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Sample records for natural selection animal

  1. [Natural selection].

    PubMed

    Mayr, E

    1985-05-01

    Much of the resistance against Darwin's theory of natural selection has been due to misunderstandings. It is shown that natural selection is not a tautology and that it is a two-step process. The first step, the production of variation, is under the control of chance; the second step, selection proper, is an anti-chance process, but subject to many constraints. The target of selection is the individual as a whole, and many neutral mutations can be retained as hitchhikers of successful genotypes. Sexual selection results from selection for pure reproductive success.

  2. Darwinism and ethology. The role of natural selection in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Gervet, J; Soleilhavoup, M

    1997-11-01

    The role of behaviour in biological evolution is examined within the context of Darwinism. All Darwinian models are based on the distinction of two mechanisms: one that permits faithful transmission of a feature from one generation to another, and another that differentially regulates the degree of this transmission. Behaviour plays a minimal role as an agent of transmission in the greater part of the animal kingdom; by contrast, the forms it may assume strongly influence the mechanisms of selection regulating the different rates of transmission. We consider the decisive feature of the human species to be the existence of a phenotypical system of cultural coding characterized by precision and reliability which are the distinctive feature of genetic coding in animals. We examine the consequences for the application of the Darwinian model to human history.

  3. Demonstrating Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinds, David S.; Amundson, John C.

    1975-01-01

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

  4. Reinventing Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Gaia and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Lenton, T M

    1998-07-30

    Evidence indicates that the Earth self-regulates at a state that is tolerated by life, but why should the organisms that leave the most descendants be the ones that contribute to regulating their planetary environment? The evolving Gaia theory focuses on the feedback mechanisms, stemming from naturally selected traits of organisms, that could generate such self-regulation.

  6. Reinventing Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-06-01

    Although many research studies report students’ Lamarckian misconceptions, only a few studies present learning and teaching strategies that focus on the successful development of the concept of natural selection. The learning and teaching strategy for upper secondary students (aged 15 16) presented in this study conducted in The Netherlands is based on the idea of guided reinvention, rather than on the conceptual change strategy. In guided reinvention, students reinvent the concept of natural selection by answering a sequence of questions based on the logical nature of Darwin’s theory. The results show that few Lamarckian explanations for evolution were recorded in the study and that the majority of the students developed a Darwinian or neo-Darwinian conception. The status of Lamarckian misconceptions is challenged.

  7. Naturally selecting solutions

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Grandmothering and natural selection.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  9. Grandmothering and natural selection

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Modeling Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogiages, Christopher A.; Lotter, Christine

    2011-01-01

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

  11. A Natural Selection Game.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tashiro, Mark E.

    1984-01-01

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

  12. Traces of natural radionuclides in animal food

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-11

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

  13. Traces of natural radionuclides in animal food

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Friendship and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H.

    2014-01-01

    More than any other species, humans form social ties to individuals who are neither kin nor mates, and these ties tend to be with similar people. Here, we show that this similarity extends to genotypes. Across the whole genome, friends’ genotypes at the single nucleotide polymorphism level tend to be positively correlated (homophilic). In fact, the increase in similarity relative to strangers is at the level of fourth cousins. However, certain genotypes are also negatively correlated (heterophilic) in friends. And the degree of correlation in genotypes can be used to create a “friendship score” that predicts the existence of friendship ties in a hold-out sample. A focused gene-set analysis indicates that some of the overall correlation in genotypes can be explained by specific systems; for example, an olfactory gene set is homophilic and an immune system gene set is heterophilic, suggesting that these systems may play a role in the formation or maintenance of friendship ties. Friends may be a kind of “functional kin.” Finally, homophilic genotypes exhibit significantly higher measures of positive selection, suggesting that, on average, they may yield a synergistic fitness advantage that has been helping to drive recent human evolution. PMID:25024208

  15. Friendship and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Christakis, Nicholas A; Fowler, James H

    2014-07-22

    More than any other species, humans form social ties to individuals who are neither kin nor mates, and these ties tend to be with similar people. Here, we show that this similarity extends to genotypes. Across the whole genome, friends' genotypes at the single nucleotide polymorphism level tend to be positively correlated (homophilic). In fact, the increase in similarity relative to strangers is at the level of fourth cousins. However, certain genotypes are also negatively correlated (heterophilic) in friends. And the degree of correlation in genotypes can be used to create a "friendship score" that predicts the existence of friendship ties in a hold-out sample. A focused gene-set analysis indicates that some of the overall correlation in genotypes can be explained by specific systems; for example, an olfactory gene set is homophilic and an immune system gene set is heterophilic, suggesting that these systems may play a role in the formation or maintenance of friendship ties. Friends may be a kind of "functional kin." Finally, homophilic genotypes exhibit significantly higher measures of positive selection, suggesting that, on average, they may yield a synergistic fitness advantage that has been helping to drive recent human evolution.

  16. A quantum of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Seth

    2009-03-01

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

  17. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. On the nature of animal thinking.

    PubMed

    Terrace, H S

    1985-01-01

    Recent attempts to teach apes rudimentary grammatical skills have produced negative results. The basic obstacle appears to be at the level of the individual symbol which, for apes, functions only as a demand. Little evidence exists that apes can use symbols as names, that is, as a means of simply transmitting information. Even though non-human animals lack linguistic competence, much evidence has accumulated recently that a variety of animals can form representations of particular features of their environment. What then is the non-verbal nature of animal representations? This question will be discussed with reference to recent investigations of animal memory--in particular, studies concerned with a pigeon's ability to learn "lists" of arbitrary elements. While learning to produce a particular sequence of four elements (colors), pigeons also acquire knowledge about the relation between non-adjacent elements and about the ordinal position of a particular element. Learning to produce a particular sequence also facilitates the discrimination of that sequence from other sequences. PMID:4080282

  19. The nature of selection during plant domestication.

    PubMed

    Purugganan, Michael D; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2009-02-12

    Plant domestication is an outstanding example of plant-animal co-evolution and is a far richer model for studying evolution than is generally appreciated. There have been numerous studies to identify genes associated with domestication, and archaeological work has provided a clear understanding of the dynamics of human cultivation practices during the Neolithic period. Together, these have provided a better understanding of the selective pressures that accompany crop domestication, and they demonstrate that a synthesis from the twin vantage points of genetics and archaeology can expand our understanding of the nature of evolutionary selection that accompanies domestication.

  20. Sexual and natural selection both influence male genital evolution.

    PubMed

    House, Clarissa M; Lewis, Zenobia; Hodgson, Dave J; Wedell, Nina; Sharma, Manmohan D; Hunt, John; Hosken, David J

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and divergent evolution of male genital morphology is a conspicuous and general pattern across internally fertilizing animals. Rapid genital evolution is thought to be the result of sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in genital evolution remains controversial. However, natural and sexual selection are believed to act antagonistically on male genital form. We conducted an experimental evolution study to investigate the combined effects of natural and sexual selection on the genital-arch lobes of male Drosophila simulans. Replicate populations were forced to evolve under lifetime monogamy (relaxed sexual selection) or lifetime polyandry (elevated sexual selection) and two temperature regimes, 25°C (relaxed natural selection) or 27°C (elevated natural selection) in a fully factorial design. We found that natural and sexual selection plus their interaction caused genital evolution. Natural selection caused some aspects of genital form to evolve away from their sexually selected shape, whereas natural and sexual selection operated in the same direction for other shape components. Additionally, sexual and natural selection tended to favour larger genitals. Thus we find that the underlying selection driving genital evolution is complex, does not only involve sexual selection, and that natural selection and sexual selection do not always act antagonistically.

  1. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Cynthia F.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Natural selection and glucocorticoid physiology.

    PubMed

    Patterson, S H; Hahn, T P; Cornelius, J M; Breuner, C W

    2014-02-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are considered potent modulators of trade-offs between reproduction and survival. As such, selection should affect glucocorticoid physiology, although relatively little is known about how selection may act on glucocorticoid profiles. In general, the evolution of physiology is less studied and less well understood than morphological or life history traits. Here, we used a long-term data set from a population of mountain white-crowned sparrows to estimate natural selection on glucocorticoid profiles. Our study suggests that survival selection favours higher hormone concentrations for multiple components of glucocorticoid physiology (both baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid levels). Fecundity selection varies depending on the component of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal physiology; greater reproductive output was associated with higher baseline glucocorticoid levels, but lower stress-induced glucocorticoid levels. Additionally, the selection gradient was greater for glucocorticoids than for a morphological trait (wing length). These results support the hypothesis that stress-induced glucocorticoids increase survival over reproduction within a wild population (the CORT-trade-off hypothesis). Taken together, these results add to our knowledge of how selection operates on physiological traits and also provide an evolutionary and ecological perspective on several key open issues in the field of glucocorticoid physiology.

  5. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Group selection and social evolution in domesticated animals.

    PubMed

    Wade, Michael J; Bijma, Piter; Ellen, Esther D; Muir, William

    2010-09-01

    Social interactions, especially those involving competition among individuals, are important in domesticated livestock and in natural populations. The heritability of traits affected by such interactions has two components, one originating in the individual like that of classical traits (direct effects) and the other originating in other group members (indirect effects). The latter type of trait represents a significant source of 'hidden heritability' and it requires population structure and knowledge from relatives in order to access it for selective breeding. When ignored, competitive interactions may increase as an indirect response to direct selection, resulting in diminished yields. We illustrate how population genetic structure affects the response to selection of traits with indirect genetic effects using population genetic and quantitative genetic theory. Population genetic theory permits us to connect our results to the existing body of theory on kin and group selection in natural populations. The quantitative genetic perspective allows us to see how breeders have used knowledge from relatives and family selection in the domestication of plants and animals to improve the welfare and production of livestock by incorporating social genetic effects in the breeding program. We illustrate the central features of these models by reviewing empirical studies from domesticated chickens.

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

    PubMed

    Kutschera, U

    2009-08-01

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

  10. Natural Selection in Large Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Michael

    2011-03-01

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

  11. Sexual selection and genetic colour polymorphisms in animals.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Svensson, Erik I; Hansson, Bengt

    2014-11-01

    Genetic colour polymorphisms are widespread across animals and often subjected to complex selection regimes. Traditionally, colour morphs were used as simple visual markers to measure allele frequency changes in nature, selection, population divergence and speciation. With advances in sequencing technology and analysis methods, several model systems are emerging where the molecular targets of selection are being described. Here, we discuss recent studies on the genetics of sexually selected colour polymorphisms, aiming at (i) reviewing the evidence of sexual selection on colour polymorphisms, (ii) highlighting the genetic architecture, molecular and developmental basis underlying phenotypic colour diversification and (iii) discuss how the maintenance of such polymorphisms might be facilitated or constrained by these. Studies of the genetic architecture of colour polymorphism point towards the importance of tight clustering of colour loci with other trait loci, such as in the case of inversions and supergene structures. Other interesting findings include linkage between colour loci and mate preferences or sex determination, and the role of introgression and regulatory variation in fuelling polymorphisms. We highlight that more studies are needed that explicitly integrate fitness consequences of sexual selection on colour with the underlying molecular targets of colour to gain insights into the evolutionary consequences of sexual selection on polymorphism maintenance.

  12. Wild Origins: The Evolving Nature of Animal Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, Ifigenia

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

  13. Pitfalls in animal reproduction research: how the animal guards nature's secrets.

    PubMed

    Ginther, O J

    2013-08-01

    The estrous cycles of heifers and mares are used for illustrating pitfalls at the animal level in research in reproductive biology. Infrequent monitoring for characterizing the change in hormone concentrations or for detecting a reproductive event can be a pitfall when the interval for obtaining data exceeds the interval between events. For example, hourly collection of blood samples has shown that the luteolytic period (decreasing progesterone) encompasses 24 hours in heifers and mares. Collection of samples every 6-24 hours results in the illusion that luteolysis requires 2-3 days, owing to the occurrence of luteolysis on different days in individuals. A single treatment with PGF2α that causes complete regression of the corpus luteum is an example of an overdose pitfall. A nonphysiological progesterone increase occurs and will be misleading if used for making interpretations on the nature of luteolysis. A pitfall can also occur if a chosen reference point or end point is a poor representation of a physiological event. For example, if on a selected day after ovulation the animals in treatment A are closer on average to luteolysis than animals in treatment B, treatment A will appear to have had an earlier luteolytic effect. Among the techniques that are used directly in the animal, ultrasonography appears to be most prone to research pitfalls. Research during a given month can be confounded by seasonal effects, even in species that ovulate throughout the year. The presence of unknown factors or complex interactions among factors and the sensitivity of the animal to a research procedure separate from the direct effect of a treatment are also research challenges. A hidden factor should be considered nature's challenge to open-minded biologists but a pitfall for the close-minded.

  14. Teaching Animal Habitat Selection Using Wildlife Tracking Equipment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2016-01-01

    We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidoff, Donald J.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Selecting an Animal for Classroom Use.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orlans, F. Barbara

    1980-01-01

    Listed are criteria to be considered in selecting classroom organisms for suitability in observational studies. Organisms that lend themselves to basic biological principles are also listed. Potential difficulties (safety hazards, habitat replication, confinement, food requirements, teacher's attitude, conservation, escape of nonnative species)…

  18. Pollinator-mediated natural selection in Penstemon digitalis.

    PubMed

    Parachnowitsch, Amy; Kessler, André

    2010-12-01

    Measuring the agents of natural selection is important because it allows us to understand not only which traits are expected to evolve but also why they will evolve. Natural selection by pollinators on floral traits is often assumed because in outcrossing animal-pollinated plants flowers are generally thought to function as advertisements of rewards directed at pollinators. We tested the role of bee pollinators in selection on Penstemon digitalis and found that pollinators were driving selection for larger and more flowers. However, what makes our publication unique is the additional information we gained from reviewing the few other studies that also directly tested whether pollinators were agents of selection on floral traits. As we would expect if pollinators are important agents of selection, selection on floral traits was significantly stronger when pollinators were present than when they were experimentally removed. Taken together, these results suggest that pollinators can be important drivers of selection in contemporary populations.

  19. Populations, Natural Selection, and Applied Organizational Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKelvey, Bill; Aldrich, Howard

    1983-01-01

    Deficiencies in existing models in organizational science may be remedied by applying the population approach, with its concepts of taxonomy, classification, evolution, and population ecology; and natural selection theory, with its principles of variation, natural selection, heredity, and struggle for existence, to the idea of organizational forms…

  20. Natural selection and social preferences.

    PubMed

    Weibull, Jörgen W; Salomonsson, Marcus

    2006-03-01

    A large number of individuals are randomly matched into groups, where each group plays a finite symmetric game. Individuals breed true. The expected number of surviving offspring depends on own material payoff, but may also, due to cooperative breeding and/or reproductive competition, depend on the material payoffs to other group members. The induced population dynamic is equivalent with the replicator dynamic for a game with payoffs derived from those in the original game. We apply this selection dynamic to a number of examples, including prisoners' dilemma games with and without a punishment option, coordination games, and hawk-dove games. For each of these, we compare the outcomes with those obtained under the standard replicator dynamic. By way of a revealed-preference argument, our selection dynamic can explain certain "altruistic" and "spiteful" behaviors that are consistent with individuals having social preferences.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Lucia; Brown, Jordan

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

  2. Naturally occurring animal models of human hepatitis E virus infection.

    PubMed

    Yugo, Danielle M; Cossaboom, Caitlin M; Meng, Xiang-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus in the family Hepeviridae. Hepatitis E caused by HEV is a clinically important global disease. There are currently four well-characterized genotypes of HEV in mammalian species, although numerous novel strains of HEV likely belonging to either new genotypes or species have recently been identified from several other animal species. HEV genotypes 1 and 2 are limited to infection in humans, whereas genotypes 3 and 4 infect an expanding host range of animal species and are zoonotic to humans. Historical animal models include various species of nonhuman primates, which have been indispensable for the discovery of human HEV and for understanding its pathogenesis and course of infection. With the genetic identification and characterization of animal strains of HEV, a number of naturally occurring animal models such as swine, chicken, and rabbit have recently been developed for various aspects of HEV research, including vaccine trials, pathogenicity, cross-species infection, mechanism of virus replication, and molecular biology studies. Unfortunately, the current available animal models for HEV are still inadequate for certain aspects of HEV research. For instance, an animal model is still lacking to study the underlying mechanism of severe and fulminant hepatitis E during pregnancy. Also, an animal model that can mimic chronic HEV infection is critically needed to study the mechanism leading to chronicity in immunocompromised individuals. Genetic identification of additional novel animal strains of HEV may lead to the development of better naturally occurring animal models for HEV. This article reviews the current understanding of animal models of HEV infection in both natural and experimental infection settings and identifies key research needs and limitations.

  3. Student learning using the natural selection model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesmer, Karen Luann

    Students often have difficulty in learning natural selection, a major model in biology. This study examines what middle school students are capable of learning when taught about natural selection using a modeling approach. Students were taught the natural selection model including the components of population, variation, selective advantage, survival, heredity and reproduction. They then used the model to solve three case studies. Their learning was evaluated from responses on a pretest, a posttest and interviews. The results suggest that middle school students can identify components of the natural selection model in a Darwinian explanation, explain the significance of the components and relate them to each other as well as solve evolutionary problems using the model.

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

    PubMed Central

    White, Steven

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Poznański, Paweł; Niedźwiecki, Sławomir

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Sequence-selective DNA recognition: natural products and nature's lessons.

    PubMed

    Tse, Winston C; Boger, Dale L

    2004-12-01

    Biologically active, therapeutically useful, DNA binding natural products continue to reveal new paradigms for sequence-selective recognition, to enlist beautiful mechanisms of in situ activation for DNA modification, to define new therapeutic targets, to exploit new mechanisms to achieve cellular selectivity, and to provide a rich source of new drugs. These attributes arise in compact structures of complex integrated function.

  7. Incorporating animal spatial memory in step selection functions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Can natural selection favour altruism between species?

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Multivariate Analysis for Animal Selection in Experimental Research

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-12-18

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Microsatellites as targets of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Haasl, Ryan J; Payseur, Bret A

    2013-02-01

    The ability to survey polymorphism on a genomic scale has enabled genome-wide scans for the targets of natural selection. Theory that connects patterns of genetic variation to evidence of natural selection most often assumes a diallelic locus and no recurrent mutation. Although these assumptions are suitable to selection that targets single nucleotide variants, fundamentally different types of mutation generate abundant polymorphism in genomes. Moreover, recent empirical results suggest that mutationally complex, multiallelic loci including microsatellites and copy number variants are sometimes targeted by natural selection. Given their abundance, the lack of inference methods tailored to the mutational peculiarities of these types of loci represents a notable gap in our ability to interrogate genomes for signatures of natural selection. Previous theoretical investigations of mutation-selection balance at multiallelic loci include assumptions that limit their application to inference from empirical data. Focusing on microsatellites, we assess the dynamics and population-level consequences of selection targeting mutationally complex variants. We develop general models of a multiallelic fitness surface, a realistic model of microsatellite mutation, and an efficient simulation algorithm. Using these tools, we explore mutation-selection-drift equilibrium at microsatellites and investigate the mutational history and selective regime of the microsatellite that causes Friedreich's ataxia. We characterize microsatellite selective events by their duration and cost, note similarities to sweeps from standing point variation, and conclude that it is premature to label microsatellites as ubiquitous agents of efficient adaptive change. Together, our models and simulation algorithm provide a powerful framework for statistical inference, which can be used to test the neutrality of microsatellites and other multiallelic variants.

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

    PubMed Central

    Webster, John

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Webster, John

    2014-12-03

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

  16. Natural selection. IV. The Price equation*

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mojica, Julius P.; Kelly, John K.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

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

  20. Exploiting a natural auxotrophy for genetic selection.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Elizabeth; Gallagher, Larry; Manoil, Colin

    2012-08-01

    We exploited the natural histidine auxotrophy of Francisella species to develop hisD (encodes histidinol dehydrogenase) as a positive selection marker. A shuttle plasmid (pBR103) carrying Escherichia coli hisD and designed for cloning of PCR fragments replicated in both attenuated and highly virulent Francisella strains. During this work, we formulated a simplified defined growth medium for Francisella novicida.

  1. A Lesson on Evolution & Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Anthony D.

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Estimating genetic parameters in natural populations using the "animal model".

    PubMed Central

    Kruuk, Loeske E B

    2004-01-01

    Estimating the genetic basis of quantitative traits can be tricky for wild populations in natural environments, as environmental variation frequently obscures the underlying evolutionary patterns. I review the recent application of restricted maximum-likelihood "animal models" to multigenerational data from natural populations, and show how the estimation of variance components and prediction of breeding values using these methods offer a powerful means of tackling the potentially confounding effects of environmental variation, as well as generating a wealth of new areas of investigation. PMID:15306404

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Missing concepts in natural selection theory reconstructions.

    PubMed

    Ginnobili, Santiago

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Missing concepts in natural selection theory reconstructions.

    PubMed

    Ginnobili, Santiago

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Selections that isolate recombinant mitochondrial genomes in animals

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Hansong; O'Farrell, Patrick H

    2015-01-01

    Homologous recombination is widespread and catalyzes evolution. Nonetheless, its existence in animal mitochondrial DNA is questioned. We designed selections for recombination between co-resident mitochondrial genomes in various heteroplasmic Drosophila lines. In four experimental settings, recombinant genomes became the sole or dominant genome in the progeny. Thus, selection uncovers occurrence of homologous recombination in Drosophila mtDNA and documents its functional benefit. Double-strand breaks enhanced recombination in the germline and revealed somatic recombination. When the recombination partner was a diverged Drosophila melanogaster genome or a genome from a different species such as Drosophila yakuba, sequencing revealed long continuous stretches of exchange. In addition, the distribution of sequence polymorphisms in recombinants allowed us to map a selected trait to a particular region in the Drosophila mitochondrial genome. Thus, recombination can be harnessed to dissect function and evolution of mitochondrial genome. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07247.001 PMID:26237110

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  12. Darwinian natural selection: its enduring explanatory power

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Sound imaging of nocturnal animal calls in their natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Mizumoto, Takeshi; Aihara, Ikkyu; Otsuka, Takuma; Takeda, Ryu; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Okuno, Hiroshi G

    2011-09-01

    We present a novel method for imaging acoustic communication between nocturnal animals. Investigating the spatio-temporal calling behavior of nocturnal animals, e.g., frogs and crickets, has been difficult because of the need to distinguish many animals' calls in noisy environments without being able to see them. Our method visualizes the spatial and temporal dynamics using dozens of sound-to-light conversion devices (called "Firefly") and an off-the-shelf video camera. The Firefly, which consists of a microphone and a light emitting diode, emits light when it captures nearby sound. Deploying dozens of Fireflies in a target area, we record calls of multiple individuals through the video camera. We conduct two experiments, one indoors and the other in the field, using Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica). The indoor experiment demonstrates that our method correctly visualizes Japanese tree frogs' calling behavior. It has confirmed the known behavior; two frogs call synchronously or in anti-phase synchronization. The field experiment (in a rice paddy where Japanese tree frogs live) also visualizes the same calling behavior to confirm anti-phase synchronization in the field. Experimental results confirm that our method can visualize the calling behavior of nocturnal animals in their natural habitat.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  15. Histological features of oral epithelium in seven animal species: As a reference for selecting animal models.

    PubMed

    Sa, Guoliang; Xiong, Xuepeng; Wu, Tianfu; Yang, Jincheng; He, Sangang; Zhao, Yifang

    2016-01-01

    Several animals have been used as models for basic and clinical research on oral mucosa. Few studies have focused on the selection of an appropriate animal model. This study aimed to provide histological references for selecting a potential model. Histological features were assessed by exploring 6 morphological characteristics and 2 immunohistochemical markers. The morphological characteristics included keratinization, basal membrane appearance, epithelial thickness, rete ridge length, adjacent rete ridge distance, and regional variation; the immunohistochemical markers included Ki67 (a proliferative marker) and Cytokeratin 19 (CK19; a stemness marker). The histological similarity of each species compared to humans was calculated according to the designated scoring criteria. The results showed that the buccal mucosae from dog and pig were non-keratinized, with similar rete ridge length and distance, compared to that of humans. The dog, rat, and cavy mucosae had analogous gross appearances in the basal membrane. The dog oral mucosae shared similar epithelial thickness with human oral mucosae. Compared to the human mucosa, the dog, pig, rat, and rabbit mucosae exhibited corresponding regional variations. The Ki67-positive cells in human and canine mucosae were predominantly localized in the suprabasal layers, whereas most of the proliferative cells were in the basal layer in other species. CK19 immunoreactivities were detected only in human and canine mucosae. The canine mucosae gained the highest point value (14), whereas the scores for the pig, rat, rabbit, cavy, sheep, and buffalo mucosae were 8, 6, 5, 5, 5, and 2, respectively. The histological variations in the oral epithelium of diverse animal species are considerable; the mucosae from dogs are most similar to human mucosae, implicating its histological basis as an animal model.

  16. Natural Vitamin D Content in Animal Products1

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Alexandra; Walther, Barbara

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Darwin, microbes and evolution by natural selection.

    PubMed

    Moxon, E Richard

    2011-01-01

    Born 200 years ago, Darwin's revolutionary ideas were derived largely from his observations on life forms that evolved relatively recently, including various flowering plants, worms, birds and domesticated animals. Yet, life appeared on planet earth close to 4 billion years ago in the form of unicellular organisms collectively called bacteria. It was only shortly after "On the Origin of Species" was published (1859) that the "germ theory" of infectious diseases was formulated. Microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi and microparasites) received scant mention in Darwin's writings, although pioneers of the Golden Age of Bacteriology, such as Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), were contemporaries. Today, microbes offer extraordinary testimony and powerful model systems of direct relevance to the essentials of Darwinian selection, such as understanding microbial-host interactions, the evolution of pathogens and the emergence of drug- or vaccine-related resistance.

  18. Darwin's finches: population variation and natural selection.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, P R; Grant, B R; Smith, J N; Abbott, I J; Abbott, L K

    1976-01-01

    Van Valen's model, which relates morphological variation to ecological variation in an adaptive scheme, was investigated with individually marked and measured Darwin's finches on two adjacent Galápagos islands, Santa Cruz and Daphne Major. Results show that environmental heterogeneity is correlated with large continuous, morphological variation: variation in bill dimensions of Geospiza fortis is greater on Santa Cruz than on Daphne, as is environmental heterogeneity. Within populations of this species, different phenotypes distribute themselves in different habitat patches, select foods of different sizes and hardness, and exploit them with efficiencies that are phenotype- (bill size) dependent. These data constitute indirect evidence that natural selection has a controlling influence over the level of phenotypic variation exhibited by a population. Further evidence is that phenotypes did not survive equally well during the study period; on Daphne island G. fortis was apparently subjected to directional selection on bill tip length and G. scandens to normalizing selection on body weight and bill depth. Other factors which may have contributed to the establishment of a difference in variation between Santa Cruz and Daphne populations are the founder effect, genetic drift, and assortative mating. Annual climatic unpredictability is considered a source of environmental heterogeneity which, through its effect upon food supply, favors large morphological variation. It is predicted that species of large individual size are more influenced by this than are small species, and consequently exhibit greater size-corrected variation. The prediction is tested with data from six Geospiza species, and found to be correct. PMID:1061123

  19. Natural selection and the maximization of fitness.

    PubMed

    Birch, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Natural selection and cultural rates of change

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Deborah S.; Ehrlich, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    It has been claimed that a meaningful theory of cultural evolution is not possible because human beliefs and behaviors do not follow predictable patterns. However, theoretical models of cultural transmission and observations of the development of societies suggest that patterns in cultural evolution do occur. Here, we analyze whether two sets of related cultural traits, one tested against the environment and the other not, evolve at different rates in the same populations. Using functional and symbolic design features for Polynesian canoes, we show that natural selection apparently slows the evolution of functional structures, whereas symbolic designs differentiate more rapidly. This finding indicates that cultural change, like genetic evolution, can follow theoretically derived patterns. PMID:18287028

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. The natural selection of bad science

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing—no deliberate cheating nor loafing—by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modelling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioural sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity of increasing power. To demonstrate the logical consequences of structural incentives, we then present a dynamic model of scientific communities in which competing laboratories investigate novel or previously published hypotheses using culturally transmitted research methods. As in the real world, successful labs produce more ‘progeny,’ such that their methods are more often copied and their students are more likely to start labs of their own. Selection for high output leads to poorer methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. We additionally show that replication slows but does not stop the process of methodological deterioration. Improving the quality of research requires change at the institutional level. PMID:27703703

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grilliot, Matthew E.; Harden, Siegfried

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Dongchen; Chi, Michelene T. H.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. A measure of sexual selection in hermaphroditic animals: parentage skew and the opportunity for selection.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, M C; Sella, G

    2008-05-01

    The role of sexual selection in shaping the mating system of hermaphrodites is currently widely accepted. However, a quantification of the intensity of sexual selection in hermaphroditic animals has never been accomplished. We evaluated the opportunity for sexual selection for both the female and the male functions in the simultaneous outcrossing hermaphrodite Ophryotrocha diadema by measuring focal hermaphrodites' paternal and maternal offspring in experimental replicated monogamous and promiscuous populations, using genetic markers to estimate paternity. Opportunity for sexual selection for each of the two sexual functions was quantified by means of the Crow's index, i.e. the ratio of variance in progeny number to the squared mean number of progeny. In addition, the extent to which the reproductive success was shared among competing individuals was estimated by means of the Nonacs's B index. We documented that the strength of selection on the male and female function in hermaphrodites with external fertilization depends on the reproductive context. Under a promiscuous regime, hermaphrodites have higher opportunities for selection for both the male and the female function than under the monogamous regime. Moreover, the reproductive skew for the female function becomes greater than that for the male function, moving from monogamy to promiscuity. In our model system, allocation to one sexual function is opposed by any degree of allocation to the other, indicating that sex-specific patterns of selection operate in this model species.

  6. Good genes sexual selection in nature.

    PubMed

    Byers, John A; Waits, Lisette

    2006-10-31

    Whether the mate sampling and choice performed by females in nature influences offspring performance is a controversial issue in theory and an open empirical question. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) females engage in an obvious and energetically expensive mate sampling process to identify vigorous males. Although individual females sample independently, their choices converge on a small proportion of males that sire most young. Offspring of attractive males were more likely to survive to weaning and to age classes as late as 5 years, resulting in a selection differential, calculated by expected differences in lifetime number of offspring weaned, of 0.32 against random mating. Enhanced survival to weaning appeared to be accomplished by faster growth rates. Females compensated for matings with a less attractive mate by elevating rates of milk delivery to their young. Because pronghorn males do not have costly ornaments, we conclude that female choice for good genes can exist in the absence of ornaments. Furthermore, female choice may be important and unrecognized as a force that can lower population genetic load. PMID:17060640

  7. Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness.

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, Randolph M

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Keeping, Derek; Pelletier, Rick

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Using Animation to Convey Natural Hazards and Anthropogenic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerlow, Isaac

    2016-04-01

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

  14. ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: SELECTED CASE STUDIES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-15

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Darby

    1980-01-01

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

  16. Influence of Rotational Nucleosome Positioning on Transcription Start Site Selection in Animal Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Ambrosini, Giovanna; Bucher, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    The recruitment of RNA-Pol-II to the transcription start site (TSS) is an important step in gene regulation in all organisms. Core promoter elements (CPE) are conserved sequence motifs that guide Pol-II to the TSS by interacting with specific transcription factors (TFs). However, only a minority of animal promoters contains CPEs. It is still unknown how Pol-II selects the TSS in their absence. Here we present a comparative analysis of promoters’ sequence composition and chromatin architecture in five eukaryotic model organisms, which shows the presence of common and unique DNA-encoded features used to organize chromatin. Analysis of Pol-II initiation patterns uncovers that, in the absence of certain CPEs, there is a strong correlation between the spread of initiation and the intensity of the 10 bp periodic signal in the nearest downstream nucleosome. Moreover, promoters’ primary and secondary initiation sites show a characteristic 10 bp periodicity in the absence of CPEs. We also show that DNA natural variants in the region immediately downstream the TSS are able to affect both the nucleosome-DNA affinity and Pol-II initiation pattern. These findings support the notion that, in addition to CPEs mediated selection, sequence–induced nucleosome positioning could be a common and conserved mechanism of TSS selection in animals. PMID:27716823

  17. Evaluations of selected text references to natural selection by high school biology teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, George L.

    1997-09-01

    For decades researchers have warned of problems associated with using anthropomorphic and teleological formulations to explain natural selection. This study investigates how high school biology teachers evaluate potentially useful text containing canonical, anthropomorphic and teleological formulations that purport to explain biological adaptation through natural selection. Twenty-four teachers were randomly selected from a stratified sample of all high school biology teachers in three counties surrounding a major city in upstate New York. Each teacher evaluated 16 canonical, anthropomorphic and teleological formulations in a questionnaire and then participated in a semi-structured interview to explain why choices were made and how they might modify some items. Goals of this study were to understand teacher standards regarding these formulations by means of determining: (1) How teachers evaluate canonical, anthropomorphic and teleologlcal presented on a questionnaire (2) Do teachers recognize phrases that imply anthropomorphic and teleological meanings? (3) How does content effect teachers' evaluation of statement usefulness? And (4) Do years of experience influence teachers' sensitivity to anthropomorphic and teleological meanings? Conclusions of this study show that: (1) Concern about potential misconceptions was the most important factor influencing teachers' judgment of statements. (2) Vocabulary appears to be an important factor in teachers' judgment of text usefulness. (3) Teachers who are more sensitive to the anthropomorphic or teleological phrases were more likely to reject their use. (4) The content area of natural selection (i.e., animal, microbe, human and plant) does not appear to influence teachers' use of canonical, anthropomorphic or teleological formulations of statements. (5) Inexperienced teachers have a high tolerance for some non-literal formulations (i.e., anthropomorphic and teleological).

  18. Equivalence between Step Selection Functions and Biased Correlated Random Walks for Statistical Inference on Animal Movement

    PubMed Central

    Duchesne, Thierry; Fortin, Daniel; Rivest, Louis-Paul

    2015-01-01

    Animal movement has a fundamental impact on population and community structure and dynamics. Biased correlated random walks (BCRW) and step selection functions (SSF) are commonly used to study movements. Because no studies have contrasted the parameters and the statistical properties of their estimators for models constructed under these two Lagrangian approaches, it remains unclear whether or not they allow for similar inference. First, we used the Weak Law of Large Numbers to demonstrate that the log-likelihood function for estimating the parameters of BCRW models can be approximated by the log-likelihood of SSFs. Second, we illustrated the link between the two approaches by fitting BCRW with maximum likelihood and with SSF to simulated movement data in virtual environments and to the trajectory of bison (Bison bison L.) trails in natural landscapes. Using simulated and empirical data, we found that the parameters of a BCRW estimated directly from maximum likelihood and by fitting an SSF were remarkably similar. Movement analysis is increasingly used as a tool for understanding the influence of landscape properties on animal distribution. In the rapidly developing field of movement ecology, management and conservation biologists must decide which method they should implement to accurately assess the determinants of animal movement. We showed that BCRW and SSF can provide similar insights into the environmental features influencing animal movements. Both techniques have advantages. BCRW has already been extended to allow for multi-state modeling. Unlike BCRW, however, SSF can be estimated using most statistical packages, it can simultaneously evaluate habitat selection and movement biases, and can easily integrate a large number of movement taxes at multiple scales. SSF thus offers a simple, yet effective, statistical technique to identify movement taxis. PMID:25898019

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kurtdede Fidan, Nuray

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Oxfendazole treatment for cystic hydatid disease in naturally infected animals.

    PubMed

    Blanton, R E; Wachira, T M; Zeyhle, E E; Njoroge, E M; Magambo, J K; Schantz, P M

    1998-03-01

    Few chemotherapeutic agents are available for the medical management of hydatid disease caused by the parasite Echinococcus granulosus. In order to test the potential of oxfendazole for the treatment of infection with this parasite, nine infected goats and four sheep were given oxfendazole twice weekly at a dose of 30 mg/kg of body weight for 4 weeks and monitored by ultrasound for an additional 4 weeks. Efficacy was finally evaluated by postmortem examination, including determination of protoscolex viability and cyst wall histology. In treated animals, protoscolices were dead or absent in 97% of cysts from oxfendazole-treated animals compared to 28% of cysts from untreated control animals. On postmortem examination, 53% of cysts from treated animals were found to be grossly degenerate. A sample of those cysts that appeared potentially viable all demonstrated evidence of severe damage to the cyst wall. By light microscopy, cysts showed severe disorganization of the adventitial layer with invasion of inflammatory cells and in some cases frank necrosis with no apparent adventitial layer. The follow-up period for assessment of the drug's ability to cause complete degeneration and resorption of cysts was relatively short. This study, however, indicates that oxfendazole is at least as effective as and is easier to administer than albendazole for the treatment of hydatid disease.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Martin

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Natural Selection in the Field and the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinc, Muhittin; Kilic, Selda; Aladag, Caner

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-01-01

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

  6. TCR-MHC docking orientation: natural selection, or thymic selection?

    PubMed

    Collins, Edward J; Riddle, David S

    2008-01-01

    T cell receptors (TCR) dock on their peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) targets in a conserved orientation. Since amino acid sidechains are the foundation of specific protein-protein interactions, a simple explanation for the conserved docking orientation is that key amino acids encoded by the TCR and MHC genes have been selected and maintained through evolution in order to preserve TCR/pMHC binding. Expectations that follow from the hypothesis that TCR and MHC evolved to interact are discussed in light of the data that both support and refute them. Finally, an alternative and equally simple explanation for the driving force behind the conserved docking orientation is described.

  7. Natural selection can favour 'irrational' behaviour.

    PubMed

    McNamara, J M; Trimmer, P C; Houston, A I

    2014-01-01

    Understanding decisions is the fundamental aim of the behavioural sciences. The theory of rational choice is based on axiomatic principles such as transitivity and independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA). Empirical studies have demonstrated that the behaviour of humans and other animals often seems irrational; there can be a lack of transitivity in choice and seemingly irrelevant alternatives can alter decisions. These violations of transitivity and IIA undermine rational choice theory. However, we show that an individual that is maximizing its rate of food gain can exhibit failure of transitivity and IIA. We show that such violations can be caused because a current option may disappear in the near future or a better option may reappear soon. Current food options can be indicative of food availability in the near future, and this key feature can result in apparently irrational behaviour.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. [Man-nature-technology. Philosophical considerations of human-animal-relations].

    PubMed

    Schneider, M

    2001-03-01

    Man's position in nature is equivocal. Man is part of nature and through evolution is linked to other living beings. Although an "Animal among Animals", nature has provided him with capabilities that separate him from all living beings in its realm. These comprise the ability for reflection and subsequent moral behavior, but also the gift (and necessity) for using technology to shape and subjugate his natural environment. Based upon this "Dual Nature of Man" the essay focuses on the web of interactions between Man, Nature and Technology. Modern ethics of animal protection argue in favor of extending the principle of equality ("To Each His Own") to include animals as well. However, the principle of equality is a purely formal, heuristic rule for assigning morally just determinations of value. It requires normative padding as far as its content is concerned. Consequently, the content of the principle of equality ought to be more closely determined in keeping with the ideal of humanity. PMID:11314473

  10. [Man-nature-technology. Philosophical considerations of human-animal-relations].

    PubMed

    Schneider, M

    2001-03-01

    Man's position in nature is equivocal. Man is part of nature and through evolution is linked to other living beings. Although an "Animal among Animals", nature has provided him with capabilities that separate him from all living beings in its realm. These comprise the ability for reflection and subsequent moral behavior, but also the gift (and necessity) for using technology to shape and subjugate his natural environment. Based upon this "Dual Nature of Man" the essay focuses on the web of interactions between Man, Nature and Technology. Modern ethics of animal protection argue in favor of extending the principle of equality ("To Each His Own") to include animals as well. However, the principle of equality is a purely formal, heuristic rule for assigning morally just determinations of value. It requires normative padding as far as its content is concerned. Consequently, the content of the principle of equality ought to be more closely determined in keeping with the ideal of humanity.

  11. Linkage and the Limits to Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Barton, N. H.

    1995-01-01

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

  12. Animal-derived natural products review: focus on novel modifications and applications.

    PubMed

    Fan, Qianqian; Ma, Jianzhong; Xu, Qunna; Zhang, Jing; Simion, Demetra; Carmen, Gaidău; Guo, Congsheng

    2015-04-01

    Bio-based natural products have attracted exploding interests, while the environmental pollutions caused by the synthetic polymers are deteriorating dramatically. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the modification of animal-derived natural products with an emphasis on casein, chitosan and collagen. Furthermore, their novel applications in controlled drug delivery system, leather finishing, and pollutant adsorption are also demonstrated. Accordingly, some perspectives in the future development of animal-derived natural products are further proposed.

  13. Animal genomics in natural reservoirs of infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Cowled, C; Wang, L-F

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Animal genomics in natural reservoirs of infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Cowled, C; Wang, L-F

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartels, Kenneth E.

    1991-05-01

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

  16. Predicting local and non-local effects of resources on animal space use using a mechanistic step selection model

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Jonathan R; Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Murray, Dennis L; Schaefer, James A; Lewis, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    Predicting space use patterns of animals from their interactions with the environment is fundamental for understanding the effect of habitat changes on ecosystem functioning. Recent attempts to address this problem have sought to unify resource selection analysis, where animal space use is derived from available habitat quality, and mechanistic movement models, where detailed movement processes of an animal are used to predict its emergent utilization distribution. Such models bias the animal's movement towards patches that are easily available and resource-rich, and the result is a predicted probability density at a given position being a function of the habitat quality at that position. However, in reality, the probability that an animal will use a patch of the terrain tends to be a function of the resource quality in both that patch and the surrounding habitat. We propose a mechanistic model where this non-local effect of resources naturally emerges from the local movement processes, by taking into account the relative utility of both the habitat where the animal currently resides and that of where it is moving. We give statistical techniques to parametrize the model from location data and demonstrate application of these techniques to GPS location data of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland. Steady-state animal probability distributions arising from the model have complex patterns that cannot be expressed simply as a function of the local quality of the habitat. In particular, large areas of good habitat are used more intensively than smaller patches of equal quality habitat, whereas isolated patches are used less frequently. Both of these are real aspects of animal space use missing from previous mechanistic resource selection models. Whilst we focus on habitats in this study, our modelling framework can be readily used with any environmental covariates and therefore represents a unification of mechanistic modelling and step selection approaches to

  17. Genome-wide association and genomic selection in animal breeding.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Ben; Goddard, Mike

    2010-11-01

    Results from genome-wide association studies in livestock, and humans, has lead to the conclusion that the effect of individual quantitative trait loci (QTL) on complex traits, such as yield, are likely to be small; therefore, a large number of QTL are necessary to explain genetic variation in these traits. Given this genetic architecture, gains from marker-assisted selection (MAS) programs using only a small number of DNA markers to trace a limited number of QTL is likely to be small. This has lead to the development of alternative technology for using the available dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information, called genomic selection. Genomic selection uses a genome-wide panel of dense markers so that all QTL are likely to be in linkage disequilibrium with at least one SNP. The genomic breeding values are predicted to be the sum of the effect of these SNPs across the entire genome. In dairy cattle breeding, the accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) that can be achieved and the fact that these are available early in life have lead to rapid adoption of the technology. Here, we discuss the design of experiments necessary to achieve accurate prediction of GEBV in future generations in terms of the number of markers necessary and the size of the reference population where marker effects are estimated. We also present a simple method for implementing genomic selection using a genomic relationship matrix. Future challenges discussed include using whole genome sequence data to improve the accuracy of genomic selection and management of inbreeding through genomic relationships.

  18. Nature in the Classroom: Rare and Endangered Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doyle, Charles

    1977-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Diane R.; Powers, John M.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Natural selective attention: Orienting and emotion

    PubMed Central

    BRADLEY, MARGARET M.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Bayesian natural selection and the evolution of perceptual systems.

    PubMed Central

    Geisler, Wilson S; Diehl, Randy L

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, there has been much interest in characterizing statistical properties of natural stimuli in order to better understand the design of perceptual systems. A fruitful approach has been to compare the processing of natural stimuli in real perceptual systems with that of ideal observers derived within the framework of Bayesian statistical decision theory. While this form of optimization theory has provided a deeper understanding of the information contained in natural stimuli as well as of the computational principles employed in perceptual systems, it does not directly consider the process of natural selection, which is ultimately responsible for design. Here we propose a formal framework for analysing how the statistics of natural stimuli and the process of natural selection interact to determine the design of perceptual systems. The framework consists of two complementary components. The first is a maximum fitness ideal observer, a standard Bayesian ideal observer with a utility function appropriate for natural selection. The second component is a formal version of natural selection based upon Bayesian statistical decision theory. Maximum fitness ideal observers and Bayesian natural selection are demonstrated in several examples. We suggest that the Bayesian approach is appropriate not only for the study of perceptual systems but also for the study of many other systems in biology. PMID:12028784

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  6. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity.

    PubMed

    Bell, Rayna C; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2012-12-01

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism.

  7. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Rayna C.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism. PMID:22993253

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Exploring Genetic Drift and Natural Selection through a Simulation Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maret, Timothy J.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Reports on the development of a laboratory exercise that would allow students to explore the concept of genetic drift. Discusses the concept of genetic drift that is coincident with natural selection and that closely models the real world. (DDR)

  10. The Unit of Natural Selection: Groups, Families, Individuals, or Genes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiss, Michael J.

    1985-01-01

    Offers perspectives on natural selection and the phenomenon of altruism. Presents evidence for and against the theories that evolution acts essentially on genes, on individuals, on kin, or on larger groups. (ML)

  11. Perrault, Buffon and the natural history of animals

    PubMed Central

    Guerrini, Anita

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stettner, Laurence J.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Holmberg, Tora; Ideland, Malin

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Naturalization Test Redesign Project: Civics Item Selection Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2008

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swayze, L.J.

    1981-01-01

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

  18. The genetic consequences of selection in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Timothy J; Barrett, Rowan D H

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The diversification of mate preferences by natural and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Rundle, H D; Chenoweth, S F; Blows, M W

    2009-08-01

    The evolution of sexual display traits or preferences for them in response to divergent natural selection will alter sexual selection within populations, yet the role of sexual selection in ecological speciation has received little empirical attention. We evolved 12 populations of Drosophila serrata in a two-way factorial design to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection in the evolution of female mate preferences for male cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). Mate preferences weakened in populations evolving under natural selection alone, implying a cost in the absence of their expression. Comparison of the vectors of linear sexual selection revealed that the populations diverged in the combination of male CHCs that females found most attractive, although this was not significant using a mixed modelling approach. Changes in preference direction tended to evolve when natural and sexual selection were unconstrained, suggesting that both processes may be the key to initial stages of ecological speciation. Determining the generality of this result will require data from various species across a range of novel environments.

  1. Natural selection reduces energy metabolism in the garden snail, helix aspersa (cornu aspersum).

    PubMed

    Artacho, Paulina; Nespolo, Roberto F

    2009-04-01

    Phenotypic selection is widely recognized as the primary cause of adaptive evolution in natural populations, a fact that has been documented frequently over the last few decades, mainly in morphological and life-history traits. The energetic definition of fitness predicts that natural selection will maximize the residual energy available for growth and reproduction, suggesting that energy metabolism could be a target of selection. To address this problem, we chose the garden snail, Helix aspersa (Cornu aspersum). We performed a seminatural experiment for measuring phenotypic selection on standard metabolic rate (SMR), the minimum cost of maintenance in ectotherm organisms. To discount selection on correlated traits, we included two additional whole-organism performance traits (mean speed and maximum force of dislodgement). We found a combination of linear (negative directional selection, beta=-0.106 +/- 0.06; P= 0.001) and quadratic (stabilizing selection, gamma=-0.012 +/- 0.033; P= 0.061) selection on SMR. Correlational selection was not significant for any possible pair of traits. This suggests that individuals with average-to-reduced SMRs were promoted by selection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing significant directional selection on the obligatory cost of maintenance in an animal, providing support for the energetic definition of fitness.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brandvain, Yaniv; Wright, Stephen I

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reznick, David

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reznick, David

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-22

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

  8. Animator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2008

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Nonconsumptive predator-driven mortality causes natural selection on prey.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Wang, Jason; Prince, Garrett

    2014-03-01

    Predators frequently exert natural selection through differential consumption of their prey. However, predators may also cause prey mortality through nonconsumptive effects, which could cause selection if different prey phenotypes are differentially susceptible to this nonconsumptive mortality. Here we present an experimental test of this hypothesis, which reveals that nonconsumptive mortality imposed by predatory dragonflies causes selection on their damselfly prey favoring increased activity levels. These results are consistent with other studies of predator-driven selection, however, they reveal that consumption alone is not the only mechanism by which predators can exert selection on prey. Uncovering this mechanism also suggests that prey defensive traits may represent adaptations to not only avoid being consumed, but also for dealing with other sources of mortality caused by predators. Demonstrating selection through both consumptive and nonconsumptive predator mortality provides us with insight into the diverse effects of predators as an evolutionary force.

  10. Animal Detection in Natural Images: Effects of Color and Image Database

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Weina; Drewes, Jan; Gegenfurtner, Karl R.

    2013-01-01

    The visual system has a remarkable ability to extract categorical information from complex natural scenes. In order to elucidate the role of low-level image features for the recognition of objects in natural scenes, we recorded saccadic eye movements and event-related potentials (ERPs) in two experiments, in which human subjects had to detect animals in previously unseen natural images. We used a new natural image database (ANID) that is free of some of the potential artifacts that have plagued the widely used COREL images. Color and grayscale images picked from the ANID and COREL databases were used. In all experiments, color images induced a greater N1 EEG component at earlier time points than grayscale images. We suggest that this influence of color in animal detection may be masked by later processes when measuring reation times. The ERP results of go/nogo and forced choice tasks were similar to those reported earlier. The non-animal stimuli induced bigger N1 than animal stimuli both in the COREL and ANID databases. This result indicates ultra-fast processing of animal images is possible irrespective of the particular database. With the ANID images, the difference between color and grayscale images is more pronounced than with the COREL images. The earlier use of the COREL images might have led to an underestimation of the contribution of color. Therefore, we conclude that the ANID image database is better suited for the investigation of the processing of natural scenes than other databases commonly used. PMID:24130744

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Variation, natural selection, and information content--a simulation.

    PubMed

    Testa, Bernard; Bojarski, Andrzej J

    2007-10-01

    In Neo-Darwinism, variation and natural selection are the two evolutionary mechanisms that propel biological evolution. Variation implies changes in the gene pool of a population, enlarging the genetic variability from which natural selection can choose. But in the absence of natural selection, variation causes dissipation and randomization. Natural selection, in contrast, constrains this variability by decreasing the survival and fertility of the less-adapted organisms. The objective of this study is to propose a highly simplified simulation of variation and natural selection, and to relate the observed evolutionary changes in a population to its information content. The model involves an imaginary population of individuals. A quantifiable character allows the individuals to be categorized into bins. The distribution of bins (a histogram) was assumed to be Gaussian. The content of each bin was calculated after one to twelve cycles, each cycle spanning N generations (N being undefined). In a first study, selection was simulated in the absence of variation. This was modeled by assuming a differential fertility factor F that increased linearly from the lower bins (F<1.00) to the higher bins (F>1.00). The fertility factor was applied as a multiplication factor during each cycle. Several ranges of fertility were investigated. The resulting histograms became skewed to the right. In a second study, variation was simulated in the absence of selection. This was modeled by assuming that during each cycle each bin lost a fixed percentage of its content (variation factor Y) to its two adjacent bins. The resulting histograms became broader and flatter, while retaining their bilateral symmetry. Different values of Y were monitored. In a third study, various values of F and Y were combined. Our model allows the straightforward application of Shannon's equation and the calculation of a Shannon-entropy (SE) values for each histogram. Natural selection was, thus, shown to result in

  13. Natural selection and genital variation: a role for the environment, parasites and sperm ageing?

    PubMed

    Reinhardt, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Male genitalia are more variable between species (and populations) than other organs, and are more morphologically complex in polygamous compared to monogamous species. Therefore, sexual selection has been put forward as the major explanation of genital variation and complexity, in particular cryptic female choice for male copulatory courtship. As cryptic female choice is based on differences between males it is somewhat paradoxical that there is such low within-species variation in male genitalia that they are a prime morphological identification character for animal species. Processes other than sexual selection may also lead to genitalia variation but they have recently become neglected. Here I focus on pleiotropy and natural selection and provide examples how they link genitalia morphology with genital environments. Pleiotropy appears to be important because most studies that specifically tested for pleiotropic effects on genital morphology found them. Natural selection likely favours certain genital morphology over others in various environments, as well as by reducing re-infection with sexually transmitted diseases or reducing the likelihood of fertilisation with aged sperm. Both pleiotropy and natural selection differ locally and between species so may contribute to local variation in genitalia and sometimes variation between monogamous and polygamous species. Furthermore, the multitude of genital environments will lead to a multitude of genital functions via natural selection and pleiotropy, and may also contribute to explaining the complexity of genitalia.

  14. Imperfect mimicry and the limits of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, David W; Pfennig, David W

    2013-12-01

    Mimicry--when one organism (the mimic) evolves a phenotypic resemblance to another (the model) due to selective benefits--is widely used to illustrate natural selection's power to generate adaptations. However, many putative mimics resemble their models imprecisely, and such imperfect mimicry represents a specific challenge to mimicry theory and a general one to evolutionary theory. Here, we discuss 11 nonmutually exclusive hypotheses for imperfect mimicry. We group these hypotheses according to whether imperfect mimicry reflects: an artifact of human perception, which is not shared by any naturally occurring predators and therefore is not truly an instance of imperfect mimicry; genetic, developmental or time-lag constraints, which (temporarily) prevent a response to selection for perfect mimicry; relaxed selection, where imperfect mimicry is as adaptive as perfect mimicry; or tradeoffs, where imperfect mimicry is (locally) more adaptive than perfect mimicry. We find that the relaxed selection hypothesis has garnered the most support. However, because only a few study systems have thus far been comprehensively evaluated, the relative contributions of the various hypotheses toward explaining the evolution of imperfect mimicry remain unclear. Ultimately, clarifying why imperfect mimicry exists should provide critical insights into the limits of natural selection in producing complex adaptations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-23

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

  16. Recombination and natural selection in hepatitis E virus genotypes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoming; Zhang, Qian; He, Chao; Zhang, Lei; Li, Jinghua; Zhang, Weilu; Cao, Wei; Lv, Yong-Gang; Liu, Zhengcai; Zhang, Jing-Xia; Shao, Zhong-Jun

    2012-09-01

    To gain new insights into the evolutionary processes that created the genetic diversity of the hepatitis E virus (HEV), the Recombination Detection Program (RDP) and SimPlot program were employed to detect recombination events in the genome, then the fixed-effects likelihood (FEL) method was used to detect natural selection effects on viral proteins. Recombination analysis provided strong evidence for both intergenotype and intragenotype recombination events in the sequences analyzed. Recombination events were found to be distributed non-randomly, with the highest frequency in the X domain and the helicase. Strain DQ450072 was identified as intergenotype-recombinant. Natural selection analysis revealed that codons under both negative selection and positive selection were distributed non-randomly. ORF1 and ORF2 have experienced strong purifying selection across genotypes. Furthermore, potentially important sites were also found under positive selection in the N-terminal end of ORF2 and the C-terminal end of ORF3. No significant difference was found among the selective pressures on different genotypes.

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

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Robert T.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Luli

    2004-01-01

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

  4. The Nature of Selected English Teachers' Online Participation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodesiler, Luke

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Learning natural selection from the site frequency spectrum.

    PubMed

    Ronen, Roy; Udpa, Nitin; Halperin, Eran; Bafna, Vineet

    2013-09-01

    Genetic adaptation to external stimuli occurs through the combined action of mutation and selection. A central problem in genetics is to identify loci responsive to specific selective constraints. Many tests have been proposed to identify the genomic signatures of natural selection by quantifying the skew in the site frequency spectrum (SFS) under selection relative to neutrality. We build upon recent work that connects many of these tests under a common framework, by describing how selective sweeps affect the scaled SFS. We show that the specific skew depends on many attributes of the sweep, including the selection coefficient and the time under selection. Using supervised learning on extensive simulated data, we characterize the features of the scaled SFS that best separate different types of selective sweeps from neutrality. We develop a test, SFselect, that consistently outperforms many existing tests over a wide range of selective sweeps. We apply SFselect to polymorphism data from a laboratory evolution experiment of Drosophila melanogaster adapted to hypoxia and identify loci that strengthen the role of the Notch pathway in hypoxia tolerance, but were missed by previous approaches. We further apply our test to human data and identify regions that are in agreement with earlier studies, as well as many novel regions.

  6. Natural selection mapping of the warfarin-resistance gene

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Bert

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Rescuing valuable genomes by animal cloning: a case for natural disease resistance in cattle.

    PubMed

    Westhusin, M E; Shin, T; Templeton, J W; Burghardt, R C; Adams, L G

    2007-01-01

    Tissue banking and animal cloning represent a powerful tool for conserving and regenerating valuable animal genomes. Here we report an example involving cattle and the rescue of a genome affording natural disease resistance. During the course of a 2-decade study involving the phenotypic and genotypic analysis for the functional and genetic basis of natural disease resistance against bovine brucellosis, a foundation sire was identified and confirmed to be genetically resistant to Brucella abortus. This unique animal was utilized extensively in numerous animal breeding studies to further characterize the genetic basis for natural disease resistance. The bull died in 1996 of natural causes, and no semen was available for AI, resulting in the loss of this valuable genome. Fibroblast cell lines had been established in 1985, cryopreserved, and stored in liquid nitrogen for future genetic analysis. Therefore, we decided to utilize these cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer to attempt the production of a cloned bull and salvage this valuable genotype. Embryos were produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer and transferred to 20 recipient cows, 10 of which became pregnant as determined by ultrasound at d 40 of gestation. One calf survived to term. At present, the cloned bull is 4.5 yr old and appears completely normal as determined by physical examination and blood chemistry. Furthermore, in vitro assays performed to date indicate this bull is naturally resistant to B. abortus, Mycobacterium bovis, and Salmonella typhimurium, as was the original genetic donor.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  10. The insufficient part of abiogenesis theory - natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ploompuu, Tõnu

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Elementary Students' Investigations in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Natural selection on plant physiological traits in an urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambrecht, Susan C.; Mahieu, Stephanie; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2016-11-01

    Current rates of urbanization are creating new opportunities for studying urban plant ecology, but our knowledge of urban plant physiology lags behind that of other ecosystems. Moreover, higher temperatures, elevated CO2, and increased inorganic nitrogen deposition along with altered moisture regimes of urban as compared to rural areas creates a compelling analog for studying adaptations of plants to climate change. We grew plants under common conditions in a greenhouse to determine whether populations of Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) differed in phenological, morphological, and physiological traits. We also used a field experiment to test for natural selection on these traits in urban Montpellier, France. Urban plants flowered and senesced later than rural plants, and natural selection favored later phenology in the urban habitat. Natural selection also favored larger plants with more leaves, and increased photosynthesis and leaf nitrogen concentration. Ours is the first study to document selection on plant functional traits in an urban habitat and, as such, advances our understanding of urban plant ecology and possible adaptations to climate change.

  16. Of Animals, Nature and People. Teacher's Guide. Preparing for Tomorrow's World.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iozzi, Louis A.; And Others

    "Of Animals, Nature and People" is one of the "Preparing for Tomorrow's World" (PTW) program modules. PTW is an interdisciplinary, future-oriented program incorporating information from the sciences and social sciences and addressing societal concerns which interface science/technology/society. The program promotes responsible citizenry with…

  17. Of Animals, Nature and People. [Student's Guide.] Preparing for Tomorrow's World.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iozzi, Louis A.; And Others

    Developing an awareness of the need to evolve an environmental ethic is the intent of this module, designed for the senior high school level (grades 10-11). The module is divided into two sections. Section 1 contains a series of dilemma/discussion activities raising issues regarding human behavior toward animals and the natural environment.…

  18. Genome-wide scans for footprints of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Oleksyk, Taras K.; Smith, Michael W.; O'Brien, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    Detecting recent selected ‘genomic footprints’ applies directly to the discovery of disease genes and in the imputation of the formative events that molded modern population genetic structure. The imprints of historic selection/adaptation episodes left in human and animal genomes allow one to interpret modern and ancestral gene origins and modifications. Current approaches to reveal selected regions applied in genome-wide selection scans (GWSSs) fall into eight principal categories: (I) phylogenetic footprinting, (II) detecting increased rates of functional mutations, (III) evaluating divergence versus polymorphism, (IV) detecting extended segments of linkage disequilibrium, (V) evaluating local reduction in genetic variation, (VI) detecting changes in the shape of the frequency distribution (spectrum) of genetic variation, (VII) assessing differentiating between populations (FST), and (VIII) detecting excess or decrease in admixture contribution from one population. Here, we review and compare these approaches using available human genome-wide datasets to provide independent verification (or not) of regions found by different methods and using different populations. The lessons learned from GWSSs will be applied to identify genome signatures of historic selective pressures on genes and gene regions in other species with emerging genome sequences. This would offer considerable potential for genome annotation in functional, developmental and evolutionary contexts. PMID:20008396

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

    PubMed Central

    Lipsitch, Marc; Sousa, Alexandra O

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-01

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

  3. Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bulmer, Michael

    2005-05-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

  6. Selecting appropriate animal models and experimental designs for endocrine disruptor research and testing studies.

    PubMed

    Stokes, William S

    2004-01-01

    Evidence that chemicals in the environment may cause developmental and reproductive abnormalities in fish and wildlife by disrupting normal endocrine functions has increased concern about potential adverse human health effects from such chemicals. US laws have now been enacted that require the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and validate a screening program to identify chemicals in food and water with potential endocrine-disrupting activity. EPA subsequently proposed an Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program that uses in vitro and in vivo test systems to identify chemicals that may adversely affect humans and ecologically important animal species. However, the endocrine system can be readily modulated by many experimental factors, including diet and the genetic background of the selected animal strain or stock. It is therefore desirable to minimize or avoid factors that cause or contribute to experimental variation in endocrine disruptor research and testing studies. Standard laboratory animal diets contain high and variable levels of phytoestrogens, which can modulate physiologic and behavioral responses similar to both endogenous estrogen as well as exogenous estrogenic chemicals. Other studies have determined that some commonly used outbred mice and rats are less responsive to estrogenic substances than certain inbred mouse and rat strains for various estrogen-sensitive endpoints. It is therefore critical to select appropriate biological models and diets for endocrine disruptor studies that provide optimal sensitivity and specificity to accomplish the research or testing objectives. An introduction is provided to 11 other papers in this issue that review these and other important laboratory animal experimental design considerations in greater detail, and that review laboratory animal and in vitro models currently being used or evaluated for endocrine disruptor research and testing. Selection of appropriate animal models and experimental design

  7. Genomic mutation rates that neutralize adaptive evolution and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Gerrish, Philip J; Colato, Alexandre; Sniegowski, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    When mutation rates are low, natural selection remains effective, and increasing the mutation rate can give rise to an increase in adaptation rate. When mutation rates are high to begin with, however, increasing the mutation rate may have a detrimental effect because of the overwhelming presence of deleterious mutations. Indeed, if mutation rates are high enough: (i) adaptive evolution may be neutralized, resulting in a zero (or negative) adaptation rate despite the continued availability of adaptive and/or compensatory mutations, or (ii) natural selection may be neutralized, because the fitness of lineages bearing adaptive and/or compensatory mutations--whether established or newly arising--is eroded by excessive mutation, causing such lineages to decline in frequency. We apply these two criteria to a standard model of asexual adaptive evolution and derive mathematical expressions--some new, some old in new guise--delineating the mutation rates under which either adaptive evolution or natural selection is neutralized. The expressions are simple and require no a priori knowledge of organism- and/or environment-specific parameters. Our discussion connects these results to each other and to previous theory, showing convergence or equivalence of the different results in most cases.

  8. Genomic mutation rates that neutralize adaptive evolution and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Gerrish, Philip J; Colato, Alexandre; Sniegowski, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    When mutation rates are low, natural selection remains effective, and increasing the mutation rate can give rise to an increase in adaptation rate. When mutation rates are high to begin with, however, increasing the mutation rate may have a detrimental effect because of the overwhelming presence of deleterious mutations. Indeed, if mutation rates are high enough: (i) adaptive evolution may be neutralized, resulting in a zero (or negative) adaptation rate despite the continued availability of adaptive and/or compensatory mutations, or (ii) natural selection may be neutralized, because the fitness of lineages bearing adaptive and/or compensatory mutations--whether established or newly arising--is eroded by excessive mutation, causing such lineages to decline in frequency. We apply these two criteria to a standard model of asexual adaptive evolution and derive mathematical expressions--some new, some old in new guise--delineating the mutation rates under which either adaptive evolution or natural selection is neutralized. The expressions are simple and require no a priori knowledge of organism- and/or environment-specific parameters. Our discussion connects these results to each other and to previous theory, showing convergence or equivalence of the different results in most cases. PMID:23720539

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Substitution rate and natural selection in parvovirus B19

    PubMed Central

    Stamenković, Gorana G.; Ćirković, Valentina S.; Šiljić, Marina M.; Blagojević, Jelena V.; Knežević, Aleksandra M.; Joksić, Ivana D.; Stanojević, Maja P.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate substitution rate and imprints of natural selection on parvovirus B19 genotype 1. Studied datasets included 137 near complete coding B19 genomes (positions 665 to 4851) for phylogenetic and substitution rate analysis and 146 and 214 partial genomes for selection analyses in open reading frames ORF1 and ORF2, respectively, collected 1973–2012 and including 9 newly sequenced isolates from Serbia. Phylogenetic clustering assigned majority of studied isolates to G1A. Nucleotide substitution rate for total coding DNA was 1.03 (0.6–1.27) x 10−4 substitutions/site/year, with higher values for analyzed genome partitions. In spite of the highest evolutionary rate, VP2 codons were found to be under purifying selection with rare episodic positive selection, whereas codons under diversifying selection were found in the unique part of VP1, known to contain B19 immune epitopes important in persistent infection. Analyses of overlapping gene regions identified nucleotide positions under opposite selective pressure in different ORFs, suggesting complex evolutionary mechanisms of nucleotide changes in B19 viral genomes. PMID:27775080

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yolanda H; Gols, Rieta; Benrey, Betty

    2015-01-01

    Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Overall, little is known about how these interactions are affected by domestication in the geographical ranges where these crops originate, where they are sympatric with the ancestral plant and share the associated arthropod community. In general, domestication consistently has reduced chemical resistance against herbivorous insects, improving herbivore and natural enemy performance on crop plants. More studies are needed to understand how changes in morphology and resistance-related traits arising from domestication may interact with environmental variation to affect species interactions across multiple scales in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-19

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

  15. WordlePlus: Expanding Wordle's Use through Natural Interaction and Animation.

    PubMed

    Jo, Jaemin; Lee, Bongshin; Seo, Jinwook

    2015-01-01

    Wordle has been commonly used to summarize texts, with each word size-coded by its frequency of occurrences--the more often a word occurs in texts, the bigger it is. The interactive authoring tool WordlePlus leverages natural interaction and animation to give users more control over wordle development. WordlePlus supports direct manipulation of words with pen and touch interaction. It introduces two-word multitouch manipulation, such as concatenating and grouping two words, and provides pen interaction for adding and deleting words. In addition, WordlePlus employs animation to help users create more dynamic and engaging wordles.

  16. Natural selection in the field and the classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

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

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

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S; Husak, Jerry F

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. A rational design for the nanoencapsulation of poisonous animal venoms in liposomes prepared with natural phospholipids.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Maria Helena Bueno; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo A; Quintilio, Wagner; Schwendener, Reto Albert; de Araujo, Pedro Soares

    2012-11-01

    Liposomes have been used since the 1970's to encapsulate drugs envisaging enhancement in efficacy and therapeutic index, avoidance of side effects and increase in the encapsulated agent stability. The major problem when encapsulating snake venoms is the liposomal membrane instability caused by venom phospholipases. Here the results obtained encapsulating Crotalus durissimus terrificus and a pool of Bothropic venoms within liposomes (LC and LB, respectively) used to produce anti-venom sera are presented. The strategy was to modify the immunization protocol to enhance antibody production and to minimize toxic effects by encapsulating inactivated venoms within stabilized liposomes. Chemically modified venoms were solubilized in a buffer containing an inhibitor and a chelating agent. The structures of the venoms were analyzed by UV, CD spectroscopy and ELISA. In spite of the differences in the helical content between natural and modified venoms, they were recognized by horse anti-sera. To maintain long-term stability, mannitol was used as a cryoprotectant. The encapsulation efficiencies were 59 % (LB) and 99 % (LC), as followed by filtration on Sephacryl S1000. Light scattering measurements led us to conclude that both, LB (119 ±47 nm) and LC (147±56 nm) were stable for 22 days at 4 °C, even after lyophilization. Genetically selected mice and mixed breed horses were immunized with these formulations. The animals did not show clinical symptoms of venom toxicity. Both, LB and LC enhanced by at least 30 % the antibody titers 25 days after injection and total IgG titers remained high 91 days after immunization. The liposomal formulation clearly exhibited adjuvant properties.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. The role of natural selection in the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Fry, Iris

    2011-02-01

    It is commonly accepted among origin-of-life scientists that the emergence of life was an evolutionary process involving at one stage or other the working of natural selection. Researchers disagree, however, on the nature of the chemical infrastructure that could have formed prebiotically, enabling the evolutionary process. The division of the origin-of-life research community into 'geneticists' and 'metabolists' usually revolves around the issue whether the first to arise prebiotically was a genetic polymer or a primitive metabolic system. In this paper I offer an alternative classification based on the attitude to the onset of natural selection. From this perspective I add to the conventional division between gene-first and metabolism-first groups a position I call "preparatory metabolism". By this line of thought, an RNA or an RNA-like polymer could not have emerged prebiotically. Nevertheless, the onset of natural selection had to wait until such a polymer had arised. This paper examines the RNA-first, RNA-later, metabolism-first and preparatory-metabolism scenarios, assessing the weaknesses and strengths of each. I conclude that despite the recent theoretical advances in all these lines of research, and despite experimental breakthroughs, especially in overcoming several RNA-first hurdles, none of the examined paradigms has yet attained decisive experimental support. Demonstrating the evolvability of a potentially prebiotic infrastructure, whether genetic or metabolic, is a most serious challenge. So is the experimental demonstration of the emergence of such an infrastructure under prebiotic conditions. The current agenda before origin-of-life researchers of all stripes and colors is the search for the experimental means to tackle all these difficulties.

  2. [Vancomycin-resistant enterococci - the nature of resistance and risk of transmission from animals to humans].

    PubMed

    Hermanovská, Lýdia; Bardoň, Jan; Čermák, Pavel

    2016-06-01

    Enterococci are part of the normal intestinal flora of humans and animals. Under certain circumstances, they are capable of extraintestinal conversion to opportunistic pathogens. They cause endogenous as well as exogenous community and nosocomial infections. The gastrointestinal tract of mammals provides them with favorable conditions for acquisition and spread of resistance genes, for example to vancomycin (van), from other symbiotic bacteria. Thus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) become potential reservoirs and vectors of the van genes. Their occurrence in the population of the Czech Republic was first reported by Kolář et al. in 1997. Some variants of the vanA gene cluster carried on Tn1546 which encode resistance to vancomycin are identical in humans and in animals. It means that animals, especially cattle, poultry and pigs, could be an important reservoir of VRE for humans. Kolář and Bardoň detected VRE in animals in the Czech Republic for the first time in 2000. In Europe, the glycopeptide antibiotic avoparcin, used as a growth stimulator, is responsible for selection of VRE strains in animals. Strains of Enterococcus faecium from animals may offer genes of antimicrobial resistance to other enterococci or they can be directly dangerous to human. This is demonstrated by finding isolates of E. faecalis from human patients and from pigs having very similar profiles of resistance and virulence genes. The goal of the paper was to point out the similarity between isolates of human and animal strains of enterococci resistant to vancomycin, and the possibility of their bilateral transfer between humans and animals.

  3. [Vancomycin-resistant enterococci - the nature of resistance and risk of transmission from animals to humans].

    PubMed

    Hermanovská, Lýdia; Bardoň, Jan; Čermák, Pavel

    2016-06-01

    Enterococci are part of the normal intestinal flora of humans and animals. Under certain circumstances, they are capable of extraintestinal conversion to opportunistic pathogens. They cause endogenous as well as exogenous community and nosocomial infections. The gastrointestinal tract of mammals provides them with favorable conditions for acquisition and spread of resistance genes, for example to vancomycin (van), from other symbiotic bacteria. Thus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) become potential reservoirs and vectors of the van genes. Their occurrence in the population of the Czech Republic was first reported by Kolář et al. in 1997. Some variants of the vanA gene cluster carried on Tn1546 which encode resistance to vancomycin are identical in humans and in animals. It means that animals, especially cattle, poultry and pigs, could be an important reservoir of VRE for humans. Kolář and Bardoň detected VRE in animals in the Czech Republic for the first time in 2000. In Europe, the glycopeptide antibiotic avoparcin, used as a growth stimulator, is responsible for selection of VRE strains in animals. Strains of Enterococcus faecium from animals may offer genes of antimicrobial resistance to other enterococci or they can be directly dangerous to human. This is demonstrated by finding isolates of E. faecalis from human patients and from pigs having very similar profiles of resistance and virulence genes. The goal of the paper was to point out the similarity between isolates of human and animal strains of enterococci resistant to vancomycin, and the possibility of their bilateral transfer between humans and animals. PMID:27450523

  4. Natural selection and divergence in mate preference during speciation.

    PubMed

    Nosil, Patrik; Crespi, Bernard J; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2007-03-01

    Sexual isolation can evolve due to natural selection against hybrids (reinforcement). However, many different forms of hybrid dysfunction, and selective processes that do not involve hybrids, can contribute to the evolution of sexual isolation. Here we review how different selective processes affect the evolution of sexual isolation, describe approaches for distinguishing among them, and assess how they contribute to variation in sexual isolation among populations of Timema cristinae stick-insects. Pairs of allopatric populations of T. cristinae living on different host-plant species exhibit greater sexual isolation than those on the same host, indicating that some sexual isolation has evolved due to host adaptation. Sexual isolation is strongest in regions where populations on different hosts are in geographic contact, a pattern of reproductive character displacement that is indicative of reinforcement. Ecological costs to hybridization do occur but traits under ecological selection (predation) do not co-vary strongly with the probability of between-population mating such that selection on ecological traits is not predicted to produce a strong correlated evolutionary response in mate preference. Moreover, F1 hybrid egg inviability is lacking and the factors contributing to reproductive character displacement require further study. Finally, we show that sexual isolation involves, at least in part, olfactory communication. Our results illustrate how understanding of the evolution of sexual isolation can be enhanced by isolating the roles of diverse ecological and evolutionary processes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-15

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

  6. Preventive Effect of Novel Bacterial Polysaccharide and Animal Splenic Protein as Natural Adjuvants on Animal Model of Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Mirsadraee, Majid; Mohaghegh Hazrati, Saleh; Khakzad, Mohammad Reza; Ghafarzadegan, Kamran; Boskabady, Mohhamad Hosein

    2012-01-01

    Objective(s) Two new adjuvants from natural animal lipids (G2) and bacterial polysaccharide extracts (PC) were previously prepared by our group and showed a reduction in tracheal responsiveness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preventive effect of recently introduced natural products (G2 and PC) on the development of asthma. Materials and Methods Asthma was induced using a standard method in four groups of BALB/c mice. A non-sensitized control group was also included in order to be compared with treated groups. Three groups were premedicated with novel agents named G2, PC, and a combination of these two for 20 days before starting the induction of asthma. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected and analyzed for inflammatory cells. Interferon-γ, and IL-4 and the histopathological of both lungs were also evaluated. Results In all pretreated groups, the inflammatory cells infiltration especially eosinophils and smooth muscle hyperplasia decreased significantly. BALF cytology also showed significant decrease in eosinophil count in all pretreated groups. There was a significant increase in the BALF and serum INF-γ in all pretreated groups but the combination of G2/PC was more effective. BALF IL-4 decreased significantly in the group pretreated with a combination of G2 and G2/PC (4.11±0.86 and 4.02±0.52 pg/ml in G2 and G2/PC, respectively). Serum IL-4 in the PC group was significantly higher than the sensitized control. Conclusion G2 and PC may effectively prevent asthma development by activation of the type 1 T helper system. PMID:23493252

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Natural selection drives extremely rapid evolution in antiviral RNAi genes.

    PubMed

    Obbard, Darren J; Jiggins, Francis M; Halligan, Daniel L; Little, Tom J

    2006-03-21

    RNA interference (RNAi) is perhaps best known as a laboratory tool. However, RNAi-related pathways represent an antiviral component of innate immunity in both plants and animals. Since viruses can protect themselves by suppressing RNAi, interaction between RNA viruses and host RNAi may represent an ancient coevolutionary "arms race." This could lead to strong directional selection on RNAi genes, but to date their evolution has not been studied. By comparing DNA sequences from different species of Drosophila, we show that the rate of amino acid evolution is substantially elevated in genes related to antiviral RNAi function (Dcr2, R2D2, and Ago2). They are among the fastest evolving 3% of all Drosophila genes; they evolve significantly faster than other components of innate immunity and faster than paralogous genes that mediate "housekeeping" functions. Based on DNA polymorphism data from three species of Drosophila, McDonald-Kreitman tests showed that this rapid evolution is due to strong positive selection. Furthermore, Dcr2 and Ago2 display reduced genetic diversity, indicative of a recent selective sweep in both genes. Together, these data show rapid adaptive evolution of the antiviral RNAi pathway in Drosophila. This is a signature of host-pathogen arms races and implies that the ancient battle between RNA viruses and host antiviral RNAi genes is active and significant in shaping RNAi function.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Torday, John S.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evolution of behavior by density-dependent natural selection.

    PubMed

    Guo, P Z; Mueller, L D; Ayala, F J

    1991-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Torday, John S

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Evolution of behavior by density-dependent natural selection

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Houkes, Wybo

    2012-05-01

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

  16. Transport and selective uptake of radium into natural clay minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidaka, Hiroshi; Horie, Kenji; Gauthier-Lafaye, Françoise

    2007-12-01

    Understanding of the environmental behavior of Ra is important from the viewpoint of the long-termed repository safety of radioactive waste, but investigation of Ra behavior in natural environment is difficult to detect. We found isotopic evidence of Ra transportation and its selective uptake into clay minerals from Pb isotopic analyses. Illite grains found in calcite veins included in sandstone near the Oklo uranium deposit, Republic of Gabon, show extremely low 207Pb/ 206Pb (˜ 0.0158) isotopic ratios. Although the Pb isotopic ratios of calcite and quartz coexisting with illite indicate the formation age of each component, those of illite do not. In addition, illite grains having low 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic ratios contain a strongly large amount of Ba (1230 to 6010 ppm) in contrast with low contents of Ba in calcite and quartz (< 0.26 ppm). Considering the chemical similarity between Ba and Ra, the 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic data suggest an excess of 206Pb due to selective adsorption of 226Ra (and also Ba) into illite grains. This is a very rare example to show evidence of the selective adsorption behavior of Ra from the isotopic excesses of 206Pb, although the adsorption ability of Ra itself in nature was largely reported.

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

    PubMed

    Artemenko, Iu G; Artemenko, L P

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. The natural selection of fidelity in social learning

    PubMed Central

    Sperber, Dan

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-29

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

  9. Opportunity for natural selection among the Indian populations.

    PubMed

    Reddy, B M; Chopra, V P

    1990-11-01

    A critical review of data on opportunity for natural selection among the Indian populations has been made. These data on 96 populations were analysed according to regional, habitat, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The trends observed on the basis of these Indian data have been compared with worldwide data and data from industrialized nations. As in the industrialized nations, a gradual decrease in I(m) and I(t) is observed with improving socioeconomic and technological status in the Indian populations. The Indian situation is similar to that of the first phase in the modern demographic transition among the industrialized nations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Competition and natural selection in a mathematical model of cancer.

    PubMed

    Nagy, John D

    2004-07-01

    A malignant tumor is a dynamic amalgamation of various cell phenotypes, both cancerous (parenchyma) and healthy (stroma). These diverse cells compete over resources as well as cooperate to maintain tumor viability. Therefore, tumors are both an ecological community and an integrated tissue. An understanding of how natural selection operates in this unique ecological context should expose unappreciated vulnerabilities shared by all cancers. In this study I address natural selection's role in tumor evolution by developing and exploring a mathematical model of a heterogenous primary neoplasm. The model is a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations tracking the mass of up to two different parenchyma cell types, the mass of vascular endothelial cells from which new tumor blood vessels are built and the total length of tumor microvessels. Results predict the possibility of a hypertumor-a focus of aggressively reproducing parenchyma cells that invade and destroy part or all of the tumor, perhaps before it becomes a clinical entity. If this phenomenon occurs, then we should see examples of tumors that develop an aggressive histology but are paradoxically prone to extinction. Neuroblastoma, a common childhood cancer, may sometimes fit this pattern. In addition, this model suggests that parenchyma cell diversity can be maintained by a tissue-like integration of cells specialized to provide different services.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  17. Emergence and natural selection of drug-resistant prions.

    PubMed

    Shorter, James

    2010-07-01

    Drug resistance is a refractory barrier in the battle against many fatal diseases caused by rapidly evolving agents, including HIV, apicomplexans and specific cancers. Emerging evidence suggests that drug resistance might extend to lethal prion disorders and related neurodegenerative amyloidoses. Prions are self-replicating protein conformers, usually 'cross-beta' amyloid polymers, which are naturally transmitted between individuals and promote phenotypic change. Prion conformers are catalytic templates that specifically convert other copies of the same protein to the prion form. Once in motion, this chain reaction of conformational replication can deplete all non-prion copies of a protein. Typically, prions exist as ensembles of multiple structurally distinct, self-replicating forms or 'strains'. Each strain confers a distinct phenotype and replicates at different rates depending on the environment. As replicators, prions are units of selection. Thus, natural selection inescapably enriches or depletes various prion strains from populations depending on their conformational fitness (ability to self-replicate) in the prevailing environment. The most successful prions confer advantages to their host as with numerous yeast prions. Here, I review recent evidence that drug-like small molecules can antagonize some prion strains but simultaneously select for drug-resistant prions composed of mammalian PrP or the yeast prion protein, Sup35. For Sup35, the drug-resistant strain configures original intermolecular amyloid contacts that are not ordinarily detected. Importantly, a synergistic small-molecule cocktail counters prion diversity by eliminating multiple Sup35 prion strains. Collectively, these advances illuminate the plasticity of prionogenesis and suggest that synergistic combinatorial therapies might circumvent this pathological vicissitude. PMID:20422111

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

    PubMed

    Colautti, Robert I; Lau, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Colautti, Robert I; Lau, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wessely, Christina

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wessely, Christina

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Novel peptide chemistry in terrestrial animals: natural luciferin analogues from the bioluminescent earthworm Fridericia heliota.

    PubMed

    Dubinnyi, Maxim A; Tsarkova, Aleksandra S; Petushkov, Valentin N; Kaskova, Zinaida M; Rodionova, Natalja S; Kovalchuk, Sergey I; Ziganshin, Rustam H; Baranov, Mikhail S; Mineev, Konstantin S; Yampolsky, Ilia V

    2015-03-01

    We report isolation and structure elucidation of AsLn5, AsLn7, AsLn11 and AsLn12: novel luciferin analogs from the bioluminescent earthworm Fridericia heliota. They were found to be highly unusual modified peptides, comprising either of the two tyrosine-derived chromophores, CompX or CompY and a set of amino acids, including threonine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, homoarginine, and unsymmetrical N,N-dimethylarginine. These natural compounds represent a unique peptide chemistry found in terrestrial animals and rise novel questions concerning their biosynthetic origin.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, J. A.; And Others

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Kin selection and the evolution of social information use in animal conflict.

    PubMed

    Baker, Christopher C M; Dall, Sasha R X; Rankin, Daniel J

    2012-01-01

    Animals often use social information about conspecifics in making decisions about cooperation and conflict. While the importance of kin selection in the evolution of intraspecific cooperation and conflict is widely acknowledged, few studies have examined how relatedness influences the evolution of social information use. Here we specifically examine how relatedness affects the evolution of a stylised form of social information use known as eavesdropping. Eavesdropping involves individuals escalating conflicts with rivals observed to have lost their last encounter and avoiding fights with those seen to have won. We use a game theoretical model to examine how relatedness affects the evolution of eavesdropping, both when strategies are discrete and when they are continuous or mixed. We show that relatedness influences the evolution of eavesdropping, such that information use peaks at intermediate relatedness. Our study highlights the importance of considering kin selection when exploring the evolution of complex forms of information use.

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

    PubMed

    Hirtenlehner, Stefan; Römer, Heiner

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, Anton E.; Thompson, Lois D.

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

  8. Mosquito management in the face of natural selection.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  9. Spatially-Correlated Risk in Nature Reserve Site Selection

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Forsdyke, Donald R

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrinet, Laurent U.; Bednar, James A.

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda.

    PubMed

    Safran, Rebecca J; Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Rodríguez, Rafael L; Mendelson, Tamra C

    2013-11-01

    Speciation by divergent natural selection is well supported. However, the role of sexual selection in speciation is less well understood due to disagreement about whether sexual selection is a mechanism of evolution separate from natural selection, as well as confusion about various models and tests of sexual selection. Here, we outline how sexual selection and natural selection are different mechanisms of evolutionary change, and suggest that this distinction is critical when analyzing the role of sexual selection in speciation. Furthermore, we clarify models of sexual selection with respect to their interaction with ecology and natural selection. In doing so, we outline a research agenda for testing hypotheses about the relative significance of divergent sexual and natural selection in the evolution of reproductive isolation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  1. Studies on animal schistosomes in Peninsular Malaysia: record of naturally infected animals and additional hosts of Schistosoma spindale.

    PubMed

    Inder Singh, K; Krishnasamy, M; Ambu, S; Rasul, R; Chong, N L

    1997-06-01

    Surveillance studies on cercarial dermatitis were carried out in paddy growing areas in Peninsular Malaysia. It was observed that dermatitis in paddy planters occurred in paddy fields which were cultivated using animals such as bafflos or fields where domestic animals were allowed to graze during the off planting season as these animals harbored the parasite. The causative agent of cercarial dermatitis was Schistosoma spindale. A total of 215 small mammals trapped from Alor Setar and 126 trapped from Labu were examined for the schistosome. In Alor Setar Bandicota indica, Rattus argentiventer and Rattus rattus diardii were the only wild mammals found to be infected with the parasite, while in the Labu areas only Rattus tiomanicus jalorensis was positive for the schistosome. The occurrence of S. spindale in R. argentiventer and R.r. diardii in Alor Setar and in R.t. jalorensis in Labu constitute new host and geographic distribution records of the schistosome.

  2. Transient Fecal Shedding and Limited Animal-to-Animal Transmission of Clostridium difficile by Naturally Infected Finishing Feedlot Cattle ▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, G. P.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Beth A.; Anderson, Charles W.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Mice selected for high versus low stress reactivity: a new animal model for affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Touma, Chadi; Bunck, Mirjam; Glasl, Lisa; Nussbaumer, Markus; Palme, Rupert; Stein, Hendrik; Wolferstätter, Michael; Zeh, Ramona; Zimbelmann, Marina; Holsboer, Florian; Landgraf, Rainer

    2008-07-01

    Affective disorders such as major depression are among the most prevalent and costly diseases of the central nervous system, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. In recent years, it has become evident that alterations of the stress hormone system, in particular dysfunctions (hyper- or hypo-activity) of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, play a prominent role in the development of major depressive disorders. Therefore, we aimed to generate a new animal model comprising these neuroendocrine core symptoms in order to unravel parameters underlying increased or decreased stress reactivity. Starting from a population of outbred mice (parental generation: 100 males and 100 females of the CD-1 strain), two breeding lines were established according to the outcome of a 'stress reactivity test' (SRT), consisting of a 15-min restraint period and tail blood samplings immediately before and after exposure to the stressor. Mice showing a very high or a very low secretion of corticosterone in the SRT, i.e. animals expressing a hyper- or a hypo-reactivity of the HPA axis, were selected for the 'high reactivity' (HR) and the 'low reactivity' (LR) breeding line, respectively. Additionally, a third breeding line was established consisting of animals with an 'intermediate reactivity' (IR) in the SRT. Already in the first generation, i.e. animals derived from breeding pairs selected from the parental generation, significant differences in the reactivity of the HPA axis between HR, IR, and LR mice were observed. Moreover, these differences were found across all subsequent generations and could be increased by selective breeding, which indicates a genetic basis of the respective phenotype. Repeated testing of individuals in the SRT furthermore proved that the observed differences in stress responsiveness are present already early in life and can be regarded as a robust genetic predisposition. Tests investigating the animal's emotionality including anxiety

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Williams, Kurt; Roman, Jesse

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. The Origin of Mutants Under Selection: How Natural Selection Mimics Mutagenesis (Adaptive Mutation).

    PubMed

    Maisnier-Patin, Sophie; Roth, John R

    2015-07-01

    Selection detects mutants but does not cause mutations. Contrary to this dictum, Cairns and Foster plated a leaky lac mutant of Escherichia coli on lactose medium and saw revertant (Lac(+)) colonies accumulate with time above a nongrowing lawn. This result suggested that bacteria might mutagenize their own genome when growth is blocked. However, this conclusion is suspect in the light of recent evidence that revertant colonies are initiated by preexisting cells with multiple copies the conjugative F'lac plasmid, which carries the lac mutation. Some plated cells have multiple copies of the simple F'lac plasmid. This provides sufficient LacZ activity to support plasmid replication but not cell division. In nongrowing cells, repeated plasmid replication increases the likelihood of a reversion event. Reversion to lac(+) triggers exponential cell growth leading to a stable Lac(+) revertant colony. In 10% of these plated cells, the high-copy plasmid includes an internal tandem lac duplication, which provides even more LacZ activity—sufficient to support slow growth and formation of an unstable Lac(+) colony. Cells with multiple copies of the F'lac plasmid have an increased mutation rate, because the plasmid encodes the error-prone (mutagenic) DNA polymerase, DinB. Without DinB, unstable and stable Lac(+) revertant types form in equal numbers and both types arise with no mutagenesis. Amplification and selection are central to behavior of the Cairns-Foster system, whereas mutagenesis is a system-specific side effect or artifact caused by coamplification of dinB with lac. Study of this system has revealed several broadly applicable principles. In all populations, gene duplications are frequent stable genetic polymorphisms, common near-neutral mutant alleles can gain a positive phenotype when amplified under selection, and natural selection can operate without cell division when variability is generated by overreplication of local genome subregions.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sarasa, Manuel; Pesini, Pedro

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holley, Dennis

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

  6. Examining undergraduate understanding of natural selection and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balgopal, Meena Michelle

    2007-12-01

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

  7. Conceptualizing the autism spectrum in terms of natural selection and behavioral ecology: the solitary forager hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Reser, Jared Edward

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews etiological and comparative evidence supporting the hypothesis that some genes associated with the autism spectrum were naturally selected and represent the adaptive benefits of being cognitively suited for solitary foraging. People on the autism spectrum are conceptualized here as ecologically competent individuals that could have been adept at learning and implementing hunting and gathering skills in the ancestral environment. Upon independence from their mothers, individuals on the autism spectrum may have been psychologically predisposed toward a different life-history strategy, common among mammals and even some primates, to hunt and gather primarily on their own. Many of the behavioral and cognitive tendencies that autistic individuals exhibit are viewed here as adaptations that would have complemented a solitary lifestyle. For example, the obsessive, repetitive and systemizing tendencies in autism, which can be mistakenly applied toward activities such as block stacking today, may have been focused by hunger and thirst toward successful food procurement in the ancestral past. Both solitary mammals and autistic individuals are low on measures of gregariousness, socialization, direct gazing, eye contact, facial expression, facial recognition, emotional engagement, affiliative need and other social behaviors. The evolution of the neurological tendencies in solitary species that predispose them toward being introverted and reclusive may hold important clues for the evolution of the autism spectrum and the natural selection of autism genes. Solitary animals are thought to eschew unnecessary social contact as part of a foraging strategy often due to scarcity and wide dispersal of food in their native environments. It is thought that the human ancestral environment was often nutritionally sparse as well, and this may have driven human parties to periodically disband. Inconsistencies in group size must have led to inconsistencies in the manner

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  9. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wiens, Varpu; Kyngäs, Helvi; Pölkki, Tarja

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kishko, Ia H

    1999-01-01

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

  13. Listeners modulate temporally selective attention during natural speech processing

    PubMed Central

    Astheimer, Lori B.; Sanders, Lisa D.

    2009-01-01

    Spatially selective attention allows for the preferential processing of relevant stimuli when more information than can be processed in detail is presented simultaneously at distinct locations. Temporally selective attention may serve a similar function during speech perception by allowing listeners to allocate attentional resources to time windows that contain highly relevant acoustic information. To test this hypothesis, event-related potentials were compared in response to attention probes presented in six conditions during a narrative: concurrently with word onsets, beginning 50 and 100 ms before and after word onsets, and at random control intervals. Times for probe presentation were selected such that the acoustic environments of the narrative were matched for all conditions. Linguistic attention probes presented at and immediately following word onsets elicited larger amplitude N1s than control probes over medial and anterior regions. These results indicate that native speakers selectively process sounds presented at specific times during normal speech perception. PMID:18395316

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Pixel selection for near-infrared chemical imaging (NIR-CI) discrimination between fish and terrestrial animal species in animal protein by-product meals.

    PubMed

    Riccioli, Cecilia; Pérez-Marín, Dolores; Guerrero-Ginel, José Emilio; Saeys, Wouter; Garrido-Varo, Ana

    2011-07-01

    This paper proposes a method based on near-infrared hyperspectral imaging for discriminating between terrestrial and fish species in animal protein by-products used in livestock feed. Four algorithms (Mahalanobis distance, Kennard-Stone, spatial interpolation, and binning) were compared in order to select an appropriate subset of pixels for further partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). The method was applied to a set of 50 terrestrial and 40 fish meals analyzed in the 1000-1700 nm range. Models were then tested using an external validation set comprising 45 samples (25 fish and 20 terrestrial). The PLS-DA models obtained using the four subset-selection algorithms yielded a classification accuracy of 99.80%, 99.79%, 99.85%, and 99.61%, respectively. The results represent a first step for the analysis of mixtures of species and suggest that NIR-CI, providing valuable information on the origin of animal components in processed animal proteins, is a promising method that could be used as part of the EU feed control program aimed at eradicating and preventing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and related diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Six classroom exercises to teach natural selection to undergraduate biology students.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Pseudogene evolution and natural selection for a compact genome.

    PubMed

    Petrov, D A; Hartl, D L

    2000-01-01

    Pseudogenes are nonfunctional copies of protein-coding genes that are presumed to evolve without selective constraints on their coding function. They are of considerable utility in evolutionary genetics because, in the absence of selection, different types of mutations in pseudogenes should have equal probabilities of fixation. This theoretical inference justifies the estimation of patterns of spontaneous mutation from the analysis of patterns of substitutions in pseudogenes. Although it is possible to test whether pseudogene sequences evolve without constraints for their protein-coding function, it is much more difficult to ascertain whether pseudogenes may affect fitness in ways unrelated to their nucleotide sequence. Consider the possibility that a pseudogene affects fitness merely by increasing genome size. If a larger genome is deleterious--for example, because of increased energetic costs associated with genome replication and maintenance--then deletions, which decrease the length of a pseudogene, should be selectively advantageous relative to insertions or nucleotide substitutions. In this article we examine the implications of selection for genome size relative to small (1-400 bp) deletions, in light of empirical evidence pertaining to the size distribution of deletions observed in Drosophila and mammalian pseudogenes. There is a large difference in the deletion spectra between these organisms. We argue that this difference cannot easily be attributed to selection for overall genome size, since the magnitude of selection is unlikely to be strong enough to significantly affect the probability of fixation of small deletions in Drosophila.

  19. Poised for survival: criticality, natural selection, and excitation-transcription coupling.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Ron

    2015-04-01

    Neurologically-complex species utilize two intricately coupled information-processing systems to adapt to their social and natural environments. Action potentials (APs) facilitate rapid responses to the nearly continuous fluctuations in the animal's surroundings. By contrast, genetic encodings comprise a molecular memory of ancient adaptive responses expressed as cognitive, emotional, or behavioral phenotypes. The linking of the two systems via intracellular Ca(2+) networks which address transcription factors - e.g., cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) - is an appropriate focus for the biology of human behavior. Computational modeling utilizing Boolean networks (BNs) is a suitable qualitative method, requiring no kinetic information, for eliciting the systems' architectural properties. In particular, BNs can reveal critical intracellular regimes of possible evolutionary significance. As a platform for future research, we propose that those networks sufficiently robust to attenuate damaging intracellular noise and deleterious mutations, yet sufficiently close to chaos to permit or amplify adaptive noise and favorable mutations, would be favored by natural selection. Critical regimes of this type would be, literally, "poised for survival", and would stabilize and promote the survival of their correlated cultural phenotypes.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chuang; Hou, Nan; Chen, Qijun

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Absence of selective brain cooling in free-ranging zebras in their natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Fuller, A; Maloney, S K; Kamerman, P R; Mitchell, G; Mitchell, D

    2000-03-01

    We used implanted miniature data loggers to measure brain and arterial blood temperatures in three free-ranging zebras (Equus burchelli) in their natural habitat, every 5 min for 9 days. The animals experienced globe temperatures exceeding 40 C, and radiant heat load of about 1000 W m-2. Arterial blood exhibited a moderate amplitude (1.7 C) nychthemeral rhythm, with an acrophase at 19.00 h and a nadir late in the morning, at 10.00 h. Brain temperature consistently exceeded blood temperature, on average by 0.2-0.4 C, and changes in brain temperature closely tracked changes in blood temperature. There was no evidence of selective brain cooling, even during the hyperthermia which followed surgery or that associated with intense, short-duration exercise. The relationship between brain and arterial blood temperatures in free-ranging zebras was unlike that reported for horses in the laboratory. Our results do not support the view that mammals lacking a carotid rete can achieve selective brain cooling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bühring, Solveig I.; Christiansen, Bernd

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

  3. Genome Patterns of Selection and Introgression of Haplotypes in Natural Populations of the House Mouse (Mus musculus)

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hunter-Zinck, Haley; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Varpu; Kyngäs, Helvi; Pölkki, Tarja

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hove, K

    1993-09-24

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumgartner, Erin; Duncan, Kanesa

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Helen J.; Young, Truman P.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Natural ingredients based cosmetics. Content of selected fragrance sensitizers.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, S C; Johansen, J D; Menné, T

    1996-06-01

    In the present study, we have investigated 42 cosmetic products based on natural ingredients for content of 11 fragrance substances: geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, eugenol, isoeugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, alpha-amylcinnamic aldehyde, citral, coumarin, dihydrocoumarin and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde. The study revealed that the 91% (20/22) of the natural ingredients based perfumes contained 0.027%-7.706% of 1 to 7 of the target fragrances. Between 1 and 5 of the chemically defined synthetic constituents of fragrance mix were found in 82% (18/22) of the perfumes. 35% (7/20) of the other cosmetic products (shampoos, creams, tonics, etc) were found to contain 0.0003-0.0820% of 1 to 3 of the target fragrances. Relatively high concentrations of hydroxycitronellal, coumarin, cinnamic alcohol and alpha-amyl cinnamic aldehyde were found in some of the investigated products. The detection of hydroxycitronellal and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde in some of the products demonstrates that artificial fragrances, i.e., compounds not yet regarded as natural substances, may be present in products claimed to be based on natural ingredients.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Education Association, Washington, DC.

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

  12. Interaction between natural and sexual selection during the evolution of mate recognition.

    PubMed

    Blows, Mark W

    2002-06-01

    The interaction between natural and sexual selection is central to many theories of how mate choice and reproductive isolation evolve, but their joint effect on the evolution of mate recognition has not, to my knowledge, been investigated in an evolutionary experiment. Natural and sexual selection were manipulated in interspecific hybrid populations of Drosophila to determine their effects on the evolution of a mate recognition system comprised of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). The effect of natural selection in isolation indicated that CHCs were costly for males and females to produce. The effect of sexual selection in isolation indicated that females preferred males with a particular CHC composition. However, the interaction between natural and sexual selection had a greater effect on the evolution of the mate recognition system than either process in isolation. When natural and sexual selection were permitted to operate in combination, male CHCs became exaggerated to a greater extent than in the presence of sexual selection alone, and female CHCs evolved against the direction of natural selection. This experiment demonstrated that the interaction between natural and sexual selection is critical in determining the direction and magnitude of the evolutionary response of the mate recognition system.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Parental assessment and treatment of food selectivity in natural settings.

    PubMed Central

    Najdowski, Adel C; Wallace, Michele D; Doney, Janice K; Ghezzi, Patrick M

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a parent-conducted functional analysis and treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, escape extinction, and demand fading on food selectivity in a young child with autism. Increases in food acceptance at home and in a restaurant were obtained. PMID:14596582

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Natural selection on genes that underlie human disease susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Blekhman, Ran; Man, Orna; Herrmann, Leslie; Boyko, Adam R.; Indap, Amit; Kosiol, Carolin; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Teshima, Kosuke M.; Przeworski, Molly

    2008-01-01

    What evolutionary forces shape genes that contribute to the risk of human disease? Do similar selective pressures act on alleles that underlie simple vs. complex disorders? [1-3]. Answers to these questions will shed light on the origin of human disorders (e.g., [4]), and help to predict the population frequencies of alleles that contribute to disease risk, with important implications for the efficient design of mapping studies [5-7]. As a first step towards addressing them, we created a hand-curated version of the Mendelian Inheritance in Man database (OMIM). We then examined selective pressures on Mendelian disease genes, genes that contribute to complex disease risk and genes known to be essential in mouse, by analyzing patterns of human polymorphism and of divergence between human and rhesus macaque. We find that Mendelian disease genes appear to be under widespread purifying selection, especially when the disease mutations are dominant (rather than recessive). In contrast, the class of genes that influence complex disease risk shows little signs of evolutionary conservation, possibly because this category includes both targets of purifying and positive selection. PMID:18571414

  18. Parental assessment and treatment of food selectivity in natural settings.

    PubMed

    Najdowski, Adel C; Wallace, Michele D; Doney, Janice K; Ghezzi, Patrick M

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a parent-conducted functional analysis and treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, escape extinction, and demand fading on food selectivity in a young child with autism. Increases in food acceptance at home and in a restaurant were obtained.

  19. Predator-mediated natural selection on the wings of the damselfly Calopteryx splendens: differences in selection among trait types.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Shawn R; Svensson, Erik I

    2014-07-01

    Traits that increase mating success in males may come at a cost, such as an increased risk of predation. However, predator-mediated selection is challenging to document in natural populations, hampering our understanding of the trade-offs between sexual selection and predation. Here we report on a study of predator-mediated natural selection on wing traits in the damselfly Calopteryx splendens, the males of which possess conspicuous wing patches. Wagtails (genus Motacilla) are important avian predators of C. splendens, capturing them in flight and removing the wings prior to consumption. Using geometric morphometric techniques, we quantified the strength and mode of selection on wing traits by comparing wings from depredated individuals with the standing variation present in the population. Our results reveal that predator-mediated selection is stronger on secondary sexual characters than on size and shape, suggesting that traits related to flight performance are closer to their adaptive peaks. This could be a consequence of the long-term evolutionary association with avian predators, whereas stronger selection on conspicuous secondary sexual traits may reflect trade-offs between sexual and natural selection. Finally, even though C. splendens possesses nearly identical fore- and hindwings, we found evidence for divergent selection between them.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Larry E.

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Sex selection of sperm in farm animals: status report and developmental prospects.

    PubMed

    Rath, D; Barcikowski, S; de Graaf, S; Garrels, W; Grossfeld, R; Klein, S; Knabe, W; Knorr, C; Kues, W; Meyer, H; Michl, J; Moench-Tegeder, G; Rehbock, C; Taylor, U; Washausen, S

    2013-01-01

    Pre-selection of spermatozoa based on the relative DNA difference between X- and Y-chromosome bearing populations by flow cytometry is an established method that has been introduced into commercial cattle production. Although several important improvements have increased the sort efficiency, the fertilising ability of sexed spermatozoa based on offspring per insemination is still behind farmers' expectations. The main stress factors, especially on mitochondria, that reduce the lifespan of spermatozoa are described, and new technical as well as biological solutions to maintain the natural sperm integrity and to increase the sorting efficiency are discussed. Among these methods are the identification of Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa by bi-functionalised gold nanoparticles and triplex hybridisation in vivo as well as new laser-controlled deflection system that replaces the deflection of spermatozoa in the electrostatic field. Additionally, as well as a new nonsurgical transfer system of spermatozoa into the oviduct of cows has been developed and allows a significant reduction of spermatozoa per transfer. Altogether, the improvements made in the recent years will allow a broader use of sex-sorted spermatozoa even in those species that require more cells than cows and sheep. PMID:23148085

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Select Agent and Toxin Regulations: Beyond the Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

    PubMed Central

    Kastenmayer, Robin J; Moore, Rashida M; Bright, Allison L; Torres-Cruz, Rafael; Elkins, William R

    2012-01-01

    In the interval between the publication of the seventh and eighth editions of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), much has changed with regard to the regulation and funding of highly pathogenic biologic agents and toxins (Select Agents). Funding of research involving highly pathogenic agents has increased dramatically during this time, thus increasing the demand for facilities capable of supporting this work. The eighth edition of the Guide briefly mentions Select Agents and provides a limited set of references. Here we provide some background information regarding the relevant laws and regulations, as well as an overview of the programmatic requirements pertaining to the use of Select Agents, with a focus on use in animals. PMID:22776191

  10. Considerations in the selection and conditioning of Old World monkeys for laboratory research: animals from domestic sources.

    PubMed

    Capitanio, John P; Kyes, Randall C; Fairbanks, Lynn A

    2006-01-01

    Nonhuman primates from domestic sources constitute an important resource for the research community. The life history of the Old World monkey species that comprise the bulk of this resource is described, and issues that colony managers and researchers alike should consider regarding animal selection (e.g., species, age, sex, rearing history, temperament, genotype, viral status, geographic origin) are discussed. Preparation of domestically bred animals for research usually involves some combination of social separation, relocation, resocialization, alterations in physical space, photoperiod, and diet, as well as exposure to novel environments. The research literature that has focused on these issues is reviewed, and authors suggest that once animals have been assigned to their project housing situation, a period ranging up to 3 mo (depending on the magnitude of the change in housing) might be warranted before an experimental protocol should begin. Attention to issues of animal selection and conditioning by both researchers and colony managers can lead to the shared goal of high-quality research that utilizes the minimal number of animals.

  11. Accommodating natural and sexual selection in butterfly wing pattern evolution.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Jeffrey C; Robertson, Kendra A; Monteiro, Antónia

    2009-07-01

    Visual patterns in animals may serve different functions, such as attracting mates and deceiving predators. If a signal is used for multiple functions, the opportunity arises for conflict among the different functions, preventing optimization for any one visual signal. Here we investigate the hypothesis that spatial separation of different visual signal functions has occurred in Bicyclus butterflies. Using phylogenetic reconstructions of character evolution and comparisons of evolutionary rates, we found dorsal surface characters to evolve at higher rates than ventral characters. Dorsal characters also displayed sex-based differences in evolutionary rates more often than did ventral characters. Thus, dorsal characters corresponded to our predictions of mate signalling while ventral characters appear to play an important role in predator avoidance. Forewing characters also fit a model of mate signalling, and displayed higher rates of evolution than hindwing characters. Our results, as well as the behavioural and developmental data from previous studies of Bicyclus species, support the hypothesis that spatial separation of visual signal functions has occurred in Bicyclus butterflies. This study is the first to demonstrate, in a phylogenetic framework, that spatial separation of signals used for mate signalling and those used for predator avoidance is a viable strategy to accommodate multiple signal functions. This signalling strategy has important ramifications on the developmental evolution of wing pattern elements and diversification of butterfly species.

  12. Accommodating natural and sexual selection in butterfly wing pattern evolution

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Jeffrey C.; Robertson, Kendra A.; Monteiro, Antónia

    2009-01-01

    Visual patterns in animals may serve different functions, such as attracting mates and deceiving predators. If a signal is used for multiple functions, the opportunity arises for conflict among the different functions, preventing optimization for any one visual signal. Here we investigate the hypothesis that spatial separation of different visual signal functions has occurred in Bicyclus butterflies. Using phylogenetic reconstructions of character evolution and comparisons of evolutionary rates, we found dorsal surface characters to evolve at higher rates than ventral characters. Dorsal characters also displayed sex-based differences in evolutionary rates more often than did ventral characters. Thus, dorsal characters corresponded to our predictions of mate signalling while ventral characters appear to play an important role in predator avoidance. Forewing characters also fit a model of mate signalling, and displayed higher rates of evolution than hindwing characters. Our results, as well as the behavioural and developmental data from previous studies of Bicyclus species, support the hypothesis that spatial separation of visual signal functions has occurred in Bicyclus butterflies. This study is the first to demonstrate, in a phylogenetic framework, that spatial separation of signals used for mate signalling and those used for predator avoidance is a viable strategy to accommodate multiple signal functions. This signalling strategy has important ramifications on the developmental evolution of wing pattern elements and diversification of butterfly species. PMID:19364741

  13. Selective looking at natural scenes: Hedonic content and gender☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Welfare evaluations of nonhuman animals in selected zoos in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Almazan, Ronnel R; Rubio, Roberto P; Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy

    2005-01-01

    This study evaluated 3 zoos in the Philippines: the Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini Zoo, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, and Cavite Botanical and Zoological Park to determine the standards of nonhuman animal welfare. The study measured and compared the cage sizes of various animals to the international minimum standards. According to the categories of management and husbandry, the 3 zoos showed a significant difference on the mean scores of ranking. The Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini Zoo ranked first, followed by Manila Zoo and Cavite Zoo. Although most cages in the 3 zoos followed acceptable minimum standards, the study identified several problems related to animal welfare, hygiene, husbandry, and management. Based on the evaluations, the study recommended that the 3 zoos improve animal welfare standards.

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

    PubMed Central

    Yahaya, B.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Natural selection hampers divergence of reproductive traits in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Fricke, C; Andersson, C; Arnqvist, G

    2010-09-01

    Speciation is thought to often result from indirect selection for reproductive isolation. This will occur when reproductive traits that cause reproductive isolation evolve (i) as a by-product of natural selection on traits with which they are genetically correlated or (ii) as an indirect result of diversifying sexual selection. Here, we use experimental evolution to study the degree of divergent evolution of reproductive traits by manipulating the intensity of natural and sexual selection in replicated selection lines of seed beetles. Following 40 generations of selection, we assayed the degree of divergent evolution of reproductive traits between replicate selection lines experiencing the same selection regime. The evolution of reproductive traits was significantly divergent across selection lines within treatments. The evolution of reproductive traits was both slower and, more importantly, significantly less divergent among lines experiencing stronger directional natural selection. This suggests that reproductive traits did not evolve as an indirect by-product of adaptation. We discuss several ways in which natural selection may hamper divergent evolution among allopatric populations.

  18. Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur, North East India.

    PubMed

    Asghar, M; Meitei, S Y; Luxmi, Y; Achoubi, N; Meitei, K S; Murry, B; Sachdeva, M P; Saraswathy, K N

    2014-01-01

    Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur in comparison with other North East Indian population has been studied. Crow's index as well as Johnston and Kensinger's index for natural selection were calculated based on differential fertility and mortality. The mortality component was found to be lower compared to fertility component in all the populations which may attribute to comparatively improved and easily accessible health care facilities. However, different selection pressures, artificial and natural, seem to be influencing the selection intensity through induced abortion and spontaneous abortion among the two non-tribal migrant groups: Bamon and Muslims, respectively. This study highlights the probable interaction of artificial and natural selection in determining the evolutionary fate of any population group.

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

    PubMed Central

    Poláková, Monika

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-29

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

  3. The Nature of Irac-selected Extremely Red Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    ten Cate, Carel; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-07-19

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

  5. Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radiomutagenized seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Power, D J; Holman, L

    2015-05-01

    A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favour traits that impair naturally selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation and then experimentally measured the effect of precopulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had a negative effect on egg-to-adult survivorship, although the number of progeny reaching adulthood was unaffected, perhaps because eggs and juveniles that failed to develop lessened competition on the survivors. We hypothesize that the negative effect of sexual selection arose because sexually competitive males transmitted a smaller nuptial gift or carried alleles that conferred reduced survival. Although we found no evidence that sexual selection on males can purge alleles that are detrimental to naturally selected fitness components, such benefits might exist in other environmental or genetic contexts.

  6. Successful sex pre-selection using natural family planning.

    PubMed

    McSweeney, Léonie

    2011-03-01

    The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that gender can be preselected by timing coitus in relation to ovulation, the marker of ovulation being the Peak symptom according to the Billings Method. A blind prospective study of 99 couples wishing to preselect the sex of their child was conducted in Nigeria, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females. Research co-ordinators examined the 'post-conception' form within four months of conception. This form recorded the timing of coitus prior to conception, and from this, the sex of child was predicted. 94 of the couples had a child of pre-selected sex showing a method success of 94.9%. 78 of 81 predicting a male were successful (96.3%) and 16 of the 18 predicting a female (88.9%). There was one user-failure, a couple who wanted a girl, timed coitus as for a boy, which they had. The study indicates that where comprehensive instruction is provided, the sex of a child can be preselected with a high degree of confidence by timing coitus, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females.

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

    PubMed

    Fathima, Aafreen; Rao, Jonnalagadda Raghava

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sudakov, K V

    1976-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dawson, P S

    1975-08-01

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

  10. MicroRNA-Based Therapy in Animal Models of Selected Gastrointestinal Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Merhautova, Jana; Demlova, Regina; Slaby, Ondrej

    2016-01-01

    Gastrointestinal cancer accounts for the 20 most frequent cancer diseases worldwide and there is a constant urge to bring new therapeutics with new mechanism of action into the clinical practice. Quantity of in vitro and in vivo evidences indicate, that exogenous change in pathologically imbalanced microRNAs (miRNAs) is capable of transforming the cancer cell phenotype. This review analyzed preclinical miRNA-based therapy attempts in animal models of gastric, pancreatic, gallbladder, and colorectal cancer. From more than 400 original articles, 26 was found to assess the effect of miRNA mimics, precursors, expression vectors, or inhibitors administered locally or systemically being an approach with relatively high translational potential. We have focused on mapping available information on animal model used (animal strain, cell line, xenograft method), pharmacological aspects (oligonucleotide chemistry, delivery system, posology, route of administration) and toxicology assessments. We also summarize findings in the field pharmacokinetics and toxicity of miRNA-based therapy. PMID:27729862

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Nd:YAG laser irradiation in conjunction with cryogen spray cooling induces deep and spatially selective photocoagulation in animal models.

    PubMed

    Anvari, B; Tanenbaum, B S; Hoffman, W; Said, S; Milner, T E; Liaw, L H; Nelson, J S

    1997-02-01

    Successful laser treatment of haemangiomas requires selective photocoagulation of subsurface targeted blood vessels without thermal damage to the overlying epidermis. We present an in vivo experimental procedure, using a chicken comb animal model, and an infrared feedback system to deliver repetitive cryogen spurts (of the order of milliseconds) during continuous Nd:YAG laser irradiation. Gross and histologic observations show deep-tissue photocoagulation is achieved, while superficial structures are protected from thermal injury due to cryogen spray cooling. Experimental observation of epidermis protection in chicken comb animal models suggests selective photocoagulation of subsurface targeted blood vessels for successful treatment of haemangiomas can be achieved by repetitive applications of a cryogen spurt during continuous Nd:YAG laser irradiation.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComas, William F.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logan, Marianne R.; Russell, Joshua J.

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention.

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Deborah; Emmons, Natalie A; Seston Schillaci, Rebecca; Ganea, Patricia A

    2014-04-01

    Adaptation by natural selection is a core mechanism of evolution. It is also one of the most widely misunderstood scientific processes. Misconceptions are rooted in cognitive biases found in preschoolers, yet concerns about complexity mean that adaptation by natural selection is generally not comprehensively taught until adolescence. This is long after untutored theoretical misunderstandings are likely to have become entrenched. In a novel approach, we explored 5- to 8-year-olds' capacities to learn a basic but theoretically coherent mechanistic explanation of adaptation through a custom storybook intervention. Experiment 1 showed that children understood the population-based logic of natural selection and also generalized it. Furthermore, learning endured 3 months later. Experiment 2 replicated these results and showed that children understood and applied an even more nuanced mechanistic causal explanation. The findings demonstrate that, contrary to conventional educational wisdom, basic natural selection is teachable in early childhood. Theory-driven interventions using picture storybooks with rich explanatory structure are beneficial.

  16. Disparate effects of feeding on core body and adipose tissue temperatures in animals selectively bred for Nervous or Calm temperament.

    PubMed

    Henry, Belinda A; Blache, Dominique; Rao, Alexandra; Clarke, Iain J; Maloney, Shane K

    2010-09-01

    In addition to homeostatic regulation of body mass, nonhomeostatic factors impact on energy balance. Herein we describe effects of temperament on adipose and core body temperatures in sheep. Animals were genetically selected for Nervous or Calm traits. We characterized the effects of 1) high- and low-energy intake and maintenance feeding, 2) meal anticipation, and 3) adrenocorticotropin challenge on core body and adipose temperatures. Temperature measurements (5 min) were made using a thermistor inserted into the carotid artery (core body) and a probe in the retroperitoneal fat. An imposed feeding window was used to establish postprandial elevations in temperature. Fat tissue was taken from retroperitoneal and subcutaneous regions for real-time PCR analyses. We demonstrate that innate differences in temperament impact on adipose and core body temperatures in response to various dietary and evocative stimuli. In response to homeostatic cues (low-energy intake and maintenance feeding) core body temperature tended to be higher in Calm compared with Nervous animals. In contrast, in response to nonhomeostatic cues, Nervous animals had higher anticipatory thermogenic responses than Calm animals. Expression of uncoupling protein (UCP)-1 and -2 mRNA were higher in retroperitoneal tissue than in subcutaneous tissue, but UCP3 and leptin mRNA levels were similar at both sites; expression of these genes was similar in Nervous and Calm animals. There were no differences in stress responsiveness. We conclude that temperament differentially influences adipose thermogenesis and the regulation of core body temperature in responses to both homeostatic and nonhomeostatic stimuli.

  17. Investigations on the origin and metabolism of the carbon skeleton of ornithine, arginine and proline in selected animals.

    PubMed

    Hird, F J; Cianciosi, S C; McLean, R M

    1986-01-01

    The origin and metabolism of the carbon skeletons of the amino acids ornithine and arginine have been investigated in selected animals--an earthworm, an edible mollusc, a starfish, a sea-squirt, a freshwater crustacean and a rat. Only in the rat and microorganisms of sea water was any evidence obtained for the conversion of glutamate (or N-acetylglutamate) to ornithine. Apart from the crustacean, the other animals were able to synthesise the amidine moiety of arginine. All animals were able to hydrolyse (arginase) the amidine moiety from arginine and had the enzymic capacity to convert ornithine to proline. All the animals had some enzymic ability to oxidise proline to pyrroline-5-carboxylic acid. The crustacean (Cherax destructor) was able to conserve the high concentrations of arginine in its tail muscles during fasting. The hypothesis is put forward that, as arginine appears to be an essential amino acid in the diet of this animal, its demonstrated cannibalism is, among other things, a way of supplementing dietary arginine. The results are discussed in relation to the evolution of different phosphagens derived from arginine. PMID:3943303

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-22

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

  19. Selective Use of Animation and Feedback in Computer-Based Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Ok-choon; Gittelman, Stuart S.

    1992-01-01

    Discussion of computer-based instruction and animation focuses on a study of undergraduates that investigated the effects of two computer-based instructional strategies, visual display and feedback type, on teaching how to troubleshoot electronic circuits. Time spent on various components of the program is also examined. (35 references) (LRW)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolinsky, I.

    1986-01-01

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

  3. Epistasis and natural selection shape the mutational architecture of complex traits.

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam G; Bürger, Reinhard; Arnold, Stevan J

    2014-05-14

    The evolutionary trajectories of complex traits are constrained by levels of genetic variation as well as genetic correlations among traits. As the ultimate source of all genetic variation is mutation, the distribution of mutations entering populations profoundly affects standing variation and genetic correlations. Here we use an individual-based simulation model to investigate how natural selection and gene interactions (that is, epistasis) shape the evolution of mutational processes affecting complex traits. We find that the presence of epistasis allows natural selection to mould the distribution of mutations, such that mutational effects align with the selection surface. Consequently, novel mutations tend to be more compatible with the current forces of selection acting on the population. These results suggest that in many cases mutational effects should be seen as an outcome of natural selection rather than as an unbiased source of genetic variation that is independent of other evolutionary processes.

  4. Natural selection constrains neutral diversity across a wide range of species.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Cindy

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-02-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-02-24

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  11. The basic science and mathematics of random mutation and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kleinman, Alan

    2014-12-20

    The mutation and natural selection phenomenon can and often does cause the failure of antimicrobial, herbicidal, pesticide and cancer treatments selection pressures. This phenomenon operates in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures. The mathematical behavior of mutation and selection is derived using the principles given by probability theory. The derivation of the equations describing the mutation and selection phenomenon is carried out in the context of an empirical example.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Parmakelis, Aristeidis; Kotsakiozi, Panayiota; Rand, David

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The effect of selective photosuppression of sensitized pathogenic microflora: Part II. Experimental validation on animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masychev, Viktor I.; Risovannaya, Olga N.

    2005-03-01

    Results of in vivo experiments have shown the maximum effectiveness of combined use of photo sensitizer 0,1% gel Radachlorine simultaneously with continuous and super pulse low energy irradiation of the diode laser with energy density 400 J/cm2, and power 1W. Given parameters have lead to complete elimination of Streptococcus pyogenes from inflammation foci in oral cavity of experimental animals.

  15. Selective staining of animal chromosomes with synthetic dyes following iodine-dye-procedure.

    PubMed

    Dutt, M K

    1975-01-01

    The paper embodies results of the use of 51 synthetic dyes, belonging to different chemical groups for staining of animal chromosomes following iodine-dye procedure. It has been found that some of these dyes can replace gentian violet, crystal violet and safranin when used after this procedure. It has further been found that the fluorescent dyes, acriflavine and acridine yellow can also be used to stain animal chromosomes and that some of the dyes belonging to one chemical group can be successfully used whereas others of the same group are of no use. Dyes of the monoazo group are absolutely useless. Amongst the dyes successfully used, the preparations remain stable when stained with most of them except methyl green, malachite green, brillant green, iodine green and cresyl violet and amongst acid dyes, acid fuchsin. Cytochemical studies presented herein indicate that the components of the animal chromosomes stainable with crystal violet are the nucleic acids and that these substances should be highly polymerised and should not be even in a semi-degraded state. Removal of any one of these nucleic acids makes the chromosomes unstainable with iodine-crystal violet.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The paradoxical advantages and disadvantages of natural selection: the case history of Charles Darwin.

    PubMed

    Lieb, J

    2007-01-01

    The biology of natural selection is an enduring mystery, as is the nature of Charles Darwin's chronic illness. Of the theories advanced to explain the latter, Oedipal conflicts and Chagas' disease are preeminent. Hypomania, however, propelled Darwin to the pinnacle of scientific achievement and good health, the depression that followed condemning him to intellectual stagnation, lethargy, impaired memory and concentration, and incapacitating gastrointestinal disorders. Examples of natural selection in humans are much sought after when, ironically, one need look no further than Darwin himself.

  18. 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0: a genome browser dedicated to signatures of natural selection in modern humans.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Raghu, V

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

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

    PubMed

    Richards, Robert J

    2012-03-01

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

  2. Feature-based attention and spatial selection in frontal eye fields during natural scene search.

    PubMed

    Ramkumar, Pavan; Lawlor, Patrick N; Glaser, Joshua I; Wood, Daniel K; Phillips, Adam N; Segraves, Mark A; Kording, Konrad P

    2016-09-01

    When we search for visual objects, the features of those objects bias our attention across the visual landscape (feature-based attention). The brain uses these top-down cues to select eye movement targets (spatial selection). The frontal eye field (FEF) is a prefrontal brain region implicated in selecting eye movements and is thought to reflect feature-based attention and spatial selection. Here, we study how FEF facilitates attention and selection in complex natural scenes. We ask whether FEF neurons facilitate feature-based attention by representing search-relevant visual features or whether they are primarily involved in selecting eye movement targets in space. We show that search-relevant visual features are weakly predictive of gaze in natural scenes and additionally have no significant influence on FEF activity. Instead, FEF activity appears to primarily correlate with the direction of the upcoming eye movement. Our result demonstrates a concrete need for better models of natural scene search and suggests that FEF activity during natural scene search is explained primarily by spatial selection. PMID:27250912

  3. Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Julie

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Unification of regression-based methods for the analysis of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Michael B; Sakrejda, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Regression analyses are central to characterization of the form and strength of natural selection in nature. Two common analyses that are currently used to characterize selection are (1) least squares-based approximation of the individual relative fitness surface for the purpose of obtaining quantitatively useful selection gradients, and (2) spline-based estimation of (absolute) fitness functions to obtain flexible inference of the shape of functions by which fitness and phenotype are related. These two sets of methodologies are often implemented in parallel to provide complementary inferences of the form of natural selection. We unify these two analyses, providing a method whereby selection gradients can be obtained for a given observed distribution of phenotype and characterization of a function relating phenotype to fitness. The method allows quantitatively useful selection gradients to be obtained from analyses of selection that adequately model nonnormal distributions of fitness, and provides unification of the two previously separate regression-based fitness analyses. We demonstrate the method by calculating directional and quadratic selection gradients associated with a smooth regression-based generalized additive model of the relationship between neonatal survival and the phenotypic traits of gestation length and birth mass in humans.

  8. Natural and sexual selection giveth and taketh away reproductive barriers: models of population divergence in guppies.

    PubMed

    Labonne, Jacques; Hendry, Andrew P

    2010-07-01

    The standard predictions of ecological speciation might be nuanced by the interaction between natural and sexual selection. We investigated this hypothesis with an individual-based model tailored to the biology of guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We specifically modeled the situation where a high-predation population below a waterfall colonizes a low-predation population above a waterfall. Focusing on the evolution of male color, we confirm that divergent selection causes the appreciable evolution of male color within 20 generations. The rate and magnitude of this divergence were reduced when dispersal rates were high and when female choice did not differ between environments. Adaptive divergence was always coupled to the evolution of two reproductive barriers: viability selection against immigrants and hybrids. Different types of sexual selection, however, led to contrasting results for another potential reproductive barrier: mating success of immigrants. In some cases, the effects of natural and sexual selection offset each other, leading to no overall reproductive isolation despite strong adaptive divergence. Sexual selection acting through female choice can thus strongly modify the effects of divergent natural selection and thereby alter the standard predictions of ecological speciation. We also found that under no circumstances did divergent selection cause appreciable divergence in neutral genetic markers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Phung, Tanya N.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Golezardy, H; Horak, I G

    2007-03-01

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

  13. Natural healers: a review of animal assisted therapy and activities as complementary treatment for chronic conditions.

    PubMed

    Reed, Reiley; Ferrer, Lilian; Villegas, Natalia

    2012-01-01

    The primary objective of this review is to synthesize the existing literature on the use of animal-assisted therapy and activity (AAT/A) as complementary treatment among people living with chronic disease and to discuss the possible application of this practice among children living with HIV. Relevant databases were searched between March 10 and April 11, 2011, using the words: animal assisted therapy or treatment and chronic conditions or diseases. Thirty-one articles were found and 18 followed the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Research suggests that AAT/A is effective for different patient profiles, particularly children. Interaction with dogs has been found to increase positive behaviors, such as sensitivity and focus, in children with social disabilities. Decreased levels of pain have also been reported among child patients as a result of AAT/A. More research should be done in the area of children living with chronic diseases that require strict adherence to treatment, such as HIV, and on AAT/A's prospective use as an educational tool to teach children about the importance of self-care for their medical conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Robles, Omar; Romo, Daniel

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Omar

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Value of testicular and sperm profiles in optimizing reproductive success: lessons learned from selective breeding programs of domestic and laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    Foote, R H

    1989-01-01

    The economic potential of the biotechnology of artificial insemination for genetic improvement and disease control was recognized in the United States 50 years ago. To fully exploit this technology in dairy cattle, researchers worked closely with industry to study testicular function, best methods for harvesting and evaluating semen, techniques for preserving and inseminating sperm and finally, methods for mass recording of fertility information. Methods of testicular and semen evaluation have been developed which are highly correlated with other reproductive characteristics, including fertility. This has resulted in an unprecedented opportunity to study experimentally imposed conditions and naturally occurring environmental conditions upon reproductive efficiency in the male. The selection and testing of sires has resulted practically in the elimination of genes which produce lethal or severely depressed performance. The use of one male for the controlled insemination of many females also has facilitated studies on reproductive problems in the female. While less selective breeding programs have been conducted with the rabbit relative to reproductive function, the rabbit has been used extensively as a model for large domestic animals and humans. The rabbit is the smallest laboratory animal which can be trained easily to ejaculate into an artificial vagina and use the semen for insemination. This permits longitudinal and correlative studies to be performed relating testis function and epididymal transport to sperm output, semen quality and fertility. Spermatogenesis of both bulls and rabbits is sensitive to toxicants. The effects can be monitored by testicular biopsy and cytological evaluation of the testis, by semen collection and semen evaluation, and by in vitro and in vivo fertility testing. Gross effects on the testis are detectable in the live animal by measuring testis size and by ultrasound profiles. PMID:2666985

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

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

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

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

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

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

  19. Natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits: a comparison between theory and data.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, O

    2015-01-01

    Parasites present a threat for free-living species and affect several ecological and evolutionary processes. Immune defence is the main physiological barrier against infections, and understanding its evolution is central for predicting disease dynamics. I review theoretical predictions and empirical data on natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits in the wild. Evolutionary theory predicts immune traits to be under stabilizing selection owing to trade-offs between immune function and life-history traits. Empirical data, however, support mainly positive directional selection, but also show variation in the form of selection among study systems, immune traits and fitness components. I argue that the differences between theory and empirical data may at least partly arise from methodological difficulties in testing stabilizing selection as well as measuring fitness. I also argue that the commonness of positive directional selection and the variation in selection may be caused by several biological factors. First, selection on immune function may show spatial and temporal variation as epidemics are often local/seasonal. Second, factors affecting the range of phenotypic variation in immune traits could alter potential for selection. Third, different parasites may impose different selective pressures depending on their characteristics. Fourth, condition dependence of immune defence can obscure trade-offs related to it, thus possibly modifying observed selection gradients. Fifth, nonimmunological defences could affect the form of selection by reducing the benefits of strong immune function. To comprehensively understand the evolution of immune defence, the role of above factors should be considered in future studies.

  20. The response of natural enemies to selective insecticides applied to soybean.

    PubMed

    Varenhorst, A J; O'Neal, M E

    2012-12-01

    Natural enemies of the invasive pest Aphis glycines Matsumura can prevent its establishment and population growth. However, current A. glycines management practices include the application of broad-spectrum insecticides that affect pests and natural enemies that are present in the field at the time of application. An alternative is the use of selective insecticides that affect the targeted pest species, although having a reduced impact on the natural enemies. We tested the effects of esfenvalerate, spirotetramat, imidacloprid, and a combination of spirotetramat and imidacloprid on the natural enemies in soybean during the 2009 and 2010 field season. The natural enemy community that was tested differed significantly between 2009 and 2010 (F = 87.41; df = 1, 598; P < 0.0001). The most abundant natural enemy in 2009 was Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (56.0%) and in 2010 was Orius insidiosus (Say) (41.0%). During 2009, the abundance of natural enemies did not vary between the broad-spectrum and selective insecticides; however, the abundance of natural enemies was reduced by all insecticide treatments when compared with the untreated control. In 2010, the selective insecticide imidacloprid had more natural enemies than the broad-spectrum insecticide. Although we did not observe a difference in the abundance of the total natural enemy community in 2009, we did observe more H. axyridis in plots treated with spirotetramat. In 2010, we observed more O. insidiosus in plots treated with imidacloprid. We suggest a couple of mechanisms to explain how the varying insecticides have different impacts on separate components of the natural enemy community.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

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

  3. Public land and natural resource issues confronting animal scientists and livestock producers.

    PubMed

    Vavra, M

    1998-09-01

    Livestock producers using public lands in the West were once concerned primarily with efficient systems for livestock production. Historically, this concept began in 1934 with the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act. Management activities on public lands continued to focus on sustainable livestock production until the 1970s, when the public began to demand enforcement of the Multiple Use Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. During this time, species listing under the Endangered Species Act became more active. Unfortunately, so many species are listed or are being considered for listing that it becomes impossible to develop biological information on causative factors for listing or recovery plans for each one. Peer-reviewed science that addresses management needs is often unavailable, and articles from the gray literature have been used in management plans for both threatened and endangered species and for public land. Personal biases of both scientists and land managers can influence the development of land management plans, especially in cases in which scientific information is minimal. The Land Grant System is well positioned to develop research applicable for public lands. Animal scientists need to be involved in interdisciplinary teams. Livestock producers need to overcome the stigma that livestock grazing is not a sustainable use. Rangeland in poor condition, whether public or private, should be improved if livestock managers are to change the public perception that grazing degrades rangeland. To accomplish this, education and peer pressure should be used. Another approach needed is activism on the part of producers and animal scientists. The public is demanding a voice in public land management. Working groups seem to be the emerging pathway to cooperatively develop management plans.

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

    PubMed

    Weinreich, Spencer J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weinreich, Spencer J

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Maintenance of a genetic polymorphism with disruptive natural selection in stickleback.

    PubMed

    Marchinko, Kerry B; Matthews, Blake; Arnegard, Matthew E; Rogers, Sean M; Schluter, Dolph

    2014-06-01

    The role of natural selection in the maintenance of genetic variation in wild populations remains a major problem in evolution. The influence of disruptive natural selection on genetic variation is especially interesting because it might lead to the evolution of assortative mating or dominance [1, 2]. In theory, variation can persist at a gene under disruptive natural selection, but the process is little studied and there are few examples [3, 4]. We report a stable polymorphism in the bony armor of threespine stickleback maintained with a deficit of heterozygotes at the major underlying gene, Ectodysplasin (Eda) [5]. The deficit vanishes at the embryo life stage only to re-emerge in adults, indicating that disruptive natural selection, rather than nonrandom mating, is the cause. The mechanism enabling long-term persistence of the polymorphism is unknown, but disruptive selection is predicted to be frequency dependent, favoring homozygous genotypes when they become rare. Further research on the ecological and evolutionary processes affecting individual genes will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the causes of genetic variation in populations.

  7. Synergism of natural selection and introgression in the origin of a new species.

    PubMed

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2014-05-01

    This article explores how introgressive hybridization enhances the evolutionary effects of natural selection and how, reciprocally, natural selection can enhance the evolutionary effects of introgression. Both types of interaction were observed during a 40-year study of Darwin's finches (Geospiza) on the small Galápagos island of Daphne Major. Hybrids, produced rarely by Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) breeding with Geospiza scandens (cactus finch) and Geospiza fuliginosa (small ground finch), survived and bred as well as the parental species in the past 3 decades. By backcrossing, they increased the standing genetic variation and thereby the evolutionary responsiveness of the populations to natural selection. Natural selection occurred in droughts and oscillated in direction as a result of climatically induced fluctuations in food composition. Introgressive hybridization has led to the formation of a new lineage. It was initiated by a large, introgressed, hybrid male with a unique song and genetic marker that immigrated from the nearby island of Santa Cruz and bred with local hybrids and with G. fortis. All members of the lineage died in the 2003-2005 drought except a brother and a sister, who then bred with each other. Subsequent increase in the lineage was facilitated by selective mortality of the largest G. fortis. Breeding endogamously, the lineage is behaving as a biological species.

  8. Synergism of natural selection and introgression in the origin of a new species.

    PubMed

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2014-05-01

    This article explores how introgressive hybridization enhances the evolutionary effects of natural selection and how, reciprocally, natural selection can enhance the evolutionary effects of introgression. Both types of interaction were observed during a 40-year study of Darwin's finches (Geospiza) on the small Galápagos island of Daphne Major. Hybrids, produced rarely by Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) breeding with Geospiza scandens (cactus finch) and Geospiza fuliginosa (small ground finch), survived and bred as well as the parental species in the past 3 decades. By backcrossing, they increased the standing genetic variation and thereby the evolutionary responsiveness of the populations to natural selection. Natural selection occurred in droughts and oscillated in direction as a result of climatically induced fluctuations in food composition. Introgressive hybridization has led to the formation of a new lineage. It was initiated by a large, introgressed, hybrid male with a unique song and genetic marker that immigrated from the nearby island of Santa Cruz and bred with local hybrids and with G. fortis. All members of the lineage died in the 2003-2005 drought except a brother and a sister, who then bred with each other. Subsequent increase in the lineage was facilitated by selective mortality of the largest G. fortis. Breeding endogamously, the lineage is behaving as a biological species. PMID:24739199

  9. Spatiotemporal variation in linear natural selection on body color in wild guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Weese, Dylan J; Gordon, Swanne P; Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T

    2010-06-01

    We conducted 10 mark-recapture experiments in natural populations of Trinidadian guppies to test hypotheses concerning the role of viability selection in geographic patterns of male color variation. Previous work has reported that male guppies are more colorful in low-predation sites than in high-predation sites. This pattern of phenotypic variation has been theorized to reflect differences in the balance between natural (viability) selection that disfavors bright male color (owing to predation) and sexual selection that favors bright color (owing to female choice). Our results support the prediction that male color is disfavored by viability selection in both predation regimes. However, it does not support the prediction that viability selection against male color is weaker in low-predation experiments. Instead, some of the most intense bouts of selection against color occurred in low-predation experiments. Our results illustrate considerable spatiotemporal variation in selection among experiments, but such variation was not generally correlated with local patterns of color diversity. More complex selective interactions, possibly including the indirect effects of predators on variation in mating behavior, as well as other environmental factors, might be required to more fully explain patterns of secondary sexual trait variation in this system.

  10. USING POPULATION GENOMICS TO DETECT SELECTION IN NATURAL POPULATIONS: KEY CONCEPTS AND METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS

    PubMed Central

    Hohenlohe, Paul A.; Phillips, Patrick C.; Cresko, William A.

    2010-01-01

    Natural selection shapes patterns of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species, and it does so differentially across genomes. The field of population genomics provides a comprehensive genome-scale view of the action of selection, even beyond traditional model organisms. However, even with nearly complete genomic sequence information, our ability to detect the signature of selection on specific genomic regions depends on choosing experimental and analytical tools appropriate to the biological situation. For example, processes that occur at different timescales, such as sorting of standing genetic variation, mutation-selection balance, or fixed interspecific divergence, have different consequences for genomic patterns of variation. Inappropriate experimental or analytical approaches may fail to detect even strong selection or falsely identify a signature of selection. Here we outline the conceptual framework of population genomics, relate genomic patterns of variation to evolutionary processes, and identify major biological factors to be considered in studies of selection. As data-gathering technology continues to advance, our ability to understand selection in natural populations will be limited more by conceptual and analytical weaknesses than by the amount of molecular data. Our aim is to bring critical biological considerations to the fore in population genomics research and to spur the development and application of analytical tools appropriate to diverse biological systems. PMID:21218185

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Taking personality selection bias seriously in animal cognition research: a case study in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella).

    PubMed

    Morton, F Blake; Lee, Phyllis C; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M

    2013-07-01

    In most experimental work on animal cognition, researchers attempt to control for multiple interacting variables by training subjects prior to testing, allowing subjects to participate voluntarily, and providing subjects with food rewards. However, do such methods encourage selection bias from subjects' personalities? In this study, we trained eighteen zoo-housed capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) for two experiments, under conditions of positive reinforcement (i.e. food rewards) and free-choice participation. Using a combination of behavioral and rater-based methods, we identified and validated five personality dimensions in these capuchins (Assertiveness, Openness, Neuroticism, Sociability, and Attentiveness). Scores on Openness were positively related to individual differences in monkey task participation, reflecting previous work showing that such individuals are often more active, curious, and willing to engage in testing. We also found a negative relationship between scores on Assertiveness and performance on tasks, which may reflect the trade-offs between speed and accuracy in these animals' decision-making. Highly Assertive individuals (the most sociable within monkey groups) may also prioritize social interactions over engaging in research. Lastly, monkeys that consistently participated and performed well on both tasks showed significantly higher Openness and lower Assertiveness compared to others, mirroring relationships found between personality, participation, and performance among all participants. Participation and performance during training was clearly biased toward individuals with particular personalities (i.e. high Openness, low Assertiveness). Results are discussed in light of the need for careful interpretation of comparative data on animal cognition and the need for researchers to take personality selection bias more seriously.

  16. Taking personality selection bias seriously in animal cognition research: a case study in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella).

    PubMed

    Morton, F Blake; Lee, Phyllis C; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M

    2013-07-01

    In most experimental work on animal cognition, researchers attempt to control for multiple interacting variables by training subjects prior to testing, allowing subjects to participate voluntarily, and providing subjects with food rewards. However, do such methods encourage selection bias from subjects' personalities? In this study, we trained eighteen zoo-housed capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) for two experiments, under conditions of positive reinforcement (i.e. food rewards) and free-choice participation. Using a combination of behavioral and rater-based methods, we identified and validated five personality dimensions in these capuchins (Assertiveness, Openness, Neuroticism, Sociability, and Attentiveness). Scores on Openness were positively related to individual differences in monkey task participation, reflecting previous work showing that such individuals are often more active, curious, and willing to engage in testing. We also found a negative relationship between scores on Assertiveness and performance on tasks, which may reflect the trade-offs between speed and accuracy in these animals' decision-making. Highly Assertive individuals (the most sociable within monkey groups) may also prioritize social interactions over engaging in research. Lastly, monkeys that consistently participated and performed well on both tasks showed significantly higher Openness and lower Assertiveness compared to others, mirroring relationships found between personality, participation, and performance among all participants. Participation and performance during training was clearly biased toward individuals with particular personalities (i.e. high Openness, low Assertiveness). Results are discussed in light of the need for careful interpretation of comparative data on animal cognition and the need for researchers to take personality selection bias more seriously. PMID:23370784

  17. Veterinary aspects of ecological monitoring: the natural history of emerging infectious diseases of humans, domestic animals and wildlife.

    PubMed

    Woodford, Michael H

    2009-10-01

    Proliferation of disease pathogens capable of affecting humans, domestic livestock and wildlife increasingly threatens environmental security and biodiversity. Livestock and wild animals in proximity to human beings are often in the chain of transmission and infection. Globalization of industrial livestock production (especially poultry upon which so much of the burgeoning human population depends) often permits transcontinental disease spread. Rapidly expanding (and often illegal) international trade in wild and domestic animals and their products are increasingly involved in the emergence of new diseases that may have the ability to transmit among humans, livestock and wildlife. Rapidly increasing urbanization has led in many places to overcrowded townships that rely on "bushmeat" for sustenance and has contributed to the emergence of virulent zoonotic pathogens. The emergence and proliferation of pathogens are exacerbated by anthropogenic transformation of natural landscapes in order to increase agricultural and livestock production. This paper posits that data gathered by veterinary ecologists should be interpreted and used by other disciplines. The importance of a thorough knowledge of the "natural history" (ecology) of the disease agent and its human, domestic and wild hosts is stressed.

  18. Natural selection on floral volatile production in Penstemon digitalis: highlighting the role of linalool.

    PubMed

    Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Burdon, Rosalie C F; Raguso, Robert A; Kessler, André

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is thought to have shaped the evolution of floral scent; however, unlike other floral characters, we have a rudimentary knowledge of how phenotypic selection acts on scent. We found that floral scent was under stronger selection than corolla traits such as flower size and flower color in weakly scented Penstemon digitalis. Our results suggest that to understand evolution in floral phenotypes, including scent in floral selection, studies are crucial. For P. digitalis, linalool was the direct target of selection in the scent bouquet. Therefore, we determined the enantiomeric configuration of linalool because interacting insects may perceive the enantiomers differentially. We found that P. digitalis produces only (S)-(+)-linalool and, more interestingly, it is also taken up into the nectar. Because the nectar is scented and flavored with (S)-(+)-linalool, it may be an important cue for pollinators visiting P. digitalis flowers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweller, John

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stover, Shawn K.; Mabry, Michelle L.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sickel, Aaron J.; Friedrichsen, Patricia J.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nola, Robert

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weeks, Brian E.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Schonfeld, Irvin Sam

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beachly, William

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Changing Minds with the Story of Adaptation: Strategies for Teaching Young Children about Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmons, Natalie; Smith, Hayley; Kelemen, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Educational guidelines recommend a delayed, piecemeal approach to instruction on adaptation by natural selection. This approach is questionable given suggestions that older students' pervasive misunderstandings about adaptation are rooted in cognitive biases that develop early. In response to this, Kelemen et al. (2014) recently…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royer, Anne M.; Schultheis, Elizabeth H.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Beth A.; Anderson, Charles W.

    Pretests and posttests on the topic of evolution through natural selection were administered to students in a college nonmajors' biology course. Analysis of test responses revealed that most students understood evolution as a process in which species respond to environmental conditions by changing gradually over time. Student thinking differed…

  13. Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention.

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Deborah; Emmons, Natalie A; Seston Schillaci, Rebecca; Ganea, Patricia A

    2014-04-01

    Adaptation by natural selection is a core mechanism of evolution. It is also one of the most widely misunderstood scientific processes. Misconceptions are rooted in cognitive biases found in preschoolers, yet concerns about complexity mean that adaptation by natural selection is generally not comprehensively taught until adolescence. This is long after untutored theoretical misunderstandings are likely to have become entrenched. In a novel approach, we explored 5- to 8-year-olds' capacities to learn a basic but theoretically coherent mechanistic explanation of adaptation through a custom storybook intervention. Experiment 1 showed that children understood the population-based logic of natural selection and also generalized it. Furthermore, learning endured 3 months later. Experiment 2 replicated these results and showed that children understood and applied an even more nuanced mechanistic causal explanation. The findings demonstrate that, contrary to conventional educational wisdom, basic natural selection is teachable in early childhood. Theory-driven interventions using picture storybooks with rich explanatory structure are beneficial. PMID:24503874

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nehm, Ross H.; Haertig, Hendrik

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickel, Aaron J.

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

  17. Medical students from natural science and nonscience undergraduate backgrounds. Similar academic performance and residency selection.

    PubMed

    Dickman, R L; Sarnacki, R E; Schimpfhauser, F T; Katz, L A

    1980-06-27

    The majority of matriculating US medical students continue to major in the natural sciences as college undergraduates in the belief that this will enhance their chances of admission to and their performance in medical school. The present study compared the academic performance and residency selection of natural science and nonscience majors in three separate medical school classes at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Statistical analysis of grades in the first two years of medical school, clinical performance in the third year, and part I and part II National Board Medical Examination scores revealed no significant differences across three class replications. Residency selection among graduating seniors was also independent of undergraduate major. It is suggested that admissions committees, premedical advisors, and students reconsider their attitudes about the necessity of concentration in the natural sciences before entering medical school.

  18. Unweaving misconceptions: Guided learning, simulations, and misconceptions in learning principles of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weeks, Brian E.

    College students often come to the study of evolutionary biology with many misconceptions of how the processes of natural selection and speciation occur. How to relinquish these misconceptions with learners is a question that many educators face in introductory biology courses. Constructivism as a theoretical framework has become an accepted and promoted model within the epistemology of science instruction. However, constructivism is not without its skeptics who see some problems of its application in lacking necessary guidance for novice learners. This study within a quantitative, quasi-experimental format tested whether guided online instruction in a video format of common misconceptions in evolutionary biology produced higher performance on a survey of knowledge of natural selection versus more constructivist style learning in the form of student exploration of computer simulations of the evolutionary process. Performances on surveys were also explored for a combination of constructivist and guided techniques to determine if a consolidation of approaches produced higher test scores. Out of the 94 participants 95% displayed at least one misconception of natural selection in the pre-test while the study treatments produced no statistically significant improvements in post-test scores except within the video (guided learning treatment). These overall results demonstrated the stubbornness of misconceptions involving natural selection for adult learners and the difficulty of helping them overcome them. It also bolsters the idea that some misconceptions of natural selection and evolution may be hardwired in a neurological sense and that new, more long-term teaching techniques may be warranted. Such long-term strategies may not be best implemented with constructivist techniques alone, and it is likely that some level of guidance may be necessary for novice adult learners. A more substantial, nuanced approach for undergraduates is needed that consolidates successful

  19. On the interpretation and relevance of the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Ewens, Warren J; Lessard, Sabin

    2015-09-01

    The attempt to understand the statement, and then to find the interpretation, of Fisher's "Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection" caused problems for generations of population geneticists. Price's (1972) paper was the first to lead to an understanding of the statement of the theorem. The theorem shows (in the discrete-time case) that the so-called "partial change" in mean fitness of a population between a parental generation and an offspring generation is the parental generation additive genetic variance in fitness divided by the parental generation mean fitness. In the continuous-time case the partial rate of change in mean fitness is equal to the parental generation additive genetic variance in fitness with no division by the mean fitness. This "partial change" has been interpreted by some as the change in mean fitness due to changes in gene frequency, and by others as the change in mean fitness due to natural selection. (Fisher variously used both interpretations.) In this paper we discuss these interpretations of the theorem. We indicate why we are unhappy with both. We also discuss the long-term relevance of the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection, again reaching a negative assessment. We introduce and discuss the concept of genic evolutionary potential. We finally review an optimizing theorem that involves changes in gene frequency, the additive genetic variance in fitness and the mean fitness itself, all of which are involved in the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection, and which is free of the difficulties in interpretation of the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    TWO STRATEGIES HAVE BEEN PROPOSED TO AVOID NEGATIVE GENETIC EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIALLY PROPAGATED INDIVIDUALS ON WILD POPULATIONS: (i) integration of wild and captive populations to minimize domestication selection and (ii) segregation of released individuals from the wild population to minimize interbreeding. We tested the efficacy of the strategy of segregation by divergent life history in a steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, system, where hatchery fish were selected to spawn months earlier than the indigenous wild population. The proportion of wild ancestry smolts and adults declined by 10-20% over the three generations since the hatchery program began. Up to 80% of the naturally produced steelhead in any given year were hatchery/wild hybrids. Regression model selection analysis showed that the proportion of hatchery ancestry smolts was lower in years when stream discharge was high, suggesting a negative effect of flow on reproductive success of early-spawning hatchery fish. Furthermore, proportions of hybrid smolts and adults were higher in years when the number of naturally spawning hatchery-produced adults was higher. Divergent life history failed to prevent interbreeding when physical isolation was ineffective, an inadequacy that is likely to prevail in many other situations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andersen, Douglas C.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Natural killer T cells in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Van Kaer, Luc; Wu, Lan; Parekh, Vrajesh V

    2015-09-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes demyelination of neurons in the central nervous system. Traditional therapies for MS have involved anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs with significant side effects that often only provide short-term relief. A more desirable outcome of immunotherapy would be to protect against disease before its clinical manifestation or to halt disease after its initiation. One attractive approach to accomplish this goal would be to restore tolerance by targeting immunoregulatory cell networks. Although much of the work in this area has focused on CD4(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells, other studies have investigated natural killer T (NKT) cells, a subset of T cells that recognizes glycolipid antigens in the context of the CD1d glycoprotein. Studies with human MS patients have revealed alterations in the numbers and functions of NKT cells, which have been partially supported by studies with the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model of MS. Additional studies have shown that activation of NKT cells with synthetic lipid antigens can, at least under certain experimental conditions, protect mice against the development of MS-like disease. Although mechanisms of this protection remain to be fully investigated, current evidence suggests that it involves interactions with other immunoregulatory cell types such as regulatory T cells and immunosuppressive myeloid cells. These studies have provided a strong foundation for the rational design of NKT-cell-based immunotherapies for MS that induce tolerance while sparing overall immune function. Nevertheless, additional pre-clinical and clinical studies will be required to bring this goal to fruition.

  6. Effects of animal activity and air temperature on methane and ammonia emissions from a naturally ventilated building for dairy cows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngwabie, N. M.; Jeppsson, K.-H.; Gustafsson, G.; Nimmermark, S.

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of how different factors affect gas emissions from animal buildings can be useful for emission prediction purposes and for the improvement of emission abatement techniques. In this study, the effects of dairy cow activity and indoor air temperature on gas emissions were examined. The concentrations of CH 4, NH 3, CO 2 and N 2O inside and outside a dairy cow building were measured continuously between February and May together with animal activity and air temperature. The building was naturally ventilated and had a solid concrete floor which sloped towards a central urine gutter. Manure was scraped from the floor once every hour in the daytime and once every second hour at night into a partly covered indoor pit which was emptied daily at 6 a.m. and at 5 p.m. Gas emissions were calculated from the measured gas concentrations and ventilation rates estimated by the CO 2 balance method. The animal activity and emission rates of CH 4 and NH 3 showed significant diurnal variations with two peaks which were probably related to the feeding routine. On an average day, CH 4 emissions ranged from 7 to 15 g LU -1 h -1 and NH 3 emissions ranged from 0.4 to 1.5 g LU -1 h -1 (1 LU = 500 kg animal weight). Mean emissions of CH 4 and NH 3 were 10.8 g LU -1 h -1 and 0.81 g LU -1 h -1, respectively. The NH 3 emissions were comparable to emissions from tied stall buildings and represented a 4% loss in manure nitrogen. At moderate levels, temperature seems to affect the behaviour of dairy cows and in this study where the daily indoor air temperature ranged from about 5 up to about 20 °C, the daily activity of the cows decreased with increasing indoor air temperature ( r = -0.78). Results suggest that enteric fermentation is the main source of CH 4 emissions from systems of the type in this study, while NH 3 is mainly emitted from the manure. Daily CH 4 emissions increased significantly with the activity of the cows ( r = 0.61) while daily NH 3 emissions increased

  7. Pollen limitation and its influence on natural selection through seed set.

    PubMed

    Bartkowska, M P; Johnston, M O

    2015-11-01

    Stronger pollen limitation should increase competition among plants, leading to stronger selection on traits important for pollen receipt. The few explicit tests of this hypothesis, however, have provided conflicting support. Using the arithmetic relationship between these two quantities, we show that increased pollen limitation will automatically result in stronger selection (all else equal) although other factors can alter selection independently of pollen limitation. We then tested the hypothesis using two approaches. First, we analysed the published studies containing information on both pollen limitation and selection. Second, we explored how natural selection measured in one Ontario population of Lobelia cardinalis over 3 years and two Michigan populations in 1 year relates to pollen limitation. For the Ontario population, we also explored whether pollinator-mediated selection is related to pollen limitation. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found an overall positive relationship between selection strength and pollen limitation both among species and within L. cardinalis. Unexpectedly, this relationship was found even for vegetative traits among species, and was not found in L. cardinalis for pollinator-mediated selection on nearly all trait types.

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

    PubMed

    Bujak, Janusz; Sitarz, Piotr

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bujak, Janusz; Sitarz, Piotr

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Natural selection. V. How to read the fundamental equations of evolutionary change in terms of information theory.

    PubMed

    Frank, S A

    2012-12-01

    The equations of evolutionary change by natural selection are commonly expressed in statistical terms. Fisher's fundamental theorem emphasizes the variance in fitness. Quantitative genetics expresses selection with covariances and regressions. Population genetic equations depend on genetic variances. How can we read those statistical expressions with respect to the meaning of natural selection? One possibility is to relate the statistical expressions to the amount of information that populations accumulate by selection. However, the connection between selection and information theory has never been compelling. Here, I show the correct relations between statistical expressions for selection and information theory expressions for selection. Those relations link selection to the fundamental concepts of entropy and information in the theories of physics, statistics and communication. We can now read the equations of selection in terms of their natural meaning. Selection causes populations to accumulate information about the environment.

  11. Evidence for the circulation of antimicrobial-resistant strains and genes in nature and especially between humans and animals.

    PubMed

    Wooldridge, M

    2012-04-01

    The concern over antibiotic-resistant bacteria producing human infections that are difficult to treat has led to a proliferation of studies in recent years investigating resistance in livestock, food products, the environment and people, as well as in the mechanisms of transfer of the genetic elements of resistance between bacteria, and the routes, or risk pathways, by which the spread of resistance might occur. The possibility of transfer of resistant genetic elements between bacteria in mixed populations adds many additional and complex potential routes of spread. There is now considerable evidence that transfer of antimicrobial resistance from food-producing animals to humans directly via the food chain is a likely route of spread. The application of animal wastes to farmland and subsequent leaching into watercourses has also been shown to lead to many potential, but less well-documented, pathways for spread. Often, however, where contamination of water sources, processed foods, and other environmental sites is concerned, specific routes of circulation are unclear and may well involve human sources of contamination. Examination of water sources in particular may be difficult due to dilution and their natural flow. Also, as meat is comparatively easy to examine, and is frequently suspected of being a source of spread, there is some bias in favour of studying this vehicle. Such complexities mean that, with the evidence currently available, it is not possible to prioritise the importance of potential risk pathways and circulation routes.

  12. The role of natural enemies in the expression and evolution of mixed mating in hermaphroditic plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Steets, Janette A; Wolf, Diana E; Auld, Josh R; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2007-09-01

    Although a large portion of plant and animal species exhibit intermediate levels of outcrossing, the factors that maintain this wealth of variation are not well understood. Natural enemies are one relatively understudied ecological factor that may influence the evolutionary stability of mixed mating. In this paper, we aim for a conceptual unification of the role of enemies in mating system expression and evolution in both hermaphroditic animals and plants. We review current theory and detail the potential effects of enemies on fundamental mating system parameters. In doing so, we identify situations in which consideration of enemies alters expectations about the stability of mixed mating. Generally, we find that inclusion of the enemy dimension may broaden conditions in which mixed mating systems are evolutionarily stable. Finally, we highlight avenues ripe for future theoretical and empirical work that will advance our understanding of enemies in the expression and evolution of mixed mating in their hosts/victims, including examination of feedback cycles between victims and enemies and quantification of mating system-related parameters in victim populations in the presence and absence of enemies.

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

    PubMed

    Queller, David C

    2014-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Queller, David C.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Development of naturally selected and molecularly engineered intrachain and competitive FRET-aptamers and aptamer beacons.

    PubMed

    Bruno, John G; Zuniga, Miguel A; Carrillo, Maria P; Phillips, Taylor

    2011-08-01

    Several different approaches have been taken to development of homogeneous fluorescent aptamer assays including end-labeled beacons and signaling aptamers which are intrinsically quenched by nucleotides. Two new strategies dubbed "intrachain" and "competitive" FRET-aptamer assays are summarized in this review. Intrachain and competitive FRET-aptamers can be engineered on the molecular level through a series exploratory experiments involving prior knowledge of aptamer secondary or tertiary structures and hypotheses about aptamer conformational changes. However, there is an intrinsic risk of altering aptamer affinity or specificity associated with chemical modifications of an aptamer. Natural selection methods for FRET-aptamers have also been devised to potentially obviate the chemical modification problem. The naturally selected aptamers are subjected to fluorophore (F)- and or quencher (Q)-conjugated nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) incorporation by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with permissive polymerases such as Deep Vent exo-, but still demonstrate sensitive and specific assay performance despite modified bases, because they are ultimately selected after decoration with F and Q. This paper summarizes work in this area and presents some new examples of the engineered and naturally selected FRET-aptamers for detection of vitamin D.

  16. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races. PMID:16475103

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Selective extraction of PAHs from a sediment with structural preservation of Natural Organic Matter.

    PubMed

    Merdy, Patricia; Achard, Romain; Samaali, Ismahen; Lucas, Yves

    2014-07-01

    Selective extraction of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) without structural modification of the Natural Organic Matter (NOM) from a heavily contaminated sediment was investigated using various solvents mixtures. Structural modification of the NOM was monitored after extraction using 3D-fluorescence spectroscopy. Better results were obtained with a 15-h PAH extraction under reflux with a dichloromethane/cyclohexane 20/80 mixture. The experimental procedure was validated with NOM standard materials before to be applied on natural sediments. It could be applied to any environmental solid sample such as sediments and soils.

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

    PubMed

    Kronbak, Lone Grønbæk; Vestergaard, Niels

    2013-12-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-08-07

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

  4. Stable isotope natural abundance of nitrous oxide emitted from Antarctic tundra soils: effects of sea animal excrement depositions.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Renbin; Liu, Yashu; Li, Xianglan; Sun, Jianjun; Xu, Hua; Sun, Liguang

    2008-11-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas, is mainly emitted from soils during the nitrification and denitrification processes. N2O stable isotope investigations can help to characterize the N2O sources and N2O production mechanisms. N2O isotope measurements have been conducted for different types of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, no isotopic data of N2O emitted from Antarctic tundra ecosystems have been reported although the coastal ice-free tundra around Antarctic continent is the largest sea animal colony on the global scale. Here, we report for the first time stable isotope composition of N2O emitted from Antarctic sea animal colonies (including penguin, seal and skua colonies) and normal tundra soils using in situ field observations and laboratory incubations, and we have analyzed the effects of sea animal excrement depositions on stable isotope natural abundance of N2O. For all the field sites, the soil-emitted N2O was 15N- and 18O-depleted compared with N2O in local ambient air. The mean delta values of the soil-emitted N2O were delta15N = -13.5 +/- 3.2 per thousand and delta18O = 26.2 +/- 1.4 per thousand for the penguin colony, delta15N = -11.5 +/- 5.1 per thousand and delta18O = 26.4 +/- 3.5 per thousand for the skua colony and delta15N = -18.9 +/- 0.7 per thousand and delta18O = 28.8 +/- 1.3 per thousand for the seal colony. In the soil incubations, the isotopic composition of N2O was measured under N2 and under ambient air conditions. The soils incubated under the ambient air emitted very little N2O (2.93 microg N2O--N kg(-1)). Under N2 conditions, much more N2O was formed (9.74 microg N2O--N kg(-1)), and the mean delta15N and delta18O values of N2O were -19.1 +/- 8.0 per thousand and 21.3 +/- 4.3 per thousand, respectively, from penguin colony soils, and -17.0 +/- 4.2 per thousand and 20.6 +/- 3.5 per thousand, respectively, from seal colony soils. The data from in situ field observations and laboratory experiments point to denitrification as the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Induced responses to competition and herbivory: natural selection on multi-trait phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Boege, Karina

    2010-09-01

    Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors for plants. When occurring simultaneously, responses to one interaction can constrain the induction of responses to the other interaction due to resource limitation and other interactive effects. Thus, to maximize fitness when interacting with competitors and herbivores, plants are likely to express particular combinations of plastic responses. This study reports the interactive effects of herbivory and competition on responses induced in Tithonia tubaeformis plants and describes how natural selection acts on particular plastic responses and on their different combinations. Competition induced a stem elongation response, expressed through an increase in height and mean internode length, together with a decrease in basal diameter. Interestingly, realized resistance increased in both competition and herbivory treatments, suggesting a plastic response in both constitutive and induced resistance traits. Particular combinations of plastic responses defined three plant phenotypes: vigorous, elongated, and resistant plants. The ecological context in which plants grew modified the traits and the particular combinations of plastic responses that were favored by selection. Vigorous plants were favored by selection in all environments, except when they were damaged by herbivores in the absence of neighbors. The combination of responses defining an elongated plant phenotype was favored by selection in crowded conditions. Resistance was negatively selected in the absence of competition and herbivory but favored in the presence of both interactions. In addition, contextual analyses detected that population structure in heterogeneous environments can also influence the outcomes of selection. These findings suggest that natural selection can act on particular combinations of plastic responses, which may allow plants to adjust their phenotypes to those that promote greater fitness under particular ecological

  7. The role of selection in shaping diversity of natural M. tuberculosis populations.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  8. Evolution of competitive ability in Drosophila by density-dependent natural selection.

    PubMed

    Mueller, L D

    1988-06-01

    The theory of density-dependent natural selection predicts that populations kept at extreme densities should evolve different competitive abilities for limited resources. These predictions have been tested with laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Six independent populations were maintained in two environments, called r and K, for 128 generations. In the r environment, population sizes were small and resources for larvae and adults were abundant. In contrast the populations in the K environment were large and crowded, and resources, such as food and space, were in short supply. The relative competitive ability for food has been estimated for each population. Populations from the K environment consume food at a rate that is 58% greater than the average rate for the r population. The differentiation of competitive abilities in these populations is due to natural selection and is consistent with predictions from the theory of evolutionary ecology.

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

    PubMed

    Kraines, D P; Kraines, V Y

    2000-04-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nola, Robert

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Dianne L.

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

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

    PubMed

    Marsh, David

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marsh, David

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Animal Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulvey, Bridget; Warnock, Carly

    2015-01-01

    During a two-week inquiry-based 5E learning cycle unit, children made observations and inferences to guide their explorations of animal traits and habitats (Bybee 2014). The children became "animal detectives" by studying a live-feed webcam and digital images of wolves in their natural habitat, reading books and online sources about…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-05-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jin; Wang, Qiao

    2010-07-01

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

  20. Introgression of mitochondrial DNA promoted by natural selection in the Japanese pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus abramus).

    PubMed

    Dong, Ji; Mao, Xiuguang; Sun, Haijian; Irwin, David M; Zhang, Shuyi; Hua, Panyu

    2014-12-01

    Introgression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between closely related taxa can be promoted by either neutral processes or natural selection. Since mitochondrial gene-encoded proteins play critical roles in oxidative metabolism, mtDNA genes are commonly considered to experience strong selective constraint. However, metabolic requirements vary across climatic and ecological gradients, thus modifying potential selective pressures acting on mtDNA genes. Here we conducted tests to detect adaptive evolution occurring in two mtDNA genes (Cytb and ND5) in individuals of Japanese pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus abramus) across the mainland of China and Hainan Island. Nuclear DNA markers identified two clades in both the mainland and Hainan Island populations, whereas each of these regions had a specific mtDNA clade. This cyto-nuclear discordance is most likely caused by introgression of the mtDNA by ruling out two other alternative scenarios (incomplete lineage sorting and sex-biased gene flow). Although population-based analyses revealed purifying selection acting on Cytb and neutrality in ND5, multiple nonsynonymous substitutions in both Cytb and ND5 were suggested to have been caused by positive selection by a divergence-based analysis. Our study supports the view that molecular adaptation can occur at genes under strong purifying selection if nonsynonymous substitutions cause radical changes in the physicochemical properties of amino acids.

  1. Beyond the ecological: biological invasions alter natural selection on a native plant species.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can have strong ecological effects on native communities by altering ecosystem functions, species interactions, and community composition. Even though these ecological effects frequently impact the population dynamics and fitness of native species, the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions have received relatively little attention. Here, I show that invasions impose novel selective pressures on a native plant species. By experimentally manipulating community composition, I found that the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic herbivore Hypera brunneipennis alter the strength and, in some instances, the direction of natural selection on the competitive ability and anti-herbivore defenses of the native plant Lotus wrangelianus. Furthermore, the community composition of exotics influenced which traits were favored. For example, high densities of the exotic herbivore Hypera selected for increased resistance to herbivores in the native Lotus; however, when Medicago also was present, selection on this defense was eliminated. In contrast, selection on tolerance, another plant defense trait, was highest when both Hypera and Medicago were present at high densities. Thus, multiple exotic species may interact to influence the evolutionary trajectories of native plant populations, and patterns of selection may change as additional exotic species invade the community.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Genome-wide detection of natural selection in African Americans pre- and post-admixture

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Wenfei; Xu, Shuhua; Wang, Haifeng; Yu, Yongguo; Shen, Yiping; Wu, Bailin; Jin, Li

    2012-01-01

    It is particularly meaningful to investigate natural selection in African Americans (AfA) due to the high mortality their African ancestry has experienced in history. In this study, we examined 491,526 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 5210 individuals and conducted a genome-wide search for selection signals in 1890 AfA. Several genomic regions showing an excess of African or European ancestry, which were considered the footprints of selection since population admixture, were detected based on a commonly used approach. However, we also developed a new strategy to detect natural selection both pre- and post-admixture by reconstructing an ancestral African population (AAF) from inferred African components of ancestry in AfA and comparing it with indigenous African populations (IAF). Interestingly, many selection-candidate genes identified by the new approach were associated with AfA-specific high-risk diseases such as prostate cancer and hypertension, suggesting an important role these disease-related genes might have played in adapting to a new environment. CD36 and HBB, whose mutations confer a degree of protection against malaria, were also located in the highly differentiated regions between AAF and IAF. Further analysis showed that the frequencies of alleles protecting against malaria in AAF were lower than those in IAF, which is consistent with the relaxed selection pressure of malaria in the New World. There is no overlap between the top candidate genes detected by the two approaches, indicating the different environmental pressures AfA experienced pre- and post-population admixture. We suggest that the new approach is reasonably powerful and can also be applied to other admixed populations such as Latinos and Uyghurs. PMID:22128132

  11. Natural selection and the evolutionary ecology of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Phylum Glomeromycota).

    PubMed

    Helgason, Thorunn; Fitter, Alastair H

    2009-01-01

    Darwin's model of evolution by natural selection was based on his observations of change in discrete organisms in which individuals are easy to define. Many of the most abundant functional groups in ecosystems, such as fungi and bacteria, do not fit this paradigm. In this review, we seek to understand how the elegant logic of Darwinian natural selection can be applied to distributed clonal organisms. The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are one such group. Globally, they are ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, are locally distributed among many host plant species, and are significant drivers of nutrient cycling in ecosystems. The AM fungi are intractable to study, as the few taxa that can be cultured cannot be grown in the absence of plant roots. Research has focused on the plant-fungus interface, and thus on the symbiotic phenotype. A model is discussed for the interchange of materials at the interface that throws the emphasis of research onto the behaviour of the individual organisms and removes the need to test for phenomena such as selectivity, co-evolution, and cheating. The AM fungi are distributed organisms with an extensive external mycelium that is likely to be under strong environmental selection. AM fungi show sufficient phenotypic variation and fitness differentials for selection to occur, and developments in genetic analyses suggest that a better understanding of heritability in these organisms is not far away. It is argued that direct selection on fungal traits related to their survival and performance in the soil independent of the host is likely to be the major driver of differentiation in the AM fungi, and the evidence for direct fungal responses to soil conditions such as pH, hypoxia, and temperature is reviewed.

  12. Breeding Habitat Selection of Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ji-Liang; Zhang, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Zheng-Wang; Zheng, Guang-Mei; Ruan, Xiang-Feng; Zhang, Ke-Yin; Xi, Bo

    2010-04-01

    Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) is a threatened pheasant species endemic to China. The habitat use of territorial male birds was surveyed by the help of live decoys in a core area of Dongzhai National Nature Reserve. The breeding habitat selection of this pheasant was examined at two scales (115 m and 250 m scale, i.e. 4.15 hm(2 ) and 19.63 hm(2 ), respectively), including the characteristics at distance scale. Investigation was based on line transect, RS and GIS in Dongzhai National Natural Reserve from 2001 to 2003. Moreover, a range of habitat variables were compared between used and control points at each scale, and stepwise logistic regression was applied to select the key scale and the key habitat factors in relation to breeding habitat selection of this bird. Our results stated that the territorial males at Baiyun occurred mostly in mixed forests, followed by fir forests, pine forests, shrubs, and broadleaf forests. The area of conifer forests was the key factor influencing habitat selection of this bird in breeding period at the scales of 115 m and 250 m, and the proximity of farmland was important for habitat selection in breeding seasons. Furthermore, Reeves's Pheasants attached great importance to the scale of 115 m. When considering a range of habitat variables at all scales within a multivariate regression, the leading factors having effect on habitat selection in the breeding period were areas of conifer forests at 115 m scale and the distance to farmland. In addition, these above results suggested that strengthening the management of suitable habitat, and optimizing the habitat configuration are important in promoting conservation of this bird. However, it also highlighted the importance of initiating future researches on the conifer forests and their impact on the population of Reeves's Pheasants, which would be beneficial to promote the habitat conservation of this pheasant more effectively.

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

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Identifying Signatures of Natural Selection in Tibetan and Andean Populations Using Dense Genome Scan Data

    PubMed Central

    Bigham, Abigail; Bauchet, Marc; Pinto, Dalila; Mao, Xianyun; Akey, Joshua M.; Mei, Rui; Scherer, Stephen W.; Julian, Colleen G.; Wilson, Megan J.; López Herráez, David; Brutsaert, Tom; Parra, Esteban J.; Moore, Lorna G.; Shriver, Mark D.

    2010-01-01

    High-altitude hypoxia (reduced inspired oxygen tension due to decreased barometric pressure) exerts severe physiological stress on the human body. Two high-altitude regions where humans have lived for millennia are the Andean Altiplano and the Tibetan Plateau. Populations living in these regions exhibit unique circulatory, respiratory, and hematological adaptations to life at high altitude. Although these responses have been well characterized physiologically, their underlying genetic basis remains unknown. We performed a genome scan to identify genes showing evidence of adaptation to hypoxia. We looked across each chromosome to identify genomic regions with previously unknown function with respect to altitude phenotypes. In addition, groups of genes functioning in oxygen metabolism and sensing were examined to test the hypothesis that particular pathways have been involved in genetic adaptation to altitude. Applying four population genetic statistics commonly used for detecting signatures of natural selection, we identified selection-nominated candidate genes and gene regions in these two populations (Andeans and Tibetans) separately. The Tibetan and Andean patterns of genetic adaptation are largely distinct from one another, with both populations showing evidence of positive natural selection in different genes or gene regions. Interestingly, one gene previously known to be important in cellular oxygen sensing, EGLN1 (also known as PHD2), shows evidence of positive selection in both Tibetans and Andeans. However, the pattern of variation for this gene differs between the two populations. Our results indicate that several key HIF-regulatory and targeted genes are responsible for adaptation to high altitude in Andeans and Tibetans, and several different chromosomal regions are implicated in the putative response to selection. These data suggest a genetic role in high-altitude adaption and provide a basis for future genotype/phenotype association studies necessary

  15. Genome-wide detection of natural selection in African Americans pre- and post-admixture.

    PubMed

    Jin, Wenfei; Xu, Shuhua; Wang, Haifeng; Yu, Yongguo; Shen, Yiping; Wu, Bailin; Jin, Li

    2012-03-01

    It is particularly meaningful to investigate natural selection in African Americans (AfA) due to the high mortality their African ancestry has experienced in history. In this study, we examined 491,526 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 5210 individuals and conducted a genome-wide search for selection signals in 1890 AfA. Several genomic regions showing an excess of African or European ancestry, which were considered the footprints of selection since population admixture, were detected based on a commonly used approach. However, we also developed a new strategy to detect natural selection both pre- and post-admixture by reconstructing an ancestral African population (AAF) from inferred African components of ancestry in AfA and comparing it with indigenous African populations (IAF). Interestingly, many selection-candidate genes identified by the new approach were associated with AfA-specific high-risk diseases such as prostate cancer and hypertension, suggesting an important role these disease-related genes might have played in adapting to a new environment. CD36 and HBB, whose mutations confer a degree of protection against malaria, were also located in the highly differentiated regions between AAF and IAF. Further analysis showed that the frequencies of alleles protecting against malaria in AAF were lower than those in IAF, which is consistent with the relaxed selection pressure of malaria in the New World. There is no overlap between the top candidate genes detected by the two approaches, indicating the different environmental pressures AfA experienced pre- and post-population admixture. We suggest that the new approach is reasonably powerful and can also be applied to other admixed populations such as Latinos and Uyghurs.

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

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Ecological mechanisms of evolution by natural selection: causal processes generating density-and-frequency dependent fitness.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, T

    1998-02-21

    The current theory of natural selection explains that adaptive evolution occurs because genotypes with greater survival or reproductive tendencies, due to their particular biological properties, tend to increase in frequency over the lesser ones in a common environment; therefore, the former will eventually replace the latter. In nature, such a selection process most often occurs in a local population which is nested in a community involving local ecological dynamics which are not clearly articulated in the explanatory scheme of the theory. This paper seeks to explicate such an ecological process giving rise to the evolution of a local population with a particular focus on dynamic effects of an increase in the number of invasive, new types on the fate of old ones. Arguments using the ecological-mechanistic model, representing negative interactions among alternative types of organisms, suggest major ecological mechanisms by which the new replace the old; a selective increase in the number of one type leads to a decrease in the equilibrial abundance of a limiting resource, an increase in the density of conspecifics, and/or an increase in the density of predators, which would in turn lower the per capita reproductive rate, or raise the morality rate of another and make it extinct. Thus, replacement due to selection is associated with such dynamic shifts in equilibria occurring in a local community. The analysis of three (a resource, a prey and a predator) and four species (those plus a top predator) models suggests that evolutionary processes cannot be predicted without reference to the web structure of the community, that some fitness components causing a selective increase in a particular type can have, in some cases, nothing to do with factors causing selective decreases in alternatives, and that evolution of some traits can occur without resource competition.