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The Origin of Species

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... In the late 19th century, Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) accidentally discovered the first attenuated vaccine for chicken cholera, which subsequently inspired him and others to vaccinate for other infectious diseases [6]. At a similar time, mockingbirds and finches in the Galápagos islands played a critical part in the conception of the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) [7]. Around the time between the 19th and 20th centuries, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) extensively used avian brains and retinae for his Golgi preparations and formulated the neuron theory [8]. ...
... There is much advancement in generating single-cell transcriptomic and multimodal atlases to illustrate the cell types within individual species. Charles Darwin conjectured that evolution is like "Tree of Life" in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species [7]. Ever since, biologists have tried to draw trees of life. ...
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The Tabula Gallus is a proposed project that aims to create a map of every cell type in the chicken body and chick embryos. Chickens (Gallus gallus) are one of the most recognized model animals that recapitulate the development and physiology of mammals. The Tabula Gallus will generate a compendium of single-cell transcriptome data from Gallus gallus, characterize each cell type, and provide tools for the study of the biology of this species, similar to other ongoing cell atlas projects (Tabula Muris and Tabula Sapiens/Human Cell Atlas for mice and humans, respectively). The Tabula Gallus will potentially become an international collaboration between many researchers. This project will be useful for the basic scientific study of Gallus gallus and other birds (e.g., cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, physiology, oncology, virology, behavior, ecology, and evolution). It will eventually be beneficial for a better understanding of human health and diseases.
... As females generally invest more than males in their offspring, they are usually considered to be highly selective when choosing their mates. Therefore, studies on mate choice have mostly focused on female choice of male mates and its implications for the evolution of male ornaments [1,2]. However, increasing evidence suggests that male mate choice is also widespread in many taxa, and possible explanations include paternal investment by males [3,4], males' greater mating effort [5], differences in female quality [6], female-biased operational sex ratio [7], and sperm production limits [8]. ...
... We thank Binbin Zhao and Zheng Kong for their help during the fish rearing, and Dan Wang, Shaofei Yan and Jiaming Fan for their help with the experiments. 1 ...
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Background Despite its important implications in behavioural and evolutionary ecology, male mate choice has been poorly studied, and the relative contribution of personality and morphological traits remains largely unknown. We used standard two-choice mating trials to explore whether two personality traits (i.e., shyness and activity) and/or body size of both sexes affect mate choice in male mosquitofish Gambusia affinis. In the first set of trials involving 40 males, we tested whether males would prefer larger females and whether the preference would be affected by males’ body length and personality traits, and females’ activity level. In the second set of trials (using another 40 males), we tested whether males would prefer more active females and whether the preference would be affected by males’ body length and personality traits. Results Both shyness and activity in males were significantly repeatable and constituted a behavioural syndrome. No overall directional preference for large (or small) females with the same activity levels was detected because larger males preferred larger females and smaller males chose smaller females. Males’ strength of preference for larger females was also positively correlated with the activity level of larger females but negatively with the activity level of smaller females. Males spent more time associating with active females regardless of their body lengths, indicating males’ selection was more influenced by female activity level than body size. Males’ preference for inactive females was enhanced when females became active. There was no convincing evidence for the effect of males’ personality traits or body length on their preferences for females’ activity level. Conclusions Our study supports the importance of body size in male mate choice but highlights that personality traits may outweigh body size preferences when males choose mating partners.
... Aussi, cette diversité de structures génitales a été utilisée par les taxonomistes pour différencier les espèces, conduisant à l'accumulation d'une quantité importante de données sur la morphologie et l'évolution des structures génitales (Eberhard 2010a, Schilthuizen 2015. Traditionnellement, les caractères sexuels sont classés comme primaires ou secondaires, respectivement selon qu'ils soient directement utilisés dans le transfert de gamètes ou qu'ils différent simplement entre femelles et mâles et soient liés à la reproduction (Darwin 1859). Ainsi, il est accepté que la sélection sexuelle des caractères sexuels primaires s'opère généralement pendant ou après la copulation alors que celle des caractères sexuels secondaires s'opère essentiellement pendant la cour (Eberhard 1985, Eberhard 1994. ...
... Traditionally, sexual traits are categorized as primary or secondary (Darwin 1859). Genital structures are considered "primary" when they are directly used for the transfer of gametes during copulation or when they contribute to the complexing of female and male copulatory organs (Eberhard 1985, Ghiselin 2010. ...
Thesis
Most animals have various left-right asymmetric organs. However, the underlying genetic and cellular changes leading to these asymmetries during evolution remain unclear. We study the role and the development of morphological left-right asymmetry using Drosophila pachea as a new model system. Males of this species have a pair of asymmetric genital lobes with the left lobe being 1.5 times longer compared to the right lobe. It was previously found that the lobes stabilize the genital complex of the female and the male during copulation. In my thesis, I investigated their role during pre-copulatory events and found that left lobe length, but not necessarily right lobe length, affects the male chance to copulate. The morphology of this primary sexual trait may thus affect reproductive success by mediating courtship signals or by facilitating the establishment of genital contacts at the onset of copulation. The characterization of lobe development revealed that lobes grow between 24 h and 36 h after puparium formation (APF) to about 410 and 220 cells at the left and right lobe, respectively. However, no differences in mitotic rates were detected at various time points of development by immuno-fluorescence staining, indicating a possible recruitment of cells from the neighboring tissues. Lobe growth occurs while male genitalia rotate clockwise during pupal development between 25 h and 40 h APF. In a D. pachea mutant with variable left lobe length, this rotation occurs 6 h earlier compared to wild-type stocks, indicating that the correct temporal coupling of genitalia rotation and lobe growth are required for proper asymmetry establishment. By comparing the pupal development timing of various other Drosophila species, we found out that the relative timing of the first developmental period from 0 to 55 h after puparium formation is well conserved across species. Since this period encompasses lobe development, the genital asymmetry establishment in D. pachea is probably not affected through a global shift of developmental timing in this species. We developed transgenic D. pachea expressing a fluorescent membrane marker, a truncated DE-cadherin fused to a GFP, to monitor in vivo the dynamics of the development of asymmetric lobes. Live-imaging of developing genitalia revealed that the left lobe interacts physically with the surrounding tissue. Asymmetric growth thus likely depends on intrinsic asymmetric cellular growth processes inside the genitalia, but also on a particular tissue-tissue interaction in the context of the rotating tissue. This might indicate that a conserved asymmetric developmental process, the genitalia rotation, may have been co-opted during evolution to derive a novel asymmetric structure. Altogether, my PhD thesis is related to how (developmental processes), and why (behavioral function), this novel left-right asymmetry evolved in D. pachea, and to how asymmetric tissue size is determined during development. My project aims to combine diverse approaches to work on different biological scales, including adult individuals, dynamics of the complex genital primordia during development, but also cellular growth dynamics within the forming lobes. In addition, we established D. pachea as a new model in developmental biology and generate a new biotechnological tool for live-imaging and functional analysis which open a door for a large panel of future researches.
... Principles P5, P6, and P7 endow evolving systems with the access to more advanced algorithms for learning and predicting the environment, paving the way for the evolution of complex systems, including eventually, life. These principles jointly underlie the emergence of the crucial phenomenon of selection (44,45). In its simplest form, selection is for stability and persistence of evolving, learning systems (46). ...
... Differential reproduction, whereby the environment provides feedback on the fitness of genotypes while acting on phenotypes, turns into Darwinian survival of the fittest in the presence of competition. When IPUs depend on environmental resources, such competition inevitably arises, except in the unrealistic case of unlimited supply (44). With the onset of Darwinian evolution, the system can be considered to cross the threshold from prelife to life (64,65). ...
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Significance Modern evolutionary theory gives a detailed quantitative description of microevolutionary processes that occur within evolving populations of organisms, but evolutionary transitions and emergence of multiple levels of complexity remain poorly understood. Here, we establish the correspondence among the key features of evolution, learning dynamics, and renormalizability of physical theories to outline a theory of evolution that strives to incorporate all evolutionary processes within a unified mathematical framework of the theory of learning. According to this theory, for example, replication of genetic material and natural selection readily emerge from the learning dynamics, and in sufficiently complex systems, the same learning phenomena occur on multiple levels or on different scales, similar to the case of renormalizable physical theories.
... The image-forming eye is a classic example of biological complexity and the lens is a requisite innovation in all high-resolution visual systems [32][33][34][35][36][37][38]. Cephalopods have a single-chambered eye, morphologically convergent with the vertebrate eye, composed of a cupshaped retina and a single refractive lens [39]. ...
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Background Across the Metazoa, similar genetic programs are found in the development of analogous, independently evolved, morphological features. The functional significance of this reuse and the underlying mechanisms of co-option remain unclear. Cephalopods have evolved a highly acute visual system with a cup-shaped retina and a novel refractive lens in the anterior, important for a number of sophisticated behaviors including predation, mating, and camouflage. Almost nothing is known about the molecular-genetics of lens development in the cephalopod. Results Here we identify the co-option of the canonical bilaterian limb patterning program during cephalopod lens development, a functionally unrelated structure. We show radial expression of transcription factors SP6-9/sp1, Dlx/dll, Pbx/exd, Meis/hth, and a Prdl homolog in the squid Doryteuthis pealeii, similar to expression required in Drosophila limb development. We assess the role of Wnt signaling in the cephalopod lens, a positive regulator in the developing Drosophila limb, and find the regulatory relationship reversed, with ectopic Wnt signaling leading to lens loss. Conclusion This regulatory divergence suggests that duplication of SP6-9 in cephalopods may mediate the co-option of the limb patterning program. Thus, our study suggests that this program could perform a more universal developmental function in radial patterning and highlights how canonical genetic programs are repurposed in novel structures.
... The brain-heart connection is a Darwinist proposition [84]. Indeed, the brain is connected to cardiac myocytes and arteriolar smooth muscle cells, which are the cardiovascular autonomic effectors, by di-synaptic neuronal connections of the preganglionic and ganglionic autonomic neurons [85]. ...
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To date, there is no overarching proposition for the ontogenetic-neurobiological basis of self-regulation. This paper suggests that the balanced self-regulatory reaction of the fetus, newborn and infant is based on a complex mechanism starting from early brainstem development and continuing to progressive control of the cortex over the brainstem. It is suggested that this balance occurs through the synchronous reactivity between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, both which originate from the brainstem. The paper presents an evidence-based approach in which molecular excitation-inhibition balance, interchanges between excitatory and inhibitory roles of neurotransmitters as well as cardiovascular and white matter development across gestational ages, are shown to create sympathetic-parasympathetic synchrony, including the postnatal development of electroencephalogram waves and vagal tone. These occur in developmental milestones detectable in the same time windows (sensitive periods of development) within a convergent systematic progress. This ontogenetic stepwise process is termed “the self-regulation clock” and suggest that this clock is located in the largest connection between the brainstem and the cortex, the corticospinal tract. This novel evidence-based new theory paves the way towards more accurate hypotheses and complex studies of self-regulation and its biological basis, as well as pointing to time windows for interventions in preterm infants. The paper also describes the developing indirect signaling between the suprachiasmatic nucleus and the corticospinal tract. Finally, the paper proposes novel hypotheses for molecular, structural and functional investigation of the “clock” circuitry, including its associations with other biological clocks. This complex circuitry is suggested to be responsible for the developing self-regulatory functions and their neurobehavioral correlates.
... His familiarity with the geology theory of Charles Lyell (a very close friend) opened his mind to gradualism, which held that the earth's surface was transformed through "innumerable, tiny, accumulative changes, the result of natural forces operating uniformly over immensely long periods" (Browne ((2006), p. 31)). Culling of the weakest leaves the stronger surviving and propagating offspring better able to compete, with improvements occurring gradually over very long horizons and with Darwin ((1859), p. 202) carefully adding that "natural selection will not produce absolute perfection…" ...
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An important piece of the capital structure puzzle has been missing, and it is not a contracting friction. It is recognition that managers do not have sufficient knowledge to optimize capital structure with any real precision. The literature critique in this paper i) identifies the conceptual sources of the main empirical failures of the leading models of capital structure and ii) shows how those failures can be repaired by taking into account imperfect managerial knowledge and several other factors. The analysis yields a compact set of principles for thinking about capital structure in an empirically supported way.
... It referred to the emergence of distinct groups of organisms with high between-group and low within-group variation 19 . Darwin stressed the absence of fundamental differences between varieties, subspecies, species, and higher taxa 20 . Differences between such categories were supposed to be the question of scale rather than quality. ...
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Spatial separation is often included in models of ethnic divergence but it has also been realised that urban subcultures can, and frequently do, emerge in sympatry. Previous research tended to attribute this phenomenon to the human tendency to imitate self-similar individuals and actively differentiate oneself from individuals recognized as members of an outgroup. Application of such a model to non-human animals has been, however, viewed as problematic. We present a parsimonious model of subculture emergence where the algorithm of social learning does not require the assumption of an 'imitation threshold'. All it takes is a slight modification of Galton-Pearson's biometric model previously used to approximate cultural inheritance. The new model includes proportionality between the variance of inputs (cultural 'parents') and the variance of outputs (cultural 'offspring'). In this model, assortment alone can lead to the formation of distinct cohesive clusters of individuals (subcultures) with a low within-group and large between-group variability even in absence of a spatial separation or disruptive natural selection. Sympatric emergence of arbitrary behavioural varieties preceding ecological divergence may thus represent the norm, not the exception, in all cultural animals.
... Darwinian theory then revolutionized the perspective on biological relationships and taxon group membership, with the notion that it is natural processes that give rise to taxa, while characters can only diagnose, but not define categories (Darwin 1859). Zimmermann (1931Zimmermann ( , 1934Zimmermann ( , 1943 and Hennig (1950Hennig ( , 1966 formalized these theories and provided the criteria to construct phylogenetic trees. ...
Article
Evolutionary and organismal biology have become inundated with data. At the same rate, we are experiencing a surge in broader evolutionary and ecological syntheses for which tree-thinking is the staple for a variety of post-tree analyses. To fully take advantage of this wealth of data to discover and understand large-scale evolutionary and ecological patterns, computational data integration, i.e., the use of machines to link data at large scale, is crucial. The most common shared entity by which evolutionary and ecological data need to be linked is the taxon to which they belong. We propose a set of requirements that a system for defining such taxa should meet for computational data science: taxon definitions should maintain conceptual consistency, be reproducible via a known algorithm, be computationally automatable, and be applicable across the Tree of Life. We argue that Linnaean names, the most prevalent means of linking data to taxa, fail to meet these requirements due to fundamental theoretical and practical shortfalls. We argue that for the purposes of data-integration we should instead use phylogenetic definitions transformed into formal logic expressions. We call such expressions phyloreferences, and argue that, unlike Linnaean names, they meet all requirements for effective data-integration.
... The species pairs described in the previous paragraph are morphologically similar, and it is uncommon to have morphologically similar congeneric species in sympatry (Darwin, 1859), though competition may be asymmetrical (Twomey et al., 2008). The trumpeter species used to propose endemism areas in the Amazon (Ribas et al., 2012) differ principally in color pattern, which is more important for intra-than inter-species competition, and would presumably compete strongly if in sympatry. ...
Article
Amazonian rivers are only partial barriers to the dispersal of most species, but they still form the limits between the distributions of many similar species. We show that two competitively-identical species may remain allopatric for hundreds of generations when a river only reduces the chance of a species crossing it. To illustrate this, we developed a two-dimensional cellular automata for two allopatric species under neutral-theory dynamics and recorded the time required for the first extinction of a species and the frequency with which it occurred across replicate simulations. Our results indicate that neutral processes associated with reduced dispersal across rivers can maintain competitively-identical species allopatric for hundreds of generations despite repeated river crossings. These cross-river incursions were rarely successful owing to the low likelihood of a rare invader outcompeting resident populations. This process provides a plausible mechanism for the maintenance of Amazonian biodiversity and may explain the spatial-distribution limits of species caused by large rivers in the Amazon that are not absolute barriers to dispersal.
... -Stuart Newman ( professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY) [6] It was Darwin, himself who explained how he should be buried: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." [7] Suzan Mazur writes, "Stuart Newman's now got a seductive theory about the origin of form of all 35 or so animal phyla-"it happened abruptly" not gradually, roughly 600 million years ago via a "pattern language"-which serves as the centerpiece of the "Extended Synthesis."" [8] While what is being called the "Extended Synthesis" does not outright dispense with natural selection and gene mutations, it subordinates them to minor roles. ...
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Descartes laid the philosophical groundwork for the modern scientific period by separating subjective cognition from objective bodies, thereby also dividing epistemology from ontology reducing knowing to indifferent “observation.” This is the perspective of consciousness and its object, of which material science only imperfectly studies the object. In reality these two are not separated but dialectically related and sublated in the higher comprehending original unity of self-consciousness. Physical scientists fail to study these higher categories of reality and are therefore left with an incomplete understanding of a mere superficial nature that is inadequate to comprehend the core truth. But scientific, rational inquiry will not stop until a comprehensive idea is reached that is coherent with the full range of our knowledge of life. That spectrum of knowledge is not circumscribed merely by chemistry, physics and mathematics. Thus Vedanta-sutra advises, that you will have to continue your search, athatho brahma jijnasa, until you reach brahma, the underlying spiritual source, janmady asy yatah, the fountainhead where all inquiry will reach its purpose. Then beyond knowledge Bhagavatam will guide us to the ultimate search – raso vai sah, the search for our highest fulfillment, sweetness and love.
... For most evolutionary psychologists, the broader evolutionary metatheory corresponds to a set of deductive and generative principles located in the adaptationist program in evolutionary biology . Although a complete description of the core assumptions of the adaptationist program in evolutionary biology is well beyond the scope of the current chapter, one can note that these higher-order assumptions about human biology and psychology are culled not only from Darwin's (1859) theory of natural and sexual selection, but also from the modern synthesis of population genetics and evolutionary biology (see Barkow, Cosmides, & Tooby, 1992;Dennett, 1995;and Pinker, 1997 for a fuller discussion of the core assumptions of the evolutionary metatheory). ...
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A year before his death, Kurt Lewin taught a graduate course at MIT on theories in social psychology. Stanley Schacter, a student enrolled in the course, described it as "more philosophy of science than a review of different theories. Its purpose was to teach students what a theory is, how to test a theory appropriately, and what makes a theory useful" (Higgins, 2004, p. 138). In this light, Lewin's (1951) assertion that "there is nothing so practical as a good theory" seems less like a simple call for an increased quantity of theorizing in social psychology, and more like a gentle admonition directed toward social psychologists, urging them to develop a better understanding of the role that theories can and should play in their field. More than a half century before Kurt Lewin encouraged his fellow social psychologists to ponder the role of theories in social psychology, Wil-liam James expressed a more general concern about the lack of theorizing in scientific psychology writ large. James saw the emerging science of the mind as too much dominated by purely descriptive accounts of human mental activity. In reviewing the past several centuries of scholarship on human emotion, for example, William James (1890/2009, p. 308) worried that a focus on description rather than explanation had resulted in a psychological litera-Gawronski_Book.indb 224 8/20/2014 12:07:41 PM
... lué à l'aide d'une fonction objectif. Le score de chaque individu est appelé sa valeur sélective ou fitness[Dar09]. Comme dans la théorie de la sélection naturelle, les individus ayant la fitness la plus haute sont ceux qui ont les plus grandes chances de survie. Ils ont de ce fait également les plus grandes chances de se reproduire. ...
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En génie logiciel, l’outillage des processus de développement est aujourd’hui indispensable à la gestion qualitative des projets et peut couvrir différentes phases : conception, codage ou maintenance. Cet outillage protéiforme regroupe les mesures appelées métriques, les systèmes automatisés de production de code et les systèmes d’aide à la décision, prédictifs ou non. Le champ d’application de ces derniers est large : détection de bad smells, classification de tickets, etc. Dans cette thèse, nous nous intéressons à la production de métriques portant sur la conduite des projets logiciels en s’appuyant sur les contributions au code source et plus particulièrement à l’architecture runtime des applications. Nous utilisons également des méta-données liées à l’historique du projet et à son développement.La première problématique étudiée concerne la classification de tickets logiciels décrivant des bogues. Nous entraînons un réseau de neurones sur un jeu de données reconnu par la communauté scientifique et nous optimisons ses hyper-paramètres à l’aide d’un algorithme génétique. De cette manière, nous obtenons des performances de classification supérieures à l’état de l’art. Ces performances permettent d’envisager l’intégration de notre classifieur dans des outils de gestion de projets ou dans un assistant à la rédaction de tickets.La deuxième question abordée est le turn-over des développeurs contribuant au développement de l’architecture logicielle. La détection des développeurs contribuant de manière majeure ou mineure a déjà été formulée et des métriques dédiées proposées. Cependant, les approches existantes ne se focalisent pas spécifiquement sur le développement de l’architecture. C’est pourquoi nous avons créé un modèle formel ainsi qu’une métrique de contribution au code de l’architecture. Nous validons cette métrique de manière empirique puis nous proposons une analyse des différentes catégories de développeurs extraites par notre métrique. Les résultats mettent en lumière la présence de catégories de développeurs spécifiques dont un noyau de développeurs expérimentés contribuant de manière majeure au code de l’architecture durant toute la vie du projet.La détection des développeurs expérimentés ayant de potentielles connaissances en architectures est également un problème que nous étudions. Contrairement aux approches existantes, nous utilisons l’apprentissage supervisé pour apprendre des profils de développeurs expérimentés. Aucun jeu de données étiquetées n’étant disponible dans la littérature scientifique, nous avons créé un jeu de données dédié. Pour cela nous extrayons plusieurs centaines de développeurs issus de 17 projets open source. Nous calculons ensuite 23 métriques pour chacun des développeurs contribuant à ces projets. Enfin, nous étiquetons notre jeu de données manuellement en utilisant les réseaux sociaux professionnels ainsi que la documentation des projets. Nous entraînons ensuite un classifieur sur ce jeu de données et nous l’évaluons. Nos résultats montrent de bonnes performances sur la détection de profils de développeur expérimentés, ce qui permet d’envisager l’utilisation d’un tel outil pour faciliter le management des projets. Enfin, nous réalisons une étude par croisement des résultats obtenus via la métrique de contribution à l’architecture et ceux obtenus par la classification automatique des développeurs. Cette étude permet d’analyser le profil des développeurs expérimentés. Nous analysons également l’évolution des 23 métriques des développeurs durant leur passage d’inexpérimenté à expérimenté. Les résultats montrent qu’une grande part des développeurs expérimentés sont également des contributeurs majeurs à l’architecture et que le changement de catégorie d’un développeur est multifactoriel.Nous fournissons également une évaluation de la reproductibilité de nos travaux en utilisant des cadres méthodologiques définis pour les études en génie logiciel empirique et en apprentissage automatique.
... Genetic Programming (GP) [7] is an extension of the Genetic Algorithm (GA) [8], an algorithm inspired by the Darwinian conception of natural evolution [9], in which computational problemsolving models -usually in the form of computer programs -are evolved and optimized over a repeated generational cycle. Although all GP algorithms follow a core inspired by natural evolution, they come in various forms and representations. ...
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Protein engineers conventionally use tools such as Directed Evolution to find new proteins with better functionalities and traits. More recently, computational techniques and especially machine learning approaches have been recruited to assist Directed Evolution, showing promising results. In this paper, we propose POET, a computational Genetic Programming tool based on evolutionary computation methods to enhance screening and mutagenesis in Directed Evolution and help protein engineers to find proteins that have better functionality. As a proof-of-concept we use peptides that generate MRI contrast detected by the Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer contrast mechanism. The evolutionary methods used in POET are described, and the performance of POET in different epochs of our experiments with Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer contrast are studied. Our results indicate that a computational modelling tool like POET can help to find peptides with 400% better functionality than used before.
... We have recently proposed a theory of organisms that deals with ontogenesis and thus complement Darwin's theory of evolution that addresses phylogenesis [4]. Our theory of organisms is based on three principles: namely, (a) the default state of all cells is proliferation with variation and motility, (b) a principle of variation, and (c) the principle of organization. ...
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SCHOLARLY ARTICLE"An integrative approach toward biology, organisms, and cancer"1 Jan 2018, Methods in Molecular Biology, 1702:15-26Co-authors Sonnenschein C, Soto AM10.1007/978-1-4939-7456-6_2
... In astronomy, for example, multiple measures of planetary positions across seasons provided compelling evidence for a universe that was heliocentric rather than geocentric [1]. In biology, the diversity of finches observed within and between different islands provided evidence for Darwin's theory on the origin of species [2]. In virology, the development of foci-forming [3] and plaque-forming assays [4] enabled the quantitative measures of infectious virus particle levels as foci-forming or plaque-forming units (PFUs); when such measures were combined with estimates of total virus-like particles, initially employing electron microscopy [5], the tally of particle-to-PFU ratios that differed from unity showed that most virus-like particles were not infectious. ...
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Virus-like particles resemble infectious virus particles in size, shape, and molecular composition; however, they fail to productively infect host cells. Historically, the presence of virus-like particles has been inferred from total particle counts by microscopy, and infectious particle counts or plaque-forming-units (PFUs) by plaque assay; the resulting ratio of particles-to-PFUs is often greater than one, easily 10 or 100, indicating that most particles are non-infectious. Despite their inability to hijack cells for their reproduction, virus-like particles and the defective genomes they carry can exhibit a broad range of behaviors: interference with normal virus growth during co-infections, cell killing, and activation or inhibition of innate immune signaling. In addition, some virus-like particles become productive as their multiplicities of infection increase, a sign of cooperation between particles. Here, we review established and emerging methods to count virus-like particles and characterize their biological functions. We take a critical look at evidence for defective interfering virus genomes in natural and clinical isolates, and we review their potential as antiviral therapeutics. In short, we highlight an urgent need to better understand how virus-like genomes and particles interact with intact functional viruses during co-infection of their hosts, and their impacts on the transmission, severity, and persistence of virus-associated diseases.
... It may be argued that evolution on earth has been running just such an experiment at recursive self-improvement for the last 3.5 billion years and has been relatively successful, even creating several human-level intelligences from scratch, all but one of which have already died out.6 From this we can infer that recursive self-improvement is possible over sufficiently long time spans at the level of species -not necessarily at individual level. In fact the process used by evolution, Survival of the Fittest [25], is not reliant on individual intelligence at all. Taking a close look at the many organisms (solutions) it is clear that most of them are in an evolutionary dead-end and further optimization is likely to be increasingly difficult (see e.g. ...
Chapter
The compelling story of self-improving machines which become exponentially smarter up to inconceivable intelligence has inspired some of the best science fiction literature [1–3], but is also taken seriously by many researchers. This story is however based on empirical observations of seemingly exponential processes such as Moore’s law in the semiconductor industry, and contains multiple fallacies concerning self-improvement of intelligent systems (including humans), which upon close look are implausible. Deep Learning has been heralded as a major step in this direction, however a closer look again shows many open issues with this approach, leading us to conclude that we deciphered only a small part of one method which nervous systems may use to create intelligent behaviour; that seemingly simple tasks like image classification and segmentation are still AI-complete; and that true Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) still lies at least several centuries in the future. But even an AGI would not be able to exponentially self-improve without further advances. These fallacies abound in science fiction literature as well as in scientific papers, and we will illustrate our analysis with appropriate examples.
... A formidable puzzle arises with suicide, "the act of deliberately killing oneself" (W.H.O., 2014, p. 12), because the behavior has almost certainly been under intense negative selective pressure, now and in the evolutionary past. It presents all three necessary and sufficient conditions-variability, heritability, and a differential effect on reproductive fitness (Darwin, 1859)-for natural selection to operate (Soper, 2018). The last of these, suicide's impact on the propagation of genetic material across generations, is deleterious in the extreme (Gunn, Malo, & Soper, 2021). ...
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Joiner and colleagues’ Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS), a prominent “desire-capability” model of suicide—based on the common-sense idea that people take their own lives because they want to, and can—is critiqued from a biological perspective. Tinbergen’s ethological “four questions” guide the analysis: evolution, survival value, ontogeny, and proximate causation, each addressing a different aspect of biological understanding. Problems for IPTS emerge with all four. As a parsimonious solution, the desire-capability hypothesis is reconceived as an ultimate, instead of proximate, mode of explanation. By this light, desire and capability for suicide combined in our species’ ancestral past, thus making suicide a recurrent survival threat, and driving the evolution of special-purpose defensive adaptations. This stance tallies with the pain-brain theory of the evolution of suicide, and with Joiner and colleagues’ own investigation into organismic anti-suicide defenses, which appears to conflict conceptually with IPTS. These defenses’ evolved algorithm may make suicide an intrinsically aleatory phenomenon, opaque to usefully accurate prediction. Positive implications for prevention and research are proposed.
... .] I am convinced that natural selection has been the main, but not the exclusive means of modification" (Darwin, 1872). In other words, the extended evolutionary synthesis claims the right to adopt a pluralistic approach to evolutionary explanations, challenging the limitations of the modern synthesis. ...
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The literatures on bounded and ecological rationality are built on adaptationism-and its associated modular, cognitivist and computational paradigm-that does not address or explain the evolutionary origins of rationality. We argue that the adaptive mechanisms of evolution are not sufficient for explaining human rationality, and we posit that human rationality presents exaptive origins, where exaptations are traits evolved for other functions or no function at all, and later co-opted for new uses. We propose an embodied reconceptualization of rationality-embodied rationality-based on the reuse of the perception-action system, where many neural processes involved in the control of the sensory-motor system, salient in ancestral environments have been later co-opted to create-by tinkering-high-level reasoning processes, employed in civilized niches.
... The competition-relatedness hypothesis proposed by Charles R. Darwin in the Origin of Species, that is, congeneric species are likely to compete more fiercely by means of their functional similarity 33 , has been examined in various organisms and has received both positive and negative support [34][35][36][37] . With regard to the microbial fierce competition exemplified by antagonism, Russel et al. found a negative correlation between inhibition probability and phylogenetic distance 9 ; some other scientists discovered a positive relationship between antagonistic interaction (including kin discrimination) and phylogenetic dissimilarity in genus Vibrio 7 and Streptomyces 10,11 , and species B. subtilis 12,13 . ...
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Understanding the driving forces and intrinsic mechanisms of microbial competition is a fundamental question in microbial ecology. Despite the well-established negative correlation between exploitation competition and phylogenetic distance, the process of interference competition that is exemplified by antagonism remains controversial. Here, we studied the genus Bacillus, a commonly recognized producer of multifarious antibiotics, to explore the role of phylogenetic patterns of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in mediating the relationship between antagonism and phylogeny. Comparative genomic analysis revealed a positive association between BGC distance and phylogenetic distance. Antagonistic tests demonstrated that the inhibition phenotype positively correlated with both phylogenetic and predicted BGC distance, especially for antagonistic strains possessing abundant BGCs. Mutant-based verification showed that the antagonism was dependent on the BGCs that specifically harbored by the antagonistic strain. These findings highlight that BGC-phylogeny coherence regulates the positive correlation between congeneric antagonism and phylogenetic distance, which deepens our understanding of the driving force and intrinsic mechanism of microbial interactions. Interference competition exemplified by antagonism remains controversial. Using comparative genomic analysis and antagonistic assessments, this study shows that the distribution profile of biosynthetic gene clusters within Bacillus genomes is consistent with their phylogenetic relationship and that congeneric antagonism among Bacillus strains is positively correlated with phylogenetic distance.
... In 1859, Charles Darwin formulated his theory of natural selection, based on his observations that animals living in different geographical regions shared characteristics (Darwin 1859). He also noted that they differ on specific traits, which seems to have participated in their adaptation to their environment. ...
Thesis
The identification of cellular proteins that interfere with virus replication is a key challenge in virology. Amongst them, finding those engaged in long-term virus-host interaction and co-evolution is of particular interest. In the host, such selective pressures induce diverse genetic innovations, such as site-specific positive selection, gene copy number variation, recombination, etc. Under the hypothesis that genetic innovations in innate immunity may particularly occur in viral interacting proteins, we developed a pipeline for retrieving orthologous sequences, aligning them and reconstructing their phylogeny, followed by the detection of genetic innovations. This streamlined procedure uniquely allows for the detection of paralogous genes, recombination breakpoints, and signatures of positive selection with several widely-used methods. We validated this evolutionary and predictive pipeline on genes with known selection profiles. Furthermore, we screened two datasets of candidate genes. The first one was composed of 56 genes which knock-downs impact the interferon response to viral infection. The second one was composed of 60 genes upregulated in macrophages resistant to HIV infection. We found numerous genes presenting important marks of genetic conflict, thus potentially encoding for novel Viral Interacting Proteins. Two of these candidates are undergoing functional characterization for their role in the HIV replicative cycle, and others are pending further investigation. Overall, we designed a complete and highly-flexible pipeline, available to the public, that can screen large datasets and allow researchers to rank candidate genes in order to prioritize their wet-lab experiments.
... Darwin in "On the Origin of Species" [2] established evolutionary biology based on natural selection. Competition 2 for resources creates winners and losers. ...
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The paper highlights some commonalities between the development of cryptocurrencies and the evolution of ecosystems. Concepts from evolutionary finance embedded in toy models consistent with stylized facts are employed to understand what survival of the fittest means in cryptofinance. Stylized facts for ownership, trading volume and market capitalization of cryptocurrencies are selectively presented in terms of scaling laws.
... The role of herbivores in structuring plant communities is well established in terrestrial ecology. Already Darwin, in his foundations on evolutionary biology [1], noted how excluding herbivores from a heath land transformed it into a forest of pine trees with an altogether different species composition. Single celled micro-zooplankton take on the role of herbivores in the ocean, consuming approximately two thirds (40 Pg carbon) of the primary production [2]. ...
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The marine microbial food web plays a central role in the global carbon cycle. Our mechanistic understanding of the ocean, however, is biased towards its larger constituents, while rates and biomass fluxes in the microbial food web are mainly inferred from indirect measurements and ensemble averages. Yet, resolution at the level of the individual microplankton is required to advance our understanding of the oceanic food web. Here, we demonstrate that, by combining holographic microscopy with deep learning, we can follow microplanktons throughout their lifespan, continuously measuring their three dimensional position and dry mass. The deep learning algorithms circumvent the computationally intensive processing of holographic data and allow rapid measurements over extended time periods. This permits us to reliably estimate growth rates, both in terms of dry mass increase and cell divisions, as well as to measure trophic interactions between species such as predation events. The individual resolution provides information about selectivity, individual feeding rates and handling times for individual microplanktons. This method is particularly useful to explore the flux of carbon through micro-zooplankton, the most important and least known group of primary consumers in the global oceans. We exemplify this by detailed descriptions of micro-zooplankton feeding events, cell divisions, and long term monitoring of single cells from division to division.
... Ainsi, contrairement à ce que postule la conception béhavioriste des émotions, il est peu probable que les émotions soient inutiles (Matthews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2002). En effet, Darwin (1859) introduit la notion de fonctions aux concepts d'émotion. Aujourd'hui, quatre fonctions sont imputées aux émotions : une fonction d'information, une fonction de facilitation de l'action, une fonction de support à la décision et enfin une fonction adaptative (Mikolajczak, Quoidbach, Kotsou, & Nelis, 2009). ...
Thesis
De par le lien étroit qu’elles entretiennent avec la cognition, les émotions influencent nos comportements, nos perceptions ainsi que nos performances lorsqu’il s’agit d’apprendre. Si l’existence de ce lien semble faire consensus au sein de la communauté scientifique, la nature de celui-ci fait aujourd’hui encore débat. Ainsi, pour certains, les émotions seraient une entrave aux fonctions cognitives (e.g., Hadwin, Brogan, & Stevenson, 2005). Selon le RAM (Ellis & Moore, 1999), toutes émotions mobiliseraient une partie des ressources attentionnelles au détriment de la tâche à réaliser. Cependant, à l’inverse, d’autres études font état d’un effet facilitateur des émotions (e.g., Burkitt & Barnett, 2006). Cette apparente opposition pourrait être liée à l’interaction entre l’émotion induite et l’état initial des participants. Selon le modèle de la congruence émotionnelle (Bower, 1981), une information véhiculant une émotion de même nature que celle ressentie par l’individu (congruence) serait plus rapidement traitée qu’une information véhiculant une émotion non similaire (incongruence). Or, rares sont les études prenant en considération l’état des participants avant la tâche. De plus, un grand nombre de travaux étudie l’effet des émotions sur des processus cognitifs de haut niveau. Cependant, ceux-ci sont sous-tendus par l’activation de différents processus tels que l’attention qui est impliquée dans toutes tâches d’apprentissage. Il est possible, d’une part, que les émotions n’aient pas le même effet sur l’ensemble des processus cognitifs et d’autre part, que cet effet soit variable au cours du développement de l’individu. A l’heure actuelle, peu de travaux ont été conduits chez l’enfant et encore moins en milieu scolaire. Aussi, ce travail de thèse a pour objectif d’étudier l’influence des émotions sur les processus de focalisation et d’orientation de l’attention sélective chez l’enfant d’école maternelle et primaire. Pour ce faire, cinq études expérimentales ont été réalisées.
... Over 160 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species (Darwin, 1859(Darwin, , 1971), many people around the world still do not accept the idea that human beings have developed from other animals and share a common ancestor with apes and other mammals (e.g., Pew ...
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The current investigation tested if people's basic belief in the notion that human beings have developed from other animals (i.e., belief in evolution) can predict human-to-human prejudice and intergroup hostility. Using data from the American General Social Survey and Pew Research Center (Studies 1-4), and from three online samples (Studies 5, 7, 8) we tested this hypothesis across 45 countries, in diverse populations and religious settings, across time, in nationally representative data (N = 60,703), and with more comprehensive measures in online crowdsourced data (N = 2,846). Supporting the hypothesis, low belief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes, and support for discriminatory behaviors against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ), Blacks, and immigrants in the United States (Study 1), with higher ingroup biases, prejudicial attitudes toward outgroups, and less support for conflict resolution in samples collected from 19 Eastern European countries (Study 2), 25 Muslim countries (Study 3), and Israel (Study 4). Further, among Americans, lower belief in evolution was associated with greater prejudice and militaristic attitudes toward political outgroups (Study 5). Finally, perceived similarity to animals (a construct distinct from belief in evolution, Study 6) partially mediated the link between belief in evolution and prejudice (Studies 7 and 8), even when controlling for religious beliefs, political views, and other demographic variables, and were also observed for nondominant groups (i.e., religious and racial minorities). Overall, these findings highlight the importance of belief in human evolution as a potentially key individual-difference variable predicting racism and prejudice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... As described by Darwin [218], most plants subjected to intensive domestication have lost the ability to survive in the wild environment for more than a few generations. Traits selected by humans allow us to clearly distinguish a domesticated plant from its wild progenitor, and several studies were recently proposed to highlight the genes at the base of these changes. ...
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Legumes are one of the most economically important and biodiverse families in plants recognised as the basis to develop functional foods. Among these, the Vigna genus stands out as a good representative because of its relatively recent African origin as well as its outstanding potential. Africa is a great biodiversity centre in which a great number of species are spread, but only three of them, Vigna unguiculata, Vigna subterranea and Vigna vexillata, were successfully domesticated. This review aims at analysing and valorising these species by considering the perspective of human activity and what effects it exerts. For each species, we revised the origin history and gave a focus on where, when and how many times domestication occurred. We provided a brief summary of bioactive compounds naturally occurring in these species that are fundamental for human wellbeing. The great number of wild lineages is a key point to improve landraces since the domestication process caused a loss of gene diversity. Their genomes hide a precious gene pool yet mostly unexplored, and genes lost during human activity can be recovered from the wild lineages and reintroduced in cultivated forms through modern technologies. Finally, we describe how all this information is game-changing to the design of future crops by domesticating de novo.
... We aim our focus to the well-known concept in genetic science called Evolution. Evolution theory was first proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859 [1] and then it was significantly modified to the new version by Mendel [2,3,4]. ...
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We will study the relation between two well-known theories, genetic evolution and random matrix theory in the context of many-body systems and chaos theory. We show that the time evolution of certain chaotic quantum mechanical models is similar to the evolution of a living cell. It is also suggested that natural selection can be described by a random matrix theory with statistical distribution in which the genetic evolution acts as a Gross-Witten-Wadia phase transition.
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"Strangers on a Train: Alfred Hitchcock's Scientific Portrayal of Capitalist Society," by Nancy Ann Watanabe, analyzes the text to demonstrate incorporation of Isaac Newton's laws of inertial motion, Charles Darwin's predator-prey paradigm, Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex, Albert Einstein's photoelectric effect-relativity model, Thorsten Veblen's theory of leisure and conspicuous consumption, and Sophocles' tragic splitting of the oedipal nuclear family.
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I briefly discuss about serendipity in the cases of penicillin discovery and Covid-19 vaccine research.
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The first Editor of Evolution was Ernst Mayr. His foreword to the first issue of Evolution published in 1947 framed evolution as a “problem of interaction” that was just beginning to be studied in this broad context. First I explore progress and prospects on understanding the subsidiary interactions identified by Mayr, including interactions between parts of organisms, between individuals and populations, between species, and between the organism and its abiotic environment. Mayr's overall “problem of interaction” framework is examined in the context co-evolution within and among levels of biological organization. This leads to a comparison in the relative roles of biotic vs. abiotic agents of selection and fluctuating vs. directional, followed by stabilizing selection in shaping the genomic architecture of adaptation. Oligogenic architectures may be typical for traits shaped more by biotic and fluctuating selection and polygenic architectures for traits shaped more by abiotic and directional followed by stabilizing selection. The distribution of effect sizes and turnover dynamics of adaptive alleles in these scenarios deserves further study. Second, I review two case studies on the evolution of acquired toxicity, one involving cardiac glycosides and one involving bacterial virulence factors horizontally transferred to animals. The approaches used in these studies and the results gained directly flow from Mayr's vision of an evolutionary biology that revolves around the “problem of interaction.” This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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5 6 Variation in global oxygenation has been regarded as a factor in life's evolution 1. He et al. 2 7 similarly relate metazoan evolution late in the Cambrian Evolutionary Radiation (CER, ca. 525-8 506 Ma) to "extreme oxygen perturbations." This synthesis: 1) Features non-credible fossil 9 diversities (125-300 species/sample) claimed to show CER diversity in SE Siberia and which do 10 not vary through tens of meters of section 2-features unknown elsewhere in the rock record. 2) 11 Reports "biotic events" 2 (e.g., lowest trilobites, shelled taxa with oldest archaeocyaths) that are 12 not phyletic but record immigrations of taxa appearing ca. 5 Ma earlier. 3) Uses a sequence 13 stratigraphy 2, 3 to deny sea-level changes affected epeiric sea diversity, although the scheme 14 remains untested and refers parts of the succession to systems tracts/water depths inconsistent 15 with bio-and lithofacies. 4) Disregards more dramatic, early CER changes (ca. 538-530 Ma) 16 showing a peritidal, not shelf, origin and diversification of burrowing and skeletalized metazoans 17 in a persistent oxic interval 4,5. 5) Develops an extreme oxygenation perturbation model based on 18 δ 13 C-δ 34 S covariations 2 that relies on uniformitarian (modern) assumptions, although lack of 19 CER polar ice caps precluded overturn of the deep ocean. With sulphate sources limited to onlap 20 of marginal Oxygen Minimum Zones into warm epeiric seas, pyrite and organic burial with sea-21 level rise had negligible effects on CER global oxygen levels. 22
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The intent behind the Book is to raise and disseminate awareness about upcoming research areas, issues and success stories, Such activity will affect the teaching learning process in a positive manner, as the academia will get acquaint with recent trends in the domain of Engineering, Social Science, Management, Basic Science. This book will provide a common platform, where academia, delegates from industry, and nominees from various Government and Private Universities and Institutions can put their views on Research trends across various fields as well as deliberate upon futuristic approaches along with major bottlenecks. The deliberations will not only encompass all avenues of Engineering, Social Science, Management, Basic Science, but also through a spotlight on the positive and inadvertent impact of modern technologies on society. We are attempting for Most Chapters in Single Book for India Book of Records. We are applying it to ‘Wonder Book of Records’, with 21 Editors and more than 250+ Authors and Co- Authors.
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Species’ niche depends on several ecological and evolutionary factors. Phylogenetically close species may present niche conservatism, retaining their ancestral ecological characteristics. Alternatively, in a situation of limited resources, species can differentiate themselves through changes in their ecological and morphological characteristics to reduce niche overlap, thus facilitating coexistence. In this study, we investigated the ecological niche of two phylogenetically closely related cryptobenthic reef fish species that co-occur in the southern Brazilian coast, Parablennius pilicornis and P. marmoreus. We examined possible overlap in three niche dimensions (thermal, spatial and trophic) to verify if species hold phylogenetic niche conservatism or are partitioning some niche dimension. For this, we studied their densities, microhabitat affinities and diets among four rocky reefs of southern Brazil. The two species presented differences in thermal distribution, and their abundance differed according to depth strata, but no differences were found for microhabitat preferences. They also presented a similar omnivorous diet, with crustaceans and algae as main prey types. The Pianka’s niche overlap values did not differ from the values expected in the null model for thermal and depth, and it was higher than expected by chance for microhabitat and diet. Considering all the niche dimensions analysed together, the total niche overlap was greater than expected at random. These results suggest that the two species are successfully coexisting despite considerable niche overlap. Thus, their coexistence may not depend on the evolution of divergent patterns of resource use, but on the evolutionary history of the species.
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This paper proposes a framework for representing in Bayesian terms the idea that analogical arguments of various degrees of strength may provide inductive support to yet untested scientific hypotheses. On this account, contextual information plays a crucial role in determining whether, and to what extent, a given similarity or dissimilarity between source and target may confirm an empirical hypothesis over a rival one. In addition to showing confirmation by analogy compatible with the adoption of a Bayesian standpoint, the proposal outlined in this paper reveals a close agreement between the fulfillment of Hesse’s (Models and analogies in science, University of Notre Dame Press, 1963) criteria for analogical arguments capable of inductive support and the attribution of confirmatory power by the lights of Bayesian confirmation theory. In this sense, the Bayesian representation not only enriches a framework, Hesse’s, of enduring relevance for understanding scientific activity, but may offer something akin to a proof of concept of it.
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Muchos esfuerzos han existido por comprender el origen de las especies o de los sistemas vivos. Poco interés en conocer el principio del origen de la información. Un único origen espontáneo de la información ha promovido una evolución aleatoria y aburrida que no respeta la dinámica creativa de la vida. Por lo tanto, un origen desde una arquitectura vibracional, fundamentado en una jerarquía natural a través de un gran centro de vida, se postula como el último antepasado común universal (LUCA). Así, las fuerzas de la filogénesis se consideran físicas. Con ello, se plantea el entorno donde viven, sobreviven, anticipan, diferencian y evolucionan los sistemas biológicos a través de la creación de múltiples jerarquías derivadas de un modelo universal. Un modelo jerárquico que describe la complementariedad entre extremos: local-global, entidad-ecosistema de forma coherente y acoplada. Los resultados muestran que la progresión vibratoria define la evolución mediante una jerarquía musical compuesta por un sistema por objetivos. También, se sugiere que la diferenciación rítmica promueve la biodiversidad. La creación del árbol universal destaca como todo tiene un ritmo evolutivo, iniciado, moderado y perpetuado eternamente desde la mente. Este enfoque tiene importantes consideraciones acerca del procesamiento de información en los sistemas biológicos que nos permite ampliar el marco de acción del ADN. Las implicaciones recaen en la biología teórica, aplicaciones biomédicas, computacionales y genéticas.
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There have been many efforts to understand the origin of species or living systems. Little interest in knowing the principle of the origin of information. A single spontaneous origin of information has promoted a random and boring evolution that does not respect the creative dynamics of life. Therefore, an origin from a vibrational architecture, based on a natural hierarchy through a great center of life, is postulated as the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Thus, the forces of phylogenesis are considered physical. Thereby, the environment where biological systems live, survive, anticipate, differentiate and evolve is posited through the creation of multiple hierarchies derived from a universal model. A hierarchical model that describes the complementarity between extremes: local-global, entity-ecosystem in a coherent and coupled way. The results show that the vibratory progression defines evolution through a musical hierarchy composed of a system by objectives. Also, it is suggested that rhythmic differentiation promotes biodiversity. The creation of the universal tree highlights how everything has an evolutionary rhythm, initiated, moderated and perpetuated eternally from the mind. This approach has important considerations about information processing in biological systems that allow us to expand the framework of DNA action. The implications fall into theoretical biology, biomedical, computational and genetic applications.
Chapter
Behavioural biology is a discipline of biology that uses scientific methods to study the behaviour of animals and humans. But what exactly is “behaviour“? Everyone probably has a spontaneous, concrete, and very personal idea about it. A barking dog, a singing bird, a fluttering butterfly - many people most likely have these vivid examples in mind when they think of the behaviour of animals. However, although the spontaneous association may suggest it, behaviour cannot simply be equated with movement or activity, because plants and prokaryotes also actively move. Moreover, supposedly inactive animals can also exhibit behaviour: Geckos, for example, whose body colouration perfectly fuses with the pattern of a tree’s bark, thereby reducing their risk of being discovered and eaten by a predator; or motionless female moths, who may emit scents that help males to find them. Animals can also learn and make decisions without moving a muscle. In these examples of camouflage, mating behaviour and learning, the behavioural aspect is characterised by the sending or processing of signals. Signals are therefore important aspects of behaviour, in addition to movements and interactions.
Chapter
There are a number of other forms of reproduction in the animal kingdom besides the gonochoristic reproduction familiar to us. These variants can be described as life history characteristics that generate certain reproductive strategies. The theory of sexual selection provides an overarching framework for analysing these and other adaptations related to reproduction, so I will first introduce its mechanisms. I will discuss sexual selection, the relationships between life history and reproduction and the determinants of sex roles. Since the dynamics of sexual selection are also influenced by a fundamental conflict between the sexes and variation in adult sex ratios, these topics complement an overview of the fundamentals of diversity and the evolution of animal reproductive strategies.
Chapter
Modern evolutionary theory provides a theoretical framework for functional analyses of animal behaviour. In order to investigate the adaptive value of individual behaviour patterns, it is necessary to operationalize fitness and to characterize the evolutionary mechanisms that influence it. In terms of the most important fitness components - survival and reproductive success - four basic problems that each individual must successfully master can be derived: finding food, avoiding being eaten, reproducing successfully and raising offspring. Traits determining the reproductive component of fitness are identical with some of the most important life history traits. In this chapter, I will therefore outline the most important variables, mechanisms, processes and relationships among behaviour, evolution and life histories to provide a basis for the subsequent chapters, which will focus on these four basic problems.
Article
The idea of ‘reversion’ or ‘atavism’ has a peculiar history. For many authors in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries – including Darwin, Galton, Pearson, Weismann, and Spencer, among others – reversion was one of the central phenomena which a theory of heredity ought to explain. By only a few decades later, however, Fisher and others could look back upon reversion as a historical curiosity, a non-problem, or even an impediment to clear theorizing. I explore various reasons that reversion might have appeared to be a central problem for this first group of figures, focusing on their commitment to a variety of conceptual features of evolutionary theory; discuss why reversion might have then ceased to be an interesting phenomenon; and, finally, close with some more general thoughts about the death of scientific problems.
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In my book review of Vaclav Smil’s recently published book Growth, I focus on perspectives of technocratic ideology with respect to human evolution. Can we measure future evolution of homo sapiens quantitatively or in some other way? I study Smil’s approach to the problem and show its key strengths and deficiencies.
Article
This article presents a Pedagogical Framework for Invasive Species to shift how we understand, teach, and study invasive species, especially when people are responsible for their expansion into new ecosystems. The focus is on a species originating from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that humans extracted and introduced in certain regions of the Americas, Europe, and Asia: Xenopus laevis, African Clawed Frog, or Idwi in the Zulu language. This article re-introduces the frog Idwi through lenses of de/post-colonial theory, Indigenous studies, and Critical Race Theory to create counternarratives. Through a popular press analysis, the article uncovers how humans in colonial contexts extracted species from de/colonizing spaces to export to other regions of the world. When the frogs were profitable, the entrepreneurs who exported them were valorized. However, once seen as invasive, frogs were targeted with xenophobic projections. This article foregrounds counternarratives that challenge and critique universal application of the “invasive species” label.
Thesis
The envelope is a concept that defines an interface between an internal and external environment. They can be ‘living’ (skin, hair, feather, bark, membrane of a cell) or ‘non-living’ (egg, animal architecture, shell) or man-made design (packaging, building facade, car body, etc). Nowadays, industry, architecture and product design are particularly interested in replicating the properties of biological envelopes in order to improve the performance of man-made envelopes (mechanical resistance, acoustic and thermal insulation, water and air permeability, etc.). However, these bio-inspired researches are often inspired by the same panel of biological organisms characterized according to a single-criterion approach. This research first presents a comparative analysis of bio-inspired building skins built over the last fifty years in chapter 1. The second chapter provides a multi-criteria analysis of a selection of ten types of biological envelopes of eukaryotes in terrestrial environment and on a macroscopic scale (skin, hair, feathers, bark, etc.). By classifying these organisms using several criteria of analysis (functions of regulation, time scale, size scale), this research enhances connexions between life and design sciences. The third chapter proposes a multi-criteria analysis tool for biological organisms allowing a systemic understanding of living beings in a perspective of biological properties transfer for a multi-criteria design. Last section of this research discusses the ethical aspects of biomimetics and the relevance of the acquisition of new biological data, the taxonomic bias and the methodological aspects of the approach in architecture.
Article
Changes in ideas and in technology can come about as slow incremental modifications, as well as by major paradigm shifts. In the case of the development of the ideas of geologic history and time, I will try to present these changes broadly and then look at how some of these have affected interpretation of Nebraska geology. Changes of view on three fronts were important in the development of geologic history and time concepts. First is the question of the nature of time. Is time cyclic or is it linear? The Greco-Oriental cultures had a world view based on cosmic cycles, but the Judea-Christian world view was more linear and reflected the historical nature of the Bible. Second, the development of modern geologic thought originated in Europe partly as a result of the long development there of perspective art. Multipoint and aerial perspective were mastered by northern European artists during the Renaissance. Third, the seventeenth and e ighteenth centuries witnessed the development of ideas regarding how to find places on the Earth. My view, developed since the day that boy I was found a career on the discard pile of a Maryland factory, is that Nebraska's geologic history extends from r cks billions of years old buried beneath the surface to sediments accumulating today. It is a story of volcanism, faulting, flooding by ancient seas, erosion of emergent lands by rivers and glaciers, winds moving sands and silts, and shifting and ever-changing landscapes. To understand that geologic history, you must be willing to think in four dimensions and to take an immense journey.
Article
Generations of archaeologists, ethnologists and now also genetic researchers are investigating the question: What makes Eurasia a unique evolutionary territory? We must recognise that mental evolution as a Eurasian unifying anthropological force is even more important than biological evolution. We can no longer ignore the fact that the number of people in Eurasia has increased tenfold over the past 200 years, i.e. since the French Revolution. Homo sapiens is on the way to becoming homo billionis, the creature that emotionally fits into a herd and seems to feel safer there the larger this herd is. This process proceeds on the entire planet, but in Eurasia it is the most obvious. Whether sapiens or billionis, there is no question that human must change if he wants to survive in Eurasia with resources getting scarcer and population higher, given his development in the recent past. To do so, however, at least in Eurasia human would have to control himself rationally and set hard limits to his cultural, mental and social drives and dreams, instead of relying on collective control and correction of the nature of Eurasia that he has supposedly subjugated.
Chapter
Parental care is defined as any activity by a parent that contributes to increasing the fitness of its offspring (Clutton-Brock 1991). It can begin before birth with the building of a nest or den for the eggs or offspring. During reproduction, mothers can positively influence their developmental and survival chances by producing eggs that are as large and nutritious as possible or large live-born young. This aspect of brood care is the only one that is independent of behaviour; rather, it is a fundamental life history decision concerning the number and size of offspring (► Sect. 3.2). Nutrient supply to the eggs or developing juveniles is another aspect of parental care. After all, some offspring are so helpless after hatching or birth that their survival depends crucially on parental care. Whether and which form of parental care takes place depends on the ratio of the related benefits and costs. The benefits of care include positive effects on the survival, growth and reproductive success of the offspring. The somatic and environmental costs of parental care may be reflected in reduced survival, reduced fecundity in the next reproductive cycle and reduced fitness of the next set of offspring. The level of these costs depends strongly on current environmental conditions, but also on parental condition. Animals from different lineages and species, males and females, as well as different individuals, differ in many ways with regard to the form and intensity of the care they can provide.
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