the taxa under consideration. Interpreting a tree (i.e., "tree-thinking") is an important skill for biologists yet many students struggle when reading evolutionary trees. Common documented misconceptions include using morphological similarity, internal node counting or terminal node proximity, instead of identifying the internal node that represents a most recent common ancestor (MRCA), to determine relationships among taxa. I developed an instrument to assess whether students were using common ancestry or another, non-scientific, strategy to determine relationships among taxa. The study is the first to explicitly test hypotheses about how students approach reading evolutionary trees. To test the hypotheses an instrument was developed. The instrument is the first reliable and valid assessment testing student understanding of how to use most recent common ancestor to interpret evolutionary relationships in tree diagrams. Instructors can use the instrument as a diagnostic tool enabling them to help students learn this challenging concept. This study shows that, contrary to the assertion that students hold misconceptions about evolutionary trees made in the literature, students do not consistently use erroneous strategies when interpreting trees. This study suggests that a constructivist perspective of cognitive structure describes students' conception of evolutionary trees more closely than a misconception perspective.

  7. Paleo-evolutionary plasticity of plant disease resistance genes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The recent access to a large set of genome sequences, combined with a robust evolutionary scenario of modern monocot (i.e. grasses) and eudicot (i.e. rosids) species from their founder ancestors, offered the opportunity to gain insights into disease resistance genes (R-genes) evolutionary plasticity. Results We unravel in the current article (i) a R-genes repertoire consisting in 7883 for monocots and 15758 for eudicots, (ii) a contrasted R-genes conservation with 23.8% for monocots and 6.6% for dicots, (iii) a minimal ancestral founder pool of 384 R-genes for the monocots and 150 R-genes for the eudicots, (iv) a general pattern of organization in clusters accounting for more than 60% of mapped R-genes, (v) a biased deletion of ancestral duplicated R-genes between paralogous blocks possibly compensated by clusterization, (vi) a bias in R-genes clusterization where Leucine-Rich Repeats act as a ‘glue’ for domain association, (vii) a R-genes/miRNAs interome enriched toward duplicated R-genes. Conclusions Together, our data may suggest that R-genes family plasticity operated during plant evolution (i) at the structural level through massive duplicates loss counterbalanced by massive clusterization following polyploidization; as well as at (ii) the regulation level through microRNA/R-gene interactions acting as a possible source of functional diploidization of structurally retained R-genes duplicates. Such evolutionary shuffling events leaded to CNVs (i.e. Copy Number Variation) and PAVs (i.e. Presence Absence Variation) between related species operating in the decay of R-genes colinearity between plant species. PMID:24617999

  8. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures

    PubMed Central

    Barger, Nicole; Hanson, Kari L.; Teffer, Kate; Schenker-Ahmed, Natalie M.; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape) amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey), but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through (a) non-human hominoids and (b) non-human anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression. Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50, 37, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26 and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human evolution

  9. A replicated climate change field experiment reveals rapid evolutionary response in an ecologically important soil invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Bataillon, Thomas; Galtier, Nicolas; Bernard, Aurelien; Cryer, Nicolai; Faivre, Nicolas; Santoni, Sylvain; Severac, Dany; Mikkelsen, Teis N; Larsen, Klaus S; Beier, Claus; Sørensen, Jesper G; Holmstrup, Martin; Ehlers, Bodil K

    2016-07-01

    Whether species can respond evolutionarily to current climate change is crucial for the persistence of many species. Yet, very few studies have examined genetic responses to climate change in manipulated experiments carried out in natural field conditions. We examined the evolutionary response to climate change in a common annelid worm using a controlled replicated experiment where climatic conditions were manipulated in a natural setting. Analyzing the transcribed genome of 15 local populations, we found that about 12% of the genetic polymorphisms exhibit differences in allele frequencies associated to changes in soil temperature and soil moisture. This shows an evolutionary response to realistic climate change happening over short-time scale, and calls for incorporating evolution into models predicting future response of species to climate change. It also shows that designed climate change experiments coupled with genome sequencing offer great potential to test for the occurrence (or lack) of an evolutionary response. PMID:27109012

  10. Alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases: structures of the human liver enzymes, functional properties and evolutionary aspects.

    PubMed

    Jörnvall, H; Hempel, J; von Bahr-Lindström, H; Höög, J O; Vallee, B L

    1987-01-01

    All three types of subunit of class I human alcohol dehydrogenase have been analyzed both at the protein and cDNA levels, and the structures of alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 1, and gamma 2 subunits are known. The same applies to class II pi subunits. Extensive protein data are also available for class III chi subunits. In the class I human isozymes, amino acid exchanges occur at 35 positions in total, with 21-28 replacements between any pair of the alpha/beta/gamma chains. These values, compared with those from species differences between the corresponding human and horse enzymes, suggest that isozyme developments in the class I enzyme resulted from separate gene duplications after the divergence of the human and equine evolutionary lines. All subunits exhibit some unique properties, with slightly closer similarity between the human gamma and horse enzyme subunits and somewhat greater deviations towards the human alpha subunit. Differences are large also in segments close to the active site zinc ligands and other functionally important positions. Species differences are distributed roughly equally between the two types of domain in the subunit, whereas isozyme differences are considerably more common in the catalytic than in the coenzyme-binding domain. These facts illustrate a functional divergence among the isozymes but otherwise similar changes during evolution. Polymorphic forms of beta and gamma subunits are characterized by single replacements at one and two positions, respectively, explaining known deviating properties. Class II and class III subunits are considerably more divergent. Their homology with class I isozymes exhibits only 60-65% positional identity. Hence, they reflect further steps towards the development of new enzymes, with variations well above the horse/human species levels, in contrast to the class I forms. Again, functionally important residues are affected, and patterns resembling those previously established for the divergently related

  11. Some assembly required: evolutionary and systems perspectives on the mammalian reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Mordhorst, Bethany R; Wilson, Miranda L; Conant, Gavin C

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we discuss the way that insights from evolutionary theory and systems biology shed light on form and function in mammalian reproductive systems. In the first part of the review, we contrast the rapid evolution seen in some reproductive genes with the generally conservative nature of development. We discuss directional selection and coevolution as potential drivers of rapid evolution in sperm and egg proteins. Such rapid change is very different from the highly conservative nature of later embryo development. However, it is not unique, as some regions of the sex chromosomes also show elevated rates of evolutionary change. To explain these contradictory trends, we argue that it is not reproductive functions per se that induce rapid evolution. Rather, it is the fact that biotic interactions, such as speciation events and sexual conflict, have no evolutionary endpoint and hence can drive continuous evolutionary changes. Returning to the question of sex chromosome evolution, we discuss the way that recent advances in evolutionary genomics and systems biology and, in particular, the development of a theory of gene balance provide a better understanding of the evolutionary patterns seen on these chromosomes. We end the review with a discussion of a surprising and incompletely understood phenomenon observed in early embryos: namely the Warburg effect, whereby glucose is fermented to lactate and alanine rather than respired to carbon dioxide. We argue that evolutionary insights, from both yeasts and tumor cells, help to explain the Warburg effect, and that new metabolic modeling approaches are useful in assessing the potential sources of the effect.

  12. 7 CFR Exhibit G to Subpart E of... - Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) PROGRAM REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) GENERAL Business and Industrial Loan... 7 Agriculture 14 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 G Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) RURAL...

  13. 7 CFR Exhibit G to Subpart E of... - Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) PROGRAM REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) GENERAL Business and Industrial Loan... 7 Agriculture 14 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 G Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) RURAL...

  14. 7 CFR Exhibit G to Subpart E of... - Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) PROGRAM REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) GENERAL Business and Industrial Loan... 7 Agriculture 14 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 G Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) RURAL...

  15. 7 CFR Exhibit G to Subpart E of... - Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) PROGRAM REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) GENERAL Business and Industrial Loan... 7 Agriculture 14 2010-01-01 2009-01-01 true Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 G Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) RURAL...

  16. 7 CFR Exhibit G to Subpart E of... - Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) PROGRAM REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) GENERAL Business and Industrial Loan... 7 Agriculture 14 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 G Exhibit G to Subpart E of Part 1980 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) RURAL...

  17. The evolutionary basis of risky adolescent behavior: implications for science, policy, and practice.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Bruce J; Del Giudice, Marco; Dishion, Thomas J; Figueredo, Aurelio José; Gray, Peter; Griskevicius, Vladas; Hawley, Patricia H; Jacobs, W Jake; James, Jenée; Volk, Anthony A; Wilson, David Sloan

    2012-05-01

    This article proposes an evolutionary model of risky behavior in adolescence and contrasts it with the prevailing developmental psychopathology model. The evolutionary model contends that understanding the evolutionary functions of adolescence is critical to explaining why adolescents engage in risky behavior and that successful intervention depends on working with, instead of against, adolescent goals and motivations. The current article articulates 5 key evolutionary insights into risky adolescent behavior: (a) The adolescent transition is an inflection point in development of social status and reproductive trajectories; (b) interventions need to address the adaptive functions of risky and aggressive behaviors like bullying; (c) risky adolescent behavior adaptively calibrates over development to match both harsh and unpredictable environmental conditions; (d) understanding evolved sex differences is critical for understanding the psychology of risky behavior; and (e) mismatches between current and past environments can dysregulate adolescent behavior, as demonstrated by age-segregated social groupings. The evolutionary model has broad implications for designing interventions for high-risk youth and suggests new directions for research that have not been forthcoming from other perspectives.

  18. Adaptive evolutionary paths from UV reception to sensing violet light by epistatic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Shozo; Altun, Ahmet; Jia, Huiyong; Yang, Hui; Koyama, Takashi; Faggionato, Davide; Liu, Yang; Starmer, William T.

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) reception is useful for such basic behaviors as mate choice, foraging, predator avoidance, communication, and navigation, whereas violet reception improves visual resolution and subtle contrast detection. UV and violet reception are mediated by the short wavelength–sensitive (SWS1) pigments that absorb light maximally (λmax) at ~360 nm and ~395 to 440 nm, respectively. Because of strong nonadditive (epistatic) interactions among amino acid changes in the pigments, the adaptive evolutionary mechanisms of these phenotypes are not well understood. Evolution of the violet pigment of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, λmax = 423 nm) from the UV pigment in the amphibian ancestor (λmax = 359 nm) can be fully explained by eight mutations in transmembrane (TM) I–III segments. We show that epistatic interactions involving the remaining TM IV–VII segments provided evolutionary potential for the frog pigment to gradually achieve its violet-light reception by tuning its color sensitivity in small steps. Mutants in these segments also impair pigments that would cause drastic spectral shifts and thus eliminate them from viable evolutionary pathways. The overall effects of epistatic interactions involving TM IV–VII segments have disappeared at the last evolutionary step and thus are not detectable by studying present-day pigments. Therefore, characterizing the genotype-phenotype relationship during each evolutionary step is the key to uncover the true nature of epistasis. PMID:26601250

  19. Contrasting Triassic ferroan granitoids from northwestern Liaoning, North China: Magmatic monitor of Mesozoic decratonization and a craton-orogen boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaohui; Yuan, Lingling; Xue, Fuhong; Zhang, Yanbin

    2012-07-01

    The diversity exhibited by ferroan granitoids testifies to multiple distinct crustal and mantle processes generally within extensional environments and thus holds the key to monitoring important geodynamic and crustal evolutionary processes and calibrating terrane tectonic affinity. This study documents three Middle to Late Triassic ferroan granitoid suites from northwestern Liaoning, North China, and proposes distinct petrogenetic scenarios for each. The Middle Triassic (ca. 238 Ma) Ping'andi (PAD) granites are mainly calc-alkali and peraluminous. Their radiogenic whole-rock Nd and zircon Hf isotopic signatures argue for an origin consistent with partial melting of a juvenile quartzofeldspathic crust formed by prior mantle-derived magmatic underplating and their differentiations. By contrast, the Late Triassic (ca. 220 Ma) Dashaoleng (DSL) and Sijiazi (SJZ) suites show an evolved character from alkali-calcic to alkali and from metaluminous to peraluminous. Their variably evolved whole-rock Sr-Nd and mixed zircon Hf isotopic compositions suggest that both suites were formed by variable mixing between depleted mantle-derived mafic magma and old crust-derived felsic magma, with distinctively higher input from juvenile components in the DSL suite. These contrasting ferroan granitoid suites not only provide a spatial marker for monitoring juxtaposition of the North China Craton (NCC) and the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) along a lithospheric-scale boundary fault in the region, but also present a temporal snapshot that records a southwardly-progressing crustal growth scenario possibly in response to lithospheric dripping within a post-orogenic extensional regime. The cratonic scale synthesis further indicates that diachronous decratonization pattern of the NCC might record episodic response of the craton to evolved plate tectonic processes with two contrasting Phanerozoic orogenic systems.

  20. The evolutionary reality of higher taxa in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Aelys M.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2014-01-01

    Species are generally regarded as a fundamental unit of biodiversity. By contrast, higher taxa such as genera and families, while widely used as biodiversity metrics and for classification and communication, are generally not believed to be shaped by shared evolutionary processes in the same way as species. We use simulations to show that processes which are important for emergence of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) at the species level, namely geographical isolation and ecological divergence, can generate evolutionary independence above the species level and thereby lead to emergence of discrete phylogenetic clusters (higher ESUs). Extending phylogenetic approaches for delimiting evolutionarily significant species to broader phylogenetic scales, we find evidence for the existence of higher ESUs in mammals. In carnivores, euungulates and lagomorphs the hierarchical level of units detected correspond, on average, to the level of family or genus in traditional taxonomy. The units in euungulates are associated with divergent patterns of body mass, consistent with occupation of distinct ecological zones. Our findings demonstrate a new framework for studying biodiversity that unifies approaches at species and higher levels, thus potentially restoring higher taxa to their historical status as natural entities. PMID:24695424