Animals

Model organisms: the birds and the bees

social interaction and brain

Bird Genomes Abound Scientists complete the largest-ever comparative genomic study of birds. By Ruth Williams | December 11, 2014 Excerpt: “Birds are model organisms for a number of human behaviors and conditions—For example, Jarvis compares vocal learning in birds and…
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Sackler Colloquium: Effects or AFFECTS on Behavior

social interaction and brain

Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences, “Epigenetic Changes in the Developing Brain: Effects on Behavior,” held March 28–29, 2014, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The complete program and video recordings of most…
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Eliminating correlations from evolutionary ecology

terrarium eco system

De novo creation of olfactory receptor genes clearly links food odors via amino acid substitutions to cell type differentiation in mosquitoes, and in nematodes, flies, honeybees, etc. It would be surprising if cause and effect did not extend to vertebrates…
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Sexual differentiation of cell types in plants

terrarium eco system

Antheridiogen determines sex in ferns via a spatiotemporally split gibberellin synthesis pathway Excerpt: “Homosporous ferns have evolved a mechanism to favor cross-fertilization by controlling the sex ratio among individuals or prothalli within the population with the aid of antheridiogens. Antheridiogens…
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A model of MHC ‘evolution’

thinking forbidden

Sexual selection and the evolutionary dynamics of the major histocompatibility complex Excerpt: “Here, we present the results of the first model of MHC evolution incorporating both survival and reproduction, modelling the combined effects of natural selection and MHC-based disassortative mating…
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From deep time into real time: What evolutionary processes?

rp_poster-from-jesse.jpg

Rapid evolution of a native species following invasion by a congener Abstract excerpt: “…the lizard Anolis carolinensis moved to higher perches following invasion by Anolis sagrei and, in response, adaptively evolved larger toepads after only 20 generations.” My comment: This…
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Biologically functional protein folding

diseases-disorders

Misfolded proteins clump together in a surprising place Excerpt 1): “Our findings have challenged the notion of the aggregation process as a passive consequence of accumulating misfolded proteins,” says Stowers Investigator Rong Li, Ph.D., who led the study. Using budding…
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2014 and 2004 Nobel Prize in Medicine

neuronal-plasticity

2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine is Awarded for Discovery of Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ Excerpt: “… gray lines show the path followed by a rat as it moves around a box looking for pieces of food.” 2014 Nobel prize in physiology…
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RNA-mediated events: chromosomal rearrangements and genomic rearrangements

translocated chromosome

The Architecture of a Scrambled Genome Reveals Massive Levels of Genomic Rearrangement during Development Excerpt: “Genome-wide DNA rearrangements are most exaggerated in ciliates, particularly in the model organism Oxytricha trifallax, which programs not only DNA deletion, but also total reorganization,…
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Did parental love evolve separately in birds and mammals?

neuronal-plasticity

EDUCATION: SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES Excerpt: Romantic (erotic) love, an important component of human reproductive and sexual behavior, has its origins in parenting behavior. In reptiles, there is neither parental care nor an affectionate or affiliative bond between…
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